Chynna Johnson, Staff Writer
SUNY Oneonta will host its 17th annual Philosophy Conference on April 13 and 14. The Conference is organized by a conference committee class and overseen by Dr. Michael Koch, faculty advisor and chair of the SUNY Oneonta philosophy department. Receiving help from the philosophy club, this prestigious event includes participants from a variety of universities including Yale, Brown and Duke, among others. Writers of the best four papers will receive President’s Awards. One-third of the papers will also be published in a special volume by Oneonta philosophy department. Students have worked exceptionally hard to develop presentations that delve deeply into various philosophical studies. They have chosen topics and explored them to the utmost, ready to reflect and exchange their ideas with a live audience. Anyone can come and be entertained by an extensive variety of topics, ranging from “The Extraordinary Nature of Consciousness” to “The Sublime and Environmental Ethics.”
A class of 13 students have been working since the beginning of the semester to select the conference papers. A total of 78 papers were submitted, and the committee reached their decision by blind-review. The papers submitted were stripped of any information that would give away the identity of the author and were judged based on the criteria of clarity, content and appeal. After the acceptance and rejection letters were sent out, the committee went to work on deciding the particulars of the conference. Students work on every aspect of the process including soliciting donations, finding and being discussants for papers, as well as lodging and transport.
Student conference committee chair Eian Kantor has high hopes for the success of the conference. Kantor states: “I hope for there to be excellent philosophical discourse. Judging by past events I’m sure this will be no problem. We’ve been planning this event from the beginning of the semester and it’s always interesting to see how exactly it turns out. It got started by a few professors 17 years ago and it has been going on ever since! I enjoy meeting all the new presenters and seeing their philosophical viewpoints and foundations. It’s great to meet young philosophers from all over the country.” Four of the conference’s 29 presenters attend Oneonta, come and show them your support!
There are two keynotes set to present: Sebastian Purcell from SUNY Cortland will be speaking on “Liberation Ethics” and Tatiana Patrone of Ithaca College will present “In Defense of the Human Prejudice.”
It doesn’t matter if you have experience studying philosophy or not, all are welcome. Who knows, maybe a philosopher’s compelling speech will spark a passion for philosophy that you never knew you had.