Guillaume Soucy (he/him)

Nominated by member scholarly associations of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the 2022 Congress Graduate Merit Awards recognize exceptional graduate students who will be presenting their work at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Tell us about yourself. 

I am a PhD candidate in philosophy at UQAM. My primary research areas are metaethics and meta-aesthetics.  

Which scholarly association(s) are you currently a member of? 

  • CRÉ – Centre for Research in Ethics
  • GRIN – Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire sur la normativité
  • CPA – Canadian Philosophical Association
  • SPQ – Société de philosophie du Québec 

At which conference(s) will you be presenting and/or attending? 

CPA Annual Meeting 

What is the title of your Congress 2022 presentation? 

Symmetry between ethics and aesthetics: for a metanormative constructivist approach. 

How would you describe the research you will be presenting at Congress 2022?

In my presentation, I explore the common idea that there is a significant difference between the way we make judgments about aesthetic value (i.e., something is beautiful) and moral value (i.e., something is morally wrong). I argue that these two types of judgments actually share an important feature: they both are relevant to the standpoints of the agents making them. As such, a constructivist approach seems to be the best way of explaining the nature of value and leads us to reject the idea that value can be “absolutely objective” since a point of view “from nowhere” is impossible. 

How does the research you will be presenting connect with the Congress 2022 theme, Transitions

The constructivist understanding of normativity I am putting forward in my work aims to recognize the legitimacy of the diversity of normative standpoints, implying that we can explain the existence of persistent and legitimate disagreements between agents, and yet also explain the common impression that it is possible to err in one's evaluative judgments. In other words, I believe it helps us understand why we don’t always agree on the value of everything as well as how we can find common grounds in our value judgments. 

What is your favourite part of the Congress experience? 

I enjoy being among peers and receiving insightful comments on my works.  

Share your hopes for Congress 2022.

I hope to receive constructive and challenging comments on my research in the hopes of improving my approach and structure my future work.