Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP UK) Annual Conference

Philosophy and Other Voices

Venue: University of Essex

Dates: 27th-28th March 2015

Keynote Speakers:

For a full programme visit the conference webpage.

The western philosophical canon is constituted overwhelmingly by the thoughts and ideas of white men. Students of philosophy today can take entire modules, or even degrees, and not read a single text by a woman or person of colour. The widespread exclusion of philosophical contributions from these historically marginalised groups has problematic implications for philosophy as a discipline, from both a practical and theoretical perspective.

Systematic exclusion raises important ethical questions about the way certain people are treated in and by philosophy. Taking steps to undermine this exclusion in philosophy can help to open up the discipline to a wider variety of people and issues, which is likely to ensure that the best possible philosophy is being practiced.

Drawing attention to the overlooked contributions of certain thinkers in the history of philosophy enriches the discipline. If the challenge of philosophy is to problematise existing orthodoxies and gain new and innovative perspectives on problems, then we have good reason to believe that the perceptions of persons historically situated as ‘Others’ might have something especially important to offer.

Furthermore, in acknowledging that the established philosophical canon is the product of only a few minds, who occupied a position of privilege, we must ask ourselves: what could we possibly be missing from philosophy? Perhaps the ideas around which we orient our philosophical endeavours – rationality, knowledge, truth, objectivity – could be radically different. Understanding the socio-temporal situatedness of the genesis of our best loved philosophical concepts should prompt us to consider what new philosophical ground can be uncovered if philosophy from ‘Other’ standpoints is pursued.

The aim of this conference, then, is to explore the possibilities for enriching philosophy through exposure to its many ‘Others’. Here is a selection of titles/speakers:

Organiser:

For queries or more information contact Rosie Worsdale

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