Philosophy and the West: On the Future of Universality
12th Annual Philosophy Graduate Conference
The New School for Social Research
March 1st– 2nd, 2013
Talal Asad (CUNY) and Susan Buck-Morss (CUNY)
The philosophical tradition has generally taken itself to be a project that is both universal in scope and uniquely Western in nature. The tension between the universal aims of rationality and the historical situatedness of the philosophical tradition has been exacerbated by the increasing dominance of Western society: on the one hand, the proliferation of socio-cultural forms such as the modern state, the capitalist market and European university have seemed to make the universal pretensions of Western philosophy a reality; on the other hand, the negative consequences of this proliferation have led to an increasing suspicion of traditional philosophical commitments to ideas such as reason, humanity and the subject. In the wake of this suspicion, adherence to these commitments has been characterized as a disguised intellectual imperialism. More recently, many political thinkers have critiqued this reaction as a renunciation of the potential for universal emancipation offered by Western rationality.
These questions indicate the pressing need to re-evaluate the possible role of philosophy in our current historical context. Given the seeming realization of Western rationality’s global vision and its attendant victories and disappointments, what are we, as philosophers, to do?
This conference will attempt to approach this question from a variety of angles by welcoming all papers that broach these questions from an intellectual, political or historical perspective. While we have not listed specific figures from the history of philosophy, we welcome any figural papers related either to the conference theme or any of the topics below. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
Philosophy and (Universal) History The Question of Humanism
Globalization and/or Cosmopolitanism Colonial and Post-Colonial Thought
Enlightenment, Auklärung, Lumières The current function of identity politics
Christianity and its Universal Promise The Greeks and the Western Tradition
Philosophy and War/Imperialism Analyses of Modernity and/or Civilization
Philosophy, the West and Islam Secularization and Laïcisation
Crises of the European/Modern Tradition Universal Human Rights and Emancipation
De-Colonializing Critical Theory Philosophy and ‘America’
Feminism outside the Occident European Science, Technology and Reason
(Possible) Dialogues between Eastern and Western Philosophy
Subjectivity and the Soul as features of the Western Tradition
Papers should range from 3,000 to 4,500 words and should be sent to:
Please make sure all submissions are sent in blind-review format.
Please include your name, institution and the title of your paper in the body of your e-mail.
The deadline for submissions is December 10th 2012.
Notification will occur during the second week of January 2013.
Please note that the date of our conference has been pushed back one day from our original CFP.
For further information please check our conference website:
(Image: Photomaginarium flickr)