CFA: Physics, Time and Agency Conference, Dublin, 6-7 July 2020

Call for Abstracts: Physics, Time and Agency Conference

6th−7th July 2020

Dublin, Ireland (Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin)

Speakers: Craig Callender (UCSD), Jenann Ismael (Columbia), Natalja Deng (Yonsei), Stephanie Rennick (Glasgow), Alison Fernandes (Trinity College Dublin), David Albert (Columbia), Huw Price (provisional; Cambridge)

Physics tells us much about the nature of time, but it doesn’t explain why time seems to have a direction, or why time seems to ‘flow’. In response, researchers have paid increasing attention to how agents are situated in time. For example, Ismael and Callender argue that the reason we think of the future as a realm of possibilities is because of how we model time in deliberation and in action. ‘Agent-based’ (Price, Fernandes) and ‘physics-based’ (Albert) accounts of causation use features of how we deliberate to explain why causal relations are directed towards the future. But there is no consensus on the role agency should play in these explanations, or on the upshots for our broader understanding of time. For example, if agency is used to explain causal asymmetry, does this imply that causal asymmetry is objective (Albert), or a matter of our perspective (Price)? This conference will debate the role of agency in physical accounts of time, and will use this debate as a basis to explore the role of agency in accounts of scientific relations more broadly: including causation, laws and chances. (Further details on the conference website:

Call for Abstracts: We invite the submission of abstracts for the conference from early career philosophers (students, postdoctoral researchers, and junior faculty within 7 years of their PhD). Abstracts should be suitable for a 40−45 minute talk. Submissions should include a title, a brief abstract (up to 150 words), and a separate extended abstract (up to 500 words, not including references) blinded for peer review. Abstracts should be submitted as pdf files by Sunday 15th March 2020 to

Notification of outcomes will be made by April 15th. Funding bursaries will be available to support the costs of travel and accommodation for speakers. (We will do our best to cover the full amounts, but exact details will be given as they become available, and certainly by April 15th.)

We are committed to fostering diversity and equality. Submissions from underrepresented groups are particularly welcome. The conference will be adopting the BPA/SWIP Good Practice Scheme and the BPA/SWIP Guidelines for Accessible Conferences. The venues of the conference (including restaurants) are wheelchair accessible, with accessible toilets accessible from the conference room. Accessible accommodation will be available. We will do our best to assist those with caring responsibilities (and funds may be available). Please do contact us if there are any specific points on which we need to provide more information.

Organisers: Alison Fernandes (Trinity College Dublin,, Daniel Deasy (University College Dublin,, under the auspices of the Irish Society for the Philosophy of Time (


Acknowledgments: The conference is organised by the Irish Society for the Philosophy of Time. The organisers gratefully acknowledge funding support from the Mind Association; the British Society for Philosophy of Science; the Department of Philosophy (Trinity College Dublin); the Arts and Social Sciences Benefaction Fund (Trinity College Dublin); Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute, and the UCD School of Philosophy (University College Dublin).

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Filed under Calls for Abstracts/Papers/Contributions, Conference announcements/CFPs, wuthrich

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