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Philosophy of Education Conference, 2018

Date: January 11 – 13, 2018

Last Date for Submission of Paper, October 15, 2017

The Philosophy of Education Unit at Azim Premji University invites submissions for its Sixth Annual Philosophy of Education Conference to be held in January 2018, in Bangalore, India.

The Philosophy of Education (PoE) Conference will be held from January 11 to 13, 2018, and will have Moral and Political Education as its theme. The overall conference theme of Moral and Political Education is elaborated below. We expect that potential contributors will find diverse ways to relate what we say here to their interests, thereby enriching the pool of ideas under discussion.

The view that education is an essential ingredient of a good life and character, or a means to import or restore values and meaning in social life, may be found in various guises in numerous philosophical traditions. In Western antiquity, Plato understood education as aiming at initiation into the rational practices that make up our moral and political lives. If it makes sense to speak of education as involving a renewal or transmission of knowledge, skills and perspectives from one generation to the next, then it makes sense to hold that an important chunk of what is transmitted consists of moral and political values. It would be fair to suppose that such values help the members of any community to organize various aspects of their lives.

Such a “transmission of values” is necessarily open-ended in the sense that values that fail the test of adaptability to novel conditions must necessarily lapse or be updated. The conditions that Plato’s Republic responded to were very unlike the conditions under which Rousseau wrote Émile. Likewise, the theorizing of political education in a twenty-first century democratic society occurs in a space shaped by such realities as imbalances of income and socio-political opportunities, multiculturalism, militaristic and fascistic nationalisms, climate change, and refugee crises across the globe. Conceptions of the good life today must reckon with complex political and economic legacies, social relations defined by schisms of gender, caste, race, class and ability. Recent events in the world have also made it imperative for us to address the conflict between the mutually opposed stances of universal acceptance of liberal values, and skepticism concerning the possibility of those values.

Under such complex circumstances as outlined above, how might we conceptualize, implement or evaluate proposals for moral and political education? For starters, how might what gets cast as “value education” in the Indian school curriculum be prised apart conceptually from what one might identify as moral, civic or political education? What ought to be the shape of a program of moral education in a secular democratic society? How might the initiation of children into the morally and politically significant practices of a community be meshed with such aims of education as the development of reason or of numeracy and literacy? Just what is it to initiate children into these practices: how should one characterise the educational processes that aim to produce individuals sensitive to moral rights and duties? What precisely does education for citizenship have to do with the development of a moral and political sense in children? What might education for peace, or human rights education have to with developing a moral or political conscience?

Submissions on any topic related to the themes of moral and political education are welcome. We encourage papers from research scholars and young faculty working in Education, Philosophy, Psychology and Political Theory. Papers (suitable for a 25-30 minute presentation, and no longer than 5,000 words) should be submitted in the online system on our website by October 15, 2017. System will be opened for submissions on 1st June 2017. All papers must be prepared for blind review and include a short abstract (350-500 words).

Speakers at the Conference on invitation
  • Akeel Bilgrami, Columbia University, USA
  • David Hansen, Teachers college, Columbia University, USA
  • Geoffrey Hinchliffe, University of East Anglia, UK
  • Kanchana Mahadevan, Mumbai University, Mumbai
  • Niraja Gopal Jayal, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  • Paul Standish, UCL Institute of Education, UK
  • Rohit Dhankar, Azim Premji University, Bangalore

If you have any query regarding the conference or paper submissions, please write to [email protected].

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