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 (

Reading Group on Rene Girard – Mimetic Theory

As some have mentioned interest in exploring Rene Girard’s ideas on Mimetic Theory, I have finally been able to arrange the details for a reading group. The reading group will be 3 weeks, each week dedicated to one for the 3 phases of Mimetic Theory (MT), namely:

  • Mimetic Desire
  • The Scapegoat Mechanism
  • Judaic-Christian response to the Scapegoat mechanism

Well do close textual readings of Girard’s original texts and of course share insights and discussions around Mimetic Theory. The point being to share and empower each other regarding MT, and we do this from different perspectives.

Interested people range from anthropologists, people working in corporate South Africa, educational pedagogy, religious studies, people interested in aesthetics and architecture, active pastors and NGO activists to of course philosophers. It promises to be an inter-disciplinary and highly stimulating hour and half.

All people are invited – Please spread far and wide.

Unisa Anthropology department has been so kind as to offer us a venue. Good coffee is on offer in exchange for challenging insight relating to MT.

Details are as follows:

Dates: Thursday

29 August

5 September

12 Septemer

Time: 15:00 for 15:30 (ending at 16:30)

Venue: Unisa Pretoria, Room 4-150 Theo van Wijk Building in Anthropology and Archeology department. (Meet at front of Unisa Main doors at 15:00 so we wont get lost)

Please let me know if you are interested in attending and I’ll forward the reading for each week. It isn’t meant to be long , and if you can’t read them before hand don’t worry about it.

Best Wishes


CFP (2nd): PSSA 2014

Second call for papers for the PSSA Conference, January 2014

This is the second call for papers for the annual conference of the Philosophical Society of Southern Africa. The conference will be hosted by the Department of Philosophy at the University of the Free State (South Africa) in Bloemfontein. The date of the conference is Monday 20 – Wednesday 22 January 2014.  The conference has no theme, and papers in all areas of philosophy are welcome.  Abstracts of no more than 200 words should reach the conference organiser by 31 October 2013.

Members of the PSSA and Philosophy departments in South Africa are kindly asked to distribute this notification about the conference to anyone who may be interested in attending or presenting. As in the past, participants of the conference will be able to send their presentations for possible inclusion in a special number of the South African Journal of Philosophy.

Confirmation of papers accepted for the conference will take place by 15 November 2013. If you require this information at an earlier date, please indicate this to the conference organiser.

The venue of the PSSA Conference is the Bloem Spa Hotel and Conference Centre. Special rates have been secured for attendees who chose to stay at the Hotel. Further details of accommodation and conference costs will follow in a later notice. The website of the venue can be found here: .

 The conference organiser is Helen Cawood, email:

Conference Secretariat: Ms Helen Cawood (chair), Prof. Pieter Duvenage (member) and Ms Dirnel Casselegio (secretary), Department of Philosophy, University of the Free State (South Africa), P.O. Box 339, Bloemfontein, 9300.

Telephone: +27 51 401 2237 Fax: +27 51 401 3993


Tweede uitnodiging vir bydraes tot die WVSA/PSSA-konferensie, Januarie 2014

Hierdie is die tweede uitnodiging vir bydraes tot die jaarlikse konferensie van die Wysgerige Vereniging van Suider-Afrika. Die konferensie word deur die Departement Filosofie van die Universiteit van die Vrystaat in Bloemfontein aangebied. Die datum van die konferensie is Maandag 20 – Woensdag 22 Januarie 2014. Die konferensie het geen spesifieke tema nie en bydraes uit alle gebiede van die filosofie is welkom. Abstrakte van nie meer nie as 200 woorde moet die konferensie-organiseerder teen 31 Oktober 2013 bereik.

Lede van die WVSA/PSSA en Filosofie departemente in Suid-Afrika word vriendelik versoek om hierdie inligting oor die konferensie te stuur aan enigeen wat sal belangstel om dit bytewoon of ‘n voordrag te lewer. Soos in die verlede is alle deelnemers aan die konferensie welkom om hulle bydraes aan die SA Tydskrif vir Wysbegeerte (SAJP) voor te lê, vir moontlike insluiting in ‘n spesiale nommer.

Bevestiging van die konferensievoordragte sal teen 15 November 2013 gemaak word. Indien hierdie inligting vroeër verlang word, moet die konferensie-organiseerder asseblief verwittig word.

Die konferensie sal plaasvind by die Bloem Spa Hotel en Konferensiesentrum. Spesiale tariewe sal van toepassing wees op konferensiegangers wat verkies om by die hotel te bly. Verdere details oor verblyf- en konferensiekoste sal later aangekondig word. Die webtuiste van die konferensieplek is:

Die konferensie-organiseerder is Helen Cawood, e-pos:

Konferensiesekretariaat: Me. Helen Cawood (voorsitter), Prof. Pieter Duvenage (lid) en Me. Dirnel Casselegio (sekretaresse), Departement Filosofie, Universiteit van die Vrystaat (Suid-Afrika), Posbus 339, Bloemfontein, 9300.

Telefoon: +27 51 401 2237 Faks: +27 51 401 3993

MEPSS @ UJ, 17 September 2013

MEPSS: Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Science Symposium 

17 September, 10:30-17:15, University of Johannesburg

Speakers: Don Ross, Dean Peters, David Spurrett, Michael Vlerick, Alex Broadbent

This informal symposium  is intended to strengthen the connections with in the South African philosophical community between those working on topics in metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of science. The three areas picked out in the acronym are intended to be construed broadly, so as to encompass – or at least to welcome – philosophy of language, mind, and other related areas. The goal is to promote conversation, share work, and generally get together more frequently. If this MEPSS goes well then, hopefully, the event will be repeated, either at UJ or elsewhere.

The symposium is open to any scholar (including graduate students) with active research interests in these areas.


Time Title Speaker Affiliation
10.15 Coffee
10.30 Reality is Stochastic: Modality for Naturalists Don Ross UCT
11.30 Coffee
11.45 Is (Partial) Theoretical Continuity a Methodological Norm of Science? Dean Peters UJ
12.45 Lunch
13.45 Intragenomic Conflict and Common Currencies David Spurrett UKZN
14.45 Coffee
15.00 Biological Constraints and Cognitive Closure Michael Vlerick UJ
16.00 Coffee
16.15 Prediction Alex Broadbent UJ
17.15 Close

TO REGISTER please email Adrian Erasmus by 30 August. Attendance is free but registration is necessary for logistical purposes.

Participants are also invited to the book launch for Alex Broadbent’s Philosophy of Epidemiology, published in 2013 by Palgrave Macmillan, 17.30-19.30 on 17 September.



We are pleased to announce a call for papers for a colloquium on happiness that will form part of the annual conference of Philosophical Society of Southern Africa (PSSA) in 2014. The colloquium will be run as a special parallel session throughout the conference. Participants are invited to submit papers related to the overall theme from within any philosophical sub-discipline, e.g. philosophy of economics, moral philosophy, aesthetics, political philosophy, neurophilosophy or philosophy of literature. Papers on the following topics are particularly welcome:
o   Classical vs modern theories of happiness
o   The role of reason in happiness
o   Is happiness a moral concept?
o   Measuring happiness
o   Happiness and pleasure
o   Public happiness
o   Happiness and utility
o   Justice, happiness and welfare
o   Representations of happiness in literature and art
o   Arguments against happiness

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should reach the organiser, Judy-Ann Cilliers (, as soon as possible but definitely no later than 30 October 2013. Note that the number of presentation slots is limited and that early submission is advisable.

Papers presented at the colloquium may be submitted for publication in a special issue of the South African Journal of Philosophy (SAJP) that will be devoted to happiness. To be considered for inclusion, full papers must reach the guest editors, Vasti Roodt ( and Isabelle Wienand (, by 1 April 2014. Author guidelines for the SAJP can be downloaded at

There is no additional registration fee for attending this colloquium. It forms part of the PSSA 2014 conference and will be held at the same venue. See full CFP for PSSA 2014 at

Participants are reminded to reserve rooms as soon as possible, since availability is limited. For more information on accommodation, see full CFP for PSSA 2014.

Organised by Vasti Roodt (Department of Philosophy, University of Stellenbosch) and
Isabelle Wienand (Department of Philosophy, University of Fribourg)

The Spring Colloquium, September 2013

The annual Spring Colloquium will this year be held at Everglades in the Midlands KwaZulu-Natal, and is hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  It will take place from the 28th to the 29th of September 2013. Presentations will begin the morning of the 28th and the colloquium will end by lunch on Sunday the 29th (final programme will be circulated soon after 12th August 2013).


Papers in all areas of philosophy welcome.

Please email abstracts of no more than 300 words for consideration to:

Abstracts should reach us no later than the 31st of July 2013.

Notification of acceptance will be sent out no later than 12th August 2013 (though early notification is possible for those who require it for securing funding and who send in abstracts early).

Papers not accepted for presentation can be officially tabled on request (again, early notification can be sent out if required for funding purposes).


We have secured a discounted accommodation price of R600 pppn sharing (this includes meals and general conference costs) for the nights of the 27th and the 28th for those who book by the 1st July 2013. Those who book after the 1st July 2013 will have to pay a higher fee. Early booking is therefore highly recommended.

For bookings, participants are asked to contact the hotel directly (speak to Carl) – Reference: Philosophy Spring Colloquium.


Tel. (033) 234-9042

For more information about the venue:

More Info

If you have any questions about the Spring Colloquium, please email us at:

Spring Colloquium 2013 Organisers

Dr Heidi Matisonn

Dr Jacek Brzozowski