The Public and The Private

March 20, 2015 - March 21, 2015
School of Philosophy, Catholic University of America

620 Michigan Ave NE
Washington, D. C. 20064
United States

View the Call For Papers

Keynote speakers:

Mark Alznauer
Northwestern University
Bradley Lewis
Catholic University of America


Francis Petruccelli
Catholic University of America

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The Public and the Private

A Graduate Student Conference in Philosophy

The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

March 20 & 21, 2015

The distinction between the public and the private has interested philosophers from Plato to Augustine, and from early modern political theorists up to Hegel, and beyond. Today, however, the distinction seems to be as paramount to our political discourse as it is resistant to a clear articulation. In order to (re)consider this distinction, its meaning, and its implications, we are pleased to announce the topic of our 2015 Spring Philosophy Graduate Conference: “The Public and the Private.” We welcome papers from any philosophical field or tradition in which this distinction is addressed. 

The following sorts of questions are of particular relevance to the conference: 

• How are we to draw the distinction between the public and the private “spheres”? How did ancient, medieval, and modern thinkers understand these categories? 

• What motivates, and what are the implications of such a distinction in various philosophical fields: language, epistemology, and political philosophy? What other sorts of distinctions might more manifestly illuminate these various philosophical disciplines? 

• Can the same sort of agency or responsibility be ascribed to individuals and public entities? What role should the city or state play in moral education or formation?

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