WORKSHOP | Thinking the Border with Fink and Nishida (working title)

June 2023

December 7-8, 2023

While the phenomenon of the border may initially evoke associations of barriers and fences, such images of territorial closure and rejection don’t do justice to the phenomenon’s complexity. Borders de-fine by establishing differences between the inner and the outer. As the place of difference, the border both separates and connects and is thus the locus of encounter with the Other. Therefore, interrogating the phenomenon of border always also entails an inquiry into the possibilities of individual and collective self-realization. Consequently, the concept of the border can be used to address fundamental questions of identity and non-identity, but also of social, political and pedagogical coexistence, as well as ecology.

In practical as well as theoretical dialogue the notion of border is a key element. It furthermore is a central topic of intersubjectivity, interculturality and interdisciplinarity. Both in Europe and East Asia the philosophy of the 20th century has provided rich material for a new definition of the border, which, grounded in lived experience, questions the traditional European orientation towards concepts of identity. The German philosopher Eugen Fink redefined the border from the horizontal field, inside of which we live, to that, which encompasses and transcends our living environment, thus laying a new foundation for social philosophy and pedagogy. In a similar vein, Kitaro Nishida, the founder of the Japanese Kyoto School, redefines the relationship between the individual and the general by showing how the two constantly interpenetrate in experience. The workshop confronts these conceptions of the border, developed independently in East and West, and explores how they can be made fruitful for pedagogical and social/environmental issues. 

Contact person:

Associate Prof. Dr. Hans Rainer Sepp, Charles University

CENTRAL partners:

Prof. Dr. Malte Brinkmann, Humboldt-Universität Berlin

Prof. Dr. Hisaki Hashi University of Vienna