The question of violence is a fundamental problem that addresses a manifold of disciplines in the humanities. Although philosophy often discusses violence from an ethical perspective, there is also a strong tradition in philosophy that expands the investigation of violence beyond the confines of ethics. Philosophers such as Arendt, Butler, Derrida, Patočka, Sartre, and Sloterdijk have discussed, among others, the relation between sovereignty and violence, the constitutive possibilities of violence, and the metaphysical meaning of the transformation of violence beginning with the First World War. However, several stones stay unturned, such as the relation between violence and sense-bestowal, the question of how excessive violence is related to transgression, or the way (religious) violence is connected to the concept of the end of times.

Therefore, and in line with recent work by scholars such as James Dodd, Michael Staudigl and Leonard Lawlor, the University of Leuven will be hosting a two day conference around the complex topic of violence. More specifically, the aesthetic, political-philosophical, and phenomenological aspects of violence will be the three pillars of investigation for the theme.

The Critiques of Violence_Poster