Call for papers

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First International Conference on Philosophy and Meaning in Life
August 20-21, Sapporo, Japan
The First International Conference on Philosophy and Meaning in Life will be held on August 20th and 21st, 2018, at the campus of Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.
Conference Website
We invite submissions concerning meaning in/of life as considered in the field of philosophy. Please send an abstract of no more than 500 words, prepared for blind review via Google forms.
No registration fee is required.
Deadline: April 15th, 2018.
Applicants will be notified of the result via email by the end of April.
Time for presentation: 30 minutes (including questions and answers).
Official language: English.
Potential topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
* Philosophical approaches to meaning in/of life
* Meaning of life and death
* Anti-natalism and nihilism
* Metaphysical, spiritual, and religious implications of meaning of/in life theories
* Meaning in/of life in applied ethics, bioethics, and environmental ethics
* Meaning in/of life in various philosophical traditions (Analytic, Continental, Asian, etc.)
Confirmed Speakers:
Thaddeus Metz, University of Johannesburg
David Benatar, University of Cape Town
Masahiro Morioka, Waseda University
A detailed program including a time table and venues will be announced in May, 2018.

7th Hamburg Summer School with Gideon Rosen

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The University of Hamburg is delighted to announce that the 2018 Philosophy Summer School will be taught by Prof. Gideon Rosen from Princeton on the topic of moral responsibility. 
The course will focus on foundational questions in the theory of moral responsibility and certain ‘hard cases’ that show the need for foundational inquiry. We are morally responsible for what we do insofar as we are liable to moral praise and blame and related responses. A foundational account will provide detailed analyses — real definitions — of the relevant notions of ‘praise,’ ‘blame’ and ‘liability’, an account of the basic conditions under which we are liable to these responses, and an account of why those conditions are as they are. (Philosophers argue about whether ‘free will’ is a condition of moral responsibility; much less is said about why this might be so.) The first part of the course will explore these questions directly. The second will bring abstract theory to bear on concrete cases. Possible topics include: responsibility and duress; responsibility and moral ignorance; the implications of situationist social psychology for the theory of responsibility, responsibility for negligence and responsibility for structural injustice.
The course will take place between July 23rd and July 27th at the University of Hamburg. For more information, please visit
We very much welcome external participants to the Summer School, though only a limited number of spaces are available. If you would like to participate, please send a registration email, appending (i) a brief CV, and (ii) a short letter indicating how the course would benefit your work, to sommerkurs – AT –
Registration is open until May 31st; we will notify applicants by June 7th. Should we receive an extremely high number of applications, we may close applications at an earlier date.
The registration fee will be 25€ to cover refreshments and snacks throughout the course. The fee will be payable at the beginning of the event.

Take note!

We are pleased to share our Call for Papers for our 12th Annual Conference!

The Lighthearted Philosophers Society (LPS) is an organization for philosophers who approach their work with a sense of humor. We strive to create a venue for professional philosophy that is welcoming, and engaging, and most importantly funny. Please join us in our merry ruminations!

Our conference attracts philosophers from all over the nation and around the world. We are interested in both the philosophy of humor and humorous philosophy from any field. We welcome witty papers from any area of philosophy, and we’d especially enjoy papers on philosophical questions about humor. This year’s conference will also feature a stand-up comedy night, so if you’re in attendance you’re welcome to join us onstage!

Submission Requirements:

All materials should be prepared for blind review; contact information, affiliation, whether you would like to volunteer as a heckler (see below), etc. should be included on a separate cover sheet. We will accept submissions in the following forms:

1) Full paper submissions: Please prepare papers with limited time for presentation in mind (2,500-3,000 words is preferable).

2) Panel proposal: Panel description should be 350-500 words, which should specify what each panelist will contribute.

3) Individual Short Performances: Submissions should include a 350-500 word rationale describing the theoretical contribution of the performance piece as well as a 350-500 word abstract describing the nature of the performance itself. Please include any audio-visual requests in the abstract.

4) Abstract submissions: Abstracts should be 350-500 words, and should be accompanied by a references/work cited page. Please note that we give preference to full papers.

Hecklers (commentators) will accompany each accepted submission. If you are interested in volunteering to comment and are not submitting a paper, please email the conference organizer with your areas of specialization, contact information, affiliation, and indicate you would like to volunteer as a heckler. Otherwise, if you would be interested in providing a commentary, please indicate this on your submission cover sheet.

Selected papers will be considered for the Joseph S. Ellin Memorial Essay Prize ($100)

Selected hecklers will be considered for the Richard C. Richards Almost Memorial Prize ($50)

Those selected will be notified by July 15th.

Please submit your papers electronically to the following email address: Questions can be directed to the email address above.


Philosophers’ Café


Having recently participated in a lively philosophers’ café I started thinking about the history of these informal gatherings which are aimed at a broad public for the discussion of social issues, moral problems, epistemology and the like. I suppose in some way they are a spinoff from Old Socrates who walked around Athens engaging citizens in philosophical discussions.

I have been involved since my SFU days when, with Dale Beyerstein, I participated in a few on the mainland. And then we had several over the years at VIU. [ Here, or here] In BC it looks like SFU is the mother of the cafés:

SFU’s Philosophers’ Café is a series of informal public discussions in the heart of our communities. Since 1998, this award-winning program has engaged the interests of scholars, seniors, students, philosophers, and non-philosophers through stimulating dialogue and the passionate exchange of ideas.

All cafés are free to attend. No registration is required.

A search on Google yields this: an article from “The Globe and Mail“, a link to SFU, and a piece in Wikipedia:

Café philosophique (“cafe-philo”) is a grassroots forum for philosophical discussion, founded by philosopher Marc Sautet in Paris, France, on December 13, 1992.

Here in Nanaimo we also have a long (fairly long) history of using these cafés to engage our community. Go here to learn more about current, future and past events.

And they are FUN.

More on disinformation

Miranda: “Oh brave new world that has such people in it”.  – Shakespeare, The Tempest 
 “They will grow up with what the psychologists used to call an ‘instinctive’ hatred of books and flowers. Reflexes unalterably conditioned. They’ll be safe from books and botany all their lives” Huxley, Brave New World 
 (1932) “Die breite Masse eines Volkes […] einer grossen Lüge leichter zum Opfer fällt als einer kleinen.  The broad mass of a nation […] will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.”  Adolf Hitler,  Mein Kampf  (1925

Professor Luciano Floridi discusses a “” in which disinformation abounds. Read the paper!