CALL FOR PAPERS: ENGAGED AND APPLIED PHILOSOPHY: THE SOCIAL ROLE OF CONTEMPORARY THEORY
7th International Conference
of the Group for Social Engagement Studies
Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade
Call for Papers
Engaged and Applied Philosophy: The Social Role of Contemporary Theory
30th September–2nd October, 2021
Jonathan Wolff, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford
Our contemporary world is plagued by complex problems. Although philosophers once directly addressed the social issues of their day, philosophy is now often perceived as an exercise in abstract reflection that abstains from the complexities of the real world. In stark contrast to this received idea, this conference aims to reinvigorate the notion of philosophy as an engaged endeavor to tackle the problems of our time and culture. This suggestion opens up several crucial lines of inquiry.
To begin with, what do we mean when we say that philosophy should engage with the problems of the broader society in which it is embedded, rather than merely extend or apply ideal theories to tangible issues? That is, how can we best understand, explain, and critique the norms and policies of existing societies? Should philosophy start with conceiving ideal theories, or should it begin its inquiry by analyzing the problems which we face in social reality?
Second, are there some significant epistemic goods philosophers are uniquely positioned to provide to policymakers and the general public? Is there some professional ethic that requires us to provide these goods, or is there something that our field can gain by engaging with the real world? Could this be a false antithesis, in the sense that philosophy’s engagement with real-world problems might be a two-way street?
Finally, should philosophers shift to topics that seem especially relevant to society at large, and spend less energy on subjects that, from an outsider’s perspective, appear parochial and abstruse? Or should we, instead, engage in a more effective “outreach” so that citizens are better prepared to follow, and benefit from, the discussions already present in academic philosophy?
In short, this conference aims to explore the conceptual difference between applied and engaged philosophy. Our final goal is to reflect upon the role of philosophers in modern society, and about the place philosophy should assume in contemporary scientific discourse.
We welcome contributions from both established and young scholars. The papers should address the general theme of the conference. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:
The distinction between ideal and non-ideal theory
The role of the social sciences and the place of lived experience in philosophical theorizing
The obligation (if there is one) of academics to address real-world predicaments
Organization of the conference
The conference is organized by the Group for Social Engagement Studies, part of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory in Belgrade in cooperation with the Center for Advanced Studies – Southeast Europe, University of Rijeka.
Technical information and application procedure
The official language of the conference is English.
Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes.
The Program Committee of the conference will select the presenters based on the submitted abstracts. A book of abstracts will be published.
To apply, please submit a Word document (in .doc or .docx format) with the following information: (1) the title of the paper, (2) an abstract of up to 200 words, and (3) a short biography in English. Applications and full papers should be sent to the following e-mail address: email@example.com. We kindly ask you to use the following subject line: Name. Title of the Paper.
There is no registration fee. The conference organizers will provide refreshments during the conference program. Participants are kindly requested to make their own accommodation and travel arrangements.
Important dates and information
Application deadline for abstracts: 15th July 2021
Notification of acceptance: 22nd July 2021
Full papers submission: 15th September 2021
Conference dates: 30th September–2nd October 2021
The conference is planned to take place in-person at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory in Belgrade, Serbia. Given the uncertainty of the epidemic situation and the possibility of travel restrictions, a hybrid format/Zoom participation will be allowed.
Snježana Prijić Samaržija, University of Rijeka
Vedran Džihić, OIIP – Austrian Institute for International Affairs/University of Vienna
Attila Gyulai, Institute for Political Science, Center for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Silvia Capodivacca, University of Udine
Petar Bojanić, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade
Gazela Pudar Draško, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade
Marko Konjović, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade