Invention and Imagination

December 14, 2023 - December 16, 2023
CHAM, Centre for the Humanities; IFILNOVA-Institute of Philosophy; Centre of Philosophy University of Lisbon, NOVA University Lisbon

Colégio Almada Negreiros (CAN) Universidade NOVA de Lisboa — Campus de Campolide
Lisbon 1099-132

This event is available both online and in-person


École Normale Supérieure
New University of Lisbon
Boston College
Universidade Nova de Lisboa


University of Lisbon

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International Conference on
Invention and Imagination

December 14 and 15, 2023
Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal

In the sciences as in techniques, in the arts as in literature, invention seems to be inseparable from the possibility of making evident new connections, images, knowledge or procedures through an original combination of available means for a determined end. There is invention when previously unknown combinations are led to the identity of a defined and desired project, which usually allows the resolution of problems. In this sense, if we can easily admit that invention supposes the discovery of newly isolated data interpreted from the point of view of available models or procedures, it is equally simple to admit that a new discovery (whether scientific, technical or cultural - accepting that these fields are interconnected and express the same original dynamism) supposes the invention of forms that allow the perception of a datum that had not been noticed beforehand or whose potentiality had not been welcomed or imagined.

But how are images, imagination and invention related? What relation do they have to innovation, novelty, creation and creativity? What is the role of coincidences, inspiration or dreams in inventive processes? How essential are they to what is innovative in the very dynamism of the living subjects that we are? How are imagination and invention inscribed in the becoming of the cultural and political environment in which we live? To what extent can the invention of humanity endanger human life? Does the process of creation and invention have an immanent imaginary dynamic, in which subjects participate, or can subjectivities intentionally give rise to new images?

Focusing on philosophy and the history of ideas, the aim of this conference is to shed light on these and other questions related to the nature of imagination and invention through an interdisciplinary reflection.

Invited keynote speakers:

Vincent Bontems, CEA (Larsim), Ecole Normale Supérieure, France
António Bracinha Vieira, Center for the Philosophy of Science, University of Lisbon, Portugal
Richard Kearney, Boston College

Maria Filomena Molder, IFILNOVA- NOVA  University of Lisbon

Olga Pombo, Center for the Philosophy of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Portugal

Yulia Ustinova, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Elliot Wolfson, University of California Santa Barbara

Scientific Committee: Maria de Jesus Cabral (CEHUM), João Pedro Cachopo (CESEM- NOVA), Carlos Caires (ESML, CESEM-NOVA), Nélio Conceição (IFILNOVA), Guido Guiglioni (University di Macerata), Ana Lúcia Mandelli de Marcillac (UFSC), Soraya Nour-Sckell (CFUL, NOVA School of Law), Susana Viegas (IFILNOVA).

Organising Committee: Nuno Miguel Proença (CHAM-NOVAFCSH), Adelino Cardoso (CHAM-NOVAFCSH), Teresa Lousa (FBAUL, CHAM-NOVAFCSH), Nuno Fonseca (IFILNOVA), Paulo Cardoso de Jesus (CFUL).

Zoom links:

- for room 219 (where the keynote lectures will always take place):

- for room 209:

  - for room SD, that will only be used the first day: 


Can be consulted at the following address : 

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