/home/lecreumo/public html/wp content/uploads/2024/03/terrain

Call for Papers: Field Philosophy Day

Organized by Allison Marchildon (UdeS) and Alexandra Stankovich (UdeS) as part of the SPQ Annual Conference – June 6, 2024, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

*Note that the event will be held exclusively in French.

Contrary to popular belief, the exploration of a field in philosophy or data from the research environment in which the philosopher immerses themself is not a new practice (Pierron, 2019; Ternier, 2017; Vollaire, 2017). Indeed, leading philosophers in the history of philosophy, such as the figure of Socrates described by Plato or, more recently, John Dewey or Simone Weil, already inscribed their approaches and their understanding of the world, as well as the place of their interlocutors, in a vision that could be described as proto-terrain, i.e. by anchoring their reflection(s) from multiple spaces and by mobilizing the voices of those directly concerned by their research.

Currently, there is a growing interest in empirical philosophical field(s) and interdisciplinary, even transdisciplinary, working methods in our discipline; Sometimes greeted with skepticism, sometimes with relief, the field of field philosophy has definitively entered the academic world (Briggle, 2015; Buchanan et al., 2018; Dekeuwer, 2019; Frodeman and Briggle, 2016; Frodeman and Brister, 2020; Vollaire, 2017). Until recently, however, researchers who identified with “fieldwork” in disciplinary philosophy did not have the right words to satisfactorily qualify and justify their approach, sometimes conducted under the aegis of applied ethics or practical philosophy. However, a growing number of researchers are now associating themselves with what they call a “philosophie de terrain ” in France and Quebec (Vollaire, 2017; Pierron, 2019, Stankovich, 2024) or Field philosophy in the United States (Briggle, 2015; Frodeman and Briggle, 2016), thus generating recognition of this approach in academic and scientific writings and the beginning of legitimization of this practice, by providing it with a philosophical anchor of its own.

Indeed, since the end of the 2000s, a rich literature has developed, elaborated by philosophers from several specializations, affirming the relevance (or even the necessity) of developing bottom-up philosophical approaches anchored in research circles (Briggle, 2015; Buchanan et al., 2018; Dekeuwer, 2019; Frodeman and Briggle, 2016; Frodeman and Brister, 2020; Vollaire, 2017). Conceived in this way, the field, in philosophy, thus becomes a space with which to reflect and where a democratization of knowledge and its production is established (Briggle, 2015; Frodeman and Briggle, 2016; Frodeman and Brister, 2020; Stengers, 2019; Vollaire, 2017). Field philosophy, at the crossroads between philosophy and the social sciences, thus allows researchers to anchor and develop their work from the spaces in which they engage (without restricting them exclusively). By sharing the physical – and sometimes conceptual – field with the participants, this philosophical field asks those who devote themselves to it to (re)consider the experiential knowledge of those concerned by the research as inseparable from an embodied philosophical reflection. Those who do this type of research must decenter themselves from their own experience and become familiar with it, immerse themselves in the environment with which they are reflecting, in order to accomplish a real grounded reflexive and definitional work (Briggle, 2015 Frodeman and Briggle, 2016; Stengers, 2018; Vollaire, 2017). The philosopher then takes a position in which he or she questions the participants and, like a catalytic agent, multiplies the angles of approach brought about by their reflections and knowledge (Briggle, 2015; Frodeman and Briggle, 2016). This way of doing philosophy makes it possible to offer a rich, nuanced reflection that is directly linked to experiences in the field.

Due to the interest generated by this conference last year, we wanted to propose a second edition at the Annual Congress of the Société de Philosophie du Québec (SPQ), in order to continue the dialogue with those who are actively involved in this philosophical field. In order to sketch out the contours of field philosophy and to identify the conditions of possibility, we wish to challenge the various researchers considering doing field philosophy, whether they are professors or students, but also people from professional backgrounds and speakers, insofar as they combine both empirical data and philosophical reflection.

Elements required to submit your paper:

  • Title of your paper;
  • First name(s), last name(s);
  • Academic Affiliation(s)
  • Short summary of your paper (300 words MAX)

Deadline: MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2024, 11:59 PM

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Alexandra Stankovich (staa2305@usherbrooke.ca).

Illustration: Léon Augustin Lhermitte