Studies in Phenomenology


Call for Papers

7th Annual International Conference of the Centre for Phenomenology in South Africa

Philosophy and Eschatology,
Or: thinking of/from the end of the world

11-12 September 2020
University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Organized by Paul Slama, Carien Smith, Justin Sands, Rafael Winkler, and Abraham Olivier

Eschatology, the narrative of the end of time or the world, is an integral aspect of various intellectual traditions. From the Western theological tradition to Afro-pessimism, it also underlies the modern idea of progress and its dialectical counterpart in Hegel and Marx, as well as the works of authors such as Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Levinas, Bataille, Blanchot, Derrida, and Jean-Luc Nancy. It has inspired some authors in the phenomenological tradition to rethink the transcendental reduction in order to recover the genesis of the world prior to the birth of consciousness. One of the contributions of eschatology to phenomenology is the insight that the world be thought, in its integrity, unity, or meaning, from the standpoint of its eventual collapse. For Levinas in Totality and Infinity, by contrast, it provides the subject with the standpoint of justice beyond history. Eschatology offers philosophy with (among other things) a way of thinking about the final end or outermost limit, what is most extreme and unsurpassable. It is in its way, much like philosophy, concerned with the limit of the thinkable.

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