Cal Poly Pomona 14th Annual Ethics Conference
April 14-15, 2009

"Ethics and the American Dream"

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: David Schmidtz, University of Arizona

Philosophers and other scholarly professionals are cordially invited to submit papers to be considered for the program of Cal Poly Pomona’s 14th Annual Ethics Conference.  Papers should be submitted in a format suitable for blind review.  Papers should be 5,000-7,000 words in length, suitable for presentation in approximately 45 minutes.

Please send papers as e-mail attachments to: mjcholbi * at *

American social and political thought has long been influenced by the ideal of the ‘American dream.’  This ideal holds that, through virtuous living, hard work, and the application of one’s talents, any individual, regardless of class, race, gender, or background, can achieve economic prosperity and independence for themselves and for their descendants.  The American dream continues to exert influence over American popular discourse, yet all is not well with this ideal: Surveys of public opinion suggest that faith in the achievability of the American dream is diminishing.  The 2009 Ethics Conference will investigate both the desirability and viability of the American dream as a personal and social ideal.  Among the specific questions we hope our conference will address:
    • Do the components of the American dream represent a coherent set of personal or social goals?
    • Does pursuing or realizing the American dream make people happier?
    • Is the American dream an ethically defensible personal ideal?
    • Do social and economic inequalities in the U.S. threaten the American dream?
    • How might social policies be changed to put the American dream within the reach of more individuals and households?
    • How does the American dream influence how we value work and leisure?
    • Is the American dream compatible with other ethical responsibilities, such as those to family, community, or the environment?

The conference will be held on the Cal Poly Pomona campus, located just east of the city of Los Angeles.  The themes of past conferences include Marriage and Morals; Engineering Food, Engineering People; The Ethics of Art and the Art of Ethics;  Ethics Gone Mad: Morality and Mental Illness; Ethics in War and Wartime; and Drugged America.

3 Replies to “CFP: Ethics and the American Dream

  1. I´m interested in the event, can I participate with a spanish paper? I from Monterrey, México,

  2. I have an article on the American dream.There I have a mythological approach on the American dream.I consider the American dream as a national myth in two plays of Eugene O’Neill.Please let me know if I can take part in your conference.

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