CFP: Democracy and the Good Life Graduate Student Workshop
Submission deadline: Sunday, October 14 2012 BST
Friday, November 9 2012 CET
Judging from citizen protest movements like the Jasmine Revolution and Occupy, there is a widespread dissatisfaction about the way government attempts to safeguard democracy in the face of global politics and the international economy. In a world where people are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with government, and where non-democratic forces are getting evermore powerful, it seems fit to reevaluate democracy as a constituent for society and ask the question 'What is democracy good for in our day and age'? The recent upsurge of protest legitimizes itself with an appeal to democracy, but what is actually meant by this term? Is democracy an end in itself or does it serve some other purpose? The protesters of Occupy seem to advocate some opaque notion of 'the good life', in which concepts like democracy, equality, freedom and state all play an important (but undetermined) role. In the course of this workshop we hope to engender serious reflection on the nature of democracy and how it can relate to such a notion of 'the good life'. We could say that democracy serves as a prerequisite for the active realization of the good life, but then the question remains: how does this hold up in modern society? Is our concept of the good life subject to change or is it a constant to humanity? We invite you to send in abstracts dealing with these questions.
The purpose of the workshop is to gain a better understanding of what democracy means in contemporary society, and what future role it can play in a landscape of shifting power relations. During the workshop the focus will lie on the discussion that flows from the individual presentations. Participants are expected to engage in this discussion.
We ask the participants to not just focus on one philosopher or philosophical tradition, but to take up a more problem orientated approach. The purpose of the discussion is understanding both the problems and the attempts philosophers have made to solve them. A diversity of positions will hopefully make these problems salient and accessible for debate.
For graduate students, but pre-graduates can also apply.
Please send an abstract of 400 words to A.Sanders@uvt.nl before 14 October 2012.