Search our site
Search our site

Exemplarity, Authority and Universalizability: how is a ‘geopolitics' of philosophy to be conceptualised?

Time: 11.00am - 7.00pm
Venue: Room TBC, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE
Price: free

Exemplarity, Authority and Universalizability: how is a ‘geopolitics' of philosophy to be conceptualised?

This one-day conference will interrogate the critique of philosophy after the move of race, colonialism and imperialism to the forefront of political thought. How does the nexus of racial and postcolonial capitalism transform our practice of philosophy and our way of reading the history of philosophy? What becomes of philosophy as critical practice when its 'geopolitical' underpinning is laid bare? In other terms, how should we conceptualise a geopolitics of philosophy and what is its particular urgency?

Over the past three decades, the postcolonial/decolonial paradigms, black critical thought and critical race theory have had a lasting impact across the Humanities, challenging their core assumptions as well as their methods. Whilst literary theorists and historians were at the forefront of this mutation, philosophers have largely remained reticent to question the fundamentals of their discipline. Two of the major references from the canon of Western philosophy -Kant's Anthropology and Hegel's Philosophy of history - have come to embody the very core of European thought in its modern, post-Enlightenment form, by providing a philosophical matrix to both eurocentrism and the 'scientific' constitution of race.

When working with and within the overwhelming legacy of Western thought, the most difficult challenge is to enact Spivak's reiterated invitation neither to accuse nor to excuse by upholding a resolute critique of philosophical reason whilst continuing to operate within the parameters of conceptual thought. The hypothesis underlying this conference will be that philosophical discourse fundamentally rests on certain procedures that reproduce philosophy's centrifugal dynamics and set the parameters of its universalizability. Rather than calling for a greater 'inclusiveness' on the part of philosophy, we will focus on two such dynamics, exemplarity and authority. Whilst the notion of 'exemplarity' refers to the problematic rapport between the historical-specific case and conceptual generalisation, the notion of 'authority' denotes the constitutive and legitimising role of the idea of tradition in philosophy, and the various strategies through which the latter has been problematized, transformed or interrupted. Spanning these two dynamics the thorny question of universalizability will provide our red thread across a number of significant case studies. The panels of individual papers will be followed by a roundtable in which the public and the students will be encouraged to participate. 

Speakers:

Mohamed Amer-Meziane (Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Etienne Balibar (Kingston University and Columbia University)
Hourya Bentouhami (Université Toulouse II - Jean Jaurès)
Orazio Irrera (Université Paris 8)
Jamila Mascat (Utrecht University and Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Hager Weslati (Kingston University)

Picture credit: Miranda Iossifidis, Construction Works, 2011

For further information about this event:

Contact: Lucie Mercier
Email: l.mercier@kingston.ac.uk

Directions

Directions to Room TBC, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE:

>
Events