18th International Philosophy Colloquium Evian:
Contingency – Chance, Luck, Haphazardness
Evian (Lake Geneva), France
July 15-21, 2012
We invite proposals (maximum length: one page) for presentations, along with a short CV (maximum length: two pages), by March 15, 2012. Please send these documents via e-mail to the following address:
A detailed exposition of the topic and all relevant information concerning the character and history of the colloquium as well as matters of accommodation and costs can be found on our website:
Contingent is what could be otherwise or not exist at all: It is thus what is neither necessary nor impossible. What is contingent is that which is not completely determined by logical or metaphysical principles, or else by fate or divine providence. That is, what is contingent belongs to the realm of what is changing or changeable; it is, therefore, a realm into which human actions inherently fall. Because human actions take place in the realm of the contingent, every practical self-reflection is confronted with contingency as an inherent problem. Practical reason, rational planning, and free deliberation are bound up with the uncontrollable contingency of chance, luck, and haphazardness: chance, because the consequences of action cannot be completely anticipated or explained given the unforeseeable effects of accidental causes that condition or help to shape the outcomes of our actions; luck, because the realization of intended goals or attitudes can often come about only with the world playing along, i.e., only through the coincidence of events behind the backs of agents; and haphazardness, because the good life itself, framed by the decisive or fateful events of birth and death, always has to reckon with the happening of events large and small that continually break into our lives and affect them going forward, so that one needs luck (fortuna, Glück, chance) for attaining happiness (beatitudo, Glück, bonheur) in a way that challenges our conceptions of virtue and justice.
What is the significance of contingency for the self-understanding of human beings in their practices? The 18th International Philosophy Colloquium Evian invites philosophers to come to the shores of Lake Geneva to examine the concept of contingency in all the different and possibly incompatible ways in which this concept can be considered and determined. The International Philosophy Colloquia Evian welcome philosophers who are interested in engaging in discussion across traditional disciplinary boundaries. They are conceived particularly as a place where the divide between continental and analytic philosophy is overcome, or at least where their differences can be rendered philosophically productive.
Passive comprehension of all three languages of the colloquium, namely French, German, and English, is a prerequisite for all applicants.
Organisation: Georg W. Bertram (Berlin), Robin Celikates (Amsterdam), David Lauer (Berlin)
In cooperation with Karin de Boer (Leuven), Karen Feldman (Berkeley), Jo-Jo Koo (Montreal), Christophe Laudou (Madrid), Jérôme Lèbre (Paris), Diane Perpich (Clemson), Hans Bernhard Schmid (Wien), Chris Doude van Troostvijk (Strasbourg)
Contact: Prof. Dr. Georg W. Bertram, Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Philosophie, Habelschwerdter Allee 30, D-14195 Berlin, Germany