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Ergo | Summer 2013

UT Philosophy Department Inaugurates Annual Tennessee Value and Agency (TVA) Conference

With the aim of advancing and drawing attention to two of its focal research clusters—one in moral and political philosophy (questions of value), the other in metaphysics and action theory (questions of agency)—UT’s Department of Philosophy inaugurated the Tennessee Value and Agency (TVA) conference in November, 2012. This first installment of the conference, which will be an annual event each fall, focused on the moral philosophy of Kant and Rawls. A smashing success, it was organized by assistant professors Adam Cureton and Jon Garthoff and was funded by the philosophy department, the Haines-Morris Fund in Arts and Sciences, and the Office of Research and Engagement.

Over the course of three days, Tim Scanlon (Harvard) and Pamela Hieronymi (UCLA) delivered terrific keynote addresses, and eleven outstanding philosophers from departments across North America and Europe presented papers that were selected from a large number of submissions and a competitive peer review process. Sessions were very well attended, drawing both a local and regional audience. In and out of sessions, discussion was excellent and highly productive. The post-conference feedback from participants and attendees was extraordinarily positive. All were very impressed by the quality, dynamism, and collegiality of our department’s research culture. Next fall’s 2013 TVA conference is being organized by professors EJ Coffman, David Palmer, and Markus Kohl, and will focus on issues raised by the idea of free will. Robert Kane (Texas) and Michael McKenna (Arizona) will deliver the keynote addresses.

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