Thursday, January 31, 2013

Distinguishing Thought and Experience

Commonly, we distinguish between sense experience and thought, and some hypothesize it into a dualism. I would offer, in my usual pragmatist way, that the distinction should be made according to attention. Sense becomes noetic thought when we attend to it. Attention is not a "spotlight" on experience, which treats the penumbra and darkness as a given waiting to be discovered. Rather, it is an amplification of experience itself that strongly tends to grant symbols their meaning. For example, we no longer merely sense the words, but perceive their meaning.

Identity as Active Network


In has been awhile since I have offered new material; I come to you with a new introduction to process and temporal metaphysics.  I have talked with many people who admittedly do not understand process metaphysics. This is another attempt to explain the basic insight while proposing my own solution. Please note that I am not, in any way, invoking Whiteheadian thought. In many discussions, there is a tendency to reduce processive or temporal philosophy to Whitehead, which is not unmerited given his dominance, but is premature. For those who note the similarity of this musing upon past ones, I am practicing modes of explanation.


What something is, and what something does, are distinct. Traditionally, we have described what something is in terms of a timeless identity or essence. What it is, its identity, does not change. In contrast, what changes is its activity. What something does is its activity; it is how it changes itself and other things.

The problem with the traditional understanding, which remains the basis for many contemporary notions even if not traditional, is the privileging of identity over activity and the presumption that identity is timeless. Hence, while complete identity is supposed to be both what something is and what it does, complete identity is a monstrous chimera of the eternal and the temporal. That is, identity is eternal while activity is temporal, yet the activity of a thing is supposed to arise from its identity. Exactly how can the two combine? The traditional answer is to render activity as dependent on identity, or the temporal on the eternal,  and treat the activity as a potential waiting to be sprung by some external cause.

Hence, we say that action is dependent upon the actor. By “dependent,” we can mean a number of things. Most commonly, we accept Aristotle and claim that the actor must have the innate “potential” to perform a given action. Without the actor, there is no action, but the reverse is not true: there can be an actor without action. Since the identity of an actor does not change, and thus what actions is it capable of do not change, we render the temporal as dependent upon the eternal.

This solution proposes a number of problems, many of which are pushed aside. First, how does an activity begin? If an activity is temporal, then it must either begin or end at least once, else it is eternal. If we accept only efficient causes, which is now common, then the usual answer is to claim that it was an external or efficient cause. Yet that only defers the question; what causes that efficient cause? We could continue all the way back to cosmogenesis.

I propose another solution: temporalize everything. I will suggest how, which will focus how a potentiality becomes an actuality, the process of which I call an “activity.” Rather than treat the actuation of a potentiality as occurring through an external efficient cause, which views activity [kinesis] as a discrete event, assume that the activity is always active. (Please see prior posts on pragmatic naturalism and the triadic conception of dunamis.)  Hence, if an activity has no effect, it is not because the activity is only potential, but because the end of the activity [entelechy] is frustrated by some other activity. This shift is a revolution in how we understand the conceptual framework of metaphysics. Rather than the genesis of the temporal out of the eternal being the problem, it is now why the temporal is not the eternal. That is, why isn’t every potentiality always fully actualized?

Activity must be networked. This is perhaps the most important inference to draw; or to say in in more typical pragmatic terms, I propose a metaphysical semiotic. Assuming pragmatic naturalism (see prior posts), any realization of an activity must in principle involve other activities, events, and identities. The lines of resistance on continual activity form persistent events and assemblages that when determinate are individual “identities.”

We need to accept activity, energy, force, or change as its own category of reality rather than one derivative on identity or determinate existence. I propose that what we call “identity” is merely the concretion of past activities into what determinately exists. (See prior posts.” Likewise, real creativity is possible. Activities can, through constellations of interference, create new forms that would not have existed prior to that configuration. Hence, location in cosmic history matters.

I will stop here for now. Later, I will explain how this process is temporalized. So far, I have offered only a “historical” explanation that treats past, present, and future as successive parts of a history. Yet true temporality, the temporality of a present activity, has a dynamic relation to the past, present, and future. “History” only has a static one, and we should not mistake history for temporality.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Nature and Value in Chinese and Western Philosophies

1st Annual Rutgers Workshop on Chinese Philosophy (RWCP)

An International Conference on Nature and Value in Chinese and Western Philosophies

April 4-5, 2013
Rutgers University Inn & Conference Center 178 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
USA

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hermeneutic Charity: A Tip


I've been part of an ongoing conversation at An und fur sich about "meritocracy," that has become another case in point about "having conversations on the internet." Whether I am reading the situation rightly or not, I would like to propose a particular technique for performing hermeneutic charity, and I hope that perform it near as often as I believe I do.


When having a controversial conversation with someone, try to propose what inference you are imputing to your interlocutor before you assert the conclusion upon them. In that way, you approach the conversation by indicating all these implicit conclusions that your interlocutor may or may not be aware of, and I will admit that this is dicey in practice, but I think at least approaching the conversation from the perspective is beneficial.



In the case of the recent conversation at An und fur sich, I was met with so many asserted conclusions that implied premises that I did not hold, that my end of the conversation collapsed under the weight. Trying to recover probably just wasted people's time, and I should likely have stepped out, but then if we backed out of every such conversation we would rarely speak of controversial things.

I have run into this problem before in a much bigger way when I used to discuss cross-tradition metaphysics on this blog. In those cases, I sketched out such large arguments--hoping and then telling my interlocutor that I was trying to figure out what might be true for their position to work--that I was accused of being pedantic and not listening. I offer that as an example of how my suggested tip for hermeneutic charity can fail miserably, as I tried to propose what I thought an interlocutor doing, and my proposal did not match the person's self-understanding.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Bold Claim

I do away with substance in my conception of process metaphysics.

The closest analog might be the reality of generals, especially the general habits to which nature reliably conforms. That is, there does not exist one thing, say in the instance of materialism claiming that all is matter, but instead there are three general modes of reality: possibility, existence/energy, and law or habit. These ontological categories are generative and modal rather than substantial, so it cannot be said that there is one kind of existence that is primal, e.g., the material, but rather that reality consists in natural things that resist other things in individually characteristic ways. I just gave an analogous definition for "material existence," which in this case is not the inherence of form in matter.

If I were accused of neo-neo-cryptic-Aristotelianism, that would not entirely be false ... if Aristotle became half Heraclitus!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

SAAP President Remonstrates Brian Leiter


This is old, but this is the first time I've come across it. Wow.


E-mail and letter sent from SAAP President Jacquelyn Kegley to Brian Leiter concerning the misrepresentation about the Pluralist Guide on his Philosophical Gourmet Reports site, 25 July 2011

Email:

----- Original Message -----
Dear Professor Leiter,
Attached is a letter requesting the correction of misinformation posted on your Philosophical Gourmet Reports blog
concerning the recently issued "Pluralist Guide." As I indicate in the letter it is not correct to call this a
SPEP/SAAP Guide. The Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy is neither a creator or sponsor of this guide.
It is true that some of those who initiated the Guide are SAAP members but logic informs us that the inference to the claim
that is it a SAAP Guide is clearly incorrect.
I respectfully request that you post the attached letter on your Philosophical Gourmet Reports blog and correct this misinformation.
Thank you very much.

Jacquelyn Ann K. Kegley
SAAP President 2010-2012
Jacquelyn Ann K. Kegley
CSU Outstanding Professor of Philosophy
Wang Award for Outstanding Teaching, Research and Service
Chair, Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies
Faculty Athletics Representative
jkegley@csub.edu 661-654-2249

Letter:

Professor Brian Leiter
Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence,
Director Center for Law and Human Values
The University of Chicago Law School
1111 60th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Dear Professor Leiter,

It has come to my attention that on your Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog you are referring to the recently issued “Pluralist Guide to Philosophy Programs” as the “SPEP/SAAP Guide.”  Please be advised that this Guide is not officially sponsored nor was it created by the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy.  Some of the individuals who created and are promoting the guide are members of SAAP and, as I assume, also members of SPEP.
In the spirit of the promotion of integrity and responsibility I request that you correct this false impression on your Blog and in any other reference to the Guide.
Thank you very much.
                  jkegley3
Jacquelyn Ann K. Kegley
SAAP President 2010-2012
         Jacquelyn Ann K. Kegley
         Chair, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies,
         California State University, Bakersfield
         9001 Stockdale Highway, Bakersfield, California 93311-1099
         CSU Outstanding Professor of Philosophy
         Wang Award for Outstanding Teaching, Research and Service
         jkegley@csub.edu   661-654-2249                     
A .doc version of the letter is here.


UPDATE: Statement regarding SAAP's attempt to correct the record with Brian Leiter:

Jackie Kegley, writes,(7/26/11):

"On Monday, July 25th I sent a letter to Brian Leiter requesting that he correct the "misrepresentation" on his website (Blog: http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2011/07/the-new-spep-guide-to-philosophy-programs.html#tp) that the new Pluralist Guide was the "SPEP/SAAP Guide. I pointed out that SAAP was neither a creator or sponsor of the Guide."
He then replied that "there's nothing to correct, I made quite clear why I was referring to it as the SPEP/SAAP Guide and it had nothing to do with the claim that SAAP produced it. However, if SAAP wants to officially repudiate the Guide, I will note that and post the link."

I replied that the request was to clarify and not to repudiate. It turns out that his grounds for labeling the Guide a SPEP/ SAAP guide is that 90% of the Continental philosophy evaluators are SPEP members and all the American philosophy evaluators are SAAP members. However, this assumes that the group listed as the American Philosophy Board Advisors were involved in creation of the guide and that, indeed, all are SAAP members. I do not believe either assumption is correct.

My final exchange with Professor Leiter indicates that he refuses to post our SAAP letter of clarification on his site. All of this is unfortunate, but we hope that all concerned will be aware of the situation." 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pragmatist Repository is UP!

I finally posted the initial select annotated bibliography of pragmatism. I have more recent versions, but I finally decided to post an old stable version rather than continue promising. If anyone is working on pragmatism, especially valuation, experience, representation, phenomenology, and imagination, then definitely contact me for more updated suggestions.

The link is just below the title bar on the home page.

Defeating Cartesianism



Pragmatism contra Cartesian on Experience

I offer a new metaphor and analogy to think through the difference between the pragmatist vs. post-Cartesian conception of experience, a mathematical function.
A common metaphor for thinking “experience” is to think an experience or phenomenon as the output of a biological function. The world is the input, the body processes the input, and the output is conscious experience. We all remember our basic algebra when we “crunched” numbers by replacing x’s or “inputs” with numbers to get y’s or “outputs.” This is not a pragmatic conception of experience; is not the output of a biological function.

Experience is not a translated output, which treats mind and world as dyad of one thing becoming another. Experience, if we use the metaphor of a function, is the functioning itself. That is, the post-Cartesian conception views something in the world as input, the body as function, and experience as output. In contrast, pragmatism views experience as functional itself: it does not have a determinate output given an input. The whole analogy breaks down.

How could we revive the analogy? If experience is a function itself—not the input or output of a function—then experience only has a given value when it is interpreted, which is always a contextual and perspectival affair. However, here is where the analogy to functions breaks down entirely, and we would need to move to set theory or probabilistic functions to keep the analogy alive.

What’s the point? Thinking of experience as a simple function just does not work within a pragmatist context.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Evaluation of Rachels' Elements of Moral Philosophy

I was required to use James and Stuart Rachels' Elements of Moral Philosophy, 7th edition, for an introduction to ethics course last semester. From that experience, I will give a very brief evaluation of it as a textbook. I have three points to make, one positive and two negative.

First, Elements of Moral Philosophy is extremely accessible--my students commented much on this--and covers most topics of historic and recent western philosophy. Second, however, it achieves this accessibility by striping-down historical figures to such a caricature that their next philosophy professor will have to deconstruct their preconceptions before building on acquaintance that students should already have. Third, the text is so implicitly and explicitly dismissive of religious moral arguments that I cringed every time I had to discuss the text on that topic. Most of its dismissiveness occurs through using of straw man arguments and failing to give counter-arguments to secular claims made in the text.

I would not recommend Elements of Moral Philosophy because of its poor treatment of historical and religious thought. In my case, I constantly had to negotiate its pro-atheist stance with a class that was almost entirely Christian (Catholic and Evangelical Protestant) and unusually pious. Thankfully, I teach religion frequently, so I was able to navigate the texts while only being awkward about it, but a professor less adept of discussing religion might be in for a trial.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Third International Congress on Ecstatic Naturalism

April 12-13th 2013, Drew University – Madison, NJ USA

Freeman on Consciousness, Intentionality, and Causality


Abstract
To explain how stimuli cause consciousness, we have to explain causality. We can't trace linear causal chains from receptors after the first cortical synapse, so we use circular causality to explain neural pattern formation by self-organizing dynamics. But an aspect of intentional action is causality, which we extrapolate to material objects in the world. Thus causality is a property of mind, not matter.

Prof. Walter Freeman discusses philosophy of mind with reference to pragmatism and other oft-overlooked sources.

The Pragmatist Repository

I am considering a new practice, posting articles of interest on pragmatism and American philosophy. In this way I can build a repository of articles on pragmatism and work on something that I promised months ago, building an annotated online compendium of pragmatist scholarship. There are other such compendiums, but mine would be annotated within select topics. Although I use the word "pragmatism" a lot, I intend to include the disapora of American philosophy within the traditional fields.

I invite readers to email me any and all suggestions with the requirement that it include links to the actual article.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Embodied Cognition, Old and New

A friend of mine posted this and requested comment.


I told him that while I find the embodied cognition an interesting concept, I am also saddened that they are remaking the wheel decades after it was first made. The classical pragmatists and others had a version of the "simulation theory" a century ago, and I find it odd that the notion was tracked the 70s and 90s as if it were a new thing. The basics of this viewpoint was virtually assumed in my own dissertation, since it was established, and my task then was to illustrate far from obvious implications for    the interrelations of agency and representation.

I have a supposition about why scholarly and intellectual production seems to go around in circles in recent times. I suspect that much research and scholarship operates more like a conversation circle amongst a limited group, as opposed to operating with a linear forward momentum that is generally assumed. That is, I've had so many conversations with scholars of other fields that are completely unaware of how their work reproduces existing work, which is not itself a bad thing, but I am shocked at the frequent unwillingness to perform "cross-conversational" work or at least be aware of the larger conversation. For a positive example, I have had a lot of productive conversations with John Symons, despite his principle focus in analytic philosophy of mind, because his thinking is flexible enough and informed enough that we can communicate concepts without using each other's specialized language when we discuss emergence and continuity. 

I suspect that some ultimates reasons for the unwitting intellectual circling of the wagons includes disciplinary barriers and implications of the publish-or-perish phenomenon, which drives publication to be more and more like a conversation among specialists, but the conversational model is all but opposed to longitudinal studies that would include historical perspective.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Correlationism and Representation


Since Leon of After Nature graciously responded to my post, I will constructively respond in kind. Rather than directly respond to his points, I will take up the issues his indicates.

We “think the unthought” all the time. The issue is not whether thought can “touch” the unthought, unless one accepts certain mind-world dualisms that render the world utterly inaccessible to mind. The issue is representation.

We must be careful, since I am using the word “representation” in a technical manner commonly only to specialists. “Representation” means the encoding or functional mapping of something to transform things of one category into another category. When we are discussing mental representation, especially of perception, then “representation” means the mapping of the world into conscious categories. It does imply that the mental representation is a precise and accurate copy of the world. In mathematical language, we would say that the a copy would be “one-to-one” and “onto,” also called a “bijection”: for example, everything is see corresponds exactly to the world regardless of the mechanisms of visual perception. Yet I am not using the world “representation” in that way.

So, what is the issue of representation? The issue is not whether we “think the unthought,” but what are the limitations of thought representing the unthought. The follow-up question is what and how can we justify claims about the unthought given the limits of representation. Given the discussion so far, we are ready to broach my question about whether pragmatism is correlationist, which depends upon what “correlationist” means.
Pragmatism requires only the following of representation to be true, barring a few qualifications. First, that nature tends toward stable and law-like behavior that we call “natural laws” or “habits.” Second, human beings are capable of symbolically representing natural laws. Third, Human beings are capable of using their representation to predict and control nature. Now, as long as nature and the representations are stable, it does not really matter what the content of nature or our representation of it is.
I must insist that we not make the following qualification about representation: we are not mapping the sensible world into conscious categories. I will assume that nature is continuous, which means that there is no element of nature that cannot be affect by another directly or indirectly. Given that assumption, any aspect of nature is in principle indictable by another, and this is precisely the aim of much scientific technology. For instance, the whole point of the Large Hadron Collider is to render nature into sensible forms that indicate something about nature’s fundamental particles. From the standpoint of science, what matters is our ability to represent nature in a manner that allows for its prediction and control, whereas a precise and accurate one-to-one description is secondary.

Pragmatism dodges the obvious charge of correlationism, because it insists the mind and world are not different ontological kinds. Mind is an event with worldly causal conditions. Mind has no essence: it takes the character of what it is about.

Pragmatism is not entirely out of the woods. The question of correlationism can be repeated in a new form. So far, I have only given prima facie reasons why pragmatic theories of representation are not obviously correlationist. Suppose that the question became not about representation in general, but about pragmatism’s realism. It is easy to dodge the charge of correlationism if one is an anti-realist, but not so easy if one is a realist and a scholastic realist at that.1 A scholastic realist maintains that generals and universals are real and not artifacts of human nature or convenient fictions. Hence, the laws of nature are real and not instances of Humean “constant conjunction.” The opposite of scholastic realism is nominalism. Setting aside a defense of scholastic realism, I will discuss the implications.

A pragmatist wants to say that a phenomenal quality, e.g., the redness of an apples, is a real feature of nature and not an epiphenomenon of human nature. At first glance, this implies the adoption of correlationism, but it is not true. Rather, the charge implies an inaccurate and unanalyzed assumption. A pragmatist is not going to say that the apparent redness of an apple is in the apple: the “redness” in mind is not the same “redness” in the world. Rather, “redness” is the result of the interaction of mind and world that is reducible to neither. In sum, the positive claim is that all similar interactions of human minds and the world will produce an experience of redness, which is explicitly multiply realizable. However, every realization will strong tend towards a certain general pattern that we call “redness.” “Redness” is a “general,” and since scholastic realism holds that “generals” are real, then every predication of redness is a statement about nature and not just human nature.

All of this said, Leon moves from “thinking the unthought” to “knowledge” and thinking “through thought to the unthought,” which is the “world without subject,” or material world. In this, pragmatism concurs, though I am still not clear on what “materialism” means in contemporary continental philosophy. If materialism denies scholastic realism or activity/force/energy as real and ontologically primordial, then we have points of contention.

Leon, as I suspected he would, directs the discussion towards the commonalities of pragmatism and materialism. Yes, thought is a “material practice,” says the pragmatist. What makes “mind” special is a separateness from nature, but an ability to mediate its own local temporal relations. I have posted on this before…

1. Not all pragmatists are scholastic realists by either public affirmation of implication. Many contemporary pragmatists, and perhaps all neopragmatists, are nominalists or anti-realists. Peirce was explicitly a scholastic realist. James does not have an obvious position. Dewey was a scholastic realist, but that interpretation is not wholly uncontroversial. To opponents of that view, I say this: Dewey's metaphysics and logic fall on its face without a robust realism. One had better become a Rortian in that case.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Causing Actual and Possible Effects

Below is a musing while I was finishing an essay.

I propose to reconceive the traditional distinction between cause and effect (efficient causation) given the assumption of two-way asymmetric causation. Rather than conceive them as two kinds of things, the latter being dependent on the former, we may distinguish them be saying that an efficient cause is an extreme asymmetry. For instance, if the existence of a distant car is the “cause” of the effect of my seeing a car, then it would be absurd to say that my perception materially altered the car. This is a case of extreme asymmetry. However, my experience of that car may lead me to seek it out and in fact materially alter it, because my friend really needed a snowball on the windshield … that happened to shatter the glass …. My point is that we need to stop thinking of causation solely in terms of efficient or material causation, but also in terms of the establishing of possibilities that may be realized in the future. Hence, causation is not just about creating actual effects, but about creating real possibilities. Experience alters the real possibilities for action, i.e., an alteration in real relations, that correlates with but is not reducible to a single physical change.

Question about Correlationism

I have a question for speculative realists about "correlationism."


If a philosophy rejects Cartesianism, especially the legacy of Cartesian dualism, then can it be correlationist? That is, if I am understanding "correlationism" correctly--and that is in question--does it not require some analogue of Cartesian dualism, correspondence theory, and correlative representation?

I ask because I am thinking about pragmatism, which rejects these things. However, it does not accept an identity of mind and world, or the notion that the distinction does not matter. My experience with object-oriented ontology leads me to suppose that some of its practioners think that the distinction of mind and world does not matter "since there's a way to escape the correlationists circle" (to paraphrase that line of thought). However, the distinction and correlationism need not be identical, and I insist that I can maintain it and make deductions about the limits of knowledge and metaphysics without falling into "correlationism." Or perhaps I just think the anti-correlationists are wrong; it's hard to nail down without a more precise definition, and that is precisely what I am asking for.

Comment on "Para-Academics"

Leon of After Nature muses upon the phenomenon of "Para-Academics.

Specifically, he discusses the prevalence of Facebook and Twitter exchanges among academics in what I presume to be the local blogosphere.

I have a supposition. Perhaps the reason there is so much gossip and tit-for-tat is because the contemporary academic practice of philosophy is founded upon reputation, perhaps even more so than academia in general. Hence, it would be consistent that reputation would be fought for since it is the basis of disciplinary power. Why is this so? Again, I offer a supposition. It takes much training and is difficult to determine exactly how good someone is at philosophy.  Moreover, if I may presume that there are different ways to "be good" at philosophy, we may not all agree on what those ways are. Reputation is in fact far less controversial. Think about this a moment, and you're realize how odd a notion this is.


A Primer on the Pragmatist Conception of Experience

I am writing a primer or simple introduction to the pragmatist conception of experience with the goal of demonstrating how radically different the notion is from traditional ones. Also, it will be obvious to the speculative realist or OOO crowd how pragmatism cannot be correlationism (or at least not obviously so) and holds to a cosmic, human-neutral view of experience.


I'll be finishing it in the next few days, and would welcome any feedback from those interested in reading it and providing comments. Especially since it's my latest attempt to be accessible to those who know little about pragmatism. I will post it after I hear back from the reviewers in a month or so, but otherwise just leave a comment to take a look.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Disabusing Cartesian Interpretations of Pragmatic Theories of Experience


This is what I am doing on my birthday, and I'm quite enjoying it, thank you. Here's an idea of what it's about.

Don't ask whether the idea is true of the world. Ask what causes the experience of truth; that "experience of truth" is "true" in a formal and real, rather than phenomenal, sense only if that experience leads to predicting and securing anticipated future experiences. This is not only a description of what a pragmatist should think about truth, but is also a biological and ecological description. It is this last point that is so often missed by the causal reader of pragmatism, who overlooks the fact that two of the three founding members were also clinical physiological psychologists.

Friday, January 4, 2013

CFP: Conference on Value Inquiry

This April 11-13, 2013 Western Kentucky University will be hosting the 39th conference on Value Inquiry. This year's theme is "Virtue, Vice, and Character." We invite proposals or paper submissions suitable for a 20-25 minute presentation on any topic related to the conference theme, broadly construed. Papers that are interdisciplinary in nature are welcome as are scholars from fields other than philosophy (even though it is primarily a philosophy conference). Wide participation is sought.

Our keynotes include Julia Driver, John M. Doris, and Tom Magnell.

We prefer proposals and papers be sent by February 1st. Send submissions to: conference.on.value.inquiry@gmail.com

Please see the official CFP here:
http://www.wku.edu/philosophy-religion/documents/39cvi_cfp.pdf

Thursday, January 3, 2013

CFP: New Mexico-West Texas Philosophy Conference

Details at the website; it's an open, friendly conference accepting papers of any tradition and style.

The deadline is January 15.

They invite Spanish-language submissions and are looking for more qualified reviewers of Spanish-language submissions.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Summer Institute in American Philosophy

Announcing the 2013 Summer Institute in American Philosophy
July 8-13 (Mon-Sat), 2013
University of Oregon

This year's Summer Institute at the University of Oregon will feature a trio of plenary seminars (on James & Feminism, on Indigenous Philosophies, and on the Arts), a pair of keynote addresses by Richard Shusterman, and regular afternoon conference-style sessions (see the CFP/CFA below if you would like to present).


* Keynote Speaker: *Richard Shusterman* will give a two-talk keynote address (Monday evening and Thursday morning) on the relationship between pragmatism and somaesthetics. For more details, see the website.

* Plenary Panels: SIAP this year will feature three panels. Our 'Rereadings' series will focus on William James this year in the context of a plenary panel titled '(Re)reading William James through a Feminist Lens', led by *Erin C. Tarver* (James Madison University) and others TBA. Our 'Crossing Disciplines' series will focus on 'Philosophy and the Arts' with plenary panelists TBA. Lastly, we our excited to announce a plenary panel on 'American Indian Philosophy: Person, Place, and Sovereignty' with *Thomas M. Norton-Smith* (Kent State Stark) and *Lee Thurman Huster* (University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma).

* Traditional Papers, Books-In-Progress, & Dissertations-In-Progress: see the CFP/CFA below.

***
Call for Abstracts

Deadline: Monday April 15, 2013

We invite submissions to present papers in any area of American Philosophy at SIAP. Presentations may either be Traditional Conference papers or one of a variety of In-Progress presentations.

Submission Instructions: Please specify in your submission the type of presentation from the list below, according to instructions. Email your submissions to Colin Koopman at koopman@uoregon.edu. The subject line of your email should read: "SIAP 2013 Submission: [format type (e.g., Traditional Paper, Dissertation-In-Progress)]. Please include the complete text of your submission in the body of your email and do not include anything as an attachment. The submission deadline is Monday April 15, 2013 with decisions to be made no later than Friday May 3, 2013. If you absolutely need an earlier decision for the sake of securing institutional funding, please contact Colin Koopman beforehand, and we will see what we can do.

* *Traditional Papers*: Papers in all areas of American philosophy are welcome, but we will particularly favor papers whose topics are related to the themes of the plenary seminars and the work of our keynote speaker. Instructions: Please submit an abstract of 500 words describing the paper in detail. Final papers should be of a length suitable for a short presentation of about 20 minutes.

* *Books-In-Progress*: Those working on book manuscripts in some area of research pertinent to American philosophy are invited to discuss their idea with seminar participants. This includes fresh ideas for books just underway as well as books nearing completion, but does not extend to author-critics sessions on recently-published books. Instructions: Please submit a 500 word abstract describing your book manuscript, the content of your presentation, your ideas for the format of the presentation.

* *Dissertations-In-Progress*: Graduate students preparing dissertation proposals, in the dissertation-writing phase, or approaching their dissertation defense are invited to present their work at special dissertations-in-progress sessions. This is a regular tradition at SIAP and one of the most exciting venues to showcase new work that is being developed in American Philosophy at various graduate programs across the country and internationally. Instructions: Please submit a 500-word abstract describing the content of your dissertation. We will work with you in advance of the session on general guidelines for preparing the presentation and what to expect. In addition please note: we have a limited
number of travel grants available to graduates at the conference who will be presenting, so please indicate if you would like to be considered for a travel grant, which will cover the entire cost of room/housing as well as registration fees (leaving travel fees to you or your home institution funding). These grants are generously funded by the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. (See the SIAP 2013 website for more information on the grants).

* *Experiments-In-Progress*: We invite presentations on projects, collaborations, group work, public philosophy forays, field philosophy work, and other philosophical experiments for the purposes of discussion at SIAP. Some examples: Michael Eldridge’s 2009 group discussion of Obama’s Pragmatism (and see the recent issue of Contemporary Pragmatism for some papers on the topic, some of which were initially formulated at this session), Donald Hood and Eric Weber’s 2011 presentation on pragmatism as public philosophy, a presentation on some in-progress interdisciplinary research collaboration including reflections on what is going right in the project and what unexpected blockages have come up, a roundtable presentation concerning the development of open access scholarship in American philosophy, discussions oriented toward the design of advanced or introductory courses in pragmatism using online resources and collaborative assignment. These sessions will be limited in number and are intended to provide opportunities for innovative forms of work, thought, and scholarship in the American tradition. Instructions: Please submit a 500-word abstract describing your project, the content of your presentation, your ideas for the format of the presentation, a justification of the project terms of larger issues of outreach and scholarship, and any a/v needs you might have.
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