For as long as the history of modern science has been unfolding, including its parallel development with that of the humanities, there has been a critical counter-current running against dominant thinking styles and thought-collectives at work. Such a current frequently reflects a profound unease with a certain lifelessness in modern scientific thinking: a kind of death drive in thinking techniques that tend towards the destruction of synthesis. Thinkers such as Fichte, Goethe, Freud, Georges Devereux and other ethno-psychoanalytic knowledge theories are exemplars in respect of this unease, as are theorists as diverse from one another as Ludwik Fleck, C.W. Mills, Zygmunt Bauman and Wilfried Bion. Similarly, if one takes a closer look at Norbert Elias’s concept of involvement–detachment balances and his personal way of concept formation and synthesis-building, it is possible to discern the same critical current at work.
Hans-Peter Waldhoff has endeavoured throughout his work to demonstrate how thinking about civilizing processes involves the civilizing of our thinking techniques as well. This symposium for his 60th birthday at the University of Hanover features a range of speakers who each share a concern to treat their human objects as living subjects in their own right. Topics like learning processes; civilizing processes; migration and dealing with strangers; and de-civilizing movements of the extreme right; are considered by speakers from five countries and a range of disciplines, among them sociologists, psychologists, group-analysts and historians. The conference seeks to bring to the fore a concern with subject-object-relations, as scientists are invited to reflect on topics central to their lives.
Participation is free of charge. The Norbert-Elias-Foundation supports the symposium. Fuller details can be found in the flyer included here: Symposium Wo denken wir hin_-Flyer