What is Philosophy? - Call for Papers for 8th Annual SWIP-I Conference


Call For Papers

SWIP Ireland 2020 Annual Conference

Maynooth University, 15th-17th May 2020

“What is Philosophy?”


What is philosophy? What qualifies one as a philosopher? What counts as doing philosophy? Who decides what philosophy is? Who polices its boundaries? Have perceptions of philosophy changed in recent years? Why do philosophy? What is the role of the philosopher? What is its proper or intended audience? Is it merely a theoretical consideration of practice, distinct from practice, or is it very much science itself? And what are philosophy’s own blind-spots?

In times of political, social, cultural, environmental, and existential uncertainty, it is important to reflect on philosophy’s role in helping us to address the challenges we face. In so doing, it is equally important to reflect on its legacies, its genesis and its ‘underside’. There is a clear need for the analytic tools and the critical and creative thought philosophy cultivates. But questions about how philosophy can contribute to current debates in politics, arts, science, the environment, and education, and how might it be understood as part of the ‘public humanities’ broadly construed remain unanswered.

SWIP-Ireland’s Eighth Annual Conference seeks to probe the boundaries between philosophy and a range of other disciplines, practices, perspective and themes. It aims to raise questions about the proper relationship between philosophy and the social and natural sciences and to examine how diverse philosophical concepts shape and orient practices, institutions, values and priorities. Our hope is to open up a broad conversation about philosophy itself, its aims, its scope, its limits, its blind-spots, its legacies, and its relationships with other fields of scholarship and practice. This conference will bring philosophers together in dialogue with researchers and practitioners in other fields in an attempt to address these urgent questions about what philosophy is and what it should be.


Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Denise Ferreira da Silva (University of British Columbia)

Iris van der Tuin (University of Utrecht)

Miriam Solomon (Temple University)

Maria Baghramian (University College Dublin)

We welcome proposals from a broad range of disciplines, including both the analytic and continental traditions in philosophy, critical theory, history of philosophy, cultural studies, literary studies, and other relevant disciplines. Inter- and cross- disciplinary perspectives are also strongly encouraged as well as proposals for co-presentations and panels. Possible topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Philosophy and literature
  • Philosophy and art
  • Philosophy and politics
  • Philosophy and biology
  • Philosophy and gender
  • Philosophy and cultural domination
  • Philosophy and political engagement
  • Philosophy and colonialism
  • Philosophy and race
  • Metaphilosophy
  • Non-western perspectives on philosophy
  • The philosophical life
  • The role of the philosopher
  • Philosophy, love, and knowledge

Deadline: January 10th 2020

Abstracts (max 500 words) should be prepared for blind review and submitted in a Word document (together with a separate cover sheet, which includes the author’s name and contact details) and emailed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Eligible early career researchers are also invited to submit full papers (4,000 max) in order to be considered for The Maria Baghramian Prize for excellence in philosophical research. In order to be eligible for the award, presenters must (1) deliver their own paper at the SWIP-Ireland conference, (2) identify as a woman, and (3) be either a postgraduate student in philosophy or be within 2 years of completion of their PhD and not yet hold a permanent academic post.