Public Philosophy Network 2018

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Workshop: The Future of Public Philosophy

May 30 & 31, 2018

World Resources Institute at 10G Street NE, 8th floor

Washington, DC

  • How do we build structures, create opportunities, and identify resources to support next-generation philosophy and next-generation philosophers?

    Imagine a ten year-old girl in 2018. She goes to high school and college, and she falls in love with philosophy. She also has a passion for social justice. Her professor spots her potential for publicly-engaged philosophy and tells her about PPN because it is visible and well-respected. She gets a PPN Young Scholar’s grant to support her summer research project. As an undergraduate, she attends a PPN-sponsored neighborhood restoration project in her home town. Then in graduate school she utilizes PPN web resources to find an internship that builds her skills and professional network.

    As a graduate student, she gives a talk at the annual PPN conference, connecting with hundreds of like-minded people (conference attendance = 300). She lands a job – perhaps in the academy, perhaps outside of it – and becomes a valued member of her community. People know her as a public philosopher – the way we might know someone as a lawyer – and they think nothing of it, as it is a normal and necessary vocation. They naturally think, of course we need philosophers involved with public issues. They are philosophical issues after all! 

    Wednesday, May 30

    Dinner @tbd, 7pm. Opening remarks: Noelle McAfee and Andrew Light.

    Thursday, May 31

    9am. The Public Philosophy Network. Discussion facilitator: Bob Frodeman

    Survey of agenda, review of PPN2018, and reconstituting PPN: questions of organizational structure, membership, funding, and goals.

    10:30am. Activities to Promote Public Philosophy. Discussion facilitator: Adam Briggle

    Conferences and auxiliary activities across the scope of public philosophy: Graduate training workshop, Environmental scan, Edited volumes, Grant applications, Other possibilities?

    12noon. Lunch.

    1pm. Conference Planning. Discussion facilitators: Matt McKeon, Paul Thompson

    Summary of morning. Planning the next conference:  Date, location, and leadership.

    2:30pm. Outreach and Allies. Discussion facilitator: Evelyn Brister

    Publishing and outreach arms of PPN: Relationship with APA, PPJ, the website, other organizations and outlets?

    4pm: Wrap up. Adam Briggle.

    Review action items, discuss next steps, and a potential second planning meeting.

    4:30pm: Close

Check out the latest project from the Philosophy Impact team:

A Guide to Field Philosophy: How to Use Philosophy to Change the World

An edited volume

Evelyn Brister and Robert Frodeman

The discipline of philosophy is changing: philosophers are increasingly engaged in practical work with other disciplines and the world at large. Philosophy now occurs at the project level, in collaboration with a wide range of audiences, across the academy and in the private and public realms, at different scales and timelines. Philosophers contribute to scientific research projects, consult on matters of international policy, and provide expertise to local environmental organizations.

To date there is no edited volume that draws together the lessons learned on how to effectively ‘practice’ philosophy. This volume will fill that gap. It will provide a practical, how-to guide to doing philosophy in the field – how to find problems that can benefit from philosophical contributions, how to effectively collaborate with other professionals and community members, how to make fieldwork a positive part of a philosophical career, and how to anticipate and negotiate the sorts of unanticipated problems that crop up in direct public engagement.

To be published in 2019