Agency, Morals & the Mind

26-27 September | London

Join The Human Mind Project on the 26th-27th of September for a multidisciplinary workshop bringing together scholars from diverse disciplines to investigate agency and morality.

The sense of agency – the feeling that we are in control of our thoughts and actions – is a central feature of the human mind. The experience of agency influences the conscious selection and avoidance of courses of action, our sense of responsibility, interaction with other people and the way in which we address societal challenges. It also has crucial implications for what we deem to be right and wrong in human behaviour.

How can we define the relation between agency, moral responsibility and the brain? Can cognitive explanations shed light on the subjectivity and voluntariness of action? How can the science of evolution help us understand the nature of ethical constructs, and address the possibility of moral progress? What turns the mere control of bodily movements into conscious acts of morality or immorality?



Scott Atran (CNRS and Oxford), Molly Crockett (Oxford), Emma Flynn (Durham), Steve Fuller (Warwick), Patrick Haggard (UCL), Richard Holton (Cambridge), Keith Jensen (Manchester), Lucy O’Brien (UCL) and Catherine Wilson (York).

Responsibility as a Social Construction
Catherine Wilson

Agency & Subjectivity
Lucy O’Brien

How does the behaviour of others influence what we do?
Emma Flynn

Volition & Value
Patrick Haggard

Programme & Organisation

Agency, Morals and the Mind is organized by the team of The Human Mind Project. An inclusive hub for the facilitation of interdisciplinary dialogue and enquiry, The Human Mind Project aims to define the major intellectual challenges facing research on the human mind.