20th century philosophy took up the mantle of a discipline, embracing academic specialization; philosophy was written-by-and-for-professional philosophers. In the current age of accountability a disciplinary approach to philosophy faces a number of challenges. Philosophers (and others across the academy) are asked to justify their relevance to society—relevance that can perhaps be demonstrated
by philosophers working across and beyond the disciplines: for instance, in partnership with other disciplines, especially scientists or engineers, or through working with policy makers. Does disciplinary philosophy need to be complemented by inter- and transdisciplinary philosophic work?
This conference seeks to attract philosophers who are developing new (often interdisciplinary) models for philosophic engagement, as well as scientists, policy makers, and others who are interested in the role that philosophy can or should play in collaborative situations. Our goal is to foster a community of practice for developing new approaches of engaged philosophy, a community that includes scientists, social scientists, and policy makers. Participation is sought in the following areas:
1. Philosophy in the Field: Science, Technology, Ethics, Policy
Here the focus is on philosophers, scientists, engineers, and policymakers working on questions at the intersection of science, philosophy, and policy, e.g., bioethics, nanotechnology, environmental ethics, military ethics, etc. Participants can offer theoretical accounts of this work or present case studies in engaged philosophy, participating in panel discussions on how such work can be improved in the future.
2. Theorizing the Institution and Practice of Philosophy
Participants will explore different institutional embodiments of philosophical practice such as: philosophers as synthesizers of disciplinary knowledge, participants in interdisciplinary collaborations; or as generalists who are able to translate the insights of the academy for the world at large. Presenters are welcome to propose to run a panel or a workshop format.
3. Training the Next Generation of Philosophers and Philosophical Thinking
Participants will describe actual or possible ways to train the next generation of philosophers (whether within philosophy or in other disciplines) in how to conduct engaged philosophy. Examples of such
efforts could include experiences working with funding agencies, sponsoring internships, or other means of integrating interdisciplinarity into graduate or undergraduate education.
These areas are suggestions. We welcome contributions to other topic areas such as:
• Philosophy of interdisciplinarity: themes, goals, requirements, and critiques
• Questions on the nature of expertise
• Are there types of knowledge production that require interdisciplinary approaches?
• Questions of legitimation of new modes of philosophizing
• Philosophical aspects and elements in global change studies, technology assessment, sustainability research, social-ecological research, engineering ethics and policy consultancy
• Quality control and assessment of interdisciplinary collaboration
• Critical thoughts on knowledge production and knowledge society
• Neoliberal critiques of interdisciplinarity
• Problems of interdisciplinary communication
• Where is the philosopher’s home when he/she comes back from the field?
For further information, visit: http://www.csid.unt.edu/.