CFP: NASSP at Central Division APA, Is Luxury a Vice?

Submission deadline: August 15, 2020

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Proposals in the form of a 300-400 word abstract are invited for a group-sponsored session to be held at the 2021 annual meeting of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association, hosted by the North American Society for Social Philosophy.

The topic: Is luxury a vice? Both ancient and classical Christian moralists were agreed that excessive opulence and the desire for it, though common, was a vice. There were always disagreements over exactly where the limits of necessity and comfort lay, but that there were limits was generally agreed.  Today, such a consensus seems less certain. All manner of products—from vinyl tile to resort hotels–are marketed as “luxury” goods. What does this communicate about our age? Is luxury morally problematic? If not, why might it have formerly been thought so, and what has changed? Excessive indulgence in fine things might be thought problematic on environmental grounds or in light of present social conditions of economic inequality. If luxury did not exacerbate these conditions, would there be any other reason to think it morally problematic? Proposals addressing these or related questions are welcome.

Proposals may suggest a complete list of panelists or put forward one contribution to the planned panel discussion. Presenters should plan for 20-30 minute presentations with 10-20 minutes each for Q&A. If submitting a complete panel, please send abstracts for each contribution. Abstracts should be submitted by Aug 15. Notification of acceptance will be given by Aug 29. Participants should plan to attend the annual meeting to be held at the Astor Crowne Plaza, New Orleans, LA, February 24–27, 2021. (Current planning calls for the meeting to be held in person, pandemic permitting.)

Questions and submissions may be directed to Celeste Harvey at

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