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Event: 3rd Topoi conference: New Trends in Rational Choice Theory

Event date October 27, 2016 - October 28, 2016
Submission deadline June 30, 2016
Location Munich (Germany)
Host(s) Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy
Event website/information For further information, please contact Cédric Paternotte (

3rd Topoi conference: New Trends in Rational Choice Theory

Munich, Germany, 27-28 October 2016

The 3rd Topoi Conference will take place in Munich on 27-28 October 2016. It is part of a series of biennial conferences sponsored by the journal Topoi ( and will be hosted by the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy.

Invited speakers:

Arif Ahmed (University of Cambridge)

Itzhak Gilboa (HEC, Paris)

Christian List (London School of Economics)

Laurie Paul (University of North Carolina)

Richard Pettigrew (University of Bristol)

Call for papers:

Rational choice theory (RCT) has been philosophically explored for decades. In particular, its traditional guise of expected utility theory has long been both extremely useful in philosophy and heavily criticized. Still, many particular attempts to expand, question or replace expected utility theory have recently surfaced. To cite but a few prominent ones:

  • New refinements: Foundations have been sought for choice parameters usually taken as given, for instance such as the agents’ preferences, in terms of their motivating reasons.
  • New criticisms: RCT has been accused of insufficiency, for instance in the case of decisions involving agent changes that are too radical.
  • New alternatives: models of rational choice have been proposed in which new features of the agents, such as their attitudes towards risk or their level of confidence, are made explicit.
  • New extensions: Rational choice models are increasingly applied to collective agents and collective rationality.
  • New applications: In addition to its traditional use in ethics, RCT is now being applied in epistemology in order to assess various views concerning degrees of belief and epistemic values.

More generally, discussions surrounding the philosophical import and normative power of RCT have intensified. These issues reveal a renewed attention for rational choice in the general philosophical literature. The conference aims to gather philosophers in order to explore such recent developments and assess the renewed relevance of rational choice theory, either as a philosophical object of study or a philosophical tool.


 Any papers or extended abstracts that are relevant to the conference themes may be submitted. They should be in English, anonymous and no longer than 3000 words (references included). Even if the papers are technical, they should be accessible to a general philosophical audience. Between 5 and 8 additional speakers will be selected from the submissions following this call for papers. We insist that the papers must not have been published or submitted anywhere else, as the authors will be invited to submit longer versions for a special issue of Topoi.

Please send your submissions (.doc or .pdf) by email to:

Deadline for submissions: 30 June 2016. Selected participants will be notified by July 21st.

A selection of papers will be later published in a special issue of Topoi: An International Journal in Philosophy, co-edited by Fabio Paglieri and Cédric Paternotte.

Scientific Committee:

Seamus Bradley (MCMP, Munich), Catherine Herfeld (MCMP, Munich), Brian Hill (CNRS/HEC, Paris), Cédric Paternotte (Paris-Sorbonne University), Olivier Roy (University of Bayreuth), Gregory Wheeler (MCMP, Munich).


The conference will be held in Munich (Germany). The language of the conference is English. Attendance is free and no registration is required. Meals will be provided for the authors of accepted papers, but at the moment no reimbursement for accommodation and travel costs is expected to be available.

For further information, please contact Cédric Paternotte (

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