Summer Conference in Continental Ethics: Levinas

June 17, 2020 - June 20, 2020
Department of Philosophy, Vytautas Magnus University


This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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  • Department of Philosophy, West Virginia University


Université de Montréal
The New School


Vytautas Magnus University
West Virginia University

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This conference is the second in a ten-part series, the Summer Conference in Continental Ethics (SCCE). Although in recent decades some efforts have been made in this direction, there is a need for substantial additional research into the character and role of ethics in 20th- and 21st-century continental philosophy. One reason for this is that the complexity of recent and contemporary continental ethics tends to obscure important discoveries and common themes that could add real value to public discourses on questions of ethics. Hence the overarching goal of this conference series, which is to gain greater clarity about contemporary continental ethics in order to make its teachings accessible to a broader public and hence more applicable to contemporary ethical problems.

Organized under the auspices of a partnership between the Departments of Philosophy at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania, and West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, USA, the conference meets every summer and brings together scholars from around the globe to confer about outstanding themes and thinkers within continental ethics.

This year's conference is dedicated to Emmanuel Levinas, who is often considered to be the thinker of ethics within contemporary continental philosophy. His insistence, contra Heidegger, that ethics, rather than ontology, is first philosophy is at the core of the reformulation and expansion of the phenomenological project of Edmund Husserl. Although trained in phenomenology, Levinas is also in dialogue with existentialism, psychoanalysis, poststructuralism and other streams of continental philosophy of the 20th-century. The general goal of the conference is twofold: first, to clarify Levinas’ central ethical ideas, and second, to seek out the common themes that tie Levinas’ work to other efforts in contemporary continental ethics. The conference especially welcomes papers that situate Levinas’ thought in the broader context of continental philosophy and continental ethics in particular.

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