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Philosophical and Scientific Europe from the 4th International Congress of Philosophy in Bologna (1911) to the First World War

The Symposium, placed under the patronage of UNESCO, is organized in the framework of the International Research Programme entitled “Intellectual Europe and the First World War” of the International Research Center for Philosophy, Letters, and Knowledge (Ecole normale supérieure, Paris, France). It will present an opportunity to reflect on the exchanges between the most important national European philosophical and scientific traditions before the First World War of 1914-1918, which constituted the moment of rapture and division of Europe that erased a considerable part of its history of interconnections and unity.

The symposium will be convened in two parts: on 13 October 2012 in Paris, France, and on 18 and 19 October in Bologna, Italy.

The chronological starting point will be the Fourth International Congress of Philosophy held in Bologna in 1911 with the participation of such philosophers and scholars as
Henri Bergson, Pierre Boutroux, Federigo Enriques, Giuseppe Peano, David Émile Durkeim, Benedetto Croce, Henri Poincaré, Paul Langevin, Louis Couturat, Hans Driesch, Erminio Juvalta, Vito Volterra, Hans Vahinger, Guido Castelnuovo, Édouard Claparède, Giulio Cesare Ferrari, Hugo Dingler, Edmond Goblot, F.S.C. Schiller. They were then interested in anthropology, in psychology and in legal and social philosophy.

These study days will aim at highlighting not only the role of the World Congress of Philosophy but that of many international philosophy magazines, including such as « La Revue de métaphysique et de morale » ("Magazine of Metaphysics and Morality") and « Scientia », in the construction of the philosophical Europe at the "age of nationalism".

At the crossroads of philosophy and social sciences, history and politics, the symposium will examine the relationship established in the early 1910s between philosophy and war. The analysis will be carried out based on the previously unpublished materials from the point of view of tensions that existed between the national and universal approaches of various schools of thought and doctrines or regarding the international initiatives which after the end of the First World War led to the setting up of the League of Nations and its International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation (later the International Institute of Intellectual Co-operation in Paris), an organization which, between the two world wars, played the role that is attributed today to UNESCO.

The Symposium is organized in association with many prestigious institutions of various countries: Italy (Universities of l’Aquila, Bologna, Florence, Trento, Academy of Sciences of the Institute of Bologna), France (École Normale Supérieure, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Universities of Paris X and Toulouse, Société des amis de Bergson), Germany (Humboldt University, Kueser-Academie) and Switzerland (University of Geneva). They will be represented by their scholars, philosophers, sociologists and historians, including Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau, Giuseppe Bianco, Umberto Bottazzini, Pierre Caye, Michele Ciliberto, Marc Crépon, Alberto De Bernardi, Ivano Dionigi, Elie During, Carlo Galli, Jean-Louis Fabiani, Arnaud François, Carlo Gentili, Manlio Iofrida, Stefano Poggi, Rocco Ronchi, Raffaella Simili, Stéphan Soulié, Walter Tega, Denis Thouard, Frédéric Worms, and Caterina Zanfi.


Type of Event Event under UNESCO Patronage
Start 13.10.2012 08:30 local time
End 19.10.2012 16:00 local time
Date to be fixed 0
Focal point Crowley, John
Organizer Centre international d’étude de la philosophie française contemporaine (Ecole normale supérieure, Paris, France) ; Département de Philosophie de l’Université de Bologne, Italie
Country Italy
City Bologne
Permanent Delegation Contact
Major Programme
Language of Event English, French
Estimated number of participants 300
Official Website Philosophical and Scientific Europe from the 4th International Congress of Philosophy in Bologna (1911) to the First World War (in French)
Link 1 Philosophy in UNESCO
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4


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