conference flyer, click to open pdf

Call for Papers

As the title of the conference indicates, we are looking for those who have previously, or are currently, focused on research surrounding social and political philosophies within their respective disciplines. There are a vast number of topics and theories that are included in such inquiries. Additionally, there are a great deal of implications and concerns that surface upon diving into the social and political spheres. These theories and implications have caused turbulence as well as influence across centuries and geographies, and so too in our contemporary social problems and social movements. Some of the fundamental questions we seek to address include, but are not limited to:

  • What should the social world be like? How could the social world be constructed?
  • What does it mean to have power? Who should hold power? If power can be codified, [how] should it be? How are the codifications to be understood and interpreted?
  • Should there be a government? If so, who should have the authority? If not, can anyone have a right to rule? Do we have duties or obligations? What sort of government should we have?
  • What does it mean to be ethical? How should we understand morality? What should our moral systems be concerned with? Does the moral community include the environment?

We are looking for contributions that explore these avenues as they relate to the philosophies of today. Some of the fundamental concepts (and examples of relevant thinkers) we seek to address include, but are not limited to:

  • Authority (Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan)
  • Rights (John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government)
  • Equality (Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics)
  • Justice (Plato’s Republic, John Rawls Justice as Fairness)
  • Liberty (John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty)
  • Government (Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ Hours of Labor)
  • Ecology (Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac)
  • Race (WEB Dubois The Souls of Black Folk, Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin White Masks)
  • Gender (Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble)
  • Power (Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish)

UPDATE: The conference is now being held on one day, Saturday April 08, 2017 Each panelist will have approximately 20 minutes to present his or her paper and 10 minutes for discussion (Q&A).

If you are interested in presenting, we require that you submit a 300-400 word abstract containing the name, topic, and overview of the content for your presentation. It is also recommended that you submit a paper - for example, an essay or research paper that you have written for one of your previous academic courses that addresses one (or more) of the topics of the conference theme - but this is not a requirement. Please submit the form below, your required abstract, and optional paper by  February 1, 2017 .

Decisions regarding the program will be made sometime in February 2017. For more information, please contact the participating students of Phi Sigma Tau and the Philosophy Club at SDSU at their joint email: