Public Philosophy Network

Encouraging and Supporting Publicly Engaged Philosophical Research and Practices

Past Program: 2013 PPN Advancing Public Philosophy Conference

Below you will find a preliminary draft of the conference program and the FINAL program here. 

Don't miss the added feature--a Thursday night reception with appetizers and a cash bar following the plenary session, 9-11 p.m. in foyer outside of ballroom.


Please note that workshop discussants who applied prior to the deadline are listed in the final program as discussants; others who applied in recent weeks are on the workshop facilitators' lists but not on the program.  Note that NO workshop participants are expected to make formal presentations; the workshops are participatory in nature.


You may view or download a pdf version of the final printed program here.  If you have any corrections to the final program, please e-mail them to with the subject header CORRECT and we will post those changes daily.




Earlier Draft Version (please click here for the final printed version.)



MARCH 14-16 2013

Emory University, Atlanta GA


Conference at a glance:


Thursday night 7-9 p.m. plenary

Thursday night 9-11, reception

Friday morning 9:00- 12:00 workshops
Friday 12:00-1:30 lunch and impromptu table sessions
Friday 1:30-3:00 organized panels and paper sessions
Friday 3:15-4:45 organized panels and paper sessions
Friday 5:00-6:30 business meeting, Salons 1 and 2, Ballroom

Saturday morning 9:00-12:00 workshops
Saturday 12:00-1:30 lunch
Saturday 1:30-3:00 plenary session for reflecting on public philosophy
Saturday 3:15-4:45 organized panels and papers sessions
Saturday 5:30-8:00 cash bar and reception

Quick List of Sessions by Day

THURSDAY NIGHT, 7-9 PM. OPENING PLENARY SESSION:  "Opening Doors, Opening Windows:  Advancing Publicly Engaged Philosophy"


  1. Taking Philosophy into the Field of Science and Technology Policy: Toward a Paradigm for Publicly Engaged Philosophy.
  2. Philosophy Behind Prison Walls.
  3. Creating Public-Public Partnerships: Utilizing Universities
    for Participatory Budgeting
  4. Streets, Surfaces, and Sounds.
  5. Race, the City, and the Challenge of Praxis.
  6. Public Health Ethics:  how academic ethicists and philosophers can collaborate with health officials to address public health challenges
  7. Using Non-Cooperative, Experiential Games to Teach Sustainability Ethics.
  8. Scientific Advisory Committees.

PANELS FRIDAY 1:30-3:00 (OS for Organized Session, PP for Paper Panel)

 1.  Public Philosophy: Disciplinary Constraints and Opportunities (PP)

 2.From Soma to Society: A Sample Spectrum of Philosophical Practice (OS)

3. Food, Health, and Justice (PP)

4. Socially Relevant Philosophy of Science (SRPOS): Scientific knowledge mobilization across communities (OS)

5. Philosophical Outreach in Schools (PP)

6. Philosophy for Working Professionals: One Approach to Teaching Ethics in Practice (OS)

7.  Philosophical issues in Humanitarian Aid Work:  Accountability and Ideology

PANELS FRIDAY 3:15 – 4:45 (OS for Organized Session, PP for Paper Panel)

  1. Rhetoric and Dialogue in Public Philosophy (PP)
  2. Speech and Necessity: Conceptualizing Civil Resistance and Institutional Response  (OS)
  3. Environmental and Agricultural Ethics (PP)
  4. Philosophical Aspects of Energy and Environmental Policy (PP)
  5. Public Deliberation and Participation (PP)
  6. Cultivating Citizenship: How to Implement Civic Engagement Projects in your Philosophy Classes (OS)
  7. Where shall we go in outer space, and why? (OS)



  1. Philosophy of/as Interdisciplinarity Network (PIN)
  2. Challenging the Culture of Sexual Violence: Moral Literacy and Sexual Empowerment as Tools of Transformation
  3. Engaged Philosophy and Just University-Community Partnerships
  4. Hip-Hop as Public Philosophy
  5. Sagacity and Commerce
  6. Practical Epistemology and Sustainable Inquiry
  7. Public Philosophy Journal: Performing Philosophy as Publication
  8. Equity and Climate Change: Opportunities for Research, Teaching, and Advocacy

PANELS SATURDAY 3:15 – 4:45 (OS for Organized Session, PP for Paper Panel)


  1. Democracy, Diversity and Public Life (PP)
  2. Philosophical Practice in Science and Technology (PP)
  3. Adaptation, Institutions, and Land Management Policy: Some Aspects of Moral Responsibility in the Anthropocene (OS)
  4. Public Philosophy and Philosophical Outreach (PP)
  5. "Who asked you?" Perspectives on "Engaging the Public Through Philosophy" (OS)


Plenary Session:   “Opening Doors and Opening Windows:  How to Advance Public Philosophy” 

This session aims at the participation of all conference registrants as we engage in a discussion about how to best “open the doors” of philosophy to insure that those who have been marginalized from the discipline are included.  Many have been marginalized who do publicly engaged work on the supposed grounds that it is somehow not philosophy.  But when we open the doors, we also open windows, as the newcomers start pointing to issues that have been previously ignored.  Both are necessary if we are to advance publicly engaged scholarship generally and publicly engaged philosophy in particular. 

Facilitator:  Sharon M. Meagher, Co-Director, Public Philosophy Network; University of Scranton

Catalyst discussants:  Claire Snyder Hall, Kettering Foundation; Anita L. Allen, University of Pennsylvania; Ronald Sundstrom, University of San Francisco; Gertrude Gonzalez de Allen, Spelman College; Naomi Scheman, University of Minnesota.

Note:  this plenary session will use a fishbowl discussion format; all attending will have opportunities to participate.


1.       Taking Philosophy into the Field of Science and Technology Policy: Toward a Paradigm for Publicly Engaged Philosophy .

Adam Briggle, U. North Texas
J. Britt Holbrook, U. North Texas
Robert Frodeman, U. North Texas
Kelli Barr, U. North Texas

The goal of this workshop is to sketch and discuss “field philosophy” as a novel and viable transdisciplinary paradigm for philosophical research and graduate education. This workshop will feature three elements: (1) The presenters will discuss their case studies in field philosophy, especially with peer review practices at science funding agencies and the politics of shale gas development in Denton, TX. (2) The presenters will outline four paradigmatic questions and ask the workshop participants to add to the list: (i) What is field philosophy? (How is it different from other forms of philosophy?) (ii) What do field philosophers do? (What skills do they bring to various “fields” and what roles can and should they play?) (iii) How is their work evaluated? (What research metrics can be devised and how can they be implemented in hiring, tenure, and promotion decisions?) (iv) How are field philosophers trained? (What pedagogical and curricular approaches might work for a new generation of field philosophers?) (3) The presenters will lead a structured discussion that seeks to answer (or clarify/assess, etc.) these questions. They will also ask participants to share their own experiences in or hopes for conducting field work.

2.  Philosophy Behind Prison Walls, Pedagogy, Praxis, and Infrastructure.

Brady Heiner, California State University, Fullerton
John D. Macready, University of Dallas
Marianne Patinelli-Dubay , SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

A growing contingent of philosophers across the U.S. is practicing philosophy behind prison walls: conducting reading groups or courses with imprisoned students or jointly with both imprisoned and college/university students. Yet there is currently no democratized space where reflection on this praxis can take place, where those who philosophically engage (or wish to philosophically engage) with imprisoned communities can mutually learn from and support one another. This workshop aims to cultivate a formal network through which mentors and peers engaged in philosophical work with imprisoned communities can communicate and meet to exchange ideas, experiences, strategize about pedagogy, outreach, institutional coordination, and infrastructure, as well as generate and disseminate individual and collaborative research related to this work.

3. Creating Public-Public Partnerships: Utilizing Universities for Participatory Budgeting  

Michael Menser, Brooklyn College
Kwabena Edusei, Brooklyn College

Across the US and the world, budget crises have called into question dominant models of decision-making in which elected officials supposedly represent the interests of their constituents and work with bureaucratic experts to maximize the public good.  Fortunately, throughout the world over 2000 cities have experimented with another budgetary model that has decreased corruption, promoted inclusion and fairness, and more creatively contribute to addressing public needs. This process is called "participatory budgeting."   Last year, we assisted four NYC Council Members in creating a PB process in which they turned over 5 million dollars to the residents of their districts and empowered them to submit proposals AND choose which ones to fund within a norm bound participatory process.  In this session we will draw upon our experience in setting up the NYC process and discuss the role that universities did and could play in promoting this program which not only enables people to have real decisive power in the political process but also creates potentially long term community-university partnerships.

4. Streets, Surfaces, and Sounds

Gray Kochhar-Lindgren, Univeristy of Washington Bothell

In this workshop, participants will work together to articulate—verbally and materially—relationships between philosophy, art, and the city organized around the experience of how we thinkingly feel the city and how we can best creatively (co)present what we discover. The first stage will focus on introductory activities; thinking about philosophy’s genres; and making a quick run through Henri Lefebvre’s “Seen from the Window” as one form of doing philosophy. The second stage will lead us outside, in small groups, to create a series of observations about streets, surfaces, sounds, and feel. In the third stage, we will regather to create micro-projects, gesture toward other texts, and think about how art and philosophy co-inhabit one another in the experience of the city.

5. Race, the City, and the Challenge of Praxis

Ron Sundstrom, University of San Francisco
Frank McMillan, Organizer, VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community

This workshop will be on approaches to applied or engaged philosophy on racial or ethnic disparity or segregation as they apply to life in or the structure of American cities. These divisions and problems are usually thought of in terms of distributive injustice or their negative effects on the exercise of democracy or democratic life in America. The point of our discussion will be (1) to consider how race and the city is a subject of public philosophy, (2) to deepen understanding of the harms of ethnic and racial injustice in American cities, and (3) to explore alternatives analyses and responses that are experimental, engaged, and informed by social science and the lives and perspectives of those affected by these disparities and divisions. Participants will share information
about their projects, discuss methods, approaches, and the challenges of praxis, and hear and learn from practitioners who have experience working in this area.

6. Public Health Ethics:  how academic ethicists and philosophers can collaborate with health officials to address public health challenges.  

Leonard Ortmann, Public Health Ethicist, Public Health Ethics Unit, Office of Science Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Drue Barrett, PhD, Lead, Public Health Ethics Unit, Office of Science Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Our central concern is how academic ethicists and philosophers can optimally collaborate with practitioners in the field of public health. The workshop will first provide an overview of public health ethics and contrast its community perspective with the largely individual perspective of clinical ethics and bioethics. It will then examine CDC’s Public Health Ethics Unit’s efforts to support local health officials in making practical decisions in real time to address ethical challenges in the practice of public health. These challenges include allocating scarce resources while achieving fairness and efficiency, respecting individual rights while safeguarding the public’s health, protecting underserved and marginalized communities while engaging and sharing information in a transparent manner, and ensuring data confidentiality and individual privacy while conducting surveillance. In addressing these challenges, officials regularly have to balance competing ethical and professional obligations as well as the values and interests of diverse stakeholders. The workshop will combine lecture, group discussion, small group work, and use public health ethics cases developed in consultation with public health directors and that practitioners are likely to confront. The workshop will examine lessons learned in CDC’s efforts to develop cases that practitioners find useful. These include understanding how scientific-minded health professionals approach decisions, emphasizing practical decision making in ethical analysis, creatively prioritizing and combining values, recognizing the importance of context, and establishing collaborations between professional and academic partners.

7. Using Non-Cooperative, Experiential Games to Teach Sustainability Ethics

Jathan Sadowski, Arizona State University

Sustainability ethics is constituted by wicked problems that are much different than “paradigm moral problems.” To tackle these issues, students, in particular those in science and engineering disciplines, must learn a different set of ethical skills than is ordinarily required by professional ethics. Learning these skills presents several pedagogical challenges to traditional programs of ethics education that emphasize abstraction and reflection at the expense of experimentation and experience. This workshop will walk participants through a novel pedagogy of sustainability ethics that is based on four non-cooperative, game-theoretic ethics games, which cause students to confront two salient questions: “What are my obligations to others?” and “What am I willing to risk in my own well-being to meet those obligations?” Participants will have the opportunity to experience two of the four games (one that simulates the problem of externalities and one that simulates the Tragedy of the Commons). In comparison to professional ethics education, the game-based pedagogy moves the learning experience from: passive to active, apathetic to emotionally invested, narratively closed to experimentally open, and from predictable to surprising.

8. Scientific Advisory Committees, Controversial Issues and the Role of Philosophy

Paul Thompson, Michigan State University
Bryan Norton, Georgia Tech University

Janice C. Swanson, Michigan State University
Mr. Gene Gregory, former President and CEO of the United Egg Producers
Kyle Powys Whyte, Michigan State University

Scientists from diverse fields are often called upon to provide advice to government and industry on the response that should be taken when issues of public controversy arise. There are almost always issues of fact on which these issues turn, and scientists have expertise that is crucial to taking action. However, the science on which their expertise is based may be incomplete, and important areas of uncertainty may remain. What is more, the controversy surrounding these issues may arise from conflicting value commitments or perspectives that scientists are
not particularly well equipped to addressed. Can the inclusion of philosophers on these committees be helpful? How should philosophers who find themselves asked to participate think about their role?



1.       Public Philosophy: Disciplinary Constraints and Opportunities (PP)

“De-Disciplining Philosophy,” Robert Frodeman, University of North Texas

“Public Philosophy and Tenure/Promotion: Rethinking Teaching, Scholarship and Service,” Christopher Meyers, CSU Bakerfield

“Applied Philosophy and the Task of Thinking: Misericordia University’s Applied Philosophy Project,” Mark Painter, Misericordia University

“The Interviewing Philosopher, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Qualitative Research,” Catherine A. Womack, Bridgewater State University

2.       From Soma to Society: A Sample Spectrum of Philosophical Practice (OS)

“Talking to Neurons: How Understanding Synapses Helps Memory-Work,” Kate Mehuron, Eastern Michigan University

“Somaesthetics: Possibilities for Philosophical Practice,” Andrew Fitz-Gibbon, SUNY Cortland

“Philosophical Counseling: Therapy, Education, Activism,” Kathryn Russell, SUNY Cortland

“Philosophical Practice as a Remedy for Culturally-Induced Illnesses,” Lou Marinoff, The City College of New York

3.       Food, Health, and Justice (PP)

 “The Contingent Justificatory Status of the ‘Bloomberg Ban’,” Maura Priest, University of California, Irvine

“Of Famines and Food Deserts: Resources, Capabilities, and Democratic Failure,” Andrew F. Smith, Drexel University

“Good Health and Its Discontents: Critically Examining Public Health Policy,” Talia Welsh, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

“A Claim to Conscience: Hegel on Privacy and Publicity” Victoria Burke, University of Guelph

 4.       Socially Relevant Philosophy of Science (SRPOS): Scientific knowledge mobilization across communities (OS)


 “Philosophers as Interactional Experts,” Kathryn Plaisance, University of Waterloo

“Evolutionary psychologists and human mating behavior,” Carla Fehr, University of Waterloo

“Cross Boundary Environmental Issues and Indigenous People,” Kyle Whyte, Michigan State University’

 5.        Philosophical Outreach in Schools (PP)


“Civic Engagement in Local Grade Schools,” Mark Balawender, Michigan State University

“Images of Philosophy Outreach: From Memphis to Chapel Hill,” Michael D. Burroughs, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

”Ethics Bowls and Outreach: Pitfalls and Best Practices,” Joel MacClellan, Washington State University, Jeff Cervantes, University of Tennessee, Jason Fishel, University of Tennessee

6.       Philosophy for Working Professionals: One Approach to Teaching Ethics in Practice (OS)

"Why Development Needs Ethics," Anna Malivis, Michigan State University

"What Students Have, What They Need: One Attempt at Rethinking Content for Nontraditional Students." Ian Werkheiser, Michigan State University

"Taking Philosophy Online: Opportunities and Challanges of Online Courses," Samantha Noll, Michigan State University

"Challenges of cross-cultural virtual learning: teaching philosophy online to an international audience," Monica List, Michigan State University

"Between Education and Disclosure: Challenges for Teaching Social and Political Philosophy in an Online Environment" Mladjo Ivanovic, Michigan State University


7.  Philosophical issues in Humanitarian Aid Work:  Accountability and Ideology

Geoff Pfeifer, Ph.D., Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Chioke I'Anson, University of South Florida

NGOs, Humanitarian Aid, the Problems of Ideology and Accountability,
and the (Possible) Promise of Failure.

So You Want to Help? Conceptualizing and Reconceptualizing
Humanitarian Aid and Development Work.


  1. Rhetoric and Dialogue in Public Philosophy (PP)

“Philosophical Dialogue and Rhetoric,” M. Altorf, St. Mary’s University College, London

“Rhetoric, Parrhesia, and Critical Ethology: Fashioning the Future of Public Philosophy,” Timothy Cuffman, Stony Brook University

“The philosopher as gadfly: stimulating dialogue in science and technology,” Y. J. Erden, St. Mary’s University College, London

“Philosophy in Digital Dialogue,” Christopher Long, Pennsylvania State University

2. Speech and Necessity: Conceptualizing Civil Resistance and Institutional Response  (OS)

Linda Billings, George Washington University

Beth Rosdatter, Indiana University Southeast

Clark Wolf, Iowa State University

Anabel Dwyer, Michigan attorney

Does blocking the sidewalk and limiting access to a building count as speech? Should a protester's intentions count in arrest or sentencing? Should it matter what is going on inside the blocked building? A philosopher, an activist and a lawyer make sense of the tangle of moral and legal issues surrounding the legal defense of civil resistance. Clark Wolf,  Iowa State University, Director of Bioethics and Professor of Philosophy, Beth Rosdatter, Indiana University Southeast,  activist with several attempts at bringing a "necessity defense" to court, and Anabel Dwyer, a Michigan attorney who has defended civil resisters, and writes and teaches on human rights law.

3. Environmental and Agricultural Ethics (PP)

“Restoration as Moral Repair: Environmental Trustworthiness in Practice among Citizens, Students, and Technicians,” Ben Almassi, College of Lake County

“Care Ethics, Participatory Virtues and Agroecological Farmer Education,” Lissy Goralnik, Laurie Thorp, and Matt Ferkany, Michigan State University

“Eating Animals and Ecological Crisis: The Hermeneutics of Revaluing Omnivorism,” Matthew C. Halteman, Calvin College

“What would Socrates eat? Philosophy, Science and Food Choices,” Nathan Nobis, Morehouse College



 4. Philosophical Aspects of Energy and Environmental Policy (PP)

“Working with the Current: Environmental Values, Science, and Policy in Academia,” Caroline Appleton, University of Colorado-Boulder

“A Philosophical Look at Hydrofracking and Social Movements in New York,” Kathryn Russell, SUNY Cortland

“Promoting Transparency: Justifying Climate Change Policy in the Public Realm,” Kenneth Shockley, University at Buffalo-SUNY

“Urban Planning and Renewable Energy,” Harold P. Sjursen, New York University – Polytechnic Institute

5. Public Deliberation and Participation (PP)

“Organized Dialogue as an Exercise of Practical Philosophy: the Example of the Debate on a New Statement of Principles of Germany’s Liberal Party” Christopher Gohl, Global Ethics Institute, Tübingen, Germany

“AGORA-net: Web-based argument visualization as a social media tool” Michael Hoffmann, Georgia Institute of Philosophy  

“The Health Canada Decision-Making Framework and the Moral Philosophy of Bernard Gert:  A Public Ethics Analysis” Bruce Wozny

6. Cultivating Citizenship: How to Implement Civic Engagement Projects in your Philosophy Classes (OS)

"Overview of Civic Engagement Projects"Monica Janzen, Hennepin Technical College
"The Goals and Theory of Civic Engagement Projects"Susan Hawthorne, St. Catherine University

"Implementation of Civic Engagement Projects, E-portfolios, and Grading” Ramona Ilea, Pacific University Oregon

7. Where shall we go in outer space, and why? Value, meaning, and ethics in space exploration (OS)

Linda Billings, School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University

Lori Marino, Center for Ethics, Emory University

Roger Launius, Dept. of Space History, National Air and Space Museum

Nathan Norbis, Morehouse College

Does space exploration serve the public interest? If so, how? If not, why, and should nations continue to engage in it? This panel session will broadly address the question of how to engage in philosophical activity outside the academy and specifically focus on the political problem of lack of public participation in space exploration policy making and planning, activities long dominated by political and industrial elites. While the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, for example, offers many opportunities for the public to engage in the excitement of space exploration, it is averse to engaging the public in the process of policy and planning. Aside from the tangible value of investments in space exploration, what intangible values does it offer? Are these values worth the public dollars spent? What philosophical and ethical considerations are involved in expanding human presence into space, and how should they be addressed? What considerations are involved in anticipating contact with extraterrestrial life, whether it be microbial or intelligent? What are, or should be, the environmental ethics of space exploration? Who has the right and responsibility to engage in the dialogue that will answer these questions? Do space-faring nations have an obligation to engage with other nations in this dialogue? These are among the questions that will guide discussion in this session.


1.  Philosophy of/as Interdisciplinarity Network (PIN)  or Philosophy and Interdisciplinarity: Reflecting on and Crossing Boundaries

Adam Briggle, University of North Texas
J. Britt Holbrook, University of North Texas
Robert Frodeman, University of North Texas
Jan Schmidt, Darmstadt University
Michael Hoffmann, Georgia Tech

Interdisciplinarity has become a popular label ascribed to innumerable research programs. But there are many conceptual and practical problems with interdisciplinary research. This workshop will describe the efforts of the Philosophy of /as Interdisciplinarity Network (PIN) to articulate and resolve those problems and will open a space for discussing future efforts and collaborations between PIN and PPN. PIN fills a niche within the broad field of interdisciplinarity studies by combining two directions of activities. The first direction takes philosophical inquiry into problems regarding the practices and theories of interdisciplinary research in the style of traditional philosophy of science. The second direction initiates a new philosophical practice of engagement in the world — one that questions and overcomes the boundaries that have constituted philosophy as a discipline in the 20th century.

2. Challenging the Culture of Sexual Violence: Moral Literacy and Sexual Empowerment as Tools of Transformation

Sarah Clark Miller , Penn State University
Cori Wong ,Penn State University
Ann Cahill, Elon College

Sexual violence is a pernicious, undertheorized cultural phenomenon. This workshop seeks to produce a better understanding of the mechanisms that sustain sexual violence and to examine how moral literacy and sexual empowerment might generate more effective responses to this problem. Workshop participants will consider questions such as: How might a better understanding of the epistemology of ignorance surrounding sexual violence help us to end the relative silence about this social issue? What might a more comprehensive theory of harm tell us about the nature of sexual empowerment as a means of overcoming sexual violence? How can we increase the role of autonomy and empowerment in polices and procedures regarding incidents of sexual violence? The methodology of the workshop will intertwine both practical and theoretical considerations, seeking to have them inform one another. We will focus primarily on sexual assault on college campuses, while also being open to discussing other instances of sexual violence.

3.Engaged Philosophy and and Just University-Community Partnerships

Dr. Ericka Tucker, Cal Poly Pomona University and Emory University.
Dr. Vialla Hartfield-Méndez, Emory University.
Letitia Campbell, Emory University.
Hussien Mohamed, Director of Sagal Radio, OUCP.

We will present the mission of the OUCP and outline the four tiers of engaged-learning and research. We will then set out the example of the partnership with Sagal Radio and the philosophy course, Global Justice, which emerged from this partnership and through the OUCP support of a graduate fellowship. We will then move onto the workshop, where each participant will give a brief description of their class, and the engaged-learning component they envision or would like to develop. Depending on enrollment, we will break up into smaller groups to evaluate and suggest ideas for each participant’s course. For the workshop to be as useful as possible, we ask that participants do some work in advance. 1) Participants should bring the syllabus for the class they are thinking of making into an engaged-learning course. 2) Participants should do some investigating in advance to identify community organizations with whom they could partner. They do not need to contact this organization, but this would be valuable. 3) Participants should find answers to the following questions: Does their university have a service-learning/engaged-learning/community-partnership office? With whom does this office partner in the community? What is the process for making an organization a community-partner, if they are not already one? Participants are encouraged to browse the OUCP website. We will end with a short discussion of institutional support and external support for engaged learning projects, and a final Q&A. After the workshop, we will follow-up with participants through a web portal where they can upload, edit and comment on their own syllabus and the syllabi of other participants.

4. Hip-Hop as Public Philosophy

Roberto Domingo Toledo, Activist and scholar; Grinnell College; EHESS - Paris

Amer Ahmed, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Hip-Hop Congress, Spoken Word Poet, Director of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs, University of Michigan

 Jo Dalton, Activist, rap producer, youth educator, street philosopher, and former gang leader of the legendary Black Dragons; a gang from the Parisian periphery heavily influenced by the American Black Panthers and Hip-hop movement

Zulu King Quic and other members of the Atlanta Funk Lordz Crew and the Universal ZULU Nation
(B-boy, creator of Mambo Rock, Bronx Style Salsa; Educator of street culture and community uplift)

Michael Benitez Jr., Director of Intercultural Engagement and Leadership, Grinnell College; Social Justice Scholar


This workshop offers a space for dialogue for researchers interested in hip-hop and social justice. Hip-hop is frequently a site where public philosophy is created and its often a meeting point for researchers, artists, and activists.

 -> Ahmed will discuss his involvement with the Hip-Hop Congress and his other activist activities, focusing on the question of hip-hop as a tool to combat Islamophobia. His research points to a consistent overlap between Islam and Hip Hop throughout the history of Hip Hop culture.

-> Benitez’s work connects Hip-Hop activism with critical pedagogy. He will discuss the role of hip-hop philosophy and praxis as liberatory and transformative pedagogy in the context of U.S. and Latina/o culture.

 ->Zulu King Quic, drawing on the principals of the Zulu Nation, will explain how hi-hop culture and its elements are a metaphor for life. In every element there are life lessons revealed through the expression of the individual. Together these elements create a culture that teaches us “infinity lessons.”

 -> Toledo will discuss his field research and collaborations with Jo Dalton and other figures in French and Brazilian hip-hop in his critiques of contemporary scientific racism in French psychosocial institutions.

-> After an audiovisual teaser from Jo Dalton: Légende Urbaine, Dalton will discuss his anti-racist work and his recently published autobiographical and sociopolitical book Le Maître et le Dragon: , soon to be translated into English


Participants will be then invited to discuss their hip-hop related activities. Members of Atlanta hip-hop community are welcome and will be vital participants in this dialogue.

5. Sagacity and Commerce

David E. McClean, Rutgers University, Molloy College

In recent years, the world has seen scandal after scandal in the commercial sector (but not only in the commercial sector; recall the US Navy’s Tailhook Scandal and the more recent scandal involving the Secret Service and prostitutes in Colombia). These scandals take various forms. With reference to various philosophical traditions, including virtue ethics and American Pragmatism, the workshop will explore how scandal (and, more important, the failures that give rise to them and the underlying damage often associated with them) can be avoided or mitigated. The principle working assumption – at least coming into the workshop – will be that “risk management” and the application of “normal” management logics are not enough, and that what institutions need to avoid scandal and market failures are organizational leaders who employ sagacity in assessing organizational initiatives, organizational risks, organizational change, organizational health, and organizational growth.

6. Practical Epistemology and Sustainable Inquiry

Karen Hanson, University of Minnesota
Naomi Scheman, University of Minnesota

“Practical epistemology” is modeled on practical (vs “applied”) ethics, with theory as much informed by practice as practice is by theory. Practical epistemology moves epistemology from abstracted anecdote to contextualized problems facing those whose social locations give them particular responsibilities for the creation and critique of knowledge or particular vulnerabilities to the knowledge claims of others. We want to make a case specifically for norms of sustainability, meaning acquiring knowledge in ways that make it more likely that others, especially less privileged others, will be able to acquire knowledge in the future. Central questions include how to integrate disciplinary expertise, which typically functions by decontextualizing both knowers and their objects of knowledge, into holistic, engaged, and sustainable ways of knowing, with communities of inquirers working across disciplinary and institutional lines, to create maximally democratic, critical conversations complex enough to match the complexity of real-world problems.

7. Public Philosophy Journal: Performing Philosophy as Publication

Christopher Long, Penn State University
Mark Fisher, Penn State University

This workshop will focus on the development of an open access, open peer review, Journal of Public Philosophy. The Journal will be designed to facilitate the performance of philosophy in the networked public as its mode of publication. The four basic dimensions of the journal will be discussed during this workshop: 1) the curation of public philosophical content from the wider web for inclusion in the journal; 2) Open peer review, reviewing the reviewers and collaborative writing; 3) Open publication; 4) Ongoing, open public dialogue and sustainable collaborative research.  The workshop will be interactive with opportunities to learn more about recent developments in open access publication and to discuss the affordances and limitations of the proposed journal.

8. Equity and Climate Change: Opportunities for Research, Teaching, and Advocacy

Andrew Light, George Mason University and Center for American Progress
Paul Baer, Georgia Tech

For some time now academic philosophers have focused much of their work on climate change on questions of distributive justice.  Principally, this work has focused on the optimal division of global obligations to reduce global emissions.  As of this past year a new track in the official UN climate negotiations has emerged that may provide a new forum for discussion of this work.  This workshop will focus on two items.  First, discussion of the various ways philosophers can contribute to climate science, policy, and activism with a focus on questions of equity.  Second, discussion of how the emerging equity debate can be used as a teaching tool while it persists.


  1. Diversity, Democracy and Public Life  (PP)

“Study Notes on the Interior of the Brazilian Amazon,” Lissandro Botelho, State University of Amazonas

“The Underside of Cyber-Theory: A Report on Publicly Engaged Philosophy in Latin America,” Elena Ruiz-Aho, Florida Gulf Coast University

“Islamic Law in American Courts: Good, Bad, and Unjustifiable Uses,” Katherine Kim Eun-Jung, Wayne State University

 “Toward a New Conversation on Immigration, Race, and Cultural Difference,” Angel Adams Parham, Loyola University-New Orleans

2. Philosophical Practice in Science and Technology (PP)

“Intellectual Property Rights and Public Philosophy of Science,” Justin B. Biddle, Georgia Institute of Technology

“Towards Effective and Rational Cognitive Enhancements,” Ye Feng and Guoyu Wang, Dalian University of Technology, China

“A class on philosophy and food: groping towards service learning for philosophy of science,” Dan Hicks, University of Notre Dame

“Technology Assessment and Philosophy: a contribution of philosophy to a prospective science and technology assessment,” Jan C. Schmidt, Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences


 3. Adaptation, Institutions, and Land Management Policy: Some Aspects of Moral Responsibility in the Anthropocene (OS)

"Using Institutions for Good: The Role of Institutions in the Anthropocene," Ken Shockley, University at Buffalo-SUNY

“Obligations to Assist: Adaptation and Reparation in the Anthropocene,” Ben Hale, University of Colorado, Boulder

"The Human Influence: Moral Responsibility for Novel Ecosystems," Allen Thompson, Oregon State University

4. Public Philosophy and Philosophical Outreach (PP)

“Reconstruction in Mind, Brain, and Education: Pragmatic Commitments for Collaborative Inquiry,” Zach Piso, Michigan State University

“Philosophical Psychology and the Reconstruction of Culture,” Eric Thomas Weber, The University of Mississippi

“Philopolis,” David Brooke Struck, University of Guelph

“Restorative Justice,” Nancy McHugh, Wittenberg College

5. "Who asked you?" Perspectives on "Engaging the Public Through Philosophy" (OS)

“Philosophers' Philosophy and Everyone Else's,” Oz Blaker, Temple University

“Does selling books mean selling out?: Engaging the public as customer,” Danielle M. LaSusa, Bard High School early College Queens

“Drugs & Elevators: Against solution-giving”,” José Muñiz, Lehman College, CUNY





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