Tamás Paár paar.tamas at gmail.com
Fri Apr 24 17:47:15 CEST 2015

Tisztelt Listatagok,
Szeretném figyelmükbe ajánlani a PPKE BTK és az MTA BTK FI szervezésében
megvalósuló The Registers of Philosophy I. konferenciát. Angol leírását és
a részleteket lásd alább, illetve csatolva.
A konferencia Facebook-eseménye:
Paár Tamás

Our aim is to foster the research of writing/speaking styles in philosophy
as well as to explore the relationship of philosophy, literature and
rhetoric. By doing this we hope to broaden the actually available styles
for philosophers by drawing their attention to various alternatives to
regular styles practiced in journals.
We plan two further occasions in Autumn 2015 and Spring 2016 to elaborate
the theme.

Jon Stewart has recently argued in his book The Unity of Content and Form
in Philosophical Writing (2013) that the style of contemporary philosophy –
particularly in its Anglo-American version – is extremely impoverished.
This homogeneity, according to Stewart, has its roots in the scientific
model of philosophy and philosophical writing, in the philosophy of
language that was popular in the beginning of the last century and in the
fact that during the professionalization of philosophy a particular mode of
writing proved to be the most useful one. Noting the deep similarities of
current philosophical pieces would of course not cause any surprise – but
Stewart went on to argue that this kind of uniformity in philosophical
writing causes much harm to philosophy itself. The standardization not only
makes some thoughts to be only ineffectively expressible in philosophy, but
shifts the attention of courses both at undergraduate and graduate level to
the regular type of philosophical texts. Irregular genres or styles are
left out from the curriculum at many places, their own characteristics and
the messages encoded in philosophical styles do not gain attention. ‘By
insisting on a single form of writing – Stewart emphasized –, professional
philosophy implicitly imposes a certain notion about how to read
philosophy.’ The ability to read some classics is fading away. And works
falling outside of the scope of the writing which people are now accustomed
to are deemed to be unphilosophical, lacking rigor and therefore
Nevertheless one might argue that even nowadays various philosophical
genres and styles are flourishing, and not only in continental philosophy.
Philosophical novels and poems are being published, philosophy is present
in theatres and cinemas, not to mention the different web pages that are
dedicated to philosophical topics. Even analytic writings do not always use
the same style. Furthermore, as Keith Allen noted in his review of The
Unity of Content and Form in Philosophical Writing, ‘Stewart’s selection of
case studies to illustrate the diversity of forms that philosophical
writing can take raises interesting questions about when it is appropriate
to describe a work as a work of philosophy.’
Now how uniform really is today’s philosophy? Is the homogeneity of styles
dangerous for philosophy itself? What are the themes that only fit well
with some genres or styles? What is the exact connection between content
and form? Should philosophers pay attention to genres practiced outside of
academia? The aim of our series of conferences is to investigate these
questions and more. We would like to look at the problems of content and
form in philosophy both from historical and contemporary perspectives, from
the viewpoint of analytic and continental philosophy as well as from the
standpoint of styles that fall outside the scope of academic philosophy.
Stewart claimed that questions of form, genre and style should be
entertained not only at the literature departments but by professional
philosophers too. As he argued: ‘To read philosophical texts as literature
is to miss the specifically philosophical meaning that they contain.’ We
would like to give a joint occasion for both of these disciplines to
discuss the problems introduced above. Like Stewart, we would like to bring
philosophers to the perils of conformity, to explore the various forms and
the diverse ways of not only writing, reading and interpreting philosophy
but teaching, discussing, presenting, popularizing or doing it.

VENUE: Pázmány Péter Catholic University
1088, Budapest, Mikszáth Kálmán tér 1., room 218


9:45 – Opening remarks
10:00 – Keynote address
J.D. MININGER: The Style Unto Death: Meditations on Untimely Late Style in
10:50 – Commentary by GÉZA KÁLLAY
11:10 – Discussion

11:30 – 13:00 – Lunch break

13:00 – TIBOR BÁRÁNY: The Unity of Form and Content in Philosophy and the
Principle of Expressibility
13:20 – DAVID WEBERMAN: A False Dilemma: Philosophy is Either Argument or
Mere Poetry
13:40 – ZSOLT BAGI: Styles in Philosophy. On the Possibility of a
Phenomenology of Language
14:00 – Discussion

14:30 – 15:00 – break

15:00 – ZSOLT ALMÁSI: Francis Bacon's Confession of Faith and Experimental
15:20 – FERENC HÖRCHER: Autobiography as Philosophy: the Case of Vico and
15:40 – Discussion

16:00 – 16:20 – break

16:20 – THOMAS ROONEY: Philosophical Genres in the Writing Classroom
16:40 – LÁSZLÓ NEMES: The Philosophical Café as Philosophy
17:00 – Discussion
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