ORONO — The Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine plans to host a talk, “Field Philosophy as Engaged Research: Practice, History and Theory,” at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19.

The talk will be held both remotely via Zoom and in person at 107 Norman Smith Hall on the UMaine campus.

Sustainability raises a host of philosophical questions about ethics and values, knowledge and power and more. But philosophy is not part of the predominant approaches to — and discourses around — sustainability, according to a news release from Ruth Hallsworth with the center.

In this talk, speaker Adam Briggle, associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of North Texas, will discuss how philosophers have fallen victim to disciplinary capture, which consigns them to irrelevance or, at best, indirect impacts. Public philosophy, in various ways, seeks to change this situation, and it is having a renaissance.

The talk will focus on field philosophy, a species of public philosophy that is both a collaborative practice of engaged scholarship and a theory of knowledge that contrasts with the disciplinary model of knowledge production.

Briggle wrote “A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking” and “Thinking Through Climate Change: A Philosophy of Energy in the Anthropocene,” and co-authored “Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st Century Philosophy” with Robert Frodeman. He serves on the Sustainability Framework Advisory Committee for Denton, Texas, which is drafting a local climate action plan. He is also involved in social and political movements for transgender rights in Texas.


All talks in the Mitchell Center’s Sustainability Talks series are free. Registration is required to attend remotely; to register and receive connection information, visit umaine.edu.

Face coverings are required for all attending Mitchell Center Sustainability Talks.

Updates for this event will be posted to the event webpage. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Hallsworth at 207-581-3196 or hallsworth@maine.edu.



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