Date: February 23, 2013
Location: Duquesne University
Keynote: Adrian Johnston, University of New Mexico & Emory Psychoanalytic Institute
The relation between nomos and physis has occupied a central place in the history of philosophy, from Aristotelian Physics to contemporary analytic debates on the philosophy of mind. Moreover, nature, as both an object of knowledge and a public resource, has taken on increasingly urgent social and political import: the distribution of resources and the impact of climate change have become central issues in public policy; and, as in the cases of race, sexual difference, and sexual orientation, legal and social status is often determined in accordance with an appeal to their supposedly biological bases, or, that is, to a commonplace conception of “the natural.” Thus the very identity of the human itself is intimately connected to the ways in which nature operates either on or for us. This conference invites submissions from all areas of philosophy that are concerned to investigate the ontological, ethical, political, and epistemological status of nature.
To help facilitate this discussion, possible topics include, but are not limited to: nomos & physis in Ancient philosophy; the relation between God & nature; human freedom & natural determinism; consciousness & cognitive science; the social construction of nature; chaos & vitalism; the necessity or impossibility of causation; the constitutive relationship between humans and nature (realist, idealist, materialist, and/or hybrid positions); phenomenology of/and nature; social constructivist vs. essentialist figurations of identity; politics & the state of nature; the ethical status of animals & the environment; and the biological or social origins of race, sexual difference, and/or sexual orientation.
Please prepare submissions for blind review and send to firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday, December 15, 2012. Submissions should not exceed 3000 words. Cover sheets should include name, submission title, email address, and institutional affiliation.