Faculty colloquium VIII: Jan Slaby
The faculty colloquia aim to cover the broad scope of Erasmus School of Philosophy (ESPhil), in analytic and continental philosophy as well as the history of philosophy. Speakers are free in their choice of the subject-matter of their talks, but are requested to present a talk accessible to all philosophers, students notably included.
About the speaker
Prof. dr. Jan Slaby is professor of philosophy at Free University Berlin, Germany.
His research areas are philosophy of mind, especially emotion and affect, agency, self-consciousness and personhood in general. Areas of expertise include philosophical anthropology, phenomenology, social and political philosophy, philosophy of science and science studies (especially concerning psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience).
About the lecture
I explore two central segments of the meaning of “political affect”. In the first part of the talk, I discuss the ontological proximity between affect and the political by drawing on Spinoza, who sketches a vision of a radically democratic polity in which individuals realize their potential by forming affective alliances that jointly strive for insights into what enables or hinders their thriving. However, such affects of allegiance present only one possible way to flesh out the philosophical meaning of political affect. In the second part, I explore some of the ways in which affective phenomena get mobilized and regimented in order to support and sustain political rule. Taken together, both parts present key elements of what I call a critical theory of affect that is adequate to present-day conditions.