We are pleased to announce the programme of the 18th International Graduate Conference in Philosophy “Freedom and Autonomy”, which will be held at the University of Essex (UK) on May 9, 2015.



Dr Katerina Deligiorgi, University of Sussex

Professor Wayne Martin, University of Essex


The question of human freedom is one of the great problems in philosophy since Kant. The issue is crystalised in the Third Antinomy, which resonated so much in the work of his successors: how can we conceive of an agent that is at once wholly determined (from the perspective of natural science) yet also (practically) free? Have attempts to overcome this problematic been so many dead ends, or should the matter have long ago been settled on one side or the other (or perhaps under the banner of Strawson’s compatibilism)? And what is the greater significance of the debate? Can one, for instance, have autonomy without freedom? How should we think of ourselves as being guided (or even limited) by the world – or our instincts – in our actions and judgements?

These are the sorts of questions that our 2015 graduate conference at Essex will explore. We’re interested in answering them both with reference to the history of philosophy as well as in relation to contemporary debates (for instance, Essex is home to the Essex Autonomy Project, which focuses on the application of philosophical debates about autonomy to medical ethics). In particular, we’re interested in ‘freedom’ not just in a metaphysical sense but in a practical one too.


The call for papers deadline has passed, see the previous post on hegelpd .


9:30-10:00– Registration and Coffee (Senate Room)

10:00-11:30– Keynote Presentation: Wayne Martin (Essex)- ‘The Antinomy of Judgement, Delusion,
and Twelve Angry Men’ (Senate Room)

11:45-13:15– Parallel Sessions 1

Feminist Approaches (Senate Room)

Maud Gauthier-Chung (LSE)- ‘Freedom and Autonomy: The Relational Conceptions Problem’

Emily Cousens (Oxford Brookes)- ‘Freedom and the Subject: Exploring the Constituent parts of a
radically positive conception of freedom’

Freedom and German Idealism (1N.4.1)

Joe Saunders (Sheffield)- ‘Kant and the Problem of Recognition: Transcendental Idealism, Rational
Agency and the Third Person’

Charlotte Alderwick (Sheffield)- ‘Is Autonomy Sufficient for Freedom?’

13:15-14:15– Lunch

14:15-15:45– Parallel Sessions 2

Freedom and Nature (Senate Room)

Isabel Kaeslin (Columbia)- ‘Second nature- an Offspring of Frustrations?’

Jaakko Immonen (Essex)- ‘Adorno, Freedom, and Need’

Freedom for Oneself (1N.4.1)

Alison Fernandes (Columbia)- ‘Epistemic Freedom and the Unity of Practical and Theoretical Reason
in Fichte’

Justin White (UC Riverside)- ‘A Life of One’s Own: Why Did the Butler Do It?’

15:45-16:15– Coffee

16:15-17:45– Keynote Presentation: Katerina Deligiorgi (Sussex)- ‘Freedom for Rational Animals’
(Senate Room)

The conference will be followed by drinks at Top Bar.

Here you can find the PDF file of the Programme.

Registration for the conference is free. To register, please email


A series of filmscreenings related to the theme of ‘Freedom and Autonomy’ are taking place in the week leading up to the event. Films have been selected and will be introduced by Philosophy at Essex students and staff. All are welcome to attend.


Robert King
John-Baptiste Oduor
Tom Whyman

For further information about the conference including access to Colchester campus, please contact the conference organisors:, or see the link of the official website.

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