The Death of Philosophy—Debating the End, Possibilities, and Future of Thinking was the theme of the 2011 Philosophical Association of the Philippines (PAP) National Conference held last April 4-6 at the Sister Maria Therese Hall, Miriam College, Quezon City. The conference was participated in by philosophy graduate students, researchers, and professors from various universities in the Philippines.
PAP director Dr. Francis Julius Evangelista welcomed the delegates with a prayer. Dr. Jove Jim Aguas, PAP president, then introduced the conference’s theme via a very critical reflection of the present predicament of philosophy in the global micro- and macro-sphere.
The three-day conference consisted of the presentations of 17 speakers, three of which led the plenary while 14 spoke at the panel discussions. In the first plenary session, Dr. Julius Mendoza of the University of the Philippines-Baguio spearheaded the discussion about Philosophy as Pathos using the perspectives of the critical theorist Herbert Marcuse and the Post-Lacanian Alain Badiou in order to elucidate the poignant infinity of facing a child and the practical paradox between the usefulness and uselessness of philosophy in our present times. In the second plenary lecture, Dr. Remmon Barbaza of Ateneo de Manila University presented his paper Philosophy in the Time of Catastrophe that revolves around the radiation crisis in Japan and the ambivalent role of freedom and technology in analyzing the complex and distressing crises that trouble global dwelling, using the eyeglasses of German philosopher Martin Heidegger. In the last plenary, Dr. Napoleon Mabaquiao of De La Salle University presented The Death of Philosophy Through the Naturalization of the Mind which explicates the logical possibility of Artificial Intelligence in the near future through Logical Positivism and a well-founded philosophy of the mind.
Two philosophers from Adamson University’s Social Sciences Department participated in the conference and presented their papers during the panel discussion. Prof. Raniel Reyes was the first to give his research presentation, a paper entitled The Loss of the Real: the End of the Medium, the Message, and the Subject, using Jean Baudrillard and Theodor Adorno as his interlocutors. The paper enunciates the extreme predicament of the rise of Simulation and Hyperreality in the postmodern world. In effect, it caused the destabilization of meaning in the realm of mass media instead of conveying message. The second to present was Prof. Alvin Tan, who presented The Eclipse of Philosophy, the Rise of Technology, which revolves around the death of philosophy in the university as well as in the different facets of our life, relatively challenged and engendered by the potency of technology and human passivity. The paper was created using the eyeglasses of Karl Jaspers, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Heidegger.
The national conference ended by equipping the participants with a consciousness of the current status and enduring relevance of philosophy to the human existential condition, especially in a world overwhelmed with the aptitude of science and technology.