Category Archives: Friday Philosophy Forum

2014 Annual Graduate Philosophy Conference: CFP


Keynote Speaker: Julia Ireland, Whitman College

Text Seminar: John Lysaker, Emory University

Emory University, March 21-22, 2014

The term ‘Philosophy’ originally means love of wisdom. This definition hinges upon a love which takes a particular form—one must love wisdom as one would love a friend. Plato wrote that Socrates erotically loved philosophy. This meant that Socrates lacked the capacity to be a friend to wisdom but still desired this capacity above all else—a desire which oriented his entire philosophical practice. Aristotle took up the question of friend- ship as a virtue central to and indicative of living the good life, claiming that no one would choose to live an otherwise complete life without friends. Montaigne and Emerson also seriously consider philosophies of friendship in their essays and in the 20th century this topic emerges with renewed vigor. Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, and Jacques Derrida follow paths opened by Nietzsche in contributing to ongoing discussions of the limits and possibility of friendship. Meanwhile, Carl Schmitt, Giorgio Agamben, and Hannah Arendt locate friendship at the center of their political theories and concerns.

This conference will explore the question of friendship across the history of philosophy
and in relation to contemporary ethical and political concerns. Some questions this conference may address include — What is the significance of philia in the formulation of the term ‘philosophy’? How and why should one distinguish the friend from the lover? How is being a friend different from being an acquaintance or an enemy? Who can be your friend and who can you befriend? What is at stake in the capacity (or incapacity) to be a friend to yourself? What role can friendship play in developing and understanding subjectivity and inter-subjectivity? Is friendship merely a humanist concern? How does friendship function at the level of the political? Can friendship play a particular role in understanding affects? Can developing and exploring conceptions of friendship contribute to ongoing discussions in feminist, queer, race, and disability theories?

Please submit completed papers of 3,500 words or less prepared for blind review to Katherine Davies at ksdavie [at] emory [dot] edu.

Submission Deadline: February 15, 2014