17th International Conference on Critical Realism (IACR Conference 2014)

From the anatomy of the global crisis to the ontology of human flourishing
Friday 18th - Monday 21st July 2014 
Institute of Education, London

From the anatomy of the global crisis…
Since 2008, what began with an initial collapse of the financial system has catalysed into an economic and political crisis of global dimensions. Lurking in the shadows of the financial crisis and occasionally breaching daylight is the ecological crisis. Global warming and climate change hangs like a sword of Damocles over the future of humanity. This is to say nothing of business as usual: growing inequality and impoverishment, continuing discrimination and exploitation, all of which functions to foster moral, psychological and existential crises. Current orthodoxy suggests that such crises are only temporary deviations from an otherwise well-functioning system. Prevailing pessimism suggests that it is easier to imagine global catastrophe and the destruction of the world rather than a change in the status quo able to avert such an outcome.

...to the ontology of human flourishing
In light of the global poly-crisis two questions are now before us; 'how are we to understand our current situation?' and 'what are we to do?' Albert Einstein is widely accredited as answering this by suggesting "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." This new thinking is what critical realism aspires to provide. Certainly, if we are not only to survive but flourish as human beings we require a robust theory and practice able to move us beyond modest business as usual to the possibilities of something more. The 17th Annual Conference of the International Association of Critical Realism (IACR) will explore the different issues connected with this crisis.

Day 1: Educating for the future
The ecological crisis

Forms of realism

(Followed by a book launch and drinks reception)

Day 2: The political-economic crisis
Ethics, emancipation and meta
Reality in action

Dialectic and critical realism

(Followed by conference dinner)

Day 3: Ontology of flourishing
Love, sexuality and feminism in the 21st century

Religion, spirituality and secularism

(Followed by the IACR Annual General Meeting)

Day 4: Where do we go from here? (half day)

Educating for a better future

Concrete eutopianism

(Followed by the ICCR Annual General Meeting and a workshop on the philosophy of metaReality)

The conference will be preceded by a two-day pre-conference workshop on critical realism, led by Roy Bhaskar, originator of the philosophy of critical realism (and metaReality), and Alan Norrie president of IACR; and followed on Tuesday 22nd July by a symopsium on integrative metatheories.

Delegate's rates
£240 IACR members

£320 Non-IACR members

£195 Students and unwaged

Rates currently include a 10% early bird discount.

Richard Andrews, Institute of Education

Margaret Archer, L'Ecole Polythechnique Federale de Lausanne

Roy Bhaskar, Institute of Education

Berth Danermark, Orebro, Sweden

Hans Despain, Nichols College, Massachussets

Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, Meridian, California

Lena Gunnarsson, Orebro, Sweden

Phil Gorski, Yale University

David Graeber, London School of Economics

Mervyn Hartwig, IACR/ICCR

Chris Husbands, Institute of Education

Petter Næss, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Oslo

Alan Norrie, Warwick University

Doug Porpora, Drexel

Richard Pring, Oxford University

Michael Reiss, Institute of Education

David Scott, Institute of Education

Brad Shipway, South Cross University, NSW

Christian Smith, Notre Dame University

George Steinmetz, Michigan University

Michael Schwartz, Georgia Regents University

Frederic Vandenberghe, UERJ, Brazil

Michael Young, Institute of Education

We invite papers from all disciplines within the social sciences and humanities to explore questions concerning the ongoing crises. This conference offers the opportunity to examine these issues for people who use, wish to explore the use of, or dialogue with critical realism in their research and practice. Accordingly, we are seeking proposals on a wide range of topics, including but not limited to:
- CR in practice;
- Interdisciplinarity
- Science and Technology;
- Ecology;
- Issues in contemporary philosophy and Social Theory;
- Applied Ethics; including Law and Legal Theory;
- Aesthetics;
- Feminism;
- Economics, Politics, and International Relations;
- Religion and Spirituality and secularism

A special concern with the interface between critical realism and education will run throughout the conference. On the one hand, education is central to critical realism and yet critical realism is still, relatively speaking, a newcomer to the field of education and education studies. Throughout, the conference will attempt to develop and enrich a two-way interaction between critical realist philosophy and educational research and practice.

Papers are invited on any of these topics, including

- Philosophy and the ends of education;
- Bernstein, Bourdieu, and forms of implicit critical realism;
- CR, Education and Marxism; Piaget; Vygotsky and activity theory
- Geography/history/historical explanation and historical sociology;
- Business and economics education;
- Special and inclusive education;
- Gender, ethnicity and education;
- Concrete utopianism versus the marketization of education;
- Science education;
- Religion and education.

While preparing their abstract and paper, submitters are kindly requested to follow the guidelines, described below:
·  All abstracts should be composed in 12 point Times New Roman font.
·  Title should be written preferably in 12 point Times New Roman font, bold.
·  Author Name and Country Name to be written in 12 point Times New Roman font.
·  Abstract should be preferably less than 500 words and no longer than 1000 words
·  Please list at the end of your abstract the keywords of it.

Title: How to compose an abstract
John Smith, Institute of Education, London 

Abstract: This paper establishes the .... 
Keywords: Abstract, Clarity, Simplicity

Abstract submission deadline - 15 April
For further information or to submit a paper, please email iccr@ioe.ac.uk.

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