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Society for Applied Philosophy Annual Conference 2010
St Anne’s College, Oxford, 2-4 July

The Society for Applied Philosophy (UK) was founded in 1982 with the aim of promoting philosophical study and research that has a direct bearing on areas of practical concern. It arose from an increasing awareness that many topics of public debate are capable of being illuminated by the critical, analytic approach characteristic of philosophy, and by direct consideration of questions of value. These topics come from a number of different areas of social life – law, politics, economics, science, technology, medicine and education are among the most obvious. The purpose of the SAP is to foster and promote philosophical work that is intended to make a constructive contribution to problems in these areas. It does so through events, conferences, and lecture programmes.

Open themed event
The Annual Conference 2010 will be an open themed applied philosophy conference (papers will be considered from the full range of topics in applied philosophy). Plenary speakers include Professor Thomas Pogge (Yale), Professor Judith Lichtenberg (Georgetown), Professor Catherine Lu (McGill), and Professor Ingmar Persson (Gothenburg).

The conference will also host a sub-theme on the methods of applied philosophy.

Applied philosophy is now (roughly) 35 years old and it is appropriate to consider questions such as:

* What is applied philosophy and how might it differ from other areas of philosophy?
* What, if anything, might be distinctive about this area of inquiry?
* Is it possible to discern distinctive forms of reasoning that are characteristic of applied philosophy?
* Has applied philosophy made any real difference?

This sub-theme will address these questions by considering the methods and modes of argument used in applied philosophy. Relevant questions include:

* Are there modes of argument specific to applied philosophy?
* Does the practical importance of the issues that applied philosophers address make any difference to the forms of argument used? Should it do so?
* Are there any grounds for thinking that the ‘applied turn’ was a mistake?
* What influence has applied philosophy had on the development of philosophy?
* How should empirical data be incorporated into the theoretical work of applied philosophers?
* What role should appeal to general abstract principles perform in applied philosophy?
* Should imaginary cases have a part to play in applied philosophy?
* Does recent work in experimental philosophy have any implications for applied philosophy?
* Is applied philosophy an historically distinct form of inquiry?

The sub-theme will include papers that explore questions such as these about the methods used by applied philosophers and the place of applied philosophy within philosophy as a whole.

The plenary speakers for the conference sub-theme will be Professor Hans-Johann Glock (University of Zurich) and Professor Shaun Nichols (University of Arizona).

The sub-theme will be partnered with a Special Issue of the Journal of Applied Philosophy. Presenters to the conference sub-theme will be invited to submit their papers to the journal for consideration in the special issue.

SUBMIT your ABSTRACT submit abstract online at:

by the deadline, Friday 9 January 2010

A prize will be awarded to the best postgraduate essay submission (awarded in advance of the conference on the basis of the full version of the paper after acceptance of the abstract). The winning student will receive free registration and accommodation at the conference as well as reimbursement for any travel expenses incurred within the United Kingdom. When you submit your abstract, please indicate whether you would like to be considered for this prize by checking the appropriate circle on the form.



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