Events

The call for papers for 2016 University of Alberta Philosophy Graduate and Post-Graduate Conference is out.

‘Dependencies and Differences’: University of Alberta Philosophy Graduate and Post-Graduate Conference, 6-8 May 2016 

We invite graduate students and postgraduates (who have been awarded their PhD no earlier than 2010) to submit papers to the graduate and postgraduate philosophy conference that will take place on 6-8 May 2016 at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

What does it mean to say that something or someone depends on something or someone else? Why do we differentiate between dependencies in the ways that we do? For example, we speak of differential distributions of socio-economic dependency (“some groups are made to be more dependent than others”), of hierarchical relations of ontological dependency (“some entities are grounded in more fundamental entities”), and of the normative implications of our dependence on certain categories (“some social categories are more valuable than others”). How do various forms of dependency relate to one another and why it is important that we take our dependencies seriously?

Dependence and difference have been key themes in various subfields of philosophy including feminist philosophy, philosophy of disability, animal ethics, and social ontology. This conference seeks to unpack the ways in which notions of dependence can be theorized differently and the dangers that arise when we fail to account for the various factors that affect our conceptions of dependence. Possible questions for consideration include, but are not limited to: How is dependency gendered? How are our social institutions constituted? How do we individuate dependency relations between various kinds and their features? What are the performative, normative, phenomenological, and metaphysical distinctions that matter? What methodologies (interdisciplinary, feminist, archival, genealogical, analytic, etc.) might help us to approach questions about what we value, how we categorize reality, and how we organize experience?

We strongly encourage submissions from all areas of philosophy and from related disciplines, and we especially encourage submissions from women and other groups historically underrepresented in the profession.

Keynote Presentations by

Christine Overall

“What—If Any—Is the Value of Gender?”

Professor and University Research Chair, Department of Philosophy and Department of Gender Studies, Queen’s University

Alice MacLachlan

“Navigating Dependencies in Collaborative Reproduction”

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, York University

Deadline for submission: 15 January 2016

Submission Guidelines: Papers should not exceed 3000 words. They should be prepared for anonymous review and sent as a PDF file to uofaphilconference@gmail.com. In a separate PDF attachment, please include your name, academic affiliation, e-mail address, paper title, and an abstract of no more than 150 words. For more information, please contact us at uofaphilconference@gmail.com.


Program of ‘Thinking and Bias’ conference is available

The detailed program of the ‘Thinking and Bias’: University of Alberta Philosophy Graduate and Post-Graduate Conference is available. Held June 12-14, 2015, the conference features public keynote lectures by Carla Fehr and John Symons.

Carla Fehr (University of Waterloo) will speak on “Hidden Bias, Explicit Values: Gender in Epistemic Communities.” This public lecture is also a keynote address of the University of Alberta Philosophy Graduate and Post-Graduate Conference on the topic of Thinking and Bias. It will take place on Friday, June 12, at 4pm, in Humanities Centre L-2 (level 1 room L2).

Abstract: A major project within feminist epistemology is to uncover and eliminate sexist and racist biases, while at the same time maintaining a robust account of the role of values, in the practices of knowledge production. In this paper I consider the role that these biases and values play in the creation, maintenance, and functioning of our epistemic communities. The epistemic communities I focus on are university departments. I argue that there are a range of barriers that can block department members from perceiving biases and hence identifying ways that their workplaces fail to live up to their genuinely held explicit values. I further argue that creating workplaces that are consistent with our values can require structural changes in our work environments.

Carla Fehr is the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at the University of Waterloo. She is also the editor of the Feminist Philosophy Quarterly, the director of the Association for Feminist Epistemologies, Methodologies, Metaphysics, and Science Studies (FEMMSS), and the associate director of the American Philosophical Association Committee on the Status of Women Site Visit Program.

John Symons (University of Kansas) will speak on “Norms and Formal Methods in Ameliorative Epistemology.” This public lecture is also a keynote address of the University of Alberta Philosophy Graduate and Post-Graduate Conference on the topic of Thinking and Bias. It will take place on Saturday, June 13, at 4pm, in ASH 2-02A.

Abstract: Formal methods are often touted as having a debiasing effect in reasoning. This talk explores how formal techniques can help and hurt reasoning and decision making. Examples from logic and probability theory where formalism is clearly salutary are contrasted with cases from other areas of mathematics where formalism is an impediment. What grounds the normative claims in these cases? How are we licensed to say that some kinds of reasoning are good and others bad? I will argue that by looking at the formalisms that help or hinder reasoning, we get a better sense for our own limitations as reasoners. Getting clear about our failings gives us a better sense of what success looks like.

John Symons is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kansas, where he serves as the Chair of the Department of Philosophy. He is also External Faculty at the Centro de Filosofia das Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa and the Lisbon University Institute.

Thinking_and_Bias_2015_program_Page_2


The call for papers for University of Alberta Philosophy Graduate and Post-Graduate Conference is out.

‘Thinking and Bias’: University of Alberta Philosophy Graduate and Post-Graduate Conference, 12-14 June 2015 

We invite graduate students and postgraduates (who have been awarded their PhD no earlier than 2009) to submit papers to the graduate and postgraduate philosophy conference that will take place on 12-14 June 2015 at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

As philosophers, scholars, and researchers we have begun to consider, sometimes reluctantly, whether and how our capacity for bias features into our capacity for thought. Thinking critically about our biases and how those biases inform the ways in which we do philosophy and engage with one another sets notions of truth, objectivity, and rationality in dialogue with considerations of the role of subjectivity, prejudice, and context in philosophical thought and practice. Thinking and Bias aims to bring together diverse positions on the issue of bias and the issue of bias in philosophy. In order to unpack the challenges that bias poses to inquiry and to “traditional” philosophical fields such as epistemology, ethics, the history of philosophy, aesthetics, and the philosophy of science, it is crucial to recognize the extent to which bias is a psychological, social, and political phenomenon.

We strongly encourage submissions from all areas of philosophy and from related disciplines, and we especially encourage submissions from women and other groups historically underrepresented in the profession. Possible questions for consideration include, but are not limited to: What are positive and negative forms of bias? How do implicit biases inform philosophical analysis? As critical thinkers how might we challenge ourselves and combat implicit bias? What role do biases play in scholarly and archival research? What is the relationship between critical thinking and value laden observation? Can biases be useful heuristics? How do cognitive biases and social context influence indirect behavioural measures such as the Implicit Association Test?

Funding to help cover travel expenses for conference presenters who lack other means of financial support to travel to Edmonton may be available.

Keynote presentation by
Carla Fehr

Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy, Department of Philosophy, University of Waterloo
Associate Director, Site Visit Program of the American Philosophical Association Committee on the Status of Women

Deadline for submissions: 10 January 2015

Submission guidelines: Papers should not exceed 3000 words. They should be prepared for anonymous review and sent as a PDF file to uofaphilconference@gmail.com. In a separate PDF attachment, please include your name, academic affiliation, e-mail address, paper title, and an abstract of no more than 150 words.

For more information, please contact us at uofaphilconference@gmail.com.

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