on the 4th International Conference
“Human Being in Contemporary Philosophical Conceptions”
The 4th International Conference “Human Being in Contemporary Philosophical Conceptions” was held on May 28-31, 2007 at Volgograd State University (Russia). The Forum was organized together with “Stefan cel Mare” University of Suceava (Romania), International Simeon Frank Philosophical Society, Russian Philosophical Society. Organizing Committee: Oleg Inshakov (chairperson), Nikolay Omelchenko (co-chairperson), Viorel Guliciuc (co-chairperson, Romania), Emilia Guliciuc (co-chairperson, Romania), Alexander Chumakov (co-chairperson, Moscow), Vyacheslav Gulyaikhin (secretary), Vassily Friauf (Saratov), Alexander Pigalev, Alexander Strizoe.
Since 1998 the conference has become a regular academic forum attended by Russian and international scholars. This time the conference was held under the patronage of UNESCO. This is a great honor and responsibility for us. In the letter to the organizers, Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura wrote: “I should like to congratulate you on this important initiative to promote philosophical reflection, which is one of the central objectives of UNESCO’s Intersectoral Strategy on Philosophy.”
The Organizing Committee has received about 500 papers from 77 Russian cities and about 70 papers from 24 countries, such as Armenia, Belarus, Botswana, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United States of America.
First of all, it is important to note the high quality of the presented papers. Their humanistic and optimistic orientation demonstrates that many scholars from different countries think about human existence in the terms of metaphysics of respect for a human being.
The 4th conference proceedings were published in four volumes before the beginning of the conference and were presented to participants at registration.
The format of the conference has also proved to be a success: daily plenary sessions in the morning, workshops – in the afternoon. The simultaneous translation of plenary sessions into three languages – Russian, English, French – was provided.
As part of the recreation program, the conference participants toured the city’s historic landmarks, took a trip on the boat along the Volga river at night, attended a concert of the folk group “Stanitsa” and watched Cossack dances and songs.
Another important feature of the conference is a traditional friendly atmosphere contributing to the fruitful exchange of ideas, to uninhibited and peaceful discussions and creative mood. The conference has become a fiesta of philosophical paradigms and a place to meet for interesting people.
The 30 minute-long plenary papers enabled the authors to present their basic ideas. There have been 26 plenary presentations according to the Conference Program.
The 4th conference was organized around two symposia: the first one – “Mythology and the Human Images” – was devoted to the 100-anniversary of the Romanian scholar Mircea Eliade, the second symposium – “Metaphysics and Anthropology of Simeon Frank” – was devoted to the 130-anniversary of the Russian thinker.
The working program included 14 workshops, round-tables, seminars and online sessions on the important issues of the philosophy of human being – a major focus of many disciplines. In fact, the conference has become interdisciplinary which ensures its attractiveness and prospects.
The following workshops operated during the 4th conference: 1) Metaphysics and Philosophical Anthropology, 2) Human Being in Social and Political Philosophy, 3) Philosophical and Social/Cultural Anthropologies, 4) Man in the Circle of Existentialism, 5) Phenomenology of Human Being, 6) Philosophical Anthropology, Psychology, Psychoanalysis, 7) Philosophy and Gender Research, 8) Values of Modern Individuals, 9) Heuristic Possibilities of Philosophical and Religious Anthropology, 10) Philosophy of Human Being and Philosophy of Language, 11) Humans in the Communicative Environment, 12) Humankind, Information Society and High Technologies, 13) Globalization and the Human Prospects, 14) New Approaches and Ideas in Research of Human Being.
The conference included round-tables organized by the editors of the journal “Philosophy and Society,” by the Presidium of the Russian Philosophical Society, and such as “Human Being and the Philosophy of Diversity”, “Human Being, Sign and Machine”, “Anthropological Prospects in the 21st Century.”
On the first day of the conference there was held an international meeting of women philosophers in support of the famous UNESCO’s initiative. Later the list of women philosophers was sent to the UNESCO office in Paris.
The Philosophical Studio of Oscar Brenifier (France) started its work on the third day of the conference. Its work continued even after the conference ended, as it turned out that many Russian teachers are interested in the French experience in practical philosophy and philosophical practice.
Two internet sessions have drawn much attention. For example, the conference participants who were in Romania and Botswana were able to present their papers and discuss them online (with the moderator being at the Internet-center of Volgograd State University).
Besides the conference participants attended the vernissage “Philosophy and Fractal Art” by the Romanian artist ViGuera, the Romanian photo exhibition “Life and Work of Mircea Eliade” and the book exhibition of the Oxford University Press (United Kingdom).
In conclusion, we would like to cordially thank Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO and his colleagues – especially Moufida Goucha and Pierre Sané – for the support of our forum.
Our special thanks for his consideration and help are extended to Mr. Grigory Ordzhonikidze, Executive Secretary of the National Commission for UNESCO at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
We greatly appreciate the contribution of Mr. Badarch Dendev, the Director of the UNESCO Moscow Office and Ms. Alla Ampar, Assistant to the Director for Social and Human Sciences.
The Organizing Committee highly appreciates financial support from the Russian Foundation for the Humanities and the Volgograd Region Administration.
Finally, we would like to thank all the conference participants; it is only due to their interesting reports and active participation that this forum became possible and we were able to convene this celebration of philosophy.
Hopefully, the 5th International Conference “Human Being in Contemporary Philosophical Conceptions” will be held in 2010 under the patronage of UNESCO as well.
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