Anthrosophia: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Political Philosophy, Anthropology and Allied Disciplines

March 8, 2017 - March 11, 2017
Center for Human-Environmental Research

3400 St. Claude Avenue
New Orleans 70117
United States

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  • Loyola University of New Orleans, Department of Philosophy

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Understanding how and why human societies organize themselves in such diverse ways has been among our basic intellectual projects as scholars. Today, the fields of philosophy and social science both approach this set of questions in distinct ways. Political philosophers build theories about human social organization through the logical examination of certain sets of claims about the nature of governments, political control, private property, personal freedom, and the like. Anthropologists collect empirical data about the operation of human societies and build theories to explain the variation observed between different contexts. The field of political philosophy would seem to be based on analytical critique and social science based on empirical observation, with never the twain to meet.

Yet, the disciplines of political philosophy, anthropology, and allied social sciences have much more in common than is typically acknowledged. In December 2015, an interdisciplinary group of scholars convened a two-day symposium in New Orleans bridging the fields of philosophy and anthropology, and examining the shared concerns of both fields. The highlights of this symposium included conversations on the empirical basis of political philosophy coming from the various fields of social science, and the historical origins of the dominant theoretical perspectives within the field of anthropology coming from early modern political philosophers.  

At the close of this 2015 symposium, all of the participants agreed to the formation of a new intellectual society: Anthrosophia. As such, we are dedicated to building better social and political philosophy that is (1) grounded on accurate empirical premises concerning the diversity of human societies on earth today and the (pre)historic processes that brought about this variability, and (2) social scientific theory that is both free from the colonial biases of the early modern political philosophers and that incorporates the most sophisticated modern political philosophy produced by today’s brightest scholars. Our first conference is intended to bring together scholars to advance this conversation about the shared interests of the fields of political philosophy and social science

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