Previous Conferences


Recent history of conferences and symposia organised through the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs

The Ethics of Giving, conference held at St Andrews in May 2017 – organised by Theron Pummer (St Andrews).

Public lecture commemorating the 150th anniversary of John Stuart Mill’s inaugural Rectoral Address: Prof Helen Small (Oxford), 3 February 2017.

Oxford Workshop on Effective Altruism, 10-11 November 2016 at Oxford – organised by Theron Pummer (St Andrews) and Hilary Greaves (Oxford).

New Cosmopolitan Just War Theory, seminar by Prof Chris Brown (LSE), 21 April 2016 – organised by Nick Rengger (St Andrews)

The Philosophical Foundations of Effective Altruism, conference at St Andrews on 29-30 March 2016 – organised by Theron Pummer (St Andrews), Rufaida Al Hashmi (St Andrews), and Oscar Westerblad (St Andrews).  Some video recordings and slides are available here.

Debate: This House Believes that Charity Starts at Home, debate at St Andrews on 4 February 2016 – organised by Theron Pummer (St Andrews), Rufaida Al Hashmi (St Andrews), Oscar Westerblad (St Andrews), and the St Andrews Union Debating Society.

Full history of conferences and symposia organised through the Centre (in chronological order from 1984 to 2014)

The Centre has organised several international conferences. The opening conference (1984), which was sponsored by the US/UK Fulbright Commission as an Anglo-American Colloquium, was on Ethics and International Relations. The Fulbright Commission and Manchester University Press subsequently published a volume of essays deriving from it, under the same title.

An interdisciplinary conference on Ethics, Medicine and Law was held in 1986, and another, on the Theoretical Presuppositions of Liberalism, in 1987.

The theme of the 1988 conference (which like the 1984 meeting was largely Anglo-American) was Contemporary Moral Theory.

In 1997 the Centre hosted the annual Royal Institute of Philosophy Conference whose theme was Philosophy and Public Affairs (from which a volume of the same title was published by Cambridge University Press). In the same year the Centre also co-sponsored a conference on Philosophy, Education and Culture held in Edinburgh.

Under the direction of John Broome and John Skorupski, the Centre hosted an annual workshop on the theme of Practical Reason. This series began in 2001 and continued until 2006.

CEPPA arranged two major conferences in 2002. The first was held in the United States, with the co-operation of Chatham College, Pittsburgh, and was on the theme Philosophy and its Public Role. The second was on the subject of International Justice and was held in St Andrews.

In 2005 there was a major conference held under the auspices of CEPPA and the Department of Moral Philosophy on the theme of The Unity of Reason. This was held in St Andrews and featured the following speakers: Michael Bratman (Stanford), John Broome (Oxford), Jonathan Dancy (Reading), Stephen Darwall (Michigan), Pascal Engel (Paris), Alan Millar (Stirling), John Skorupski (St Andrews), Jens Timmermann (St Andrews), and Theo von Willigenburg (Rotterdam).

In 2006,  CEPPA hosted a conference entitled Distributing Health Care: Principles, Practices and Policies. Speakers included Professor Howard Glennerster (LSE), Professor John Appleby (King’s Fund), and Dr Niall Maclean (Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, St Andrews).

In 2010, in association with the University’s Music Centre, CEPPA hosted a two-day symposium on Music, Meaning and Morality as part of a Festival of Philosophy. The main participants were James MacMillan, Susan Mendus, Roger Scruton and Adrian Walsh.

Additional meetings have been held on a variety of themes as follows: 2014-Legal Theory; 2010-Human Dignity; 2007-Aspects of Value; 2005-Moral Demandingness; 2004-Aspects of Virtue, Philosophy and Literature; 2003-The Scottish Moral Philosophy Tradition, Symposium on Thomas Pogge’s World Poverty and Human Rights; 2002-Democracy and Contemporary Chinese Political Philosophy (jointly sponsored by British Council), History of Ethics in Ethics; 2001-Philosophical Perspectives on Pluralism, Spirituality, Philosophy and Education; 2000-Contemporary Chinese Philosophy; 1998-Political Philosophy and the Holocaust; 1995-Conservation and Restoration in Art and Nature; 1994-Liberalisms and their Challengers; 1993-Philosophy and its Role in Central and Eastern Europe; 1992-Environment and Value; 1991-Identity, Community and Culture; 1988-Philosophy in Higher Education

Dr Stephanie Collins (Manchester) speaking at The Philosophical Foundations of Effective Altruism (2016)