University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.  2-6 July 2012

  Call for Papers: Moral Cognition & Theory of Mind Symposium
Symposium Chairs and Program Committee
Submission Instructions
Important Dates
Related Events

The World Congress
The society for the study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour (AISB: will be holding a joint meeting with the International Association of Computing and Philosophy (IACAP:  The Congress serves both as the year's AISB convention and the year's IACAP conference, and it has been inspired by a desire to honour Alan Turing, and by the broad and deep significance of Turing's work to AI, to the philosophical ramifications of computing, and to philosophy and computing more generally. It is one of the events forming the Alan Turing Year (
The intent of the Congress is to stimulate a particularly rich interchange between AI and Philosophy on any areas of mutual interest, whether directly addressing Turing's own research output or not.
The Congress will consist mainly of a number of collocated Symposia on specific research areas, interspersed with Congress-wide refreshment breaks, social events and invited Plenary Talks. All papers other than the invited plenaries will be given within symposia.  Plenary speakers will include
Colin Allen, Luciano Floridi, Aaron Sloman, and Stephen Wolfram.
The Moral Cognition and Theory of Mind Symposium
As part of the Congress, the Society for Machines and Mentality (SFMM)
will be hosting a symposium on Moral Cognition and Theory of Mind.  This society is a special interest group of the IACAP and is dedicated to advancing the philosophical understanding of issues involving Artificial Intelligence, Philosophy, and Cognitive Science.
The Moral Cognition & Theory of Mind symposium is focused on: (i) questions about how to build ethical sensitivity, awareness, reasoning, or constraints into machines; (ii) what we might learn about the nature of ethical reasoning, awareness, or behaviour in the process of doing the preceding; (iii) what we might learn about human moral cognition by trying to build models of it; and (iv) how empirical work in the cognitive sciences might inform all of the preceding.  Moral cognition presupposes a variety of abilities.  For example, the attribution of mental states – beliefs, desires, intentions, and so on – are an important part of ethical reasoning.  Whether an action was done with malice aforethought makes no small difference in how we respond to an agent.  The ability to carry out various sorts of mental state ascriptions is a requirement for engaging in high-level ethical assessment. For this reason we are also interested in papers devoted to (v) philosophical or computational theories of mental state ascription (variously referred to as theory of mind, mentalizing, or mindreading). Submissions need only engage one of the five areas identified herein, though papers exploring more than one area are very much welcome and encouraged.  Papers connecting up any of the preceding areas with Turing’s work would be especially welcome.  For example, work on a Moral Turing Test or work examining the relationship between the Turing Test and contemporary theories of mindreading would be ideal fits for this symposium.  Computational work in machine ethics and robot ethics would fit in this symposium.