What is Philosophy? And other Topics in Metaphilosophy

October 11, 2019 - October 12, 2019
Department of Philosophy, Johns Hopkins University

3400 N Charles St
Baltimore 43224
United States

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University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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The theme of this conference is metaphilosophy, broadly construed. This includes, but is not limited to, the following topics:

(1) What is philosophy?

(2) How ought philosophy to be done? Should we use common sense, ordinary language, intuitions, surveys of laypeople’s intuitions, something else?

(3) How is philosophy actually done (for better or worse)?

(4) Is philosophy an a priori discipline? If so, how does a priori knowledge work?

(5) Are philosophers prone to making certain assumptions that are alien to non-philosophers (as some experimental philosophers suggest)? If so, is that problematic for philosophy?

(6) What is the relationship between philosophy and science? How should they inform each other?

(7) Is there anything of interest concerning metaphilosophy to be learned from the history of philosophy? How did major philosophers view their discipline?

(8) Does an appreciation of metaphilosophy help us to do philosophy in general? Does it get in the way?

(9) What (if anything) makes philosophy valuable? Should philosophers spend more time doing public philosophy? Should governments fund philosophy? How should philosophy affect our daily lives?

(10) Does philosophy make progress?

(11) What is the relationship between analytic philosophy, continental philosophy, and pragmatism?

Papers should be no longer than 3000 words and prepared for a 25-30 min presentation. Submissions should be made to jhuphilgradconference@gmail.com by June 30th, 2019. Submitters should also include a separate document indicating their departmental affiliation and their status in the department. This conference is for graduate students only, and as such no undergraduate submissions will be accepted. All submissions will be considered, but preference will be given to papers on topics related to metaphilosophy (including topics that are not explicitly mentioned above).

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