March 25-26, 2011
Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA 01075
All sessions in Gamble Auditorium
In recent years increasingly many professional philosophers are moving into the so-called “real world”, bringing theory into contact with problems and issues of ordinary life. On one hand, philosophers serve on ethics boards at hospitals, or at Fortune 500 businesses, where they grapple with concrete moral/professional issues. On another hand we see “guerilla philosophy” - philosophers engaging citizens with philosophical issues in surprising ways in public settings. There is a growing movement to view children as “natural philosophers” and to teach philosophy - not just ethics, but metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, and other branches of philosophy - in elementary schools; and in the summer there is college-level philosophy camp. Philosophers engage in confronting important moral issues, racism for example, through public school curricula.
Engaging Philosophy brings together philosophers, other academics, professionals from other fields, students, and other interested participants, to showcase and explore philosophy's emerging engagement with "ordinary life." Some participants are philosophers who have worked “in the trenches,” engaging philosophy outside of academic circles. Some are philosophers who will reflect on the "real world" significance of academic work. Some are students who have launched or participated in efforts to bring philosophy into community settings. Many will be there just to learn from the collaboration. We hope all will share the sense of excitement as philosophy increasingly permeates and informs the issues that face us in our lives. This conference is one of a series of events this year to celebrate the inauguration of President Lynn Pasquerella.