34th Dutch-Flemish Philosophy Day

34th Dutch-Flemish Day of Philosophy

progress-04-thumbIn collaboration with the OZSW, Eindhoven University of Technology is organizing the 34th Dutch-Flemish Day of Philosophy. The day offers an excellent opportunity to research master students and PhD students in philosophy to present their work and engage in discussions with other philosophers.

Saturday, August 31st, 2013, Eindhoven University of Technology

Conference theme: “Progress”

Keynote speakers

Draft full program (including links to abstracts)

Costs of participation- DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION: FRI. AUG. 23

Please register if you plan to attend by sending an e-mail to s.a.voerman@tue.nl with “Day of Philosophy Registration” in the subject line and in the mail body: your name, your affiliation, and whether you are a senior researcher, PhD student or Research Master student. Costs (incl. lunch) are covered by TU/e for all employees, students, and graduate students of universities. Other interested people can contact the organization. Travel costs will not be reimbursed. Deadline for registration: August 23.

About the Day of Philosophy

The annual Day of Philosophy offers a special opportunity for philosophers working at Flemish and Dutch universities to exchange views from different disciplines and traditions. As of this year, the Day of Philosophy is an activity of the Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW).

Invited submissions – DEADLINE HAS PASSED

We are inviting abstracts in all areas of philosophy. Contributions may be related to the theme of the day, but may also be about one’s own research. PhD- and Masterstudents are explicitly invited to present their research. Abstracts should be roughly 500 words in English or Dutch. Please send your abstract to Sander Voerman, s.a.voerman@tue.nl before July 1, 2013. In addition, please provide us with a short biography of up to 150 words.

Conference theme: Progress

Progress is one of the core ideas in the history of western thought and one of the most central values in our current societies and political ideologies. In philosophy, progress is often viewed as a sign of rationality and the possibility of knowledge. Philosophers of science have tried to formulate progress in terms of the rational requirement to reject old theories and adopt new ones. Ethicists often point to the strong intuition that progress has been made in moral thinking about slavery or women’s rights to cash out implications of moral truths, facts, or knowledge.

Others have argued that the concept of progress allows us to account for the practice of science and ethics without the need for problematic metaphysical assumptions about objective facts or truths. But what domains of inquiry are subject to progress, exactly? Has there really been progress in aesthetics, politics, culture, or, for that matter, morality or science? Furthermore, it has been debated whether biological evolution also involves a form of progress, and conversely, whether cultural change is really just another form of evolution that lacks progress altogether. Paradoxically, progress has been especially hard to establish when it comes to philosophy itself: none of the really fundamental philosophical problems have, after all, received fully satisfactory solutions. Is there progress in philosophy?

Finally, the desirability of thinking in terms of progress itself may be questioned. Technological innovation has always been both praised and criticized where its moral impact on mankind is concerned. As for economic progress – is it healthy, productive, and sustainable to aim for improvement, growth, increase? Or is that the very idea that has lead to the unsustainable and wasteful usage of resources upon which our current global economy depends?


  • Sander Voerman
  • Krist Vaesen