CFP: The Public and The Private

Submission deadline: December 21, 2014

Conference date(s):
March 20, 2015 - March 21, 2015

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Conference Venue:

School of Philosophy, Catholic University of America
Washington, D. C., United States

Topic areas


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?

Please submit abstracts of 500-600 words for blind review, with a cover page for your name, institution, and email address.  Send them to by December 21, 2014.  If you are selected to present your paper, you will be notified by January 24, 2015.

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