Preparing for a Philosophy Conference

Difference between Science and Philosophy Conferences

So as I prepare for the International Association for Sport Philosophy (IAPS) Conference, I thought I would share some expectations according to my advising professor, Dr. Gleaves.

As opposed to other conferences in the field of kinesiology that deal primarily with science and education, this conference follows the old school layout of philosophy. Scientific presenters typically share a summary of their research, highlighting results and discussion. In contrast, philosophers do not have the comfort of having a “results” section. Instead, the philosopher forms a logical argument rooted in preexisting philosophical inquiries on the topic. As a result, whereas scientists highlight their findings and attempt to make it more understandable to viewers, philosophers generally read their papers word for word with an accompanying slide show. The logical layout, flow of the paper, and argument are judged, rather than the results obtained through the scientific method.

To take things further, I am told the Q & A after a philosophy presentation can get pretty intense. As Rebecca Goldstein said about philosophy, it is meant "to render violence to our sense of ourselves and our world, and our sense of ourselves in the world." I will need to know my paper inside and out, and be prepared to defend my argument from many different fronts. Whereas one cannot really argue against the results of a well-performed scientific experiment, one can debate the assertions of a fellow philosopher. Dr. Gleaves has already said we will have to meet a couple of times prior to the conference to practice this philosophical debate.

Philosophy Debate

So what is my paper about?

Play! I have long been interested in the philosophy of play since first realizing it is a phenomenon that we all take for granted, without really understanding what it is. Everyone enjoys play, but we most associate it with games, sports, and children. In my paper I attempt to highlight what elements generate play in our everyday lives. I argue it is not unique to games, sports, and children, but a perspective toward any experience throughout our lives. I suggest that play brings out the very best of humanity, as it is realized when we have a true sense of joy, freedom, and engagement with some experience. As opposed to the popular notion that play is the opposite of work, I suggest having a play perspective at work will yield the greatest success and fulfillment.

I could go on, but I will leave it at that for now. Before the conference I will post my “final” draft of the paper in the Essays section of this site for those that wish to read it.