2nd CFP: Phenomenology and Naturalism

2nd Annual Conference of the South African Centre for Phenomenology

2nd 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 ujphenomenology@gmail.com. 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 Monday the 10th of February 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.

Conference fees:

The fee for the three-day conference for participants is R1254.00 (including VAT) or 456.00 (including VAT) per day should you wish to attend a day only. 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 Auckland Lodge (http://www.aucklandlodge.co.za/). There will be a free shuttle to and from the conference venue and the guesthouse for everyday of the conference for guests. The guesthouse is also within walking distance of the Bunting Road Campus venue.

Alternatively, guests can enquire about accommodation at Plumpudding Guesthouse (http://www.plumpudding.co.za/) and The View (http://www.theviewhotel.co.za/), which are also within a reasonable walking distance from the UJ Bunting Road 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: http://www.uj.ac.za/philosophy. Alternatively, please contact Rafael Winkler (rwinkler@uj.ac.za), Catherine Botha (cbotha@uj.ac.za), Abraham Olivier (aolivier@ufh.ac.za), Andrea Hurst (andrea.hurst@nmmu.ac.za) or Marianna Oelofsen (moelofsen@ufh.ac.za).

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