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“Towards a Philosophic Society”



23-25 June 2023


Previous years’ conferences: click here

For full details of the conference programme, click here

The fifteenth annual Prometheus Trust Conference -

Towards a Philosophic Society

“The education which tends to the acquisition of wealth, or bodily strength, or any other particular wisdom, without intellect and justice, is mechanical and illiberal, and does not in any respect deserve to be called discipline.”The Laws, 644a

Is humanity being pushed towards philosophy by force of circumstances? Are the challenges which confront us in our globalised and rapidly changing society so unprecedented and so complex that the response of falling back on past customs and dogmas, rather than cultivating wisdom and forethought, is increasingly exposed as inadequate? If we are moving towards a philosophic society, what are the principles upon which this is to be based?

Plato famously claimed that unless rulers become philosophers or philosophers rulers there would be no end to the evils that beset humanity: modern developments towards a wider participation in governance do not necessarily alter the underlying truth of his statement. But is it possible to widen sufficient philosophical understanding, in order to match the more diffused power structures, political and economic, that now pertain in many parts of the world?

This is a call for papers on theme of "Towards a Philosophic Society":

We envision fruitful engagement in this topic from those interested in and studying Platonic Republics, intentional communities (exploring practices of virtue in philosophic living), Grassroots Philosophy and Grassroots activism, Organisational studies (and Organisational Philosophy) Philosophy of Education and Pedagogy, Political Philosophy and Political Theory or Theorists (including Social Contract theory), individual autonomy - liberation and constraints, among others. 

As usual the Prometheus Trust is hoping that contributors will be drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, academic and non-academic, specialist and non-specialist, artistic, scientific, political, religious and philosophic.


Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and should be sent to at the latest by Friday, 7 April 2023. Acceptance of these will be confirmed as quickly as possible. 

Papers should be around 2500-3000 words or 20 minutes’ presentation (we usually allow a further 15-20 minutes for a question and answer session after each presentation).

The conference will be opened formally on the evening of Friday 23rd, with a keynote address from Professor Angie Hobbs FRSA: Philosophy in an age of Uncertainty

“In this keynote, I discuss my role and activities as Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at Sheffield University, and why I believe we can all benefit from more philosophical analysis, reasoned argument and reflection in our lives: philosophy can help us to flourish, both as individuals and communities. I explore the various media that I use – television, radio, videos, podcasts, print media, festival talks and more – and outline some case studies of topics with which I am particularly involved at present: democracy, demagoguery and tyranny; nationhood and nationalism; refugees and indefinite detention; the ethical opportunities and challenges of new technologies. I address some of the dangers that can lie in wait for those seeking to do philosophy in and with the public, and how in my view those dangers can best be avoided. Never has philosophy been more urgently needed than now!”  



On Saturday 24th the Thomas Taylor Lecture will be delivered by Professor Douglas Hedley - Philosophy and Play

* * * *

Accommodation and travel

The conference will take place at Purley Chase Centre, Mancetter, near Atherstone in Warwickshire, which is comfortable and well appointed.  Residential prices are for full board for the weekend (from Friday supper to Sunday tea) and are 156 (single ensuite), 135 (twin ensuite) and 100 (dormitory); non-residential price to include all meals except breakfasts is 40. Participants are encouraged to attend for the whole weekend and there are no reductions for partial attendance.  There is limited ensuite accommodation available. If you are unable to afford these charges we do have a limited number of bursaries - please contact the Treasurer in confidence ( to apply for a bursary. 

Conference fee: This charge is 45 and is payable with your booking. It is non-refundable in the event of cancellation. There are no concessions for this charge and is applicable to all delegates. Accommodation fees are payable by end of May.

Booking forms are available from the Conference Secretary at the above address or phone number or by email:, - they can also be downloaded here. Completed forms with your deposit of 40 should be returned by SATURDAY, 29 APRIL at the very latest, and before if possible as places are limited.

Travel: By Car: The centre is just over 2 kilometres South of the A5 near Atherstone. It can be approached from all points of the compass via the motorway network, using M1, M6, M42 or M69 for instance. If travelling along the A5 from the East then just before Atherstone, take the B4111 towards Mancetter. If you are travelling along the A5 from the West, go past Atherstone on the dual carriageway and when you reach the large roundabout at the end, take the right exit towards Mancetter B4111. After about a quarter of a mile on B4111, just past The Plough pub and the church, take a right turn to Purley Chase Golf Club (brown road sign). Over the traffic light controlled bridge, follow the road round to the right and up through the trees, Purley Chase Centre is about a quarter of a mile further on, on the right.

By rail:The nearest main line railway station is at Nuneaton, about 10 kilometres away. Nuneaton is on the main line between London and Lancashire, and trains also serve Atherstone about 2 miles away. These towns are also served by various bus and coach services. A taxi from Atherstone railway station to the Centre costs roughly 12. Local Taxi companies are: AAA Taxis: 01827 713637 A.R.L Cars: 01942 888111 Atherstone Taxis: 01827 712427. If travelling from London to Atherstone, the taxi rank is a short distance from the station, next to the bus station.


For further details phone 01291 409018 (or +44 1291 409018 from outside the UK) or write to 14 Tylers Way, Sedbury, Chepstow, Glos, NP16 7AB, UK or email