International Summer School: Philosophy in Times of Crisis – Theoretical Perspectives East and West

August 9, 2021 - August 14, 2021
IZEW, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen


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  • VW Foundation


University of Hong Kong
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Humboldt-University, Berlin
City University of Hong Kong
University of New South Wales
George Washington University


Universität Stuttgart
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
University Tübingen

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Extended Call for Papers

International Summer School

Philosophy in Times of Crisis – Theoretical Perspectives East and West

August 9th - 14th 2021, University of Tübingen

Keynote speakers

Joseph Chan, Thomas Fröhlich, Sally Haslanger, Rahel Jaeggi, Sungmoon Kim, Bernd Ladwig, Karyn Lai, Sor Hoon Tan, Tadeusz Zawidzki

New deadline for applications January 31st, 2021


The summer school aims to bring together leading experts and junior scholars from the fields of social and political theory as well as Chinese philosophy. Our starting point is the frequently proclaimed crisis of liberalism which is often taken to affect the very heart of Western political values and identity. At the same time, public debate frequently points to Chinese Philosophy as a rival approach in political theorizing. It is our goal to move away from such an antagonistic framing. Rather, we aim to explore what resources thinkers from east and west have to offer in times of crisis. 

We will conduct the discussion in three sessions, each of them devoted to a different level of analysis. In the first section, we will focus on macro-level social phenomena. Central questions we want to discuss are: What is the understanding of central terms such as “political stability” and “legitimacy” in Confucianism and liberal political theory? How can political stability be combined with social progress? What is the role of political crises in Western and Eastern thinking and what can learn from this?

The second section is devoted to meso-level phenomena, with a special focus on social and ethical roles, since roles are not only a central theme in Confucian thinking but also in Western reflection on political responsibility and civic education. Here, we want to understand what position we can accord to roles in political theory. In what ways can they be central to a “good” or stable society? How can we reform roles that seem outdated and what does this mean for social progress? 

The third session will be devoted to individual-level phenomena. Questions we want to discuss include: How can roles be habituated? What are the mental resources that allow for this? How does the concept of habitualized roles relate to the idea of individual freedom? 

We invite applications from doctoral and post-doctoral students for participation in the event. A small number of slots is available for participants to present their own work on issues related to the overall theme of the summer school. Limited funding is available to (partially) cover travel and accommodation costs.

To apply please send the following materials to [email protected]:

-       A curriculum vitae (including list of publications)

-       A brief letter of motivation (1-2 pages)

-       If you want to apply for a presentation: An abstract (500 words) on the conferences’ topics with information on the thematic focus (macro, meso or micro). 

Organizing team: Anja Berninger (University of Stuttgart), Hauke Behrendt (University of Stuttgart), Wulf Loh (University of Tübingen), Tobias Störzinger (University of Göttingen)

Funded by the VW Foundation

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