CFP: Animalia, University of Alberta, May 8-9, 2020 (deadline: Jan. 5, 2020)

University of Alberta Philosophy Graduate and Postgraduate Conference May 8-9, 2020 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

We invite graduate students and postgraduates to submit papers to this year’s philosophy graduate and postgraduate conference taking place on May 8-9, 2020 at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

This year we will analyze, discuss and criticize the relationships, similarities and differences between humans and non-human animals from historical, scientific, phenomenological and ethical perspectives, among others. Philosophy has historically posited: Animals are property to be used, cannot speak or think, act on impulse and desire alone, live solely in the present, and are unaware of their mortality; humans are free, think and speak with one another, gather to form cities and interact according to ethical principles, can remember and anticipate, and are aware of their mortality. But philosophy has also raised commonalities: We all co-exist as living beings, are embodied, sense, and act and suffer and emote.

We aim to criticize these kinds of claims, to understand how we approach and value the concepts of humanity and animality, and to recognize the practical consequences of such thinking. To accomplish this, we will ask questions such as: Is any metaphysical distinction between humans and animals tenable or justifiable? If so, in what terms? If not, is a pragmatic distinction nevertheless required for the sake of a sustainable, lawful and ethical co-existence? What do we mean by rationality, consciousness and sentience, and to what extent are these cogent grounds for determining moral patiency? Is it right, and does it even make sense, to speak about animals in their generality rather than in their specificity as, say, dolphins or bees, or as wild or domesticated? What is a living body? What role does vegetative life play, peripherally, in our understanding of humanity and animality?

To ensure a rewarding discussion, we strongly encourage submissions from all areas of philosophy and related disciplines. We especially encourage submissions from groups underrepresented in the profession.

Keynote Presentations:

“[Title TBA]”
Dr. David Morris
Department of Philosophy, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

“[Title TBA]”
Dr. Ingo Brigandt
Department of Philosophy, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Submission Guidelines: Submissions are to be received no later than January 5th, 2020. Papers should not exceed 3000 words. They should be prepared for anonymous review, include a bibliography, and be attached as a PDF to In a separate PDF, please include your name, academic affiliation, e-mail address, paper title, and an abstract of no more than 150 words.

For more information, please contact us at Exceptionally, accommodations may be available to presenters at the conference. 

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