Bias, Character, and Testimony

Christopher Shrock's picture
Call for Papers
June 5, 2019 to June 7, 2019
Texas, United States
Subject Fields: 
Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology, Psychology, Humanities, Communication

“Bias, Character, and Testimony”

The 2019 Philosophy section seeks presentations relating to bias, character, and testimony. How does bias affect the ways that we interpret testimony or the credence we lend it? Is bias always negative, or are there useful and virtuous roles for bias among listeners? How does our evaluation of a speaker's character bias us in favor of or against the speaker's testimony? Can character be improved so as to correct for bias in interpreting testimony? How should we choose which testimony to hear, ignore, or undermine? Can character or bias help us overcome or navigate disagreements in testimony? And are answers to any of these questions different in an ecclesial context than they would be outside the church?

This session invites a wide variety of approaches to these questions. Arguments from philosophical, literary, pastoral, historical, and biblical studies perspectives are all welcome. Regardless of disciplinary approach, however, clarity is of paramount importance. Judges will choose two papers for this session with the aim of stimulating coherent and productive discussion.

Please submit an abstract of 300-500 words. The abstract should come prepared for blind review as an email attachment in docx or rtf format. The body of the email should include the following: (a) author's name, (b) university affiliation, (c) title of proposed presentation, (d) author email address. Presentations may range from 15 to 20 minutes in length. Submissions should be sent by e-mail to The deadline for submissions is February 14, 2019. Notices of acceptance will be sent by February 28, 2019. All panelists must register with the conference in order to present their work. (

All participants must register with the conference in order to present their work.

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