Saturday, January 21, 2017

Prometheus Trust Conference: “Deep Philosophy, Deep Ecology”

PROMETHEUS TRUST TWELFTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE 

TO BE HELD ON 7-9 JULY 2017

AT PURLEY CHASE CENTRE, MANCETTER, WARWICKSHIRE CV9 2RQ

“Deep Philosophy, Deep Ecology”
Philosophy in the west – especially in its English-speaking part – has been considered an isolated and private venture, with little influence upon the way in which societies conduct themselves: like Earth itself in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, its description hovers between “harmless” and “mostly harmless”.  But is this really the case?  Can we trace today’s ecological crisis to the philosophy (or philosophies) adopted consciously or unconsciously in recent centuries?  Perhaps the errors embedded within it are now revealed as very far from harmless – in fact a flawed philosophy may be the most toxic thing known to humankind.

Deep ecology – the view that solutions to the ecological crisis are to be found in a radical revision of humankind’s understanding of itself, the world in which it lives, and their mutual relation – has much to be commended.  Deep ecologists argue that superficial changes in patterns of consumption while we retain an underlying view that we are set apart as the active and rational rulers and consumers of an irrational and passive world of materiality will not solve our ecological crisis.

But if we are to reject an inadequate philosophical worldview, how are we to find a better and more truthful one?  Can we find a philosophy from which a truly wide-ranging justice can emerge?  Perhaps we must wipe the philosophical slate clean and start again from the very beginning, or perhaps we may find in neglected philosophies from our past the key to the righting of relations between ourselves and the rest of reality.  This is a challenge we cannot ignore without the gravest consequences to ourselves and our fellow companions on Earth.  But although the task is great, the rewards of success are also great: it may be that a philosophy which addresses the needs of deep ecology will also contribute to the solution of other more purely human problems which now press upon us.

This notice represents a call for papers and presentations on this theme from all those interested in the subject, from whatever background or discipline – academic and non-academic, specialist and non-specialist.

Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and should be sent to conference@prometheustrust.co.uk at the latest by Friday, 7 April 2017.  Acceptance of these will be confirmed as quickly as possible.  

Papers should be around 2500-3000 words or 20 minutes’ presentation (we usually allow a further 15-20 minutes for a question and answer session after each presentation).

Bookings should be received by us not later than Saturday, 29 April 2017.

The Trustees are delighted to announce that the Thomas Taylor Lecture will be given by Professor Kevin Corrigan.  The keynote speaker is yet to be arranged.

The formal conference begins with a keynote address on the Friday evening (the 7th) but we hope to arrange a "round table" day on the Friday for those able to attend - and overnight accommodation will be available on the Thursday 6th.  A round table day will, we hope, enable those who would like to make a contribution to the general discussion to do so without going through the process of producing a formal paper.  Do write and tell us if this is of interest to you. 

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