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.
Short papers are invited on topics directly relevant to the conference themes, to be delivered in parallel sessions of 30 minutes duration (20 minutes for the paper, 10 minutes for discussion).
Those wishing to contribute a paper should submit a title, a 200 word abstract, and institutional affiliation, by email to the Ian Ramsey Centre administrator:
with the subject line “Second-Person Perspective Abstract.”
Closing Date for Abstract submissions: Friday 1st March, 2013.
Notification of accepted papers will take place by 22nd March 2013.
All those wishing to attend the conference are invited to register via:
Oxford University online shop:
The registration fee includes a simple lunch, tea and coffee for each day.
ACCOMMODATION AND OTHER MEALS
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.