Respiratory Philosophy: A Paradigm Shift in Philosophy

June 18, 2023 - June 21, 2023
Institute for Philosophical Studies, Science And Research Centre Koper

Grand Hotel Bernardin

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  • Kobe Institute for Atmospheric Studies (KOIAS), Kobe University


Science and Research Centre Koper, Slovenia
Science And Research Centre Koper

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Breathing is a rare theme in philosophy, and it is only in recent years that philosophy of breathing as a new way of doing philosophy has begun to interest some thinkers. The pioneers of the field are Luce Irigaray (1983), David Kleinberg-Levin (1984) and Peter Sloterdijk (1998). It was only in the 2010s that explicit and systematic studies have been published on the philosophy of breathing.

The respiratory philosophy as presented and articulated at this conference deals with our relationships with the atmospheres of breathing and air. “Breath” might seem like a peculiar project, or at the very least disconnected from the way in which most European philosophy has understood itself and its goals. But the “forgetting of air and breathing” (Irigaray) in European philosophical discourse is by itself one of the deepest, unacknowledged tensions, shaping its unfortunate outlook on the world. A new respiratory philosophy has the double merit of decolonizing the philosophical curriculum through an inclusion of non-European sources and insights, and of revealing how such “breathing” is a fundamental (even if erased) element of its own history. The potential of such a paradigm shift bears far-reaching consequences for the areas of ontology, ethics, poetics, politics, environment, spirituality, and health – as fields being in the forefront of this new respiratory paradigm.

The conference topics include and contributions are invited to address:

➢  Historical roots and intercultural aspects of air and breathing

➢  Forgotten Pre-Socratic philosophical thinking: pneuma, aer, psyche, thymos, phrenes

➢  Main European respiratory philosophers: Bachelard, Schmitz, Levinas, Merleau-Ponty, Irigaray, Sloterdijk

➢  Prāṇa and breathing in Indian philosophies and religious systems

➢  Qi/ki in East Asian philosophies, bio-medicine, religious systems and martial arts

➢  Japanese aesthetics of atmospheres, sky, wind and breathing

➢  Main modern Japanese respiratory philosophers and practitioners: Okada, Fujita, Nakamura, Kato, Ogawa, Yamaguchi, Kuriyama

➢  Western respiratory and aerial poets and poetics of breathing: Shakespeare, Goethe, Hölderlin, Coleridge, Shelley, Rilke, Mörike, Claudel, Celan

➢  Respiratory and aerial ontology

➢  Respiratory and aerial ethics

➢  Atmospheric art

➢  Breathing as an embodied experience for aesthetic performance (dance, music, film, theatre, calligraphy)

➢  Cross-cultural respiratory philosophy and aesthetics

➢  Breath and olfactory philosophy

➢  “I can't breathe” and critical theory of race

➢  Respiratory democracy and breathing as a force of social justice

➢  Gender, disability, and queering breath

➢  Atmopolitics, bad air and environmental philosophy

➢  Breathing and breathlessness in a post-COVID world

Conference convenors

Lenart Škof, Yuho Hisayama and Petri Berndtson

Programme and organizing committee

Prof Dr Lenart Škof, Institute for Philosophical Studies, Science and Research Centre Koper, Slovenia 

Assoc Prof Dr Dr Yuho Hisayama, Kobe Institute for Atmospheric Studies, Kobe University, Japan 

Ass Prof Dr Magdalena Górska, Graduate Gender Studies Programme and Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Department of Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University, The Netherlands 

Assoc Prof Dr Lorenzo Marinucci, Faculty of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University and Kobe Institute for Atmospheric Studies, Japan

Dr Petri Berndtson, Institute for Philosophical Studies, Science and Research Centre Koper, Slovenia 

Dr Maja Bjelica, Institute for Philosophical Studies, Science and Research Centre Koper, Slovenia

Proposals up to 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by January 5, 2023 to: [email protected]

Selected presenters will be notified by February 1, 2023.

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