The Current Crisis of Europe from the Point of View of Phenomenology

an international conference to celebrate the 25th anniversary
of the Jan Patočka Archives in Prague

Prague, May 15th-16th, 2015

One cannot escape today the refrain that Europe is in crisis: economic, social, political and environmental. Yet there is no consensus on what defines this crisis. Even the meaning of the subject, "Europe", is a matter of convention. In a recent “Manifesto for Europe” the economist Thomas Piketty and fourteen other co-authors referred to the European crisis as “existential”; there is widespread confusion and doubt not only amongst Europe’s political, economic and cultural elites, but also amongst its citizenry concerning Europe's identity, task, role in the world, and even whether it exists in the relevant sense.

This conference aims to clarify whether the concept of “Crisis” as developed by phenomenological philosophers Edmund Husserl and Jan Patocka is still instrumental for understanding the current European crisis in its intertwined social, political and economic dimensions. We would like to open a lively discussion about if and how the phenomenological concept of Crisis may show a path out of current European crisis – and, on the other hand, if and how we can, reflecting on the contemporary situation, develop the phenomenological concept of Crisis a step further.

Organizing committee

Ivan Chvatík, Jan Patočka Archives, Prague
Jan Frei, Jan Patočka Archives, Prague

The conference is organized by the Jan Patočka Archives (Center for Theoretical Study at Charles University and the Czech Academy of Sciences) and the Faculty of Humanities at Charles University.

The conference is organized in the frame of the research project "Overcoming Subjectivism in Phenomenology. An Assessment of Patocka's Concept of Phenomenality", supported by The Czech Science Foundation (Nr. 401/11/1747), and with generous support from the Murdoch University in Perth, Australia