Alison Wylie, visiting Humphrey Professor, on "Philosophy of the Field, in The Field, Reckoning with Settler Colonial Practice in Archaeology."

Friday, March 1, 2024 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

Recent advocates for engaged philosophy make the case that we philosophers need to “get outside more often”; alongside our sequestered, disciplinary modes of practice we should cultivate philosophical work that is, as the proponents of “Field Philosophy” put it, “practically engaged, stakeholder-centered, and timely.” This mode of practice takes a great many different forms. Alison will discuss three examples of field-engaged philosophy of science that address the legacies of settler-colonialism in archaeology in Canada and ask what philosophy can contribute to decolonizing efforts.

Alison Wylie holds a Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of the Social and Historical Sciences at the University of British Columbia where she is a Professor of Philosophy. She has a long-standing interest in philosophical questions raised by archaeology: How do we know what (we think) we know about the cultural past? She also publishes on feminist philosophy of science and standpoint theory, and on collaborative research practice: In what sense are knowers and knowledge claims ‘objective’, given the ineliminable role of values and interests in all aspects of inquiry? And, how can research be held accountable, in its aims and practice, to the diverse communities it affects?

She is distinguished as our visiting Humphrey Professor in Feminist Philosophy, an endowed position that allows a visiting scholar in feminist philosophy to spend a semester in residence at the Philosophy Department.

This seminar is open to the public: all undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, visitors are welcome to attend. If you are a prospective high school student and would like to attend this seminar, please contact to plan your visit!