Registration Program
 Venue  Accommodation  Dinner  Contacts

Welcome to the Moral Philosophy and Its Discontents: New Perspectives on Ethical Thought Conference

Flinders University (Victoria Square Campus, Adelaide)

13 - 15 July 2015


According to one widely held conception, moral thought is fundamentally about (moral thought is a means to) moral judgment, where moral judgment is understood roughly to involve the application of moral concepts, principles and theories to actions, people, and events. But as Iris Murdoch amongst others has noted, this conception of moral thought, like any other, is not morally neutral. As she observes, the particular phenomena that one initially picks out as calling for moral thought or reflection - which are themselves partly determined by what we take to be the point of such reflection - 'shape our conception of the field of study.' Murdoch responded to this by developing a neo-Platonic conception of moral understanding employing a metaphor of vision. But many other philosophers in both analytic and continental traditions who share her dissatisfaction with the mainstream have responded in different ways, drawing on philosophers as disparate as Aristotle, Wittgenstein and Levinas.

The aim of this conference is to explore moral thought in the broader sense that the work of these philosophers and many others invites. We hope to explore this broader conception by examining how it might feature in literature and art, how it might alter the practice of moral philosophy, how it might change our picture of 'moral psychology', or of meta-ethics, and in any other ways our contributors can discern.

Contributors include:

  • Assoc Prof Avner Baz (Tufts)
  • Prof Talbot Brewer (Virginia)
  • Assoc Prof Christopher Cordner (Melbourne)
  • Assoc Prof Alice Crary (New School)
  • Prof Raimond Gaita (Melbourne)
  • Dr Andrew Gleeson (Flinders)
  • Assoc Prof Megan Laverty (Columbia TC)
  • Assoc Prof David Macarthur (Sydney)
  • Dr Talia Morag (Sydney and Western Sydney)
  • Assoc Prof Craig Taylor (Flinders)
  • Prof Samantha Vice (Witwatersrand)

The conference will comprise paper presentations and two evening presentations on the Monday and Tuesday and a half-day intensive workshop on the morning of the Wednesday exploring the ideas and themes raised on the previous two days. A conference dinner will be held on the Monday evening.

Those wishing to attend and participate in the workshop should indicate this when they enquire and register as places are limited and cannot be guaranteed at this stage. The full program will be posted soon.

Registration Fees

  • No registration fee applies


Those interested in attending should in the first instance contact Craig Taylor 



Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law   Flinders Institute for Research in the Humanities    The Ian Potter Foundation