quarta-feira, 28 de março de 2012

Universalism to the Test of History and Geography

As part of its annual meeting, the International Society for the Study of European Ideas (ISSEI) is
inviting submissions for a workshop on ‘Universalism to the Test of History and Geography’ to take
place at the University of Cyprus (Nicosia, Cyprus), July 2-6, 2012

It is expected that some of the successful papers will be published in the ISSEI official journal: The
European Legacy.
Focus of the workshop: The question of the encounter between moral values and history has a
tradition that can be traced back to European Humanism, beginning with the Italian Renaissance. It
was always clear that geographical and historical differences may conflict with a universal and a-
temporal view of values, leading some early Humanists to the conclusion that such differences
must be overcome. Since the second half of the 20th Century however, the debate has been
rejuvenated by embracing the opposite direction. As a result, the geographical and historical
diversity of value systems are now often seen as insurmountable, leading many thinkers to
question whether this diversity itself is not the real fixed point around which we must shift our
view of the universality of morals.
Interestingly, it is not, as could be expected, the trauma of World War II that has been crucial to
this shift, but rather, the gradual disappointment of much of the European intellectual community
with the Communist experience and its universalist purpose.
This workshop invites papers that deal with the history of this shift, and the future of this debate
in a globalised world where the achievement of universality at the macro-level seems to coincide
with an increase in the number of non-traditional, and cross-state constituencies (Connolly 2010).
Questions addressed by the workshop may include, but are not limited to:
The intellectual roots of the conflict between universalism and geographical perspectivism
The Humanists’ awareness of borders
The question of invasion : when borders fail to protect value-systems
The Humanists’ questioning of the Ancient world’s values as questioning universalism
Should we regard the encounter of universalism with geography and with history in the same way?
The (internal and external) critiques of the Communist idea of universality
Can value theory take stock of diversity without falling into relativism?
The European Project between universalism and relativism
Do events intrinsically possess a moral dimension?
To what extent does historical suffering lead to localised sets of values?
Please send an abstract (up to 450 words) to Frank Chouraqui at fchouraqui@yahoo.frno later than
April 15th, 2012.
For more details about the conference, and about Cyprus, please visit:http://issei2012.haifa.ac.il/
For any other question, do not hesitate to contact Frank Chouraqui at fchouraqui@yahoo.fr

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