SAINT-PETERSBURG BRANCH
OF THE RUSSIAN INSTITUTE FOR CULTURAL RESEARCH

russian


NEWSHOMEDEPARTMENTSEVENTSCONTACT USUNESCO Chair

RESEARCHES

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Congresses and conferences proceedings

PROJECTS



International Journal of Cultural Research


Biennale

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SYMBOLS, IMAGES AND STEREOTYPES OF CONTEMPORARY CULTURE (PDF ) (3.1 mb) (PDF ) (2.3 mb) (PDF ) (3.4 mb)

VII International Symposium on Philosophy and Theory of Culture

Arranged by the St.Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research of the Russian Federation Ministry of Culture and Russian Academy of Sciences, The Philosophical and Cultural Research Center "Eidos" of the St. Petersburg Association of Scientists and Scholars

under the auspices of UNESCO

August 25-30, 1999, St.Petersburg, Russia

This Symposium marks the 275th Anniversary of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the historical building of the St. Petersburg Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences. It continues a series of international symposia and conferences organized and realized by the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research and the Philosophical and Cultural Research Centre «Eidos» in the framework of a long-term scientific research and organizational program of the International Centre for Fundamental Studies in Contemporary Culture. Among these were three International Conference’s on Philosophy and Culture "Language and Text: Ontology and Reflection" (17-21 August, 1992); "Paradigms of Philosophizing" (10-15 August, 1995); "Issues of Communication in Contemporary Culture" (17-21 September, 1998); and the Symposia "In the Labyrinths of Culture" (1997),"Reflections on Chaos" (1997) "Cultural Studies: Issues of Interdisciplinarity" etc. The materials of each meeting are published in the thematic issues of the International Readings in the Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture.
Modernity in all its aspects always presents the biggest difficulties for scholarly examination; but at the end of the XX century the state of society, man, and culture proves to be so «kaleidoscopic», controversial, and multi-faceted that those who attempt to study it often end up with totally opposing opinions.
Today, human beings deal with serious shifts in the paradigmatic system of co-ordinates in respect to their values and orientation. With all the flexibility of this system, a certain caution is needed to preserve its vital power which is based upon the principal differentiation between modes of ‘ascending’ and ‘descending’. Ignoring of, or insensibility to, this differentiation, means all forms of ontological indifference end up with orientation crisis, with total disappearance of purpose in human life, with existential emptiness.
The on-going search for new possibilities of a productive syntheses of philosophic, scientific, artistic and religious experience in modern culture demands methodologically-accurate research practices that must include very deep attention to the underlying space of traditions.
Comparative analysis of diverse cultural and historical forms of interaction among philosophy, science, art and religion gives a possibility to adequately evaluate the increasing longing for unity in modern culture, as well as to see a certain meaning in the dissipational processes in culture, together with the crises in values and orientation that they bring about.
As opposed to past epochs when culture was dominated by steady, long-established tendencies, modern culture is characterized by an increasing dynamism, the appearance of totally new directions and streams, the non-trivial basic interaction of different spheres and fields, and the elimination of the borders between «low» and «high» genres. All this makes the structure of modern cultural processes very complex and heterogeneous, and requires research attention from the position of comparative analysis with the aim to reveal different layers of cultural idiosyncrasies and the creative potentialities of intercultural dialogue. External intensity of modern cultural processes leads to the issue of the inner constants of culture per se, about those ultimate images, meanings and symbols that determine the ontological and existential dimensions of man in the world, that crystallize the space of man’s existence.
The major aim of the Symposium is to promote a multi-faceted space of information and communication that will facilitate the dynamics of interdisciplinary studies and their epistemological and heuristic value. The understanding of an inner unity of culture and dialogue assists in the assertion of ontological resistance of modern culture to all kinds of violence, revealing its creative, harmonizing potentials and perspectives of a Culture of Peace.
Facilitation of understanding cultural processes in their involved dynamic pattern, research into the ethical aspects of human activities, individual freedom and responsibility in contemporary culture in the conditions of society based on information are the main objectives of our project and we believe that their spirit is undoubtedly close to the targets and objectives the UNESCO seeks to pursue.

TOPICS

The Conference is characterized by an open, interdisciplinary atmosphere. It brings together philosophers, philologists, psychologists, historians, experts on cultural studies, artists, writers, cultural managers, etc. Selected contributions will be published with UNESCO financial assistance in a forthcoming special issue of International Readings in the Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture, Volume ¹7.
The work of the Conference is including daily Plenary Sessions and Parallel Sessions for presentations and the ensuing discussions.

Plenary Sessions and Parallel Sessions

  1. Symbols, Images and Stereotypes - Philosophical & Metaphysical Experience
  2. Symbols, Images and Stereotypes - Social & Historical Experience
  3. Symbols, Images and Stereotypes - Mythological & Ethnographic Experience
  4. Symbols, Images and Stereotypes - Poetical & Artistic Experience
  5. Symbols, Images and Stereotypes - Existential & Religious Experience

Round Table

Toward a Peace Culture: HOPES OF PEACE AND WAR SYMBOLS IN 20TH CENTURY CULTURE
The work of the Conference includes daily Plenary Sessions and Parallel Sessions for presentations and the ensuing discussions ( 40 minutes for Key Speakers and about 30 minutes for other presentations).
more infomation (PDFPDF)(308 kb) (PDFPDF)(128 kb)


INTELLECT, IMAGINATION, INTUITION:REFLECTIONS ON THE HORIZONS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
(PHILOSOPHICAL & PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES) (PDF ) (2.6 mb) (PDF ) (2.4 mb)

Arranged by the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research of the Russian Federation Ministry of Culture and Russian Academy of Sciences & The Philosophical and Cultural Research Center "Eidos" of the St. Petersburg Association of Scientists and Scholars

under the auspices of UNESCO

The Symposium continues a series of international conferences and symposia organized and convened by the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research and the Philosophical and Cultural Research Centre «Eidos» in the framework of a long-term scientific research and organizational program of the International Centre for Fundamental Studies in Contemporary Culture. Among these were three International Conference’s on Philosophy and Culture "Language and Text: Ontology and Reflection" (17-21 August, 1992); "Paradigms of Philosophizing" (10-15 August, 1995); "Issues of Communication in Contemporary Culture" (Under the auspices of UNESCO, 17-21 September, 1998); and the Symposia "In the Labyrinths of Culture" (1997),"Reflections on Chaos" (1997), "Metaphilosophy – or Philosophical Reflections in Space of Traditions & Innovations" (1998), "Cultural Studies: Issues of Interdisciplinarity" (Under the auspices of Russian Commission for UNESCO, 1998), "Symbols, Images, Stereotypes of the Contemporary Culture" (Under the auspices of UNESCO and with support of the UNESCO Division for Cultural Pluralism, 1999) etc. The materials of each meeting are published in the thematic issues of the International Readings in the Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture (¹¹ 1-9).
At the turn of the millennium humanity has been rediscovering some ancient truths and, burdened with torrents of information, sees once again that omniscience does not teach to be wise. Almost with a mathematical precision the sphere of what is known extends the horizons of the unknown, bringing the intellectual of today very close to the well-known admission: "I know that I know nothing." Again, as before, the symbolic formula of Know Yourself urgently and insistently invites us to embark on this endless journey.
Today, human beings deal with serious shifts in the paradigmatic system of co-ordinates in respect to their values and orientation. With all the flexibility of this system, a certain caution is needed to preserve its vital power which is based upon the principal differentiation between modes of ‘ascending’ and ‘descending’. Ignoring of, or insensibility to, this differentiation, means all forms of ontological indifference end up with orientation crisis, with total disappearance of purpose in human life, with existential emptiness.
The on-going search for new possibilities for a productive syntheses of philosophic, scientific, artistic and religious experience in contemporary culture demands methodologically-accurate research practices that must include very deep attention to the underlying space of traditions.
Philosophical, artistic, scientific, and religious experience is the 4-dimensional space in which the symposium proposes to consider a range of issues involving the revealing of the possible horizons of consciousness from the standpoint of its energy-giving components, such as the intellect, imagination, and intuition; historical, cultural, comparative, and metaphysical perspectives on the problems will be welcome.
Philosophical, hermeneutic and existentialist methodological practices, metapsychological and linguistic research methods, as well as historical and comparative analysis will form the foundation for the forthcoming discussions, which are expected to span the specter of subjects outlined below:

I. Mythological Experience
  • imaginative strategies in myths
  • the phenomenology & ontology of myth creation: antiquity and the present
  • initialization and socialization as thorny way of personality development
  • archetypes, codes, matrix of culture: ontology and phenomenology of unconsciousness
II. Artistic Experience
  • intuitive strategies of art
  • XX century oxymoron practices: intellectual novel, conceptual poetry, mystical realism, science fiction, anti-utopia, poetics of the absurd
III. Scientific Experience
  • cognitive strategies of science
  • Ratio of science and eschatological motives: eco-logical crises
  • virtual reality: myths of Internet
IV. Religious Experience
  • mystical strategies of religion
  • ontology of the sacred and phenomenology of the mysterious
V. Metaphysical Experience
  • intellectual, intuitive and contemplative strategies of philosophy
  • cosmocentrism, anthropocentrism, pragmacentrism in the world of the intellect
  • Sophia and Techne: paradigms of responses to intellectual challenges
  • logic of wisdom & wisdom of logic
YI. ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION
TRANSFORMATION OR TRANSFIGURATION OF SELF-PERCEPTION: REFLECTIONS ON THE INNER AND OUTER FACTORS OF SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS GROWTH (NEW STRATEGIES OF MANIPULATION WITH PERSONAL CONSCIOUSNESS)
more information (PDFPDF)(392 kb)


Seventh International Congress on Philosophy and Culture

Devoted to the International Decade for a Culture of Peace & UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

DYNAMICS OF VALUES IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: REFLECTIONS ON EXTREME & OPTIMAL CONDITIONS FOR CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT (PDF ) (4.7 mb)

Hosted by the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research, Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation

Sponsored by the UNESCO Chair on Comparative Studies of Spiritual Traditions, Their Specific Cultures and Interreligious Dialogue & Russian Foundation for Basic Studies

With organizational assistance from:

St. Petersburg Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Administration of St. Petersburg, External Affairs Committee; UNESCO Moscow Office; International Association «The Russian Culture»

This Congress continues a series of international conferences and symposia organized and convened by the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research and the Philosophical and Cultural Research Center “Eidos” within the framework of a long-term scientific research and organizational program for Fundamental Studies in Contemporary Culture. The previous International Congresses on Philosophy and Culture include: "Language and Text: Ontology and Reflection" (1992); "Paradigms of Philosophizing" (1995); "Issues of Communication in Contemporary Culture" (under the auspices of UNESCO, 1998); "Intellect, Imagination, Intuition: Reflections on the Horizons of Consciousness" (under the auspices of UNESCO and with support from the UNESCO Division of Human Sciences, Philosophy and Ethics of Science and Technology, 2000); "Creature – Creation – Reproductions: Wisdom of Creator, Reason of Dedalus and the Cunning of the Hacker” (under the auspices of UNESCO, 2002) "Differentiation and Integration of Worldviews: Dynamics of Dialogue between Cultures in the 21st Century"(under UNESCO auspices, 2003) and the Symposia: "In the Labyrinths of Culture" (1997);"Reflections on Chaos" (1997); "Metaphilosophy – or Philosophical Reflections in Space of Traditions & Innovations" (1998); "Cultural Studies: Issues of Interdisciplinarity" (under the auspices of Russian Commission for UNESCO, 1998); "Symbols, Images, Stereotypes of the Contemporary Culture" (under the auspices of UNESCO and with support from the UNESCO Division for Cultural Pluralism, 1999); and the First cycle of Cross-cultural and Interreligious Discussions “Ontology of Dialogue as the Main Value of Cultural and Religious Experience” (under the auspices of UNESCO and with support from the UNESCO Division of Intercultural Dialogue, 2001. Papers presented during these congresses, are published in thematic issues of the ongoing multilingual edition of International Readings in the Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture (20 issues have appeared to date).
The Seventh International Congress on Philosophy and Culture, Dynamics of Values in Contemporary Culture, will focus on the challenges of cross-cultural and interreligious interactions in contemporary culture. Emphasis will be placed on the transdisciplinary investigation of inbuilt structures and patterns in the dynamics of values, as well as on processes of transformation in human perceptions of the self and the present-day world. The Eighth International Congress on Philosophy and Culture, Unity and Diversity in Religion and Culture, will occur in Seattle, USA, January 27-30, 2005. It will focus on psychological and philosophical issues underlying cultural and religious conflicts and challenges.
Today, the world community is speaking ever more loudly, in declarations and manifestoes, about the necessity of preserving cultural diversity and safeguarding the material and non-material riches of cultural heritage. In preserving what is of value, we should not overlook the need to retain those levels of freedom, dignity, ethical and aesthetic responsibility that enable humankind to be not only a consumer and guardian of culture, but also, and primarily, its creator.
The values of each particular culture have not been developed by axiological theories, but rather through the accretion of life experiences and the living memory of generations. The uniqueness of national cultures is determined by the specificity of their unique historical experiences. Each culture interprets fundamental human values (life, health, family, love, friendship, mutual understanding, freedom, dignity, beauty, kindness, truth, the value of the material and spiritual world, the value of land and skies in their real and symbolic meanings, the value of a child’s laughter and a mother’s smile, the value of a father’s lessons, the gift of memory, the value of the air and a swallow of fresh water, and the value of the one’s chosen destiny… all these and many other things that unite people as a species in their resolve to be “human and humane”) in its own way. In addition, each culture forms a certain hierarchy of values, in which (as long as the culture is alive) the distinction between the “higher” and “lower” values constitutes a significant principle.
The pragmatic technology-based civilization is, by its very nature, aimed at acceleration and success at any cost, at high reproducibility, and the spread of its own achievements and their daily mass consumption. The required mass consumption of any product, including software, is easily secured by exploiting the lower forms of culture, those parts oriented toward bodily comforts, material well-being, and entertainment. The New Information Technologies and networks in the service of the so-called globalization processes are first and foremost effective means of achieving the key objectives of the pragmatic technology-based civilization: expansion and domination.
Like any other technical innovation, the new information technologies are multi-functional and ambivalent. On one hand, the speed of the information streams and their mixed nature lowers the level of reflecting sensitivity and turns a person into “a user” who easily assimilates the required stereotypes and is capable of functioning effectively in the pragmatized milieu. This effectively creates a person who is essentially deprived of the quality of humanism, that “thrill for life” (to quote Albert Schweitzer) in which the wisdom of compassion rather than mastery of information opens the door to “making the right decisions.” On the other hand, the new information technologies broaden the vision of the world in its integrity, interdependence and openness, and they make it possible to conduct a representative and responsible dialogue with various civilizations and cultures. This is raising the discourse regarding the universal human value of the uniqueness of cultures to a new level of sophistication. This issue is not new, but precisely owing to the processes of globalization it can now be addressed in a novel way.
The congress on Dynamics of Values in Contemporary Culture is framed within a wider cross-cultural transdisciplinary international research program Toward New Paradigms of Communication: Philosophical and Psychological Aspects of the Dynamics of Mentality in Contemporary Culture. Increasing cultural and ecological crises are impoverishing the meaningful prospects of human development, which makes imperative the task of finding the creative and harmonizing potentials of contemporary culture. This research program treats the strategic importance of intellectual research efforts, not only for the understanding and description of the on-going processes of contemporary culture, but also for accurate forecasting of their possible consequences in the future.
For many prominent thinkers, the paradigm shifts and value reshuffling of present-day society are regarded as a general movement toward the possibility of massive intellectual devastation. Contemporary mass psychology is tempered by alienation, impotence in the face of existential challenges, and caustic exposure to changes devoid of spiritual purport. To counter this trend, the 2004 Congress on Dynamics of Values in Contemporary Culture will seek to illuminate optimal personal, professional and societal positions in the framework of the changing world.
This Congress will bring together outstanding representatives from the realms of philosophy and theology, natural science and humanities, as well as artistic circles for the purpose of conducting transdisciplinary discussions directed toward productive synthesis, the clarification of cultural identities, social cohesion, and enhancing general vitality and creative capacities in contemporary society.
The work of the Congress-2004 will consist of eight thematic sessions and three round-table discussions. Each session will offer all participants the opportunity to listen to presentations by internationally known personalities. The sessions include:
  1. The Hierarchies of Basic Values in Contemporary Culture: Clash of Civilizations, or the Search for Unity in Diversity?
  2. Culture and Power: The Rhetoric of Good Intentions and the Ontology of Responsibility
  3. Culture and Personality: The Ontological Collisions of Freedom and Creation
  4. Philosophical and Psychological Aspects of “Mass Culture”: Globalization and New Strategies for Manipulating Personal Consciousness
  5. The Culture of “High Technologies”: New Humanism or the Perspectives of Trans-humanism —the Probable and the Inevitable
  6. The Anthropological Experience of Catastrophe: Historical Types of Rationality or the Search for Optimality In Extreme Conditions
  7. Word and Deed: the Ontology of Responsibility, or “Ethical Turn” in Culture
  8. Human Being and Transcendental Motifs of His Existence: The Roles of Philosophy, Art, Science and Religion in the Dynamics of World Values

Round-table Discussion I

ONTOLOGY OF UNIVERSAL VALUES AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY: SEARCHING FOR UNITY WITHOUT UNIFICATION

Round-table Discussion II

RUSSIAN CULTURAL ROUTES IN EUROPE: CROSSINGS OF TIMES AND SPACES

Round-table Discussion III

FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES OF GLOBALIZATION IN THE LOCAL CONTEXTS
The work of the Congress-2004 will include daily Plenary Sessions and Parallel Sessions for presentations and the ensuing discussions (25 minutes for Key Speakers and 15 minutes for other presentations). Selected contributions will be published in a forthcoming special issue of the International Readings in Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture, Volume 21.




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