Thursday, November 01, 2007

CFP: "Biological Explanations of Behavior: Philosophical Perspectives," Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany, June 12-15, 2008

This conference will be organized around three general themes: explanations in behavioral genetics, developmental explanations of behavior, and the evolution of behavior. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following: evolutionary explanations of human and animal behavior (e.g., altruism), causal claims in behavioral genetics, behavioral traits as natural kinds, logical analyses of arguments in evolutionary psychology, and comparisons of the different ways that biologists from different disciplines explain behavior. In addition, we welcome papers that include philosophical analyses of concepts central to biological explanations of behavior, such as innateness, imprinting, and particular behavioral traits. The conference will begin with a keynote address that is intended to set the agenda for the conference. On each of the three following days, there will be a plenary lecture in the morning in accordance with the theme for the day, which will then be followed by topical sessions of contributed papers. The conference sessions will be organized in series (rather than in parallel sessions) so that participants will have the opportunity to attend all presentations. While this means we will accept fewer papers, we believe that this will lead to a more coherent conference with more intensive participation from all attendees. Program: Thursday, June 12: Registration & evening keynote address, Keynote lecture by Helen Longino; Friday; June 13: Day theme: explanations in behavioral genetics, Plenary lecture by C. Kenneth Waters & 3 sessions with 3 contributed papers each; Saturday, June 14: Day theme: developmental explanations of behavior, Plenary lecture by Colin Allen & 3 sessions with 3 contributed papers each; Sunday, June 15: Day theme: the evolution of behavior, Plenary lecture by David Sloan Wilson & 1 -- 2 sessions with 3 contributed papers each. This conference is organized by Kathryn Plaisance and Thomas Reydon, and is jointly sponsored by the Center for Philosophy and Ethics of Science (ZEWW) at the Leibniz University of Hannover and the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science (MCPS) at the University of Minnesota. Publication of a small selection of papers delivered at the conference is planned to appear as an edited volume of the Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, to be edited by Kathryn Plaisance, Thomas Reydon, and C. Kenneth Waters. The volume will include papers by the keynote speaker and each of the plenary speakers. In addition, there will be room for four to six contributed papers, based on quality and fit. The deadline for paper submissions will be several weeks after the conference, and decisions about publication will be made promptly. Please submit an abstract of up to 500 words to We prefer that you attach a Word document that includes your contact information (Name, Department, Institution, Email) followed by your abstract. The deadline for submission is December 1st, 2007. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out in February, 2008. For more information, please visit Dr. Thomas Reydon, Center for Philosophy and Ethics of Science (Zentrale Einrichtung für Wissenschaftstheorie und Wissenschaftsethik), Leibniz University of Hannover, Im Moore 21, D-30167, Hannover, Germany Web: Mail: Associate Editor (philosophy of biology and book reviews),Acta Biotheoretica,

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