Call for papers: Univ. of Alberta Philosophy Graduate and Post-Graduate Conference on 'Thinking and Bias'

Submission deadline extended to 20 February 2015 Keynote speakers: Carla Fehr and John Symons

16 February 2015

'Thinking and Bias': University of Alberta Philosophy Graduate and Post-Graduate Conference, 12-14 June 2015

Keynote speakers: Carla Fehr and John Symons

Deadline for submissions: Extended to 20 February 2015

We invite graduate students and postgraduates (who have been awarded their PhD no earlier than 2009) to submit papers to the graduate and postgraduate philosophy conference that will take place on 12-14 June 2015 at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

As philosophers, scholars, and researchers we have begun to consider, sometimes reluctantly, whether and how our capacity for bias features into our capacity for thought. Thinking critically about our biases and how those biases inform the ways in which we do philosophy and engage with one another sets notions of truth, objectivity, and rationality in dialogue with considerations of the role of subjectivity, prejudice, and context in philosophical thought and practice. Thinking and Bias aims to bring together diverse positions on the issue of bias and the issue of bias in philosophy. In order to unpack the challenges that bias poses to inquiry and to "traditional" philosophical fields such as epistemology, ethics, the history of philosophy, aesthetics, and the philosophy of science, it is crucial to recognize the extent to which bias is a psychological, social, and political phenomenon.

We strongly encourage submissions from all areas of philosophy and from related disciplines, and we especially encourage submissions from women and other groups historically underrepresented in the profession. Possible questions for consideration include, but are not limited to: What are positive and negative forms of bias? How do implicit biases inform philosophical analysis? As critical thinkers how might we challenge ourselves and combat implicit bias? What role do biases play in scholarly and archival research? What is the relationship between critical thinking and value laden observation? Can biases be useful heuristics? How do cognitive biases and social context influence indirect behavioural measures such as the Implicit Association Test?

Funding to help cover travel expenses for conference presenters who lack other means of financial support to travel to Edmonton may be available.

Keynote presentations

Carla Fehr: "Hidden Bias, Explicit Values: Gender in Epistemic Communities"

Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy, Department of Philosophy, University of Waterloo
Associate Director, Site Visit Program of the American Philosophical Association Committee on the Status of Women

John Symons: "Norms and Formal Methods in Ameliorative Epistemology"

Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of Kansas
External Faculty, Centro de Filosofia das Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa and Lisbon University Institute, Lisbon

Deadline for submissions: Extended to 20 February 2015

Submission guidelines: Papers should not exceed 3000 words. They should be prepared for anonymous review and sent as a PDF file to In a separate PDF attachment, please include your name, academic affiliation, e-mail address, paper title, and an abstract of no more than 150 words.

For more information, please contact us at