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17-21 May 2017 | Being at War or in Peace with the World: What Is the Right Stance? Paolo Costa Speaks about Emotions and Social Criticism in Prague


Paolo Costa, researcher at the Center for Religious Studies of FBK, participated in the 25th edition of the Colloquium “Philosophy and Social Theory”, where he presented a paper on “Why Critical Theory Needs a Theory of the Emotions”.

The intellectual act of criticizing the world for what it is (or has become) can be seen both as a form of deep disagreement with what there is and as the desire to be reconciled with it after achieving a radical change. The affinity between this stance towards reality and the mindset of the followers of the higher religions have been noticed by many over the centuries. What they seem to have in common is the rejection of the world as it is and a trust in the possibility to make peace with it after lifting the veil of maya.

Against this background understanding of the performance of the critical theorist, Paolo Costa, senior researcher at the Center for Religious Sciences of FBK, presented a paper on the entanglement of emotions and social criticism at the Colloquium “Philosophy and Social Science” (held in Prague on May 17-21), the most important conference on critical theory around the world, that celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. The Conference originally grew out of a course with the same name, established by Jürgen Habermas and Gajo Petrović in Dubrovnik in 1976. It is now collegially directed and organized by A. Allen, M. Cooke, A. Ferrara, R. Forst, M.P. Lara, H. Rosa, B. Scheurman and was attended this year by more than 150 scholars from all over the world, who share the goal of promoting a view of knowledge as a force that has among its tasks that of analyzing and denouncing the present social pathologies.

The activity is in tune with the Center’s mission “to critically understand and engage with innovation in religion and through religion” . More specifically, it is a further step in the research project “Arguing Religion”, from which originates the impending conference “Arguing Religion: Disagreement, Recognition, and the Reach of Argumentative Debate”, that will be held in Trento on June 6-8.

Here you can find here a short autobiographical essay by Paolo Costa, celebrating the Prague Conference’s 25th anniversary.

News date: 
Friday, 26 May, 2017