CFP: Whole Lives, Time, and Selfhood

Submission deadline: December 11, 2017

Conference date(s):
February 19, 2018 - February 20, 2018

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Conference Venue:

PHI research group, Deakin University
Docklands, Australia

Topic areas


This workshop will explore the value and implications of viewing (thinking about, considering, experiencing, appreciating, recognizing) one's life as a whole. It seems to be a characteristic feature of human experience that we are capable of taking both an extended and a temporally-local perspective on our lives.  Discussions in many disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, and economics have noted tensions that can arise as a result of these dual perspectives.  Phenomena like temporal discounting, in which we seem to prefer smaller present rewards over larger rewards in the future appear to be a form of irrationality that involves privileging present well-being over that of one’s whole life.  On the other side, it is often observed that people can become so focused on past events or future plans that they fail to truly experience the present and miss out on much that life has to offer.  This workshop will ask what it means to understand a life as a whole. Is a ‘whole life’ more than just a mere aggregate, and if so, what does this ‘more’ consist in? How does, or should, whole-of-life holism alter our evaluations and influence the conduct of our lives? 

Proposals are invited for presentations of up to 25 minutes reading time. Please email a short (~250 word) abstract and title to by 11 December 2017.

Hosted by the Philosophy and the History of Ideas group and the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalization, Deakin University.

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