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International Philosophical Conference in Prague, February 5th- 6th, 2015

Deadline for submission of abstracts: December 15th, 2014

The Institute of Philosophy and Religious Studies (Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Arts) organizes an international philosophical conference focused on the pragmatic theses that are present in the phenomenological works of M. Heidegger, M. Merleau-Ponty and J. Patočka. Inspired by a critical reassessment of already existing pragmatic readings of Heidegger, we want to explore the following themes as possible justifications for speaking about the pragmatic turn in phenomenology: the primacy of the practical over theoretical understanding, criticism of the representationalist account of perception and analysis of language and truth claims within the context of social and cultural practices.

The goals of our conference are thus the following ones:

1) To bring together both continental and Anglo-Saxon phenomenologists striving to develop pragmatic elements in works of M. Heidegger, M. Merleau-Ponty and Jan Patočka. Our first objective is to provide a new synoptic view of different recent pragmatic readings of Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty in the Anglo-Saxon philosophy (Dreyfus, Rorty, Brandom, Okrent, Taylor, Wrathall, to name but a few).

2) To reconstruct the main phenomenological accounts of perception and language which stress the above mentioned pragmatic motives. We will namely seek to develop the consequences of addressing perception in terms of coping, with the focus on various criticisms of representational account of perceptual consciousness. Concerning language, we are interested in papers discussing Heidegger´s criticism of the primacy of the proposition (cf. Being and Time § 32f.) and establishing analogies and points of divergence between phenomenological approach and analytical ordinary language philosophy.

3) To revisit the theory-praxis distinction. The aim is to investigate the question of the genesis of the theoretical mode of behavior and to ask how theoretical thematizing arises out of circumspective concern. However, it is also vital to critically assess the oversimplifying interpretations of Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, insisting one-sidedly on the primacy of praxis over theory.


Papers are accepted under four broad topics, corresponding to four thematic sections of ryr conference:

  • The Issue of the ‘Pragmatic Turn’ in Phenomenology
  • Perception
  • Language
  • The Theory-Praxis Distinction Revisited


Paper presentations will have a maximum duration of 30 minutes. If you would like to participate in one of the above-mentioned panels with your paper, please state the title of the panel in question after the title of your abstract.

Submission deadline: Proposals should be sent until Monday, December 15, 2014 to the following email address: Paper proposals will include a title and an abstract, with a maximum extension of 30 lines and 2,500 characters (without spaces).

Registration fee: For speakers accepted through an anonymous review process is 50 EUR. The conference registration fee includes: organization costs, morning and afternoon coffee breaks and conference banquet. The fee should be paid upon arrival of the participant.

The conference language will be English. Publication of selected conference papers in planned in a collected volume.

Organising committee: Jakub Čapek and Ondřej Svec (Charles University, Prague).

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Pavlos Kontos (University of Patras): Theory in Praxis: Aristotelian puzzles and Heidegger’s escape

Thomas J. Nenon (University of Memphis): Heidegger and His Pragmatist Readers

Mark Wrathall (University of California, Riverside): Always already more than a practitioner (‘immer schon mehr als Praktiker’): sense making and the limits of practical familiarity

Dan Zahavi (University of Copenhagen): Pragmatism and transcendental phenomenology



‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon:

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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