International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW)

Philosophy in Times of Crisis – Theoretical Perspectives East and West

International Summer School: August 9th - 14th 2021, University of Tübingen

The summer school aims to bring together leading experts and junior scholars from the fields of social and political theory as well as Chinese philosophy. Our starting point is the frequently proclaimed crisis of liberalism which is often taken to affect the very heart of Western political values and identity. At the same time, public debate frequently points to Chinese Philosophy as a rival approach in political theorizing. It is our goal to move away from such an antagonistic framing. Rather, we aim to explore what resources thinkers from east and west have to offer in times of crisis.

We will conduct the discussion in three sessions, each of them devoted to a different level of analysis. In the first section, we will focus on macro-level social phenomena. Central questions we want to discuss are: What is the understanding of central terms such as “political stability” and “legitimacy” in Confucianism and liberal political theory? How can political stability be combined with social progress? What is the role of political crisis in Western and Eastern thinking and what can we learn from this?

The second section is devoted to meso-level phenomena, with a special focus on social and ethical roles, since roles are not only a central theme in Confucian thinking but also in Western political responsibility and civic education. Here, we want to understand what position we can accord to roles in political theory. In what ways can they be central to a “good” or stable society? How can we reform roles that seem outdated and what does this mean for social progress? 

The third session will be devoted to individual-level phenomena. Questions we want to discuss include: How can roles be habituated? What are the mental resources that allow for habitualization? Are social demands to habitualize certain roles compatible with individual freedom?

Meeting Program

Philosophy in Times of Crisis - Theoretical Perspectives East and West

09.-14. August 2021, University of Tübingen

 

Time Schedule
Day 1 (Macro)
Day 2 (Macro)
Day 3
(Meso)
Day 4
(Meso)
Day 5
(Micro)
Day 6
(Micro)
Morning Lecture (ML)
(9:30-11:00)

ML
Ladwig

ML
Chan

ML
Haslanger

ML
Kim

ML
Zawidzki

ML
tba

Coffee break (11:00-11:30)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading Session (RS) or Post-Graduate Presentations (PGP)
(11:30-13:00)

RS

 

(tba)

PGP

Biskamp
Schmelzle

RS

 

(tba)

PGP

 

Loh

RS

 

(tba)

PGP

Ran

Berninger

Lunch
(13:00-14:30)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group Discussion (GD) (14:30-16:00)

GD

 

all participants

GD

 

all participants

GD

 

all participants

GD

 

all participants

GD

 

all participants

GD

 

all
participants

Coffee break (16:00-16:30)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panel Discussion (PD)
(16:30-17:30)

--

PD
(tbd)

Sightseeing

PD
(tbd)

PD

(tbd)

--

Free time (17:30-19:00)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Evening Lecture  (EL) (19:00-20:30)

Welcome Reception

EL
Fröhlich

 

EL
Tan

EL
tba

Closing
Dinner

Dinner

 

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--

--

 

 

 

As explained in the project outline, we differentiate three levels from which social phenomena can be explored. We will devote two days for each of these units (i.e. macro-, meso- and micro-level). We want to approach the core questions of our summer school using five different formats: a) morning lectures by experts, b) joint reading groups, c) group discussions, d) presentations by junior researchers, e) panel discussions. In addition, there will be three public evening lectures by experts. These will address both the participants of the summer school as well as the general interested public.

The morning lectures will allow established scholars to present recent results of their work. On the first day of each thematic unit we also plan for a guided reading session. Here, the group will jointly read and discuss influential recent publications of relevance. On the second day of each thematic unit we plan to integrate presentations by junior researchers. Together, these different formats will set the thematic stage for joint afternoon group discussions, during which participants can engage in further in-depths reflection and exchange of ideas. It is important to us to foster the exchange both between scholars of Western and Chinese philosophy as well as between junior and senior researchers. We have therefore also integrated slots for three panel discussion in our planning. We plan to put together mixed panels consisting of representatives of each of these different groups.

We also see informal exchange as being an important aspect of joint summer schools. We have therefore also made room for one joint excursion in the Tübingen area, which will allow participants to get to know each other better.