Philosophy and Other Voices

March 27, 2015 - March 28, 2015
University of Essex

Colchester
United Kingdom

View the Call For Papers

Keynote speakers:

Pamela Anderson
Oxford University
Meena Dhanda
University of Wolverhampton
University of Wolverhampton

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The western philosophical canon is constituted overwhelmingly by the thoughts and ideas of white men. Students of philosophy today can take entire modules, or even degrees, and not read a single text by a woman or person of colour. The widespread exclusion of philosophical contributions from these historically marginalised groups has problematic implications for philosophy as a discipline, from both a practical and theoretical perspective.

Systematic exclusion raises important ethical questions about the way certain people are treated in and by philosophy. Taking steps to undermine this exclusion in philosophy can help to open up the discipline to a wider variety of people and issues, which is likely to ensure that the best possible philosophy is being practiced.

Drawing attention to the overlooked contributions of certain thinkers in the history of philosophy enriches the discipline. If the challenge of philosophy is to problematise existing orthodoxies and gain new and innovative perspectives on problems, then we have good reason to believe that the perceptions of persons historically situated as ‘Others’ might have something especially important to offer.

Furthermore, in acknowledging that the established philosophical canon is the product of only a few minds, who occupied a position of privilege, we must ask ourselves: what could we possibly be missing from philosophy? Perhaps the ideas around which we orient our philosophical endeavours – rationality, knowledge, truth, objectivity – could be radically different. Understanding the socio-temporal situatedness of the genesis of our best loved philosophical concepts should prompt us to consider what new philosophical ground can be uncovered if philosophy from ‘Other’ standpoints is pursued.

The aim of this conference, then, is to explore the possibilities for enriching philosophy through exposure to its many ‘Others’.

Possible themes for papers might include, but are not limited to:
Feminist epistemology and standpoint theory
What is it to exclude? What is it to include? Strategies and practices of inclusion/exclusion and their effects
Philosophy of race
Critical approaches to philosophical methodology, including pedagogical method
Philosophy and disability
Philosophy and heteronormativity
Non-western philosophy and its relation to western philosophical praxis
Identity politics
Political philosophy and ‘others’
Justice and injustice
Critical theory
The concept of ‘rigour’ and its place in philosophy
The object/subject distinction

For queries or more information contact Rosie Worsdale: rworsd@essex.ac.uk

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