New Practices of Philosophy: Taking Philosophy beyond Disciplinary Bounds | Philosophy & Religion

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February 18, 2011

New Practices of Philosophy: Taking Philosophy beyond Disciplinary Bounds

March 7-9, 2011, University of North Texas
20th century philosophy took up the mantle of a discipline, embracing academic specialization; philosophy was written-by-and-for-professional philosophers. In the current age of accountability a disciplinary approach to philosophy faces a number of challenges. Philosophers (and others across the academy) are asked to justify their relevance to society—relevance that can perhaps be demonstrated by philosophers working across and beyond the disciplines: for instance, in partnership with other disciplines, especially scientists or engineers, or through working with policy makers. Does disciplinary philosophy need to be complemented by inter- and transdisciplinary philosophic work?
This conference seeks to attract philosophers who are developing new (often interdisciplinary) models for philosophic engagement, as well as scientists, policy makers, and others who are interested in the role that philosophy can or should play in collaborative situations. Our goal is to foster a community of practice for developing new approaches of engaged philosophy, a community that includes scientists, social scientists, and policy makers. Participation is sought in the following areas:
1. Philosophy in the Field: Science, Technology, Ethics, Policy
Here the focus is on philosophers, scientists, engineers, and policymakers working on questions at the intersection of science, philosophy, and policy, e.g., bioethics, nanotechnology, environmental ethics, military ethics, etc. Participants can offer theoretical accounts of this work or present case studies in engaged philosophy, participating in panel discussions on how such work can be improved in the future.
2. Theorizing the Institution and Practice of Philosophy
Participants will explore different institutional embodiments of philosophical practice such as: philosophers as synthesizers of disciplinary knowledge, participants in interdisciplinary collaborations; or as generalists who are able to translate the insights of the academy for the world at large. Presenters are welcome to propose to run a panel or a workshop format.
3. Training the Next Generation of Philosophers and Philosophical Thinking
Participants will describe actual or possible ways to train the next generation of philosophers (whether within philosophy or in other disciplines) in how to conduct engaged philosophy. Examples of such efforts could include experiences working with funding agencies, sponsoring internships, or other means of integrating interdisciplinarity into graduate or undergraduate education.
This conference is a joint effort of representatives from: Michigan State Philosophy; University of North Texas Philosophy; Philosophy of/as Interdisciplinarity Network; Georgia Tech Philosophy Program; Penn State’s Rock Ethics Institute; University of South Carolina Philosophy; the Center for the Study of Interdisciplinarity, and the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (Unit of Social, Culture and Technology Studies), with the support of UNT Philosophy, CSID, the Udo Keller Stiftung Forum Humanum; and Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse (ITAS) at the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT).
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