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Pragmatic Perspectives on Phenomenology

International Philosophical Conference in Prague

Organized by the Institute of Philosophy and Religious studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University

February 5 th- 6 th, 2015

Institute of Philosophy and Religious Studies (Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Arts) organizes an international philosophical conference focused on the pragmatic theses that are present in the phenomenological works of M. Heidegger, M. Merleau-Ponty and J. Patočka. Inspired by a critical reassessment of already existing pragmatic readings of Heidegger, we want to explore the following themes as possible justifications for speaking about the pragmatic turn in phenomenology: the primacy of the practical over theoretical understanding, criticism of the representationalist account of perception and analysis of language and truth claims within the context of social and cultural practices.

The goals of our conference are thus the following ones:

  1. to bring together both continental and Anglo-Saxon phenomenologists striving to develop pragmatic elements in works of M. Heidegger, M. Merleau-Ponty and Jan Patočka. Our first objective is to provide a new synoptic view of different recent pragmatic readings of Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty in the Anglo-Saxon philosophy (Dreyfus, Rorty, Brandom, Okrent, Taylor, Wrathall, to name but a few).
  2. to reconstruct the main phenomenological accounts of perception and language which stress the above mentioned pragmatic motives. We will namely seek to develop the consequences of addressing perception in terms of coping, with the focus on various criticisms of representational account of perceptual consciousness. Concerning language, we are interested in papers discussing Heidegger´s criticism of the primacy of the proposition (cf. Being and time § 32f.) and establishing analogies and points of divergence between phenomenological approach and analytical ordinary language philosophy.
  3. to revisit the theory-praxis distinction. The aim is to investigate the question of the genesis of the theoretical mode of behavior and to ask how theoretical thematizing arises out of circumspective concern. However, it is also vital to critically assess the oversimplifying interpretations of Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, insisting one-sidedly on the primacy of praxis over theory.

Conference language is English. Publication of selected conference papers is planned in a collected volume.

The conference is organized by Ondřej Švec and Jakub Čapek (Charles University, Prague)

(c) Content: Jakub Čapek & Ondřej Švec; Code: Helena Jura & Jakub Jura, Prague 2014