Fordham Graduate Student Conference

March 3, 2023 - March 4, 2023
Department of Philosophy, Fordham University

Rose Hill
New York 10458
United States


Fordham University
Lehman College (CUNY)



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Identity and Difference
2023 Fordham University Philosophy Graduate Student Conference 

March 3-4, 2023 
Hosted by the Fordham Philosophical Society
Keynote: Naomi Zack (Lehman College, CUNY)  
One of philosophy's original questions still plagues us: to what extent are beings the same and to what extent do they differ? Arising in thinkers as diverse as Parmenides, Aquinas, and De Beauvoir and in arenas from social and political philosophy to phenomenology and metaphysics. This conference aims to gather graduate student scholars from a variety of specializations to discuss their work on identity and difference. Some of the many questions we may pursue together are the following:

What constitutes identity and difference? What makes someone who they are? How do we understand ourselves to be alike enough to communicate, yet different enough that we must work to understand another’s point of view? How do identity and difference shape belonging–within a community, within a social institution, within a political structure? Similarly, how do differences among the members of a group enrich the identity of that collective? How might overlapping identities of an individual give rise to one's sense of self? How does identity inform a given group’s philosophical thought? How might one form their identity and sense of self when, as in the case of many marginalized groups/ minorities, the "self" is oppressed?

These questions additionally motivate ontological considerations. To what extent can we describe two objects that are in fact identical? What grants an object’s or a person’s identity over time: metaphysical characteristics, temporal continuity, or certain brain states? Upon what aspects of an entity do we predicate differences? When are two things metaphysically or logically identical? Are mereological composites more than the sum of their parts? Are they identical to matter? To what extent do beings differ from Being? How might experiences or acts of reason help ground an identity claim such as A=A?

Other questions broadly related to “Identity and Difference” are also welcome.

Please submit a 300-500 word abstract prepared for blind review to [email protected] in PDF format. In the body of the email, please include:
  • Name
  • Email
  • Paper title
  • Institutional Affiliation
Submissions are due by Friday, December 30, 2022. After anonymous review, applicants will be notified by Tuesday, January 17, 2023. Presentations will be limited to 20 minutes.

The conference will take place in person on March 3-4, 2023 on Fordham University’s Rose Hill campus located at 441 East Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458.

For questions, please contact the conference organizers at [email protected]  

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