"Pluralismus und interdisziplinäre Perspektiven"

Philosophische Untersuchungen in einer sich rasch verändernden Welt.

November 15 - 18, 2018 in Graz/Austria

 
Abstracts

 
 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Benthaus (Gießen/Germany)
"Dialektisches Denken – Über einen zeitgemäßen Modus der Erkenntnis auch bei Kindern"

Die Berechenbarkeits- und Kontroll-Logik, die sich aktuell in Maßnahmen der Schul- und Unterrichtssteuerung ausdrückt, droht im Worst-Case-Szenario zu einer Entwicklung schulischer Realität zu führen, in der sich Memorieren und Predigen von Eindeutigkeiten zu vorherrschenden Lehr- und Lernprinzipien aufschwingen. Insbesondere (Resonanz-)Räume für ergebnisoffene, widersprüchliche und damit uneindeutige Begegnungen mit der Wirklichkeit drohen auf Kosten einer rigiden Orientierung an Output und Kompetenzen peu &agrav; peu verschlossen zu werden. Angesichts einer sich stetig wandelnden Gesellschaft, die, unter den Bedingungen von Pluralisierung, Individualisierung, Globalisierung und Digitalisierung, mit jedem Tag an Komplexität und damit auch an Mehrdeutigkeit und Unübersichtlichkeit gewinnt, scheinen diese schulischen Entwicklungstendenzen geradezu anachronistisch. Vermittelte Leitbilder, starre Denkschablonen und dichotome Weltdeutungsmuster stoßen an ihre Grenzen. Eine möglichst frühe Förderung und Kultivierung des Dialektischen, verstanden als ein (Nach-)Denken des Subjekts in und anhand von Gegensätzen zur Initiierung von Bildungsprozessen sowie zur Orientierung im und durch Denken, erscheint vor diesem Hintergrund bedeutsamer denn je.

Der Vortrag fokussiert daher das dialektische Denken von Kindern, welches im Vergleich zu dessen logischen Pendant wissenschaftlich keine größere Beachtung erfährt. Insbesondere die an Piaget angelehnte Entwicklungspsychologie stellt das kindliche Denkvermögen vorschnell in den Schatten erwachsener Denkvollzüge und würdigt es so herab. Einschlägige entwicklungspsychologische Untersuchungen versehen dialektische Denkoperationen generell mit dem Etikett selbst im späten Jugendalter noch kaum beobachtbar zu sein. Im kinderphilosophischen Diskurs findet sich Dialektik zwar prinzipiell berücksichtigt, jedoch wird diese primär zu einer Dialogik stilisiert, die letztlich dem Vorsatz unterliegt, eine auf Konsens ausgerichtete Lösung hervorzurufen.

In einer von mir durchgeführten qualitativ-empirischen Studie, die es vorzustellen gilt, werden exemplarisch erste Denkfiguren sichtbar, die sich im Zuge einer philosophischen Unterrichtsreihe mit Kindern im Grundschulalter als frühe dialektische Denkbewegungen kennzeichnen lassen. Mittels einer induktiven qualitativen Inhaltsanalyse konnten zehn Hauptkategorien und 41 Subkategorien gewonnen werden, die einen genaueren Einblick in verschiedene Formgebungen dialektischen Denkens bei Kindern gewähren. Anhand beispielhafter Äußerungen von Schülerinnen und Schülern wird das Widersprüchliche als Möglichkeit von (philosophischer) Bildungsarbeit mit Kindern veranschaulicht, bevor abschließend auf zentrale Implikationen der Ergebnisse der explorativen Untersuchung einzugehen sein wird.

Joanna Mysona Byrska (Kraków/Poland)
"Überfluss, Überdruss, Hass und Narziss"

Die postmoderne Welt, in der wir leben, ist voll von Überfluss, an Gütern, die man kaufen kann, und an Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten für den Menschen. Was soll man wählen? Warum dies und nicht etwas anderes? Was ist der Grund dafür, dass junge Leute heute immer öfter Narzissten sind? In einer Wirklichkeit voll von Überfluss, in der die Gegenwart dominiert, die Vergangenheit nach Belieben gestaltet wird (neue Interpretation der Geschichte) und die Zukunft unbekannt ist, scheint Narzissmus zum Überleben notwendig zu sein, denn er ermöglicht die Konzentration auf sich selbst, ohne dass Korrekturen notwendig sind. Der Narzisst ist begeistert von sich selbst, und das rettet ihn heute vor der Welt des Überflusses und der scheinbar unendlichen Möglichkeiten. Der Narzisst ist verschlossen gegenüber anderen und gegenüber der Welt, die ihn umgibt. Das ermöglicht ihm die Begeisterung über sich selbst. Die Abschließung von der Welt und von anderen rettet den Narzissten vor der Überwältigung durch den Überfluss an Gütern und Möglichkeiten, die man nicht alle ausnutzen kann und von denen man das eine wählen und das andere ablehnen muss. Doch es fehlt an klaren und allgemeinen Kriterien für die Wahl, was dazu führt, dass jede Wahl vorläufig und zeitlich begrenzt ist.

Der Narzissmus erweist sich als eine der Haltungen, die aus der Welt des Konsums retten. Jedoch fordert die Rettung einen hohen Preis. Der Narzisst stellt Ansprüche, weil sie ihm zustehen. Irgendwo in ihm steckt Tischners Homo sovieticus, voller Ansprüche und Forderungen an alle. Dies ist kein Mensch, der bereit ist, für das Wohl anderer zu arbeiten oder sich anzustrengen, wenn ein hoher Gewinn nicht garantiert ist. Der Narzisst muss sicher sein, dass es sich lohnt (im materiellen Sinn) sich zu engagieren.

In meinem Referat bemühe ich mich zu zeigen, wie eine Gesellschaft von Narzissten funktioniert, die als Ergebnis der Vermassung von narzisstischen Haltungen sowohl bei Kindern wie bei Erwachsenen entsteht. Es scheint sich dabei um eine Gesellschaft von Egoisten zu handeln, die auf den eigenen Vorteil ausgerichtet sind, eine Gesellschaft, die mit Versprechungen von Gewinn leicht zu kaufen ist und die nicht fragt, wer für die erhaltenen Vorteile bezahlt. Außerdem ist eine solche Gesellschaft erfüllt von Hass, der verborgen und subkutan existiert, und dessen Ursache in der Unmöglichkeit liegt, alles zu besitzen und der Beste zu sein, wovon im Verborgenen jeder Narzisst träumt.

Nicole Decostre (Mons/Belgium)
"Epigenetics"

Democracy is in danger all over the world. It is urgent that the public authorities understand the need to organize truly civic trainings that would not only recall the often painful conquests of liberties, but that would fight against an alleged fatality: are we prisoners of our genes?

A recent scientific field, epigenetics, could be really useful to help us to free ourselves from that idea. Indeed, epigenetics studies the modification of the expression of our genes according to our direct environment and our history. We are formatted by big data, permanent human coding that robotization could further strengthen.

Surely the philosophical community of inquiry (P4C) of Matthew Lipman can represent an ideal tool for a civic education in a broad sense. Democracy can be lived in such a community. It would certainly be possible to us to free ourselves from that conformism thanks to a frank and open dialogue. The exercises in Mark and in Lisa among other works of Lipman, are really helpful tools to arise such a dialogue.

Zoran Dimić (Niš/Serbia)
"Education and Zoon Politikon"

Aristotle’s understanding of education (paideia) in Politics is determined by his definition of human as zoon politikon (1253a2) This definition should be always considered together with the second most important Aristotle’s statement about human being in which he claims that “man alone of the animals possesses speech (logós)” (1253a10). The ability to speak becomes the most important within the specific political partnership (pólis), which has at last attained the limit of virtually complete “self-sufficiency” (autarkeías). On the contrary of „every household“ where the eldest member „gives the law“ (themisteúei) to sons and spouses, within the city (pólis) the “speech (logos) is designed to indicate (semaíneiv) the advantageous and the harmful, and therefore also the right and the wrong“. Shortly, the justice is political (dikaiosune politikóv). It appears always as the outcome of an arguing, dispute (krísis) on what is just (tou dikaíou).

Education (paideia) we should understand in accordance with previous. Dispute (amfisbetéin), the key word of Aristotle’s understanding of education, appears in the first sentence of the Politics VIII. Aristotle states that „they (people) dispute“ on the question what „constitutes education and what is the proper way to be educated“. There is not one completed, definitive and common answer about the question what is the best way to be educated which we should implement in the educational activities. It is not the way we should practice the education. Based on Aristotle’s view I claim that the first purpose of education is not to determine and to constrain the actiivity of the youth and citizens in general, but to provoke and facilitate the dispute on the essence and aims of education.

Keywords: education, zoon politikon, logos, politics, dispute.

Lorenz Festin (Manila/Philippines)
"From Critical Theory to Critical Thinking: Exploring Ways of Maximizing and Emancipating Human Reason’s Capacity and Possibilities"

The rapport between science and technology on the one hand and social and democratic principles on the other represents the dynamicity of the relationship existing between the particularity of human life and experience and the universalizing tendency of human understanding in its approach to the phenomenon of human existence. While it is in the nature of science and technology to progress continuously and present new forms of praxis in both social and individual life, the aim of social and democratic principles is to explore, discover and articulate the rationale behind such praxis. In both cases, we see human reason performing a crucial role, in that whereas science and technology exploits human rationality in exploring the best and most efficient way in achieving its given ends, social and democratic principles may be regarded as the very embodiment of human reasoning and argumentation in the desire to provide justification and validation to the current practice and conduct of human life. The rapport between these two poles – which, for our own purposes, can be designated as the particularizing pole and the universalizing pole – instantiates a self-correcting mechanism which proves to be important in avoiding the possible excesses of both. Here we are reminded of Horkheimer’s ideas about instrumental reason whereby reason is simply employed as an instrument or tool in achieving predetermined ends. In such a situation, the necessary thing to do is to emancipate reason as to allow it to critique the ends provided. We can then frame the rapport between the two poles in such a manner as to make it parallel with the relationship between instrumental reason and critical reason. A similar rapport can likewise be observed in Habermas’s distinction between work and interaction, the former being understood as purposive while the latter being marked by consensus. The paper basically aims to interpret existing rapports between science and technology on the one hand and social and democratic principles on the other in the light of the ideas of Critical Theory. Pivotal to this is the task of scrutinizing reason’s role and function in both. From there, the paper proceeds to exploring ways in which critical thinking can be presented and integrated as an essential content in children’s pedagogy in response and in contrast to the current prevailing tendency to overemphasize efficiency, productivity and uniformity.

Jen Glaser (Jerusalem/Israel)
"Thinking and Living ‘in-between’: Pluralistic Education and the Normative Dimensions of a Community of Philosophical Inquiry."

In recent years much has been made of Philosophy for Children as the kind of educational practice we need if we are to prepare our children for human and global flourishing in a world that recognizes, and values complexity and deep difference. The argument goes, that the philosophical community of inquiry, as a form of life, not only offers our children a way of attending to this complexity and diversity, but aims toward human and global flourishing in light of this.

I would argue that attending to this normative dimension of philosophy for children has never been more urgent than it is today. We are living in a growing global political climate in which attitudes to difference are becoming increasingly polarized. There is a rise in many Western democracies of political parties that seek to gain strength through instilling a fear of difference and suspicion toward the Other. The ‘Other’ here increasingly pointing, not only to non-nationals (immigrants, foreign workers, other nations), but to those internal to our societies who are seen to think differently, represent different interests, and promote different ends, from those in (or seeking) power.

In this paper I seek to examine the way in which philosophy for children, as a normative form of life, promotes a kind of thinking (and living) that is situated in the space ‘in-between’. This form of life surfaces in Philosophy for Children in different ways (personal, ethical, epistemological, societal), but what is common to each is that it represents a certain view of part-whole relationships in which our own flourishing is intimately connected to the flourishing of the whole, where that whole is complex - containing plurality (more than one way of thinking/ acting / seeing / representing). Such a form of life is aesthetical – involving inter-dependency - in which attending to any part (its identification as a part, its meaning and significance,) requires consideration of the whole, and vice-versa. That is to say, for a form of life situated in the ‘in-between’, plurality and inter-relationship become conditions for flourishing, rather than a danger to be contained. In this paper I will sketch out four spaces of the ‘in-between’ in Philosophy for Children:

  • The ‘in-between’ of agency: the relational self (body/mind, self/other)
  • The ‘in-between’ of community: thinking from a place one is not (representational thinking)
  • The ‘in-between’ of public space: living between the pull of philosophy and the pull of politics
  • The ‘in-between’ of culture: living between past and future (reconstruction of knowledge/culture)
While, in the time allotted to this presentation, I will only be able to offer a sketch of these four spaces, I hope that by doing so, we will come to develop a greater appreciation of their philosophical foundations and practical consequences, and with it, the ways in which attending to complexity and difference informs Philosophy for Children’s vision of human and global flourishing and the life worth living.

Johann Götschl (Graz/Austria)
"Musik im Kontext von Disziplinarität, Multidisziplinarität, Interdisziplinarität und Transdisziplinarität"

„Musik kann als ein besonders komplexes Phänomen, vielleicht als komplexestes Phänomen angesehen werden, Dies vor allem deshalb, weil Musik Verbales und Nonverbales, Explizites und Implizites, Rationales und Emotionales in besonderer Weise verbindet. Neue Verschränkungen der vier Kategorien, nämlich Disziplinarität, Multidisziplinarität, Interdisziplinarität und Transdisziplinarität helfen in neuer Form, sich der Musik zu nähern.

Musik mit dem Begriffsnetz der vier Kategorien zeigt, dass sie das mental-neuronale System durchdringt. Damit wird evidenter als je zuvor, dass die Musik Inhalte generieren, transportieren und transformieren kann, Inhalte als realistische Konstruktion von Rationalität und Emotionalität. Sprachphilosophisch kann dies auch als Hybridprozess angesehen werden. Es vollzieht sich damit eine Strukturierung von modernen Sozietäten, insbesondere von demokratischen Sozietäten. Musik konstituiert eine komplexe Form von „meaning change“ (Semantik) auch von symbolischen Repräsentationen und vice versa. Musik mit den vierfachen Begriffstypen von Disziplinarität, Multidisziplinarität, Interdisziplinarität und Transdisziplinarität generiert ein Vielfaches an Alternativen von Erleben und sprachlicher Repräsentation, wie dies auch von der Theorie der Selbstorganisation gezeigt wird. Defraktionierung bis zur ontologischen Neutralität durch Musik sind erkenntnisfördernde Herausforderungen.

Bernhard Heiden (Weiz/Villach/Austria)
"Interdisciplinarity as an approach of unifying science with universal methodologies – practical technical education and children philosophy implications"

Interdisciplinarity of science is highly important in nowadays science, because systems complexity is increasing. Analyzing tools, beginning with Euklid’s “Elements” over Descartes’s “Regulae” to genuine scientific methodology, have to be reintegrated on a higher level of understanding. The reintegration has to be done by means of more general methods. This can be done with the following method:

An universal approach is built, in the sense that theories that are universal applicable are to be preferred rather than single theoretical frameworks With this approach two or more disciplines are described with regard to scientific questions with regard to those two or more disciplines Thirdly the “unifying language” of the universal research method is used to deduct answers to the questions (2) from premises. With this tunneling path through the knowledge gap of different disciplines a greater and more profound understanding is achieved, through a more valid greater network of world explanations, as with that of one discipline alone. When this nexus – or network of real world processes - is accomplished, a compression of information has to take place. It is necessary in an evolutionary sense that the order is increasing in self-organizing systems as societal ones.

Compression of structure by sustaining or increasing information is the essential part of interdisciplinary value creation. In this sense the understanding of following generations is increasingly greater, meaning that a more realistic reasoning is occurring, due to a more consistent societal language framework. Neil Gershenfeld said in the context of the Fablab experiences with eight years old children in Africa, where children were allowed to use fabrication machines like 3D-printers, that children have a different approach of producing things like this: “They simple draw an idea and print them.” So this means that they easily can produce prototypes, that have inherent knowledge realized in them, let this be exformation, the information out of the mind gone into the product, out of mind perspective. It can as well be regarded as materialization of ideas in mind. With this the - by the child itself produced - product becomes the language of the child. The language of the material – as was this one key terminus of Maria Montessori - has then one certain characteristic: It is a true physical existing nexus. The interaction with the material in spatiotemporal proximity is true self adjusting language: sensomotoric interaction. This is the language of “realizing” things. Digital tools e.g. are even accelerating this process of realizing products, which goes hand in hand with an accelerated understanding.

The integration of increasing knowledge by this approach, both analytically and materially has a deep impact on social behavior and change in society. Knowledge becomes more available and is hence more and more part of our environment. Simultaneously this leads also to an error correction mechanism, giving self-stability of sustained achievements in knowledge of mankind.

Ljudevit Ježić (Zagreb/Croatia)
„The Task of Interdisciplinary Research and the Need for Orientation through Philosophy“

Originally, from the time of ancient Greece, philosophy was the source from which special sciences kept gradually springing as from an all-encompassing multidisciplinary source. In modern times sciences diversified their fields of study, separated themselves from their broader context of natural, social, and political life and emancipated themselves from philosophy advancing into ever greater specialization and subspecialization. As the consequence of this, we witness the fragmentation of human knowledge and the loss of human orientation in the world. As Albert Schweizer nicely said, although in modern times humans developed and may use better means of communication than ever before, they have nothing to communicate because they lack a worldview (Weltanschauung). Philosophy must today regain its role in giving foundation, structure, orientation and meaning to our practice and to our incessantly growing knowledge and towards ever greater power and autonomy advancing technology. Much effort has been invested to bridge the widening gap between humanities and social sciences on the one hand and natural and biotechnical sciences on the other through new interdisciplinary fields of research. Some of them, e.g. cognitive science and integrative bioethics, also include philosophy, but we may rightly wonder whether philosophy occupies the right place within such enterprises if treated as a special science. If not, what should be its position with regard to multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity or transdisciplinarity in sciences? How can philosophy fulfil its universal synthesizing vocation and its value-driven educational and practical role today?

Stephen Law (London/United Kingdom)
"Scientism, Science and Philosophy"

I believe that there is considerable value in exposing children to philosophy. However, philosophy has its critics. Perhaps chief among its critics are those wedded to something called scientism.

Scientism is the view that all legitimate, meaningful questions can only be answered, if they can be answered at all, by doing empirical science (physics, chemistry, and so on). Philosophy, by contrast, is an armchair discipline: philosophers believe that there are legitimate questions that can be answered, and indeed can only be answered, by armchair methods. So, from the perspective of scientism, philosophy is a Grand Waste of Time.

Critics of scientism point out that there do appear to be questions science can't answer. Take moral questions, for example. Moral questions concern what we ought or ought not to do. Science, on the other hand, can reveal only what is or is not the case. And, because (as Hume showed) we cannot justify ‘ought' conclusions drawing only on 'is' premises (Hume’s famous is/ought gap), so it seems science can never justify a moral conclusion. Yet moral questions do appear to be legitimate questions.

The question of why there is something rather than nothing also seems to be a question science can't answer. Science answers 'why?' questions by appealing to the laws and natural causes that science has discovered. But the consider the question: why are there any fundamental natural laws and causes at all? That appears to be a point where science must necessarily run out of steam.

In this talk, I'll respond to the question: 'But how can we discover anything about the nature of reality - about the world outside our own minds - by sitting in our armchairs with our eyes closed and having a good think? Surely, if we want to find out about the world out there, we'll need to observe that world - and that bring us back to doing science.’ I'll sketch out a role for philosophy on which, perhaps surprisingly, it reveals nothing at all about how things stand in the world, but yet does reveal something valuable (and not just how we feel about things). On the way, we'll look at Galileo's thought experiments, at scientific investigation of the supernatural, and at the question of whether we can investigate God in either the science lab or from the comfort of our armchairs.

Noboru Tanaka (Gifu/Japan), Amber Makaiau (Hawaii/USA)
"Philosophy for Children and Democratic Global Citizenship: Lessons from Japan and the USA"

This presentation describes how two international social studies teacher educators/researchers use qualitative methods (Creswell, 2007; Patton, 2002) to systematically examine the impact of philosophy for children Hawai'i (p4cHI) on social studies teaching and learning in two countries. From the United States and Japan, respectively, Drs. Amber Strong Makaiau and Noboru Tanaka began their collaborative study in the spring of 2017. Tanaka is an Associate Professor at Gifu University who is also helping to re-write the National Curriculum of politics and economics in social studies education for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan (MEXT). He met Makaiau in 2015 when she traveled to Japan to give a series of public lectures about the relationship between p4cHI and deliberative pedagogy (Carcasson, 2013; Longo, 2013; Manosevitch, 2013; Molnar-Main & Kingseed, 2013). Makaiau is an Associate Specialist at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa (UHM) and also the Director of Curriculum and Research at the UHM Uehiro Academy for Philosophy and Ethics in Education. In each of their home countries, p4cHI is being explored as a viable means for school improvement (Oakes, Quartz, Ryan, & Lipton, 2000), and together they wanted to learn more about the ways in which this particular approach to deliberative pedagogy (Makaiau, 2017) might be used to prepare Japanese and American students for life in a democratic society.

To structure their investigation, the two researchers:

  • 1. Collaborated with teachers who use the p4cHI approach to deliberative pedagogy to teach secondary level social studies classes in Japan and the USA;
  • 2. Video recorded one social studies teacher in Japan and one in the USA as they used p4cHI to teach the same high school civics lesson with students in two countries;
  • 3. Transcribed and analyzed the video recorded lessons;
  • 4. Drew conclusions about the impact of the p4cHI approach to deliberative pedagogy on the Japanese and American students in the czoranassrooms that they observed.
In this presentation, the authors frame their study by explaining the connection between deliberative pedagogy, p4cHI, and contemporary social studies movements in Japan and the United States. Next, they describe the design and methods of the study, including the two diverse contexts in which the research took place. They explain how they collected and analyzed data from video recorded lessons to learn more about the similarities and differences of p4cHI’s impact on the students and teachers observed in Japan and the United States. Then the study’s findings are reported. These findings narrow in on the three main themes that emerged from the qualitative analysis of the data that compare and contrast inquiry stance, inquiry topics, and the nature of the inquiry in each country. At the paper’s conclusion, the authors explore the potential role that the p4cHI approach to deliberative pedagogy can play in promoting democratic global citizens in diverse national contexts.

David-Anthony Ouellet (Québec/Canada)
"Analyzing the Complexity of Respect"

Respect is a topic full of complexity. One reason for this is that respect refers in some way to the protection of one’s integrity, and that the exact nature of a person’s integrity is complex. But this is not the only source of complexity. Another source of complexity comes from language: the word “respect” is used to talk about really different realities. Among others, it is used to describe a feeling, a disposition, some kind of action, and also what the French sociologist Patrick Pharo called a “practical position”, which refers to the production of a kind of relationship via some specific actions.

Looking at everyday uses of the word “respect”, we can notice that these uses get mixed up. I want to point out to one particular error that may occur: from witnessing actions, we infer about dispositions or feelings. I intend to us Patrick Pharo’s thesis about “practical positions” to helps us understand why this is a mistake. His definition of respect let us see how respect requires all of the following: desires and values, knowledge, knowhow, and skills. A flaw in any of these requirements may lead to a lack of respect; problems of respect are thus more than problems of feelings or dispositions.

Building on these considerations, I want to offer the following thesis: that a proper use of the word “respect” cannot go without dialogue. Put in another way, in most everyday situations, I believe there is no way to assess the presence or absence of respect without actually inquiring about it with the concerned person. To assess the presence or absence of respect, one must inquire about all of the above: about the presence of desires and values, about the presence of adequate knowledge, and about problems of know-how and skills.

This will come with no surprise, as it does correspond to the already-known best practices in communication, which are often part of common sense. However, it could be of interest to note that this complexity can be built directly into the definition of respect, as long as we think of it as an issue of action and relationship, and not only as a matter of feeling and disposition.

Carlos Francisco de Sousa Reis (Coimbra/Portugal)
"Grounding Education philosophically. An Essay on behalf Human Happiness"

We start by attempting a genealogical exploration of the philosophical “démarche” for grounding Paideia’s endeavour, namely by discovering in Eros the paradigm of the philosopher, insofar as being the son of the poor Penia and the resourceful Poros, as is described in Plato’s Symposium. Following such understanding, we try to show how the philosopher enthusiastically launches himself in search of wisdom, while at the same time delivers existence to the care of the soul, addressed to attaining ontological harmony. Thus, implying an act of conversion that bounds existence to a radicalization of the gaze capable of opening the way of conceptual creation, simultaneously, parrhesiastic and critical. Which affirms philosophy as the basis of education and formation, to the extent that we can envisage them as teleologically committed to forming the critical person, a “telos” far beyond the contemporary drift of the "utilitarian reason", which is restricting education to its functionalization to performativistic purposes.

In our perspective, professional formation and education, inasmuch as being the frameworks for raising personhood are, teleologically, summoned by philosophy –which addresses to them as their alpha and omega– in order to promote the unveiling and the debate of their purposes, at the same time that calls them to ponder the processes and the expected results. Such understanding allows to endorse our essay to the aim of showing that, although we are currently under the challenges of “instrumental reason”, if we can open an opportunity for philosophy and education to fulfill their missions, we could still find the ground for freedom and thus, as Plato foretold, maybe attaining some bliss (Republic, 621d).

Roswith Roth (Graz/Austria)
"Women's Human Rights"

Women’s rights are human rights. This notion is at once fundamental and revolutionary. In theory, women have never been overtly excluded from the concept of human rights. In 1945, the UN Charter afforded to women and men equal economic, social, cultural, political and civil rights. Nevertheless, because women traditionally have been relegated to the private sphere and to subordinate status in society, they have generally been excluded from recognized definitions and interpretations of human rights. As such, women and girls’ experiences with human rights abuse have been virtually ignored (UNIFEM, 1999).

Human rights violations against women are often complicated by further discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity, sexual identity, caste, religion, class or age. The type and prevalence of violence and discrimination that women experience are often determined by how their gender interacts with these other factors. Each of the human rights treaties and the whole of the human rights framework are essential for the realization of women’s full spectrum of rights. States have a responsibility whether abuses against women are committed by state or non-state actors, in the public or private spheres. Their obligations under international human rights law can be summarized under three categories: respect, protect and fulfill.

Laurance Splitter (Melbourne/Australia)
"Identity and populism begone! The role of philosophy in healing a shattered and divided world"

Populism and tribalism are increasingly prevalent characteristics of so-called democratic societies. In this presentation, I shall explore the socio-political forces that are behind this trend, including conceptual confusions about the nature of identity and the collectivist/individualist dichotomy, the inadequacy of nationalistic rhetoric to respond adequately to such pressures as increased migration of refugees and asylum seekers, and the failure of voters to uphold their responsibilities as democratic citizens. I shall argue that while populism presupposes a democratic framework, it is actually incompatible with democracy. I shall propose an epistemological and ethical framework based on the unifying concept of personhood which overrides the various groups, collectives and associations with which we claim – confusedly – to identify. I shall also juxtapose notions of narrative and dialogue to suggest ways in which tribalism and polarization can be challenged. It is here that philosophy and philosophy for children have an important role to play.

Harald Stelzer (Graz/Austria)
"Gesellschaft im Umbruch – Philosophie im Wandel"

Die Welt verändert sich, und schon Hans Lenk hat auf die Bereitstellung von Orientierungswissen durch die Philosophie gedrängt. Zugleich hat uns die Erfahrung aus der Vergangenheit gezeigt, dass ein solches immer nur vorläufig sein kann und selbstkritisch sein muss. Im propagierten Zeitalter des Anthropozäns ist unsere Welt mehr den je bestimmt durch wissenschaftliche Entdeckungen und technische Entwicklungen. Orientierungswissen heißt hier, sich in die interdisziplinäre Erforschung und Lösung von gesellschaftlichen, politischen und ökologischen Problemen einzubringen, um dafür zu sorgen, dass auf die Berücksichtigung von Werten und normativen Prinzipien nicht vergessen wird. Im Vortrag werde ich von meiner Arbeit als Philosoph im Rahmen solcher transdiziplinärer Prozesse berichten.