NEN 2023 – Program

All talks will take place on the campus of Princeton University.

Talks will be held at the Louis A. Simpson International Building –  Bowl A71.

Below is the program for the workshop, with titles of the talks (abstracts can be accessed by expanding the section)

Support for this year’s workshop is generously provided by Princeton University’s Department of Philosophy.


12:30pm: Coffee, light refreshments (provided)

1pm – 2:45pm, Michael Hannon,  “The Construction of Epistemic Normativity”

This paper aims to solve a puzzle for instrumental conceptions of epistemic normativity. The puzzle is this: if the usefulness of epistemic norms explains their normative grip on us, why does it seem improper to violate these norms even when doing so would benefit us? To solve this puzzle, I argue that epistemic instrumentalists must adopt a more social approach to normativity. In particular, they should not account for the nature of epistemic normativity by appealing to the goals of individual agents. Rather, they should appeal to norms or rules of inquiry that serve our collective goals. I argue that epistemic normativity grows out of our need to promote a deep kind of coordination in our basic epistemic practices. By subscribing to an appropriate system of norms, we can coordinate epistemic rule-following across the community. This makes testimony more trustworthy and reliable. This account not only solves a puzzle about epistemic instrumentalism but also sheds new light on the foundations of normativity and emphasizes the need for a truly social epistemology.

3pm – 4:45pm, Anni Raty,  “A Joint Decision Account of Consent”

Consent can seem like moral magic. By giving consent, we can turn “a trespass into a dinner party; a battery into a handshake; a theft into a gift; an invasion of privacy into an intimate moment” (Hurd 1996). How can consent do all that? In this paper I develop a novel account of consent that answers this question. I propose that consent is a decision that we make together with the other parties to the consent-exchange—a joint decision of consent.

5:30pm-ish: Dinner, Tower Room 1879 Hall (All are invited!)


9am: Coffee, light breakfast (provided)

9:30am – 11:15am: Jamie Dreier, “Is there a quasi-queer ‘because’?”


11:30am – 1:15pm: Elise Woodard, “Mistreating Consent”

Consent plays an important role in our lives. Minimally, violating someone’s consent is clearly some type of wrong. However, there are various ways in which consent can be defective, non-ideal, or insufficient for full permissibility. In this paper, I focus on an under-explored way in which consent can be defective, namely in virtue of being moot. In cases of moot consent, an agent A consents to B φ ing, but if A hadn’t consented, B would have φ ’d anyway. (Consider: Audrey consents to have sex with Brice, but if she hadn’t consented, he would have had sex with her anyway.) These cases are disturbing, but it is difficult to explain why whilst preserving morally relevant distinctions between cases. In this paper, I attempt to diagnose what’s troubling about cases of moot consent and what harms or wrongs agents like Audrey incur.

1:30pm – 2:30pm: Lunch (provided)

2:30pm – 4:15pm: Tom Kelly, “Bias, Norms, and Normativity”

4:30pm – 6:15pm: Ben Bradley, “The Sacrificer’s Dilemma”

The topic of the paper is the claim that we must consider the interests of our past selves who have sacrificed for us. I argue the claim is false.

7pm-ish: Dinner, Tower Room 1879 Hall (All are invited!)