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  • Writer's pictureMaria Cahill

CfA The Importance of Sociality: Law and Philosophy in Dialogue

Interdisciplinary Workshop at University College Cork on 20th and 21st June 2024

The Importance of Sociality:

Law and Philosophy in Dialogue


Interdisciplinary workshop to be held (in person) in Cork, Ireland on 20th and 21st June 2024, organised by Dr Cinzia Ruggeri & Prof. Maria Cahill under the auspices of the IRC-funded Societās project

Deadline for submissions is 02 February 2024 (12 noon) 


Workshop Description: 

This groundbreaking workshop will bring together experts from law and philosophy to engage in reflective discussions on the value of sociality, and to explore the extent to which sociality can be promoted or undermined by legal systems.  


Accordingly, the workshop seeks, on the one hand, to provide a space within which philosophers can reflect on how their conceptions of sociality could offer useful insights to law thus helping law to refine its approach to regulation and disputes. On the other hand, it aims at creating a space within which legal scholars can self-consciously reflect on the value of sociality and the ways in which law might usefully be contextualised, reimagined, and reframed as a result.   


Confirmed Speakers: 

  • Professor Bebhinn Donnelly-Lazarov (School of Law, University of Surrey) 

  • Professor Margaret Martin (Faculty of Law, Western University) 

  • Professor Owen McIntyre (School of Law, University College Cork) 

  • Professor Alessandro Salice (Department of Philosophy, University College Cork)  

  • Professor Eric Chelstrom (Department of Philosophy, St. Mary’s University) 

Call for Abstracts: 

We cordially invite submissions from legal academics and philosophers exploring topics related to the value of sociality, and the extent to which sociality can be promoted or undermined by legal systems.  Questions and topics that will be in the scope of the workshop include, but are not restricted to, the following: 

  • What is the relation between sociality and personal flourishing?     

  • To what extent is sociality spontaneous? Can social flourishing, social relations, empathy, mutual understanding, and care be fostered by external actors without undermining their spontaneity?   

  • In which ways could the state and/or law create obstacles to sociality? In which ways could they promote sociality?   

  • Are human beings inherently social? Is law overly individualistic?  

  • To what extant does law currently acknowledge the importance of interpersonal relations in different fields (human rights, criminal law, environmental law, private law, etc.)?  

  • How could law more fully acknowledge the social dimension of selfhood?   

  • What are the advantages and challenges of increasing law’s sensitivity to the social dimensions of human experience?  

At the workshop, presentations will be allotted 30-minute slots (including Q&A). We plan to publish contributions to the workshop in a subsequent edited collection.   


Submission Guidelines: 

We are currently accepting abstracts of 300-500 words. Abstracts should include a significant title and make clear the topic that will be discussed. Final papers, based on the selected abstracts, should be relatively accessible to an interdisciplinary audience. Submissions from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged.  


Please submit your abstract by email to Dr Cinzia Ruggeri at (subject: ‘The Importance of Sociality’). Please include your details (name, academic position, affiliation, and contact) and the abstract’s title in the email’s body. 


Important Dates: 

– Submissions deadline:  02 February 2024 (12 noon) 

– Notification of acceptance: 31 March 2024 

– Conference dates: 20-21 June 2024 

This workshop is organised by Dr Cinzia Ruggeri and Professor Maria Cahill under the auspices of an IRC Laureate project entitled “Societās: Exploring the Value of Freedom of Association”, which is generously funded by the Irish Research Council. Dr Ruggeri’s work package explores how phenomenology can inform and refine legal approaches to freedom of association. More broadly, the project seeks to use the particularity of freedom of association – a right which does expressly recognise the social dimension of human flourishing – as a springboard from which to inspire a broader conversation about the value of sociality within law.   


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