Thursday, January 22, 2009

12th University of Essex International Graduate Conference


9 May 2009, University of Essex, UK
Call for papers

What is the appropriate way to do philosophy? Historically, the form of philosophy has varied; Plato preferred the dialogue, Nietzsche the aphorism, Kierkegaard the parable. In the 20th century many philosophers pronounced a proper way to do philosophy. The logical positivists wanted to do away with metaphysics and held science as the ideal model for philosophy. Wittgenstein relied heavily upon examples. Heidegger proposed the dissolution of the tradition in order to start enquiry afresh. Foucault’s relation to the label ‘philosophy’ was, of his own admission, ambiguous. Derrida questioned the exclusivity of philosophical language. Today philosophers such as Cavell and Mulhall do philosophy in film, while others hold that logical analysis is still indispensable to philosophy.

Is there a correct way to do philosophy? Does philosophy have one language? How important is the relation of form and content for philosophy? Should the fusion of philosophy and other disciplines be resisted? These are questions that receive radically different answers from different traditions and different philosophers.
The 12th International Graduate Conference in Philosophy at the University of Essex invites abstracts on any issue relevant to questions on the language of philosophy, philosophical method and the forms philosophy can take. Possible topics include:
Problem-solving by dialogue in Plato
Philosophy through reflection and action
Is there a proper medium for philosophy?
The role of logic and rigour in philosophical analysis
Should a philosophical ‘point’ be explicit?
Philosophy as… (film, literature, music…)
Heidegger and the circularity of philosophy
Derrida and the distinction between literature and philosophy
Cavell and teaching philosophy

We aim to hold a wide-ranging philosophical exchange and hope for a broad display of positions and perspectives.
Keynote speakers

Dan Watts (University of Essex)

Marie McGinn (University of East Anglia)
Final papers should be suitable for a 20-minute presentation (2000-2500 words in length), which will be followed by a discussion. Abstracts of 500 words in length should be sent by Monday 26 January 2009 (extended deadline) to Late abstracts will be considered if space permits.
The Department of Philosophy will be able to offer invited speakers limited financial assistance towards the cost of travel. For enquiries, please e-mail, or see the website:

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