2014 New Enlightenment Lecture with Rae Langton

On 12nd December 2014, the Edinburgh Women in Philosophy Group (EWPG) hosted the third annual New Enlightenment Lecture, which was delivered by Prof. Rae Langton (Cambridge) on the topic ‘Authority and Hate Speech’. The New Enlightenment Lecture was created in 2012 as a prestigious, annual event of the EWPG and for a prominent female philosopher to deliver a lecture on a topic of her choice. Following last year’s success the Lecture was preceded by a roundtable discussion on a topic surrounding underrepresentation in Philosophy.

The roundtable this year was structured around the topic “Philosophy and Diversity” which is constituted by two sets of questions, namely (1) What are the possible detrimental effects of lacking diversity in philosophy; and (2) What are the possible practices that we can take to increase the diversity in philosophy. The panel of the roundtable include Prof. Langton, Prof. Emily Brady, Dr. Elinor Mason, Dr. Pablo Schyfter, Dr. Aidan McGlynn and Jie Gao (Chaired by Natalie Ashton).

SW Panel 2015

The Panel (minus Emily): Jie, Natalie (chair), Pablo, Ellie, Aidan and Rae

We were particularly interested exploring the reasons for the systemic ignorance, and exclusion, of minorities in philosophy, and the possibilities for enriching the discipline through acknowledging and supporting these underrepresented groups. Students and staff from Edinburgh were able to share a number of the practical steps we have taken in the department to increase diversity, and Prof. Langton made her own suggestions based on ideas she’s seen in Cambridge and in other departments.

Prof. Langton then delivered the lecture “Authority and Hate Speech”. She examined the interactions between practical and epistemic authority, and how that contributes to the force of hate speech. Drawing on theories of conversational dynamics, she argued that the authority of hate speech can follow rules of accommodation. Such a mechanism allows the authority of hate speech to emerge in informal ways, and derive from unlikely sources: even from innocent, non-hateful law; and even from innocent, non-hateful bystanders.

NEL Speaker 2014

Prof. Langton

The Lecture was followed by a lively and productive Q&A session, and the whole day was rounded off with a delicious dinner at Field restaurant.

Details of previous NEL events can be found here and here. Keep an eye out for the next NEL announcement later in the year.


CfP: Edinburgh Undergraduate Women in Philosophy Conference 2015

Edinburgh’s Undergraduate Philosophy Society are now accepting abstracts for their first Women in Philosophy Conference. Their call for submissions is below.

We are now accepting abstracts for the WIP Conference 2015. The abstract can be either an academic paper or a presentation relating to issues covered within the remit of the conference. Abstracts should translate into a talk of approximately 20-30 minutes.

Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words and should clearly specify the issue(s) addressed by the paper/presentation.

Please submit all abstracts to journal@philsoc.eu. Please include your abstract as an attachment. All abstract will undergo a blind review so please ensure that they have no identifying information included.

In your email, please include 1) your full name, 2) contact details, 3) your institution, and 4) your academic position (undergraduate/postgraduate/faculty).

The closing date for submissions is March 1st 2015.

You can find out more about the event on their conference website.