A conference to be held at The Gallery, Manchester Hall, Manchester, UK, on 15 – 16 July 2019

Organizers: Lloyd Strickland (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Crispen Sachikonye (University of Manchester)

Keynote speakers:

Professor Bryan William Van Norden (Yale-NUS College, Wuhan University, Vassar College)
Professor Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad (Lancaster University)

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Call for Papers

Philosophy, understood as the attempt to understand our world and our place in it, is not a uniquely western or European phenomenon, with longstanding and esteemed philosophical traditions in China, Japan, India, and the Muslim world, and sophisticated philosophies throughout Africa.

Yet ideas and figures from these traditions are absent from all but a tiny minority of western philosophy departments. Because of this, in recent years there have many calls for western Philosophy departments to diversify their curricula and introduce non-western thinkers and ideas into their courses.1

The case for doing so is compelling but a practical problem remains: as most academics in such departments have been trained exclusively in the western philosophical tradition and are specialists in some aspect thereof, how might those who wish to include non-western ideas and voices in their courses best go about doing so in a non-tokenistic way? Which ideas and/or which thinkers from the many longstanding non-western philosophical traditions should western philosophers seek to include in their courses? And what context do they need to be able to teach these ideas and thinkers effectively?

The aim of this conference is to consider different answers to these questions.

Accordingly, the organizers invite contributions that address these questions head-on and thus have the potential to serve as a valuable resource to those teaching core philosophy courses such as:

  • Epistemology
  • Ethics
  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of Mind

Abstracts for contributions that meet the conference aims are welcomed, that is, contributions that focus not on why western philosophers should include non-western thought in their courses but how they could.2

Abstracts should be no more than 300 words in length and prepared for blind review. Please include your name, affiliation and contact details in the body of your email. Please submit abstracts in Microsoft Word or PDF format to both Lloyd Strickland and Crispen Sachikonye by midnight on Friday 21 December 2018. Decisions on submissions will be relayed no later than 25 January 2019.

Papers selected for presentation at the conference should be of a length suitable for delivery in 40 – 45 minutes, i.e. approx. 4500 – 5000 words.

Following the conference, the organizers aim to compile and publish a peer-reviewed volume consisting of high-quality contributions developed from the papers delivered at the conference. Those submitting abstracts should indicate whether they wish their paper to be considered for this volume or not.


1. See for example:

The Great Divide (2006)
Philosophy’s Western Bias (2012)
Chinese Philosophy Is Missing From U.S. Philosophy Departments. Should We Care? (2016)
Western Philosophy is Racist (2017)
The Parochialism of Philosophy (2018)
Western Philosophy Departments Must Open Their Minds (2018)
Decolonizing Philosophy: Samuel Loncar Interviews Carlos Fraenkel and Peter Adamson about Islam, Reason, and Religion (2018)
The Parochialism of Mainstream History of Philosophy (2018)
Why Study Racist Philosophers but Not Philosophers of Other Races? (2018)

2. A good model that potential contributors may wish to consult can be found in a recent paper by Paul J. Ambrosio and Timothy Connolly, "Using familiar themes to introduce Chinese philosophy in traditional courses (for the non-specialist)," Teaching Philosophy 40:3 (2017), 323-340.

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