Call for Abstracts
Analyzing Social Wrongs
Social Criticism in Analytic Philosophy
14–16th May 2015, Vienna
Deadline for Submissions: January 14, 2015
How can we use philosophical analysis to criticize society or its structures? At first sight, it may not be clear whether the family of philosophical traditions commonly referred to as “analytic” philosophy is up to that task, given that, for example, the method of cases is supposed to achieve a reflective equilibrium of our theoretical commitments and our intuitions, whether of ‘the’ folk or experts. However, the very task of critical theory, as coined by Max Horkheimer, is to question what we accept as ‘given’, and our intuitions about the social world would seem to be a case in point. Yet, Horkheimer also argues that critical theory must live up to the academic standards of its time, which are—for better or worse—currently set by analytic philosophy, given its current hegemony within professional philosophy in the Western world. With these tentative observations in mind, it remains yet an open question how exactly to relate the methodological canon handed down by the different strands within analytic philosophy to the project of social critique.
In the last thirty years however, an increasing number of philosophers associated with different traditions of analytic philosophy—be it amongst analytic Marxists, feminists or philosophers of race—has devoted their work to addressing issues more commonly associated with “critical” theory, broadly speaking. Among such issues are the nature of oppression, the impact and relevance of social structures, the explanation of ideology and its critique, to name a few. These developments present a challenge of the widely held assumption that philosophical analysis and social criticism are, if at all, merely accidentally related to each other. What is more, in claiming that some members of the Vienna Circle, out of whose work much of contemporary analytic philosophy developed, took their way of doing philosophy to be a means for bringing about social change, some scholars of the history of analytic philosophy have suggested that this philosophical tradition was in fact first devised as a “critical” project. We are sympathetic towards this view and, in this workshop, wish to explore the ways in which philosophical analysis could—and should—be used to this very end.
Sally Haslanger (MIT)
Kristie Dotson (Michigan State/Columbia)
We invite abstracts of not more than 3,300 characters (about 500 words), in English, for each panel. Abstracts may address one (or more) of the questions above as well as further ideas. Please prepare your abstract for anonymous review and submit it by the 14th of January, 2015, via EasyChair at: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=asw2014
If you do not have one already, you will need to create an EasyChair account (which is free).
We are happy to receive submissions by researchers in all career stages as well as colleagues working in the social sciences.
Accommodation and Travel Expenses
We will help you to arrange for affordable accommodation in Vienna and will try to cover or contribute to the payment of expenses incurred by accepted speakers. However, we cannot guarantee any coverage or contribution at this time and reserve full discretion in awarding these payments. If our funds do not suffice to cover all expenses for everybody, we will prioritise early career researchers and researchers with no institutional affiliation. We will not be able to fully cover overseas flights.
Further Information and Contact
You can find further information about our workshop online here.