Department for the Study of Modern Rationality

The Department was founded by the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences in response to an urgent need within the Czech philosophical community. For 40 years Communism imposed restrictions and ideological distortion not only on philosophical research and debate, but also on translation and scholarly examination of philosophical texts. This not only created a serious vacuum and affected philosophical discussion, but at times eliminated the very possibility of conducting such discussion in an informed manner. The Department seeks to redress some of these deficiencies in the sphere of modern and contemporary philosophy. A guiding principle underlying its foundation and work is the assumption that basic traditions and areas in contemporary philosophy, be it Rationalism, Empiricism, Idealism, Positivism or Phenomenology, or theories of knowledge, mind, language, value, etc., have their roots in philosophy as it emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries, and that an understanding of their genesis is essential for any fruitful philosophical work. And since one of the consequences of the Communist era was the absence of adequate, at times of any, translations of major modern philosophical texts, the Department considers translation an important part of its task. Here it sees itself as serving the entire philosophical community, crucially so the universities, as well as the general public. The preparation of adequate translations cannot be left to the commercial sphere, nor, given its demands on time, energy and the need for collaboration between people from various areas, to philosophers engaged in full-time teaching. It is here that the Academy, as a research institution for the whole Czech Republic, plays an irreplaceable role. Closely connected with this activity is another crucial service provided by the members of the Department to the general philosophical community: preparation of secondary texts and 'companions' to important works, authors and issues in modern and contemporary philosophy, and the organisation of conferences devoted to them.

The work done by the members on translation often issues from and in turn nourishes their own work and publications, both philosophical and scholarly. Part of the strength of the Department is the large span of research interests of its members: in its historical and scholarly work it covers both British and Continental thinkers since the 17th century (Descartes, British Empiricists, Montesquieu, Kant, Hegel, Fichte, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, etc.); its philosophical work lies in both the Phenomenological and the Analytic tradition. Among the issues of interest to the members of the group is the nature of subjectivity and of the Self, the philosophy of common sense and language, ethics, and political philosophy. Since we are not just 'members' of the same department, but also friends and colleagues, there is mutual enrichment and broadening of perspectives. Members of the Department thus seek, both individually and as a group, to open up new discussions and to contribute to the ongoing ones. Central to this is establishing contacts with philosophers from abroad and bringing them to the Czech Republic. While most of them come for lectures, conferences, workshops, etc., we have also in the past been able to host scholars from abroad for longer periods, with the consequent deepening of the interaction and formation of new projects and friendships.

Long term projects: German Idealism, Central Problems in Modern Epistemology, Modern Normativity. Current grants and fellowships: Gutschmidt, H. 2017–2022 Jan Evangelista Purkynĕ Fellowship from the Czech Academy of Sciences (Project: From ‘Life’ to ‘The Life of the Spirit’. The Roots of Hegel’s Theoretical Philosophy in his Jena Period); Glombíček, P. (with H. Janoušek and T. Kunca) 2017-2019 Research Grant from the Czech Science Foundation (Project: On the Limits of Reason in the Age of Reason: Disputes in the 18th Century Philosophy); Jakub Trnka 2016-2020 Research Grant from the Czech Science Foundation (Project: The Philosophy of Erazim Kohák).

Selected publications from 2015–2019


Kuneš, Jan, Sobotka, Milan (transl.). Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. Fenomenologie ducha, Praha: Filosofia, 2019, 591 s. ISBN 978-80-7007-553-1.

Fořtová, Hana (transl.). Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Úvahy o polské vládě a o její zamýšlené reformě. Praha: OIKOYMENH, 2019. 150 s. ISBN 978-80-7298-291-2.

Fischer, N., - Reifenberg, P. - Sirovátka, Jakub (eds.). Das Antlitz des Anderen: Zum Denken von Emmanuel Levinas. Freiburg: Verlag Karl Alber, 2019. ISBN 978-3-495-49058-7.


Fořtová, Hana (transl.) Constant, Benjamin. Principy politiky, Praha: OIKOYMENH, 2018. 441 s.

Mihálik, Jakub. Zdravý rozum u Berkeleyho a Austina podle Marka Tomečka. Filosofický časopis. Roč. 66, č. 1 (2018), s. 97–108.


Trnka, Jakub. Kant a Husserl o zkušenosti. Praha: Filosofia, 2017.

Glombíček, Petr. Giambattista Vico. Jak se dnes studuje. Praha: Togga, 2017. 155 s.

Kuneš, Jan. Kantův morální zákon. Praha: OIKOYMENH, 2017. 115 s.

Trnka, Jakub. Dějinnost a racionalita v Husserlově pozdním myšlení. Filosofický časopis, 2017, roč. 65, č. 5, s. 721–738.


Bondeli, Martin, Chotaš, Jiří, Vieweg, Klaus (eds.). Krankheit des Zeitalters oder heilsame Provokation? Skeptizismus in der nachkantischen Philosophie. Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink, 2016. 293 s. Jena-Sophia. Abteilung 2, Studien, Band 14.

Schnell, Alexander, Kuneš, Jan (eds.). Bild, Selbstbewusstsein, Einbildung. Leiden: Brill, 2016. 234 s. Fichte Studien, 42.

Kuneš, Jan. Ragione e amore in Rousseau e Hegel. In Balestra, A., Piazzesi, Ch. (eds.). Eros e discorso amoroso. Pisa: ETS, 2015, s. 93–106.

Trnka, Jakub. Husserlovo absolutní vědomí. Filosofický časopis. 2016, roč. 64, č. 1, s. 45–57.

Glombíček, Petr. Filosofie mladého Ludwiga Wittgensteina. Červený Kostelec: Pavel Mervart, 2015. 211 s.


Beran, O. (transl.). Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Filosofické poznámky. Praha: Filosofia, 2015, 388 s. ISBN 978-80-7007-443-5.

Fořtová, H. (transl.). Montesquieu, Charles. O duchu zákonů II, Obrana ducha zákonů. Praha: OIKOYMENH, 2015, 583 s. ISBN 978-80-7298-196-0.

Glombíček, P., Thomas Reid. Malý Průvodce. Červený Kostelec: Pavel Mervart – Ostrava: Ostravská univerzita, 2015. 132 s. ISBN 978-80-7465-162-5; ISBN 978-80-7464-453-5.

Chotaš, J. – Prázný, A. – Hejduk, T. a kol. Moderní univerzita. Ideál a realita. Praha: Filosofi a, 2015, 438 s. ISBN 978-80-7007-419-0.