CFP (3rd): New Thinking about Scientific Realism

3rd Call for Papers

New Thinking about Scientific Realism

5-9 August 2014 Cape Town, South Africa


The Philosophy Departments at the University of Pretoria and the University of Johannesburg invite scholars working on scientific realism to submit abstracts for a conference on new thinking about scientific realism.

The aim of the conference is to reconsider and re-evaluate the status quo of debates about scientific realism and to investigate, articulate and open up the possibilities for realising promises of new directions of thought about scientific realism.


Format of the conference:

Our confirmed keynote speaker is Anjan Chakravartty from the University of Notre Dame.


Contributed Sessions & Invited Speakers:

Session 1: General Scientific Realism – Michael Devitt (City University of New York)

Session 2: Truth, Progress, Success and Scientific Realism – Ilkka Niiniluoto (University of Helsinki)

Session 3: Selective Realisms – Steven French (University of Leeds) & Michela Massimi (University of Edinburgh)

Session 4: The Semantic View and Scientific RealismTo be announced

Session 5: Scientific Realism and the Social Sciences – Uskali Mäki (University of Helsinki)

Session 6: Anti-Realism – Kyle Stanford (University of California, Irvine) & Mauricio Suárez – Universidad Complutense de Madrid)


A unique feature of our programme: Symposia between leading international scientists and conference participants. Participating scientists include:

Jannie Hofmeyr [Biochemistry, University of Stellenbosch]

Bruce Rubidge [Paleontology, University of the Witwatersrand]

Mark Solms [Neuropsychology, University of Cape Town]

Heribert Weigert [Physics, University of Cape Town]

Don Ross [Economics, University of Cape Town]


We also plan a conference dinner and a wine tasting event (details to appear soon on the conference website). The conference dinner is included in the conference fee, but the wine tasting will carry an additional fee.


Abstracts & Important Dates (Note that there has been a change in dates)

Abstracts of 750-1000 words must be submitted to the conference email address: Please indicate clearly in which session you see your paper as falling. Please prepare abstracts for blind review.

Due date for abstracts: 31 January 2014

Announcement of accepted papers: 3 March 2014

Registration Period: 15 March 2014 – 31 July 2014 (Discount for early registration will be announced in the final CFP.)



The venue for the conference is the Villa Via Hotel in Gordon’s Bay in the Western Cape (about 45 minutes from Cape Town):

Participants can book accommodation in the hotel, or in one of the guest houses close to the hotel in Gordon’s Bay. More detail with regards to accommodation will be given soon on the conference website.


Conference Fee:

1500 ZAR (approximately 110 EUR, 149 USD, 92 GBP according to current exchange rates)

Information on possible financial aid to postgraduates and other delegates will be given on the website as soon as possible.


Conference Website: Under revision, will communicate new details soon


We look forward to hosting the conference.


We are also planning an exciting publication flowing out of the conference. There will be more details on this on the website in the New Year.


Please feel free to contact us for any clarification at


Organising Committee:

Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem (University of Pretoria) – Chair

Alex Broadbent (University of Johannesburg)

HPP (Hennie) Lötter (University of Johannesburg)

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Workshop: Lötter’s “Poverty, Ethics and Justice”, 9 Nov 2013, UJ

Professor H P P Lötter’s

Poverty, Ethics and Justice


Programme for  Saturday, 9 November 2013 

University of Johannesburg Philosophy Department

Convenor: Prof Thaddeus Metz (079 839 2989)

Logistics: Ms Prema von Reumont (

Humanities Common Room, C-Ring 319, Auckland Park Campus of UJ

9.00 – 9.05  Prof T Metz (UJ), Welcome

9.05 – 9.55  Prof Hennie Lötter (UJ), ‘Précis of Poverty, Ethics and Justice

9.55 – 11.05  Prof Gillian Brock (U of Auckland), ‘How Should We Discharge Our Responsibilities to Eradicate Poverty?’

11.05 – 11.20  Break

11.20 – 12.30  Prof Darrel Moellendorf (Goethe U), ‘Anti-Poverty, Development, and the Limits on Progress’

12.30 – 13.10  Lunch

13.10 – 14.20  Prof Daryl Glaser (Wits U), ‘Democracy in Lötter’s Scheme’

14.20 – 15.00  Mr Peter Mwipikeni (UJ), ‘Evaluating Lotter’s Conception of How Poverty Undermines Democracy’

15.00 – 15.15 Break

15.15 – 15.55 Mr Tristen Taylor (UJ), ‘Lotter’s Challenges: Libertarians and Resource Allocation’

15.55 – 16.35 Ms Amy Meyer (UJ), ‘An Aristotelian Perspective on Issues of Poverty’

16.35 – 17.15 Prof Thaddeus Metz (UJ), ‘African Values and Poverty, Ethics and Justice

Venue: TBA

17.30 – 19.30 Launch of the paperback version of Poverty, Ethics and Justice and supper/drinks in Auckland Park (details to follow)

***All welcome! Attendance at and participation in the workshop is free of charge, but, in order to deal efficiently with logistics, people must register beforehand, ideally by 20 October, by writing Ms Fatima Mathivha <>.***



Workshop: Facing Death, Rhodes, 27-29 Nov 2013

Facing Death

Workshop, Rhodes University November 27-29


Wednesday, 27 November

9.30-11.00       Dylan Futter (University of the Witwatersrand), ‘An Awesome Pain and a Hobgoblin: Fear of Death in Plato’s Phaedo

11.00-11.30     Coffee

11.30-1.00      Jeremy Wisnewski (Hartwick College), ‘The Significance of Insignificance: Two Ways to Learn to Die in an Egocentric World’

1.00-2.00         Lunch

2.00-3.30         JJ Valberg (University College London), ‘The Awfulness of Death’

3.30-4.00         Coffee

4.00-5.30         Michael Sigrist (George Washington University), ‘Existing in the Face of Death: What’s Wrong with Ivan Ilyich?’

Thursday, 28 November

9.30-11.00       Ben Bradley (Syracuse University), ‘How Should We Feel About Death?’

11.00-11.30     Coffee

11.30-1.00      Travis Timmerman (Syracuse University), ‘Your Death Might Be the Worst Thing to Ever Happen to You, but Maybe You Shouldn’t Care’

1.00-2.00         Lunch

2.00-3.30         Thad Metz (University of Johannesburg), ‘Even if Death does not Deprive, One Ought to Dread It’

3.30-4.00         Coffee

4.00-5.30         Adam Buben (Leiden University), ‘Technology of the Dead: Objects of Loving Remembrance or Replaceable Resources?’

Friday, 29 November

9.30-11.00       Pedro Tabensky (Rhodes), ‘Death’s Work’

11.00-11.30     Coffee

11.30-1.00      Ward E. Jones (Rhodes), ‘Death and Being Loved’

1.00-2.00         Lunch

CFP: 2nd Annual Conference of the South African Centre for Phenomenology

2nd Annual Conference of the South African Centre for Phenomenology


1st CFP: Phenomenology and Naturalism


11-13 April 2014

Department of Philosophy, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Organized by Rafael Winkler, Catherine Botha, Abraham Olivier, Andrea Hurst, Marianna Oelofsen


Keynote speakers:

Professor John Sallis (Boston College)

Professor Paul Patton (UNSW)

Professor Tyler Burge (UCLA)

Professor David Papineau (KCL)


Naturalism is one of the dominant trends in both Anglo-American and European philosophy today. Owing to the influence of the works of W.V.O. Quine, Wilfred Sellars and Hillary Putnam among others, scientific naturalism both as a methodological and ontological position has become one of the mainstays of contemporary analytic approaches to knowledge, mind and ethics. From the early 1990s onward, European philosophy in the English-speaking world has been witnessing a shift from the subject-centred philosophies of phenomenology, hermeneutics and existentialism to a position that can loosely be described as non-scientific naturalism or naturalistic monism, owing largely to the translation of Deleuze’s works into English and recent explorations into neuroscience and the philosophy of mind by continental authors such as Catherine Malabou and others. Although there are significant differences between these two kinds of naturalism, both are at one in rejecting the first-person standpoint of phenomenology to the question of mind, meaning, knowledge, normativity, or art. This rejection challenges one of the founding claims of phenomenology, namely that no satisfactory account can be given of these issues from a naturalistic standpoint.

The aim of this three-day international conference is to bring together philosophers and postgraduate students working in the three main areas of contemporary philosophy, namely analytic thought, phenomenology, and continental naturalism. The themes of the conference include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Phenomenology and cognitive science;
  • Phenomenology and the philosophy of mind;
  • Phenomenology’s critique of naturalism;
  • The meaning of nature in art, science and philosophy;
  • Continental and analytic naturalism;
  • Naturalism and subjectivity;
  • Naturalism, nature, art;
  • Life and consciousness;
  • Wittgenstein, Sellars, Putnam, Quine, Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Deleuze, Michel Henry, Bergson on nature, meaning, intentionality or mindedness.


Please provide a 700 word abstract for blind review and send it to The full paper should be no more than 3.500-4.000 words (the conference format allows for a 35-40 min. presentation followed by a 10-15 min. discussion). The deadline for submission of abstracts is Friday the 31st of January 2014. Notification of acceptance will be sent latest by Friday the 21st of February 2014.


The International Journal of Philosophical Studies will be dedicating a special issue to a selection of the papers presented at the conference. Details regarding the submission of papers for consideration for the special issue will be announced in the 2nd CFP.

Conference fees:

The fee for the three-day conference for participants is R1200 (R400 per day). It is free of charge for all participating graduate and PhD students.


A limited number of bursaries will be available for travel and accommodation.


Lodging for conference participants has been arranged at Plumpudding Guesthouse ( and The View (, which are walking distance from the UJ Auckland Park Campus. The current rate at Plumpudding Guesthouse is R650 per night inclusive of breakfast.

For more information about the conference, visit the Department’s website: Alternatively, please contact Rafael Winkler (, Catherine Botha (, Abraham Olivier (, Andrea Hurst ( or Marianna Oelofsen (

Call for Assistance: The Collected Papers of D.C.S. Oosthuizen (1926-1969)

“All who knew D.C.S. Oosthuizen called him Daantjie. He was an influential and creative influence in South African philosophy, beginning with his 1949 cum laude M.A. thesis from the University of Stellenbosch (discussed in Andrew Nash’s paper ‘How Kierkegaard Came to Stellenbosch’).  He then studied in the Netherlands, first at the Free University and then at the City University, where he graduated again cum laude with a DPhil on Husserl. He also studied under Gilbert Ryle during sabbatical years in Oxford in 1962 and 1968.  He taught briefly at Stellenbosch and at the University of the Orange Free State, and led the philosophy department at Rhodes University from 1957 until his early death in 1969.  While there he initiated the journal ‘Occasional Papers’ which later developed into the ‘Philosophical Papers’ we know today.  He was more widely known in South Africa in the 1960’s for his talks and sermons on ethics, politics, culture, and faith under Apartheid, of which he was an early opponent – some of these were published by Ian Bunting in ‘The Ethics of Illegal Action’, SPROCAS/RAVAN, 1973.  He is remembered through an annual academic freedom lecture at Rhodes University.” (Thanks to James Moulder for this)

We are putting together Daantjie’s collected works, which we expect to be able to publish in 2014 – including both his technical philosophy and his more public work.

  • Do you have copies of talks, sermons, papers, or lectures by Daantjie?  We have copies of most papers that were published – and have recently been promised some additional unpublished papers written for Gilbert Ryle and Rom Harre in 1968 – but most of Daantjie’s unpublished work is currently lost.
  • Do you have memories or anecdotes related to Daantjie that they would be willing to share?  We have just started a site of memories and information at : please look.  We would be hugely grateful if you can help extend and improve it.
  • We are also looking urgently for a Husserl scholar who would find it a labour of love to translate a 6655 word paper on Husserl’s Constitution Problem from Afrikaans into English.  The reward for this would be largely spiritual (it should be a good paper!).  We would be happy for the translation to be published separately also, but have little to offer other than acknowledgement and gratitude.

If you have papers, memories or help to offer, or you just want us to let you know when the books are likely to be published, please email Jannie Oosthuizen at

Statement by PSSA Executive on Dr Louise Mabille’s recent article in Praag

The Philosophy Society of Southern Africa (PSSA) distances itself unequivocally from the views attributed to Dr Louise Mabille in her recent article in Praag.  The PSSA is dismayed at the ignorant and racist views expressed within this piece.  Both the Department of Philosophy at the University of Pretoria, and the PSSA, condemn her article in the strongest terms.  Central to philosophical engagement is the rigorous exchange of ideas; there is no place in such engagement for racism and prejudice.

Temporary Lectureship in Philosophy of Science and Medicine

The UP Philosophy Department is seeking a part-time and temporary lecturer to instruct the following course during the first semester in 2014:

FIL 155 Science and World Views This is a first year level semester module that is compulsory for all Medical Science students. There is only one 50 minute lecture a week, but the lecture is repeated twice, as there are usually around 900 students registered for the module. There are also weekly tutorials taught, and assignments marked, by tutors whose work is co-ordinated by the lecturer of the module. Tutorial assignments, 2 semester tests, and the exam and supplementary exam papers are set by the lecturer. The lecturer is responsible for the marking of all written assessments except the tutorial assignments, although tutors may help with marking of short questions in tests and exams. Given the administrative burden of organising 900 students, we are looking to appoint at least two persons.

Within the current course structure, 7 weeks are dedicated to  an introduction to philosophy of science, focusing on scientific method; 2 weeks on an introduction to clinical reasoning; 3 weeks on an introduction to ethics; and 2 weeks on case studies. The current course content and study material will be revised for 2014, with a view to expanding the component on the nature of clinical reasoning, and introducing case studies relevant to health issues in South Africa.

Requirement: A Master’s Degree; teaching experience with large groups of students; ability to teach and debate philosophical ideas with people who do not have an extensive background in philosophy.

Strong recommendation: Solid background in philosophy of science/medicine and ethics; a PhD.

The University of Pretoria is committed to equality, employment equity and diversity.

In accordance with the Employment Equity Plan of the University and its Employment Equity goals and targets, preference may be given, but is not limited, to candidates from under-represented designated groups.
All candidates who comply with the requirements for appointment are invited to apply.
The University of Pretoria reserves the right not to make an appointment to the posts as advertised.

Remuneration starts at around R15 000 for the module for someone satisfying the minimum requirements.

To apply, by 15 October 2014 email the following to the Head of the Department of Philosophy at the address given below:

(1) A CV including academic record, academic teaching experience, , and contact details of two referees

(2) A teaching portfolio that includes evidence of teaching ability, including a lecture schedule/syllabus for the module advertised, and ideally also student evaluations for prior courses

(3) A cover letter detailing a statement of motivation for and interest in the advertised position.

For any further questions, please contact the Head of the Department of Philosophy at the address given below.

Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem Professor and Head

Department of Philosophy, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, Pretoria 0028