Feminist philosophy: Where is the human today?
Oslo, 26 July–2 August 2020
Where is the human today?
Nordic Summer University 2020:
Online/virtual event with local satellite programs where possible: July 26 to August 2, 2020
Call for participation in experiments, workshops and exchange of thought
Scholars, students, artists and activists are invited to participate in the first conference of the Nordic Summer University study circle Hospitality and Solidarity: Feminist Philosophy in Thought, History and Action (2020-2022) on the themes of Hospitality and Solidarity.
The question of what defines the human being and humanism are recurring themes in the history of ideas, philosophy and theology. Historically the human being has been defined in relation to God, to animals and to the material world. Human centered reasoning can be found in Ancient Greece, most notably in the words of pre-Socratic philosopher Protagoras, who claimed that ”man is the measure of all things”. In an essay on education, Renaissance humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam wrote that ”man is certainly not born, but made man”. In the debates about humanism in 20th century European philosophy, humanism became the occasion to protect and defend humans from powers and processes that tear them apart, sometimes threatening to annihilate humanity altogether. Since then, the intellectual strands of post-humanism and trans-humanism have taken the project of decentering the human even further. For feminists, the tradition of humanism constitutes a challenge. If “what is proper to man” is attributed only to elite Western men, then humanism “functions ideologically to justify exploitation and oppression” (Kruks: 2012: 21). Nonetheless, the question of the human being and the values of humanism cannot be jettisoned as such. During this sympodium, we will focus on the intersections between feminist theory, humanism and posthumanism. What does the legacy of humanism mean for feminists today? How should the concepts of woman and man be understood in relation to the concept of the human? Where is the human today? What does it mean to be human today?