St. Louis Annual Conference on Reasons and Rationality attracts philosophers from around the globe

by | May 30, 2023

A group of 38 philosophers from locations as far as Brazil, Hong Kong, Stockholm and Zurich attended the conference, hosted by UMSL's Department of Philosophy.
Alison Springle stands at a lectern and addresses and audience

Alison Springle (at left), an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Oklahoma, presents at the St. Louis Annual Conference on Reason and Rationality as UCLA’s Ekin Zeytinoglu chairs the session. (Photos courtesy of Eric Wiland)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis Department of Philosophy hosted the St. Louis Annual Conference on Reasons and Rationality from May 21-23 at the Moonrise Hotel. SLACRR is an international conference with speakers presenting on philosophical topics in ethics, epistemology, the philosophy of action, and other philosophical issues that concern reasons and rationality.

The 2023 event was the 13th iteration of SLACRR, with the conference occurring annually since 2010 with a one-year break in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eric Marcus and Bob Bishop at the St. Louis Annual Conference on Reasons and Rationality

Eric Marcus, a professor of philosophy at Auburn University, and Bob Bishop, an assistant professor at California State University, San Bernardino, talk to each other while walking up the stairs at the Moonrise Hotel during the St. Louis Annual Conference on Reasons and Rationality.

This year, 12 speakers presented papers over three days with each talk followed by a Q&A session lasting 45 minutes. The 38 participants traveled from locations as far as Brazil, Hong Kong, Stockholm and Zurich to attend, with local attendees from UMSL, Washington University in St. Louis, and St. Louis Community College also present.

In addition to the formal sessions, attendees at SLACRR took advantage of a schedule giving ample time to informally network and discuss their research. Coffee breaks between each talk lasted at least 20 minutes. Attendees went to lunch and dinner at local locations in the Delmar Loop. Each evening, the attendees finished the day by gathering on the rooftop bar at the Moonrise Hotel. 

Topics at this year’s SLACRR included Northwestern University’s Claire Kirwin speaking on the “guise of the good,” which is the thesis that every intentional action appears to be good to the person undertaking the act. David Horst of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil, presented on whether those who deserve credit for performing a morally good act can be said to have skillfully performed the good action. Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate student Eliot Watkins presented his research on the meaning of the word “reason” – as in “Eric has reason to eat lunch” – and its relationship to “reasons” – as in “Eric has two reasons to eat lunch: he is hungry and it would taste good.”

Each of the 12 sessions was chaired by a SLACRR participant. It is SLACRR tradition for the chair for each session to present the first question of the Q&A session. 

SLACRR receives funding from UMSL, Saint Louis University, and Washington University. It was co-organized by UMLS faculty members Billy Dunaway and Eric Wiland.

UMSL Daily

UMSL Daily