CFP: Society, Community, Collectives

Submission deadline: December 20, 2020

Conference date(s):
March 6, 2021 - March 7, 2021

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Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy , Ryerson University, Toronto
Toronto, Canada

Topic areas


Ryerson University is now accepting papers for its 2021 graduate philosophy conference “Society, Community, Collectives.” We invite submissions from graduate students working in all areas and traditions of philosophy to submit papers relevant to the conference theme.

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Tracy Isaacs (Western University): Tracy Isaacs is Associate Dean (Academic) in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and a Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Western University (GSWS) in London, Ontario, Canada. She has published widely on individual and collective responsibility in collective action contexts, collective obligation, ethics more broadly, including feminist ethics and food ethics. She also works on feminist issues in sport and fitness, food, dieting, and body image. Current projects include a book-in-progress on “imperfect veganism” and a paper on role responsibility in oppressive social contexts, to appear in a forthcoming Oxford University Press volume on role ethics.

Dr. D. C. Matthew (York University): D. C. Matthew works in the Department of Philosophy at York University in Toronto. He primarily works on issues of race in moral and political philosophy. He has written on Rawls and race, Rawlsian ideal theory and racial integration, and is presently at work on a number of papers on various topics, including institutional racism and black solidarity. After receiving his PhD in 2012 from York, he held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Memphis.

Conference Description:

Belonging to a community affects one’s beliefs, desires, actions, duties, and identities. Along with the many ethical and political problems inherent in building communities and coordinating communal living, there are fascinating metaphysical and ontological issues as well. The purpose of this conference is to (i) explore the concept of a community and (ii) discuss how communities should be structured. Possible topics for papers include, but certainly are not limited to:

Social Ontology: Do social groups exist? » What characteristics do they have? » Can collectives be agents? » Are communities, corporations, governments, or societies capable of believing, intending, having emotions, and so on? 

Social Epistemology: What is an epistemic community? » Are there social roots to knowledge? » What does it mean for a community to ‘know’ something? » How can groups revise their beliefs? 

Justice and the Common Good: Do social goods exist? » How are they best pursued? » Is there a preferred size for political communities? » How can communities be structured to be fair to their minorities? 

Community and Oppression: How do power and information asymmetries shape communities? » Why does otherness arise within communities? » How does oppression impact the members of communities? » What challenges do identity politics pose to communities? 

Community, Self, and Psychology: How is belonging to a community related to one’s self understanding and identity? » Is there a phenomenology associated with communal membership? » How does the structure of communities affect individual development? » Do shared socioeconomic and ideological realities lead to the development of mass psychological attitudes and how should we treat such attitudes?

Submission Details:

The deadline for submissions is December 20th 2020. Submissions can be sent to [email protected] with “Society, Community, Collectives” written in the subject heading. Papers should be presentable in 20 – 30 mins (3000 to 4000 words), followed by a question period. With your submissions please include a cover page that includes your name, affiliated institution, contact information, title, and a short abstract. The body of the paper should be prepared for blind review

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