World Congress of Philosophy

XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

The World Congresses of Philosophy are organized every five years by the International Federation of Philosophical Societies in collaboration with one of its member societies. The xxiii World Congress of Philosophy will be held from August 4 through August 10, 2013, in Athens, Greece, under the auspices of the Hellenic Organizing Committee, which has been constituted by the Greek Philosophical Society.

The Congress has several aims, which are to be understood as complementary:

To inquire into the world’s philosophical traditions and compare them in terms of their diverse contributions and possible mutual cross-fertilization.

To reflect on the tasks and functions of philosophy in the contemporary world, taking account of the contributions, expectations, and gaps in philosophical awareness associated with other disciplines, with political, religious, social, economic, technological, etc., activities and with diverse cultures and traditions.

To emphasize the importance of philosophical reflection for public discourse on global issues affecting humanity.

Because of its cultural history and geographical situation, Athens is an ideal location for stimulating encounters between scholars from across the world. The main theme of the 2013 Congress, ‘Philosophy as Inquiry and Way of Life’, emphasizing both theory and practice, recalls the declaration of Socrates that the unexamined life is not worth living.

The 2013 Congress invites discussion of the nature, roles, and responsibilities of philosophy and philosophers today. It is committed to paying heed to the problems, conflicts, inequalities, and injustices connected with the development of a planetary civilization that is at once multicultural and techno-scientific.

The main theme of the Congress will be developed, according to the tradition of the World Congresses, in the following four plenary sessions and seven symposia:

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Mystical Theology and Continental Philosophy CFP

Steven Shakespeare of the Association for Continental Philosophy of Religion has asked me to post the CFP for the ACPR’s forthcoming conference held in collaboration with the Mystical Theology Network. You can download the PDF above and the information is repeated below the fold.

Mystical Theology and Continental Philosophy: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives Liverpool Hope University

3-5 January 2014

A collaboration between the Mystical Theology Network and the Association for the Continental Philosophy of Religion

This conference seeks to explore recent and historical developments in the dynamic relationship between mystical theology and continental philosophy. Issues surrounding the appropriation, elaboration, and re-contextualisation of mystical theology in continental philosophy have risen to prominence through recent engagements with apophaticism from the perspectives of both deconstruction (e.g. Jacques Derrida) and theological critiques of onto-theology (e.g. Jean-Luc Marion). Yet how might these philosophical and theological strands interweave with one another and how coherently or creatively do they relate back to mystical thinkers from antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern era? To what extent is it possible to articulate cogent negative philosophies and post-onto-theological mystical theologies? Are their points at which a turn to the mystical might disguise an appeal to mystification? And to what extent is the post-metaphysical apophatic turn being challenged by a renaissance of speculative thinking in both philosophy and theology?

With such questions in mind, this conference will examine the historical and contemporary developments of continental philosophy’s relationship with mysticism along with theology’s own renewed engagement with mystical tradition, particularly as it enters into dialogue with this comparable turn in philosophy. By exploring points of intersection and divergence, the conference aims to trace the nature of the relationship between these two disciplines in the hope of moving towards a new awareness of their complementarity and integrity. Furthermore, the conference seeks to deepen our understandings of the enduring call of the mystical and the contemporary revival of some ancient and liminal voices.

The conference welcomes papers on both Mystical Theology and Continental Philosophy, with a particular focus on papers that draw the two disciplines into dialogue. Papers which examine the historical relationships and contexts are welcomed alongside papers which explore creative and constructive theological and philosophical accounts of mystical thinking. Speakers and attendees from philosophical, theological, historical, literary, psychological, sociological and other backgrounds are welcome.

Relevant thinkers and themes might include (but are not limited to): Derrida, Marion, and negative theology; Hegel, Schelling, idealism and speculative mysticism; Heidegger and medieval mystical theology; Kabbalah and Sufism; literature and aesthetics; metaphysics and post-onto-theology; the post-secular and the ‘return to/of religion’; phenomenology and mystical experience; historical evaluations of mystical writers in the Christian tradition; mystical theology, pastoral care, and psychotherapy; the relationship between theology and philosophy; existentialism and mysticism; transcendence and immanence; idealism and materialism; selfhood, soul, and spirit; identity and identification; alterity; creativity and imagination; creation and redemption; reason and faith; knowing and unknowing.

Papers will be 30 minutes plus 15 minutes for discussion. Postgraduate students are invited to present 20 minute papers to be presented in joint panels followed by discussion.

Please send abstracts of around 300 words to Dr Simon D Podmore or Dr Duane Williams no later than 15th July 2013: podmors@hope.ac.uk or williad3@hope.ac.uk

Why Do I Teach?

Gary Cutting of the Notre Dame Philosophy Department answers this question. He’s got a good point, and I would go farther. When my pedagogy succeeds, my students live’s are changed forever, and many of them know it. It may not change their job prospects, but it certain affects who they are, and given that those changes concern ethics, justice, and rational justification, how can we let such pedagogy die? I have an eternal faith in the human spirit and the heroic virtue within us.

Name Five Women in Philosophy: Bet You Can’t

Name Five Women in Philosophy: Bet You Can’t is great blog-article from NPR highlighting the terrible ratio of women in contemporary academic philosophy in the U.S. Go ahead and read it.

My favorite part is where it acknowledges the less-commented point, the play of “social and psychological factors.” Yes, the dearth of raw numbers of students and professors, or of well-known authors, is a point of frequent commentary.

However, a colleague of mine had a novel response. She said that said that she not only can name them, but knows them, and knows more than five within walking distance! Good point, Jessica, as I have heard this point made many times in the 10 years I have been in the field, but I have never heard that response! Why focus on the distant and not on the present and near?