The international conference «Jan Pato?ka and the Idea of Europe. East-Central European Contexts» (EN)



The international conference

Jan Pato?ka and the Idea of Europe. East-Central European Contexts” is preliminary scheduled for April 20-23th, 2011. (Minsk, Belarus)

The initiative to organize the conference belongs to the Belarusian philosophical community ‘Prastora’, affiliated with Belarusian State University, in collaboration with the Institute of Philosophy of Czech Academy of Sciences and Jan Pato?ka Archive (Prague), Central-European Institute of Philosophy (Prague), Institute of Philosophy (TU, Dresden), The institute of Political Science of Slovak Academy of Sciences (Bratislava), Faculty of History and Sociology of the University of Bialystok (Poland), and others. The conference is providing under the aegis of the Czech Embassy in Minsk, Belarus and with support of the International Visegrad Fund.

The conference is scheduled to coincide in time with the publication of the key-works by J. Pato?ka in Belarus who increasingly attracts a lot of attention to the Czech philosophy and culture in post-soviet intellectual contexts. The Czech thinker has elaborated his original conception that corresponds to general paradigms of the continental philosophy and fits organically into  the context of the European phenomenological tradition. Jan Pato?ka’s unique cultural identity and his particular emphasis on the ideas of Europe and “Europeanness” enable contemporary generation of thinkers to address a whole range of important issues primarily concerned with possibilities of the integration of the East- and Central-European nations in the common cultural and conceptual  space of Europe.

Following closely Jan Pato?ka’s own philosophical project, which is primarily structured around three focuses of meaning – “Politics”, “History” and the “Idea of Europe” –, the organizers take those three key-aspects as the central themes of the conference as well.  Taking into account Pato?ka’s affiliation with the tradition of phenomenology, the conference intends to place emphasis on possibilities of phenomenological philosophy to understand and interpret the actual social, political and cultural processes. However, the organizers also consider to be productive the potential collision of the phenomenological point of view with alternative approaches, including those of the critical social theory (Frankfurt School, Post-Marxism, Social criticism etc.), and welcome proposals of this kind.

The main objectives:


  • The actualization of the ideas of Jan Pato?ka’s political philosophy and stimulation of the interest to the Czech philosophy and culture in the post-soviet cultural tradition;
  • The thematization of “the idea of Europe” in the context of the civilizational choice of East- and Central-European nations;
  • The discussion of the possible strategies of how Belarus can be (re)integrated into the European cultural and political landscape;
  • The analysis of the ways to understand  the actual cultural and political processes in Europe on basis of the phenomenological philosophy;
  • The determination of distinctive features of East-Central European political thought and the consideration of its prospects.

The main branches and prospective themes of the conference:


  1. 1. The Idea of Europe and Belarus
  • Jan Pato?ka’s contribution to re-thinking of the “idea of Europe”
  • ‘The idea of Europe’ as a historical and geopolitical challenge/choice for Belarus
  • “Europe” as an open project: the constitution of the sense of “Europeanness” today
  1. 2. “The political life” and the projects of the political
  • The concept of the political: freedom, responsibility, solidarity, private/public distinction
  • The thematization of politics in the phenomenological tradition (M. Heidegger, H. Arendt, J. Pato?ka) and critical social theory.
  • The specifics and prospects of the political philosophy in the East-Central European contexts.
  1. 3. The constitution of the meaning of history and destiny of Europe(s)
  • The meaning of history and History as a sphere of meaning
  • “The soul care” as a bonding element in the European history
  • Philosophical and historical considerations on the themes of technique  and war in the context of European civilization

The schedule of the conference (April 20-23, 2011):

20.4 – the arrival and registration of the participants;

21-22.04 – the plenary and thematic sessions of the conference;

23.04 – cultural program, the departure.

The working languages: Russian, Belarusian, English, German.

The conference is open to the experts in the field, professors and lecturers of the higher school, post-graduates, research workers, the members of public organizations and funds. The Organizing Committee reserves the right to select the conferees and conference papers.  It is envisaged that the conference will be followed by the publication project based on the presentations delivered during the conference.

Unfortunately we can’t provide the financial support for all participants (except for some special guests) in reimbursement of their travel, nutrition and accommodation costs. But we expect that persons who have interest in the conference can find the required material assistance in the corresponding funds and organizations in their native countries. From their part the organizers of the conference are ready to assist in the booking in at the hotels, in the meeting and attending of the participants.

To take part in the conference “Jan Pato?ka and the Idea of Europe. East-Central European Contexts”, which is scheduled for the 20-23th April, 2011 to be held in Minsk (Belarus), one should submit an application form before the 1st March 2011 on our site or through our partners. In the application form one should provide brief information about him/herself, the topic of his/her speech and its brief summary, and arrival/departure dates approximately. After the selection procedure of applications that will take place to 15th March the applicants will be noticed about the decision of the Organizing committee and receive their letters of invitation. The selection and publication of the results is scheduled to the May-June 2011.

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