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Workshop on Law and the Inner Self: Call for Expressions of Interest

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

We are seeking expressions of interest for participation in a workshop on the theme of Law and the Inner Self in 2024. Currently, we plan to propose a Special Workshop on this theme at the XXXI IVR World Congress in Seoul, Republic of Korea, (7th to 12th July 2024). The International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR) is the oldest and most important international association in the fields of legal and social philosophy.

The Law and the Inner Self Project is based at University College Cork, Ireland, and funded by an Irish Research Council (Consolidator) Laureate Grant. The project seeks to better understand the evolution and nature of the idea of the inner self by examining it through the prism of legal change from the Middle Ages through to the digital transformations of the 21st century. To illustrate legal change, we use developments in the field of personality rights as a case study.

The workshop will mark the midpoint of our 4-year project. Plans for this workshop include team members presenting progress to date and a panel discussion on the forthcoming Cambridge Handbook of the Right to Freedom of Thought, featuring contributors to that volume.

More generally, we see this workshop as an exciting opportunity to bring together scholars who work on the intersections between law and the idea of the inner self. We welcome expressions of interest from all scholars, including PhD researchers, interested in presenting and discussing their work at this workshop. We are especially interested in the following topics:

  • the history and theory of personality rights, especially the right to privacy, the right to honour and reputation, and the right to freedom of thought;

  • the legal history and critiques of the distinction between the forum internum and forum externum;

  • the impact of contemporary socio-technological transformations on the integrity of the inner self (e.g., the debate about ‘neurorights’);

  • feminist perspectives on law and the inner self;

  • non-Western-centric perspectives on the idea of the ‘inner self’;

  • intersections between law and the inner self in literary works.

We invite scholars to submit their expressions of interest to before 15th November 2023. The expression of interest should be no more than a page and should include a short biographical note as well as a brief outline of the research you would like to present.

We welcome proposals for in-person and online contributions. Should our proposal for a Special Workshop be accepted by the IVR, all participants, whether in person or online, would need to pay the registration fee for the conference.

Any queries should be directed to

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