Kai Brodersen has given a working paper on ‚Resonant /loci/? Vertical and (very) horizontal resonances in AD 333‘

In AD 333 an anonymous traveller crossed the Roman Empire from Bordeaux to Jerusalem and back. The journey took almost a year, and included „pagan“, Jewish and Christian /loci/ (sites) which the author referred to by alluding to /loci/ in the oral or written tradition. But which /loci/ resonate as /lieux de mémoire/ with the author and her or his audience? How does this resonate with applying „resonance theory“? And can this method help us to solve the puzzle of the religious identity, and the gender, of the traveller?

Christoph Henning gave a working paper on ‚Politics of Nature, left and right: Comparing the Ontologies of Georg Lukács and Bruno Latour‘

The text compares the ontologies of Latour and Lukács, with a focus on questions of nature. I argue that Lukács is to be preferred to Latour both in terms of philosophical consistency and political viability.

Martin Christ gave a working paper on ‚Burials and Graveyards in Early Modern German and Swiss Towns‘

This explorative essay is based on my first archival visits in March 2019 and focuses on urban centres of the early modern German-speaking world. It argues that the display of wealth and power during burials of high-ranking men and women influenced the urban community at large. It also shows how cemeteries displayed urban hierarchies, by illustrating who was an important member of the urban community and who was excluded.

Carsten Herrmann-Pillath gives a working paper on ‚Rethinking the Status of Ecological Economics as a Science: The Art of Co-Creation‘

The text is the background paper for my keynote lecture at 13th International Conference of the European Association for Ecological Economics held at Turku, Finland, June 18-21, this year. It argues that the sciences of climate change and economics face an intellectual crisis because of a fundamental misconception about the relationship between science and the real world. This takes the idea for granted that subject and object can be unequivocally separated in the scientific endeavour, thus aiming at achieving an objective ‘view from nowhere’. Against this I posit that for understanding hypercomplex systems involving human action it is essential to recognize that subject and object stand in a relationship of co-creation with each other. In a co-creative setting, science becomes art, and art is the appropriate epistemic approach in generating knowledge that can guide meaningful and effective action. I suggest the framework of semiotics for putting this thesis on a firm philosophical ground on which appropriate methodologies can flourish, such as ventilated in participatory modelling approaches in Ecological Economics. An important theoretical concept is ‘design’: Design is the science of artfully creating agent-environment interaction patterns mediated by technology.

Martina Roesner gave a working paper on ‚The Grammar of the Divine. Philosophy of Language and Exegesis in Meister Eckhart‘

Judging by the standards of 13th/14th century Scholastic exegesis, Meister Eckhart’s Bible commentaries appear quite unusual in more than one respect. Rather than giving a consistent, continuous interpretation of each Biblical book, Eckhart bases his analyses on a very limited number of chapters and sometimes even isolated verses, while apparently disregarding the rest of the text. The guiding hypothesis of my project is that this extremely lacunary commenting style is the result of a fundamental methodological option: Instead of interpreting the Biblical text itself, Eckhart focuses on those passages that contain the hermeneutic keys to the correct understanding of the whole text. While his two commentaries on Genesis deal with the fundamental principles of created reality as such, his commentary on Exodus raises the question of how divine Revelation can be articulated in human language and how, consequently, the different names and titles of God have to be interpreted. Drawing on Moses Maimonides, as well as on modistic language theory, Eckhart develops a speculative grammar that allows him to understand
God as pure being that constitutes the transcendental fundament and horizon of the semantic relationship between words, concepts, and reality. God, therefore, is not above all names and radically transcendent in relation to human language but, on the contrary, can be referred to by any name, albeit imperfectly. Thus, the Hebrew and Greek original of the Biblical text cannot claim greater “authenticity” over its various translations into other languages. For Eckhart, each and every human language is a place where the divine word (verbum) can become incarnate without ever exhausting its infinite semantic potential.

Petra Gümplová gave a working paper on ‚Reinventing Sovereignty over Natural Resources: the case of the Yasuní ITT Initiative‘

This paper discusses the Yasuní ITT Initiative through which a sovereign state (Ecuador) proposed it would forgo oil extraction in an area overlapping with a global biodiversity reserve and indigenous territory in exchange for financial compensation from the global community. This paper argues that the ITT Initiative provides an excellent opportunity for a much needed discussion about limits on sovereign rights to natural resources. The article first looks into problematic features of sovereignty with respect to natural resources and argues that it fails to facilitate a use of natural resources compatible with demands of domestic and international justice. Three issues are identified: the extractivist bias, the problem of territorial monism, and the justice deficit. In the second part of the paper I show how the ITT Initiative innovatively attempted to transcend these structural weaknesses in the current system thus providing a valuable model of self-limiting sovereignty over natural resources. Three aspects are highlighted: a fiduciary model of resource sovereignty, the recognition of extraterritorial rights of others to sovereign resources, and a model of international cooperation for the non-exploitation of resources and the effective mitigation of climate change.

Nathan Alexander publishes new book

For more information on Nathan Alexanders newes publication „Race in a Godless World: Atheism, Race, and Civilization, 1850-1914“ please check the following link:

We would also like to draw your attention to one of Nathan Alexanders articles: „An Atheist with a Tall Hat On: The Forgotten History of Agnosticism“: https://thehumanist.com/magazine/march-april-2019/philosophically-speaking/philosophically-speaking-an-atheist-with-a-tall-hat-on-the-forgotten-history-of-agnosticism