Res Philosophica is an international, quarterly journal of philosophy that publishes research in all areas of philosophy, historical and topical. Founded as The Modern Schoolman by Jesuit Scholastics in 1925, the journal is edited by members of the Philosophy Department at Saint Louis University. The journal is pluralistic, reflecting the department, and publishes philosophical research from a wide range of perspectives.


Journal Sponsors Conference on Mass Incarceration and Racial Justice

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The conference on “Mass Incarceration and Racial Justice” began with a panel presentation at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Mo. Pictured in front of the prison, from the left: Joe Salerno, Res Philosophica editor and SLU philosophy professor; Ekow Yankah, Cardozo School of Law; Eric Miller, Loyola Law School–Los Angeles; Scott Berman, SLU philosophy professor; Erin Kelly, Tufts University; Chad Flanders, SLU law professor; Tommie Shelby, Harvard University; Myisha Cherry, University of California–Riverside; and Brandon Hogan, Howard University. Not pictured, Raff Donelson, Louisiana State University.

The philosophy department at Saint Louis University and its sponsored journal, Res Philosophica, successfully concluded a two-day conference on “Mass Incarceration and Racial Justice” at the end of March.

The conference began on Thursday, with a panel presentation at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Mo., where the
SLU Prison Program operates. Faculty panelists from Harvard University, Tufts University, Loyola School of Law–Los Angeles, Cardozo School of Law, as well as two incarcerated students enrolled in the SLU prison program had a roundtable discussion on the topic, “What is the value of knowledge?” The discussion ranged widely, from the definition of knowledge to the relationship of knowledge, to goodness. Members of the audience, which was composed entirely of members of the incarcerated population and staff at the prison, asked questions about the nature of knowledge and also spoke movingly of the value they saw in the SLU prison program.

On Friday, three papers were presented on the themes of mass incarceration and racial justice, followed by formal comments and questions and answers from the audience. The papers were on “The Duties to Resist the Police on the Street,” “Harm Reduction in Criminal Justice,” and “Punishing the Polity,” and featured comments by philosophy faculty from Howard University, the University of California–Riverside, and Louisiana State University. The conference concluded with a keynote address by
Tommie Shelby, professor of African American studies and philosophy at Harvard University, titled “Prison Abolition? The Limits of Functional Critique.” Over 75 people attended the day-long event. The papers will be published in a future issue of Res Philosophica.

Scott Berman and Chad Flanders, who organized the event along with Christy Pogue, editorial coordinator of Res Philosophica, would like to thank the presenters, attendees, and students and faculty of the philosophy department, SLU law school, and SLU Prison Program for making the event possible.

Journal Announces 2018 Essay Prize Winner

The journal's prize selection committee recently announced that Jack Woods is the winner of the 2018 Res Philosophica essay contest on Reasons and Rationality. He was awarded $3,000 for his paper, "The Self-Effacement Gambit." The paper is currently available online and will also appear in the Reasons and Rationality special issue that publishes in late April.

June 1 is the deadline for the next essay contest, which is on the topic of
Mass Incarceration and Racial Justice.

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