CALL FOR PAPERS: “The social philosophy of Max Scheler” (Deadline: 22nd July, 2019)

International Workshop

With the support of   

Paris, France, October 2019

The 15th Congress of the Max Scheler Gesellschaft will take place in Paris, France, from the 3rd –5th October 2019.

The theme of the Congress is – the social philosophy of Max Scheler.

The impact of Max Scheler’s philosophical and sociological thought occurs during a time characterized by change. It is a period marked by the decline of Neo-Kantianism and the emergence of new paradigms of thought, such as phenomenology, philosophical anthropology, philosophical Neo-Marxism, and the philosophy of symbolic forms. Scheler played a central role in this phase of philosophical change. Apart from his work’s historical relevance, it is also of particular interest from the perspective of systematic thinking.

Today, philosophical anthropological questions are once again being hotly debated – e.g., what is the position of man within life?, what is the relation between man and animals?, and an ethics of life (des Lebendigen). It is not surprising, therefore, that Max Scheler’s philosophical thinking attracts increasing attention in the 21st century. This attention is international in nature – for instance, we can point to the recent reception of Scheler’s thought in China. The 14th Congress of the Max-Scheler-Society took place in Guangzhou (November 2017).

Historically, Max Scheler belongs to those thinkers who have, before 1914, and in the time between the world wars, renewed the idea of democracy through a critique of liberal individualism and a theory of solidarity. On the European level he is a mastermind of Personalism, a strand of thinking that (thanks to the impact of thinkers such as Paul Ludwig Landsberg) has a German-French resonance and is also of contemporary relevance. Scheler’s solidarism, understood as concrete solidarity, experiences a new actuality given the background of the current crisis of the socialist utopia and the welfare state—especially within the framework of the care-discourse. Scheler’s politics of sympathy is rooted in an ethics of life. This also makes his politics attractive for discoursing with contemporary approaches that also want to develop an ethics based on the foundation of a relationship to life (e.g., Frédéric Worms in France). In the area of phenomenology Scheler is relevant to the intersection of phenomenology and cognitive science, e.g., for the question of collective affective intentionality.

The innovative aspect of this conference consists in connecting two dimensions of Scheler’s philosophy that normally are treated separately, namely: the phenomenological foundations of his social philosophy, and the cultural and political discourse.

These two dimensions are explored under the three topics of the conference below:
1. The phenomenological foundations of social philosophy (the question of social ontology, the “other minds”-problem , the theory of intersubjectivity);
2. The cultural and political discourse of Scheler’s social philosophy (critique of capitalism, ressentiment, personalism in its German-French dimension);
3. The relationship between these two areas and the systematic comparison with other approaches (e.g., critical theory).

The event is supported by the German-French University and is mainly aimed at Ph.D. students and Post-docs. The papers (20 minutes) should be held in German or French if possible.

Suggestions of topics in German, French, or English (we would ask for abstracts of 2,500–3,000 characters) can be submitted until the 22nd July, 2019, to :

Olivier Agard (oagard.fr@gmail.com)
Matthias Schloßberger (matthias.schlossberger@philosophie.hu-berlin.de)
Mikhail Khorkov (mkhorkov@mail.ru)

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