24 May 2017

A Summer of Conferences

We are delighted to be hosting three conferences over the next few months.

The Department of Philosophy building.

The Royal Institute of Philosophy Annual Conference 2017: Harms and Wrongs in Epistemic Practice

3 – 4 July 2017

Organised by Simon Barker, Charlie Crerar and Trystan Goetze

How we engage in epistemic practice, including our methods of knowledge acquisition and transmission, the personal traits that help or hinder these activities, and the social institutions that facilitate or impede them, is of central importance to our lives as individuals and as participants in social and political activities.

In the past decade, sustained philosophical attention has turned to the various ways in which this practice can and does go awry, and the epistemic, moral, and political harms and wrongs that follow. This conference brings together theorists working on a diverse variety of topics to draw attention to the full range of these harms and wrongs, the ways in which they interact, and the ways in which they can be addressed.

Understanding Value Six

19 –21 July 2017

Organised by James Lewis and Rosa Vince

Understanding Value is an annual conference for postgraduates and recent PhDs dedicated to the philosophical discussion of value. The theme's breadth means that the conference always has an extremely diverse range of talks from a number of different areas of philosophy, making for highly stimulating discussions and an exciting event. Talks can be from any area of philosophy, theoretical or applied, and any tradition within philosophy, including interdisciplinary projects, so long as they are clear and related to the nature of value.

Pragmatism and the Analytic-Continental Split

9 August – 11 August 2017

Organised by Neil Williams and Joshua Black

The conference will explore the pragmatist philosophical tradition, and its relation to the divide between analytic and continental philosophy. Like the analytic and continental traditions, pragmatism developed around the turn of the 20th century. The early pragmatists influenced (and were influenced by) the founding thinkers on both sides of the divide, and their work contains elements which both the analytic and the continental traditions can recognise. Charles S. Peirce, for instance, developed a first-order logic alongside a sophisticated general theory of signs.

James’s detailed phenomenological analyses of experiences and late metaphysical speculations have resonances within the continental tradition, whilst his philosophy of mind and meta-philosophical reflections have been taken up within the analytic tradition. In the next generation, figures such Jane Addams, John Dewey, and Alain Locke saw in pragmatism a way to use philosophy for educational and political uses, and rejected the elitism and intellectualism they saw infecting philosophy of all kinds. Contemporary pragmatists can be found on both sides of the supposed split.

Consequently, pragmatism provides a unique lens through which to view the analytic – continental split. Some have hoped that pragmatism might provide a kind of “bridge” between the two traditions, whereas others have suggested that the best aspects of pragmatism can be assimilated to one side or the other. Still others have suggested that pragmatism represents a unique option, irreducible and perhaps even superior to either side.

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