CfP: 6th European Summer School in Process Thought, 2020

  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.

Abstracts should be submitted at the latest by June 15th 2020 to Piotr Lesniak:

 “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”.