Levinas Philosophy Summer Seminar

Directed by Richard A. Cohen
July 8 to 12, 2013
Vilnius, Lithuania

Themes of the 2013 Seminar:

The ethical philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) represents one of the most profound and innovative contributions of 20th century thought. Levinas calls for a fundamental reorientation of life and thinking according to which not knowledge, or even aesthetics, but ethics – the elevation of the good – would be recognized as „first philosophy.” The defining mark of ethics, however, would no longer lie in a concern for self, for self-esteem or the quest for happiness. Rather ethics would originate in the more difficult primacy of the other person, as moral responsibility to and for the other person, to care for the other, and ultimately as responsibility to and for all others, the call of justice.

The Levinas Philosophy Summer Seminar is an annual one-week long summer seminar of research and discussion. The program begins July 2013, in Vilnius, Lithuania, birth country of Levinas. In the summer of 2014 it will be held in Buffalo, New York, USA. Each summer the focus will be on a different aspect of Levinas’s philosophy. The seminar is composed of ten invited scholars, selected from applicants from around the world, and is directed by Professor Richard A. Cohen. It is anticipated that at least one guest lecturer will also address the seminar.

Monday, July 8

Richard A. Cohen „Origin of Egoism in Self-Sensing”


Paul-Gabriel Sandu “Joy and its Morrows”, “The Love of Life” („Totality and Infinity”, 143-147 p.)

Lin Ma “Enjoyment and Separation” („Totality and Infinity”, 147-151 p.)

Levinas Philosophy Summer Seminar:

Monday, July 8th
Tuesday, July 9th
Wednesday, July 10th, „Levinas and aestetics”
Thursday, July 11th
Thursday, July 11th, „JOYFUL ETHICS”
Friday, July 12th

General Schedule of the first annual seminar, held in Vilnius, Lithuania, is as follows:

July 8th to 12th, 2013, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.
Mornings, 10:00 am to 12:30 pm: lecture by Richard A. Cohen and discussion.
Group lunch: 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm.
Afternoons: 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm: presentations by participants and discussions.
Group dinner at local restaurant: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
July 10th: Wednesday morning lectures by James McLachlan and Chung-Hsiung Rai on „Levinas and Aesthetics”, Afternoon trip to Kaunas
Thursday evening Roundtable Discussion: „Joyful Ethics”. Location: La Boheme, Vilnius. Open to the Public

2013 Participant Selected:

Prof. James M. McLachlan (Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, USA)
Prof. Chung-Hsiung (Raymond) Lai ( President of Philosophy Association of Tainan, Taiwan; Dean of College of Liberal Arts, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan).

Dr. Cyndie Sautereau (PhD, Philosophy, Laval University, Québec, Canada; Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Fonds Ricœur, Paris, France),
Dr. Irina Poleshchuk (PhD, Philosophy, Department of Social and Moral Philosophy, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Sweden; post-doctoral research, European Humanities University, Vilnius, Lithuania)
Assoc. Prof. Lin Ma (PhD, Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy, Catholic University, Louvain, Belgium; School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China (Beijing))
Viktoras Bachmetjevas (PhD graduate student of Philosophy at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania)
Nicole Guerriero (MA, Philosophy, University at Buffalo (SUNY), Buffalo, USA; Toronto, Canada)
Raluca Badoi (PhD graduate student of Philosophy, Department of European Studies, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
Prof. Igor Dukhan (PhD, Philosophy (Philosophy of Culture) and Architecture, Belarusian State University; Chair, Arts and Design, Belarusian State University, Minsk, Belarus)
Paul-Gabriel Sandu (PhD candidate in Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany;Romania)
Assoc. Prof. Abey Koshy (PhD, and Assoc. Prof, Philosophy, Dept. of Philosophy, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, India)
Mao Xin (MA, Theology and Religious Studies Department, PhD graduate student, Theology and Religious Studies, King’s College London, UK)

Jake Adair (BA student of Philosophy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA)
Olga Tomasello (BA student of Philosophy, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA)
Julija Tuleikyte (PhD graduate student of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania)

Transportation and housing are the responsibility of participants. Advice on Vilnius housing is available upon request.

Richard A Cohen is a world-wide recognized Levinas scholar. He is author of three books on Levinas: Elevations: The Height of the Good in Rosenzweig and Levinas (Chicago, 1994); Ethics, Exegesis and Philosophy (Cambridge 2001); and Levinasian Meditations: Ethics, Philosophy, and Religion (Pittsburgh, 2010). He is also English translator and/or editor of four of Levinas’s books (Time and the Other and Additional Essays; Ethics and Infinity; Discovering Existence with Husserl; New Talmudic Readings); editor of Face to Face with Levinas (Pittsburgh, 1986); co-editor of In Proximity: Emmanuel Levinas and the Eighteenth Century (Lubbock, 2001); and author of many articles on Levinas and modern and contemporary philosophy. He is Professor of Philosophy, acting Gordon and Gretchen Gross Professor of Jewish Studies, and Director of the Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage, at the University at Buffalo, and Director of the Levinas Center.

Locations: the July 8-12, 2013, Levinas Philosophy Summer Seminar will be held at the Jewish Culture and Information Center, located at 3a/5 Mesiniu St., Vilnius, Lithuania; Thursday evening roundtable at La Boheme.

Organizing Committee:
Professor Richard A. Cohen (University at Buffalo)
Dr. Jolanta Saldukaityte (Mykolas Romeris University)

The Levinas Center, Buffalo, New York, USA
Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA
Jewish Culture and Information Center, Vilnius, Lithuania

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