An International Conference on “Intentionality, Normativity, Objectivity” by the Alumni of Department of Philosophy was inaugurated on 8 January 2015 at the University of Hyderabad (UoH). Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, Vice-Chancellor of UoH presided. Prof. Prajit K Basu, Head, department of Philosophy gave the welcome while Prof Ananda V Wazalwar proposed the vote of thanks.
Professor Akeel Bilgrami from Columbia University delivered the keynote address on “values and agency” wherein he had emphasized values as part of nature which are irreducible to human desires and moral sentiments unlike argued by Adam Smith and David Hume. For Bilgrami, Values are properties in the world that make normative demands on us. The notion of normativity can be explicated through the concept of agency and action. Just as there are two perspectives on subject namely, the first person perspective and the third person perspective, there are two perspectives on the world. However, we cannot engage in this two perspectives simultaneously – that is way science cannot exhaust nature. He explained these two perspectives highlighting the difference between;
a) I intend that I …..
b) I predict that I ….
The possibility of first person perspective of the world underscores the presence of desirability condition in the world. Whereas, desires unlike desirability are treated as states of mind. According to Bilgrami, you cannot be an agent unless there is value outside.
The members and alumni of the Department of Philosophy, UoH, are organizing this conference on 8, 9 and 10 January, 2015. More than 25 alumni are taking part in this event being organized as an academic prelude to honour and bid farewell to Prof A Dasgupta, Prof S G Kulkarni and Prof R C Pradhan in view of their superannuation in 2015. The themes of the conference are the abiding teaching and research interests of these three stalwarts of the department.