International Humanitas Colloquium: Art, Mythology, and Metaphysics

November 23, 2023 - November 25, 2023
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa

Anfiteatro III
Alameda da Universidade, 1600-214 Lisboa
Lisbon 1600-214

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

This event is available both online and in-person


Universidade de Lisboa
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Universität Bonn
Nelson Gomes
Universidade de Brasília
University of Amsterdam
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa
Universidade do Porto
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa
University of Lisbon
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa
University of Stellenbosch
Case Western Reserve University
Universidade de Lisboa
Universidade do Minho


Universidade de Lisboa
Universidade de Lisboa
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa
Universidade Católica Portuguesa (PhD)
Universidade de Lisboa
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa
Universidade de Lisboa
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa

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                      Internacional colloquium

Humanitas: Art, Mythology and Metaphysics

We are pleased to announce the International Colloquium Humanitas: Art, Mythology and Metaphysics , to be held at the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon (FLUL) on the 23rd, 24th, and 25th of November 2023. The thematic diversity of this philosophical event finds its unit on the assumption that “the foundation of reason is not itself rational.” (2006:11) In other words, there is an immediate relationship between objective-logical-empirical thinking and the occurrence of mythological thinking. Indeed, the human propensity to see what is not true and to want what does not (yet) exist served as a permanent stimulus to its development. Capable of creating their own artifacts and collective semiotics, human beings reified their beliefs, hypostatized their truths, and materialized their illusions throughout their evolution. We should not, therefore, neglect the recurrent presence of mythology in the context of studies of culture, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and philosophy of art.

Myth, therefore, establishes an ambiguity between our imaginary and reality itself. If, on the one hand, the fantastic and the absurd prevail, it is also true that it actively seeks to give meaning to the most basic experiences of human life. If so, mythology can be very primitive regarding knowledge but rich in meaning. Cassirer argues that we should not define humanity by the property of rationality but rather by the ability to attribute meaning to things, which can be, from the point of view of the history of human cognitive evolution, temporally prior to logical-formal reasoning.

However, our interest is not to perpetuate the already consolidated narrative that opposes reason and imagination but rather to recognize the pre-theoretical and pre-rational conditions that make rational thought possible. That is the reason why, in all the talks, it will be possible to unveil the articulation between “the experience of reason in human thought” and “the ‘myth word’ as a relevant expression of our spirit.” (2006:12) It is also worth noting that, despite not isolating reason from its elaboration conditions, we cannot simply reduce it to these conditions. Myth and reason, meaning and knowledge still do not denote the same thing despite their borders inevitably crossing.

In this regard, Art constitutes the perfect union between these two only apparently antithetical poles, working as a factor of resistance to the generalized instrumental rationalization of the world without nevertheless falling into irrationalism.  We then conceive Art as a “new mythology”. “New” in the sense that it is more open to discussion, interpretation, and criticism. “Mythology” since it plays a fundamental role in the expression and understanding of human condition that is still different from the predominant tools of methodological, objective, and measurable analysis.

Speakers:Ana Rita Ferreira, Carlos João Correia, Deepak Sarma, Elisabete M. de Sousa, Gregory S. Moss, Helena Costa Carvalho, José Pedro Serra, José Câmara Leme, José Miranda Justo, José Quaresma, Katia Hay, Markus Gabriel, Miguel Cereceda, Nelson Gomes, Paulo Borges, Sofia Miguens, Soraya Nour Sckell, Susana Oliveira, Tiago Sousa and Vasti Roodt.

Organizing committee:Filipa Afonso, Jeovet B. Virgínia, Manuel João Pires, Moirika Reker, Rui Maia Rego, Sara Fernandes, Susana Reis and Teresa Antunes.

Note: quote referring to CORREIA, Carlos João and GABRIEL, Markus (coord.), Arte, Metafísica e Mitologia, Colóquio Luso-Alemão de Filosofia, Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa, 2006.

Registration is free and you can attend in person and/or online (zoom).

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Contact: [email protected]

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November 20, 2023, 9:00am +01:00

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