Beauty in Art and Nature: Responsibility and Process Philosophy
The European Society for Process
Thought together with the Polish Whitehead Metaphysical Society announces the 6th
European Summer School in Process Thought, which will take place from July 27 to August 1, 2020, at the
Franciscan Monastery in Katowice, 76 Panewnicka Street Poland.
should be submitted at the latest by June 15th 2020 to Piotr
“Beauty is the mutual adaptation of the several
factors in an occasion of experience.” (Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas, 252)
Contemporary civilization faces challenges of
an ecological, social, and ethical character. Some current practices may lead
to the end of human culture or even to the extinction of life on Earth. Now is
not the time to detach speculation from reality. The next decade of the 21st
century needs to be the time of “Great Change”, a time for mature philosophy
—one that is aware of its role in society.
The concepts of nature
and beauty are used here in the inclusive sense and by way of creative
contrast. Required is a multitude of approaches, disciplines, and integrative
ways of thinking. This
is not a summer school for one narrow academic discipline, but aims at addressing
all issues important today for our natural and cultural environment. We invite
topics that contrast the concepts of nature and beauty as well as the natural
and the cultural.
For example, one might contrast the measured time of culture with the
experienced time of nature and look for a unifying, creative vision.
We all participate in
processes like climate change, environmental pollution, and the extinction of
species. And we all confront the risks associated with the spread of
monoculture and its ensuing reduction of diversity. This takes place in many
areas, notably agriculture, politics, codes of conduct, and aesthetic values.
Therefore, we invite all types of reflection that inspire actions to hold back the process of destruction. Bold visions
expressed in a rational form allow us to experience the attractive power of
beauty and truth and in the long run to change the world. The universe is in
the making and it may degenerate into trivial forms of order or it may be
saved, as Whitehead put it, “by God’s vision of truth, beauty and goodness” (Whitehead,
Process and Reality, 346). We need critically to examine possible visions
in order to
save our world from plunging into triviality or even chaos. We need philosophy
with speculative power and an analytic capacity of critical thinking. One of
the most important areas of responsibility for a philosopher is the question of
‘being’ and the process of philosophical thinking. We invite topics connected
with methods of teaching and with the popularizing of process philosophy. We
plan to devote one of the plenary sessions to these questions.
Ten years ago the first summer
school was organized in Katowice-Panewniki at the Franciscan Monastery by the
Polish, German, Bulgarian and Hungarian societies for process thought. The upcoming
conference will again be held there.
Saint Francis who combined love for nature with devotion for Divine Beauty is
also a symbol of dialogue between different cultures, religions and ways of
life. The Franciscan Monastery is a perfect place to ask serious questions
about the responsibility of process philosophy in the time of “Great Change”.