Philosophy Without Borders: What It Is, & Why It Matters — Four Short Talks.

(Complete Audio Recording of the Philosophy Without Borders Panel Session at the Public Philosophy Network 2018 Conference, 8–10 February 2018)

By Hugh Reginald

‘Understanding Impact’

The Public Philosophy Network announces our fourth conference on Advancing Public Philosophy.

Our 2018 conference theme is Understanding Impact: What practices improve the uptake of philosophy, both across the disciplines, and throughout society?

This question will be pursued through workshops and papers, topical investigations (e.g., climate change) and case studies. Moreover, the gathering will seek interdisciplinary engagement with philosophers, STEM researchers, administrators, policy professionals, and journalists.

We invited our members to propose a wide range of topics related to understanding and advancing public philosophy, including the following:

-Questions of how to define, evaluate, and measure the impact of public philosophy;
-Philosophical work on substantive policy issues (e.g., environment, LGBTQ, health, housing, economics, and many more);
-Accounts of philosophical work with other disciplines (e.g., STEM), as well as engagement with various non-academic publics — and of the impacts of such work;
-Best practices in public philosophy;
-Reflection on pathways to greater impact: How can philosophers increase the impact of their work? And the skills needed to engage in public philosophy;
-Questions surrounding the responsibilities and loyalties of the public philosopher;
-Responses to the accountability or audit culture and neoliberal trends in the academy;
-The institutional dimensions of public philosophy (for example, tenure, funding, pedagogy, the structure of academic units and programs, etc.);
-Reflections on how philosophy itself is transformed by turning outward: How does public engagement inform philosophical concepts and understanding of audience, credibility, expertise, standards of rigor or excellence; and
-Accounts of the relation between public and normal (‘disciplinary’) philosophy.

Toward the goal of making our meeting more participatory and interdisciplinary in nature, plenaries and sessions will include (in addition to PPN’s traditional approaches):

-Presentations by scientists, engineers, and policy-makers on how philosophers can better help with the philosophical aspects of their work;
-A discussion with university administrators on the changing place of philosophy within the university, and the increase of support for public philosophy; and
-A plenary on the challenges of doing philosophy in the public sphere.

Philosophy Without Borders: What It Is, & Why It Matters.

Damián Bravo Zamora (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana , Mexico): “PWB, Immigration, and Open Borders”

Andrew Chapman (Univ. of Colorado at Boulder, USA): “PWB as a Collective Existential Project”

Michelle Maiese (Emmanuel College, USA): “PWB, Professional Academic Philosophy, and the Larger World”

Mary Marcous (Florida State Univ., USA): “PWB as a Critical Meta-Reflection on the Nature and Aims of Public Philosophy”



Philosophy Without Borders, aka PWB, is a small cosmopolitan community of people, widely distributed in space and across time-zones, connected by the internet, who are pursuing philosophy together as a full-time, lifetime calling.

PWB’s two basic aims are:

  • to enable and support the pursuit of philosophy, worldwide, and
  • to create and share original works of philosophy freely available to anyone, anywhere.

Hugh Reginald, Director, The Philosophy Without Borders Project

Please consider becoming a patron of PWB on Patreon! We’re improvident, but cheerful.

Formerly Captain Nemo. A not-so-very-angry, but still unemployed, full-time philosopher-nobody.

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