Illinois State University will host its 4th annual Philosophical Conversations conference March 31–April 1, 2017. The theme for this year’s conference is Science and the Mind, and we are proud to have Clare Batty (University of Kentucky) as our keynote speaker.

We welcome submissions from undergraduate students in any area of philosophy, and especially encourage submissions that connect with the theme of the conference.

Papers accepted for presentation will be given 25 minutes, and will be followed by a brief commentary as well as Q&A. We foresee being able to offer some financial support to help offset travel costs for presenters.

Submission Requirements: A 2,000-3,000 word paper along with a 250-word abstract.

Deadline: January 31, 2017

Send submissions to

Conference theme

Science has granted us a wealth of knowledge about ourselves and the world that we live in. It has proven itself as the method by which we can move our understanding forward and discover new facets of our world to explore. Yet, one area of our lives remains relatively un-explained by science: the mind. The mind is, on the one hand, that which we are most intimately familiar with, and yet, on the other hand, that which we have been the least successful at explaining scientifically.

Why is that? Perhaps the scientific methods we use to understand the world will not work to understand the mind. Perhaps we first need to have a better definition of what the mind is before we can begin to study it scientifically. Perhaps the mind simply is something that cannot be explained by science.

This year we will explore these questions and more in our Philosophical Conversations on Science and the Mind.