Public Philosophy Network 2018

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‘Understanding Impact’

4th Conference of the Public Philosophy Network

Boulder, Colorado   |   February 8-10, 2018

The Public Philosophy Network invites you to attend our fourth conference on Advancing Public Philosophy.

Our 2018 conference theme is Understanding Impact: What practices improve the uptake of philosophy, both across the disciplines, and throughout society?

This question will be pursued through workshops and papers, topical investigations (e.g., climate change) and case studies. Moreover, the gathering will seek interdisciplinary engagement with philosophers, STEM researchers, administrators, policy professionals, and journalists.

We invited our members to propose a wide range of topics related to understanding and advancing public philosophy, including the following:

-Questions of how to define, evaluate, and measure the impact of public philosophy;
-Philosophical work on substantive policy issues (e.g., environment, LGBTQ, health, housing, economics, and many more);
-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;
-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 surrounding the 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 of audience, credibility, expertise, standards of rigor or excellence; and
-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 will include (in addition to 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 discussion with university administrators on the changing place of philosophy within the university, and the increase of support for public philosophy; and
-A plenary on the challenges of doing philosophy in the public sphere.