12/10/2021

Jan Patočka's Dissident Philosophy of History: Human Bondage and the Risk of History

This is the first lecture of the series. What is the world? This may seem like a strange question, but it is the one that opens Jan Patočka’s Heretical Essays in the Philosophy of History, which he wrote in Soviet-controlled Czechoslovakia in the mid-1970s and originally circulated as samizdat (underground literature). In Patočka’s first essay, he suggests that the prehistoric “world” is rich in meaning, but that it is defined by a radical form of human bondage – “the bondage of life to itself.” (The lecture will clarify what that means.) For Patočka, history begins, not when writing-cultures emerge, but rather when humans first begin to question their picture of the world. It is this question – What is the world? – which both incurs great risks and signals the appearance of human freedom.

Danube Institute present

Jan Patočka's Dissident Philosophy of History:
Human Bondage and the Risk of History

Small DLD photo, 2021, by Charles DeAntonio(1).jpg

Lecture by David L. Dusenbury, Visiting Fellow at Danube Institute

Introduced by John O’Sullivan, President of Danube Institute

Date: October 12, 2021
 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Venue: Scruton FENEKETLEN-TÓ (1113 Budapest, Tas vezér utca 3-7.)

 

 

David L. Dusenbury:

David is a Visiting Fellow at the Danube Institute. He obtained his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Leuven and held, most recently, a research fellowship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His books include Platonic Legislations and The Innocence of Pontius Pilate. He has lectured widely in Europe on topics in philosophy, religion, law, and the history of ideas. His essays and criticism have appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, Corriere della Serra, American Affairs, and other cultural and political reviews.

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