Romulus and Remus or Castor and Pollux? A Conference on Philosophy and the Sciences
The Thirteenth Annual Graduate Student Philosophy Conference
The New School for Social Research
April 11th and 12th 2014
With Keynote Speakers: Peter Godfrey-Smith (CUNY Graduate Center) and Gary Gutting (University of Notre Dame)
Call for Papers:
Much like twins, philosophy and science began their existence as indistinguishable from one another. In the nearly two millennia since Thales’ legendary prediction, they developed hand-in-hand with very little quarrel. The convivial relationship stood the test of time, outlasting empires and surviving religious appropriation, as seen in Galileo, Copernicus and Newton’s reorientation of the trajectory of philosophy during Europe’s ‘Scientific Revolution’. Nevertheless, the aftermath of the 17th century’s developments in natural philosophy proved to tear asunder the partnership, leading to a disciplinarization of fields of inquiry that distinguished the human or social sciences from the natural ones. Now, seemingly divided, some say the philosophers are to police the sciences while others say that philosophers are simply their handmaidens. Either way, philosophy has seemingly been relegated to an auxiliary position in being unable to outstrip the success of the natural sciences in achieving its ends.
It is our conviction that philosophy and science must, perhaps now more than ever, remain responsive to each other in an open and self-reflective manner. For in the wake of the ‘Science Wars’ and the confirmation of the Higgs-boson, questions concerning the status of natural philosophy in relation to the history and progress of the sciences have re-emerged. Once again the natural sciences have posed new problems for our established philosophical doxa as well as opened new occasions for philosophical inquiry regarding the significance and place of science in everyday life.
At this year’s NSSR Graduate Student Philosophy Conference we wish to address the ongoing tensions, conjunctions and contributions of philosophy to the sciences, and vice versa. In doing this, we also hope to challenge the now dogmatic divide between the “Analytic” and “Continental” schools of philosophy.
Possible topics include but are not limited to:
- For and against naturalism, realism, and/or materialism in philosophy and science.
- Theory and experimentation in philosophy and science.
- ‘Objectivity’ in philosophy and science.
- The status of the ‘scientific method’ and the unity (or lack thereof) of methodology.
- The descriptive-normative distinction and the aims of science.
- Uses and abuses of mathematics, biology and/or quantum mechanics in ‘Continental’ philosophy.
- Transcendental philosophy and contemporary sciences.
- The value of Science Studies and the question regarding the unity or disunity of the sciences.
- Intersections and tensions between neuroscience, philosophy of mind, psychology and/or psychoanalysis.
- Historical figures and philosophical revolutions: Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Bohr etc.
- Science, ideology and politics.
- The ethics of scientific inquiry (e.g. bioethics, environmental ethics, feminisms, disability studies).
- Reductionism and eliminativism.
We invite the submission of papers no longer than 3,000 words prepared for a 20-25 minute presentation. Papers should be submitted as .pdf files and formatted for blind review. Please include as a separate document a cover letter including your name, paper title, institution and contact information.
Submissions should be sent to email@example.com by Friday December 20th, 2013.