The Metaphysical Society of America
Founded: 1950 Divider Member: American Council of Learned Societies

Call for Papers

Metaphysical Society of America
March 7-9, 2008

of Southern Maine, Portland ME

The Good, the Real and the Intelligible

The last 25 years has seen an unprecedented attack on metaphysics as an outdated, politically motivated and wrong-headed approach to major questions of cultural interest.  This has occurred before:  One thinks of the early British analytic philosophers and Vienna’s logical positivists.  Today a brand of Neopragmatism takes the same tack and calls for philosophy to turn its attention toward matters of interpretation and give up its quest for systematic answers to the most important questions.  One also thinks of Kant’s Critique and its double response to metaphysics:  It cannot succeed but it is an inevitable aspect of the human condition. 

It is therefore appropriate that we recall Plato’s configuration of the central questions of human existence.  In the Republic he argues for an intimate connection between goodness, reality and intelligence.  This places the Good ‘higher’ than being itself.  Perhaps those philosophers who have fallen under the spell of the ‘oblivion’ of being’ have not been all that derelict in their metaphysical duty.  Perhaps they merely followed Plato’s suggestion that being (reality) must find its intelligibility within the structure of the Good.

Papers that address the many dimensions of the question of the relation of the Good, the Real and the Intelligible are invited.  Upon that hinge hang many of the disputes that so unsettle contemporary philosophy’s metaphysical inquiries. 

500 word abstracts should be submitted by June 1, 2007 to Professor Joseph Grange, Department of Philosophy, PO Box 9300, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME 04104-9300.  Those whose abstracts are chosen by the Program Committee must submit completed papers no later than December 1, 2007 to allow time for review by commentators and publication of the program. 

ARISTOTLE PRIZE: Papers submitted by persons who have not yet earned a Ph.D. or whose Ph.D. is less than 5 years old at the time of submission will be considered for the Aristotle Prize if the Program Committee is alerted to eligibility.  The prize carries a cash award of $500 and inclusion in the program.  Please encourage graduate students and junior colleagues to consider entering the competition.  Papers submitted for the Aristotle Prize must be complete by the deadline for submission: June 1, 2007.