Fourth Annual:
“Free Speech and Difficult Freedom”
Director: Richard A. Cohen (see below)
July 18-22, 2016
Berkeley, California
Co-Sponsor: The Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies, Graduate Theological Union
Location: Hedco Seminar Room, R. S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies, G.T.U., 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, California 84709
Topic Description:
For Levinas freedom is neither absolutely free, a “pure freedom,” as in Kant and Sartre, nor is it the philosopher’s knowledge of necessity, as in Spinoza and Hegel. Rather freedom is “difficult” because it is bound to morality in all the concreteness of responsibility to and for the other person. In this seminar we will examine several texts by Levinas on freedom in its relation to moral, social and political obligations, but especially in relation to the “free speech” that liberal governments respect and protect as a universal right of human beings and citizens.
To apply:
Ten scholars of philosophy and/or political philosophy – professors and graduate students – will be accepted to participate in this round-table seminar. Application deadline: May 15, 2016. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis from the present time until all ten places are filled. Applicants should send: (1) letter of interest and (2) curriculum vitae, as attachments to
(A limited number of auditors will also be accepted. Please indicate if you are applying as an auditor.)
There is no registration fee. The LPSS provides no financial support, but will indicate available lower cost housing in the neighborhood of the seminar. Coffee and snacks will be provided at seminar sessions. In the past lunches and some dinners have been arranged as voluntary group events. The seminar meets Monday through Friday, 10:00am to noon; 1:30pm to 5:00pm.
Assistant Director of Seminar: James McLachlan (see below)
Co-Organizers: Richard A. Cohen and Jolanta Saldukaityte (see below)
We are Honored to Welcome First Applicant Accepted for 2016 Seminar:
Profesor Masato GODA, of Meiji University at Tokyo Japan. Thirty two years ago, Prof. Goda, in Paris studying the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, discovered Emmanuel Levinas, and since then has devoted his life to research on Levinas and modern French Philosophy (in particular Vladimir Jankelevitch). He has published three monographs on Levinas: La pensée de Levinas: Berceau de l’espérence, 1989; Lire Levinas: Quotidiennté extraordinaire, 1999; and Levinas Vers une révolution de l’Etre, 2000; and translated his major works into Japanese, such as Totality and infinite, Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence, and Difficult Freedom. Prof. Goda also attended the Levinas Decade congress at Cerisy-la-Salle in 1986.

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