CFP: Experience and Experiences (France) (3/15/07; 7/15/07-7/21/07)

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Call for papers

13th International Philosophy Colloquium Evian
13. Internationales Philosophie-Kolloquium Evian
13ème Colloque Philosophique International d’Evian

Evian, July 15-21, 2007

Experience and Experiences
Erfahrung und Erfahrungen
L'expérience et les expériences

Conference website:

Prof. Dr. Georg W. Bertram, Institut für Philosophie, Universität
Hildesheim, Marienburger Platz 22, D-31141 Hildesheim, Germany

We have experiences, and we gain experience. We experience the world in
its colors and forms, sounds and smells, and are more or less experienced
in our dealings with the changing circumstances of life. Experience is
irreplaceable and every human being must gain and learn from experience
for him- or herself. Experiencing and being experienced are part of what
it is to be human and to develop as a human being. For this reason
philosophy has reflected on the nature and role of experience in every
conceivable aspect: in aesthetics (from Dewey to Adorno and Derrida), in
religion (from Schleiermacher to James and Taylor), in morality (from
Aristotle to Lévinas and Butler), in knowledge (from Locke and Kant to
McDowell), and in politics (from Burke to Arendt and Agamben).

But the concept of experience is not only one of the most important
concepts of philosophy – it is also one of its most slippery. One can find
already in Aristotle the dual aspect of experience, to which the title of
this year’s colloquium alludes. For ‘empeiria’ can mean both the quality
of being experienced, which is acquired through practice and consists in
the mastery of practical skills, as well as the experiences that we have
and collect in our encounters in the world, experiences that Aristotle
characterizes in terms of the knowledge of the particular. Experience (as
it is understood particularly in Hegelian thought) can also describe,
however, the dialectical process through which there is a mutual and
dynamic modification of our knowledge of things and the skills and
standards we apply in knowing them.

How then should we explain the nature of experience? Is experience
exclusively a matter of sensibility, as Locke, Russell, and Evans would
have it? Or is it essentially conceptually structured, as Kant, Sellars,
and McDowell argue? Does experience serve as the foundation of all
theories (Carnap), the basis of their refutation (Popper), or is it rather
a construct (Feyerabend)? Should we understand experience as always
already modified by media and technology, and thereby as something
historically contingent (Lyotard and Latour)? Do the conditions of
modernity threaten us with a loss of experience in the sense that it is
withering away more and more (Benjamin) or being fundamentally transformed
(Baudrillard)? Is experience in itself connected with self-experience, and
can we understand experience apart from some context of social practices
that shapes how we come to understand things? How do the language of
experience and the experience of language condition each other, in the
sense in which Wittgenstein and Gadamer consider these aspects of
experience? What is the substrate of experience: the res cogitans of
Descartes, the expressive body as described by Merleau-Ponty, or the
habitus that Bourdieu draws to our attention? And how can we understand
the striving after a mode of experience that transcends the subject, in
the way that Nietzsche, Foucault, and Bataille have in mind? In addition
to individual experience, are there also forms of experience that
collectivities essentially enjoy, or at least ones that can only be
ascribed to collectivities?

The 13th International Philosophy Colloquium Evian invites presentations
that are devoted to investigating the concept of experience in systematic
ways. It aims to provide a setting in which participants can discuss
whether to understand experience as mediated or unmediated, conceptual or
sensory, linguistic or prelinguistic, subjective or intersubjective,
foundational or subversive, passive or active, practical or theoretical,
etc. In the spirit of the principal aim of the Colloquium past and
present, we seek to garner (post)structuralist, hermeneutical,
phenomenological, and analytical answers to such questions in both their
differences and convergences, as well as to bring them into a
systematically fruitful dialogue.

The International Philosophy Colloquium Evian addresses philosophers who
are interested in engaging in discussions that transcend the confines of
any particular school of thought in philosophy. It is conceived as a
setting in which the division between continental and analytic philosophy
is overcome. Passive mastery of the three languages of the Colloquium
(French, German, and English), at least sufficient so as to follow
presentations and discussions in each of them, is indispensable and a
necessary condition of participation!

Call for Papers:

We request proposals for presentations (maximum length: one page), along
with a short CV (maximum length: two pages), by March 15th, 2007. Please
send these documents via e-mail to the following address:

For information about the character and history of this Colloquium, along
with all of its organisational and logistical details, please visit our
trilingual homepage:

Georg W. Bertram (Hildesheim), Stefan Blank (Berlin), Robin Celikates
(Gießen), David Lauer (Berlin)
In cooperation with Karin de Boer (Groningen), Karen Feldman (Berkeley),
Jo-Jo Koo (Pittsburgh), Christophe Laudou (Madrid), Jérôme Lèbre (Paris),
Diane Perpich (Clemson), Hans Bernhard Schmid (Basel), Chris Doude van
Troostwijk (Strasbourg / Amsterdam)

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Received on Mon Dec 11 2006 - 18:26:12 EST

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