Return to Metaphysics

Filip Łapiński's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
March 20, 2022
Location: 
Poland
Subject Fields: 
Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology, Social Sciences, Sociology

Thematic issue edited by Dr hab. Roman Chymkowski (Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw) and Jędrzej K. Latecki, M.A.

Deadline for submitting abstracts: 20 March 2022

Many times a funeral has been organised for metaphysical thinking. On the one hand, its death is long over, and today we read the authors who announced it or contributed to it as classics, on the order of Aristotle or Kant; on the other hand, more and more of the empirical evidence recorded by the social sciences indicates a return to metaphysical thinking. This return is not simply the renewed presence of the same phenomenon – it is not a rejection of the critique of metaphysics. Metaphysics is returning with the stigma of its demise and is seeking a place for itself again in answering new questions about the end of the world as we know it: capitalism, anthropocentrism, the planet, etc. Generally, diagnoses speaking of the rebirth of metaphysics, of its return from beyond, point to religion in its institutional and private forms. Although the connections between metaphysical thinking and questions and answers of a religious nature have been and are still close, metaphysics is not solely a matter of religion (just as religion cannot be reduced to metaphysics). Metaphysics returns today after experiencing constructivism and radical doubts about its own possibility. At the same time, the fundamental questions about the threats inherent in metaphysical thinking are still valid today – social identity is still sometimes perceived in essentialist categories, and great narratives, including political ideologies and secular religions, are regaining the ability to organise the collective imagination.

In this thematic issue of State of Affairs, we intend to focus our attention on evidence of metaphysics understood not so much as a branch of philosophy but as reflection underlying social practices, while situating these practices in the broader context of questions about the essence of being as presence, about the hierarchy of existence, about the value of life, about human responsibility for the world, etc. We are interested in secular phenomena, not directly related to this or that institutionalized form of religiosity. We want to look for evidence of metaphysical thinking in contemporary social movements and discourses on such spheres as health and disease, human rights and inhuman actors (animals, cyborgs, etc.), sexuality, cultural identity, or the expected climate catastrophe. We are interested in views from various research perspectives, so we are inviting not only sociologists but also ethnographers, cultural scientists, historians of ideas, philosophers, and theologians to submit text proposals.

We invite you to submit proposals for texts in the following thematic areas:

  • sickness, death, and secular salvation
  • a life worth protecting and the right to life
  • the apocalypse, the end of the world, and what's next
  • ecology and pantheism
  • the spirituality of non-human actors
  • metaphysics, species difference, and gender difference
  • metaphysical traces of the new aesthetics

/// We are accepting submissions of abstracts until 20 March 2022. Submissions containing a title, an abstract of no more than 500 words, and the author’s name and surname, institutional affiliation, and e-mail address, should be sent to the following address: redakcja@stanrzeczy.edu.pl.

/// The editorial office will inform authors of whether their submission has been accepted or not by 10 April 2022.

/// We will accept articles of less than 60,000 characters, edited in accordance with the technical requirements of the journal, until 15 June 2022.

 /// The issue is planned to be published in November 2022.

Język / Language

Polish or English

Contact Info: 

Many times a funeral has been organised for metaphysical thinking. On the other hand, more and more of the empirical evidence recorded by the social sciences indicates a return to metaphysical thinking. This return is not simply the renewed presence of the same phenomenon – it is not a rejection of the critique of metaphysics. Metaphysics is returning with the stigma of its demise and is seeking a place for itself again in answering new questions about the end of the world as we know it.

In this thematic issue of State of Affairs, we intend to focus our attention on evidence of metaphysics understood not so much as a branch of philosophy but as reflection underlying social practices, while situating these practices in the broader context.