Wednesday, April 09, 2008
"Philosophy, Practices and the Practice of Philosophy," Université de Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne, December 8, 2007; March 15, 2008; May 10, 2008.
Philosophy is often regarded as an essentially speculative discipline, opposed in this respect to the realm of practices. But in numerous cases, it is not possible to extract philosophy from its relationship to a practice or a set of practices. One might, for instance, think of metaphysics whose very development has sometimes been seen as depending on the state of our scientific knowledge. Or, similarly, in ethics the relation to practice has a direct influence on the methodology that is deployed. This closeness of philosophy to practices is so pervasive that some have gone as far as to suggest that philosophy itself might be a type of practice, thereby reviving a conception of philosophy that was more familiar to the Ancients, or even nothing but a form of action. This questioning of the relation between philosophy and practices is all the more striking today that knowledge is no longer considered as something given, resting on putative a priori foundations as provided by philosophy. If it is not from philosophy that knowledge gains its foundations, what then could be philosophy’s role if not that of being a practice of some kind? It is therefore ultimately in a methodological relation to knowledge, and not as a foundational prolegomenon, that philosophy can find its rightful place as a practice within a web of practices. We propose three one-day conferences that will each examine an aspect of the relationship between philosophy and practices understood in a broad sense. The first day, on the theme “Science, a Model for Metaphysics?”, asks to what extent the practice of science impacts metaphysical constructions. The second day, "Goethe-Lichtenberg-Wittgenstein: Philosophy, Psychology, Natural Sciences," examines the interface between philosophy as a practice, psychology and natural science through a dialogue between Goethe, Lichtenberg and Wittgenstein. The third day, "Ethics without Principles: the Diversity of Contexts of Moral Particularism," on the diversity of contexts of moral particularism, asks how practices might ground ethics in the absence of foundations by principles. Further information is here: http://meliparen.blogspot.com/.