CFP: Dimensions of Vulnerability

Submission deadline: January 15, 2018

Conference date(s):
April 5, 2018 - April 6, 2018

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Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, University of Vienna
Vienna, Austria

Topic areas


Recent debates in ethics, applied ethics, bioethics, political theory, and the social sciences focus more and more on a concept that seems to show high explanatory power regarding moral and political obligations and social phenomena: vulnerability.  Publications from the last two decades like Judith Butler´s Precarious Life (2004), Frames of War (2009), and the co-edited anthology Vulnerability in Resistance (2016), Martha A. Fineman´s The Autonomy Myth: A Theory of Dependency (2004), The Vulnerable Subject (2011), and her co-edited Vulnerability. Reflections on a New Ethical Foundation for Law and Ethics (2013), and the anthology Vulnerability. New Essays in Ethics and Feminist Philosophy (2013) edited by Catriona Mackenzie, Wendy Rogers, and Susan Dodds demonstrate a growing interest in a change of perspectives – if not a vulnerability turn – in practical philosophy and the social sciences from the concentration on autonomy and rights of defence to the acknowledgement of dependence and rights of beneficence.

Hence, the primary aim of the conference is to provide a platform for an exchange of different accounts to vulnerability from different perspectives and fields. This enterprise also entails the clarification of the implicit notions of the concept – ontological and normative presuppositions are to be revealed and debated through the manifold lenses of different philosophical approaches and other disciplines’ scopes.

Scholars from various fields are invited to submit abstracts (ca. 300-500 words) for presentations of 30 minutes to [email protected]. Deadline for submission is January 15th, 2018. Selected participants will be notified by January 31st. We ask participants to send a draft of their paper by March 15th. All presentations are followed by short respondences and open discussions. A publication of selected full papers in a special issue is planned.

Funding for travel costs and accomodation might be granted for some applicants; however, we encourage participants to ask their institution for financial support.

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