About this Event
In celebration of the 300th anniversary of Immanuel Kant’s birth, please join us for a discussion on the relevance of the philosopher’s idea of the sensus communis to social wellbeing today.
When Kant introduces the term sensus communis in the Critique of Judgment, he emphasizes two aspects: firstly, it is a shared sense, secondly, it is a faculty of judgment.
Hannah Arendt found in the Critique of Judgement the key concept of her political theory: It is in the plurality of judgments that she anchors the principle of the political: the being-together of the many-different.
But what could be understood as sensus communis, and what is its relation to a theory of society? Is the sensus communis identical with common sense? Or a communal sense? How can this concept be reconciled with Arendt’s concept of the multitude, and what is the relationship between communality and diversity? Does the sensus communis gesture towards community or society, towards concepts of voluntarism or concepts of essentialism? Does it ask for conformity or for difference? Or should it be understood as the realm of a shared rationality? In which way can its relationship to Kant’s “extended way of thinking” be defined of which he speaks in the Critique of Judgment?
In this event, four speakers will elucidate the terminus of sensus communis in inputs of 15 to 20 minutes each, trying to grasp its implications from different perspectives.
Jochen Bojanowski is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois-Champaign. His research focuses on morality and political philosophy with a particular interest in Kant's practical philosophy.
Leonhard Emmerling is an art historian and director of the Goethe-Institut Chicago.
Marina Martinez Mateo is Professor of Media and Technology Philosophy at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Her research focuses on Critical Philosophy of Race, feminist theory and aesthetics.
Christoph Menke is a professor at the Institute of Philosophy at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main with a special focus on political and legal philosophy and aesthetics.
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
Goethe-Institut Chicago, 150 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, United States