Tim Crane Among Philosophers Contributing Lectures to Munk School's Benefit Conference for Ukraine

Tim Crane, Central European University (CEU) Pro-Rector for Teaching and Learning and Professor of Philosophy, will be among the philosophers and public intellectuals presenting lectures as part of  ‘What Good Is Philosophy? – A Benefit Conference for Ukraine’. The online conference March 17-19 is produced by the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto with the goal of raising funds to establish a Centre for Civic Engagement at Kyiv Mohyla Academy in Ukraine. The events will be viewable via the Munk School's YouTube channel and can also be streamed here.

The future Centre for Civic Engagement will provide support for academic and civic institutions in Ukraine to counteract the destabilizing impact that Russia’s invasion has had on Ukrainian higher education and civilian life. By assisting Ukrainian students and scholars, this centre will also help pave the way for a vibrant and engaged post-war Ukraine.

This benefit conference is designed to provide individual academics, members of the public, colleges and universities, professional associations, charitable foundations and private companies with a way to support students, scholars and civic institutions in Ukraine. 

"The organizer, Aaron Wendland, has assembled a remarkable collection of speakers, containing a wide range of academic philosophers from across the whole spectrum of the subject, from political philosophy to logic," highlighted Crane. He added, "The practical aim is to raise funds for the Kyiv Mohyla Academy, but hopefully the event will also stimulate interest in the question of the purpose of philosophy, as well as keeping the plight of Ukraine in the front of our minds."

In Crane's talk, he argues that although the recent trend towards a more publicly engaged philosophy is undeniably a good thing, there is a danger that philosophers think of this engagement as a kind of intellectual activism, or as simply finding complex philosophical arguments for political views they already hold. He distinguishes between philosophy and ideology, citing in his defence Wittgenstein’s remark that the "philosopher is not a citizen of any community of ideas".

Conference keynotes will be delivered by world-renowned author, Margaret Atwood, one of the most celebrated scholars of Ukrainian history, Timothy Snyder, and two of Ukraine’s preeminent public intellectuals, Mychailo Wynnyckyj and Volodymyr Yermolenko

Lectures will also be given by some of the most influential philosophers writing today, including Peter AdamsonElizabeth AndersonSeyla BenhabibJudith ButlerAgnes CallardQuassim CassamTim CraneSimon CritchleyDavid EnochPeter Godfrey-SmithSally HaslangerAngie HobbsBarry LamMelissa LaneDominic LopesKate ManneJeff McMahanJennifer NagelPhilip PettitKieran SetiyaJason StanleyTimothy Williamson, and Jonathan Wolff.