CFP: Science and Society in Africa

3—4 Sept 2014, Stellenbosch


Please e-mail abstracts to:

Africa faces the challenge of improving the critical understanding of science among non-scientists while respecting and responding to the fact that the history of science has been dominated by Europe and the USA.  Scientists in Africa must also grapple with colonial legacies of the use of a continent as a laboratory and a field-site. At the same time, Africa presents a challenge to science studies disciplines (e.g. philosophy, anthropology, communications) as they have evolved in Europe and the United States. At present there is a perceived gap between two positions: epistemic relativism which situates science as merely one socially constructed way of knowing among others of equal validity and realism, which accords it greater status as a universally true body of knowledge.  Both have been critiqued: realism has been cast as ignoring the influence of social factors on science and relativism has been pronounced to be impractical.

Closing this gap is politically and socially critical for development on the continent, as well as of global intellectual importance. Societies and science in Africa need to come to terms with each other, both as a set of social institutions and as knowledge-producers.

We welcome 300 word abstracts dealing with the following themes, or others relevant to the overall theme of the workshop:-

  • The proper integration of scientific knowledge in societies ruled by democratic and democratising states.
  • Science as one of many ways to understand race and human nature in post-colonial African contexts.
  • Biotechnology, nanotechnology and ‘blue sky science’ in African societies
  • ‘From bench to cell phone’: the challenges of ensuring public access to research and translating science into technology and institutional practices in a digital era.
  • The socio-economic and political challenges facing early career scientists in Africa
  • African coherence in science: the role of regional philanthropy and collaborations in agenda setting and contextual solutions

Participants will be invited to attend the conference to offer presentations based on full 5 000 word papers which should be based on these abstracts. (Drafts of these papers will be circulated to participants in advance and will need to be ready by 1 August 2014.)

This  workshop is being jointly organised by the South African Young Academy of Science, the Philosophy Department of University of Johannesburg, the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Stellenbosch University and the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Cape Town.

The conference organizers are: Professor Alex Broadbent at the University of Johannesburg; Dr. Mandisa Mbali at Stellenbosch University and Dr. Tolullah Oni at the University of Cape Town.

The meeting will take place at Stellenbosch University.  Some travel funding will be available for post-graduate students and early career scholars.


CFP: Happiness Special Issue of SAJP


Special issue of the South African Journal of Philosophy

Guest editors: Vasti Roodt (Stellenbosch University) and Isabelle Wienand (University of Fribourg / University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland)

What is happiness and how do we know when we have achieved it? Why do we desire happiness, and should we desire it? Is happiness a mental state or a prudential value, a subjective experience or the fulfilment of objective criteria, the satisfaction of desire or a measure of overall well-being? Is happiness culturally determined? What is the relationship between happiness and the good? What can the history of philosophy teach us about the idea of happiness? This special issue of the South African Journal of Philosophy invites contributions on these and other philosophical questions related to happiness. Submissions on the following topics are particularly welcome:

  • Classical versus modern theories of happiness
  • Perspectives on happiness from within African philosophy
  • The role of reason in happiness
  • Happiness as a moral concept
  • Happiness and pleasure
  • Happiness and utility
  • Justice, happiness and welfare
  • Measuring happiness
  • Philosophical issues raised by the psychology of happiness
  • Happiness and psychopathology
  • Representations of happiness in literature and/or art

The deadline for submissions is 1 June 2014 for publication in the SAJP Vol. 33 No. 4, 2014. All manuscripts must be submitted in electronic format by e-mail. They are to be prepared for anonymous review and sent as e-mail attachments (.doc, .docx, or .rtf files) to both guest editors, Vasti Roodt ( and Isabelle Wienand ( Manuscripts should be 6000-8000 words in length and adhere to the SAJP instructions for authors, available at All submissions will undergo double-blind peer review. However, authors should include their full name, affiliation and address for email correspondence with their submission. Further enquiries can be addressed to the guest editors or to the editor of the SAJP, Andrea Hurst, at

The SAJP is the official journal of the Philosophical Society of Southern Africa. The journal is anonymously refereed, indexed and published by Taylor & Francis. The journal website is



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 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 ( 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 ( and The View (, 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: Alternatively, please contact Rafael Winkler (, Catherine Botha (, Abraham Olivier (, Andrea Hurst ( or Marianna Oelofsen (

1st CFP: PPA 9th Annual Conference

9th Annual Conference of the Postgraduate Philosophy Association of Southern Africa (PPA)


DATE:             19th & 20th July, 2014

PLACE:           Innovation Centre, 

      Howard College, 


 The annual conference of the Postgraduate Philosophy Association will this year be hosted by the University of Kwazulu Natal.  Postgraduate students in all areas of Philosophy are invited to submit abstracts.  Please distribute this CFP as widely as possible.


Please email abstracts of no more than 300 words to

Abstracts should be submitted by 19 May 2013

Notification of acceptance will be sent by 6 June 2013

Conference Fee:

There will be a conference fee of R250.

The conference dinner will be held on Saturday and will be at your own cost.

Venue & Accommodation:

The conference will be held at the Innovation Centre, UKZN.  Information regarding accommodation will be sent with the 2nd call for papers.

We are excited to host the conference and look forward to reading all the interesting abstracts.  Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions.

Warm regards,

Conference organisers: Carin Robinson, Elmarie Venter and Greg Swer


CFP: ISAPS 20th Annual Conference, 30-31 May 2014

International Society for African Philosophy and Studies (ISAPS)
20th Annual Conference
Conference theme: Re-thinking African Identity and Culture
20th Annual Conference of the ISAPS
International Society for African Philosophy and Studies
30th to 31st May, 2014,
Department of Philosophy, in conjunction with the Fort Hare Institute for Social and Economic Research (FHISER), Fort Hare University, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Conference organisers: Dr Rianna Oelofsen, Prof Leslie Bank, Dr Luvuyo Ntombana, Prof Charles Verharen & Motsamai Molefe.
Call for papers:
What is ‘Africa’, and who is ‘African’? How does identity and culture feature in the politics of Africa and its diasporas? Is there a role for ‘race’ in the understanding of African identity and culture? Is there a role for Steve Biko’s philosophy of ‘black consciousness’ in the current global political landscape, and if so, what is the role it should play? What is the relationship between different identities and oppressive relationships, and what is the best way of approaching emancipation in contexts where identity plays a core role in oppressive relationships, such as in oppressive relationships between different genders or races? What avenues are there to explore our mutuality and connectedness across these divides as captured by the politics of difference and oppression?
Through focusing on concepts such as ‘black consciousness’ which have their roots in Africa, (yet engaging with these concepts critically) this conference is meant as a project of decolonising the mind, and is meant to allow an avenue to continue to question how we can live and theorize in a world which structurally marginalizes Africa and its contributions.
Deadline for Submission of Abstracts: 28 February 2014
Please note that there have been issues with visas not being processed in time in the past, and so we encourage international delegates to send in their abstracts as soon as possible, so that there is ample time to ensure visas are processed in time.
Date of Conference:
Arrival: Thursday, 29 May, 2014
Conference: Friday, 30 – Saturday, 31 May, 2014
Fort Hare Historical tour to Alice campus, 1 June 2014
Keynote Speaker (still to be confirmed):
Prof. D.A. Masolo
University of Louisville,
Kentucky, U.S.A
Conference fee and accommodation:
The organisers would appreciate if delegates whose papers are accepted could pay the conference fee of US$120 (+ US$30 for membership to the society if interested) as soon as they receive their acceptance letter. Arrangements will be made for electronic payments.
Delegates who are interested to stay at the venue should also indicate this, and please pay a deposit of 50% for accommodation deposit. Delegates can view the venue and accommodation details at
Submission and enquiries:

Final CFP: Scientific Realism 5-9 Aug 2014 Cape Town

FINAL Call for Papers

New Thinking about Scientific Realism 5-9 August 2014 Cape Town, South Africa

Due date for Abstracts:     31 January 2014

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 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 – Michela Massimi (University of Edinburgh)

Session 4: The Semantic View and Scientific Realism – Steven French (University of Leeds)

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

Session 6: Anti-Realism – Kyle Stanford (University of California, Irvine)

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

Quarraisha Abdool Karim [Epidemiology, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Columbia University]

Jannie Hofmeyr [Biochemistry, University of Stellenbosch]

Don Ross [Economics, University of Cape Town]

Bruce Rubidge [Paleontology, University of the Witwatersrand]

Mark Solms [Neuropsychology, University of Cape Town]

Heribert Weigert [Physics, 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



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 is available on the conference website.


First Round Bookings:         15 March 2014 to 15 June 2014

  • R6,860.00 – Conference Package: This includes registration, 5 nights single accommodation in Villa Via Hotel  including dinner, bed, and breakfast plus 2 soft drinks (1 per meal), the conference dinner, and transfer to and from the airport (provided there are two or more passengers).
  • R5,260.00 – Conference Package: This includes registration, 5 nights sharing accommodation in Villa Via Hotel including dinner, bed, and breakfast plus 2 soft drinks (1 per meal), the conference dinner, and transfer to and from the airport (provided there are two or more passengers).

Second Round Bookings:  16 June 2014 – 31 July 2014

  • R7,000.00 – Conference Package: This includes registration, 5 nights single accommodation in Villa Via Hotel including dinner, bed, and breakfast plus 2 soft drinks (1 per meal), the conference dinner, transfer to and from the airport (provided there are two or more passengers).
  • R5,400.00 – Conference Package: This includes registration, 5 nights sharing accommodation in Villa Via Hotel including dinner, bed, and breakfast plus 2 soft drinks (1 per meal), the conference dinner, transfer to and from the airport (provided there are two or more passengers).


NOTE that participants finding alternative accommodation (thus not in the Villa Via Hotel) must pay a conference fee:

Registration before 15 June 2014:     1500 ZAR (approximately 101 EUR, 140 USD, 85 GBP according to current exchange rates)

Registration between 16 June and 31 July:      1700 ZAR.

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

Conference Website:

Publication of Conference Proceedings

We are planning an exciting publication based on conference papers. There will be more detail on this on the website when our plans have been confirmed.

We look forward to hosting the conference.

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)