Tennessee Value and Agency 2012 Conference


Themes from the Moral Philosophy of Rawls and Kant

University of Tennessee, November 16-18, 2012

Keynote Speakers

Thomas M. Scanlon

Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity
Harvard University

Pamela Hieronymi

Professor of Philosophy



John Rawls spent most of his career writing about justice and democratic political systems, but scattered throughout his earliest papers, course lectures and books are suggestive remarks and undeveloped ideas about moral philosophy more generally, including its proper methodology, the role of normative ethical theory, the relevance of empirical psychology as well as substantive positions on moral topics ranging from supererogation to guilt, shame and love.  Perhaps Rawls’ greatest influence in moral philosophy so far has been through his students and colleagues, who have in various ways developed, refined and reworked dominant themes in an evolving tradition of moral philosophy that many of them share with Rawls and Kant.

The conference will feature papers that engage with or criticize themes from the moral philosophy of John Rawls and Immanuel Kant will be considered for the 2012 TVA conference.  There will also be papers that interpret and extend Rawls’ own moral views and those that engage in substantive moral philosophy in a manner that is consistent with Rawls’ views on the proper aims and methods of moral philosophy.  And there will be ones that are in the Kantian and Rawlsian tradition of moral and political philosophy more generally, including those that engage with contractualism or constructivism, take up issues about the nature of reasons and rationality, and examine the place of moral psychology in normative theory.

About the Tennessee Value and Agency Conference

The Tennessee Value and Agency (TVA) conference is an annual event aimed at encouraging philosophical conversation about topics pursued by established research clusters at the University of Tennessee Department of Philosophy.  While the 2012 inaugural conference is focused on philosophy in the broad tradition of Rawls and Kant, the 2013 TVA conference will focus on action theory, free will and moral responsibility.


Friday, November 16, 2012

1:45–2:00 Welcome
2:00–4:30 Panel on Justice as Fairness
Reconciling Freedom and Equality, JON MANDLE, University at Albany, SUNY
Distributive Justice and Rawls’s Idea of a Social Minimum, REX MARTIN, University of Kansas
Rawlsian Perfectionism, STEVEN WALL, University of Arizona
4:30–4:45 Break
4:45–6:30 Keynote address
The Intuitive Problem of Free Will and Moral Responsibility (Paper), PAMELA HIERONYMI, UCLA
Chair: Erin Taylor, Cornell
6:30–7:00 Reception
7:00–9:00 Dinner/Reception, Bridgeview Grill

Saturday, November 17, 2012

9:00–10:00 Continental breakfast
10:00–11:00 Mentalism or Proceduralism?: A Kantian Construal of Rawls’s Linguistic Analogy, MICHAEL DEEM, Notre Dame
11:00–12:00 Post-Kantian Constructivism, JAMES GLEDHILL, University of Frankfurt
2:00–4:30 Panel on Stability
Needing Happiness? Stability and the Need of Reason, KATE MORAN, Brandeis
Self-Respect, Solidarity, and the Demands of Justice: Early Rawls on Political Community, RAFEEQ HASAN, University of Chicago
Rawlsian Stability, JON GARTHOFF, University of Tennessee
4:30–4:45 Break
4:45–6:30 Keynote address
Ideas of the Good in Moral and Political Philosophy, THOMAS M. SCANLON, Harvard
Chair: Bradford Cokelet, Miami
7:00–9:00 Dinner (by invitation)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

9:00–10:00 Continental breakfast
10:00–11:00 Respect for the Moral Law: The Emotional Side of Reason, JANELLE DEWITT, King’s College
11:00–12:00 Unity of Reasons, ADAM CURETON, University of Tennessee
12:00–1:00 “The Will is Nothing Other Than Practical Reason”: Willing and Public Legislation in Kant’s Groundwork, LARRY KRASNOFF, College of Charleston
1:00–1:15 Closing


The conference will take place in room 1210 of McClung Tower, which is located at 1201 Volunteer Blvd.  It is about 1.5 miles from the Crowne Plaza, which is located at 401 West Summit Hill Dr.

Hotel Information

The conference will take place at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on November 16-18, 2012.

A limited number of hotel rooms has been reserved at the Knoxville Crowne Plaza.  To reserve one of these rooms at the reduced conference rate, click on the following logo:




Other area hotels are within easy walking distance of UT, including the Downtown Knoxville Holiday Inn and the Knoxville Hilton.


Registration for the conference is free.  Simply email Adam Cureton (adamcureton@utk.edu) to reserve a spot.


Adam Cureton
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
808 McClung Tower
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37931


Department of Philosophy
University of Tennesse
801 McClung Towern
Knoxville, TN 37996-0480
Phone: (865) 974-3255
Fax: (865) 974-3509
Website: http://web.utk.edu/~philosop/