Conditions and Problems of Contemporary Philosophy

fundamental research project
Basic Info


The "Conditions and Problems of Contemporary Philosophy" program is
continuing its hitherto research work at the Institute of Philosophy,
and thus in the five year period from 2004 to 2008 it will be focused on
three main themes:

1) Investigation of the transformation of traditional philosophical
categories (being, truth, subject, object, will, man, life, etc.) in
postmodern philosophical thought. The research work will try to situate
the conceptual transformation in postmodern philosophical thought and
the rise of the new problematic within the wider frame of philosophical,
scientific, epistemological, cultural, as well as politico-economic
processes in the contemporary world, including Slovenia. The aim of the
research work is to elaborate an answer to the question whether and in
what way, under the conditions of a globalized world, philosophy as a
field of pure thought is still possible today. Special emphasis will be
placed on: the conceptual and methodological connections of postmodern
philosophy with contemporary social and human sciences, particularly the
conditions and results of the encounter with the psychoanalysis of
Freud and Lacan, as well as with linguistics, epistemology,
jurisprudence, history and anthropology; an analysis of separating the
problematics of subject and subjectivization in postmodern philosophy
(Badiou, Lyotard, Foucault, Negri, Agamben, Derrida, Habermas, etc.);
rethinking of the status of ethics and of ethical discourses in
philosophy and the connection of philosophy with the contemporary
sciences; a new consideration of the political as a consequence of the
breakdown of classic notions of universality, of the social link and of
community; rethinking new technologies, cyberspace and the
virtualization of space itself; a critical reconsideration of vitalistic
and neo-darwinist currents in contemporary philosophy, biophilosophy
and biotechnology, ethology, new conceptions of body and life, etc.

2) An inquiry into the philosophically relevant history of political
thought and research on the history of the philosophical and scientific
formation of the modern world. In investigating the history of political
thought, special emphasis will be placed on the conceptualization of
power in the tradition of Western thought, the articulation of the
concept of state and hitherto poorly investigated connections between
sovereignty, religion, and the rise of trade, economy, and world war. A
particular part of the research work consists of the deconstruction of
historiographic revisions of the memory of the Nazi and fascist
occupation of Slovenia (1941-45), the partisan resistance movement,
collaboration activities and post-war mass killings, and an analysis of
the interpretation of history as trauma. The aim of the research work is
to contribute to a clarification of various problems: historical memory
and historical trauma, civil and religious war, the formation of a
political space and the rise of representative democracy, European
colonial and society-forming projects, and the formation of an
interstate system and supranational identities (Empire, Europe). The
basic departure point for the investigation of the philosophical and
scientific history of the formation of the modern world will be that
philosophical and purely scientific viewpoints regarding this process
are inseparable, and that medieval philosophy presents an intersection
point of the ancient episteme and modern philosophy. Within this
framework, special emphasis will be placed on the relationship between
philosophy, theology, and science on one hand, and the epistemological,
philosophical, and scientific transformations of the high medieval age,
renaissance, and early modern age, on the other. The aim of the
scientific research work is to expose those epistemological elements
which separate modern from pre-modern philosophy and science.

3)An investigation of philosophical aesthetics and the philosophical
problematic of visuality and the visual art of culture. The theoretical
departure points of the research work will be the Frankfurt school,
poststructuralism, the Hegelian tradition in aesthetics, and
contemporary philosophical and aesthetic theories. The research work
will focus, first of all, on the problematic of contemporary world
aesthetics (the institutional theory of art; theories on the end of art;
the discussion of modernism; the relationship between art and culture
in philosophy and aesthetics; the politics of art and culture;
globalization in aesthetics; the relationship between modernism, the
avant-garde in art, and conceptualism; and aesthetics and contemporary
philosophy). And secondly, on the problematic of occularcentrism in the
present-day: the universal image, visual art, and the culture of the
First, Second, and Third Worlds. The objectives of the research work
are: to investigate contemporary world aesthetics and its connection to
philosophy; to examine the connections, similarities, and differences
between visual art and culture in different parts of the world; to deal
philosophically with and to evaluate key phenomena in the developing
global visual culture. 

Basic research program "Conditions and Problems of Contemporary Philosophy" is founded by Slovenian Research Agency.