Ischia and Naples International Festival of Philosophy 2021
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Summer School of Humanities and Young Thinkers Festival 2021
Universes - VII Edition 1-26 September 2021
The Association InSophia, in collaboration with the City of Ischia, the CRF – International Centre for Philosophical Research, the University of Toronto Mississauga (Visual Studies Department), and with the patronage of the European Parliament, the City of Naples, the Circle “G. Sadoul”, the Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies, the FISP (International Federation of Philosophical Societies), the SFI (Società Filosofica Italiana), and the Department of Humanities at the University of Palermo, are delighted to announce the seventh edition of the International Festival of Philosophy “La Filosofia, il Castello e la Torre”, to be held in Ischia. The Festival’s main venues will be “Giardini La Mortella”, the Aragonian Castle, the Guevara Tower and the Biblioteca Antoniana.
The Festival of Philosophy in Ischia is a unicum in the international landscape of philosophical events. It has in fact the form of a conference open to the public, whose aim is to underline the need for philosophers to engage with the public sphere. This means creating new methods and expressive forms, but also new professional approaches.
The event aims to be a meeting point for all the different professional identities emerging from the philosophical field. One of the main objectives of the event is to rethink philosophy as a professional endeavour and to think new ways to reduce the lack of employment for those who have a philosophical background. For this reason the Festival has also gained interest from many international universities that are eager to support the pursuit of new careers for their graduates.
The Castle and the Tower symbolize the philosopher as one enclosed in his academic stronghold. Philosophy today has a need for relation and exchange with other institutions and forms of knowledge. It is a philosopher's duty to operate in the public sphere, according to that humanistic tradition that has been and still is at the core of our Italian and European culture.
Since its first edition in 2015 the Festival has registered great success, thanks both to its peculiar form and to the high calibre of the guests. La Filosofia, il Castello e la Torre is the first international philosophical event in the Neapolitan area that is open to the public and completely free. During the first year the event had more than 3,500 visitors (between students, speakers, locals and tourists); the second edition had more than 4,500 visitors; the following editions registered more than 5,300 visitors. In the last years the event has gathered more than 550 experts from all over the world (including Canada, USA, Portugal, Spain, England, France, Germany, Georgia, Iran, Turkey, Russia and China) to share their research in a high-profile research context and to visit one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean Sea.
Call for Papers
Universes: Can there be harmony in differences?
Human beings have always wondered about their relation to the universe—about the origin of life itself and the coexistence of its different forms. Isolating the precise moment when all of this started is complex to say the least. With the theory of the Big Bang (1948), science places the birth of the universe about 13.7 billion years ago, describing its evolution in an order of elements that, from the void, gave rise to a constantly expanding universe—one constantly expanding universe.
Philosophers were the first to identify the physical or metaphysical principles from which the universe originated, unique and determining principles that hold—as substance—for all matter. The One turns towards the All and All turns towards the One. The darkness of space becomes the manifestation of a dialectical and existential battle that has sometimes found a partial home in the mystical visions of Eastern and Pre-Socratic philosophies, marking a necessary passage from chaos to order: the word kosmos in Greek means “order,” and it is precisely in this system that life originated, ordering itself. The concept of “the universe” puts rational beings, both physically and metaphorically, on the proving ground of reason. It is rational—science affirms—yet all this does not satisfy the human tendency to seek a relationship with the unknown, the infinite, and indeterminacy.
Philosophy and science have always measured themselves against this investigation, at times collaborating, at others disputing each other. And if, on the one hand, philosophy has given rise to some very important ideas, devoid of empirical relationships and starting solely from intuitions of a metaphysical nature, on the other hand, science has generated, on the basis of these proto-scientific intuitions, some of the hypotheses and theories that have reached their full realization in the twentieth century. From the days of Heraclitus to Newton, there have been many revolutions that have followed upon one another and that have, slowly and inexorably, removed human beings from his central position in the cosmos, undermining the singularity of the only (?) form of “intelligent” life that populates the darkness of space.
One of the theories we take as a prime example is that of the Multiverse, which in some respects comes close to the vision of the Nolan philosopher Giordano Bruno: there exist infinite worlds in an infinite number of bubbles or universes, all generated by a primary universe. With precisely this line of investigation in mind, the Ischia and Naples International Festival of Philosophy launches the ethical challenge of this year’s gathering: exploring the question of the coexistence of differences, of plurality, and tracing a path that leads toward a practical vision of harmonies.
Whatever point of view you prefer, it’s astonishing to think of how this universe has allowed our shared life to come out—to emerge, in the etymological sense of the term—in a fine tuning that accords the harmonic unfolding of differences. Within this dark space, which projects us so much into our consciousness, there are forces, energies contrasting with each other, which determine the ways of being of the matter of which we are made, together with the stars and all the celestial bodies. And it is precisely in their opposition that they create another from themselves, organizing the elements in a heterogeneous synthesis.
Confronting the universe means, for this reason, confronting oneself, confronting the One and the Multiple, confronting the space of irrational differences, of incommensurables, of our intellect, but above all, of our limits. The dark night of the galaxies becomes the preferred place of human becoming, of its transience, declaring the ontological loneliness of all living beings.
But how are individuals ordered in the projection that represents the universe? How do we manage our ethical microcosm, which today more and more tends to distance us from both harmony and each other and—like the universe itself—from balance? Is the claim of a knowledge of the All, and of a Self-Consciousness that can rationally understand and include these opposites, decisive? Does the intrinsic structural intelligence of the matter of which we are formed tend towards progress or decay? To put it simply, does the substance of which we are made determine our way of being human?
To what extent do research and progress lead us to consider the universe as an ecosystem that is deteriorating? Can we make a real change, overcoming our sinister system of unbridled consumption, of which both the planet and we ourselves are the conscious victims? Is there a cure for human self-centeredness? Will it be enough to plan the escape from planet Earth?
To put philosophy and science into dialogue, human differences—differences that are physical, political, gendered, and generational, namely, the immense envelope of cultures—is the main task to which we dedicate the seventh edition. We are part of the Whole, but we can only know a part of the Whole. Tomorrow we could all be different.
The scientific committee is open to applications coming from a range of different disciplines, including everything from philosophy to the arts, from biology to politics. All proposals that are a strong match to the Call for Papers will be considered for participation.
1. Ancient, modern and contemporary philosophy. Presentations in this area may explore ontological questions concerning the principle of the universe, from the antique to the present, and from any tradition and/or region of philosophy. The One and the Many, the harmony of opposites. Universal or particular? Comparative studies between periods, or between Eastern and Western philosophies, are also welcome.
2. Philosophy and the History of Religions. Presentations in this area may investigate the historical-cultural differences between various philosophies and religions, or the evolution of religions and cults, highlighting the discourse on morality and the changes introduced into philosophical discourse by religious leaders and scientific discoveries.
3. Science and the Philosophy of Science. Presentations in this area may consider proto-scientific intuitions regarding the genesis of the universe. Science and philosophy in dialogue and opposition between metaphysical and physical principles. The concepts of universal truth and universal values as they cross between philosophy and science.
4. History, philosophy of history and history of science. Presentations in this area may look at historical developments of human events and the logics of their evolution. The concept of apogee and the decay of “civilizations.” The idea of parallel worlds and times, or of multiple historicities.
5. Literature and art. Presentations in this area may examine eschatologies and visions of human existence from the narrative perspective of the self and the Other. The narrative universes constructed to render the worlds of different genders, sexes, races and so on, in comparison. Interrogations of the relation between art and the universal, objectification and divination.
6. Psychology. Presentations in this area may address the individual and its relationship with society as it moves between convention and perceptual stereotypes. The identity of differences: stability and madness. Comparative approaches to debates about the particular and the universal in psychology, psychotherapy, and neuroscience. The collision of universes: diagnoses, treatments, methodologies, legal relations.
7. Political philosophy and anthropology. Presentations in this area may consider ontological and epistemological pluralism, the idea of the Pluriverse, or the prospect of justice in subaltern epistemologies and knowledge-making. Beyond anthropocentrism: the cosmopolitan and the posthuman turns. Cultural phenomena and contemporary heterosophies: how do feminist, indigenous, post-colonial, and afrofuturist philosophies, among others, coexist with the history of western philosophy up to now?
8. Pedagogies: Presentations in this area may treat the institutional task of educating new generations, and the expansion of curricula to address the new exigencies dictated by contemporary society: humanistic knowledges, ecologies, civic and political education.
9. Ecology: Presentations in this area may address scientific progress and the ecology of the universe. The equilibrium between different forms of life. The struggle for survival and the affirmation of intelligence.
10. Architecture and design. Presentations in this area may consider the idea of Spaceship Earth: design, ecology and the biosphere in the Anthropocene. Design in the Pluriverse. Ontological and epistemological difference in architecture and design. How to give a place to what does not take place: the emergence of the new.
11. Cinema and the Visual Arts: Presentations in this area may explore philosophy’s reliance on cinema, images, and the visual arts to conceptualize “worlds” and “universes,” including the idea of the “World Picture,” for example. Philosophies and works of cinema that attempt to elaborate the shape, form, and nature of the world, the universe, the pluriverse, or the multiplicity of worlds among worlds. Reflections on their role that aesthetics and images play in thinking both the universe and its contingencies.
12. Digital knowledge: Presentations in this area may look at the new digital universe and its expansion into virtual microcosms, information silos, micro-verses, partisan “bubbles.” Artificial intelligence and the interdependence between the human world and the world of “machines.” Social-Universe: the new anthropocentrism of opinion as it shifts the lines between reality and fiction, truth and lying. Lives on the edge: addiction to social media as a new form of normality.
HOW TO SEND A PROPOSAL
Languages: Italian, English
The biographical statement (maximum 10 lines) must be included in the body of the e-mail, in the document of the proposal, or in a separated document. Please send all documents in .doc or .dot format. Please do not send files in .pdf format.
Every speaker will have 30 minutes (including 10 minutes for discussion). Presentations can be held in Italian or in English. It is also possible to propose a full panel: every panel will feature 3 or 4 presentations on a common theme. Every panel must also feature a leader, whose duty is to introduce and guide the discussion. For a panel proposal, please send the abstracts of each individual presentation as well as a brief introduction to the panel (maximum 200 words).
A registration fee will be required. Participants in the Festival will also have access to special rates and recommendations for guest accommodations during the whole week of the event.
Please note that all conference sessions will take place in Ischia, from September the 23rd to the 26th.
Please visit our website (www.lafilosofiailcastellolatorre.it) and Facebook page: La Filosofia, il Castello e la Torre – Instagram: @lafilosofiailcastellolatorre
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