The legacy of the twentieth century weighs heavy on French philosophy. While the names of the stars of the years now regarded as those of rampant reading and writing still appear omnipresent, younger voices, at least on this side of the Rhine, are heard sporadically at best. But what escapes the view that attaches itself exclusively to the old masters? And which new possibilities, on the other hand, offer themselves to thinking when it detaches itself a little from the habitual – confronting its own conditions, but always also transgressing them?

The series dis:positions | French Philosophy Today has set itself the task of being a philosophical passeur, a smuggler who overcomes boundaries and offers a forum to thinkers currently less well-known in Germany. At the same time, however, as the series will also show, there is no such thing as French thought in general, no such thing as French philosophy in general; accordingly, the claim of the series does not exceed the attempt to spotlight certain ideas, without presumptuous ambitions of completeness or objectivity. dis:positions is nothing more, nothing less, than the effort to present, every month and through conversations in different venues across Berlin, some current positions and dispositions of thought.

#1 Populism
Wednesday, 24 May 2017, 7 pm, Institut Français

Event in French with German translation.

A spectre is haunting Europe, and not only Europe. Populism is without a doubt among today’s hottest topics, and accordingly philosophy too cannot but occupy itself with the question: What, then, is populism?

Éric Fassin Université Paris-VIII
Estelle Ferrarese Université de Picardie Jules Verne
Jean-Claude Monod CNRS | Archives Husserl de Paris
Moderation: Roberto Nigro Leuphana Universität Lüneburg

#2 Forms of Life
Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 7.30 pm, ICI Berlin

Event in English.

Life forces thought, it poses problems and constitutes, for philosophy, both a condition and an object. Whether framed through questions of epistemology and the philosophy of science, questions of ethics, of politics, of technics, of aesthetics or of metaphysics, conceptions of life and the living, while inherently and invariably transdisciplinary, remain at the core of philosophical thinking today. Accordingly, this second session in the series dis:positions gathers three protagonists of a moment du vivant within contemporary French philosophy, provoking a resolutely undisciplined conversation, a modulation of philosophy across all domains of knowledge.

Emanuele Coccia
École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
Frédéric Worms École Normale Supérieure
Caterina Zanfi Bergische Universität Wuppertal

#3 Earth (Local, Global, Orbital)
Thursday, 13 July 2017, 7.30 pm, diffrakt | centre for theoretical peripherie

Event in English.

Must philosophy, after all, content itself with the idea that another end of the world is all we may hope for? And is the global, today, really just a matter of standards and logistics? Or are there still more fruitful ways of engaging the world, the globe, and finally: the Earth – beyond the paralysis of hyperobjectivity and apocalyptic catastrophisms? This session of dis:positions seeks to return the Earth to the status of a philosophical (and metaphysical) problem, an object not merely given but requiring elaboration. Setting out from local paradigms, we might begin to understand the global entanglements of things.

Élie During Université Paris Nanterre
Patrice Maniglier Université Paris Nanterre

#4 Work
21 September 2017, 7 pm, Centre Marc Bloch

Event in French with German translation.

Economic and technological upheavals have fundamentally changed our understanding of work. But while economic and sociological analyses have oftentimes diagnosed its eventual vanishing, philosophers may yet be interested in something else: the “centrality” of work from an ethical, psychological, and social point of view. After all, as work becomes the site of new demands of self-realisation and autonomy, it is also, on the other hand, a site of suffering.

So how are we to understand what constitutes the activity of working? What does it reveal about our societies? Can we perhaps even liberate ourselves from work? These and other questions are among those that philosophers today may pose when looking at work and its social significance.

Jean-Philippe Deranty Macquarie University
Katia Genel Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne | Centre Marc Bloch
Michel Lallement Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers
Bénédicte Zimmermann École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

#5 The Universal
Thursday, 14 December 2017, 7 pm, Salle Germaine Tillion, Centre Marc Bloch, Friedrichstraße 191
French with German translation

Event in French with German translation.

Bruno Karsenti École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
Markus Messling Centre Marc Bloch
Isabelle Thomas-Fogiel University of Ottawa
Denis Thouard CNRS | EHESS | Centre Marc Bloch

Concept: Moritz Gansen | Hannah Wallenfels