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The international congresses and the transnational shaping of philosophy (1900-1948): Spaces – Struggles – Identity – Knowledge


INTERPHIL analyses the construction of philosophy’s disciplinary identity by studying the first ten International Congresses in Philosophy (1900-1948), relating them to the emergence in Europe of a new academic space that aimed at unity across different schools of thought. Today, the still persistent cleavage between the “analytic” and “continental” ways of practicing philosophy, hyper-specialization and hyper-production suggest that the project of a philosophical unity was not achieved. The majority of philosophers currently acknowledge the uncontrollable pluralism of the discipline and have abandoned the dream of a transnational community aiming at collectively defining the discipline and at discussing its main advancements. Still, this dream had important consequences, as it fostered the emergence of institutional spaces of intellectual exchange. At the beginning of the 20th century, for the first time in history, the International Congress in Philosophy, organised, then supervised by a French group over almost fifty years, aimed at achieving this philosophical exchange and unity. The group of philosophers involved got progressively larger, and had to arbitrate disputes between different participants and include or co-opt subalterns or self-excluded European and non-European groups, such as those from Russia. How did these actors deal with the contradiction between ambitions of universalism and rising nationalisms? INTERPHIL adopts an inter-disciplinary and multi-scalar approach in order to explain the constitution of a transnational philosophical space, the formation of philosophical ideas of Europe and the participation of philosophers in international institutions such as the League of Nations. The approach is socio-historical: bibliometric, lexicographic, sociological, historical and philosophical.



Net EU contribution
€ 255 768,00
Dorsoduro 3246
30123 Venezia

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Nord-Est Veneto Venezia
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

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