WARSAW SUMMER HEGEL AND MARX SCHOOL 2013 – The First Workshops: Hegel’s Dialectic and the Method of „Das Kapital”


The First Workshops: Hegel’s Dialectic and the Method of ››Das Kapital‹‹
22-26 September 2013, University of Warsaw


  • University of Warsaw: Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology
  • The Hegel and Marx Society of Poland
  • Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung

Workshops’ Topic:

The reception of Marx’s (and also Hegel’s) philosophy in Poland and other post-communist countries has long been burdened with an anathema of a political and historical nature. However, internationally, the contemporary social sciences see Marx as a crucial reference, one of the founding fathers of those disciplines. It is therefore high time to bring the reflection on Marx and Hegel and, more importantly, thinking along the lines of Marx and Hegel back to this part of Europe. It is particularly urgent as policy makers, as well as the public opinion, remain theoretically and practically disarmed in the face of the world’s structural crisis.

The rationale for the workshops is not in the history of ideas or philosophy. Instead, Hegel and Marx are the key to conceptualising the core of actual reality. They pioneered in the critical, theoretical and multidisciplinary investigation of capitalism. The idea of the annual Warsaw Summer Hegel and Marx School, then, is to analyse Hegel’s and Marx’s concepts as they were developed, for the purpose of normative-critical understanding of modernity, the social being and capitalism.

The first workshops are of a methodological character. We seek to reconstruct their respective social-political philosophies, hoping to uncover their heuristic potential – a reconstruction which welcomes the conceptualisation of breaks, leaps, discontinuities, tensions and contradictions present in their work. In times of worldwide economic crisis we ask about the ontological status of capitalism. That’s why we call for re-thinking and re-creating the dialectical – based on the idea that contradictions create the core of reality – methodology of synthetic, philosophical theories of capitalism in order to confront it with the “thing itself”.

Organisational Matters:

The workshops will be held in Kuklówka (www.oswkuklowka.pl), a lovely little place outside Warszawa, between the 21st (arrival) and 27th (departure) of September.

I. For each of four workshop’s days, one of the tutors chooses a problem or a topic. They prepare an introductory speech and readings (the participants should get the list of texts a month before the workshops start), much like a seminar in which the other tutors take part as well. This takes up the first part of a day (circa 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.). The second part (4 p.m. – 8 p.m.) will be an afternoon seminar – prepared by another tutor – somehow related to the morning session. The third part (after 9 p.m.) is for individual consultations with tutors to choose sub-topics for articles (there is an option for the participants to write an article in cooperation with a tutor, selected articles will be published as part of a book). The evening creates also a possibility of viewing experimental movies and multimedia presentations (prepared among others by doctoral students of Universität der Künste Berlin).
Every day new teachers start the cycle.
The fifth, last day of the workshops is divided into two parts. The morning session (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) gives an opportunity for participants to present their papers which could be a point of departure for articles in the projected book (the coordinators should be informed a couple of weeks before the workshops about the planned presentation of a paper). The afternoon session (4 p.m. – 8 p.m.) will conclude the previous days’ consultations.

II. Recruitment: CV, motivation letter and proficiency in English (passive and active skills) will be taken into account. The deadline for applications is 15 July.
30 participants will be accepted (students/doctoral students/postdocs/recognized researchers) from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland. Travel and accommodation expenses are covered (we can buy airline/train tickets or, if preferred, we can reimburse you – for details please contact us first). Students/PhD students can earn 3 ECTS points.

III. The tutors are: Christopher Arthur (Sussex, UK), Riccardo Bellofiore (Bergamo, Italy), Agata Bielik-Robson (Warszawa, Poland; Nottingham, UK), Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer (Leipzig, Germany), Massimiliano Tomba (Padova, Italy), Monika Bobako (Poznań, Poland), Michał Kozłowski (Warszawa, Poland), Janusz Ostrowski (Warszawa, Poland).

IV. The topics are: 1. Christopher Arthur: Systematic Dialectic; 2. Riccardo Bellofiore: Lost in translation? The Marx-Hegel connection in ››Das Kapital‹‹, volume I, chapters 1-5; 3. Agata Bielik-Robson: Marx and the Saving Critique of Religion; 4. Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer: Making forms of collective action explicit. Hegel, Marx, and the logic of a social science; 5. Massimiliano Tomba: Hegel-Marx disconnections; the lesson will be organised in two parts – 1) Marx’s Randglossen zu Adolph Wagners, in these notes Marx explains that his analysis does not set out either from the concept of value or from the concept of commodity, but from the commodity in its concreteness [Konkretum der Ware]; 2) consideration of the relationship between the worker and the employer in Hegel’s Philosophy of right (par. 67) on one side and in Marx’s criticism of Hegel (MECW, vol. 36, p. 178) on the other side; 6. Monika Bobako: Religion and Secularization; 7. Michał Kozłowski: Agency of the dominated in Hegel and Marx; 8. Janusz Ostrowski: Marx between Schelling and Hegel: from the critique of ideology to the critique of political economy.

Submissions may be sent by email or regular post to:
Janusz Ostrowski Ph.D.
President of the Hegel and Marx Society of Poland (pthm.org.pl)
University of Warsaw, Institute of Philosophy
Chair for Social Philosophy
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 3
PL 00-927 Warszawa
(I) (+48) 22 552 01 40
(M) (+48) 609 293 067

Organisational Committee:

Katarzyna Bielińska, Natalia Juchniewicz, Michał Kozłowski, Konstanty Szydłowski, Agata Kowalewska (vice-coordinator), Janusz Ostrowski (coordinator).

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