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School of Law

UK-IVR 2020 Annual Conference

Call for Papers: Law, Rationality and Practical Reason: Ancient and Contemporary Perspectives

Date: 20-21 July 2020

Venue: University of Surrey


  • Antony Hatzistavrou (University of Hull, School of Law and Politics, UK)
  • Noam Gur (Queen Mary, University of London, Law School, UK)
  • Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco (University of Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy, UK)

Call for papers and workshops

The UK branch of the International Association of Legal and Social Philosophy (IVR) is delighted to announce its 2020 Annual Conference - organised in collaboration with the Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy and Queen Mary's Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context.

If law is centred on human action and practices, key questions concerning rationality and practical reason in law arise. How shall we formulate a sound conception of practical reason for law? What is the correct understanding of the structure of rationality for law and how it differs from the rationality of other human practices? Do ancient theories about practical reason and the nature of law illuminate contemporary dilemmas concerning the rationality of law? How practical reason differs in the different fields of law, i.e. private and criminal law? What is the interplay of practical knowledge and practical reason in specific areas of the law, e.g. negligence, recklessness, intentionality, duress?

We aim to create a platform for the exchange of ideas and the creation of synergies for new ways of thinking about law, practical reason and rationality among researchers in the field of philosophy, legal theory, law, sociology, psychology, intellectual history, classics and political science. We encourage all methodologies, including historical analysis and comparative intellectual history.

Keynote speakers

  • Professor Kimberley Brownlee (University of Warwick)
  • Professor Terence Irwin (University of Oxford and Cornell University)
  • Professor Melissa Lane (Princeton University)
  • Professor Matt Matravers

A special workshop in honour of John Gardner’s work will be organised as part of the conference (participants to be confirmed).

Indicative topics for papers and workshops (all topics can be approached from ancient or contemporary perspectives):

  • Populism, reason, and the Rule of Law
  • Models of practical reason and law/authority
  • Reason, collective decision-making, and democracy
  • Rationality in law and legal doctrine – e.g., legal responsibility and rationality; practical reason in civil law compared with criminal law
  • Judicial reasoning – e.g. reason and intuitions in judicial decisions; reason and emotions in judicial decisions
  • The cyberspace, reason, and rationality – e.g., implications for legal regulation of cyberspace
  • Values, rationality, and law
  • Conceptions of the good, common good, and legal rationality
  • Character, dispositions and law
  • The current state and future direction of jurisprudence – e.g. which questions and method are worth pursuing in the study of law and social practices

If you would like to participate with a paper, please submit an abstract of maximum 500 words to the following email address before 15 March 2020.

We would like to encourage international scholars to submit papers.

We also welcome suggestions for workshops on specific topics. If you are interested in organising a workshop, please submit an abstract of maximum 500 words together with the name of the potential participants to the following address: before 15 March 2020.

Notification of acceptance will be before 30 March 2020.

Registration info

Registration fees

  • Non-members:
    Students: £45 - Includes lunches and tea/coffee.
    Academics, professionals: £50 - Includes lunches and tea/coffee.
  • Members:                              
    Students: £35 - Includes lunches and tea/coffee.
    Academics, professionals: £45 - Includes lunches and tea/coffee.      
  • Conference dinner: £45

Venue: Lakeside Restaurant, Stag Hill Campus, University of Surrey  

Register here

Registration deadline: 30 June 2020.


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