IDEALS & REALITY IN SOCIAL ETHICS 2013
19-21 March, University of Wales, Newport (Caerleon Campus)
– Seyla Benhabib (Yale University)
– Geoffrey Hawthorn (Cambridge University)
– Andrew Sayer (Lancaster University)
Theorists are expert at theorising. Should they also be expert at
negotiating the challenges of practice? Should practitioners and
policymakers listen to them? Or is it best that these two realms are
kept at a healthy distance?
A sequel to the successful event of the same name held last April,
this conference will explore relations between normative theorising
and critique, and the ‘real worlds’ of social and political practice.
We welcome both papers which address the nature and practical
relevance of political, social and moral theory, and papers applying
such theory to issues of current social concern. At last year’s
conference, topics covered in the 80 papers ranged from ideal vs
non-ideal theory; ‘ethics-first’ vs ‘politics-first’ political
philosophy; how to apply concepts from ethical and political theory in
the context of government policy consultations, equality, models of
good parenting, environmental politics, multiculturalism, democracy,
EU citizenship, education, professional ethics, war and terrorism, and
basic income policies.
Again, the conference aims to attract academics, activists,
practitioners and others with an interest in the relationship between
ideals and the concrete demands and possibilities of social life. Key
themes and questions will include:
– (how) do theoretical insights actually enhance practice?
– ideal vs. non-ideal theory
– the relationship between political ideas and the reality of political practice
– the relationship between ethical codes and actual practice, e.g. in
professional context sare notions of ‘reality’ and ‘practice’ always
– the relationship between descriptive and normative approaches to the
study of politics and society
– the relationship between theory and activism
We particularly welcome proposals of themed panels of 3 papers, and
will be happy to consult on the development of ideas in this regard.
Deadline for proposals of papers (300 words) and panels (including a
brief description and any paper proposals already solicited): 30
November 2012. Please send submissions to the email address below, and
insert the word ‘SUBMISSION’ at the beginning of the subject line.
Registration will open in January 2013, with a non-residential fee
expected to be £100, plus optional conference dinner.
Subsidised places will be available for postgraduate students and
those without institutional financial support.
Social Ethics Research Group: http://serg.newport.ac.uk
Conference page: http://philevents.org/event/show/3552
Twitter/Flicker tag: #philevents3238