Nordic Network for German Idealism conference: Objective Spirit. Beyond recognition?; 30.10.-1.11.2009, Helsinki

Objective Spirit. Beyond recognition?

A conference of the NNGI (Nordic Network for German idealism)
Helsinki, 30.10 - 1.11.
Department of philosophy, University of Helsinki

One of the most important areas of interest of german idealist thinkers - and in particular of Hegel and Fichte - was the objective spirit, encompassing social and political philosophy and the philosophy of history. Some of the most important debates in social and political philosophy at the 20th century can be traced back to the question whether the objective spirit should be interpreted in a social or in a political framework. Is it enough to define the "social" through recognition? Or are there social phenomena (or phenomena of being-in-common) that recognition cannot seize, and that lay "beyond recognition"? If it is so, is this an accidental injustice that can be abolished, or an irreducible factor of human coexistence? And should the "political" be defined as the irruption of something that is denied recognition? Is it better to think politics as conflict or as consensus? What are the sources of the political in today's world?

Here are some themes that motivate the conference "The Objective Spirit. Beyond Recognition?"

The Nordic Network for German Idealism (NNGI) (ks. ) is a three-year research project funded by the Nordforsk (Nordic Research Board operating under the Nordic Council of Ministers). The project organises international conferences aiming at top-level research exchange and at research training for doctoral students from all of the five Nordic countries. The project welcomes all research on German idealist philosophy, not only on Hegel, Fichte and Schelling but also on their heritage from Kierkegaard until today's philosophy. The project's more specific focus is to evaluate a central idea of german idealism, "die Geisteswissenschaften", in today's context.

Program plan, changes possible

Friday 30 oct 2009

13 Conference opening
13.30 Karin de Boer: The Narrow Limits of Recognition in Hegel's Philosophy of Right
14.30 Estelle Ferrarese: Recognition, Struggle and the Political. What changes when the mode of acquiring recognition changes?
15.30 ********pause
16 Sari Roman-Lagerspetz: Can the political be understood in terms of recognition?
17 Tuija Pulkkinen TBA
18 TBA

Saturday 31 oct 2009

10 Italo Testa: "Embodiment and Fragmentation. From Recognition to Second Nature"
11 Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback TBA (The relation between the phenomenology of spirit and the spirit of phenomenology )
12 ********lunch
13.30 Morten Raffnsoe-Moller TBA (The political as conflictual common space in Taylor, Honneth and Hegel. Why objective spirit  is irreducible to either interpretation, recognition or subjectivity)
14.30 Katerina Deligiorgi : Wounds Healing: Form and Existence in Hegel's Objective Spirit
15.30 ********pause
16 Jorgen Huggler: Institutions or reconcillation. Conscience, Religion and the State in Hegel
17 Heikki Ikäheimo: Recognition in subjective and objective spirit

Sunday 1 nov 2009

10 Constantine Sandis and Arto Laitinen : Hegel on purpose
11 Stephen Houlgate: Action, Right and Morality in Hegel's Philosophy of Right
12 ********lunch

venue: Helsinki University Main Building, Fabianinkatu 33, lecture room 10.

For more information on the Helsinki conference please contact

·      Susanna Lindberg, Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki (susanna.lindberg(at)
·      Jussi Kotkavirta, Department of philosophy, University of Jyväskylä (jussi.kotkavirta(at)
·      Arto Laitinen, Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki (arto.laitinen(at)