2013 IRC Conference: The Second-Person Perspective in Science and the Humanities, 17-20 July 2013




Gary Bente (Cologne), "Coordinated minds and bodies. Second-person accounts to the co-creation of social reality through nonverbal behaviour”

Stephen Darwall (Yale), "Making the hard problem of moral normativity easier"

Peter Hobson (UCL), "Interpersonal engagement: a view from autism"

Beatriz Lopez (Portsmouth), "Beyond modularisation: towards the integration of neuro-constructivism and second-person perspectives in the study of autism"

Andrew Pinsent (Oxford), "The origins of the term ‘person’ and the significance of research into second-person relatedness today"

Johannes Roessler (Warwick), "Reason explanation and the second-person perspective"

Vasudevi Reddy (Portsmouth), "Engagement, response and social understanding"

– Roger Scruton (Oxford), "Accounting for yourself"

Eleonore Stump (St Louis), "The second-personal and the transmission of knowledge through testimony"

Raymond Tallis (Manchester), "'Hey, you!' Some reflections on pointing and second-person being"


There has been an explosion of research recently on the second-person perspective, closely linked to new approaches to the philosophy of persons in which ‘I’ and ‘you’ are understood as inherently and mutually relational. The pioneering work of Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas and others in the twentieth century has been augmented by new data from the empirical sciences, especially the study of joint attention and conditions such as autistic spectrum disorder, Williams Syndrome and prosopagnosia, characterised by atypical second-person responsiveness as well as research stimulated by the controversy as to whether certain non-human primates have a “theory of mind” and can entertain another’s point of view. The implications of such developments can scarcely be exaggerated, shaping the foundations of ethics and personal identity, but touching also on other areas of philosophy, social cognition, neuroscience, developmental psychology, ethology, theology and many aspects of the humanities generally. Such research is also seen as having implications for society in a broader sense, especially at a time of rising concern about narcissism and apparent deficits of empathy and social cohesion.

The aim of this conference is to present, discuss and debate these developments from a variety of perspectives, crossing interdisciplinary boundaries to elucidate the purported distinctiveness of the second-person perspective and explore its implications. Besides plenary speakers and panel discussions, up to fifty short papers will be presented. The conference will begin at 4pm on Wed 17 July (registration from 2pm) at St Anne’s College, Oxford, and finish with dinner on Sat 20 July 2013, including breakfast on 21 July for those staying the night of 20 July. For further details, please contact the Ian Ramsey Centre administrator:



All those wishing to attend the conference are invited to register as soon as possible via:

Oxford University online shop:

The registration fee includes a simple lunch, tea and coffee for each day.


There are two options, available when you register online:

(1) Book a room at St Anne’s College, Oxford, arriving Wed 17 July, departing Sunday 21 July in the morning. This option includes the cost of all the dinners during the conference.

(2) Purchase individual dinners only, without accommodation.


The following short papers have been accepted for presentation during the conference:

– Stephen Ames (Melbourne), “It’s different when it’s your mother”

– Stina Bäckström (Chicago), “Expression: Perception and Shared Knowledge”

– Vivian Bohl (Tartu, Estonia), “Relational models in the second-person perspective”

– Prof. Don M. Booker (Pace University), “Second-Person Perspectives on Managerial Leadership”

– Dr Eva Buddeberg (Frankfurt), “Morality – The Other and Third Persons”

– Donald J. Bungum (Saint Louis University), “Second-Person Experience, Experience of God, and the Movement of Free Wills”

– Dr Michael S Burdett (Oxford), “Technology and the Second-Person Perspective: Can One Speak Thou to Artefacts?”

– Dr Anna Ciaunica (Freiberg), “Isolated Sailors in Isolated Ships: the Case of Autism”

– Dr Alexandra Couto (Vienna), “Reactive Attitudes, Forgiveness, and the Second-Person Standpoint”

– Dr Helen De Cruz (Catholic University of Leuven and Oxford), Johan De Smedt (Ghent) “Second-person perspective and natural beauty: Aesthetic appreciation of nature as a window on divine creative intentions”

– Sem de Maagt (Erasmus University Rotterdam), “Liberal Theories of Justice and Interdependency of Persons”

– Johan De Smedt (Ghent) – Co-author (with Helen De Cruz) of “Second-person perspective and natural beauty: Aesthetic appreciate of nature as a window on divine creative intentions”

– Dr Peter Dews (Essex), “Encountering the Unconditional: The Ethical Demand in Løgstrup and Levinas”

– Dr Monika Dullstein (Heidelberg), “Knowing others: Cavell on empathic projection and acknowledgement”

– Dr Alan Ford (Gloucestershire), “Second-Person Absence and Philosophical Narcissism”

– Meghan Guidry (Harvard Divinity School), “The Asterism Effect: Munchausen’s by Proxy Syndrome as Ritualized Self-Transformation”

–  Karen Guldberg – Co-author (with Hayrunisa Pelge and Tonie Stolberg) of “The Paradoxical Self: Lived Experiences of the Sufi Mystics and the Lived Experiences of ‘Autistic Persons’”

– Dr Noreen Herzfeld (St. Benedict and St. John’s University, Collegeville), “When the Second-Person is not a Person”

– Dr Andrea Hollingsworth (Berry College), “Your Gaze Never Abandons: Nicholas of Cusa's Mystical Christology and Developmental Neuropsychology”

– Dr Line Ryberg Ingerslev (Aarhus University, Denmark), “Beyond Intentionality: Exposure and Responsiveness”

– Joshua Johnson (St. Louis University), “The Private Language Argument and a Second-Person Approach to Mindreading”

– Fleur Jongepier (Radboud University Nijmegen), “The Second Person Perspective and the First Person”

– Dr Amon Keren (Haifa), “Testimony and the Second Person”

– Pejman Khojasteh (International Association for Religious Freedom and World Congress of Faiths), “Application of religious based second-person statements in achieving more amenable relationships between individuals classified into separate groups.”

– Dr Camillia Kong (Essex), “Second-Personal Competence: Problems Posed by Disabilities and Mental Health Law”

– Michal Lesniak (John Paul II, Lublin), “Other knowers. Feminist approach to epistemology”

– Dr Andreas Losch (Heinrich Heine, Düsseldorf), “The Second-Person Perspective as Basis for a Dialogue with the Neurosciences?”

– Bruno Mölder (Tartu, Estonia), “Is there a place for folk psychology in the second-person perspective?”

– Dr Lluis Oviedo (Antonianum University, Rome), “What can provide the second-person perspective to the science-and-theology dialogue?”

– Hayrunisa Pelge, Tonie Stolberg, Karen Guldberg (Birmingham), “The Paradoxical Self: Lived Experiences of the Sufi Mystics and the Lived Experiences of ‘Autistic Persons’”

– Rhonda Rhiachi (Oxford Brookes), “‘Join our club’: person-centred approaches to dementia care”

– Dr. Katrien Schaubroeck (Utrecht University), “Can there be a duty to love?”

– Mikolaj Slawkowski-Rode (Warsaw), “Is death Your death?”

– Tonie Stolberg – Co-author (with Karen Guldberg and Hayrunisa Pelge) of “The Paradoxical Self: Lived Experiences of the Sufi Mystics and the Lived Experiences of ‘Autistic Persons’”

– Piotr Szalek (Catholic University of Lublin), “Wittgenstein and the Second-Perspective”

– Sabine Thürmel (Munich Center of Technology in Society), “Inter-Agency in Technosocial Environments”

– Uku Tooming (Tartu, Estonia), “Second-Personal Attributions of Mental States”

– Cheng-chih Tsai (Mackay Medical College), “Second-person perspective without a second person – Towards an evolutionary account of morality”

– Nicole van Voorst Vader-Bours (Erasmus University Rotterdam), “Second-Personal Engagement & Second-Personal Perspective: Two Distinct Modes of Attending to One Another”

Additional Information

Date 17-21 July 2013
Time 14:00
Speakers 2013 IRC Conference Speakers
Place St Anne's College, Oxford

2013 IRC Conference: The Second-Person Perspective in Science and the Humanities, 17-20 July 2013