August 27, 2021 - August 29, 2021
Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana.


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  • Accademia svizzera di scienze umane e sociali
  • Società Filosofica della Svizzera italiana



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K N O W L E D G E- P O W E R - A C T I O N

Congress of the Swiss Philosophical Society

Lugano, 27 28 29.08.21

The relationship between the three concepts of "knowledge", "power" and "action" can be articulated in different ways. Philosophy has never ceased to question itself about their interdependence. Born with the intention of giving consistency to the instance of knowledge and affirming its intrinsic value, philosophy since antiquity has always tried to think itself also in relation to practice, in the personal as well as the social dimensions. In doing so, it has devoted itself to such questions as: What role does philosophical thought play in defining and guiding ethical and political action? What role does it play in human life, in directing our daily behaviour, in justifying our "way of life"? The relationship between "knowledge", "power" and "action" affects many areas of social life and individual existence. Let us think, for example, of politics, health care or education: What kind of knowledge is at the service of power? How "having to let know" and "not wanting to know" intersect in clinical practice? How to teach and to learn "to act" and "to be able to act"?

In all these areas, philosophy can accompany a careful reflection on the three concepts with the aim of learning more: about "knowledge" in its various forms (theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge, universal knowledge and singular knowledge, rational knowledge and sensitive knowledge); about "power" as the ability to act and produce effects or also as authority and domination; about "action" in its manifold implications, especially about the responsibility towards others that is always inherent in it.

The congress aims to bring into dialogue different perspectives on these three concepts – which have been understood and interwoven differently in the history of thought – through the mediation of philosophical instruments, in order to better illuminate the present time.

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