CFP: 1. Covid-Conference: “A New Covid-Reality?: Philosophy's Voice In and For the Crisis“

Submission deadline: December 9, 2020

Conference date(s):
January 21, 2021 - January 22, 2021

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Berlin, Germany

Topic areas


CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: I Covid-Congress (CoCo I) [Online]

A New Covid-Reality?: Philosophy’s Voice In and For the Pandemic Crisis“ 

Scheduled Dates: January 20-21, 2021, 9:00-12:00am [CET] 


  • This conference will be held via GoogleMeet

  • Each talk will have an allocated time of 25 minutes: 10 minutes for the presentation followed by 15 minutes of discussion

  • The presentation videos will be published via Youtube 

Organizer: Swantje Martach, PhD, independent scholar

Since the onset of the Covid-crisis, the medicinal, epidemiological, virological voice has gained prevalence in the media, and is receiving a heightened attention of the masses. What this distinctive voice says appears to be the incontestable reality, and you better listen to and follow its advice. Yet the philosophical voice, which so far claimed for itself (at least its practical branch) to be guiding us to better ways of life, and assisting us in difficult situations with a proper theory, apparently fell almost silent. As the organizer of this event believes in the true power of philosophy, it is aspired to strengthen philosophy's voice in and for the pandemic crisis. And how could this better be done than via a gathering? Let us not allow this pandemic to refortify once more the conventional hierarchy of the sciences over the humanities; but let us rather take it as an opportunity to retrieve our voice, remodel philosophy as such, and relocate it in the center of public debate!

With this aim in mind, the present conference will be a discussion of three main themes:

  1. The new normal. It is frequently said these days that the COVID-19 crisis has produced a “new reality“. How does this new reality look like? Is it a completely new one, a reality that has never been there before, detached from all its predecessors? Or is it rather the victory of old procedures, a re-consideration and re-affirmation of values that have long been there, but long forgotten, and that now achieved to make their way again to the forefront of our attention and appreciation? 
  2. A new philosophy?: What does this new COVID-reality mean for philosophy? Is philosophy as area of research still valent and potent in the status-quo it obtained before the crisis? Or does the change in reality necessarily entail a change, or at least a shift in philosophy? Hence what old tools can be ceaselessly carried into this new world? And are new tools, new concepts, new styles of thought needed to approach this new reality? If so, how should they look like? And what area within philosophy now should gain prevalence? Should the philosophical focus indeed lie on a philosophy of science, especially of medicine? Do we rather, or even also need a new ethics? And what about a new aesthetics? In short, this section will deal with the effect of COVID-19 on philosophy.
  3. Philosophy’s voice: legitimacy and role.: Viceversa, the third section shall deal with the potential effect of philosophy on the process (an issue for ontology) and perception (epistemology) of the crisis. What can philosophy contribute to the mastering of the crisis? What guidance can it offer, and on which grounds? More broadly speaking, what role is the philosopher to embody now? Where is she to position herself within the public debate? What kind of role is she able to justify for herself, and how? If the doubtful, the skeptical, the critical attitude is at the heart of our discipline, what should the philosopher do besides merely listening to and waiting for the scientific results?Does philosophy have a responsibility beyond and more subversive than just describing or highlighting the „benefits“ of the supposed new reality?

This first “CoCo“ hopes to be less a frame and more of a stage, not enclosing but enabling present/future debates and rethinking approaches.

Submissions: If this CfC managed to spark your interest, please submit a 250-word abstract via e-mail The deadline for submissions is December 09, 2020. 

The website of the event (to be updated on a regular basis) is:

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)