Michigan Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

  • Insight Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience 4800 South Saginaw Street Flint, MI, 48507 United States

Call for Papers

The theme of cognition and neuroethics should be interpreted broadly. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, or general Science
  • Philosophy of Action (Free Will)
  • Identity
  • Philosophy of Psychology
  • Bioethics
  • Medical Ethics
  • Consciousness
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Memory, Learning, Belief and Knowledge

Here are just a few of the sorts of questions and ideas that we encourage students to write about:

What is self-identity? Can you freely alter your own self-identity? Are there aspects of one’s personal-identity that it would be wrong to alter, eliminate or hide? If so, why? What is the proper way to conceptualize pain and suffering? Is all pain bad? How do other cultures, presently or historically, conceptualize the mind, belief, knowledge, pain? How do other cultures conceive of medicine, health and physical and emotional well-being? What is the proper role of medicine—to eliminate or cure illness or to enhance people (physically, morally, psychologically) to make them “better than well”? Should all illnesses or diseases be cured—why or why not? What are the limits (if any) of parental control over the health and well-being of the body and mind of their child? Do children have the right to determine whether or not they are subjected to medical or psychological treatments? Are there ever occasions when it is permissible (mandatory?) for third parties to make therapeutic decisions for someone? What are the social consequences of being regarded as diseased or ill? How are health, life and death, medicine, physical and mental illness portrayed in art, music, and in literature?

An issue of compos mentis: The Undergraduate Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics will be devoted to talks presented at the 2016 Michigan Undergraduate Philosophy Conference that have been revised into polished papers. All talks presented at the conference are eligible for submission and review.

The annual Michigan Undergraduate Philosophy Conference is organized by the University of Michigan-Flint Philosophy Club with the guidance of the Center for Cognition and Neuroethics, and is sponsored by the University of Michigan-Flint Philosophy Department.

The Center for Cognition and Neuroethics promotes both the exploration of the conceptual foundations of the neurosciences and the study of the implications of their advances for society in the legal, political, and ethical realms. The CCN will disseminate this knowledge to as wide an audience as possible through publication, conferences and seminars. We support activities and events involving multiple disciplines and professions that allow opportunities for intellectual synergy and increased impact by creating, fostering and supporting research and educational collaborations and communication, both at the student and professional level.

For additional information about the Center for Cognition and Neuroethics or compos mentis, please see our website or email faculty advisor Jami L. Anderson: anderson@cognethic.org.


We ask that abstracts not exceed 500 words. Please anticipate an approximately 20 minute/2500 word conference talk. Submit abstracts by email as a Word .doc or .docx file prepared for blind review including your full contact information in the email only. The purpose of this conference is to support and encourage the intellectual work of undergraduates, so all relevant abstracts submitted should be the work of undergraduate students. While this conference is titled the Michigan Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, we welcome submissions from all undergraduates, no matter the location or major.

For more information, please contact Cody Hatfield-Myers by emailing hatfield-myers@cognethic.org. 

The deadline for abstract submission is 20 December 2017.