June 17-18, 2021

Normative Animals

What are the psychological and evolutionary foundations of moral and social norms? Are these normative capacities uniquely human, or are they also present in other species? How might the presence of normativity in nonhuman animals change our ethical obligations towards them?

This two-day online conference will bring together an international group of philosophers, primatologists, and psychologists investigating the cognitive foundations of culture, morality, and social norms from a comparative, evolutionary perspective. We envision this as a first step in building a network of researchers to plan and carry out an interdisciplinary program of research looking into the scope and limits of normative cognition and practice in other species.


Kristin Andrews (York), Judith Benz-Schwarzburg (Vienna), Jonathan Birch (LSE), Sarah Brosnan (Georgia State), Laura Danon (Córdoba), Andrew Fention (Dalhousie), Simon Fitzpatrick (John Carroll), Bart Geurts (Radboud), Thibaud Gruber (Geneva), Daniel Kelly (Purdue), Christopher Krupenye (Durham & Johns Hopkins), Giuseppe Lorini (Cagliari), Lydia Lunzc (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology), Irina Mikhalevich (Rochester Institute of Technology), Susana Monsó (Vienna), Rachell Powell (Boston University), Jordan Theriault (Northeastern), Carel van Schaik (Zurich), Evan Westra (York), Birte Wrage (Vienna).

More information can be found here