Philosophically speaking, what exactly isdemocracy,anyway?

And should the United States be promoting it across the world?

For that matter, can democracy beimportedor can a true democracy only come from the people and grassroots-styled organizing?

West Virginia Universitys Department of Philosophy will take up those questions and more when it hosts its first-everPhilosophy Reunion Conferenceon Friday, Nov. 5, three days after the hotly contested presidential election between George W. Bush and John Kerry.

Georgetown University professor Dr. David J. Luban will deliver keynote remarks for the gathering, which will be from 4-5:30 p.m. in Room 459 of the Business and Economics Building on WVU s Downtown Campus.

Luban is a Frederick J. Haas Professor of Law and Philosophy at Georgetown and an authority on international human rights, international criminal law, legal ethics andjustwar theory.

WVU Philosophy Chair Dr. Sharon Ryan said Lubans topic,Democracy, Justice and Foreign Intervention,is timely and meaningful. And Lubans discussion, she said, will give a nonpartisan, intellectual voice to the issues that she feels have been largely ignored by both candidates.

Instead, theyve focused on war records and who is a tougher guy,Ryan said of the two men seeking the highest office in the land.Dr. Lubans talk will give the community a chance to think carefully and seriously about these issues.

The conference is also part of WVU s Homecoming celebrations, and Ryan and her colleagues hope to catch up with philosophy graduates who have gone on to other things.

We want to build a community here,she said.We love being able to reunite with our graduates.

Sixty-one percent of them in recent years have gone on to law school, Ryan said, citing numbers culled from a recent survey of WVU philosophy graduates who earned their degree between May 2000 and August 2004.

Other philosophy alumni responding to the survey reported they were accepted into other graduate programs at Harvard, Yale and the University of California at Berkeley.

WVU has around 60 philosophy majors enrolled this semester, Ryan said.

For more information, call Ryan at 293-3641, ext. 33305.