On the History of Philosophy

October 27-28, 2023

University Center, Fountain View Room

The relationship between philosophy and its history has been a central question for the discipline since the modern period. Recent years have seen philosophers returning to the problem of how we ought to practice the history of philosophy today, raising questions about the figures that make up the standard canon, the methods we use to read their texts, and the narrative that holds it together. A series of important studies on the historiography of philosophy have discredited the standard story that many philosophers have relied on for too long, among other things by exposing its connections to race-thinking and colonialism. There is now a widespread dissatisfaction with the traditional account, and a sense that its displacement ought to have transformative consequences for the study of the history of philosophy, even as views about what those consequences should be vary quite widely. The conference aims to further these discussions by taking the history of philosophy as its theme. This conference will hear a range of approaches: from issues in historiography to questions of method, from the challenges of working on compromised traditional figures to the ideas of non-canonical figures, from criticisms of the tradition to programmes for philosophies of the future. 

Speakers and participants:

Chike Jeffers
Elvira Basevich
Huaping Lu-Adler
Emanuele Costa
Stella Sandford
Jordan Pascoe
John Protevi
Benjamin Berger
Robert Bernasconi
Lucie Kim-Chi Mercier
Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò
Carmen De Schryver
Dilek Huseyinzadegan
Jameliah Shorter-Bourhanou


Click here to view the PDF of the program.


The conference is free and open to the public. For questions about accessibility please contact Professor Daniel Smith at djsmth12@memphis.edu. Requests should be made as soon as possible. 

poster for Spindel 2023