Beyond dualism — philosophy, religion, science: the third Ereignis Conference
A divergence in Western philosophy occurs in early Greek philosophy (6th century B.C.) as Heraclitus asserts that things are in flux whereas Parmenides advances the argument that the universe is static. The latter argument seems to be confirmed by quantum physics: 20th century research in the field of physics establishes that the cosmos is static. Eastern epistemology affirms what to the Western mind appears to be a paradox: Phenomena in the external world exist in a state of flux, yet everything is one, and there is no difference between inside and outside. With attempts being made to transcend dualist though in Christian theology and other religious tradition the third interdisciplinary Ereignis conference (June 10-11, 2023) seeks to investigate how science and religion have questioned the status of dualist thought, and how they have influenced the development of each other.
Call for abstracts: Beyond dualism — philosophy, religion, science: the third Ereignis Conference in Gdynia, Poland, and on-line on June 10-11, 2023.
Submission deadline: 1 May, 2023 (guidelines below).
A divergence in Western philosophy occurs in early Greek philosophy (6th century B.C.) as Heraclitus asserts that things are in flux whereas Parmenides advances the argument that the universe is static. The latter argument seems to be confirmed by quantum physics: 20th century research in the field of physics establishes that the cosmos is static.
Discoveries in the natural sciences and epistemology are bracketed by a general philosophical divergence between Eastern and Western intellectual trends. Eastern epistemology, e.g. Buddhist and Taoist thought, affirms what to the Western mind appears to be a paradox: Phenomena in the external world exist in a state of flux, yet everything is one, and there is no difference between inside and outside. By contrast, Western thought seems to be adamantly anchored in a dualism which manifests itself in and is corroborated by Christian theology and psychoanalytic theory and practice.
Attempts are made, however, to transcend the forcefully maintained dualism of body and soul. There are several examples of dualist and nondualist notions being contestated in both Christian theology and other religious traditions. Among these we find Søren Kierkegaard, who resolved the dualism by stating that the synthesis of body and soul is spirit, and that the chasm between time and eternity is braced by the moment, an instant out of time which becomes a fragment of eternity. Further, Kierkegaard states that being corresponds to becoming and that the road of being towards the so-called fullness of time, Tidens Fylde, is arduous and reserved for those who embrace a faith which transcends reason.
While the issue of dualism transcends religion, it seems clear that science and religion have served each other well; they have indeed influenced the development of each other in areas such as our thinking about the mind-brain question and body-soul dualisms. Thus, dualism remains a topical issue, including, but not limited to, the interdisciplinary nature of neurophilosophy.
Several questions arise at this point:
- Is Kierkegaard’s concept of faith an answer to the dilemma of dualism, the divided mind?
- Is Martin Heidegger’s concept Dasein a path to full being in a sense which approximates Eastern epistemology?
- Is G.W.F. Hegel’s dialectical resolution of the binary opposition the movement forward of the world, the end of history, a Utopian illusion or a genuine social and political settlement of pressing problems in our time?
- Does Sigmund Freud’s work on Eros and Thanatos signal the end of dualism or a continuation of it?
- Is C.G. Jung’s archetype a unifying psychic and cultural theory which comes close to Eastern thought?
- Is Jacques Derrida’s concept of Differance an answer to the self-other dualism or a continuation of it?
- Do the Romantic poets, such as William Wordsworth and William Blake, participate in a dualistic view of nature and mind or do they transcend dualism?
- Do the modernist poets, e.g., T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams create a poetry, a poiesis expressing a new unity of mind and nature?
- In what manner have science and religious thought influenced each other with regard to dualist and nondualist thought?
For this conference/special issue we welcome proposals that address any of these or other relevant questions.
Confirmed keynote speakers
- Prof. Paul Bowman, Cardiff University, UK: Title TBA;
- Prof. Lucy Huskinson, Bangor University, UK: “Psychoanalysis and Architecture: mediating our connection to the material world”;
- Prof. Vivek Narayanan, George Mason University, USA: Title: TBA;
- Prof. Dr. Jørgen Veisland, University of Gdańsk, Poland: “Spacetime in Søren Kierkegaard’s Repetition.”
We invite papers from all traditions and schools of philosophy, as well as adjoining disciplines, to address any of the topics and questions above. Submissions should be structured, well-argued, and show evidence of rigorous scholarship. Include an abstracts (max. 300 words) and a short author bio (max. 50 words) along with the author’s or authors current affiliation and interest.
Send proposals/abstracts via e-mail by May 1, 2023 to email@example.com. We will return in early May with a notification on acceptance.
The conference will be held on-site at Hotel Antares in Gdynia, Poland, on 10 June, 2023, and on-line on the Zoom videoconferencing platform on 11 June. Get in touch with the conference organisers for assistance in finding reasonable accommodation in the vicinity. Registration will be required.
All presentations will be considered for publication in a special section of our peer-reviewed journal Inscriptions.
- General attendance: €120 (standard fee);
- Reduced fee: €80 (students and the unwaged).
OrganisersThis event is hosted by Inscriptions — a journal for contemporary thinking on art, philosophy and psycho-analysis, and Ereignis Center for Philosophy and the Arts.
- Dr. Demaine Solomons, University of Western Cape, South Africa;
- Prof. Dr. Jørgen Veisland, University of Gdańsk, Poland;
- Dr Torgeir Fjeld, Ereignis Center for Philosophy and the Arts.
- Proposals/abstracts to be submitted via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 1, 2023;
- Notifications by May 10;
- Registration for the conference by June 1, 2023.
Last updated: 09 May, 2023