Ischia and Naples International Festival of Philosophy 2020

deadline for submissions: 
April 5, 2020
full name / name of organization: 

La Filosofia, Il Castello e la Torre - Ischia and Naples International Festival of Philosophy, 

Summer School of Humanities and Young Thinkers Festival 2020 VI Edition


Theme: Time 

Ischia, 20 - 27 September

Naples 1 - 3  October 


The Association InSophia, in collaboration with the City of Ischia, the CRF – International Centre for Philosophical Research, the University of Toronto Mississauga (Visual Studies Department), and with the patronage of the City of Naples, the Circle “G. Sadoul”, the Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies, the FISP (International Federation of Philosophical Societies) and the Department of Humanities at the University of Palermo, are delighted to announce the sixth edition of the International Festival of Philosophy “La Filosofia, il Castello e la Torre”, to be held between Ischia and Naples. The Festival’s main venues will be the Maschio Angioino in Naples, “Giardini La Mortella”, the Aragonian Castle, and the Guevara Tower in Ischia. 


Call for papers

 After the intensive debate on God mounted in 2019, the festival will continue its research activities by focusing—for the sixth edition—on “Time”. The concept will be analysed under the perspective of the ethical relation between humans and the ecosystem as a whole.


Time is a unity of measure, a paradigm for the relationship that defines the beginning and the end of happenings. Or rather, it is an existential measure of human feeling from which the entirety of life seems to gain meaning, providing a distinctly humanistic concept of unity that can be named the event: minutes, hours, years and centuries are all just the units of an imaginary or symbolic dimension, close or distant, on which our existence can be traced, from conception to death. “Further”, “past”, “present” and “future” represent categories that set our actions in a specific order. When biological life is seen under these categories, it becomes recognizable in terms of existence, history and evolution. 


When experienced as the unfolding of becoming, existence transforms itself into a temporal unity whose dimensions shape our actions and our choices, serving to appease the despair of the ones who live only in the present, becoming superficial; the ones who only live in the past, becoming nostalgic; and of the ones who live in the future, becoming anxious. 


In time, our bodies—seen as an organic, objective matter—also develop, modifying themselves and showing the flow of time through the signs of transformation, through the changing of the organic activities that increase or decrease. In fact, one is called young or old because of the organic activities of the body, which show to the other a peculiar bodily identity imprinted by time, one’s age. The same happens for actions that are ordered in our minds by our brains, the centre of our intellectual activities. When we try to hold our events in time as memories, as collective memories, we give our existence an identity, which should give mankind the chance to dispose itself toward openness or close itself off to becoming. 


From this perspective time seems to be effective, necessary and also very important to us. But on the other hand, the conception of infinity—where all these categories, existences, actions and events lose their meaning or at least change it—also takes place in our minds. How, then, can we understand the human necessity of thinking “infinity”? 


The idea of ethical relativism puts the concept of time under another perspective, placing humans into seemingly infinite relational transformations, around which all our conceptions of time can be true and absolute. Generations change and so changes the time of our relationships to others. For instance, the major critical descriptors of our historical era—such as the Anthropocene—so often presume that we know what constitutes an era in the first place. This circumstance foregrounds the question of how can we assess and make critical demands, imperatives about our time, if we do not also have in place a complex theory of time. It also compels us to ask what we can do with those theories if we assume that time does not exist at all. 


Indeed, if time passes through time, as Derrida claimed in The Politics of Friendship—if there is always more than one time in time—what good could it do to presume that the ills that come to define and take name of our era are both the result of a temporal progression and also temporally homogenous? Likewise, in engaging these epochal ills, must we not also hold a conception of futurity? In imagining more sustainable social, cultural, environmental and economical practices we will need to be more reflective about how we understand the relation of the past to the future, and in that sense, to decide what the contemporary means, or can mean. Time becomes Times and this represents the expression of a plurality—past, present and future—which is essential to our era. But is it right to say—under the contemporary logic of human transformations—that everyone owns his time and should have the right to be the centre of all human activities? Since time is only a human experience limited to this planet, technology seems to be changing human nature itself. Can humans consider themselves the centre of this universe if the universe lets us understand the objectivity of the infinite?


Everything passes, changes in time, inexorably. Will human beings be capable of sharing a common vision, concerning their existences, to improve this space as the only place we have, without falling back to a primitivism because of fanaticism, because of idiocy?


Can the idea of time itself bring us together or is it just an illusion?


How much time do we have left—and how much does our planet still have?


Topic Areas:

The scientific committee is open to applications coming from a range of different disciplines, including everything from philosophy to the arts, from biology to politics. All proposals that are a strong match to the Call for Papers will be considered for participation.


1. Time and history: Memory, narration, witness. 


2. Being and time: Temporality and subjectivity in philosophy, psychology and cognitive sciences.


3. Images of time: Metaphors, representations, objectivations of time in visual arts and literature.

4. The end of times: Millenarianism and eschatology of our planet. 

5. No present: Visions of the future in the arts, sciences, philosophy and social media.


6. Through times: A time trip in physics, cinema, and visionary literature.


7. Time in dreaming dimensions: Constructions of human identity, from myth to anthropology.


8. Time and music: Backwards and forward in the history of music and its contemporary forms. 


9. Times of life: Transformations of living creatures in biology, from evolution to innovation.  


10. Taming time: The praise of slowness vs. praise of acceleration. 


Alternative areas: Non-conventional Philosophy


11. Time Talks

Break-out session for scholars, poets, literates, scientists who want to involve people in an unfiltered public discussion in conventional and non-conventional venues.


12. Street-Philosophy

If you are confident about discussing philosophy in open spaces, shops, and squares as Socrates did, this is your chance.



Languages: Italian, English

Please send proposals (maximum 1,000 words) and a brief biographical statement (in the same file) to - and to by April 5, 2020.


The biographical statement (maximum 10 lines) must be included in the body of the e-mail, in the document of the proposal, or in a separated document. Please send all documents in .doc or .dot format. Please do not send files in .pdf format.


Every speaker will have 30 minutes (including 10 minutes for discussion). Presentations can be held in Italian or in English. It is also possible to propose a full panel: every panel will feature 3 or 4 presentations on a common theme. Every panel must also feature a leader, whose duty is to introduce and guide the discussion. For a panel proposal, please send the abstracts of each individual presentation as well as a brief introduction to the panel (maximum 200 words).


A registration fee will be required. Participants in the Festival will also have access to special rates and recommendations for guest accommodations during the whole week of the event.


Please note that all conference sessions will take place in Ischia, from September the 24th to the 27th.


For further information please contact the Scientific Director Dr. Raffaele Mirelli at and


Please visit our website ( and Facebook page: La Filosofia, il Castello e la Torre – Instagram: @lafilosofiailcastellolatorre