Conference: The Reception of American Pragmatism in Europe

The conference aims at exploring the different facets of the impact that American Pragmatism has had, has today and could still have on Europe.

There are three core inquiries:

1. First, the conference is interested in the changing cycles of the reception, from the European exorcizing of Pragmatism as a philosophy solely interested in the “cash value” of ideas to its appreciation as the paradigmatic philosophy in a plural and constantly changing world.

2. Second, it investigates how and to what extent we can speak of a unified European reaction to Pragmatism and, at the same time, expounds on episodes of a multifaceted reception that are characteristic of different regions in Europe (e.g. Southern, Central, Eastern Europe, the Nordic Countries, the British Isles, etc.).

3. Third, the conference explores the contributions that American Pragmatism can still make with regard to contemporary European challenges, from the political and economic relations between the EU and the United States, to the formation and the identity of a European community, from immigration to populism, from the crisis of democracy to new social movements, from current scientific and economic challenges to innovative and intelligent solutions for social life. In this context, the relationship between so-called American Pragmatism and Latin/South/Indigenous American philosophy can also be taken into consideration with the aim of gathering new and transformative insights for Europe.

For further information on the conference, please see here (Call for papers).

Place: Dewey-Center Switzerland, St. Gallen
Conference Date: June 6-8,2019
Contact: and

Workshop with Prof. Terrence Deacon

Further information: please click the poster for an abstract and details about the workshop organization.
All sections are based on papers or chapters (by Terrence Deacon) that are available for interested participants in advance.

Progamm of the workshop

Please register in advance at:

Location: FEST Heidelberg, Schmeilweg 5, 69118 Heidelberg
Date: 30th March 2019, 10am-6pm

Public Lecture: Terrence W. Deacon

The concept of human nature has been challenged by social scientists because of its inability to clearly delineate the distinction between the biologically inherited and experientially acquired attributes of being human. Yet the very fact of being susceptible to acquired cultural influences irrelevant to other species makes clear that this is an evolutionarily constrained susceptibility. Symbolic processes are the source of the most important and distinctively human acquired influences, and include both linguistically mediated and habitually reproduced social conventions. Susceptibility to these influences arose due to the evolution of neurological adaptations that support symbolic communication and cognition. Although human brains do not include any structures that lack ape homologues, the slight reorganization that made symbolic abilities ubiquitous has also created the possibility for socially transmitted information to radically reorganize mental functions. In this lecture I reanalyze the concept of symbolic reference in order to overcome equivocal and ambiguous uses of the concept that obscure the special nature of these adaptations and thus blind research to the complex bio-cultural interactions that produce some of the most ubiquitous and unprecedented features of being human. These include modifications
of memory functions, emotional experiences, the nature of identity, and the range of mental plasticity.

Location: Marsilius-Kolleg der Universität Heidelberg (Im Neuenheimer Feld 130.1)
Date: March 29th 2019, 6:00 pm
Organized by: FEST and GERPRAGNET in cooporation with Marsilius-Kolleg and Philosophisches Seminar, Universität Heidelberg

Vortrag Prof. Dr. Michael Hampe (ETH Zürich): Wahrheitspraktiken

(Beim Klicken auf das Bild werden Sie zum Video auf Youtube weitergeleitet)

Prof. Dr. Michael Hampe ist seit 2003 Professor für Philosophie an der ETH Zürich und im Wintersemester 2018/19 als visiting fellow an der FEST Heidelberg.
Es ist ein Charakteristikum moderner kritischer Philosophie, die Begriffe der absoluten Wahrheit und der absoluten Gewissheit in Frage zu stellen. Doch darf daraus nicht der Schluss gezogen werden, wir wüssten nicht, was wahr
sei. Tatsächlich verfügen wir über eine Reihe von bewährten Praktiken der Überprüfung von Behauptungen hinsichtlich ihres Wahrheitsgehaltes. Die Relevanz dieser Praktiken ist unabhängig von einer allgemeinen philo-sophischen Wahrheitstheorie. Wegen der politischen und kulturellen Bedeutung von Wahrheiten, die weit über die Bedeutung dieses Begriffs in den Wissenschaften hinausgeht, ist es wichtig, die Relevanz und das Funktionieren dieser Wahrheitspraktiken anzuerkennen und aus dem Scheitern allgemeiner philosophischer Wahrheitstheorien nicht die falschen Konsequenzen zu ziehen.

Vortragsreihe „Pragmatismus“ VHS München, November 2018

Im Rahmen des Semesterschwerpunktes „Amerika“ der MVHS  wird Dr. Martin Müller drei Vorträge zu bedeutenden amerikasnischen Pragmatisten halten:

9. 11. 2018: Charles Sanders Peirce und William James – Die zwei Wege des   klassischen Pragmatismus

16. 11. 2018: John Dewey und George Herbert Mead – Pragmatismus und Demokratie als Lebensform

23. 11. 2018: Richard Rorty und Hilary Putnam – Die Renaissance des Pragmatismus nach der sprachphilosophischen Wende

Beginn ist jeweils um 18:00 Uhr.
Ort: Gasteig, Rosenheimerstr. 5
Gebühr: 7 Euro

Weitere Informationen finden Sie unter den Verlinkungen auf der Webseite der VHS München.


Philip Kitcher: Truth and Science (public lecture)

The erosion of trust in the sciences raises three important questions.
1.Does scientific inquiry deserve the status it once enjoyed in democratic societies as a privileged source of truth?
2. What has happened to undermine its status in some areas of science and among some people?
3. If the turn against scientific authority is a mistake, what can be done to remedy it?

The lecturer will use the case of climate change (and climate inaction) to illustrate answers to the first two questions, and conclude with some brief reflections on the third.

(By clicking on the picture you will be redirected from to Youtube)

Location: Marsilius-Kolleg der Universität Heidelberg (Im Neuenheimer Feld 130.1)
Date: October 2nd 2018, 6:15 pm

Complete program of the group meeting.