CFP: Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture: Volume 7: no. 1/2023 - Philosophy and the Urban Everyday [EXTENDED DEADLINE: March 31st, 2023]
Submission deadline: March 31, 2023
It is not a gross exaggeration to state that philosophy is an inherently urban phenomenon to a large extent. Born and largely practiced in the Greek polis, it was developed throughout the ages in various places that more often than not were situated within city walls. Even if, udoubtedly, philosophy has never been limited solely to urban spaces, it has become more and more embedded in cities over the centuries. Consequently, from the nineteenth century on it has been part and parcel of the intellectual life whose main centers have been towns since it has been almost exclusively researched on and taught within academic institutions.
However, these circumstances have passed unnoticed by philosophers for a long time as if the cityscape in which they lived and worked were only an everyday backdrop of their activity, a background whose down-to-earth, practical dimension made it separated from the kingdom of theory and, hence, philosophically uninteresting.
This approach has recently changed and the city has been, so to say, discovered as an object of philosophical considerations. The conjunction “philosophy and the city” or – which seems to be even more inspiring – the concept of “the philosophy of the city” have emerged, gaining popularity quite rapidly as it is proved by, for example, a number of recently published books as well as of special issues of philosophical journals.
“Metrosophy” – to use the felicitous term suggested by D. Kischik in his article published in “New York Times” (July 6, 2015) – is a multifaceted project. On the one hand, it is oriented toward identifying “philosophy and the city” motives in “classic to contemporary” writings; on the other hand, it aims at offering philosophical analyses of an immense variety of aspects of cities, while the latter are approached as spaces shaped by material and social factors as much as objects of individual and collective experiences.
An adage verging on triviality is that the future will be that of metropolises. In fact, according to different estimates eagerly mentioned in the introductory chapters of all the books on the present and the future of cities, the number of people living in cities (or rather mega-cities) will outgrow that of people living in non-urbanized areas in a very short time. This implies that cities are about to become everyday enviroments for the majority of several billions of people around the world.
It is true that everyday life has been long analyzed in the humanities and social sciences, and so has been the urban space. Yet, despite that these two strands of research have repeatedly overlapped, focusing on everyday life in the city seems to require much more than their collaboration.
Philosophy together with its potential to ask fundamental questions concerning aesthetics, environment, ethics, politics, society, technology, law etc. offers a good ground to consider the particular nexus between everyday life and the city, or to put it differently – the urban everyday which, as it has just been said, is going to be one of the major factors shaping the future world.
It may be added that within the array of possible philosophical approaches to the urban everyday a priveleged place is occupied by aesthetics. This comes as no surprise since architecture is one of the traditional aesthetic topics, not to mention the fact that towns, together with their buildings, streets, squares and parks perforce offer daily aesthetic experiences. Yet, it is noteworthy that the interest in aesthetics within the “philosophy of the city” framework is fuelled by, among other things, a deep and important change within aesthetics over the last decades. Thanks to a number of philosophers interested in moving beyond the traditional boundaries of the field aesthetics has turned to objects and categories hitherto excluded as having little or nothing in common with the aesthetic. It suffices to mention two examples particularily to the point in the present context: the environment, be it natural or humanized and the everyday (banal, familiar, routine). At the same time and regardless of the abovementioned changes of the concept of the aesthetic has broadened its limits in such a way as to be seen as an important element or aspect of the political, the social, the ethical.
It seems uncontroversial that everyday life – as we all know it and as it is getting more and more urbanized –is a rich source of aesthetic experiences, positive or negative, which are inherent to our daily activities taking place in private or public spaces and inevitably having economic, political, social as well as ethical meanings, Hence, the aesthetic seems to be a promising point of departure or key to understand the everyday to-come.
We invite submissions offering philosophical analyses of the everyday in urban contexts and are particularily interested in papers exploring the multifaceted character of the aesthetic in the context of contemporary urban practices and processes such as: gentrification, quotidian architecture, social activism, street art, migration, utopian and anti-utopian thinking, climate change, non-human presence. Other topics are also welcome.
As an academic journal we expect well-researched, in-depth analyses fulfilling the standards provided for academic contributions. In accordance with the profile of our journal we are open not only to purely philosophical essays but also to contributions from other cultural disciplines. Papers can be submitted by March 31st, 2023, to: [email protected]
They have to be previously unpublished and they cannot be under consideration for publication elsewhere. They should be prepared for a double-blind review process. Please, make sure that your paper complies with our submission standards which are posted here: https://eidos.uw.edu.pl/submissions/