FBK-ISR – “LOSING FAITH: REFLECTIONS ON DEMOCRACY’S CURRENT EPISTEMOLOGICAL CRISIS”

Research project IPN 175: “Resilient Beliefs: Religion and Beyond,” funded by the Euregio Science Fund

Cycle of seminars: “REBE Workshops

19 March 2024 | 11:00 — 13:00

Fondazione Bruno Kessler – Polo delle Scienze Umane e sociali, Aula Piccola

The necessary conditions for the exercise of democracy’s problem-solving capacities do not seem to exist today. Citizens of democratic societies have split up into multiple, apparently incommensurable epistemic communities. This situation of discord between truth and politics was anticipated by H. Arendt, who did not anticipate, however, the emergence of a politics of radical skepticism, which is spreading with little resistance from the democratic institutions.
Traditionally, discussions of radical skepticism have been confined to academic philosophy. However, in the last decades a form of radical epistemological skepticism has unexpectedly acquired a potentially catastrophic political existence within democratic societies.
The loss of faith in the problem-solving powers of democracy is pervasive and growing, due, above all, to two phenomena: 1) the failure of democratic societies to respond to the climate catastrophe; and 2) the failure to constrain and mitigate the destructive effects of capitalism. When democracies arrive at this point, they have to “break existing political forms” and thereby create a new “public” (Dewey). The restoration of our faith in democracy precisely depends on whether we can meet the overwhelming challenges we face today.

Speaker: Nikolas Kompridis, Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto

Nikolas Kompridis is an interdisciplinary philosopher and critical theorist whose research is focused on rethinking the relation between the human and non-human; revising the theory and practice of critique in light of diverse traditions of critical theory; re-assessing the claims and possibilities of philosophical romanticism; and illuminating the ethical and political insights of the arts, especially literature, cinema, and music. He is the author of Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory Between Past and Future (MIT), Philosophical Romanticism (Routledge), The Aesthetic Turn in Political Thought (Bloomsbury), and Heterotopian Cinema: Spaces of Refuge and Freedom (forthcoming, Northwestern University Press), as well as over 60 articles and book chapters that have appeared in leading journals and notable academic presses. He has taught at universities in Canada, the UK, and most recently as Foundation Director and Research Professor at the Institute for Social Justice in Sydney.

The event, held in English, will be in-person in the FBK while seats last and online.

Registration by March 18, 2024 at 12:00 a.m. is required in order to arrange the connection.

 

 

 

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