Thursday, May 01, 2008

"Transatlantic Reverberations: Prospects of Pragmatic Humanism," University of Lodz, September 27-30, 2008.

The term "humanism" has been used by F.C.S Schiller to describe his own brand of pragmatism, and by William James to express the basic goal of pragmatist movement. This goal was to call attention to the richness and plurality of human experience, and to attack serious challenges facing civilization from a pragmatic perspective, free of the modern infatuation with certainty and abstract theory. Thus, classical pragmatists took up some of the intellectual goals of Renaissance humanists such as Erasmus and Montaigne. Today the interest in Pragmatic Humanism is revived by eminent thinkers on both sides of the ocean who urge that we abandon modern interest in certainty, epistemic foundations, and purely theoretical problems and return to practical philosophizing sensitive to local problems facing particular communities in particular historical contexts. While these thinkers do not form a homogenous movement, they share several substantive and methodological interests: to study rationality and knowledge from the vantage point of pragmatics or rhetoric of discourse; to see intellectual activities as embodied in specific systems of beliefs, institutional settings, oral traditions, and cultural practices; to view basic philosophical problems in a social-historical context; and to revive interest in philosophy as a form of experience and an art of living. Papers are invited from all fields of philosophy, especially these dealing with current philosophical problems from a pragmatist perspective and those that address the issue of rapprochement of American pragmatism (and neo-pragmatism) and various trends in contemporary European philosophy. Publication of a selection of papers from Pragmatic Humanism Forum is envisaged. Please send paper proposals and abstracts to Mateusz Oleksy at by May 30, 2008. Visit the conference website here:

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