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Pacific 2017 Pre-Conference
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Pacific 2017 Pre-Conference

When: April 11, 2017
Where: Westin Seattle
1900 5th Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98101
United States
Contact: Martin Glazier

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APA Pacific Division 2017 Pre-Conference: Themes in Transformative Experience. Aprill 11, 2017 at the Seattle Westin

Pre-Conference Information

Transformative experience is a new area of research in philosophy that raises questions in epistemology, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and aesthetics. An experience can be epistemically transformative by teaching you something distinctive by having the experience, and enriching your ability to imagine, represent, and predict. An experience can be personally transformative by transforming some of your core values or preferences. Of special interest are cases in which one kind of transformation leads to the other, or in which an experience is both epistemically and personally transformative; examples of such cases may include becoming a parent, fighting in a war, or undergoing a religious conversion. Questions raised by transformative experience include: Do epistemically transformative experiences create new concepts or abilities in those that have the experiences? Are transformative experiences best understood by appeal to perspectival or indexical notions, or to the notion of the de se? Should they be taken to involve the destruction of the self, or of the replacement of one self with another? What is the perceptual content of a transformative experience? Can transformative experiences provide us with knowledge of ourselves? Do they lend support to probabilistic conceptions of knowledge? Do they reveal the need for empathy, not just for others who exist now, but for one’s own possible selves, especially possible future selves? Can one imagine having a transformative experience? Can one learn about transformative experiences through testimony from those who have had them? Are they valuable in themselves, or do they reveal a kind of value that is otherwise hidden? Do they show that the space of utilities associated with a decision problem may be gappy or otherwise not well-defined? Can artistic or other aesthetic experiences be transformative? The workshop aims to explore the connections between transformative experience and topics in a range of areas in philosophy.

Registration is free, but we ask participants to register so that we have a head count for the evening reception and party.

Download the full pre-conference schedule.


Shamik Dasgupta, ‘How to be authentic’

Trenton Merricks, , ‘Identity, self, and transformation’

Sarah Moss, ‘Probabilistic knowledge and transformative experience’

Other invited speakers include:

Nomy Arpaly Enoch Lambert
Kati Balog Carla Merino-Rajme
John Campbell Barbara Montero
Josh Dever Nick Riggle
Martin Glazier Raul Saucedo
Amy Kind Meghan Sullivan
Jennifer Lackey Evan Thompson


Pre-Conference Organizers

L. A. Paul, UNC Chapel Hill
Martin Glazier, UNC Chapel Hill

Inquiries may be addressed to Martin Glazier.

Don't forget to register for the Pacific Division meeting!

The American Philosophical Association
University of Delaware
31 Amstel Avenue, Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302.831.1112 | Fax: 302.831.8690