We would like to take this opportunity to announce the 1st Annual On-line Philosophy Conference (OPC), which is tentatively to begin on Friday, April 7th (2006). The first installment of OPC will be hosted on the newly created On-line Philosophy Conference Blog and will include invited papers by some of today's top junior and senior philosophers, such as Stephen Stich, Jonathan Kvanvig, John Martin Fischer, Alfred Mele, Julia Driver, Terence Horgan, Graham Priest, R.A. Duff, Thomas Hurka, David Chalmers, Susanna Siegel, Brian Weatherson, Uriah Kriegel, Manuel Vargas, Kit Wellman, Joshua Gert, Joshua Knobe, Brie Gertler, Jessica Wilson, Benj Hellie, Amie Thomasson, Elizabeth Harman, Noa Latham, Andy Egan, and Neil Levy (with a few more in the works).
Our goal is to give scholars a much wider audience for their working papers, while at the same time saving everyone (both individuals and departments) the cost of travel stipends, etc. Moreover, we humbly believe that hosting an on-line philosophy conference would be an excellent way of fostering philosophy's growing presence on the web. Originally, we wanted to include a number of contributed papers in addition to the invited papers, but the surprising level of interest that the conference has already generated convinced us to make the first OPC a mostly invited affair. We nevertheless decided that we should solicit contributed submissions from junior philosophers (i.e., philosophers who have yet to receive tenure) and graduate students. The deadline for contributed submissions is January 15th, 2006.
All of these submissions will be blind-reviewed with an eye towards selecting the three most outstanding papers by junior philosophers as well as the two most outstanding papers by graduate students (see below for instructions for paper submissions). The topic for the first installment of OPC is open. Indeed, we welcome papers from areas as diverse as (but not limited to) metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of science, and value theory (all broadly construed). The format of the conference will tentatively be as follows:
First, once we have selected papers for on-line "presentation," they will each be sent to one or two scholars in the relevant field for invited comments (the number of commentators per paper will depend on how many papers we end up with as well as how many people are generous enough to offer their philosophical services). Second, once we have received all of the invited comments, we will forward them to the original authors of the papers, who will have the chance to write responses if they wish. Finally, once we have the papers, invited comments, and responses in hand, we will divide them into three groups. All of the papers, commentaries, and responses from each respective group will be posted on a Friday (April 7th for Group 1, April 15th for Group 2, and April 22nd for Group 3)--and while the public will be able to download all of this material to read over the weekend, the comment threads will not open until Monday (April 10th for Group 1, April 18th for Group 2, and April 25th for Group 3). The comment threads will be closely monitored for relevance, and they will only remain open for a week (unless the original authors specifically request that the comment threads on their papers remain open). By having a relatively small window for commenting on the threads, we hope to encourage the public to participate in a timely manner. When all of the comment threads close, i.e., once the on-line conference is over, the authors will have one last opportunity to post responses to all of the comments they found particularly helpful or interesting (for an example of how this might work, see the blog run by Richard Posner and Gary Becker, here).
We hope a number of you are as excited (and intrigued) by this as we are. Unfortunately, we will likely need a lot of help along the way--especially when it comes to having qualified people to referee the papers (and depending on how many submissions we get, there could be A LOT of papers to wade through) as well as qualified people to comment on them. If you are interested in submitting a paper, helping with the review process, or commenting on the work of others, please drop us a line.
That's it for now. Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions. Since this is something entirely new--or at least new for philosophy--we expect to hit a few small bumps in the road along the way. So, we ask for your patience as well as your insight into how to make things run smoother in the future. Once we have selected the two papers from the at-large submissions, we will post the schedule for the conference here on this blog. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
P.S. If you have comments or suggestions, now would be the perfect time to see how the comment threads for the conference "presentations" are going to work!
The Instructions for Submissions are as follows:
Each submitted paper should (a) be no more than 4,000 words, (b) be accompanied by an abstract of less than 250 words, (c) be set up for blind review, (d) be sent either as a MS word document or as an Adobe pdf document, and (e) be sent via email to here. Please let us know in the email whether you are also interested in being a commentator, a referee, or both, and specify in the subject line of the email whether you are a junior philosopher or a graduate student.