Philosophical Activism

February 15, 2013


What is philosophical activism? What makes philosophy into philosophical activism and how does it relate to the widely accepted notion of philosophy as first and foremost a reflective endeavour? If the 'love of wisdom' motivates, as it is said, a critical systematic approach and a reliance on rational argument, under what conditions then can this critical stance become an activist stance? How does such an activist stance affect the rationality and credibility of philosophical arguments?  And why, in general, should philosophy (not) be considered activism as such?

Answering these questions implies not only reflecting on what philosophy is, can be and perhaps should (not) be, but also on the motivations we might have to engage in philosophy and on the character of the fields and places where the philosopher seeks rapprochement as well as confrontation. 

Thinking through the question what philosophical activism could or should (not) be, is a self-reflective philosophical quest. At the same time, it is also an activist intervention in the positioning of philosophy in the real world.

'Philosophical Activism' comprises a series of one-day workshops that focus on the depths and widths of what it means to be philosophically active.

In our first workshop, i.e. (Meta-)Reflections from the field, related notions such as global governance, peer review, pragmatism, and civil society will be discussed.

Invited speakers are Patrick Baert and Leida Rijnhout.

This workshop is organized and hosted by the Center for Ethics & Value Inquiry (CEVI), Ghent University, and the Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science (CLPS), Ghent University.