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Volume 7: no. 1/2023
Philosophy and the Urban Everyday [EXTENDED DEADLINE: March 31st, 2023]

It is not a gross exaggeration to state that philosophy is an inherently urban phenomenon to a large extent. Born and largely practiced in the Greek polis, it was developed throughout the ages in various places that more often than not were situated within city walls. Even if, udoubtedly, philosophy has never been limited solely to urban spaces, it has become more and more embedded in cities over the centuries. Consequently, from the nineteenth century on it has been part and parcel of the intellectual life whose main centers have been towns since it has been almost exclusively researched on and taught within academic institutions.

However, these circumstances have passed unnoticed by philosophers for a long time as if the cityscape in which they lived and worked were only an everyday backdrop of their activity, a background whose down-to-earth, practical dimension made it separated from the kingdom of theory and, hence, philosophically uninteresting.

This approach has recently changed and the city has been, so to say, discovered as an object of philosophical considerations. The conjunction “philosophy and the city” or – which seems to be even more inspiring – the concept of “the philosophy of the city”  have emerged, gaining popularity quite rapidly as it is proved by, for example, a number of recently published books as well as of special issues of philosophical journals.

“Metrosophy” – to use the felicitous term suggested by D. Kischik in his article published in “New York Times” (July 6, 2015) – is a multifaceted project. On the one hand, it is oriented toward identifying “philosophy and the city” motives in “classic to contemporary” writings; on the other hand, it aims at offering philosophical analyses of an immense variety of aspects of cities, while the latter are approached as spaces shaped by material and social factors as much as objects of individual and collective experiences.

An adage verging on triviality is that the future will be that of metropolises. In fact, according to different estimates eagerly mentioned in the introductory chapters of all the books on the present and the future of cities, the number of people living in cities (or rather mega-cities) will outgrow that of people living in non-urbanized areas in a very short time. This implies that cities are about to become everyday enviroments for the majority of several billions of people around the world.

It is true that everyday life has been long analyzed in the humanities and social sciences, and so has been the urban space. Yet, despite that these two strands of research have repeatedly overlapped, focusing on everyday life in the city seems to require much more than their collaboration.

Philosophy together with its potential to ask fundamental questions concerning aesthetics, environment, ethics, politics, society, technology, law etc. offers a good ground to consider the particular nexus between everyday life and the city, or to put it differently – the urban everyday which, as it has just been said, is going to be one of the major factors shaping the future world.

It may be added that within the array of possible philosophical approaches to the urban everyday a priveleged place is occupied by aesthetics. This comes as no surprise since architecture is one of the traditional aesthetic topics, not to mention the fact that towns, together with their buildings, streets, squares and parks perforce offer daily aesthetic experiences. Yet, it is noteworthy that the interest in aesthetics within the “philosophy of the city” framework is fuelled by, among other things, a deep and important change within aesthetics over the last decades. Thanks to a number of philosophers interested in moving beyond the traditional boundaries of the field aesthetics has turned to objects and categories hitherto excluded as having little or nothing in common with the aesthetic. It suffices to mention two examples particularily to the point in the present context: the environment, be it natural or humanized and the everyday (banal, familiar, routine). At the same time and regardless of the abovementioned changes of the concept of the aesthetic has broadened its limits in such a way as to be seen as an important element or aspect of the political, the social, the ethical.

It seems uncontroversial that everyday life – as we all know it and as it is getting more and more urbanized –is a rich source of aesthetic experiences, positive or negative, which are inherent to our daily activities taking place in private or public spaces and inevitably having economic, political, social as well as ethical meanings, Hence, the aesthetic seems to be a promising point of departure or key to understand the everyday to-come.

We invite submissions offering philosophical analyses of the everyday in urban contexts and are particularily interested in papers exploring the multifaceted character of the aesthetic in the context of contemporary urban practices and processes such as: gentrification, quotidian architecture, social activism, street art, migration, utopian and anti-utopian thinking, climate change, non-human presence. Other topics are also welcome.

As an academic journal we expect well-researched, in-depth analyses fulfilling the standards provided for academic contributions. In accordance with the profile of our journal we are open not only to purely philosophical essays but also to contributions from other cultural disciplines. Papers can be submitted by March 31st, 2023to: eidos.ed@uw.edu.pl

They have to be previously unpublished and they cannot be under consideration for publication elsewhere. They should be prepared for a double-blind review process. Please, make sure that your paper complies with our submission standards which are posted here.

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Volume 7: no. 2/2023
The Power of Taste

There is no doubt the category of taste is among the most important categories for philosophical reflection on culture. As much as there is no doubt that culture as such is permeated by phenomena either articulated in, constituted, or simply recognized by taste. In the common, everyday language, “taste” is often treated as being synonymous with “preference,” “fashion,” and “style” even though these four categories clearly are not synonyms. Does the category of taste refers to a particular, clearly distinguished realm of phenomena and a semantic field correlated with the former? Or is it simply the most general of all mentioned above categories?

On the one hand, there is a tendency to limit the meaning of the concept of taste to a particular kind of sensations. In this way it becomes levelled down to a purely physiological category. As we know humans can distinguish five types of taste (i.e., bitter, salty, sour, sweet, umami) by using their taste buds. But can we say that the way taste buds work have autonomous character, working as if beyond or before culture and different nutritional customs?

On the other hand, the category of taste gets a much broader and more fundamental sense – it becomes an axiological category related to all human activities. As we can read, for example, in Urban Dictionary: “Taste – an expression meaning something is excellent, cool or otherwise good.” In this sense it is identical with “the highest form of praise possible for an individual/object/activity.” However, it should not be identified with an arbitrary caprice (it seems that nowadays it is too hastily reduced either to ever more sophisticated sensations, or simply to fashion). Rather it should be based on a particular kind of axiological sensitivity, on a well-developed capacity to recognize the value of objects, persons, and their acts. As such – as we know already from Immanuel Kant – taste is always grounded in a certain (at least implicit) community of understanding. Thus understood it can be an effective tool for orientation in contemporary culture where all ethical frameworks appear as either too oppressive (as Nietzsche had already diagnosed) or too transient. Furthermore, taste has a magical power of connecting sensual and spiritual dimensions of ourselves.

In this issue of Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture we want to analyze the whole plurality of meanings of the category of taste, to point out all spheres where it is and/or should be operative – from physiology to axiology, from food to artistic creations, from fashion to intellectual activity and its effects. We want also reflect on the status of taste: is it purely subjective, objective, relational, or relative and always (culturally) contextualized? We invite submissions offering analysis of these and other topics.

As an academic journal we expect well-researched, in-depth analyses fulfilling the standards provided for academic contributions. In accordance with the profile of our journal we are open not only to purely philosophical essays but also to contributions from other cultural disciplines. Papers should be submitted by April 30th, 2023 to: eidos.ed@uw.edu.pl

They have to be previously unpublished and they cannot be under consideration for publication elsewhere. They should be prepared for a double-blind review process. Please, make sure that your paper complies with our submission standards which are posted here.

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Volume 7: no. 3/2023
Science and Religion

Science and religion are complex cultural phenomena, which bear on our understanding of the world, life, consciousness, agency, morality, as well as all other fundamental issues human beings puzzle over. There exists a longstanding question about whether science and religion, and the responses they offer to these issues, are complementary or in conflict.

The conflict narrative, championed for example by the New Atheists, emphasizes discrepancies between scientific and religious explanations and typically advances methodological, ethical, and ontological naturalism as providing us with the only adequate means of addressing the big questions humanity faces. The complementarity narrative, without denying the advances of the natural sciences, tends to take the view that it is possible to retain elements of a religious worldview alongside the discoveries of natural science.

A traditional focus in the European context has been on the viability of certain ethical ideas whose original justification was arguably based in Christianity, such as human dignity, moral equality, and the centrality of humility, compassion and sacrifice. Another focus has been on whether putatively Christian conceptions of love as ideally unconditional and selfless are justifiable within a non-religious framework. A third focus has been on whether art has a role to play as a substitute or successor to religion, either through imparting some special form of knowledge, or as a means of inculcating moral and cultural values more generally.

By contrast the Anglo-American tradition has tended to consider the metaphysical implications of naturalism for the religious world view. Some of the important questions addressed in this strand of the debate include whether the universe is causally closed, and if so whether this is compatible with the existence of supernatural phenomena such as immaterial souls or divine intervention.

One of the striking features of this debate is that it divides thinkers in unexpected and unfamiliar ways. Some religious thinkers argued that valuable aspects of religious life are inseparable from belief, and have thus been led to conclude that belief remains indispensable.  Others have held that religion can bequeath precious ideals and practices to secular culture.  Non-religious thinkers may think that the persistence of religiously influenced ways of life in the absence of belief is invidious, or that this would be desirable but is impossible to maintain, or that it is both possible, and an important objective. These distinctions disrupt standard categorisations of thinkers into pro- and anti-religion camps.

Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture invites contributions which engage with these and connected themes including challenges to methodological, ethical, and ontological naturalism; possible advantages of supernaturalist and non-supernaturalist positions in these areas; the epistemological value of religious belief; the sources of morality; the metaphysics of the self; the possibility of empirical/scientific theology; and the possibility of a purely scientific/naturalistic culture.

Contributions can be submitted by July 31st, 2023 to: eidos.ed@uw.edu.pl

They have to be previously unpublished and they cannot be under consideration for publication elsewhere. They should be prepared for a double-blind review process. Please, make sure that your paper complies with our submission standards which are posted here.

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General CFP

Apart from Calls for Papers to thematic sections, Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture invites, on a continuous basis, all high-quality papers which address topics relevant for philosophy of culture. Contemporary culture can be characterized as highly complex, dynamic if not aporetic: as a realm of ever changing conceptual and axiological frameworks, and of plural or even competing meanings. In this perspective, what is needed is constantly renewed philosophical reflection, which not only addresses but also interprets and makes sense of different cultural processes. For philosophy of culture itself demands (perhaps, more than ever before) a form of deepened meta-reflection, which confront the problems of its essence, methods, and a role it should play. Therefore, we welcome both: original analyses of contemporary cultural phenomena and methodological considerations on the current status of philosophy of culture and its relations to other philosophical disciplines as well as to the humanities in general.

We also encourage submissions of book reviews and discussion pieces devoted to contemporary issues and events in philosophy for the “Discussion Papers, Comments, Book Reviews” section. The essays for this section are not subject to the peer-review process. They are only subject to editorial assessment.

All papers should be submitted as an e-mail attachment to: eidos.ed@uw.edu.pl.

The essays have to be previously unpublished and they cannot be under consideration for publication elsewhere. They should be prepared for a double-blind review process. Please, make sure that your paper complies with our submission standards which are posted here.

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