Enlightenment, Democratic Rights and Alterity

In this public talk, Prof. Dr. Christine Abbt (University of Lucerne) traces how Enlightenment thinking continues to shape our views on democracy and alterity.

Datum: 7. Dezember 2018
Zeit: 18.15 Uhr bis 19.15 Uhr
Ort: 3.A05

Abstract Talk
Enlightenment is the way out of a person’s self-inflicted immaturity, Kant says. To this day, this definition has been a guiding principle. It is an invitation to emancipation and autonomy and at the same time an expression of sovereignty impregnated against all forms of irritation. In this lecture, Prof. Abbt will explore both understandings of enlightenment and discuss the democratic meanings of alterity understood as categorical unavailability.

CV Christine Abbt
Christine Abbt holds a SNSF Professorship of Philosophy at the University of Lucerne, where she co-directs also the Centre for Enlightenment, Critical Thinking, and Plurality. Her key research areas are: political philosophy, aesthetics, and epistemology. She is the author of Der wortlose Suizid. Die literarische Gestaltung der Sprachverlassenheit als Herausforderung für die Ethik [Suicide without Words: Literary Renderings of Missing Language as a Challenge to Ethics] (Fink, 2007), Ich vergesse. Über die Möglichkeiten und Grenzen des Denkens aus philosophischer Perspektive [I am Forgetting: On the Possibilities and Limitations of Thought Seen from a Philosophical Perspective] (Campus, 2016), and the co-editor of Schauspiel, Politik, Philosophie. Eine Auseinandersetzung mit Denis Diderots „Paradoxe sur le comédien“ (Schwabe, 2018). Currently she is writing a monograph on the relation between democracy and forms of non-identity during the Antiquity, the Enlightenment, and the Present.

This talk is one of two keynote speeches of the workshop "Alterity Revisited – A Closer Look at Transpositions of a Traveling Concept in the Humanities" that takes place at the University of Lucerne on December 7th and 8th. While his talk is open to a general public, the workshop is reserved for invited participants. Please also have a look at the keynote speech by Thomas Claviez titled "Alterity, Contingency, and the Difference of it All" which takes place the same day at 2.15 p.m.

Flyer Keynote Speeches "Alterity Revisited"