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Critical Idealism and Messianism – From Hermann Cohen to Walter Benjamin and beyond

October 19, 2015 @ 8:30 am - October 20, 2015 @ 4:00 pm

19-20 October 2015

Aula Matassi Dipartimento di Filosofia, Comunicazione e Spettacolo Università degli Studi di Roma Tre Via Ostiense 234, Roma

Hermann Cohen was a leading figure and an inspirational source for a whole generation of German-Jewish thinkers from the late 19th to the early 20th century. Cohen’s epistemology – his critical idealism – has been crucial not only for other members of the Marburg School such as Paul Natorp and Ernst Cassirer, but for anyone convinced, as Cohen was, that pure thought is pure because its origin is entirely within itself. Starting from his epistemology – the idea as hypothesis – Cohen devises an ethics where moral progress occurs within the horizon of messianism.

Messianism and messianic temporality are cornerstones not only of Cohen’s ethics and philosophy of religion, but also for authors such as Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, Gershom Scholem, and Walter Benjamin. Although they were at times harshly critical of Cohen’s work, they still considered it fruitful and influential: Hermann Cohen was for them «the faithful guide, […] the one who by far surpassed in spiritual power all the other German professors of philosophy of his generation»—just to quote another representative of that same generation, Leo Strauss. Even today, Cohen’s legacy is anything but exhausted: new impulses for the 21st century are constantly growing in its track.

Organizers: Dipartimento di Filosofia, Comunicazione e Spettacolo, Università degli Studi di Roma Tre; Dipartimento di Filosofia e Scienze dell’Educazione, Università degli Studi di Torino (PRIN 2010-2011 “La riflessione morale di fronte al mind/body problem”); Hermann-Cohen-Gesellschaft, Zürich Organizing Committee: Tamara Tagliacozzo (Roma), Andrea Poma (Torino), Reinier Munk (Amsterdam), Irene Abigail Piccinini (Lecce)

Contact: rome2015@hermann-cohen-gesellschaft.org

conference flyer




October 19, 2015 @ 8:30 am
October 20, 2015 @ 4:00 pm