BWS Conference: Wittgenstein and Education

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Event Type:

Event Date : 29 Jul, 2018 09:00 AM - 31 Jul, 2018 05:00 PM

Summary :

BWS 10th Annual Conference

BWS Conference: Wittgenstein and Education Details

Venue :
UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, WC1H0AL
City :
Organiser :
Paul Standish and Adrian Skilbeck

Questions about teaching and learning, about the nature of knowledge, and about human being are unavoidable in education, and they surface in Wittgenstein’s work in multiple ways. This conference will seek to examine both the significance of these themes in his work and the bearing his thoughts have on education, understood not only in institutional terms but as a pervasive feature of human life.

Two recent works may help to set the context for the conference. Michael Peters and Jeff Stickney’s substantial 2017 edited collection, A Companion to Wittgenstein on Education: Pedagogical Investigations, provides a substantial sample of recent work in the field. Paul Standish’s 2017 BWS conference paper has been published in Philosophical Investigations under the title Wittgenstein’s Impact on the Philosophy of Education.


Click here to download the full programme.

Sunday 29 July

13.00 Registration
13.30 Welcome and introduction
13.50 Keynote 1 – Michael Luntley (Warwick University): The Fragility of Learning
15.10 Coffee break
15.30 Parallel Group Session 1
17.00 Break
17.10 Keynote 2 – Symposium on social science:
Andrew Davis (Durham University), Can Wittgenstein rescue Educational Research from Science? Rules and social taxonomies, and
Richard Smith (Durham University) Towards a Wittgensteinian Social Science
18.30 Drinks reception
19.30 Close

Monday 30 July

09.00 Parallel Group Session 2
10.30 Break
10.50 Keynote 3 – Juliet Floyd (Boston University): Wittgenstein: Teaching and Learning with Turing
12.10 Lunch
13.40 Two parallel symposia: Pedagogical Investigations
Symposium A: Religious Studies, Drama, and Imagination Mikel Burley (Leeds University), Suzy Harris (Roehampton University), and Adrian Skilbeck (UCL Institute of Education)
Symposium B: Memory, Language Acquisition, and Instinct Danièle Moyal-Sharrock (Hertfordshire University), Ian O’Loughlin (Pacific University), Paul Standish (UCL Institute of Education)
15.10 Break
15.30 Parallel Session 3
16.50 Break
17.10 Keynote 4 – Gordon Bearn (Lehigh University): Wittgenstein: Spiritual Practices
18.30 End
19.45 Conference dinner (booking required)

Tuesday 31 July

09.00 Parallel Session 4
10.30 Break
10.50 Keynote 5 – Jeff Stickney (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto): Wittgenstein’s Language-Games of Education: Reading higher and lower registers of “learning” in On Certainty
12.10 Lunch
13.40 Parallel Session 5
15.10 Break
15.30 Keynote 6 – Alice Crary (The New School, New York, and Oxford University): Race and Animals: Wittgensteinian Reflections on a Contested Comparison
16.50 Closing remarks


Click here to read the abstracts.

Conference Fees

The conference fees are: £125.00 (full cost) and £65.00 (for full-time students). For those unable to attend the whole conference, there is also a day-rate of £65.00. Tea and coffee will be provided throughout, and there will be a wine reception on Sunday 29 July. Lunches will not be provided, but the area has wide range of restaurants and cafes within easy reach. The site is now open for booking here.


We are pleased to announce that a number of bursaries are now available for full-time students. (Other cases of particular hardship can be considered.) Bursaries cover conference fees. If you would like to apply, please write a short message to Paul Standish ( explaining your circumstances. The subject field of the message should be clearly marked: BWS18 Bursaries.

Conference Dinner

On Monday 30 July, a conference dinner will take place at Antalya Restaurant. This will be a set meal, including main dish choices and vegetarian options throughout. The cost for this will be £30.00 (to include drinks). Places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.


No accommodation is provided but a preferential rate has been negotiated at the Imperial Hotel, Russell Square. The rooms will at the following rate: single £111.00. Rates are per room per night including English breakfast and VAT. These rates are being held until 15 June 2018. To make a booking, please contact the Central reservation office: 44+(0)207-278-7871, e-mail:, quoting the reference “UCL – IOE”. Full credit card details will be required at the time of booking, i.e. card number, expiry date and security code. Cancellation policy is 24 hours prior to 11am on the day of arrival. “No shows”: one night’s charge will apply. Alternatively, reservations can be made directly via the website, where any special and sometimes better offers are available. The rates quoted there at present are £10.00 per room per night cheaper.

Venue: UCL Institute of Education is in the heart of Bloomsbury, near Russell Square. Address: UCL Institute of Education is located at 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H0AL


British Wittgenstein Society website
Videos of previous conferences  
Centre for Philosophy of Education at UCL Institute of Education

If you would like to become a member of the British Wittgenstein Society, please visit here stating your affiliation and/or focus of interest in Wittgenstein.

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