Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Philosophers' confab

Lund University main building. By Magnus Bäck
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Finally, Mary Wollstonecraft is getting proper attention as a philosopher. A Swedish research programme called Understanding Agency: Conceptions of Action, Human Nature and Value in the Western Philosophic Tradition is one of the organisations giving her a full day:
On 23 February, 2012, there will be a one day symposium on the philosophy of Mary Wollstonecraft, Enlightenment thinker and feminist pioneer. The symposium takes place in Lund and is organized jointly by Understanding Agency and the Philosophical Psychology, Morality and Politics Research Unit at the Universities of Helsinki and Jyväskylä.
Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to hear that Sandrine Berges (who is a serious academic force to contend with, and in her spare time also grapples with the Undead), is addressing this all-day argument of philosophers. Earlier this year, she spoke at Man and Nature from Descartes to Wollstonecraft, though that was in Istanbul, much closer to home at Bilkent.

There is no doubt that Mary Wollstonecraft's most famous book is A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and her "re-discovery"* over the last half-century has been led by the scholars of women's history, a field of study for too long forgotten and suppressed. However, one of the purposes of this blog is to remind the world that Mary does not speak solely to women, or to feminists. She speaks to democrats, Romantics, educationalists, and many other groups. It is good to see philosophers getting their teeth into her, zombies or not.

More info on the academic confab here. (What is the difference between a conference and a symposium, anyway?) [Addendum: the post-conference page is here, with podcasts.]

*In scare quotes, because she was never forgotten: not immediately following her death, not in the aftermath of the French Revolution, not in the long decades leading up to an organised suffrage movement, not once women won the right to education and later the right to vote in one jurisdiction after another, not in the growing prosperity of the C20. 

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