Sunday, February 27, 2011

Philosophy as a Way of Life

Philosophy as a Way of Life
2011 Graduate Philosophy Conference at Emory
Keynote speaker: John Cooper, Princeton University
April 8-9, 2011 - Atlanta, GA

“If I say that it is impossible for me to keep quiet because that means disobeying the god, you will not believe me and will think I am being ironical. On the other hand, if I say that it is the greatest good for a man to discuss virtue every day [...] for the unexamined life is not worth living for men, you will believe me even less.” – Plato, Apology 38a.

“Show to them in your own example what kind of men philosophy makes, and don't trifle. When you are eating, do good to those who eat with you; when you are drinking, to those who are drinking with you; by yielding to all, giving way, bearing with them, thus do them good, and do not spit on them your phlegm.” – Epictetus, Discourses III.13.

For the ancients, philosophy was not a field of study, but a way of life. Philosophical knowledge and ethical practices were inseparable. Nevertheless, the canonical figures and schools of ancient ethical thought represent a great diversity of substantive philosophical positions. Their legacy attests to the dialectic between abstract knowledge and concrete ways of life. Contemporary thinkers, from G.E.M. Anscombe to Michel Foucault, have turned to ancient thought in order to bridge the gulf that the modern age created between philosophical theory and ethical practice. Both an immediate concern for how we live today and a scholarly concern for philosophy’s history make the ancient idea that philosophy is a way of life a live issue.

We welcome all submissions dealing with the ways in which philosophy is (or ought to be, or informs, or ought to inform, or fails to be or fails to inform) a way of life. Papers that address these questions in the context of ancient ethical thought are of particular interest.

Submissions should be sent as .pdf, .docx, .doc, or .rtf files, and should not exceed 15 double-spaced pages. Personal information should be sent in the body of the email and should not appear on the paper itself.

Email submissions to Samuel Timme at:


Additional information will be made available at

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