International Online Conference on Philosophical Practice at SUSU Gathered 500 Participants from 52 Countries
The number of the officially registered participants of the conference amounted to 500 people from 52 countries from around the world, with the majority of them representing Russia, and a smaller number of people representing India. It is worth noting that active interest was demonstrated by philosophers from Mexico, Spain, Finland, Italy, Peru, South Korea, Argentina, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Japan, Great Britain, and the U.S..
The goal of the conference was, in the time of the pandemic, to provide the practicing philosophers from around the world with a chance to exchange their experience of working by means of scientific and popular-science events, which would demonstrate those interested from the public audience what philosophical practice is, what the goals, principles, and methods of the work of our main philosophical-practice fields are, what intellectual creativity potential this work has, and in what way the philosophical practice correlates and interacts with the academic philosophy.
The conference received high accolades in the Russian scientific space: the project was granted financial support by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research in the contest of the "Best Projects of Organizing Online Conferences to Be Held in the Second Half of 2020".
The scientific event was held in a virtual space of the GoogleMeet platform. The main organizer of the conference was the Department of Philosophy of the Institute of Media, Social Sciences and Humanities of South Ural State University. The conference program was event-packed. Over the four days 3-panel discussions, 19 lectures, and 16 masterclasses and workshops were held.
At the conference, the world's leading practicing philosophers offered their lectures and master classes: Ora Gruengard (Israel), Pia Houni (Finland), Aleksandar Fatic (Serbia), Leon de Haas (the Netherlands), Nikolai Omelchenko (Russia), Lydia Amir (Israel), Alexandra Konoplyanik (Russia/Great Britain), Oscar Brenifier (France), Michael Weiss (Norway), Leon de Haas (the Netherlands), Jose Barrientos (Spain).
Sergei Borisov, Director of the Practical and Applied Philosophy Research and Education Centre of the SUSU Institute of Media, Social Sciences and Humanities, Professor of the Department of Philosophy, Doctor of Sciences (Philosophy):
"Now we see the real picture and the scale of interest to philosophical practice around the world: the participants' statistics speaks for itself. All those willing could take part absolutely free of charge, and the conference has opened up new opportunities for collaboration. If foreign philosophical practice associations used to look at Russia as at a "terra incognita" before, now they start seeing it as a reliable platform for productive work in this field of philosophy."
Michael Noah Weiss, Norway (moderator of Panel discussion: Philosophical Practice and Bildung), Candidate of Sciences (Engineering), Associate Professor of the Department of Educational Science at University of South-Eastern Norway, Doctor of Philosophy, editor of The Socratic Handbook, and Vice-Chair of the Norwegian Society for Human Rights in 2015-2019:
"Philosophical practice plays an important role in a modern university. It is sort of a Bildung ("training", "educating" from German): philosophical practice aims not just at forming certain knowledge and skills, but rather at developing of virtues. In the context of philosophical practice, the center stage is taken not by education itself as a process, but by the subject of educational activity independently building his/her own educational path."
Jose Barrientos Rastrojo, Spain (lecture on How is Philosophical Practice working with people at risk of social exclusion and on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)?; moderator of Panel discussion: Philosophical Practice in Prison: BOETIUS Project), Doctor of Philosophy, Professor of University of Seville, Spain; editor in chief of international philosophy journal Hase (Seville, Spain, Scopus); head of a unique research project on Philosophical Practice in Prisons (BOECIO) and a project on working with children at risk and elderly people (DIÓGENES):
"As philosophers, we are held responsible. This responsibility goes far beyond the academic environment. We are responsible for the most vulnerable social groups: prisoners, people suffering from diseases, and women. As practicing philosophers we can help people in need to understand the meaning of their life and establish efficient communication with the world. And to lighten things up a bit, I've got a funny proposition: the Russian team really should file an application for the Guinness Book of Records for holding two Philosophical Practice conferences in a row!"
Lydia Amir, Israel, France (lecture on the Usefulness of Philosophy—Meaning, Happiness, and Misery), Professor of Philosophy, President of the Israeli Association for Philosophical Practice, a lecturer at Tufts University (Boston, U.S.)
"We don't get younger. We must leave something worthy of ourselves after we're gone. Moreover, today not only the academic philosophy adds something to philosophical practice, but the philosophical practice, too, opens new horizons for classical philosophy. In this context, a contract has been signed with Lexington Press's academic publishing house on the edition of a series of books on philosophical practice. We invite all the practicing specialists to collaborate!"
Elena Grednovskaiia, Head of the Department of Philosophy, Candidate of Sciences (Philosophy):
"The mission of philosophers is to create a free space for thinking and "keep" it for all those who wish to enter it, develop, and achieve harmony and balance with oneself and with the world. The ancient philosophers called this speculative space "not to cry, not to laugh, but to understand". It's really good that we have tried to do just that at this time when it is especially needed. And the fact that our team was rewarded with a big round of applause from the participants at the closing of the conference (just like when a plane lands safely), proves that we have succeeded in it!"
The information support for the event was rendered by the SUSU Institute of Open and Distance Education, the SUSU Office of Internet Portals and Social Media, and SUSU-TV Television and Radio Company.
A collection of video materials of the conference will be prepared and presented soon; and a special issue of the Society and Power Journal (listed by the State Commission of Academic Degrees and Titles) with the best conference proceedings will be released in October 2020.
A full article about the conference will be available on the website of the SUSU SMART University newspaper.
Provided by South Ural State University