International Conference 2012

Call for Papers
Philosophy of / as Interdisciplinarity

Tübingen, Germany, Sept 21-23, 2012

Challenging Philosophy: Interdisciplinary problems and disciplinary philosophy

Society faces a number of challenges today that contain a significant philosophical element. But philosophers have been largely trained in disciplinary patterns that make it difficult for them to contribute effectively to real world problems such as science-society relations, environmental problems, and questions of justice and equality.

This conference forms part of a series of continuing efforts to create a community of theory and practice interested in addressing these questions: philosophers able and willing to work with researchers from other fields and in the public and private sectors, scientists and engineers interested in working with philosophers, and science policy researchers and agencies who see the need for greater philosophic awareness regarding their own interdisciplinary pursuits.

Overall, the PIN conferences provide a forum for reflection on two issues: the philosophy of interdisciplinarity, and philosophy as interdisciplinarity. The first focuses on problems regarding the practices and theories of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. The second, considers the theoretical and practical challenges attendant to a new philosophical practice of reflective engagement in the world — one that questions and overcomes the boundaries that have constituted philosophy as a discipline in the 20th century. This is the fourth meeting on these themes.

Invited speakers for the forthcoming conference include

  • Steve Fuller
  • Stephan Lingner
  • Wolfgang Krohn
  • Andrew Light
  • Michael O'Rourke
  • Stephen Crowley
  • Hanne Andersen
  • René Von Schomberg
  • Nicola Erny
  • Adam Briggle
  • Kyle Powys Whyte
  • Kathryn Plaisance
  • Philipp Balsiger

We invite your participation in a two day conference that will focus on these questions. Other related questions could include:

  1. Which roles can or should philosophy play in fields like science, technology, education, policy, politics, media, and interdisciplinary collaboration?
  2. What can philosophical expertise contribute to real-world problems? For example to global change studies, technology assessment, sustainability research, social-ecological research, engineering ethics and policy consultancy?
  3. Are there problems that require philosophical engagement?
  4. How does philosophy itself need to change for being able to contribute to real-world problems?
  5. What would a ‘de-disciplined’ and inter- and transdisciplinary philosophy look like? What would be its tasks, philosophical or otherwise? What new theoretical puzzles would it open?
  6. Does disciplinary philosophy have a future, and if so, what will be its nature and tasks?
  7. How can we foster a community of practice that opens up pathways to a new kind of philosophy?
  8. How should we change philosophical institutions, education, and practices?
  9. What can philosophy contribute to a reflection on interdisciplinarity and problems of interdisciplinary collaboration?
  10. Are there types of knowledge production that require interdisciplinary approaches?

This conference is the fourth meeting of PIN after a workshop in Atlanta, another near Hamburg in Germany, and another conference held in Texas.

The conference is supported by the Udo-Keller-Foundation / Forum Humanum, Neversdorf near Hamburg.

For further information about the Philosophy of / as Interdisciplinarity Network (PIN), visit

To apply: Participants will be selected on the basis of a 500 word abstract describing their presentation.

Deadline: May 15, 2012; send to Notices will be sent out by June 1, 2012. Accepted papers (max. 2500 words) will be posted on the conference website beforehand, so participants are required to send their paper to no later than August 1. Presenters will offer a 20 min summary of their argument at the conference.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact the organization team:

Jan C. Schmidt
Michael Hoffmann
Robert Frodeman
Britt Holbrook