Archives

Appearance, Reality, and Beyond

Volume 1, Issue 1 (2013)

In political and social philosophy, the philosophy of culture, and in the field of cognitive sciences—supported by the neurosciences, biology and psychology—the same metaphysical aim may today be observed, that is an aspiration to discover, still unattainable, the border between Appearance and Reality. In this context, how can we form various models of ethics, theories of laws or political systems if we are unable to give “clear and distinct” criteria of what is real, and thus what is true?

Issue 1

Toleration and Tolerance

Volume 2, Issue 1 (2014)

Faced with increasing social, economic, and financial tensions, the International Day for Tolerance established by the United Nations is becoming––as never before––a challenge for the entire globalised world. The challenge is more significant as further values within the culture of the Western world are also at stake. These values, which remain at odds, are put to the test in an economic and political race against other cultural models, which do not share such values and that find the very notion of tolerance alien. We are deeply convinced that it is worth critically examining the history of the ideas, words and concepts surrounding the notion of tolerance, especially in our current time of rising intolerance not only in the Middle East, but also in other parts of the globe. At the same time there remains the age-old question of the limits of tolerance, what used to be called a denial of tolerance, or briefly “intolerance”. How far we have succeeded, you can judge for yourself.

Issue 2

The Idea of Power

Volume 3, Issue 1 (2015)

Probably the majority of our “modern” children intuitively associate the Power icon (⏻) with the possibility of either activation or deactivation of all kinds of devices: starting with the toaster or vacuum cleaner and ending with more complicated and perhaps more fascinating items, such as smart phones, tablets, computers or game consoles. From Antiquity to Modern Times, the historical dynamics of our changing understanding of the idea of power recalls a child’s discovering of the world, as both are based on new dealings and correlations.

Issue 3

The Power of Ideas

Volume 3, Issue 2 (2015)

In writing about freedom at the end of the 20th century, in his The Proper Study of Man (1998), Isaiah Berlin would refer to Heinrich Heine’s text entitled De l’Allemagne (literally “From Germany”). This book was written by Heine while he was a refugee in France. This title bears important resemblance to Madame de Staël’s book by the same title, De l’Allemagne, published in 1813. In this text, the writer philosopher Heine warns the French about the Power of Ideas (Macht der Ideen), with power (Macht) being understood also in the sense of violence (Gewalt). Heinrich Heine wrote about how, in the silence of the philosopher’s study, powerful ideas can be born; ideas that have the ability to destroy the whole of civilization. We nevertheless often forget the roots of this idea – an idea that has shaped our world to such a considerable degree. For this reason, it is to these roots that we dedicate the fourth edition of Orbis Idearum.

Issue 4

Orbis Idearum

Volume 4, Issue 1 (2016)

“The show must go on.” That is what people say when an actor – however important he or she may be – leaves the stage. Similarly, the History of Ideas Research Centre and Orbis Idearum must go on. Nevertheless, we cannot hide our deep sadness at the untimely death of the founder of the Centre and its journal. Michel Henri Kowalewicz passed away on October 8th, 2016. We ask the reader to please forgive the unusually colloquial tone in which we are writing this Preamble; a style that is far from academic jargon and the cold precision which is typical of scientific publications. It seems to us that the moment calls for such a change of register. In the period between his diagnosis with cancer and his untimely death, we fortunately had many occasions to meet and talk with Michel. Despite the rapid progression of his illness, Michel remained strong to the very end. Whenever he had the strength to do so, not only did he continue his own work, but he also helped others with theirs. There was unfortunately not enough time to settle all of the questions related to the Centre and Orbis Idearum, but Michel made clear his desire that both be continued by his close collaborators and friends. In our attempt to fulfill his wish, we present you, the reader, with a new issue of Orbis Idearum – an issue that we sincerely dedicate “to the memory of Michel Henri Kowalewicz”.
Issue 5

Orbis Idearum

Volume 4, Issue 2 (2016)

“The show must go on.” That is what people say when an actor – however important he or she may be – leaves the stage. Similarly, the History of Ideas Research Centre and Orbis Idearum must go on. Nevertheless, we cannot hide our deep sadness at the untimely death of the founder of the Centre and its journal. Michel Henri Kowalewicz passed away on October 8th, 2016. We ask the reader to please forgive the unusually colloquial tone in which we are writing this Preamble; a style that is far from academic jargon and the cold precision which is typical of scientific publications. It seems to us that the moment calls for such a change of register. In the period between his diagnosis with cancer and his untimely death, we fortunately had many occasions to meet and talk with Michel. Despite the rapid progression of his illness, Michel remained strong to the very end. Whenever he had the strength to do so, not only did he continue his own work, but he also helped others with theirs. There was unfortunately not enough time to settle all of the questions related to the Centre and Orbis Idearum, but Michel made clear his desire that both be continued by his close collaborators and friends. In our attempt to fulfill his wish, we present you, the reader, with a new issue of Orbis Idearum – an issue that we sincerely dedicate “to the memory of Michel Henri Kowalewicz”.
Issue 6

Orbis Idearum

Volume 5, Issue 1 (2017)

Orbis Idearum

Volume 5, Issue 2 (2017)