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  • Writer's pictureDon Landes

Call for Papers

Toward a Phenomenological Ethics

September 21-22, 2018 | Université Laval, Quebec City

From the outside, one might indeed be forgiven for thinking that ethics remains at or beyond the limits of phenomenology. Phenomenology focuses on epistemological or metaphysical themes that appear outside the scope of traditional ethical concerns. Moreover, brandishing a rigorously descriptive methodology, phenomenological research would seem to be an unlikely candidate for making a significant contribution to normative ethics. And when phenomenologists or continental philosophers more generally do turn their attention to ethical concepts, the results are often difficult to bring into dialogue with more mainstream ethical discourses.

Viewed from the inside, however, phenomenology appears to the initiated reader to be shot through with ethical questions and concerns – and this is hardly limited to the more explicit ethical developments in Husserl, Scheler, Levinas, Sartre, or Beauvoir. Phenomenological investigations and phenomenology-inspired continental philosophy propose reinterpretations of classical notions or the invention of new concepts that have important consequences for ethical reflection and that regularly communicate a normative urgency, if not an explicit ethical argument.

The Laboratoire de philosophie continentale at Université Laval proposes to provide the space to discuss and further the possibility of a phenomenological ethics. We thus invite you to participate in this discussion around the theme of a properly phenomenological ethics, which aims to continue the onsite conversation that has begun in the context of the graduate seminar “Phénoménologie et éthique: la corporéité et la temporalité de la vertu” (Prof. Landes, Winter 2018, Université Laval).

Just as an example, our seminar has read classical texts alongside contemporary neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics, with a particular focus on the following themes: habit, temporality, the good life (in a bad life), the role of external supports or luck in eudaimonia, the weight of oppression on the cultivation of character, the internal experience of character itself as a temporal becoming, the importance of emotions and their relation to reason, and the perceptual access to value in lived experience. Contributors are encouraged to propose themes from beyond this list as well, such as (but not limited to): phenomenological critiques of traditional ethics, embodiment and gender in ethics, perception and oppression, phenomenological considerations on the relation between ethics and politics, critiques of subjectivity in and beyond the phenomenological tradition, intersubjectivity and the place of relations in human experience.

Keynote Speakers:

· Laurent Perreau, Membre du Laboratoire des Logiques de l’agir (EA 2274), Membre associé des Archives Husserl de Paris (UMR 8547), Professeur des Universités – Philosophie contemporaine à Université de Franche-Comté.

· Anthony Steinbock, Director of the Phenomenology Research Center, Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University Carbondale).

· Gail Weiss, Executive co-director of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, Colombian College Dean’s Research Chair and Professor of Philosophy at The George Washington University.

How to participate: Please submit a proposal to no later than JULY 1st 2018. Your proposal should consist in a provisional title, an abstract (maximum 500 words), and 5 keywords that characterize your planned contribution. Proposals may be submitted in French or in English. Abstracts will be blind reviewed by our programming committee. Please be sure that your abstract does not include identifying information or names. Participants will be allotted 30 minutes (followed by a question period) for their presentations. Presentations may be in either French or English.

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