Northern New England Philosophical Association

The Northern New England Philosophical Association was founded in 1972 by a group of philosophers from several northern New England institutions of higher learning for the purpose of promoting the study of philosophy and the exchange of philosophical ideas. The organization meets annually, usually on a Friday-Saturday in the second half of October. Institutions that have hosted the annual conferences more recently are:

  • Bates College (2006, 2015)
  • Bowdoin College (1997)
  • Clark University (2001)
  • Colby College (1991, 2008)
  • Dartmouth College (1994, 2004, 2013)
  • Keene State College (1990, 2003, 2016)
  • Norwich University (1996)
  • Plymouth State University (1993, 2002)
  • Rivier University (1995, 2005)
  • Saint Anselm College (1987, 1999, 2010)
  • St. Michael’s College (1988, 2011)
  • Stonehill College (2017)
  • UMass Dartmouth (2007, 2014)
  • UMass Lowell (2012)
  • University of New Hampshire (1992, 2000, 2009)
  • University of Vermont (1998, 2018)

A highlight of each NNEPA conference is the presence for the two days of an invited prestigious philosopher, who gives the Friday evening keynote address, often followed by a plenary panel session on her/his work on Saturday morning. Past conferences have featured distinguished keynote speakers, including Robert M. Adams, Robert Audi, Annette Baier, Jonathan Bennett, Ned Block, Robert Brandom, Noam Chomsky, Stephen Darwall, Hubert Dreyfus, Catherine Elgin, Bernard Gert, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Terence Irwin, Patricia Kitcher, Christine Korsgaard, Alasdair MacIntyre, Joseph Margolis, John McDowell, Martha Nussbaum, Hillary Putnam, W. V. O. Quine, Robert Scharff, Charlotte Witt, and Robert Paul Wolf, Stephen Yablo.

NNEPA Officers

President: Professor Louis deRosset,, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT.

Executive Secretary: Paul McNamara,, of University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH.

Contact for NNEPA History

NNEPA is putting together a history of the organization and needs your help. If you have any info, old programs or some funny stories, please share with:

Ray Perkins,


Ray Perkins
105 School St
Concord NH 03301

NNEPA Conference Information - 2018


Although registration fees and banquet fees will be paid for at the event (by check or cash only), it is nonetheless vital that everyone pre-registers. Doing so is essential to keeping our costs down, buffet planning, creating name tags, etc. (Note that you cannot opt for the dinner at the conference—it is too late then.) So please pre-register for the conference ASAP. You can easily do so in literally a few minutes by submitting a pre-registration form here:

NNEPA 2018 Required Conference Pre-Registration Form

(Even if you have provided some of this info to Louis already, please fill out the form to confirm we have the info we require and easily extractable from in one place.)


Regular attendee: $30 registration 
Grad Students and Retirees: $15 registration
Undergraduates: free 
Conference Dinner: $40 
(in addition to registration fee)

Payment Methods: Cash or check (to NNEPA) for registration and conference dinner payment.

A block of rooms is reserved at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Burlington Vermont at a discounted rate of $129/night (plus state and local taxes) for the nights of Thurs-Sat, October 25-27, 2018, although there may be only a few rooms reserved for Thursday and Saturday. Choice of rooms: (i) rooms with two double beds, and (ii) rooms with one king bed. You must call 802-865-6600 to book your reservation at the discount rate. To get the discounted rate when you book, please mention that you are reserving one of the Northern New England Philosophy Association Conference Rooms. The hotel site is here:

The cutoff date for the discounted block of rooms is October 4, 2018. There is a deposit charged as of October 18, and so any cancellations must occur before then to avoid that charge. If you run into any problems booking your room, email Louis:

Here is the link to the current program draft (same as in link sent on 10/08):

Louis is collecting short abstracts from all presenters for us. Final program with all session chairs and short abstracts for all presentations at the regular sessions is coming soon.

Session Chairs

We need Chairs for all sessions, so please indicate when pre-registering any sessions you would be willing to chair (e.g. 1A and 3B, and 5A). We will ask you to chair at most one. Chairing duties are minimal and without fuss at NNEPA:

  • introduce the 1st speaker (simply name, affiliation, and paper title),
  • keep time (25-minute presentation),
  • give a 5-minute warning (at 20 minutes), and then
  • turn to Q&A (15 minutes); then same for next speaker unless chairing a one paper session.

About the Keynote Speaker

Our distinguished visitor and keynote for the conference will be Professor Michael Bratman (Stanford University). Professor Bratman is the U. G. and Abbie Birch Durfee Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University. Professor Bratman has written widely and influentially in the philosophy of action, where this includes issues about social agency and about practical rationality. His books are "Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason" (1987), "Faces of Intention: Selected Essays on Intention and Agency" (1999), "Structures of Agency: Essays" (2007), "Shared Agency: A Planning Theory of Acting Together" (2014), and "Planning, Time, and Self-Governance: Essays in Practical Rationality" (2018). This snip from the introduction to the latter indicates his main research project:

We – mature human agents in a broadly modern world – are planning agents. Our practical thinking is shaped in characteristic ways by our future-directed plans. This is a key to the striking forms of cross-temporal organization that are central to our human lives. It is also, I think, a key to important forms of our sociality and our self-governance. Somewhat stable prior partial plans normally provide a background framework within which much of our practical thinking – including the weighing of reasons – proceeds. This framework-providing role of these prior partial plans involves distinctive rationality norms – norms of consistency, coherence, and stability over time. And a fruitful way to understand intention is to see intentions as plan-states in this plan-infused, normatively guided psychic economy. In this way, we can develop a naturalistically plausible and modest theory of the will.

Professor Bratman is also co-editor of the widely used "Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings." His awards include an ACLS Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and fellowships from both the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Stanford University Humanities Center. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His joint paper with David Israel and Martha Pollack, "Plans and Resource-Bounded Practical Reasoning," "Computational Intelligence 4" (1988): 349-355, was the recipient of the 2008 International Foundation of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems influential paper award. He has been President of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association, and was Chair of the National Board of the American Philosophical Association from 2011-2014. In 2014, he received the American Philosophical Association's Philip L. Quinn Prize "in recognition of service to philosophy and philosophers, broadly construed."

Professor Bratman's Stanford site, which generously includes links to a number of recent talks and recent papers, as well as links to information about his influential books, can be found here:

Final Call for Abstracts/Papers - CLOSED

Abstracts/papers (unpublished) may be on any topic, but presentations will be limited to 25 minutes reading time. Send abstracts (500-750 words) and/or papers (suitable for 25 minute presentations) by September 1, 2018 to:

Louis deRosset 
Subject: NNEPA Submission

Papers dealing with any aspect of the work of Professor Bratman are especially welcome, and will be considered for a possible Saturday morning plenary session devoted to his work. 

Early submissions are welcome (but decisions will be made after Sept. 1).

NNEPA will host a session for undergraduates to share their work in a collaborative environment. Undergrads should submit complete papers of no more than 2500 words by September 15, 2018 to:

Louis deRosset 
Subject: NNEPA Submission