From 18 April 2018 to 20 April 2018

Evolution & Moral Epistemology conference


The final conference of the research programme Evolutionary Ethics (2014-2019) will be organised on 18-20 April 2018. The aim is to present new research on evolution and moral epistemology. Five experts in the field will deliver keynote lectures: Owen Flanagan (Duke), Michael Huemer (Colorado), Carla Bagnoli (Modena & Oslo), Jonas Olson (Stockholm) and David Copp (UC Davis). Additionally, each of the members of the research programme will give a presentation related to their research project.


Insights from evolutionary theory, as well as recent empirical findings in fields such as moral psychology and anthropology, have raised several questions of interest to moral philosophers. Does evolutionary theory affect the plausibility of different metaethical doctrines, such as robust realism, Humean constructivism, or skepticism? Do so-called Evolutionary Debunking Arguments (EDAs) provide a genuine and original challenge for moral and metaethical theories? How should moral truth and justification be understood in the first place?

Call for abstracts

We invite abstracts by researchers working on topics that relate to evolution and moral epistemology. Five slots have been reserved for selected presentations. Submitted abstracts should be related to one of the following sub-sessions:

  • The Epistemology of Evolutionary Debunking Arguments
  • The Empirical Presuppositions of Evolutionary Debunking Arguments
  • Moral Error Theory and the ‘Now What Question’
  • Evolution and Moral Progress
  • Moral Objectivity, Truth and Justification


High-quality abstracts (500-800 words), including name, affiliation, key references and preferred sub-session, should be submitted here. The deadline for abstract submission is October 31st, 2017. Submissions will be subject to double blind peer review. Notification of acceptance / decline will be given by November 30th, 2017. Thereafter, the conference opens for registration. The organisation can provide a bursary of up to €300,- per person for the travel and hotel costs of selected speakers. There will be a €50,- conference fee. Please visit the website for further details.


The conference is part of the NWO-funded research project Evolutionary Ethics: The (Meta-)Ethical Implications of Evolutionary Theory. Previous conferences organised by the research group include 'Debunking and Disagreement' (2017); ‘The Descent of Moral Sentiment’ (2017); ‘Objectivity in Ethics’ (2016); ‘Morality and Multilevel Selection’ (2015); ‘Moral Universalism’ (2015); and ‘Evolutionary Debunking Arguments’ (2014). For questions, please contact the organisers.

Organising committee

Start date and time
18 April 2018
End date and time
20 April 2018