Duquesne University Graduate Conference

2013 February 23 Pittsburgh, PA (USA)

7th Annual Duquesne University Graduate Conference in Philosophy

Philosophy and Nature

February 23, 2013

Keynote Speaker:
Adrian Johnston, University of New Mexico & Emory Psychoanalytic Institute

The relation between nomos and physis has occupied a central place in the history of philosophy,
from Aristotelian Physics to contemporary analytic debates on the philosophy of mind.  Moreover,
nature, as both an object of knowledge and a public resource, has taken on increasingly urgent
social and political import: the distribution of resources and the impact of climate change have
become central issues in public policy; and, as in the cases of race, sexual difference, and sexual
orientation, legal and social status is often determined in accordance with an appeal to their
supposedly biological bases, or, that is, to a commonplace conception of “the natural.”  Thus the
very identity of the human itself is intimately connected to the ways in which nature operates either
on or for us.  This conference invites submissions from all areas of philosophy that are concerned
to investigate the ontological, ethical, political, and epistemological status of nature. 

To help facilitate this discussion, possible topics include, but are not limited to: nomos & physis in
Ancient philosophy; the relation between God & nature; human freedom & natural determinism;
consciousness & cognitive science; the social construction of nature; chaos & vitalism; the
necessity or impossibility of causation; the constitutive relationship between humans and nature
(realist, idealist, materialist, and/or hybrid positions); phenomenology of/and nature; social
constructivist vs. essentialist figurations of identity; politics & the state of nature; the ethical status
of animals & the environment; and the biological or social origins of race, sexual difference, and/or
sexual orientation.

Submissions: Please prepare submissions for blind review and send to by Saturday, December 1, 2012.  Submissions should not
exceed 3000 words.  Cover sheets should include name, submission title, email address, and
institutional affiliation. 

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