Archive for the 'Personalism' Category

Geijer, Boström och den svenska personlighetsfilosofin

En hel del återstår, tror jag, att säga om förhållandet mellan den idealistiska personalismen, eller den i sak i mycket personalistiska strömning som genom hela 1800-talet utvecklas mer eller mindre inom, och oftast som en egen variant av, den idealistiska filosofin, å ena sidan, och 1900-talets fenomenologiska personalism å den andra. I själva verket har nästan ingenting sagts om det, utöver påvisandet av vissa tematiska likheter.

Jag har brukat uttrycka det så att hos en tidig fenomenolog som Scheler, framför allt i hans tidiga huvudverk Der Formalismus in der Ethik und die formale Wertethik, återfinns ett slags fenomenologisk transposition av flera av de karaktäristiska temata i 1800-talets proto-personalism, och ställt frågan i vilken utsträckning han kan tänkas ha upptagit dessa som sådana, som förhandenvarande i den äldre traditionen utan att där ha nåtts fram till genom den nya fenomenologins distinkta metod, genom direkt kontakt med den tyska senidealismens opposition mot Hegel, exempelvis genom sin lärare Eucken.

Ursprunget till denna tematik återfinns ju också hos betydligt mer kända tänkare som Schelling och Jacobi, även om, som jag uppfattat det, inte minst Schelers senare utveckling knappast uppvisar något som bekräftar ett djupare och mer bestående inflytande från dem i detta avseende. Det är signifikativt att en tänkare som Buber först sent i livet, när han redan självständigt utvecklat sin dialogiska personalism, upptäckte de personalistiska inslagen hos Jacobi. I sak hade det förstås legat närmare till hands om de tidiga fenomenologerna upptäckt den hundra år tidigare proto-personalismen hos de mer distinkt idealismkritiska tänkarna än hos deras partiella efterföljare bland senidealisterna.

Det föreligger således ett filosofihistoriskt glapp här, mellan proto-personalismen under 1800-talet, med dess hos de enskilda tänkarna varierande spänningsfält i förhållandet till idealismen, och den tidiga fenomenologin. Å ena sidan är likheterna, oaktat skillnaderna i filosofiska utgångspunkter, ofta mycket påfallande och väsentliga. Å den andra framstår den direkta påverkan hittills som närmast obefintlig. Det upplevda behovet av en ny början och frigörelsen inte bara från den då dominerande nykantianismen utan från hela den idealistiska traditionen var alltför starkt, åtminstone fram till den punkt när fenomenologin självständigt utvecklats i sådan utsträckning att Heidegger från dess färdigetablerade positioner kunde på nytt sätt tänka igenom vissa ansatser i den.

Denna diskontinuitet mellan proto-personalismen och den personalism som, i allt väsentligt byggande på fenomenologin, i Europa betecknas som sådan och som själv började använda termen som självbeteckning är dock något mindre i USA, eftersom den idealistiska 1800-talstraditionen av personalistisk idealism genom Borden Parker Bownes lärjungar levde vidare i högre grad än i Europa och därmed med tiden kunde möta och ingå synteser med den nya fenomenologin. (Detta hade naturligtvis varit teoretiskt möjligt även för de sena representanterna för den personalistiska idealismen i Europa, men så skedde tyvärr mig veterligen inte.) Till detta bidrog även det faktum att vad som måste betecknas som personalistiska ståndpunkter i så stor utsträckning återfanns hos andra ledande tänkare, och mer kända sådana än Bowne under den amerikanska filosofins “Golden Age”, tänkare som aldrig förlorat sin aktualitet som de typiska representanterna för den amerikanska filosofin, och hos vilka man ofta finner gradvisa och subtila övergångar inte minst mellan idealismen, pragmatismen, pluralismen och personalismen.

Ny forskning behövs för att belysa frågan om brott och kontinuitet i Europa. Inte minst i Sverige, där den s.k. personlighetsfilosofin ansågs som den helt dominerande svenska tankeströmningen under 1800-talet, framstår diskontinuiteten som anmärkningsvärt stor. Det beror förstås delvis på att det, liksom i andra länder, dröjde länge innan fenomenologin överhuvudtaget systematiskt introducerades. Under den första hälften av 1900-talet fanns visserligen en avsevärd mottaglighet. Om vi ser till de personalistiska exemplen på detta kunde John Cullberg producera ett s.a.s. tidsenligt arbete som byggde även på hans djupa förtrogenhet med den svenska tidiga 1800-talstraditionen, Das Du und die Wirklichkeit: Zum ontologischen Hintergrund der Gemeinschaftskategorie (1933). Även för John Landquist var Geijer central, och hans vidareförande av dennes personalism förenades och utbyggdes med samtida influenser. Men någon mer fullständigt genomförd integration med just fenomenologin i mer distinkt mening skedde inte under denna period – och ännu mindre under efterkrigstiden.

I samband med 150-årsminnet av Geijers död 1997 införde Ord & Bild en temasektion om denne med en lång rad kortare bidrag (nr 3-4, 1997). Cullbergs avsnitt om Geijer återges i svensk översättning. I övrigt representeras det filosofiska perspektivet av Jan Bengtsson, väl en av de första svenskar som fullt tillägnat sig fenomenologins huvudströmning, och som bl.a. skrivit den fenomenologiska rörelsens historia – och lika mycket icke-historia – i Sverige. “Vad är fortfarande levande av Geijers verk?” frågas det i ingressen till hans bidrag, ‘Ut ur solipsismens mörka hörn…: Geijers personlighetsfilosofi’. “Personlighetsfilosofin är…högst aktuell”, lyder svaret. “Moderna tänkare bearbetar idag teman som Geijer utforskat långt tidigare.”

Men efter att kort ha pekat på Buber, Heideggers tänkande kring “medvaron”, Lévinas’ båda huvudverk, K.E. Løgstrups begrepp “interdependens” i hans Den etiske fordring, Michael Theunissens Der Andere, sin egen lärare Bernhard Waldenfels’ Das Zwischenreich des Dialogs, och Mounier, tvingas Bengtsson signifikativt nog konstatera följande rörande vårt förhållande till Geijer: “För alla som finner stimulans i Buber, Levinas, Løgstrup eller någon av alla andra filosofer världen över som ägnat sig åt intersubjektivitetens grundläggande frågor – och svarens sprängkraft för andra filosofiska problem – kan Geijer säkert också berika. Det ligger nära till hands att tänka på det gamla ordspråket att man inte ska gå över ån efter vatten. Men egentligen förhåller det sig precis omvänt. Geijers personlighetsfilosofi har i stor utsträckning blivit främmande, för att inte säga obekant. Den rinner fram i ett annat rike. De internationella storheterna kan vi däremot utantill.”

Och sådan förblir situationen än idag, tjugo år senare. För att förstå varför det förhåller sig så räcker det inte att konstatera att vi ännu inte har någon kontinuerlig, avancerad filosofihistorisk forskning om våra egna filosofiska klassiker, på samma sätt som man självklart har i Tyskland – och stora delar av den övriga världen – om den tyska idealismen, eller ens en forskning av den omfattning som i den angloamerikanska världen vuxit fram om 1800-tals- och den tidiga 1900-talsidealismen i Storbritannien och USA. Av detta skäl förblir exempelvis, förskräckligt nog, ett enormt handskriftsmaterial av en på sin tid och för 1800-talets svenska eftervärld så betydelsefull tänkare som Nils Fredrik Biberg i Lunds universitetsbibliotek än idag helt outforskat, aldrig någonsin läst.

Men det finns en annan faktor som jag tror i lika hög grad förklarar Geijers bortglömdhet och det förhållandet att hans i verkligheten så aktuella personalistiska insikter inte hänvisas till och sammankopplas med vår tids filosofiskt helt centrala intersubjektivistiska fenomenologi. Bengtsson skriver om Geijers filosofiska utgångspunkter:

“Geijers filosofi rörde sig till en början inom ramarna för de idealistiska strömningar som var filosofiskt allmängods i hans samtid. Men med åren utvecklade han en ståndpunkt som både till innehåll och form var relativt självständig. Till sitt innehåll vände den sig mot idealismens utgångspunkt i det ensamma självmedvetandet. På svensk mark företräddes en sådan filosofi av Benjamin Höijer. Men den vände sig också mot idealismens intellektuella åskådning, bland annat så som den hade utvecklats av Nils Fredrik Biberg och Samuel Grubbe, och dess historielöshet. Till sin form var Geijers senare filosofi mer intresserad av den konkreta verkligheten än av logiska egenskaper hos ett tankesystem. Det senare synsättet var utmärkande för svensk idealism och rationalism.”

Detta är något förenklat och orättvist ifråga om Geijers föregångare, i synnerhet Biberg och Grubbe men även i viss mån Höijer, och de kvarstående momenten av idealism hos Geijer underskattas. Trots diskontinuiteter av den typ Svante Nordin, pekat på i Romantikens filosofi: Från Höijer till Hegelianerna (1987) finns också verkligen viktig kontinuitet i den tidiga utvecklingen av vad som kom att kallas den svenska personlighetsfilosofin. Det är signifikativt att Nyblaeus talar om “den svenska personlighetsidealismen” – “personlighetsfilosofin” blev, tror jag, den vanliga beteckningen först under 1900-talets första hälft, när idealismen befann sig på tillbakagång eller redan hade ersatts av andra skolor. Men det som är sant i Bengtssons beskrivning kan i viss icke betydelselös utsträckning, om än med viktiga modifikationer om vi går närmare in på och och utvecklar hans karaktäristik, sägas både om Geijer och om hans efterträdare. Och det är här vi finner vad som antagligen är den viktigaste förklaringen till det anmärkningsvärda avståndet mellan Geijer och vår tids mer eller mindre personalistiska fenomenologi.

Geijers efterföljare – och inte bara enligt Nyblaeus’ teleologiska framställning – är nämligen Boström och boströmianerna, som kom att dominera den svenska filosofin under resten av 1800-talet. Den boströmska skolan uppvisade förvisso en mer renodlad idealism, en högre grad av rationalism, och, i en mening eller på ett plan, ett mått av “historielöshet”, som väl delvis kan beskrivas som en återgång till motsvarande tendenser hos vissa av Geijers föregångare och samtida.

Men även Bengtsson beskriver faktiskt Boström som representerande en personalism, om än med en “metafysisk utformning” som gör att den skiljer sig från Geijers, liksom Renouviers personalism skiljer sig från hans genom sin “individualistiska” utformning. Det “metafysiska” framställs här som något som direkt, i sig, strider mot det personalistiska, även när även det senare erkänns som sådant. Det är denna bild av boströmianismen som en från Geijer radikalt skild metafysik, en extrem, ohistorisk idealism och rationalism, ja i sin förmenta tidsotypiskhet närmast en filosofisk fantasmagori och kuriositet, som skapat en unik svensk effekt av distansering och alienation i förhållande till hela det filosofiska 1800-talsarvet, inklusive det tidiga, ja t.o.m. inklusive boströmianernas motståndare hegelianerna, som först genom Nordins senare forskning återupptäcktes.

Den svenska personlighetsfilosofin förvaltades och förmedlades under andra hälften av 1800-talet och början av 1900-talet av den boströmska skolan, och kom därför trots sin personalistiska särart att bekämpas som blott idealism. Och i den begränsade svenska kulturradikala optiken alltifrån 1880-talet var idealismen uteslutande konservativ, föråldrad, en del av det förhatliga etablissemanget. Det är anmärkningsvärt hur annorlunda situationen i detta avseende var i Sverige i jämförelse med Frankrike, Storbritannien och USA, där idealismen just vid denna tid upplevde sina glansdagar och ingalunda alltid bedömdes i samma politiska termer. Utan tvekan är det Boströms speciella statslära som, trots lärjungarnas avsevärda revisioner, i hög grad förklarar den exceptionella utsträckning i vilken idealismen som sådan, även i dess erkänt personalistiska form, kom att tillbakavisas i Sverige. Boströmianismen har av positivister, marxister och andra kunnat avfärdas som blott en rationalisering av den svenska statsmakten i dess dåvarande konstitutionella form, en ämbetsmannafilosofi, ja blott ideologisk legitimering av den svenska statliga byråkratin, en “statsidealism”.

Som sådan har den ofta kommit att uppfattas som fallande utanför filosofin överhuvudtaget, som en märklig, långvarig parentes. Även det som föregick partentesen blev fördunklat av den, föll i glömska p.g.a. dess långvarighet och massiva dominans. Endast det nya som frigjorde sig från den kom att räknas som av betydelse för den svenska filosofin och dess historia.

Det är, menar jag, en mycket beklaglig situation, en situation som fortfarande råder, efter långt över hundra år. Nordins Den Boströmska skolan och den svenska idealismens fall (1981) gjorde tyvärr inte mycket för att förändra den dominerande analytisk-filosofiska och marxistiska bild som präglade denna förvrängda svenska filosofihistoriska självförståelse. Den historicistiska och hermeneutiska marxism Nordin vid denna tid omfattade var nyanserad och sofistikerad, men detta var inte tillräckligt för någon större inlevelse i och förståelse för idealismen i allmänhet. Bokens värde låg i att den slutligen tog sig an hela denna försummade period, Boströmianismen som helhetlig skolbilnding. Men dess regurgitation av de gamla, vid det här laget slitna kulturradikala klichéerna, de enkla, förutsägbara historiematerialistiskt-reduktiva förklaringarna, de trötta, råa sarkasmerna, hela den grova naturalistiska sensibilitet, jargong och attityd som kommit att bli obligatorisk inom vänstern, uppvisade ingenting nytt och originellt. Den mer strikt idealistiska varianten av den svenska personlighetsfilosofin avfärdades alltfort i dess helhet som en typisk och restlöst kontextspecifik produkt av ett av det skinande nya radikalmodernistiska Sverige ersatt och en gång för alla övervunnet samhälle.

Vad som hade behövts var en historisk fördjupning och nyansering som förmådde i större utsträckning skilja den politiska, sociala och kulturella radikalismens allmänna åskådning och strider från den filosofiska bedömningen och värderingen, och som åtminstone uppnådde den typ av partiellt erkännande även av boströmianismens förtjänster som vi återfinner hos liberala och i vid mening “80-” och “90-talistiska” filosofer under det tidiga 1900-talet som Hans Larsson och hans lärjunge Alf Ahlberg. Men bara några år senare visade sig Nordins genuina teoretiska insikter komma till sin rätt i hans nästa filosofihistoriska arbete. Faktum är att Från Hägerström till Hedenius (1984) uppvisar ett annat men ofta nästan lika stort sarkastiskt förringande av den svenska idealismens motståndare och efterträdare, Hägerström och Phalén och deras skola, såväl som, och framför allt, av den därpå följande analytiska filosofin. Här började nu, även om boken kritiseras av Bengtsson för att förbise fenomenologins inflytande, Nordins verkliga självständighet och betydelse som filosofihistoriker med stor tydlighet framträda – för att efter ytterligare några år rikligen bekräftas i Romantikens filosofi, där de förfelade analyserna, förklaringarna och värderingarna från Den Boströmska skolan redan i stort är försvunna.

Kvar står dock det olyckliga resultatet att just ifråga om den boströmska skolan det helt otillräckliga, genom hela 1900-talet vidareförda och vidareutvecklade s.a.s. “80-talistiska” perspektivet fortfarande är förhärskande. Det är, tror jag, framför allt detta som fortsätter göra det värdefulla svenska personlighetsfilosofiska arvet, i vilket Geijers bidrag är centralt, i praktiken oåtkomligt, generation efter generation.

Jag har länge hoppats att inte bara den ständigt pågående och aktuella tyska och internationella forskningen om den tyska idealismen, utan kanske i ännu hög grad de senaste årtiondenas nya, rika forskning om idealismen i Storbritannien, där man senare under 1900-talet p.g.a. den analytiska filosofins dominans kom att få en liknande negativ syn på idealism i allmänhet som i Sverige, skulle kunna bidra till att förändra den svenska förståelsen på detta område. Den moderna idealismen, och inte bara Hegel, är en integrerande del av den moderna filosofihistorien, och förtjänar studium, i många av dess varianter. På vägen mot en återupptäckt av Geijer och den svenska personlighetsfilosofin kunde dagens filosofistudenter passa på att ta del av den sedan mycket länge akut behövliga och idag möjliggjorda återupptäckten och återupprättelsen av idealismen som sådan.

Och det gäller även fenomenologerna, som ju ofta kvarhåller den tidiga ansatsen att, liksom analytikerna, “börja om” med en helt ny ansats för filosofin, med kritisk udd bland annat mot 1800-talsidealismen. Förvisso lyckades de med sin specifika nystart att rädda filosofin undan och utöver inte minst den tidiga, innehållsbestämda analytismens i verkligheten antifilosofiska och delvis ideologiska projekt, och på ett sätt som med tiden också skapade ett nytt, fruktbart förhållande till filosofihistorien – och inte bara filosofins första början hos grekerna. Dock kvarstår från den ursprungliga fenomenologins tidssituation och som nödvändig upplevda polemiska negation en disproportionerlig Verfremdung i förhållande till senare former av idealism och inte minst av personalistisk eller proto-personalistisk idealism. Och även när andra aspekter av den sene Schelling (alltsedan en relativt tidig Heidegger) och väl också Jacobi nu tillägnas förblir kanske just de för den senare idealistiska personalismen avgörande personalistiska dimensionerna av deras verk otillräckligt införlivade. Det är inte några enorma revisioner som skulle helt omkullstjälpa fenomenologins egna grundantaganden som jag här talar om, men vissa öppningar och nyläsningar framstår åtminstone från mitt perspektiv som önskvärda.

En annan sak som kunde bidra till ny insikt om att idealismens bestående relevans delvis gäller också den i flera avseenden faktiskt originella och unika boströmianismen är kanske läsning av en allmän introduktion skriven inifrån denna skola själv, av en boströmian – ett kort verk som Lawrence Heap Åbergs Den boströmska verldsåsigten från 1882. Åtminstone några av de grövsta och ytligaste karikatyrmässiga missuppfattningarna hos skolans många filosofiska och filosofihistoriska motståndare borde falla bort. Det borde bli synligt hur och i vilken usträckning även den boströmianska idealismen faktiskt tillhör filosofin och dess historia. Och på vilket sätt den faktiskt upptar och vidareför åtminstone åtskilligt även av de geijerska personlighetsfilosofiska insikterna på alla filosofins stora huvudområden sådana dessa definierades vid denna tid och ofta i mycket fortfarande definieras.

På så sätt kunde den boströmianska barriär som skiljer oss från Geijers personlighetsfilosofi brytas ned, genom ett nytt perspektiv på, en omtolkning av själva barriären: vi inte bara bryter ned den, utan vi förstår att den i själva verket kan vara något helt annat än en barriär, att även denna period i den svenska filosofihistorien faktiskt kan vara en framkomlig väg till personlighetsfilosofins väsentliga innehåll. Och på så sätt kunde, för att återknyta till Bengtsson, den egna åns vatten åter rinna fram i vårt eget rike, och blandas med det vatten vi hämtar från den internationella fenomenologiska debatt han refererar.

14th International Conference on Persons

This year the International Conference on Persons will take place in late May (24-29), instead of early August as has been the norm. The reason for this is that it will be held at the Università della Calabria, just outside Cosenza, and some of the non-Italian organizers thought southern Italy would be too hot in August.

The local organizer this year is Giusy Gallo, who first attended the ICP at the University of Nottingham in 2009 and also participated at Lund in 2013. She is a philosopher of language who came in contact with personalism through her work on the relation between linguistics and Michael Polanyi’s concept of tacit knowledge, and she is the editor of the Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio (rifl.unical.it).

The conference website is found at icp2017italy.it (there is something wrong with the links function here right now).

Papers from the Boston ICP

Some of the papers from the 13th International Conference on Persons in Boston last year have now been published in Vernon Press’s Series in Philosophy under the title In the Sphere of the Personal: New Perspectives in the Philosophy of Persons. The volume is edited by James Beauregard and Simon Smith, who both first joined the ICP at the 12th meeting at Lund in 2013, and, I am pleased to note, have now become leading forces in the institution that is the ICP. At least one volume of ICP papers have been published in the past, but it was a long time ago; the Lund papers should, as I understood it, have been published by two of the American participants, but this never happened. My friends and colleagues Jim and Simon deserve all credit for reviving ICP proceedings publication and bringing together this valuable volume. They also provide a long introduction, and there is a foreword by Thomas O. Buford, one of the ICP’s founders.

beauregard-smith

All conference papers are seldom included in volumes like this, which are almost always selections only. Yet it is somewhat surprising that the papers by Ralph Ellis, James McLachlan, and Phillip Ferreira are missing, as is Robert Cummings Neville’s introduction to the closing panel which, as far as I can remember, would have been quite possible to publish in this volume.

In this connection, I should perhaps explain why I declined to have my own paper – which was presented in a plenary session, together with Phillip Ferreira, on idealistic personalism – included. The only reason is that I have decided to discontinue all adademic publication by way of protest against the decision last year of Prof. Thomas Kaiserfeld and Dr Monica Libell in the department of the history of ideas at Lund University that I can no longer teach there because of what they call my ideology – by which they mean my political views – and their public proclamation of this in the biggest daily Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter.

It is not just that this decision left me without any academic institutional affiliation, so that I no longer know how to present myself in connection with publication. More important is the unacceptable reason given by them for this measure taken against me. Except for my writing in this very modest blog, I have in fact withdrawn from all publication, teaching and lecturing because of the appalling things that are suddenly being said or suggested about me here in Sweden by some people who do not approve of my political positions.

It could have been the case that Lund had found someone more competent to take my place, and if so, I would not have protested in the way I now have to do. I never held a formal position in the university, although I taught regularly and for 12 years. Given the almost total political control of the academy in Sweden, and, of course, the nature and substance of that control, it always seemed to me impossible to obtain such a position, and I hardly even tried. I taught only as an adjunct, and very little. In that sense at least, my teaching was not of any importance for the university. My protest concerns only the violation of the principle of academic freedom that Lund’s decision represents as explained by them with regard to its motive, and not least the spectacular public announcement of this motive.

As to what they meant by my ideology, no explanation was given, although it was clear from Dagens Nyheter’s article that they shared its view of what my ideology was, and I had also been privately informed that this was the case. The background of and the reason for Lund’s decision and statement was the attack on me and a few others by the Expo foundation in Sweden published on the website of their magazine in February 2015, an attack which had been referred to and repeated several times by Dagens Nyheter. But Expo has since withdrawn their article (written by Jonathan Leman) under threat of legal action.

It is not only that Expo’s and Dagens Nyheter’s allegations are untrue. The university’s motive and statement about this motive, i.e. about my political positions, are completely unacceptable quite regardless of this. There has, to my knowledge, never been any complaint from either students or colleagues about my teaching, my publications, or any other contributions of mine to the life and work of the university, and none of this has ever been considered to have been unduly influenced by my political views.

Not least Libell’s public statement to Dagens Nyheter – about Kaiserfeld’s decision and motive – means that what we have to do with here is an indefensible political act on their part. I wish to draw attention to this fact, and to insist that this kind of behaviour from professors, department heads and university administrators must not be accepted or tolerated. Their ideology should be rejected, they should not, in their academic capacities, embrace the ideology that is the basis of their action against me, they should be dismissed from the university.

I wish to thank those of my colleagues in the academic community as represented in other countries who have shown support in this new situation, and to thank them also for the kind interest in and great appreciation of my work that they have shown in the past. I may continue to attend the ICP because of my organizational responsibilities there, and perhaps also other conferences, but I will no longer present papers. Funding will be a problem however, since it seems I will now no longer be able to publish anything in any connection which pays (or at least not where I would like to be published), nor receive any research and travel grants.

Whether or not my paper would have added anything of value to the present volume, it seems clear that the papers of the others mentioned above would. But even without them, there are several important ones, not least those contributed by Juan Manuel Burgos who also joined the ICP at Lund, and the ICP veteran Richard Prust. One of the papers on which I was the commentator in Boston is indeed so important that I should devote a separate post to it. Among arguments related to a misleading title, we find Rolf Ahlers discussing recent German scholarship on Jacobi – one of the central figures in my book The Worldview of Personalism – that confirms my own argument about the relation between him and German idealism, and is of considerable importance not only for personalism but for idealism studies.

Boston Paper

This is the abstract of my paper, ‘Further Considerations on Personalism and Idealism’, at the 13th International Conference on Persons in Boston earlier this month:

Sitting down for questions and discussion after reading the paper (Photo: Jane Ferreira)

Sitting down for questions and discussion after reading the paper (Photo: Jane Ferreira)

Boston personalism was originally, and has to some extent remained, an idealistic philosophy. Borden Parker Bowne’s work represents, as does that of his British contemporary, Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison, not least a further, independent development of central themes in German Spätidealismus in the 19th century. In this respect it differs considerably from the – often converging – main forms of European personalism, which are related to distinctly non-idealist currents such as phenomenology, existentialism, and neo-Thomism. In this paper I reexamine some aspects of the question of the relationship between personalism and idealism in the light of recent idealism scholarship and of a partial assessment of what can be considered to be of lasting value and relevance in idealism. Taking into account the European background of idealistic personalism, it is necessary to raise anew the fundamental issue of the definition of idealism, and to distinguish between some of its main versions, including a brief recapitulation of its transformations in the 20th century. My conclusion is that, whether or not personalism, as Bowne argued, is intrinsically and necessarily idealistic, the insights and resources of idealism remain not just valid but important and badly needed precisely for personalism.

13th International Conference on Persons

Phillip Ferreira

Min gamle filosofiske vän och interlokutör, absolute idealisten Phillip Ferreira, i ännu en gemensam session med mig på 13:e ICP i Boston i förra veckan.

Ferreira

13th International Conference on Persons

13th ICP: Final Schedule

MONDAY, August 3

OPENING KEYNOTE ADDRESSES,  7:00 PM (CAS B12)

Knowledge and the Person

Wecome and Conference Information:

Randall Auxier, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

Chair and Introductions:

James Beauregard, Rivier University (Nashua, NH, USA)

“Apprehending the Person: Two Approaches”

Grzgorz Hołub, Pontifical University of John Paul II (Krakow, Poland)

“The Comprehensive Experience (Experiencia Integral): A New Proposal on the Beginning of Knowledge

Juan Manuel Burgos, Universidad CEU San Pablo (Madrid, Spain)

TUESDAY, August 4

SESSION 1, 9:00-10:30

1A (Room B23): The Concept of the Person

Chair, Richard C. Prust, St. Andrews Presbyterian College

“Love, Identification and Equality: Rational Problems in Harry Frankfurt’s Concept of Person”

Jorge Martin Montoya, University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain)

“Persons, Animals, and Clinical Normality”

William Jaworski, Fordham University (New York, NY, USA)

Commentator: Eleanor Wittrup, University of the Pacific (Stockton, CA, USA)

1B (Room B24): Person, Mind, Brain

Chair, Grzgorz Hołub, Pontifical University of John Paul II

“Neuroethics and Impersonalism: Value Revelation in Subjective Disclosure”

Denis Larrivee, International Association of Catholic Bioethicists (Ottawa, ON, Canada)

“Why Cognitivist Accounts of Personhood Fall Short”

Nils-Frederic Wagner, University of Ottawa (ON, Canada)

Commentator: Ralph Ellis, Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA, USA)

1C (Room STH325): Moral Personhood

Chair, Randall Auxier, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

“Moral Personhood”

Sari Kisilevsky, City University of New York, Queens College (USA)

“The Linguistic Bounds of Personhood”

Ray E. Jennings, Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, BC, Canada), David McIntyre, Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Commentator: Genevieve Wallace, Sacramento State University (CA, USA)

SESSION 2, 10:40-12:10

2A (Room B23): Personal Identity

Chair, Richard C. Prust, St. Andrews Presbyterian College

“Agency, Personhood, and Personal Identity”

Benjamin Yelle, Mt. Holyoke College (South Hadley, MA, USA)

“Pratical Concerns and Numerical Identity”

Maxwell Suffis, Rice University (Houston, TX, USA)

Commentator: Ben Abelson, City University of New York, Graduate Center (USA)

2B (Room B24): Ontological Dignity and Virtuous Knowing

Chair, Randall Auxier, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

“Wang Yangming on Personal Awareness as World-Awareness”

Joshua Hall, Emory University (Atlanta, GA, USA)

“A Process Ontology of Dignity”

John W. August III, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

Commentator: Robert C. Neville, Boston University (USA)

2C (Room STH325): The Self and the “I”

Chair, James McLachlan, Western Carolina University

“Imagining the Self: Lacan and Levinas on the Formation of the ‘I’”

Christopher Lucibella, University of Memphis (TN, USA)

“The Socio-historical Ordeal of Personhood:  Remarks on Later Nietzsche and Freud”

Jeffrey M. Jackson, University of Houston, Dowtown (TX, USA)

Commentator: James McLachlan, Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, NC, USA)

PLENARY SESSION, 2:00-3:10 (CAS B12)

Chair: Richard C. Prust, St. Andrews Presbyterian College (Laurinberg, NC, USA)

“Teleology and Consciousness Theory”

Ralph D. Ellis, Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA, USA)

3:10-3:40 Break

SESSION 3, 3:40-5:10

3A (Room B23): Psychological/Physical Continuity and Personhood

Chair, Jan Olof Bengtsson, Lund University

“Personal Identity in Alzheimer’s Disease: What Supports the Self When Memory Fails?”

Marie-Christine Nizzi, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, USA)

Commentator: Michelle Maiese, Emmanuel College (Boston, MA, USA)

3B (Room B24): Higher Education, Race, and Societal Change

Chair, James Beauregard, Rivier University

“Dialectical Adherence to the Beloved Community: John G. Fee and the Founding of Berea College”

Eli Orner Kramer, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

“Pedagogical Personalism at Morehouse College from Benjamin E. Mays and Howard Thurman to Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Kipton Jensen, Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA, USA)

Commentator: Thomas O. Buford, Furman University (Greenville, SC, USA)

3C (Room STH325): Early 20th Century Personalism

Chair, Randall Auxier, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

“Phenomenological Resistance to Tyranny”

Jason M. Bell, Assumption College (Worcester, MA, USA)

“The Personalism of John MacMurray”

Fr. Bogumił Gacka, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University (Warsaw, Poland)

Commentator: John Hofbauer, Mount St. Mary’s College (Newburgh, NY, USA)

PLENARY SESSION, 5:30-7:15 (CAS B12)

Chair, Ralph D. Ellis, Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA, USA)

“‘We Are Not Disposable’: People with Psycho-social Disorders and Social Justice”

Carol Moeller, Moravian College (Bethlehem, PA, USA)

“Dissociative Identity Disorder, Personhood, and Responsibility”

Michelle Maiese, Emmanuel College (Boston, MA, USA)

WEDNESDAY, August 5

SPECIAL SESSION, 9:00-11:30

4A (Room STH325): The Life and Work of Thomas O. Buford

Chair, Christopher Williams, University of Nevada

“Buford, Kohák, and a Renewed Understanding of the Personal Nature of Time”

John Scott Gray, Ferris State University (Big Rapids, MI, USA)

“Christianity and Intellectual Seriousness”

Mason Marshall, Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA, USA)

“Personalism and Global Bioethics”

James Beauregard, Rivier University (Nashua, NH, USA)

Commentator: Thomas O. Buford, Furman University (Greenville, SC, USA)

SPECIAL SESSIONS, 9:00-10:30

4B (Room B23): The Next Generation, Session Alpha

Chair, Fr. Bogumił Gacka, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University

Eudaimonia, Catholicism, Sex, and the Person”

Madison Forbes, Bridgewater State University (Bridgewater, MA, USA)

“The Consolation of Philosophers: Recovering Dignity and the Self After Sexual Assault ”

Mackenzie Lefoster, Belmont University (Nashville, TN, USA)

Commentator: Grzgorz Hołub, Pontifical University of John Paul II (Krakow, Poland)

4C (Room B24): The Next Generation, Session Beta

Chair, William Jaworski, Fordham University

“Freedoms Undone: Domination by Agents and Structures in Pettit’s Republicanism”

Mariela Libedinsky, University of Toronto, St. George-Woodsworth College (ON, Canada)

“The Emergence of Personhood and its Importance in the Experience of the Sublime”

Leslie Micheal Murray, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

Commentator: Sofia Inês Albornoz Stein, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (São Leopoldo, Brazil)

SESSION 5, 10:40-11:30

5A (Room B23): Howard Thurman’s Personalism

Chair, Thurman Todd Willison, Union Theological Seminary

“Reading Thurman as a Philosophical Personalist”

Kipton Jensen, Morehouse College

Commentator: Myron M. Jackson, Grand Valley State University (Allendale, MI, USA)

5B (Room B24): Is the Universe the Work of a Person?

Chair, Jan Olof Bengtsson, Lund University

“Persons, Theology, and Cosmology”

Gilbert Fulmer, Texas State University (San Marcos, TX, USA)

Commentator: Wesley J. Wildman, Boston University (USA)

SESSION 6, 11:40-12:30

6A (Room B23): Person and Emotion

Chair and Commentator, Ralph D. Ellis, Clark Atlanta University

“Emotion Makes the Person”

Eleanor Wittrup, University of the Pacific (Stockton, CA, USA)

6B (Room B24): Climate Change

Chair, Wesley J. Wildman, Boston University

“Personalism and Climate Change”

Thurman Todd Willison, Union Theological Seminary (New York, NY, USA)

Commentator: John W. August, III, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

6C (Room STH325): Personalism and Monotheism

Chair, Randall Auxier, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

“Personal Identity with and without Monotheism”

Richard C. Prust, St. Andrews Presbyterian College (Laurinberg, NC, USA)

Commentator: Kipton Jensen, Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA, USA)

AFTERNOON FREE

Optional group trip to Concord, MA (home of Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne’s Old Manse, Walden Pond, etc., site of the Battle of Concord).

THURSDAY, August 6

SESSION 7, 9:00-10:30

7A (Room B23): Self, Person, and Process

Chair, Richard C. Prust, St. Andrews Presbyterian College

“On the Mistaken Lexical Liberty of Conflating ‘Self’ and ‘Person’ in Philosophy”

Megan Roehll, University at Buffalo (NY, USA)

“Self and Person: Distinctions in Bergson”

Robert G. Fiedler, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

Commentator: Gilbert Fulmer, Texas State University (San Marcos, TX, USA)

7B (Room B24): Descartes and Locke

Chair, Ralph Ellis, Clark Atlanta University

“Persons and Passions: The Late Cartesian Account”

Mark C.R. Smith, Queens University (Kingston, ON, Canada)

“Mixed Modes and the Non-Existence of Lockean Persons”

Sam N. Johnson, University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR, USA)

Commentator: Laura J. Mueller, Luther College (Decorah, IA, USA)

7C (Room STH325): Hegel and Personhood

Chair, Phillip Ferreira, Kutztown University

“A Limit to the Market: Hegel and Personhood”

Victoria I. Burke, University of Guelph (ON, Canada)

“Holy Robot: Early German Idealism on Persons”

Rolf Ahlers, The Sage Colleges (Albany, NY, USA)

Commentator: Jan Olof Bengtsson, Lund University, Sweden

SESSION 8, 10:40-12:10

8A (Room B23): The Concept of Person

Chair, Jorge Martin Montoya, University of Navarra

“Salvaging a Concept of a ‘Person’”

Ben Abelson, City University of New York Graduate Center (USA)

“Looking into Objects, Dispositions and the Lockean Person-Making Properties”

Mihretu Guta, Durham University (Durham, England)

Commentator: Benjamin Yelle, Mt. Holyoke College (South Hadley, MA, USA)

8Bi (10:40-11:30) (Room B24): Law and Culture

Chair, Lawrence Nelson, Santa Clara University

“Roma-Integration: The Existential Tension Between Public Policy and the Person”

Philippe-Edner Marius, Legislative Fellow, Sate of New York (Albany, NY, USA)

Commentator: Jonas Norgaard Mortensen, think tank Cura

8Bii (11.30-12.10) (Room B24):

Chair, James Beauregard, Rivier University

“On Buford on Trust”

Nathan Riley, Independent Scholar (St. John’s, FL, USA)

Commentator: Thomas O. Buford, Furman University

8C (Room STH325): Schelling and Boehme

Chair, Randall Auxier, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

“Personhood in the Board Room: A Schellingian Account of Corporate Agency”

Myron M. Jackson, Grand Valley State University (Allendale, MI, USA)

“The Person and the Demon: Personality and the Possibility of Demonic Evil in Jacob Boehme”

James McLachlan, Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, NC, USA)

Commentator: Rolf Ahlers, The Sage Colleges (Albany, NY, USA)

PLENARY SESSION, 2:00-3:30 (CAS B12)

Chair: James McLachlan, Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, NC, USA)

“Further Considerations on Personalism and Idealism”

Jan Olof Bengtsson, Lund University (Sweden)

“Who Are the Real Impersonalists?”

Phillip Ferreira, Kutztown University (PA, USA)

SESSION 9, 3:40-5:10

9A (Room B23): The Metaphysics of Person

Chair, Ralph Ellis, Clark Atlanta University

“Personal Identity and the gumnos kókkos

Thom Atkinson, University of Liverpool (England)

“Person and Incarnation”

Randall Johnson, Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL, USA)

Commentator: Matthew Donnelly, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

9B (Room B24): Law and Punishment

Chair, Joseph Harry, Slippery Rock University

“Returning to Redemption as a Theory for Justifying Punishment”

Brian J. Buckley, Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, CA, USA)

“An Ethical Perspective on Legal Personhood, Prenatal Humans, and Feticide Laws”

Lawrence Nelson, Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, CA, USA)

Commentator: Randall Auxier, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

9C (Room STH325): British Idealism

Chair, Jan Olof Bengtsson, Lund University

“No Free Lunch: Pringle-Pattison’s Ideas on Personhood, the Soul, and Personal Immortality”

Robert Devall, West Chester University (West Chester, PA, USA)

“Expression and Self-Knowledge”

Christopher Williams, University of Nevada (Reno, NV, USA)

Commentator: Phillip Ferreira, Kutztown University, PA, USA

CONFERENCE DINNER, 7:00 PM

Filippo’s Italian Ristorante, Boston’s North End 

FRIDAY, August 7

SESSION 10, 9:00-10:30

10A (Room B23): Intention and the Person

Chair, John W. August III, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

“The Indexing Ego”

Matthew Z. Donnelly, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

Commentator: Mihretu Guta, Durham University (England)

10B (Room B24): Kant

Chair, Randall Auxier, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

“Imagination, Unfettered: Breaking the Sensuous Chains in Kant’s Critical Philosophy”

Laura J. Mueller, Luther College (Decorah, IA, USA), Randall E. Auxier, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

“Freedom and Value in Kant’s Practical Philosophy: the Core of Personhood”

Adriano Naves de Brito, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (São Leopoldo, Brazil), Sofia Inês Albornoz Stein, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (São Leopoldo, Brazil)

Commentator: Eli Orner Kramer, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

10C (Room STH 325): The Sign of the Person

Chair, Robert C. Neville, Boston University

“Quotational Characters: Subjectivity, Journalists, and the Persons Portrayed in News Journalism”

Joseph Harry, Slippery Rock University (Slippery Rock, PA, USA)

“Peirce on Person: Peirce’s Theory of Determination and Personality”

Cheongho Lee, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

Commentator: Christopher Williams, University of Nevada (Reno, NV, USA)

CLOSING PLENARY SESSION, 10:40-12:10 (CAS B12)

Chair: Jan Olof Bengtsson, Lund University (Sweden)

The Future of Persons and Personalism?

Randall Auxier, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

Robert C. Neville, Boston University (MA, USA)

13th International Conference on Persons

13th ICP Plenary Speaker: Michelle Maiese

MaieseMichelle Maiese is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Emmanuel College in Boston. Her research focuses on issues in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychiatry, and the emotions. In recent work, she has examined enactivism, the integration of emotion and cognition, and the nature of psychopathology. She is the author of Embodied Minds in Action (co-written with Robert Hanna, 2009) and Embodiment, Emotion, and Cognition (2011).

13th International Conference on Persons

13th ICP Plenary Speaker: Juan Manuel Burgos

BurgosJuan Manuel Burgos is a leading personalist philosopher in the Spanish-speaking world with a growing influence in Europe and America. He is Profesor Titular at the University San Pablo CEU in Madrid and has been a guest professor and delivered conferences in Britain, USA, Poland, Mexico, Sweden, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and many other countries. He is also the founder and president of the Spanish Association of Personalism and of the Asociación Iberoamericana de Personalismo, and founder and editor of Quién. Revista de Filosofía personalista. Burgos specializes in anthropology and personalism; among his books are Antropología: una guía para la existencia, Repensar la naturaleza humana, and Introducción al personalismo. Some of them have been published in Polish and Portuguese translations, and the last mentioned is currently being translated into English. Studies of Burgos’s philosophy have been published by Beauregard, Bermeo, Seifert and others.

13th International Conference on Persons

13th ICP Plenary Speaker: Jan Olof Bengtsson

BengtssonJan Olof Bengtsson teaches the history of ideas at Lund University in Sweden. He is best known for his book The Worldview of Personalism: Origins and Early Development, to which a special issue of the journal The Pluralist was devoted in 2008. He has published articles and book chapters on personalism, idealism, and so-called value-centered historicism, the most recent being a chapter on the origins and meaning of the German concept of “late idealism” (Spätidealismus). He is the author of the entries on personalism in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (with Thomas D. Williams) and Springer’s Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions. He has also published a Swedish introduction to and translation of Eric Voegelin’s Wissenschaft, Politik und Gnosis. He regularly attends conferences on personalism and idealism in Europe and America, and, in 2013, organized the 12th International Conference on Persons at Lund.

13th International Conference on Persons

13th ICP Plenary Speaker: Phillip Ferreira

FerreiraPhillip Ferreira is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Kutztown University. His work focuses on 19th century idealism and its relation to contemporary thought. He is author of Bradley and the Structure of Knowledge (1999) and many articles on philosophical idealism.

13th International Conference on Persons

13th ICP Plenary Speaker: Randall E. Auxier

AuxierRandall E. Auxier is Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he specializes in process philosophy, American idealism, and the philosophy of culture. He is author of Time, Will, and Purpose: Living Ideas from the Philosophy of Josiah Royce (2013) and co-author (with Gary Herstein) of The Quantum of Explanation: Whitehead’s Radical Empiricism (forthcoming). He has edited seven volumes of the Library of Living Philosophers and was for 15 years the editor of The Personalist Forum and its successor, The Pluralist. He writes popularly for books, magazines, newspapers and blogs, along with the usual scholarly journals.

13th International Conference on Persons

13th ICP Plenary Speaker: Robert Cummings Neville

NevilleRobert Cummings Neville is Professor of Philosophy and Systematic Theology at Boston University. He is formerly the Dean of the School of Theology at BU and is author of over 25 books, including his recent three-volume Philosophical Theology (SUNY Press, 2014-15), as well as Religion in Late Modernity (2002), The Truth of Broken Symbols (1995), The Cosmology of Freedom (1974), The Tao and the Daimon (1981), Boston Confucianism (2000), and many others. He is well known as a leader in comparative philosophy and theology and as a critic of personalism and process thought.

13th International Conference on Persons

13th ICP Plenary Speaker: Ralph Ellis

EllisRalph Ellis received his PhD in philosophy at Duquesne University and a postdoctoral M.S. in Public Affairs at Georgia State University. He has worked as a social worker as well as teaching philosophy, and is interested in applied phenomenology and integrating the social sciences with philosophy of mind. His books include An Ontology of Consciousness (1986), Theories of Criminal Justice (1989), Coherence and Verification in Ethics (1992), Questioning Consciousness (1995), Eros in a Narcissistic Culture (1996), Just Results: Ethical Foundations for Policy Analysis (1998), The Caldron of Consciousness: Affect, Motivation, and Self‑Organization (2000), Love and the Abyss (2004), Curious Emotions (2005), Foundations of Civic Engagement (2006, co-authored with Jim Sauer and Norm Fischer), How the Mind Uses the Brain (2010, co-authored with Natika Newton), and a critical thinking textbook, The Craft of Thinking. Ellis is also co-editor with Peter Zachar of a book series, Consciousness & Emotion (www.benjamins.nl/jbp).

13th International Conference on Persons

13th International Conference on Persons: Accommodations

Lodging will be at the Boston Common Hotel at the rate of $169 per night (plus tax), which is very affordable by Boston standards and is within easy reach of Boston University. When making reservations, mention the International Conference on Persons to get the conference rate. Space is limited, so it is best to reserve early, 617-933-7700, or you can reserve your room through the hotel website by clicking the “BOOK NOW” tab on the hotel’s main page. It will ask for the dates. Please fill in August 3 through 7 (even if you plan to stay longer). It will direct you to a list. Choose the room that fits your needs. The next page will be for advance payment – it is non-refundable. In the “Special Requests” box on that page, fill in that you are attending the International Conference on Persons, and if you need days apart from August 3-7, put that information there. You will be contacted for further adjustment of the reservation.

We have also reserved a block of rooms at Boston University. These are suites of four single rooms (each with one single bed) connected by a common area, with limited kitchen facilities, and available for $67 per person per night. This option will make sense for those who are traveling alone and on a limited budget. If two are traveling together they would have to sleep in separate rooms, share a bathroom, and pay $67 each (i.e., $134 together), and this means the hotel will probably be the more attractive option. But for those traveling alone with a limited budget, the BU apartment style dormitory is the best option. For this option, send an e-mail to the conference e-mail address with the word “accommodations” in the subject line and you will be contacted from there.

For overflow, or for those who want something a little bit snazzier, we recommend The Boxer Hotel. It is located on the Green Line of the Boston T and is a straight and easy ride to Boston University. There is no special conference rate, but the rates are very reasonable by Boston standards (starting at about $216 per night), and they are aware that we are referring people as overflow for the conference.

Call for Papers

British Personalist Forum Conference

Last week I spoke at the British Personalist Forum’s excellent conference on British Contributions to Personalist Philosophy: Duns Scotus to the Present Day in Oriel College, Oxford. Several prominent personalists and historians of British philosophy were in attendance, and Raymond Tallis was a special guest speaker (see the programme). I read a revised version of a paper from a conference on British idealism in 2013, ‘In Defence of the Personal Idealist Conception of the Finite Self’, with an added extensive, informal introduction.

I want to congratulate Richard Allen, Alan Ford, Simon Smith and my other friends in the BPA for this major success and step forward in the development of their group and its important scholarly events. This is how they described the aims of their conference:

“Although John Grote (Knightsbridge Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge) in 1865 named his own philosophy ‘personalism’, hardly any other British philosophers have been designated, by themselves or others, as ‘personalists’, save perhaps for the ‘Personal Idealists’ of c. 1885-1920.

Nevertheless some have focused upon personal existence and the freedom, responsibility and dignity of the individual person who is also a person in relation to other persons, and other philosophers have at least dealt with one or more aspects of distinctively personal existence,  and have done so in terms, concepts and categories truly appropriate to persons as distinct from ones applicable only to sub-personal or impersonal entities or those of merely formal logic.

The aim of this conference is to bring to wider notice those British philosophers who have made such contributions to personalist philosophy, not only to amend the historical record which has often neglected them, but also to suggest why they are worth reading today.”

13th International Conference on Persons: Call for Papers

Aug. 3rd to Aug. 7th, 2015

Boston University, Boston, MA, USA

Papers in any area or discipline are welcome, so long as their themes are of concern to the ideas and concepts of persons, personhood, and personality as a philosophical, theological, psychological, social, political, historical, creative or linguistic concern.

Papers must not exceed a length of 3000 words and should be prepared for blind review.

In the e-mail sent with the submission, we require the following eight items:

1.  Word count – 3000 words maximum

2.  Author’s name

3.  Academic status (professor, unaffiliated, graduate student)

4.  Institutional affiliation (if any)

5.  Mailing address

6.  E-mail address

7.  The paper’s title

8.  An abstract – 200 words maximum

Submission deadline for abstracts is MAY 25th, 2015. Abstracts will be accepted on that date, with full texts of paper due by July 1.

Submissions which do not include items 2-8 (if only abstract is being submitted) will be disqualified. Word count is due when full paper is submitted. No more than one submission by the same author will be considered.

Email as an attachment a copy of your paper and/or abstract in rich text format to:

PersonsConference2015@gmail.com

Papers and/or abstracts will be reviewed by a committee. Notification of acceptance will be made via email in early June.

Each paper will have a commentator. Those interested in commenting should send a note to PersonsConference2015@gmail.com by May 25th detailing availability and areas of interest. Persons whose papers are accepted will be expected to serve as commentators, if asked.

Copies of papers will be available by July 1st. E-mails of authors will also be available for purposes of sending your commentary in advance of the conference.

Lodging Details will be announced soon, The Conference will begin with Registration from noon on Mon. August 3rd.  Further details about meals, schedules, and Conference fees will be provided as they become available.

PLEASE SHARE AND POST

JOB in Warsaw, 2005

8th International Conference on Persons. I suggest to Lech Wałęsa that there is reason for Poland be more critical of the EU, and, with its recent experience of totalitarian oppression, to set an example for Western Europe in this regard. Politics were of course inevitable in Wałęsa’s long and important opening address and in the discussion following it, but the role of personalism in recent history was strongly emphasized.

JOB

Photo: Marek Gacka

Personalism East and West

I just came back from the fifth ISKCON Studies Conference, organized at wonderful Radhadesh/Château de Petite Somme in the Ardennes outside Durbuy in Belgium, by Kenneth Valpey and Ferdinando Sardella (who both spoke at the 12th International Conference on Persons in Lund in August) of the ISKCON Studies Institute, a subdivision of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies; the institute publishes the ISKCON Studies Journal. Many old friends attended as well as new faces from different parts of the world. I spoke on ‘Personalism East and West’ (see abstract below).

Château de Petite Somme (Photo: Jean-Pol Grandmont)

Château de Petite Somme (Photo: Jean-Pol Grandmont)

The Radhadesh website is temporarily offline for technical reasons so I cannot link to it here; awaiting the solution of the technical problems, they refer to this temporary blog. Radhadesh is almost certainly the most important ISKCON temple community in Europe, and the site not only of the temple and of ashramas, but also, and not least, of many important international conferences since the early 1990s. Among them I have attended several ISKCON Communications Seminars and ISKCON Conventions, and one meeting of the Bhaktivedanta Academy of Arts and Sciences, all with many prominent Hinduism and other religion scholars from inside and outside of ISKCON.

The restaurant (Photo: Jean Housen)

The restaurant (Photo: Jean Housen)

Radhadesh has gradually been developed into a first class conference centre with a new hotel – called a guesthouse – next to the château, and an excellent restaurant in an adjacent building. However, I think this was the first time the ISKCON Studies Conference was held here – a couple of years ago I spoke on ‘Conversion, Preaching, and Western Cultural Identity’ at an earlier ISC on the theme of Transmitting the Truth: Education, Preaching, and Conversion in ISKCON, at the equally beautiful Villa Vrindavana outside Florence; as far as I understand, that paper will soon appear in the next issue of the ISKCON Studies Journal. Radhadesh is also the site of Bhaktivedanta College, where ten years ago I taught the introduction to Western philosophy course. Since I was last there, a new building for accommodation of the students, as well as for the college library, had been built. Finally, on the premises is also found the building housing the Bhaktivedanta Library Services.

During this visit to Belgium I also had the opportunity to take photos of some parts of or with certain angles on Poelaert’s Palais de Justice in Brussels which I have not been able to find on the internet, and some of the Parc de Bruxelles by the Palais Royal and the streets next to it. I plan to publish them here. The many beautiful late nineteenth-century buildings on Avenue du Midi south of Place Rouppe, Boulevard Maurice Lemonnier, Boulevard Anspach, and Boulevard Adolphe Max must also be photographed on some other occasion. Especially the first two of these are in a part of Brussels that seems to be quickly slummed now (most of central Brussels is), so that it is not clear to what extent the buildings will be preserved. Buildings of this kind remain continuously threatened all over the world since the process of discovery of the fact that this was a golden age of architecture (as of much else) is still very slow. In some places, they are still almost systematically destroyed, and because of the lack of interest in them, they are not even properly photographed. Hotel Métropole on Place de Brouckère is now Brussels’ only remaining nineteenth-century hotel, and striving to preserve as much as possible of its original design etc. Imaginative historical reconstruction is needed in order to understand how beautiful and well-ordered this area was a hundred years ago. I also had time for a short visit to Leuven.

A corner of the main temple room, with the murti of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

A corner of the main temple room, with the murti of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

But I digress. Here is the abstract of my presentation, ‘Personalism East and West’:

This presentation will be an introduction to the comparative study of Eastern and Western personalism, with special reference to the personalism of the theistic form of Vedanta represented by ISKCON. A certain kind of propedeutic to this study is necessary, since without it, the real nature and implications of the differences between the respective forms of personalism are normally overlooked and the similarities to some extent misconstrued and misunderstood. The relevant historical, cultural and intellectual contexts will therefore be outlined, and only with these basic perspectives firmly in place will the presentation move on to a brief overview of the conceptual and terminological histories of “person” and related notions in the West and of comparable ideas in the East. This overview will, for the purposes of the introduction to the subject, be given exclusively in light of and with constant reference to the mentioned fundamental perspectives on the general, constitutive characteristics of and differences between Eastern and Western thought as historically developed. In this way, the presesentation will seek to prepare the ground for a subsequent step in the comparative work, through which, along with more particularized study of individual personalist thinkers, schools, and positions, meaningful East-West relations can be established and possibilities of mutual influence and adjustment and new syntheses fruitfully explored.

Photo by Jean-Pol Grandmont

Photo by Jean Housen

12th ICP: Abstracts PDF

Click for PDF with the abstracts (no abstracts of the papers of the plenary speakers Keith Ward, Juan Manuel Burgos, Fredrik Ullén, and Claes G. Ryn were included):

12th ICP abstracts

12th International Conference on Persons

12th ICP: Program PDF

Click for PDF with the conference program:

12-icp-program-bild[1]

12th International Conference on Persons

12th ICP: Simon Smith Report

Simon Smith in Lund

Simon Smith in Lund

Simon Smith has published a report on the conference on the website of the British Personalist Forum. The BPF is the new name of the Society for Post-Critical and Personalist Studies, started by Richard Allen who organized the excellent 2009 ICP in Nottingham but unfortunately could not come this year; Allen and the BPF publish the journal Appraisal.

R. T. Allen

R. T. Allen

12th International Conference on Persons

12th ICP: Photos

I have posted some photos from the 12th International Conference on Persons in Lund last month on the conference website. It is likely that more will be added.

12th ICP: Thank You

I want to extend my warmest thanks to all sixty-one participants, presenting as well as non-presenting, for your contributions to this year’s International Conference on Persons. It was a pleasure to receive you at Lund. Together, you made the event a success.

Most of all, my co-organizer, Randall E. Auxier of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, the current editor of the Library of Living Philosophers, deserves credit for making this a memorable conference.

Randall E. Auxier

Randall E. Auxier

Special mention must also be made of our wonderful conference assistant Rebecka Klette, a promising student in our department of the History of Ideas, who took care of the welcome reception, the coffee breaks, and much else; without her, the meeting would not have been possible.

Rebecka Klette

Rebecka Klette

My friend and colleague Jonas Hansson also set aside much time and energy to see to that everything ran smoothly.

A number of partners or accompanying persons who attended the conference dinner and in some cases a few of the sessions also contributed to the event.

My thanks go, finally, to Kungliga Humanistiska Vetenskapssamfundet i Lund; to Prof. Marianne Thormählen; to Prof. Thomas Kaiserfeld, Christel Anderberg, Kristiina Savin, Karin Salomonsson, and Susann Roos in the department of Arts and Cultural Sciences; to MediaTryck; and to the staff of Hotel Concordia and of the Grand Hotel.

I, Randy, Tom Buford and other past organizers of the ICP whom you met hope we will get an opportunity to see you all again at future ICPs.

At least two prominent publishers have expressed an interest in publishing the proceedings in book form; we will come back to you with information about this as soon as possible.

Read more about the 12th International Conference on Persons under Uncategorized or on the conference website.

12th ICP: Recommended Restaurants

Since you will go out on your own for all lunches and dinners except the conference dinner on Thursday, August 8, some recommendations are needed:
Read about these and other restaurants in English on the Tourist Office’s site and InfoLund. And ask us about them at the Welcome Reception and we will tell you more!
Klostergatans Vin & Delikatess

Klostergatans Vin & Delikatess

Read more about the 12th International Conference on Persons under Uncategorized or on the conference website.

12th ICP: Program

Tuesday, August 6

 

1:00-3:00

Registration, Tea and Coffee

Room 227

3:00-3:30

Welcome and Conference Information

Jan Olof Bengtsson, Lund University (Sweden)

Gunnar Broberg, Lund University (Sweden)

Room 201

3:30-4:15

Opening Panel on the History and Purpose of the ICP

Thomas O. Buford, Furman University (USA)

Responses:

Randall E. Auxier, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

Jan Olof Bengtsson, Lund University (Sweden)

Room 201

4:15-4:30

Break

4:30-5:30

Keynote Address

Keith Ward, Oxford University (UK)

Absolute and Personalist Idealism

Room 201

5:30-8:00

Welcome Reception

Room 227

 

Wednesday, August 7

 

9:00-10:20

Session A:

O. A. Oyowe, University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)

Velleman and the Dis-guises of Self

Geraldine Ng, University of Reading (UK)

Persons, Agency, and the Operations of Blame

Commentator: Richard C. Prust

Room 202

Session B:

Anthony L. Cashio, Manchester University (USA)

Embracing a Personalist Approach to Environmental Philosophy

Jason M. Bell, University of New Brunswick and Mt. Allison University (Canada)

Toward a Methodology Against Genocide                               

Commentator: Federico Lauria

Room 109

10:20-10:40

Tea and Coffee

10:40-12:00

Session A:

Robert F. DeVall, Jr., West Chester University of Pennsylvania (USA) 

Keeping the “I” in the “I-Thou” Relationship: Pringle-Pattison’s Rejection of an Impersonal Absolute

Douglas McDermid, Trent University (Canada)

Are Selves Sui Generis? McTaggart on Immortality and the Argument from Impermanence

Commentator: Jan Olof Bengtsson

Room 202

Session B1 (10:40-11:20):

Anne Runehov, Copenhagen University (Denmark)

The Process of Believing 

Commentator: Eike-Henner W. Kluge

Session B2 (11:20-12:00):

Janne Kontala, Åbo Akademi (Finland) 

Eastern Spirituality in Sweden: Identifying Emerging Worldview Patterns Amongst Practitioners  

Commentator: Ferdinando Sardella

Room 109

12:00-2:00

Lunch

2:00-3:45

Plenary Panel on Hindu Personalism

Kenneth R. Valpey, Oxford University (UK)

Personhood as Multivalent Reality in Premodern Indian Theography

Ithamar Theodor, University of Haifa (Israel)

Resorting to Aesthetics: The Articulation of Divine Personhood in the Vaishnava Vedanta Tradition

Ferdinando Sardella, Uppsala University (Sweden)

Modern Hindu Personalism

Room 201

3:45-4:30

Tea and Coffee

4:30-5:50

Session A:

Lucian Delescu, Berkeley College (USA)

On Darwin’s Account of Consciousness and its Implications for a General Theory of Person

Victoria Höög, Lund University (Sweden)

Persona and Ethos in Contemporary Technoscientific Cultures

Commentator: Anthony L. Cashio

Room 202

Session B:

Soyoung Park, Independent Scholar, Vancouver, BC (Canada)

Suspended Subjectivity: Artistic Intention in Making Art

Jonnie Eriksson, Lund University and Halmstad University (Sweden)

Realist by Nature, by Nature Abstract: Personalist Aesthetics in Mounier and Henry

Commentator: James McLachlan

Room 109

5:50-6:00

Break

6:00-7:00

Plenary

Juan Manuel Burgos, CEU San Pablo University (Spain)              

A New Personalist Proposal: Modern Ontological Personalism

Room 201

 

Thursday, August 8

 

9:00-10:20

Session A:

Bogumił Gacka, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University (Poland)

Personalism in Brazil

Andris Sevels, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Poland)

Personalistic Mariology of John Paul II

Room 202

Session B:

James Beauregard, Independent Scholar, Manchester, NH (USA)

Neuroethics: A Personalist Approach

Eike-Henner W. Kluge, University of Victoria (Canada)          

Personhood, Brain Death and Resource Allocation: The Implications of Aquinas’ Conception of Human Persons                                              

Commentator: Juan Manuel Burgos

Room 109

10:20-10:40

Tea and Coffee

10:40-11:40

Plenary

Fredrik Ullén, Karolinska Institutet (Sweden)

The Creative Person: Neuropsychological Perspectives              

Room 201

AFTERNOON FREE

7:00

Conference Dinner

 

Friday, August 9

 

9:00-10:20

Session A:

Randall E. Auxier, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

Scheler and the Existence of the Impersonal

James McLachlan, Western Carolina University (USA)     

Levinas, the Person, and Eschatology 

Commentator: Philip Cronce

Room 202

Session B:

Jerzy Król, State University of Higher Education in Chełm (Poland)

Upbringing and Education from the Personalist Perspective

Inger Enkvist, Lund University (Sweden)                     

Personalism: Identifying Two Opposite Views of the Teaching Profession

Commentator: Thomas O. Buford

Room 109

Session C: 

Agnieszka Gąsior-Mazur, Independent Scholar, Lublin (Poland) 

The Development of Person vs. Building the Value of a Company

Ewa Smołka, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Poland)

Openness to Others as a Way of Personal Development

Room 022

10:20-10:40

Tea and Coffee

10:40-12:00

Session A: 

Richard C. Prust, St. Andrews University (USA)

The Ragged Edge of our Personal Past

Federico Lauria and Alain Pé-Curto, University of Geneva (Switzerland)

The Situationist Boomerang

Commentator: Michael Thompson

Room 202

Session B:

J. J. MacIntosh, University of Calgary (Canada)

Persons, Identity, and Irenaean Theodicies

Joseph Diekemper, Queen’s University Belfast (Northern Ireland) 

Temporality, Creation, and Divine Personhood      

Commentator: Eoin O’Connell

Room 109

12:00-2:00

Lunch

2:00- 3:45

Plenary Panel on the Roots of the Philosophical Problem of the Person

Lorenzo Greco, Oxford University (UK)                        

Hume and the Narrative of the Self            

Michael Thompson, University of North Texas (USA) 

The Antinomy of Identity: Personal Identity and Time in Modern Philosophy

Daryl L. Hale, Western Carolina University (USA) 

Persons as Supra Pretium: Kant’s Neglected Argument for Personalism?

Room 201

3:45-4:30

Tea and Coffee

4:30-5:50

Session A:

Argun Abrek Canbolat, Middle East Technical University (Turkey)

Personhood: From Physical to Social

Simon Smith, Independent Scholar, Haslemere, Surrey (UK)

A Convergence of Cosmologies: Personal Analogies in Modern Physics and Modern Metaphysics

Commentator: Daryl L. Hale

Room 202

Session B:

Ian Winchester, University of Calgary (Canada)

Collingwood’s Conception of Personhood and its Relation to Language Use

Giusy Gallo, University of Calabria (Italy)  

Dialogue and Language: The Way to Be a Person

Commentator: Randall E. Auxier

Room 109

5:50-6:00

Break

6:00-7:00

Plenary

Claes G. Ryn, Catholic University of America (USA)

“Idealistic” Dreaming: The Imagination of Unbounded Egotism

Room 201

 

Saturday, August 10

 

9:00-10:20

Session A1 (9:00-9:40):

Erik Persson, Independent Scholar, Harlösa (Sweden)                        

The Catholic Critics of Personalism: Before and After Father Meinvielle  

Commentator: Jerzy Król

Session A2 (9:40-10:20):

Philip Cronce, Chicago State University (USA)

Dewey, Rorty, and Honors Education after the Fall of the Academy

Room 202

Session B1 (9:00-9:40):

Susanna Åkerman-Hjern, Independent Scholar, Stockholm (Sweden)       

Swedenborg and the Grand Human

Commentator: James McLachlan

Session B2 (9:40-10:20): 

Kerstin Maria Pahl, Humboldt University (Germany)                                       

Timing Life: Portraiture and Biography in 18th Century England

Commentator: Jonnie Eriksson

Room 109

Session C1 (9:00-9:40):

Guillermo Barron, Red Deer College (Canada) 

Gender and Personhood

Commentator: Giusy Gallo

Room 022

10:20-10:40

Tea and Coffee

10:40-12:00

Session A:

Christina Conroy, Morehead State University (USA)   

Branch-Relative Identity

Eoin O’Connell, Manhattan College (USA)

Inferences to Personhood 

Commentator: Randall E. Auxier

Room 202

Session B:

Kenny Siu Sing Huen, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (Brunei)

The Crux of Living a Human Life: From Heidegger to Wittgenstein

Alastair Beattie, University of the Andes (Venezuela)                    

Person as Platonic Idea Form

Commentator: Douglas McDermid

Room 109

12:00-12:10

Break

12:10-12:40

Closing Panel: Conference Overview and the State of the Person

Randall E. Auxier, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA)

Jan Olof Bengtsson, Lund University (Sweden)

Thomas O. Buford, Furman University (USA)

Room 201

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