4th Beijing Analytic Philosophy Conference

Free Will and Moral Responsibility

Timothy O’Connor (keynote): Indiana University

Refeng Tang (comments): Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

“Chance, Probability, and the Explanation of Human Decisions”

On an understanding of human freedom (‘free will’) that I favor, a person’s decision is free only if the objective probability of his making that choice is less than certain. Put differently, a person’s decision is free only if there was a real ‘chance’ that he have chosen differently. Many philosophers object that such an ‘indeterminist’ understanding of human freedom implies that free actions are to some extent ‘random,’ and so cannot be rationally explained. I will discuss recent ways that this objection has been developed, and I will argue that the objection is mistaken: causal indeterminism and full rational explanation can co-exist.

March 18, 2017
Renmin University of China
600 Renwen Building

Conference Schedule


Call for Papers

We invite graduate students and young faculty to submit papers in any area of analytic philosophy, but preference will be given to papers in metaphysics (regarding free will) and ethics (regarding moral responsibility).

The deadline for submitting papers is: February 15, 2017. Papers should be suitable for 20-25 minute presentations (3,000-4,000 words) and made ready for blind review. Submissions should also include a cover letter with the following information: (i) author name, (ii) email, (iii) institution, (iv) paper topic, (v) word count, and (vi) an abstract (150 words).

** 1,200 RMB prize for best student paper and a 600 RMB prize for the runner-up.

** There are a limited number of travel/accommodations grants available for students in China outside Beijing, if interested please specify this in your email.

Submissions should be emailed to:


Be sure to attach your paper and cover letter as .doc(x) or .pdf files. Notices of acceptance will be sent by March 1, 2017.