CFP: Reductionism and Integration, Bioethics and Behavior: A Conference Celebrating the Career of Kenneth F. Schaffner

September 23-24, 2016, University of Pittsburgh

Reductionism and Integration, Bioethics and Behavior: A Conference Celebrating the Career of Kenneth F. Schaffner

23-24 September 2016

Center for Philosophy of Science, 817 Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA USA


Call for papers

Kenneth F. Schaffner’s 50-year career spans the origin, rise, and institutionalization of modern philosophy of biology. From research on reductionism and explanation in genetics and immunology to work on competence and consent in psychiatry and medicine, he shaped the subject matter of philosophy of biology as the field evolved from a small niche investigated by a few to a broad area of specialization practiced by thousands of international scholars. The aims of this conference are to invite scholars in philosophy of biology and medicine to reflect on and engage with Schaffner’s contributions to the field, and to intellectually engage his forthcoming book, Behaving: What’s Genetic, What’s Not, and Why Should We Care? (Oxford University Press, available April 2016).

The conference will include keynote speakers; a roundtable on Behaving; and presented papers by junior scholars with responses from senior scholars. Junior scholars (graduates and postgraduates who have completed their PhDs within the past 6 years) are invited to submit abstracts of 750 words for presentations on any topic of relevance to the theme. Topics include, but are not limited to, reduction, emergence, explanation and discovery in the biomedical sciences; biomedical ethics; and philosophy of genetics. Submissions need not directly engage with Schaffner’s work, so long as they are thematically appropriate. We will be able to provide accommodation and some travel support for speakers.

The deadline for abstracts is March 1, 2016. Please submit abstracts via EasyChair here.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Lindley Darden (University of Maryland)
  • Helen Longino (Stanford University)
  • Erik Parens (The Hastings Center)

Program Co-Chairs:

  • Thomas Cunningham (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences)
  • Kathryn Tabb (Columbia University)
  • James Tabery (University of Utah)

Organizing Committee

  • Jim Bogen (University of Pittsburgh)
  • David Colaco (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Peter Machamer (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Sandra Mitchell (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Lauren Ross (University of Pittsburgh)

The organizers would like to emphasize that while they can accommodate only a limited number of contributors to give papers, they welcome anyone who would like to join us in celebrating Ken to attend. Please email us at if you have any questions or would like to be kept up-to-date on the event.

Deadline: March 1, 2016

Posted: January 26, 2016