Call for Papers: Philosophy and Childhood

13-14 July 2017, University of Salzburg, Austria

Keynote Speakers

S. Matthew Liao  (New York)
Amy Mullin (Toronto)

Adam Swift (Warwick)

While neglected for a long time, the moral and political status of children has aroused considerable attention in the last years. Philosophers are increasingly interested in the challenges children and childhood pose for ethical theories and the normative concepts suitable for grasping the special situation of children. Children’s rights, the well-being of children, the place of children in theories of justice and the value of childhood have been discussed extensively and there is a vivid debate on issues like educational justice and the family as the central institution for childrearing. Still, there are many controversies going on which need further examination, e.g. regarding the vulnerability of children, their agency, the nature of childhood and the implications different phases of childhood have for the normative status of the child, e.g. when considering the autonomy and rights of teenagers. In addition there is the question on what ethical theories can contribute to the evaluation and improvement of dangers children are facing currently, like child poverty, obesity or the economization of childhood.

This conference wants to bring together philosophers and interested scholars from other disciplines working on these and related subjects. It aims to be a forum for the most recent developments in philosophy and childhood. Submissions are welcome from all fields of philosophy where the moral and political status of children is discussed: social and political philosophy, philosophy of law, medical ethics, philosophy of education, applied ethics etc.

The Organizing Committee invites the submission of abstracts for single papers and thematic panels on all topics of philosophy and childhood.

Please submit an abstract of 350 words ready for blind review using the submission form on the conference homepage:

The deadline for submissions is 28 February 2017, notifications will be sent out approximately three weeks after this deadline. If you run into any troubles with your submission please email the organizers: gunter.graf[a]

This conference is organized jointly by the Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research, University of Salzburg, and the Chair of Philosophy V, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich.

This conference is organized as part of the research project “Social Justice and Child Poverty”, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): P26480:

Alex Bagattini (Munich)
Monika Betzler (Munich)
Mar Cabezas (Salzburg)
Gunter Graf (Salzburg)
Gottfried Schweiger (Salzburg)

Trans Mountain Pipeline

pipelineTwo views. Comments welcome. Arguments solicited!

CBC News: Beyond the hippie stereotype: A closer look at the opposition to Trans Mountain

“If anyone could show me that the Trans Mountain pipeline was actually in Canada’s national interest, then I could wrap my head around taking some risk for that, but I don’t see how it is,” says Mary Cleaver, a Vancouver real estate agent who has steadfastly attended protests — occasionally with her kids — despite a gnawing belief that the effort is futile.” – Mary Cleaver

 Vancouver Sun Editorial: Trans Mountain Pipeline decision strikes the right balance

Despite what you hear from environmentalists, there appears to be a consensus that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau struck a good balance in his difficult decision this week to approve the $6.8-billion Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion while killing the Northern Gateway project and banning oil tankers from B.C.’s northern coast.

Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

EPSON scanner image

EPSON scanner image
“It won’t be long/ until I have won/ until the whole struggle/ disappears in an instant and/ then I can rest in Rosensale/ and eternally/ my Jesus praise. (Translation by Bart Sorensen) Photos from a trip to Denmark.
Søren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher
Søren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pot pourri

Fidel Castro’s legacy (The Atlantic)
by Kathy Gilsinan
After Fidel Castro’s death, a historian looks back on his regime’s brutality, Cuba’s surprising rise to a position of international leadership, and the island’s long, complicated relationship with the United States.

Talking about racism (New York Magazine)
by Drake Baer
How can we talk about race with people who hold racist views? Linguists can give us some clues about what kinds of language open up real conversations, and what kinds just shut down the discussion.

Holiday cheer, without the dead brain cells (The New York Times)
by Gretchen Reynolds
It’s the season for egg nog and winter stouts. Excessive drinking is, of course, not great for your brain. But two new studies offer some potential good news: going for a run could help mitigate the effects of overindulgence.

The meaning of sanctuary (The Conversation)
By Elizabeth Allen
Colleges across the country are considering becoming “sanctuary campuses,” refuges for undocumented students who could face deportation. An English professor who has studied sanctuary law in medieval England looks at the ways the idea of offering sanctuary has manifested itself in European and American history.

Wages and the black working class (Pacific Standard)
by Tom Jacobs
A new study has found that the earnings gap between black and white men has widened in recent years and is now back at the same level as it was in the 1950s. The trend is related to a decline in relative earnings for less-educated workers of all races.

the reasoner



The latest issue of The Reasoner is now freely available for download in pdf format at

Editorial – Patricia Rich

Interview with Kevin Zollman – Patricia Rich

Agency and Causation, 27-29 October – Frederik Van De Putte & Bert Leuridan

Philosophy of risk, 31 Oct-4 Nov – Sven Nyholm

Uncertain Reasoning – Hykel Hosni

Evidence-based medicine – Michael Wilde

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