Students of Philosophy Association, Concordia University

Call for Papers – GPSA – 7th Annual Philosophy Conference

Posted by admin | 20 December 2009 | Comments Off

Call for Papers
Concordia Graduate Philosophy Students’ Association’s 7th Annual Philosophy Conference
April 17 – 18, 2010
Concordia University, Montreal, QC
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Brian Keenan
(University of Winnipeg)

What is Philosophy Anyway?:

A Conference on the Method, Object and Purpose of Philosophical Inquiry

It is possible to raise and solve philosophical problems with no very clear idea of what philosophy is, what it is trying to do, and how it can best do it; but no great progress can be made until these questions have been asked and some answer to them given.
Philosophy, moreover, has this peculiarity . . . the theory of philosophy is itself a problem for philosophy; and not only a possible problem, but an inevitable problem, one which sooner or later it is bound to raise.
- R. G. Collingwood, An Essay on Philosophical Method

[P]hilosophy is concerned with each of the sciences . . . [but therefore cannot] be ranged alongside the existing sciences, as a special department of speculative knowledge. . . . There is no field of experience which cannot, in principle, be brought under some form of scientific law, and no type of speculative knowledge about the world which it is, in principle, beyond the power of science to give. . . . We are now in a position to see that the function of philosophy is wholly critical.
- A. J. Ayer, Language, Truth and Logic

Philosophy is thought by some to be the Queen, by others the handmaiden, of the sciences. The purpose of this conference is to address the meta-philosophical question of what exactly philosophy is, how to go about it, why – and whether – it is worth pursuing, or whether such an account of the discipline is even possible. It provides an opportunity for students of philosophy preoccupied with examining the presuppositions of other disciplines to turn a critical eye toward their own, as well as an opportunity for students of other disciplines to reply to philosophers and issue their own challenges in turn.

Submissions are therefore welcome from students of all disciplines addressing the method, object and/or purpose of philosophy and its relation to the other disciplines. Paper topics include but are not limited to the relation of theory to practice, the status and/or possibility of knowledge claims in philosophy, the value of different philosophical methods (e.g. analytic, historical), etc.

  • Interested authors should submit an abstract electronically as a pdf or Microsoft Word 97-2003 compatible file to Daniel Blaikie, Conference Organizer, at
  • Abstracts should be between 300-400 words in length and read as concise introductions to the paper, providing the topic, main thesis and outline of the major arguments.
  • Submissions will be accepted in English and French.
  • Exceptional undergraduate work will be considered.
  • The submission deadline is Friday January 8, 2010.
  • Authors of successful submissions will be contacted by Friday February 5, 2010.
  • Conference invitees will be expected to present a paper of no more than 4500 words in length at the conference.
  • The GPSA Conference Committee will select five papers presented at the conference to be published in a special edition of Gnosis, Concordia’s graduate philosophy journal.


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