The Center for Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Studies (CIIS) of Tübingen University in cooperation with the Society for Intercultural Philosophy (www.int-gip.de) is launching a new online lecture series on topics of intercultural studies. We want to take advantage of the current need to communicate digitally due to Covid-19 pandemic since this allows us to easily connect scholars from all over the world. The lecture series will address topics of global relevance in view of different cultural contexts and in a predominantly philosophical perspective.
We very much invite all of you to join the monthly lectures and make this a forum for lively discussion!
To participate please send a short notice to niels.weidtmann ahead of each lecture. A zoom-link will be sent to all those who registered. @ciis.uni-tuebingen.de
Tuesday, December 15th
Dr. John Lamola, Associate Professor, Institute for Intelligent Systems, University of Johannesburg:
"The historico-cultural challenge of Paulin Hountondji’s 'scientism' in the human-computer era"
The name of Hountondji is coterminous with his critique of a trend in African Philosophy which he characterised as something that is less than a philosophy, an ethno-philosophy. My project excavates that there is much that has been overlooked or underplayed in studies of his critique of this traditional collective thought system. I alert that at the core of his intervention is a nuanced conception of science that is derived from his education in the philosophies of Edmund Husserl and Louis Althusser, a devotion to which detoured into a detection of ethno-philosophy. Hountondji has endured accusations of imposing a Eurocentric scientism onto an African emancipatory discourse. In this lecture, I advance this dispute around his adamant fidelity to the epistemological primacy of scientificity into the contemporary scenario in which the emergence of the technologies of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution have brought the veneration of technoscience and its effects on human society under normative scrutiny. Upon explicating Hountondji’s conceptualisation of science from the vantage points of the post-ethnophilosophy debate, as well as that of the philosophy of technology, I invite an exploration of the challenge his advocacy for the scientificity of philosophy and all African Knowledge poses in a Zeitgeist of concerns with incipient computerisation of human life and asymmetrical relations in the global production of scientific knowledge. I will defend my conclusion that, in an obverse fashion, the crux of Hountondji’s oeuvre equips philosophers globally, and African thinkers in particular, with a mental disposition and an epistemological system for the robust interrogation of our current digitalising social milieu.
Malesela John Lamola is an Associate Professor at the University of Johannesburg’s Institute for Intelligent Systems, and the founding chairperson of the Research Group on Africa, Philosophy and Digital Technologies (APDiT). He is a rated researcher (C2) with the National Research Foundation of South Africa. He obtained his PhD from Edinburgh University and an MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, USA). His research interests are on the intersection between Social Philosophy in the context of the emergence of African Modernity and the Philosophy of Science and Technology. Prior to his return to fulltime academic life he managed a proprietary private equity investment portfolio that included holdings in aviation and internet technologies. He publishes on Marxian epistemology, Sartrean existential anti-colonial philosophy, and on the representation of Africans and their participation in the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He is a professional member of the Society on Social Implications of Technology of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers), an active member of the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, and a founding member of the Centre for Phenomenology in South Africa.
Thursday, November 5th
Prof. Dr. Tariq Modood, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol, UK: “Can Interculturalism complement Multiculturalism?”
European/UNESCO interculturalism (IC) emerged as a critique of multiculturalism (MC) (complicated by the fact that there is an alternative Qubecan interculturalism, not discussed in this lecture). I suggest that this relationship has gone through three phases. Phase one begins in the 1990s with a general dissatisfaction with MC from many political and intellectual sources. Phase two, roughly from about the middle of the last decade, is when IC scholars, mainly sociologists, though also in cultural studies, policy studies, migration studies, geography as well as education emerge in significant numbers. The engagement with multiculturalism is superficial and serves the purpose of clearing the ground in order to get on with with a new research or policy. Phase three is the political theory justification of IC. I argue that these three phases have not established a pro-diversity ‘ism’ which can replace MC. While I hope we may move on to a phase four, where MC and IC are seen to be complementary, I here re-state what I think are the key concepts of MC. I hope it will be evident that firstly, that these concepts are not out of date or redundant; and secondly, therefore, that IC is wrong to abandon them.
“Knowledge and Compassion: Structural Racism and the Failures of Liberalism”
Thursday, Oct. 15th, 7 pm.
Dr. Yoko Arisaka, Universität Hildesheim
Yoko Arisaka (born in Japan in 1962 and moved to the U.S. in 1980) has received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California, Riverside (1996). She had been Associate Professor of Philosophy in the Philosophy Department and Graduate Faculty at the Center for the Pacific Rim at the University of San Francisco (1996-2007). During Fall 97 she was a CNRS research associate at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Since 2005 she lives in Hannover, Germany. She had been a Fellow at the Forschungsinstitut für Philosopohie Hannover (2009-11). She is currently Adjunct Faculty at the University of Hildesheim, Germany. Her field of research include political philosophy (including philosophy of race and genderissues), modern Japanese philosophy, phenomenology, philosophy of technology, and ethics. Her publications include: Prophetischer Pragmatismus: Eine Einführung in das Denken von Cornel West , (With an interview with Cornel West and Eduardo Mendieta), by Jürgen Manemann, YokoArisaka, Volker Drell, Anna Maria Hauk. Fink Verlag: 2012. Kitaro Nishida in der Philosophie des 20.Jahrhunderts . Rolf Elberfeld and Yoko Arisaka, eds. Alber Verlag: 2014. Website: http://www.arisaka.org
„ubu-ntu: affirming the humanness of all human beings, sharing the bread from mother Earth“
Tuesday, September 15th, 7 pm
Prof. Dr. Mogobe Ramose, University of South Africa in Pretoria
The South African philosopher Mogobe Ramose wrote the standard work on Ubuntu philosophy: a vision of existence as a continuous stream in which everything is constantly searching for balance and is inseparably connected with everything else. This is true of human communities, but it also applies to various aspects of social life, such as politics, religion, economics, law, medicine, ecology, and globalization. This is an ‘ethic of coexistence’ in profound contrast with Western models and the radical individualization that characterizes capitalism.
„Die Aufklärung vor den Europäern retten“
Thursday, July 30th
Prof. Dr. Nikita Dhawan, University of Gießen, Germany
Die erhabenen Ideale der Aufklärung gingen mit kolonialer Gewalt und faschistischem Terror einher, während die Aufklärung den Interessen einer gewissen privilegierten Klasse zugutekam, dessen Normen mit implizit rassistischer und sexistischer Ausrichtung festgeschrieben wurden. Trotz dieser Einwände argumentiert die postkoloniale Feministin Gayatri Spivak, dass man angesichts des imperialen und gegen-imperialen Wesens der Aufklärung diese „nicht nicht wollen kann", so dass die kontaminierten Hinterlassenschaften der Europäischen Aufklärung, wie „Menschenrechte" und die „Demokratie" wie ein Pharmakon Gift und Medizin zu gleich sind. Das Ziel des Vortrages ist es folglich die widersprüchlichen Konsequenzen der Aufklärung zu verstehen ohne einen Anti-Aufklärungs-Standpunkt einzunehmen. Die Unabdingbarkeit der Aufklärung in der Umsetzung kritischer Projekte muss mit den Euro- und Androzentrismen, welche ihr Erbe plagen zusammengedacht werden. Um post-imperiale Zukünfte zu imaginieren, wird eine kritische Theorie des Postkolonialismus vorgeschlagen.
First GIP-Lecture: "The Great Death and the Pure Land: Nishitani Keiji and the Ecological Emergency.”
Tuesday, June 30th at 7pm German time (10am PST)
Prof. Dr. Jason Wirth, University of Seattle
Prof. Dr. Jason M. Wirth is professor of philosophy at Seattle University, and works and teaches in the areas of Continental Philosophy, Buddhist Philosophy, Aesthetics, Environmental Philosophy, and Africana Philosophy.
Nishitani Keiji (1900-1990), student of Nishida Kitarô and a second-generation member of the Kyoto School, is known in the West because of his reflections on the concept of nihilism and religion within the discussion regarding the overcoming of modernity in Japan.