The Diakonia of Truth

American Catholic Philosophical Association Conference 2021

November 18-21, 2021

St. Louis, MO

Call for Papers

Please see the Call for Papers.

Description of the Conference Theme

Philosophy began in conversation with other, non-philosophical claims to wisdom: common sense, technical expertise, political art, poetic inspiration; and it retained a sense of duty (and sometimes even of privilege) to connect, share with, transform, and serve these fields.Modern academic philosophy can seem inward-looking and separated, not only from the world, but even from other academic disciplines, but the Catholic intellectual tradition remembers a different posture: philosophy as handmaiden, integrating the sciences; philosophy as consolation, as care of the soul, as preparation for death; philosophy as gadfly and as political craft. The business of the wise man is to order –a noble and generous service.

How can philosophy serve other disciplines, to formulate and distinguish questions, to recognize their methodological limits, and to integrate them into conversation with other disciplines? What complex problems are only partially addressed by other disciplines, and need the coordination and integration of a philosophical perspective? What can philosophers learn from other disciplines, and take inspiration from new methods of inquiry and developments in other fields? How might changing circumstances demand continuing reflections in ethics and political theory,and further development of Catholic social teaching? What challenges in science and technology raise fundamental questions of epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics? What new interdisciplinary movements(e.g., behavioral economics, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence) implicate views about human nature and reality, inviting deeper conversation with traditional philosophy?

And, especially in light of the ACPA’s recent statement on “The Integral Place of Philosophy in Catholic Higher Education,”what is the future of philosophical instruction, and how can philosophers help to sustain the purpose of university education in a time of crisis and change?

You are cordially invited to submit a paper from any area of philosophy engaging, in any way, the service that philosophy can render to other disciplines, the university, and the wider world.


The American Catholic Philosophical Association (ACPA) is a unique philosophical community steeped in classical sources and the Catholic philosophical heritage. Since 1926 the organization has sponsored an annual conference and published a selection of the conference papers in the Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association.