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New research project to crowdsource philosophical thinking about current affairs

logoA new research project from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Warwick will crowdsource philosophical thinking about current political and social crises.

Each month, the Philosophy in a Time of Crisis website will host a dialogue on one of the key problems and challenges faced by Europe, inviting short contributions and interviews from leading philosophers, artists, writers and intellectuals. Contributions from the Warwick student community and the public at large are also welcome.

This month the website is focusing on the concept of 'crisis and critique'. Future themes will include Borders, Security, and Precariousness.

Professor Miguel de Beistegui, who is leading the project with the assistance of Dr. Amedeo Policante, said: “As philosophers we believe in critique – that critical, philosophical thinking can play a huge role in helping us to understand who we are today, by engaging with the events and forces that shape our own present.”

“Do we accept that crises are the new norm, and that we must now learn to adapt to them, and manage them the best we can? Or do we analyse them individually, and, where necessary, question the use and abuse of our current vocabulary of crisis?”

Professor de Beistegui added: “The concept of 'crisis' has assumed an unprecedented significance and, in the words of the French philosopher, Myriam Revault D'Allones, has rapidly emerged as the 'absolute metaphor of the contemporary age.' We will be exploring the various manifestations as well as conceptual deployments of crisis over time, and asking whether crisis is also a key instrument of populism, and a very useful tool in the politics of fear, with the hope that philosophy can contribute to a better understanding of this concept.”

Dr Policante said: “We encourage forms of writing and other contributions that are currently beyond the frontiers of traditional academic publication. Extremely brief notes, extemporaneous reflections, nocturnal wonderings, daily musings and ponderous considerations are all welcome - in other words, we would like to create a space for writings that remain at the margins of philosophical forums and beyond the frontiers of academic publishing: a philosophy of the margins and for the margins.”

Future plans for the project include a monthly newsletter, a series of workshops, the first of which will be held at the LSE in London on 21 May 2018, and a conference to be held on 14-15 June 2018 in Paris at the école normale supérieure. A programme of evening roundtables, exhibitions and screenings, all due to take place at the Entrepôt in Paris on 14 and 15 June, will be released shortly.

The conference, Thinking borders Today/Penser les frontières aujourd’hui will feature systematic reflections by scholars on the topic of borders, as well as contributions from artists and filmmakers.

12 April 2018

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