New Philosophy Conversation Video Series / Conference Norms

Scott Aikin and Robert Talisse, both professors of philosophy at Vanderbilt and co-authors of Why We Argue (and How We Should): A Guide to Political Disagreement, have a new series of short videos of the two of them discussing philosophy. The series is called Philosophy 15.

Most of the discussions concern philosophical ideas, largely as they pertain to matters of speech, politics, and disagreement.

One of the episodes, though, concerns philosophy conferences. Aikin and Talisse come out against the norm of reading papers, and suggest that perhaps we could encourage more talking through of ideas at conferences if we had different norms about question and answer sessions that discourage a “gotcha” mentality. That video is below. The rest are here.


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Brian Weatherson
7 years ago

There is a norm of reading papers?

Anywhere I go there is a very strong norm against reading out a paper.

Brian Weatherson
Reply to  Justin Weinberg
7 years ago

I don’t see it much as a practice, but I don’t go to as many conferences as I used to, so I don’t have tons of evidence.

But all I really wanted to push back on was the norm claim. The idea that people who don’t read out a paper are violating a norm seems very implausible to me.