Life Problems: Ambivalence, Valorization, Validation

ESPhil Graduate Symposium
Wednesday 25 May 2022, 10:00 - 17:50
Spoken Language
C2-1 (Theil Building)
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We cordially invite you to attend the MA Philosophy Now Graduate Symposium, dedicated to the topic of LIFE!

The manifold, elusive everyday uses of the notion of ‘life’ carry over into its under-determined, ambiguous, and often ambivalent function within numerous theoretical and applied disciplines as well as within philosophical discourses.

In order to thematize the import of this ambivalence and explore its potential we, the Masters students of the School of Philosophy, organize an international symposium and aim to publish its outcomes in a special issue of the Erasmus Student Journal of Philosophy.

We wish thus first to examine and valorize the under-determination of life within various discursive
contexts. By weaving together different approaches to life within a single project, we seek both to
concretize and extend discussions within these discourses, as well as tease out the commonalities
and disjunctions between them, in order to open new paths of knowledge.

We wish also to take transdisciplinarity to its limit and show how ultimately, every object within
philosophical discourse, becomes in its relation to the question of life, itself a question of ‘life and
death’, demanding a valiant validation of the inherent and existential value of every question. By bringing life to the center of philosophical discourses, the latter must assume the responsibility of cultivating forms of knowledge whose value is centered around lived life.
Biopolitical questions of race and market practices, the potential of categories such as
‘bare-life’ and ‘form-of-life’ in reconfiguring contemporary practices, the ethico-political significance of the epistemological boundary between life and death, the scope of biosemiotics in making sense of the world, and the fraught relation between viral life and technics which will undoubtedly determine much of the future are thus some of the dimensions that we set out to explore.


Read the abstracts of the talks

More information

The symposium is organized by a group of Philosophy Now students under the coordination of dr. Georgios Tsagdis. The speeches by 5 Masters students and 3 keynote speakers will be held. The keynote speeches will be delivered by prof. Havi Carel from University of Bristol, prof. Howard Caygill from Kingston University, and dr. Henk Oosterling, an EUR emeritus.

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