JVF Conference 21

What ‘Science of Consciousness’?
A Phenomenological Take on Naturalizing the Mind [1]

Introduction The problem of how to conceptualize the subjective aspects of human experience has been one of the centrepieces of any philosophical theory of the mind ever since Descartes. Following decades of ignorance in the wake of behaviourism and, simultaneously, the postmodernist farewell to the Cartesian heritage, the problem of subjective consciousness has once more …
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An Ethic of Plurality: Reconciling Politics and Morality in Hannah Arendt

Introduction My concern in this paper is how to reconcile a central tension in Hannah Arendt’s thinking, one that – if left unresolved – may make us more reluctant to endorse her political theory. Arendt was profoundly and painfully aware of the horrors of political evil; in fact, she is almost unparalleled in 20 th …
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The ‘Prophet’ and the ‘Histor’: Levinas and Arendt on Judging

Opening 1 In a dialogue that Maurice Blanchot writes as a reaction to ‘Totality and Infinity’, the answer to the opening question ‘What is a philosopher?’ is the following: “Once upon a time people said that a philosopher is a human being who is astonished; today I would say […]: it is somebody who is …
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Hegel, Evil, and the End of History

I. Introduction This paper investigates the twin themes of evil and history in Hegel’s Lectures on the Philosophy of World History. It explores the close linkage between Hegel’s understanding of his work as a theodicy, and his feeling that it occupies a certain “stage” of history, what some scholars have called Hegel’s “end of history” …
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History against Geography:
Should We Always Think of the Balkans As Part of Europe?

For the last fifteen years a whole wave of publications has been examining the way in which the West “misunderstood,” “constructed” and “stigmatized” the Balkans. These publications follow the path of Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978) and the more recent work of Larry Wolff on the “inventing” of Eastern Europe (1994). The book of Maria Todorova …
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The Metaphysical Discipline of Aesthetics:
Martin Heidegger on The End of Art

  In the afterword he writes to “The Origin of the Work of Art,” Martin Heidegger raises the question of whether art is slowly dying.[1] The question echoes Hegel’s proclamation of the end of art, announced in Berlin more than a century earlier. To understand how Heidegger would respond to this question, and what story …
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Why and How Do States Collapse? The Case of Austria-Hungary in the Inter-war Historical Discourse

The breakdown of Austria-Hungary had many prophets, and it had been popularly considered an anachronism a long time before it actually collapsed. At the beginning of the 20 th century this hodge-podge of peoples and territories, ruled by the oldest living emperor in Europe, and having neither a proper name nor a common language, seemed …
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We Are Not Like Us Transitional Justice: The (Re)construction of Post-communist Memory

Introduction: Post-communist transitional justice in a comparative context The notion of transitional justice became fashionable following the recent fall of authoritarian regimes in East-Central Europe, Latin America, and the end of apartheid in South Africa. It denotes those procedures, legal or otherwise, which occur after regime change, civil war, or occupation, and addresses the question …
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History and Judgment – Introduction

This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what …
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