CFP: Enlightenment and Freedom of Speech

Submission deadline: January 30, 2017

Conference date(s):
May 19, 2017 - May 20, 2017

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Institute of Philosophy, Jagiellonian University in Krakow
Kraków, Poland

Topic areas


We are pleased to announce a call for abstracts for our forthcoming colloquium, dedicated to studying the idea that we should have a freedom to voice and otherwise express our thoughts, its origins, problems, critiques and justifications, from the angle of the history of philosophy, history of ideas, and contemporary political philosophy. The abstracts should be of maximum 500 words and relate to any of the following, or connected topics:  

  •  The concept of and arguments for (and against) the freedom of speech formulated by the early modern and Enlightenment thinkers, and their philosophical origins (second scholasticism, re-discovery of the Stoics, Epicureans, Reformation, Cartesianism, Spinozism etc.) and historical context (e.g. religious persecutions, censorship and the adoption of constitutions in the USA, Poland and France). The distinction, and congruence, between freedom of speech and 'freedom of the pen'. 
  • The relationship of freedom of speech and secular state. In particular: is freedom of speech even compatible with secularism? Could unregulated freedom of speech hinder the realization of the secular state by allowing people to express opinions that are based on their ‘particular’ religious world-views instead of purely ‘universal’ rationality? What are the justifications for this Enlightenment distinction? 
  • The above questions are related to the question about the limits for the freedom of speech. Is the state ever entitled to limit people’s freedom to express ideas, for example, in order to prevent the manipulation of people’s opinions and emotions, or so-called ‘hate-speech’? If so, what are the minimum universal (or perhaps context-specific) rational standards that we can demand from public expression?

The submitted abstracts will undergo a peer-review and applicants will be informed whether their abstract has been accepted a month after the submission deadline. Each invited participant will have 30 minutes for presentation and 15 minutes for discussion. If you are interested in presenting at the colloquium, we encourage you to submit your abstract (preferably in .doc, .docx or .pdf format), with a short note including information about your contact details and academic affiliation, by 31st January 2017, to one of the organizers:

Dr. Anna Tomaszewska ([email protected])

Dr. Hasse Hämäläinen ([email protected])

Dr. Damian Barnat ([email protected])

If you would like to participate in the colloquium without presenting a paper, please send your expression of interest to the organizers by 1st March 2017. You may check also our website below:

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