The Spirit of Our Times: “It’s the Pandemic, Stupid!”
Ľubica Učník
Pig Melon︎︎︎, Saturday November 6, 6pm–8pm

In this paper, taking inspiration from Jan Patočka’s paper “Supercivilisation and its Internal Conflict” from the 1950s as well as his writings from the 1970s, I will propose a different way to read the tension between scientific reasoning and human existence that we are witnessing today. I suggest that Patočka’s reflections from these different periods reveal these to be two sides of the same coin, a displacement of humans from the world. On the one hand, Patočka shows how techno-science changed human relations to nature; on the other, what he calls the “anthropological era,” is reflective of changes in philosophy starting with René Descartes, whereby the world and humans were irreversibly separated. The tension is between objectivity and subjectivity, which is a tension within modern reason itself, now recast as “abstract ratio.”

Speaker biography
Dr Ľubica Učník’s research is in the area of history of ideas, phenomenology, and the question of truth. She is specifically interested in the history of mathematisation and the modern impulse to reduce everything to algorithmic reasoning and datafication.