Introductory addition: We’ve struggled on this blog a number of times with finding the right rhetoric to call attention to the fact that some conferences are in effect all male, thus contributing to further marginalizing women in the profession. It’s easy to praise the precedent-breaking conferences like the Auburn one, few though they are, but the others are harder. We do not want to report it in the way one reports the weather, say. It isn’t inevitable, it is the product of human decisions (if not the decision to privilege men as such), and so on. At the same time, many of the members of the blog do not want to issue strong judgments about members of the profession who may, after all, be well-meaning.
Further, we are convinced that having women speakers makes a potentially important contribution to raising the quality of the content of a conference. New ideas, as network theory insists, tend to come from the periphery, not the center. The inclusion of women philosophers is important for a number of reasons.
Now there’s a worry that my attempt to call attention to the two very different ways these conferences are organized obscures more than it reveals. Hopefully this introduction addition helps! This is serious stuff.)
We all know that Janus, the Roman god, had two faces, one looking forward and one looking backward. Now, in one hundred words or less, describe why these two conferences might remind one of Janus. Before you start writing, you may want to review the material here.
Conference One: Auburn Philosophy Conference
Topic of the 2010 Conference:
Ontology of Ordinary Objects
Lynne Rudder Baker, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Amie Thomasson, University of Miami
Kathrin Koslicki, University of Colorado, Boulder
Karen Bennett, Cornell University
Crawford Elder, University of Connecticut, Storrs
Thomas Hofweber, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Paul Hovda, Reed College
Kris McDaniel, Syracuse University
L.A. Paul, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Brian Epstein, Tufts University
Conference Number Two: 2nd Copenhagen Conference in Epistemology:
THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY
THE UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN
AUGUST 19-20, 2010
Speakers include David Christensen (Brown), Jerry Gaus (Arizona),
Stephan Hartmann (Tilburg), Rainer Hegselmann (Bayreuth), Vincent
Hendricks (Copenhagen), Michael Lynch (UConn), Erik J. Olsson (Lund),
and Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh).
The second is from a cfp.
(Thanks to JT for the first and AFEMMSS-L for the second.)