2018 Public Philosophy Network Conference

The University of North Texas is proud to host the 2018 Public Philosophy Network Conference. We are now accepting submissions. The Call for Proposals is here:

‘Philosophizing Impact’

4th Conference of the Public Philosophy Network

University of North Texas   |   February 8-10, 2018

Submission Deadline: September 15   |   Notice of Acceptance: Oct. 1


The Public Philosophy Network invites proposals for its fourth conference on Advancing Public Philosophy. The 2017 conference theme is philosophizing impact: What philosophical practices improve the uptake of philosophy, both across the disciplines, and throughout society? These questions will be pursued through topical investigations (e.g., climate change), case studies, and engagement with philosophers, STEM researchers, administrators, policy professionals, and journalists. The conference website is at: https://philosophyimpact.org/ppn2018/.

We invite proposals related to understanding and advancing public philosophy, including the following:

  • questions of how to define, evaluate, and measure impact of public philosophy;
  • Accounts of philosophical work with other disciplines (e.g., STEM), as well as engagement with various non-academic publics – and of the impacts of such work;
  • best practices in public philosophy;
  • philosophical work on substantive policy issues (e.g., environment, LGBTQ, health, housing, economics, and many more)
  • reflection on pathways to greater impact: How can philosophers increase the impact of their work? And the skills needed to engage in public philosophy;
  • questions of audience, credibility, expertise, standards of rigor or excellence, responsibilities, and loyalties of the public philosopher;
  • responses to the accountability or audit culture and neoliberal trends in the academy;
  • the institutional dimensions of public philosophy (for example, tenure, funding, pedagogy, the structure of academic units and programs, etc.);
  • reflections on how philosophy itself is transformed by turning outward: How does public engagement inform philosophical concepts and understanding?
  • Accounts of the relation between public and normal (‘disciplinary’) philosophy.

Toward the goal of making our meeting more participatory and interdisciplinary in nature, plenaries and sessions include (in addition to some of PPN’s traditional approaches):

  • Presentations by scientists, engineers, and policy-makers on how philosophers can better help with the philosophical aspects of their work;
  • A reweighing of the proportion between speaking and conversation, with greater emphasis on the latter;
  • A discussion with university administrators on the changing place of philosophy within the university, and the increase of support for public philosophy
  • A plenary on the challenges of doing philosophy in the public.

Submissions: send an abstract with “PPN Submission” in the subject line by September 15, 2017 to philosophy@unt.edu. Abstracts should be limited to 300 words. Please also specify in your abstract whether you are submitting a proposal for a workshop or an individual paper. Details on these two formats are as follows:

Workshops (2 hour sessions). Proposals should include a workshop title and descriptions of the organizer(s)’ interests and experience with the subject matter and how the topic is of concern to philosophy or public life. Proposals should also include an overview of how the workshop will proceed, highlighting how it will be participatory and experiential, and indicating any non-academic participants you might invite. We anticipate that workshops will take different formats, depending on the issues being addressed and the number and type of participants. The goals of these sessions can include 1) to foster partnerships and projects, whether new or ongoing, and, where appropriate, to spark substantive dialogue between philosophers and “practitioners” (public policy makers, government officials, grassroots activists, nonprofit leaders, etc.) or 2) to focus on how to do certain kinds of work in public philosophy. A second call will be issued later in the year inviting people to apply to participate in the workshops. Workshop organizers should help publicize this second call. Each workshop will be limited to ~20 participants.  Workshop participants chosen after the second call will be listed on the program as discussants, though they will not be expected to make any formal presentation.

Papers (to be grouped into 90 minute sessions). We are especially interested in papers that report on public philosophy projects or reflect on the practice of public philosophy. Proposals should include the title and a brief description of the paper. Presenters should plan for brief presentations followed by longer conversations. More details on this will be given to authors of accepted proposals.



Conference Website: Details about the conference are forthcoming on the conference website at https://philosophyimpact.org/ppn2018/.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s