The Joint Session is a three-day conference in philosophy that is held annually during the summer by the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association. It has taken place at nearly every major university across the United Kingdom and in Ireland. Since 1910, the Joint Session has grown to become the largest gathering of philosophers in the country, attracting prestigious UK and international speakers working in a broad range of philosophical areas. Inaugurated by the incoming President of the Mind Association, the Joint Session includes symposia, open and postgradaute sessions, and a range of satellite conferences.
The first Joint Session took place in the summer of 1910 off Albermarle Street in the Mayfair area of London. For a number of years it included the British Psychological Society. In 1918, the first official record of the Joint Session was published as the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume.
One notable feature of the Joint Session is its symposium format. The symposia provide a rare opportunity to witness live and engaging debate between leading philosophers. According to the 11th President of the Aristotelian Society, H. Wildon Carr (1915-1918):
Featured symposia include Gilbert Ryle and G.E. Moore (1933), R.W. Hepburn and Iris Murdoch (1956), Thomas Nagel and Bernard Williams (1976), Martha Nussbaum and Rosalind Hursthouse (1984), John Broome and Derek Parfit (1997), and many more.
2021 Joint Session
Due to ongoing uncertainty about the possibility of international travel and large gatherings in July 2021, the Mind Association, the Aristotelian Society and the local organisers at the University of Hertfordshire will hold the 95th Joint Session online. The conference will run from 16th to 18th July. In addition to the regular symposia and talks, comedian Robert Newman will give a talk on ‘Wittgenstein’s Joke Book- notes on the philosophy of laughter’. Philosopher, literary critic, and poet Christopher Norris will read from his Socrates at Verse and Other Philosophical Poems and debut some new philosophical poetry. There will also be virtual drinks and coffee, grant application and publishing advice for graduate students, and a range of interactive social events.
There will be no registration fee for this year's conference. Pre-recorded sessions will be available for to all who wish to view, and live sessions will require a Zoom link which will be sent to all registered participants. We kindly ask that participants who are not currently members of either the Aristotelian Society or the Mind Association join at least one of these prior to attendance.
The local organisers from the University of Hertfordshire are Constantine Sandis and Danièle Moyal-Sharrock. Please consult the main conference website for updates on the format and content of the online conference.
future joint sessions
2021 joint session:
16-18 july 2021
2022 joint session:
8-10 july 2022
2023 joint session:
7-10 july 2023
Visit our Future Joint Sessions page for further information.
The inaugural address and symposia for the Joint Session are published in the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume, which is published digitally and in hardcover every June. The Supplementary Volume is sent to subscribing members of the Society in categories 4 and 5.
Members in other categories can purchase the hardcover Supplementary Volume from the Online Shop. Volumes will also be available at the registration desk during the conference.
2020 joint session:
10 - 12 july 2020
2019 joint session:
19 - 21 july 2019
2018 joint session:
6 - 8 july 2018
Subscribing members receive online access to the Proceedings from 2000 to the most current issue.
Subscribing members also receive the bound, hardcover volume of the latest Proceedings through the post.