2019

18 Nov

People­—Things—People

In materialistic utopias, things only unite people, not divide them. Such happy lands are free from market exchange and, consequently, redistributive procedures. Instead, the goods people need are rationed by the government, or decommodified and exchanged between friends, or abundant and free for everyone. No wonder the 2008 crisis and digital technology progress has made …
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14 Nov

Multiculturalism, Liberalism and Secularism

In the 1990s, multiculturalism was widely accepted as the future of liberal societies and defended by political philosophers as an extension of liberal principles. Since the early 2000s, the concept has come under heavy political attack, with the target being more often a caricature than a set of ideas and policies responding to diversity. Bhikhu …
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11 Nov

How Did We Get from “Love Me Do” to Donald Trump?

In this colloquium, Evgenyi Dainov presents his project which is an analysis of the ideas that motivated societal processes from 1962 to 2016 in Europe, the USA and other relevant places. Using a Hegelian methodology, the analysis concentrates primarily on rock music as the privileged arena for the Zeitgeist throughout most of the period under …
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07 Nov

Thirty Years After: Europe’s Unfinished revolution?

 The year 1989 stands for a historical caesura that deeply changed the face of Europe. Now, its 30th anniversary prompts us to recall the year’s dramatic events, but also to reflect on the many implications that those events still have for us today. A public debate between Czech political scientist Jiří Přibán and Slovak …
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06 Nov

1989 in a Day

This is a series of conversations spanning various Eastern and Central European societies between someone, who was an active participant, or a close observer, of an event on a crucial date in 1989, and a person, who was still very young in 1989. Both speakers will start with personal reflections that will be followed by …
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05 Nov

1989 – Jeder Aufbruch verlangt nach Geschichten, Teil II

Vor 30 Jahren ist der „Eiserne Vorhang“ gefallen, viele Grenzen sind verschwunden. Doch oft scheint es, als seien sich Kulturen, Literaturen und Mentalitäten in »Ost« und »West« nach wie vor fremd. Während die wirtschaftlichen Verflechtungen längst eng geworden sind, hängt zwischen den Lebensrealitäten oft ein „gläserner Vorhang“. An guten Tagen ist er immerhin durchsichtig; am …
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28 Oct

The Soviet Abortion Decree of 1920 and the Next Hundred Years of the Abortion Controversy

In the early 20th century, doctors turned abortion into a highly politicized topic that allowed them to debate the essential “illness” and large-scale “cures” of the late Russian Empire. In 1920, the Bolshevik decree “On the Protection of Women’s Health” was the first in the world to legalize abortion, and it became the hallmark of …
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21 Oct

Deus Malignus

In the context of what is called digitalization we are witnessing a stunning renaissance of an uncritical, almost metaphysical understanding of thinking machines. Alan Turing, however, in his famous article “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”, made it quite clear from the outset that the metaphysical question of whether machines are capable of thinking must be replaced …
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14 Oct

How Could Art Reflect on Trauma?

How do you make art about someone else’s traumatic past? What would you say to explain the victim’s experience to others, and where would you stop your story? And what would change if you yourself belong to the traumatized group whose story you are telling? Would your evidence be credible, or will it automatically be …
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07 Oct

Recollections of the American Half-Century

Now a Visiting Scholar at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Ambassador Simons spent most of his U.S. Foreign Service career (1963-1998) working in East-West relations.  In October 1986 he was part of the U.S. team at the Reagan-Gorbachev meeting in Reykjavik: he was in fact the U.S. notetaker on the Sunday afternoon …
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