Department of Philosophy

Just Philosophy: Race, Gender and Class in Philosophical Practice

NG7 2RD, Nottingham, University Park
Tuesday 8th November 2016 (09:15-17:30)

University of Nottingham:


Registration URL

For most of the history of Philosophy, members of several social groups including women, members of racial and ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities, have been actively excluded from the discipline or forced to operate on its margins.

This workshop is motivated by the thought that in order for the present day practice of Philosophy to be truly just, we, as members of the discipline, must confront this discriminatory past and actively work to overcome its continuing effects, which include the under-representation of women, racial and ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities (among others) at all levels.

Sessions will focus on practical efforts to address this issue and we hope to provide an opportunity to discuss challenges, share strategies, and think about avenues for further investigation.

This is a free workshop and participants must register to attend. Registration will close at midday on Friday 4 November.  

Workshop details
 SessionLocation Time Workshop 
Tea and coffee Highfield House 9:15-9:40am  

Highfield House 9:40-9:45am
With Katharine Jenkins, Ian James Kidd and Aness Webster

1 Highfield House, A1 9:45-10:45am Ian James Kidd: Why Philosophy Isn't Yet Just
Chair: Jonathan Tallant

Philosophy aspires to be critical, self-reflective, and alert to the ways that bias, prejudice, and dogmatic conservatism corrupt the ways we think about and organise our communities. Noble as this ideal is, the history and current state of philosophy shows that we fall short of it, for a variety of reasons. In this talk, I give examples of failures of diversity and inclusion in philosophy, and what we can do about them.
Morning tea Humanities Building Foyer 10:45-11:30am  
NB: Includes time for relocation (0.4 miles, flat)
2 Humanities Building, A2 11:30-1pm Helen De Cruz: Prestige: An obstacle to a just academic philosophy
Chair: Jon Robson

In this paper, I consider prestige as an obstacle to a just academic philosophy. I argue that prestige bias exacerbates inequality and the structural underrepresentation of minorities in philosophy. I examine arguments in favour of using prestige as a proxy of quality, and I argue that these do not address the fundamental issue that prestige creates extra hurdles for minorities to thrive in academic philosophy. The paper ends by constructive suggestions to counter prestige bias in our discipline.
Lunch Humanities Building Foyer 1-2pm  
3 Humanities Building, A2 2-3:30pm Katharine Jenkins and Jennifer SaulThe Pragmatics of Inclusivity: Signalling Group Membership of Authors
Chair: Mark Jago

Many philosophers are, quite appropriately, engaging in efforts to make their syllabi less overwhelmingly white, male, cis-gendered, middle class, heterosexual, non-disabled, etc. However, some of the goals of these efforts cannot be achieved unless the social groups to which authors belong are communicated to students. This paper explores the political implications of various different ways of communicating such social group membership.
Afternoon tea Humanities Building Foyer 3:30-4pm  
4 Humanities Building, A2 4-5:30pm Sophie Stammers and Saloni de SouzaApplied Philosophy of Race, Gender, Class And Disability, The MAP Model  
Chair: Andy Fisher

Recently, there has been an influx of much needed philosophical discussion of the marginalisation and exclusion of certain social groups in philosophy. Philosophy of race, disability and feminism are attracting more attention and beginning to be seen as serious philosophical work. From statistical analyses, it has also become clear that problems of under-representation seem to be particularly acute for philosophy in comparison with other disciplines. In this talk, we outline the methods and practices adopted by Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) in order to apply theoretical philosophical ideas to the philosophical community itself and try to combat prejudice and bias head on. We discuss the outcomes of certain approaches and projects and share what we have learned and our hopes for the future.
Drinks at the Orchard The Orchard Hotel 5:30pm  

The workshop is fully wheelchair accessible.

More precise physical access information for each room can be found here:

  • Highfield House, A Floor
  • Humanities Building, A Floor

Disabled parking on campus can be arranged; if you need this, please contact the organisers in advance no later than Wednesday 2 November.

There will be quiet/rest spaces available.

If participants require materials in alternative formats, eg, print-outs of PowerPoint slides, and/or require materials in advance, please let us know and we will do our best to help.

If you have any other access needs, please contact us and we will do our best to help.

Department of Philosophy

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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