Violence and the threat of violence have been integrated into how Western government and institutions function, says Robert Holmes, professor of philosophy at the University of Rochester. Holmes will describe how when he speaks on "The Philosophy of Violence in the Western World" during the 20th World Congress of Philosophy being held in Boston Aug. 10 to 16.
A world-renowned expert on issues of peace and non-violence, Holmes has been invited to numerous other conferences in Europe, the Middle East, the United States and Canada, and participated in the first conference on nonviolence ever held in the former Soviet Union in November 1989.
Holmes, a member of the University faculty since 1962, has written numerous articles on ethics and peace and authored several books, including On War and Morality. He also edited an anthology titled Nonviolence in Theory and Practice and has been the editor of Public Affairs Quarterly, a scholarly journal on current issues in social and political philosophy, for three years.
International congresses of philosophy, which are convened on average every five years, draw thousands of scholars from around the world. The theme of this year's event is "Paideia: Philosophy Educating Humanity" and includes discussions on such topics as rules and sporting practice, philosophy of education, ethics and computers, moral psychology, philosophy and politics, bioethics, and medical ethics. Participants present their work in one of the five official languages -- English, French, German, Russian, or Spanish -- while simultaneous translations are provided for opening and closing ceremonies and plenary sessions.