Life forces thought, it poses problems and constitutes, for philosophy, both a condition and an object. Whether framed through questions of epistemology and the philosophy of science, questions of ethics, of politics, of technics, of aesthetics or of metaphysics, conceptions of life and the living, while inherently and invariably transdisciplinary, remain at the core of philosophical thinking today. Accordingly, this second session in the series dis:positions gathers three protagonists of a moment du vivant within contemporary French philosophy, provoking a resolutely undisciplined conversation, a modulation of philosophy across all domains of knowledge.

dis:positions | French Philosophy Today

The legacy of the twentieth century weighs heavy on French philosophy. While the names of the stars of the years now regarded as those of rampant reading and writing still appear omnipresent, younger voices, at least on this side of the Rhine, are heard sporadically at best. But what escapes the view that attaches itself exclusively to the old masters? And which new possibilities, on the other hand, offer themselves to thinking when it detaches itself a little from the habitual – confronting its own conditions, but always also transgressing them?

The series dis:positions | French Philosophy Today has set itself the task of being a philosophical passeur, a smuggler who overcomes boundaries and offers a forum to thinkers currently less well-known in Germany. At the same time, however, as the series will also show, there is no such thing as French thought in general, no such thing as French philosophy in general; accordingly, the claim of the series does not exceed the attempt to spotlight certain ideas, without presumptuous ambitions of completeness or objectivity. dis:positions is nothing more, nothing less, than the effort to present, every month and through conversations in different venues across Berlin, some current positions and dispositions of thought.

In English

Emanuele Coccia
Frédéric Worms
Caterina Zanfi

Emanuele Coccia is maître de conférences at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. After working on the history of European normativity and on aesthetics, his current research focuses on conceptions of life on the one hand and on the ontological status and normative power of images on the other. Among his publications are La vie des plantes. Une métaphysique du mélange (2016), Le bien dans les choses (2013), La vie sensible (2010), the anthology Angeli: ebraismo, cristianesimo, islam, co-ed. with Giorgio Agamben (2009), and La trasparenza delle immagini. Averroè e l’averroismo (2005).

Frédéric Worms is professor of contemporary philosophy and moral philosophy at the École normale supérieure in Paris, where he also serves as directeur-adjoint of Lettres et Sciences humaines and director of the Centre international d’étude de la philosophie française (CIEPFC). Moreover, he is a member of the Comité consultatif national d’éthique. A specialist in the thought of Henri Bergson and the history of philosophy, his recent work concerns questions of ethics and politics, focusing on issues of human rights, care, and violence, considered from the perspective of the living. Among his recent books are Les maladies chroniques de la démocratie (2017), Penser à quelqu‘un (2014), Revivre. Éprouver nos blessures et nos ressources (2012), La Philosophie en France au XXe siècle. Moments (2009), and Bergson ou les deux sens de la vie (2004).

Caterina Zanfi is a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at Bergische Universität Wuppertal. She studies the anthropological and political implications of the philosophies of life in a transnational perspective (Germany, France, Italy). She is the author of Bergson et la philosophie allemande : 1907-1932 (2013) and Bergson, la tecnica, la guerra (2009) and recently co-edited trivium 25. Die Philosophische Anthropologie in der deutsch-französischen Debatte der Gegenwart (2017) and Das Leben im Menschen oder der Mensch im Leben? Deutsch-Französische Genealogien zwischen Anthropologie und Anti-Humanismus (2017).

Organized by

diffrakt | centre for theoretical periphery, in cooperation with the Institut Français, Francfort en français, and the ICI Berlin

The event, like all events at the ICI Berlin, is open to the public, free of charge. The audience is presumed to consent to a possible recording on the part of the ICI Berlin. If you would like to attend the event yet might require assistance, please contact Event Management.