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CfP for the Panel: Thinking Europe: Philosophy, Autonomy and Culture, Ghent, Belgium, 25 – 26 October 2019

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Euroacademia Association

Sep 3, 2019, 11:49:16 AM9/3/19
Call for Papers for the Panel: Thinking Europe: Philosophy, Autonomy and Culture

As part of the 8th Euroacademia International Conference
‘The European Union and the Politicization of Europe’
Ghent, Belgium, 25 - 26 October 2019

Deadline: 25th of September 2019
Thinking Europe: Philosophy, Autonomy and Culture

Panel Description

Europe was not evolutionary shaped as a unitary entity but emerged from a tumultuous history as a ‘self-organizing vertigo’ (Edgar Morin). Some cultural unity within Europe is claimed by the daily mentalities and discursive practices even if it’s just under the form of a 'unita debole', to put it in Gianni Vattimo’s terms. The ‘European dream’ (Jeremy Rifkin) forms at the crossroad between the ideal and real multiculturalism. Europe became a category of thought – even if an essentially contested one – through dispute, difference, inclusive and exclusive practices. The idea of a Europe often involves a persistent and camouflaged historicism intrinsic in the European version of quasi - universalistic modernity (Gerard Delanty). The works of Cornelius Castoriadis on reflective questioning of socially instituted representations are useful in reminding us of what Europe stands for as a project among others. If there is a minimal specificity of Europe that could be defended, Castoriadis has argued throughout his work, it is precisely the lack of an unquestionable point from which a European distinctiveness could be reified. By historical contingency, for Castoriadis, it was in Europe that a genuine interest in the others as others emerged in the frame of the project of social and individual autonomy originated in ancient Greece and reasserted by the European modernity. The project of autonomy as essential for the European self-configuration implies an unlimited possibility of questioning our own institution and of acting in regard to it. The European specificity comes from its traditions originated in Ancient Greece encouraging the constant and never-ending reflective re-evaluation.

This panel aims to revisit precisely this patrimony of critical thinking. It is the belief implicit in this panel that the contemporary understandings of Europe should be placed more firmly within this tradition of aspiration for autonomy as putting into question the institutions of the society and their emanated representations and shakes the walls of their cognitive closure. This is because, autonomy as unlimited questioning is a premise and not an outcome of European culture. The patrimonial European identity can be conceived as an experienced identification with a generous culture from which many individuals extract and share feelings of belonging. It is the role of critical thinking and philosophy to place the Europeaness in touch with its generous, magmatic cultural elements and question historically circumstantial projects of political appropriations of identitarian claims.

The panel welcomes papers on any theoretical effort for understanding Europe and Europeanness, be it contemporary or a call to re-reading the past.

Some suggested topics for the panel are:

• Thinking Europe – Arguments for a Fragile Unity of the European Culture
• Ancient Greece and the Theoretical Foundation of the European Project
• Elements of European Histories of Philosophy
• Philosophy and Culture: Specifics of the European Thought
• Renaissance and humanism influence on modern identity
• Autonomy, Critical Evaluation and Culture
• European Philosophical Traditions
• Fragments of European Political Thought
• Eurocentric Thinking and Claims of Universalism
• European Thinking and the ‘Other’
• Is there a European Philosophy Pedigree?
• Castoriadis: Europe and Autonomy
• Derrida: Europe as a ‘Pre-Adult’ Space of Liberty
• Foucault and Eurocentric Thinking
• Enlightenment, Modernity and Grand Narratives
• Europe and the Responsibility of Thinking
• The Future of European Thinking
• Memory and History in Europe

For complete information before applying see full details of the conference at:

You can apply on-line by completing the Application Form on the conference website or by sending 300 words titled abstract together with the details of contact and affiliation until 25th of September 2019 at
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