I’ve been away on vacation for the past 8 days, and have nothing substantive to say on my own account. (Don’t worry, that won’t last for long … )
But I thought this might be a good time to mention an upcoming event that is rather near and dear to my heart: the 2015 International Whitehead Conference.
Alfred North Whitehead is, hands down, one of the most important and original thinkers in the entire Western canon. My own not so modest — but, at least, peer-reviewed! — reasoned and researched evaluation of his contributions may be found HERE. (The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is an excellent resource, specifically aimed at a non-academic, non-specialist audience. But they do seem to be down for maintenance a great deal of late, especially over the weekends. If you have trouble pulling up the article, I beg your patience and encourage you to come back sometime during the week.)
This conference will be breaking the mold WRT the traditional academic gathering, in that it is intended to address issues far beyond the merely scholarly to the global problems of climate change, reductive understandings of the world, gangster capitalism, and plutocratic ‘democracy for hire’ (my phrase), that not only dog our societies at present, but threaten those societies with catastrophe if not outright extinction. While there will be many technical panels at this conference (and yes, alas, I’ll even be leading one such panel) there will also be a great deal of accessible content for the general public. Indeed, the final grade for all panels and presentations will be determined by the success in broadening the conversation of technical philosophy to the public realm of real policy, real decision, and real effect.
If there is any chance for you to make it out to Claremont, CA, in the early days of June this next year, I invite you to consider attending some part of this conference. The schedule of events is still in the formative stage, but if you scan through the program in its current standing (as provided by the link above) you might find many possible conversations of interest (even passion!) in which you could be a co-participant and co-creator.
Public philosophy used to be a common place, but not so much anymore. This conference is a chance to re-engage the best thought with the deepest and most pressing problems we face as a public and as individuals. If you have the chance, I encourage you to consider being one of our participants.