Fundamentality in Philosophy - The 7th International Philosophy Graduate Conference

Open to the Public
Nador u. 15
Friday, April 13, 2018 - 10:00am
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Friday, April 13, 2018 - 10:00am to Saturday, April 14, 2018 - 7:00pm


for the
Central European University, Budapest, 13-14 April 2018

In most philosophical disciplines, the notion of fundamentality is of crucial importance. Discussions on which normative concepts are fundamental and what fundamental rights human beings have are central in both moral and political philosophy. In metaphysics, disputes about consciousness and ontological dependence all hinge on the problem of the fundamental. In the philosophy of science, lively debate continues as to whether any special science concepts are fundamental and what features are essential to good scientific explanation.

These are just some of the ways in which the notion of fundamentality can be essential in various areas of philosophical enquiry. We therefore conceive of the theme of the conference broadly and we invite submission of papers that engage with the notion of fundamentality from various perspectives.

The following are some examples of how the theme of fundamentality can be approached from the various field-specific perspectives:

  • Philosophy of science: Anti-reductionist views of science: what, if any, special science concepts must be taken as fundamental? Are mechanistic explanations more fundamental than their dynamical counterparts?
  • Metaphysics: What is the fundamental nature of reality: things, gunk, process, bits, mind? Can emergent entities be fundamental? Discussions of grounding, realization, supervenience and other relational concepts.
  • Metaethics: What are the fundamental normative concepts? Are there ultimate moral truths? Do moral facts belong to the fundamental structure of reality?
  • Moral and political philosophy: What is the significance of fundamental rights to political philosophy? Are there any fundamental human goods or interests (e.g. autonomy or development of capabilities) and what is their role in moral and political philosophy?
  • History of philosophy: Fundamentality in the history of philosophy. Precursors to the contemporary metaphysical notion of fundamentality in Aristotelian and Medieval metaphysics.


Sessions will involve a 20min presentation followed by a 5min commentary from a member of the CEU Philosophy department and a 5min response, before opening the floor to Q&A.


Papers should not exceed 3000 words and be suitable for a 20 minutes presentation. Papers must be accompanied by an abstract no longer than 200 words and be ready for double-blind review. Submissions must be sent no later than January 29th, to The subject of the email should be “paper submission” and in the body of the email please specify name of author(s), title of paper, institutional affiliation and contact information. We aim to notify candidates two weeks from the submission deadline.

Submissions from underrepresented areas of philosophy and from underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged.

Subject to budget approval, we aim to offer accommodation for authors of accepted papers.