Department for the Study of Modern Czech Philosophy

The department’s research programme focuses on the history of Czech philosophy from the beginning of the 19th century through the end of the 20th century, within the broader context of European intellectual history. It works in areas that have been the object of considerable scholarly interest, like the thought of T. G. Masaryk and of the dissident movement, in addition to other fields that have often been largely ignored in recent Czech research, such as Marxism, Czechoslovak structuralism, and the legacy of Johann Friedrich Herbart. A number of projects are currently underway, involving original research as well as the publication of critical editions of important texts, on topics including varieties of Czechoslovak Stalinism and post-Stalinism, phenomenological Marxism, individualist philosophy, Hegelianism, anarchism, dissident thought and the “grey zone”, and conceptions of civil society. Over the past few years, our researchers have put out critical anthologies and collections of writers (including E. Bondy, K. Kosík, V. Gardavský, and I. Sviták); a number of scholarly studies, reviews, and monographs; translations of internationally important works; and the journal Kontradikce/Contradictions (http://kontradikce.flu.cas.cz/en). Department members regularly organize conferences, workshops, seminars, and public lectures for scholarly and non-scholarly audiences. They collaborate with researchers, universities, archives, and other research institutions in the Czech Republic and abroad. The scholars visiting our department include S. Azeri, D. Bakhurst, É. Balibar, M. Gubser, N. Karkov, S. R. Khan, J. Krapfl, A. Penzin, M. Postone, M. Rauszer, Z. A. Scarlett, Ch. Sypnowich, Z. Valiavicharska, R. Westerman, and J. A. Winters. The department was established in April 2013.

Our members currently participate in the following projects: 2023–2025 "A Genealogy of Czechoslovak Stalinism 1929–1953: Conceptualizations, Representations, Communications" CSF 23-07295S (Jan Mervart, Jiří Růžička, and Bohumil Melichar); 2023–2026 "Philosophy in Late Socialist Europe: Theoretical Practices in the Face of Polycrisis" CF104/15.11. 2022–2025 "Unorthodox Orthodoxes: Forgotten Quest for ‘Real’ Marxist Science in Eastern Europe” CSF 22-32285I (Monika Woźniak).

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