Call for Papers for the Panel:Marxism Reloaded or Philosophy in Times of Poverty
As part of
6th Euroacademia Forum of Critical Studies: Asking Big Questions Again
23 – 25 November 2017
Lucca, Tuscany, Italy
Deadline for Paper Proposals: 15th of September 2017
„Horatio, speak to it, thou art a scholar!”
In his essay, Marxism and Philosophy, Karl Korsch sets himself the difficult goal of dealing with the intricate relation between philosophy, practice and Marxism (to name just the most general categories of the very insightful piece of text). The ultimate cunning key of this theoretical equation is given through recourse to a Marxist sentence, namely: “Philosophy cannot be abolished without being realized”. The best and the worst parts of contemporary Marxist philosophy are but a footnote to this apparently clear sentence. The task remains alive even today, although the question begged a different form. It fell on Adorno to reinstate this problem: “Philosophy which once seemed outmoded, remains alive because the moment of its realization was missed”. When it comes to the philosophical rapport between philosophy/theory and Marxism, a reduplication of the primary and complicit dialectical relation between philosophy and social reality (of practice and thought) things are not settled, although from a Marxist (and communist) point of view philosophy appears caught in the last moment prior to its realization. By the same stroke, history itself remains suspended and trapped in the last moment of its development. Like the cat in the box, it is both over and not at the same time. Not even Benjamin’s theory of the secularized messianic time (the time of the coming revolution) doesn’t seem to be able to explain the situation. Although it is true that it makes it more bearable (sic!).
So, again with Lenin, but in a different context, we must ask ourselves again “What is to be done?”. In the world of academia, the question takes the form of the interrogation generated by the premises, the goals and the objects of the critical exercise of thinking (critique of ideology, critique of political economy, critique of capitalism, critique of the commodity fetishism, etc…). Should the lines of Marxist philosophy regroup in the theoretical avant-garde or should it return to its orthodox stances? Badiou rises the stakes by bluntly posing philosophers all over in front of their task and (immanent) teleology: “Without the horizon of communism, without this idea, nothing taken from the historical and political becoming should be of some interest to the philosopher”. In this line of thought, a suitable ending to our theoretical provocation can only invite a return to Korsch and his brilliant observation, which reminds us that a philosophy which aims at surpassing itself and the universal injustice that made it possible in the first place, must not resume itself with the mere critique of the existing state of things (be they material or immaterial), but must also take the form of a content that puts forward a revolutionary theory (in practice) of a society. The idea of communism is the real philosophical form/expression of a real revolutionary content. Does it, and if yes how, speak to us today?
Our panel invites many questions and opens on a large spectrum of Marxist problematic. We launch here a few possible lines of attack:
- What are the contemporary tasks of (Marxist) philosophy?
- Have we really gone beyond the Frankfurt theses of critical theory?
- What can we make of the meaning of history in (post)revolutionary times?
- Who/What is the philosophic Subject of history?
- How about the idea of Communism? How can it still be ours? How can we think it into practice? How can we practice it through (critical) thinking?
- Can philosophy still be a theory of revolution of our contemporary society? Or, forgetting the task of social revolution, philosophy has condemned itself to historical and social irrelevance?
Please apply on-line using the electronic form on the conference website or submit by e-mail a titled abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of your affiliation until 15th of September 2017 to email@example.com
If you are interested to apply, please see complete information about the conference and details for applicants at: