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 the philosophies of art and representation 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 these (multi-)disciplinary spheres. These theories and implications have caused turbulence as well as influence across centuries and geographies, and so too in our contemporary movements. Some of the fundamental questions we seek to address include, but are not limited to:

  • What is ‘art’? What is the nature of art? Can we learn from art? How does one experience and appreciate art? How do we encounter art?
  • What does it mean to have an ‘aesthetic experience’? What is ‘aesthetic’, and how do we locate it? How is art (re)presented to the public? What are the implications or stakes involved in (re)presentation?
  • What does it mean to represent (i.e., to have a representation/perception)? How does representation contribute to our understanding of ourselves?
  • Are representation and perception species and/or subject specific? Do very young human children and animals represent the world quite similarly? Can advanced computers/artificial intelligence eventually form representations? What does it mean to be conscious of the world?

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:

  • Aesthetic Experience (John Dewey’s Art as Experience)
  • The Nature of Art (Plato’s Republic, Martin Heidegger’s Poetry, Language, and Thought)
  • Mimesis (Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature)
  • Art and Perception (Martha Nussbaum’s Love’s Knowledge)
  • Perception (Jonathon Cohen’s Perceptual Constancy, Alva Noe’s Action in Perception)
  • Representation (Hilary Putnam’s Representation and Reality, Tyler Burge’s Origins of Objectivity)
  • Consciousness (Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, Daniel Dennett’s Consciousness Explained)
  • Mental States (Stephen Kosslyn’s The Case for Mental Imagery)

Each panelist will have approximately 20 minutes to present his or her paper and 10 minutes for discussion (Q&A). While we will try to keep designated undergraduate and graduate panels, due to certain constraints placed on a one-day conference, theme will be prioritized over student rank for each panel.

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 16, 2018.

Decisions regarding the program will be made in February 2018. For more information, please contact the participating students of Phi Sigma Tau and the Philosophy Club at SDSU at their joint email: