Left-libertarianism, Academic Philosophy

The (Philosophical) Battle of Seattle: CFP for the Molinari Society Spring 2012 Symposium, “Explorations in Philosophical Anarchy (II)”

The Molinari Society is calling for papers. Your papers.

In what may be of some interest to philosophically-inclined Bleeding Heart Libertarians: the Molinari Society (of which I am a member; hence the blurbing) is holding a session in conjunction with the APA Pacific Division meeting in Seattle, April 4-7, 2012. (The Molinari Society is a philosophical society dedicated to promoting critical discussion and innovative research in radical libertarian theory — not only political or economic theory, but also in developing “thicker” philosophical conceptions of libertarianism, as a wide-ranging body of theory concerning the nature and foundations of human society, with implications for every aspect of philosophy, including epistemology, social-science methodology, ethics, aesthetics, and the philosophies of history, religion, law, science, language and logic. We take our name from Gustave de Molinari, the Belgian economist and essayist who, in 1849, first described how market institutions could supply all legitimate legal and protective services in an advanced stateless society. You can take a gander at our past symposia at the Molinari Society homepage.)

* * *

Call for Papers

for the Society’s Symposium to be held in conjunction with the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division meeting, April 4-7, 2012, Seattle.

Symposium Topic:
Explorations in Philosophical Anarchy (II)

Submission Deadline:
September 30, 2011

The past two decades have seen a resurgence of interest, both in activist and academic circles, in Anarchist politics and theory, with new and challenging work from several different directions. Renewed academic interest in Anarchism has drawn attention to the importance, vitality and philosophical fruitfulness of key Anarchist arguments and concepts – such as the conflict between authority and autonomy; tensions between collectivism and individualism; critical challenges to hierarchy, centralized power, top-down control and authoritarian conceptions of representation; and the development of concepts of spontaneous social order, decentralized consensus, and the knowledge problems and ideological mythologzing inherent in relations or structures of domination.

Most of this discussion has, naturally enough, taken place within the field of political and moral philosophy. But Anarchist theory (like marxist or feminist theory) embodies more than a policy orientation or a system of moral or political theses. The Anarchist tradition offers a wide-ranging, diverse and vigorously argued literature, concerning the nature and foundations of human society, with implications for every aspect of philosophy, including not only political and moral theory but also aesthetics, social-science methodology, epistemology, and the philosophies of science, religion, history, language and logic. We are looking for papers that address possible connections, approaches, challenges or insights that anarchy and its conceptual environs may suggest for philosophy broadly – or that philosophy may suggest for anarchy – beyond the familiar territory of political and moral theory, especially in such areas as epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of logic, and metaphilosophy or philosophical method. Papers from all analytical and critical standpoints (both with regard to philosophy and with regard to Anarchism) are welcome.

Please submit complete papers of 3,000-6,000 words for consideration for the 2012 Symposium by September 30, 2011. Papers should be of appropriate scope and length to be presented within 15-30 minutes. Submitting authors will be notified of the acceptance or rejection of their papers by October 10, 2011.

Submit papers as e-mail attachments, in Word .doc format or PDF, to longrob@auburn.edu or feedback@radgeek.com.

For any questions or information, contact us at the above email addresses.

* * *

I know that not everyone here is an Anarchist, so I should mention that that bit about “all analytical and critical standpoints” is seriously intended – papers that are broadly interested in libertarian ideas but not specifically with Anarchism are welcome; and papers that argue that Philosophy has something important on which to correct Anarchism, or which argue that Anarchism has implications for Philosophy, and the wrongness of those implications offer a modus tollens against Anarchism, are as welcome as papers with the opposite directions of fit.

In any case, to give you an idea of what we mean, some examples of possible topics include – but are hardly limited to:

  • Authority and Epistemology
  • Anarchy and Logic
  • Illusions of control in philosophy
  • Decentralism or spontaneous order in philosophy of language
  • Philosophical implications of the work of “canonical” Anarchist theorists (Godwin, Proudhon, Molinari, Tucker, Spooner, Kropotkin, Tolstoy, De Cleyre, Goodman, Bookchin, Rothbard, Wolff, Zerzan…)
  • Anarchy and Rationality
  • Hierarchy, legibility and knowledge problems
  • Philosophical Method and Anarchism
  • Claims of representation and claims of knowledge
  • Etc.