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15.05.2018 11:14 Alter: 97 days

"Unity" between East and West

Call for Papers

Theme: "Unity" between East and West
Subtitle: Organic Totality from Muhammad Abduh to Post-Structuralism
Type: International Conference
Institution: Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST)
Location: Hawally (Kuwait)
Date: 7.–9.2.2019
Deadline: 15.10.2018

An organic concept of “unity” or “totality” has been expressed by
philosophers at all times and in all geographical regions. In the
Timaeus, Plato outlines a “supreme originating principle of Becoming
and the Cosmos” (Timaeus 29e) and concludes that the Cosmos
“resembles most closely that Living Creature of which all other
living creatures, severally and generically, are portions” (30c). The
idea of an organic unity appears in Plotinus (divine simplicity) and
in Spinoza. The Romantic quest for an immanent spirituality, which
saw nature as the mirror of a human-centered cosmos evokes still
another idea of unity. Philosophical descriptions of unity are also
very much present in non-Western philosophies. The Arab notion of
tawhid or the Oneness of God has been a main topic from Avicenna to
Muhammad Abduh. In Japan, Nishida Kitaro’s basho (place) is an
organic phenomenon holding together the manifold. Some of the most
straightforward elaborations of this thought come from Russian
philosophers living circa 1900 who established complex philosophies
around the idea of “All-Unity” (vseyedinstvo) or also that of
sobornost (spiritual community). Further, one can mention Bergson’s
durée pure, hermeneutic ways of dealing with the individual and the
general, or Derrida’s concept of play.

The conference is of strictly philosophical and not theological
nature. Parallels between traditions and the relevance of older
philosophies for the contemporary world should be emphasized. Every
presentation should be understandable for philosophers from other
fields because the purpose is to establish communications between
different traditions.

The organizers will select the most relevant contributions and pursue
a book publication.

Possible Sections

- Structures and rhizomes: unity and fragmentation in
- Unity in ancient Greek philosophy
- Plato an organicist?
- Unity in the social sciences
- Unity across philosophical cultures (comparative perspectives: East
 Asian, Arab, Russian…)
- Organic alternatives in aesthetics
- Unity versus totality. The danger of totalitarianism
- The Philosophy of Whitehead
- Gadamer and “organic hermeneutics”
- Organicism and “deep ecology” 
- The idea of unity in bioethics and health science
- Organic theories of state

The conference takes place in the conference center of the Gulf
University for Science and Technology (Kuwait), February 7-9, 2019.

Abstracts (300 words) due on Oct. 15, 2017.
Notification of acceptance: Dec. 1, 2017.

Conference fee: 25 KD (80 US$)

Scientific Committee

Thorsten Botz-Bornstein (GUST)
Kenneth Pak (GUST)
Jean-Etienne Joullié (GUST)
Marco Zuccato (GUST)
M.A.R. Habib (Rutgers/GUST)
Andrei Zavaliy (American University of Kuwait)


"Unity" between East and West Conference
Gulf University for Science and Technology
P.O. Box 7207
Hawally 32093