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Announcement and Call for Papers

The Euro-Mediterranean Network of Phenomenology for Intercultural Dialogue

Taking up the proposal formulated during the meeting of the Organization of Phenomenological Organizations in Lima (2005), we seek to develop a Euro-Mediterranean network of phenomenologists from both sides of the Mediterranean (and the Black Sea) that will promote dialogue among different cultures, languages, and religions in opposition to the new barbarism of the “endless war” and the “clash of civilizations.”
Why phenomenology? Since its Husserlian beginnings, this century-old philosophical school has always striven for meaning on the basis of reflection within the ethos of  philo-sophia as disinterested quest for truth. Without pretending to exclusivity regarding thinking and wisdom in practical life, Ancient Greece was the historical origin of this ethos. The traditions of religion and philosophy, as well as the variety of the modern scientific knowledge today provide themes for reflection. Phenomenology does not claim a monopoly on thought any more than philosophy claims a monopoly on thinking. But it is our conviction that the universal and universalistic vocation of thought does find in phenomenological practice a privileged field of exercise and form of theoretical praxis serving understanding and dialogue.
Already in the 1930s one could no longer speak of Europe without also addressing the question of the world and humanity. Even more, philosophical research cannot be limited to one continent or to one culture in today’s globalized world. What is at stake now is the possibility of a good and meaningful life in openness toward the other and the others, under institutions of justice, that transcends nation states and aims to create the conditions for living together on continental, inter-continental, and ultimately planetary levels.
After the experience of two world wars, Europe made a choice for peace and coexistence on the old continent – a choice that it offered to the entire world. Yet the Mediterranean area, the place of the birth of the philosophical ethos, today risks becoming a bloody border between the North and the South of the planet. The choice of intercultural dialogue within the Euro-Mediterranean space as the topic for a phenomenological network includes the desire to support similar developments in other areas and, especially, to foster them in Africa, which still bears the stigmata of colonialism. We do not propose any new centrality of Europe, but rather an additional  place for dialogue.
Jan Patočka was Husserl’s messenger to the congress in Prague in 1935 and later a resistance fighter, this is the centenary of his birth and thirty years after his death, and we celebrate his thought about Europe in the perspective of the world, speaking of “Nach-Europa.” It is right then to dedicate this meeting and this network to him, a witness to philosophy in his life as well as in his death. This conference is in addition dedicated to two other masters of the thinking about dialogue: Hans Georg Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur. Particularly the last proposed translation as an ethical challenge and paradigm for the encounter of cultures able to forge an ethos for the new Europe that is beyond the Europe of markets and merchants.
Inheriting a long philosophical tradition, Naples is the city that benefited from the teachings of both Gadamer and Ricoeur, who were made honorary citizens of this city that is now a metropolis in the broad Mediterranean region. Therefore, we invite philosophers sharing our perspective to the inaugural meeting of the “Euro-Mediterranean network for intercultural dialogue” in Naples between June 25th – 27th, 2007.

The meeting is open to all interested researchers, as well as to the general public.

10 full grants (three days hospitality in Naples plus travel costs up to 250 Euros) and 5 partial grants (hospitality only) are available to young researchers and doctoral students. Requests accompanied by a curriculum vitae and the estimation of the travel costs need to be sent to Prof. Domenico Jervolini djervol@tin.it before April 30th, 2007.