HomeAsubjectivity and creation in Jan Patočka

HomeAsubjectivity and creation in Jan Patočka

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Published on Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Workshop organized in the context of the 12th International Conference of the ISSEI (International Society for the Study of European Ideas) which will take place from August 2nd to 6th 2010 at Çankaya University of Ankara, in Turkey. The theme of the workshop is: « Asubjectivity and Creation in Jan Patocka ».


Workshop organized in the context of the 12th International Conference of the ISSEI (International Society for the Study of European Ideas) which will take place from August 2nd to 6th 2010 at Çankaya University of Ankara, in Turkey.

In What is Phenomenology?, the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka affirms that the being “who is in the mode of the ego, [… who lives] in possibilities, [and who grasps] his possibilities and identifies himself with them, [projects] the schema of all possible being, not in combining based on his own lived experiences, but rather like a painter or writer who projects a painting or the intrigue of a novel, meaning with the same objectivity” — in other words, non-subjectively.

What Patočka affirms here is that the mode of creation of self or, in other words, the way in which the existent in the first person becomes a veritable ipseity is identical to the mode of artistic creation. In fact, the rapprochement of creation (realization) of self, literary creation, pictorial creation and even creation on the level of history seems to be what has become the guiding concept of patočkian phenomenology: “asubjectivity”.

In this workshop, the question will be proposing a definition of creation according to Patočka, aware that certain commentators consider that the problematic of “appearing as such” and the motif of repetition (the creed of Plato and Europe is “repeating the same thing in new ways”) prevents Patočka from thinking creation anew, unlike Arendt and Castoriadis who stand out as thinkers of radical novelty. Yet isn't it possible with Patočka to think a paradoxical mode of creation nourished on repetition and marked by necessity, in such a way that on the fundamental level of reflection creating would not be first of all inventing, but repeating in new guises and hence “re-newing” ? But is renewing a veritable creation or, indeed, another mode of creation?

We then need to analyze how Patočka thinks the subjective and objective within the movement of existence so as to propose a definition of the concept of “phenomenological asubjectivity”. We know that in his debate with Husserl Patočka revised the sense to be given to the subjective, which he differentiates from the subjectal. Proposing a synthetic vision of Patočka's contribution on this point will perhaps allow us to understand why and to what extent all creation is necessarily, in his eyes, an asubjective creation. It is thus a matter of understanding what the writer's asubjectivism consists in, the asubjectivism of the painter etc., and why the summit of the movement of existence which corresponds to the movement of truth is itself also asubjective. Is asubjectivity really the condition for all creation? Can't we imagine works of art or literary works which are radically subjective and despite all authentic? If Patočka seems to agree with the deleuzian condemnation of “the black hole of subjectivity” a certain literature is plunging into, can we bring Deleuze and Patočka closer together?

The workshop is also open to the following questions:

  • The relation between creation and culture or civilization in Patočka
  • Comparison of Patočka and other authors
  • Patočkian interpretation of the myth of creation
  • The process of the creation of history
  • Comparison of modes of creation depending on periods (pre-historic, historic, post-historic)
  • Etc.

This is the constellation of questions we would like to take up in this workshop, which is to include 8 talks and facilitate wide-ranging discussions. The talks are necessarily in English.

Proposals for papers are to be sent by email to Clélia Van Lerberghe clelia.vanlerberghe@uclouvain.be, at the latest March 1st 2010,

informat Word (entitle the email: ISSEI Patocka). The proposals are to be in the form of a well argued résumé written in English and of a maximal length of 1500 words. They should include the candidate’s complete name, address and phone number.  Acceptance of proposals will be sent to those concerned at the latest April 6th 2010. 

Clelia Van Lerberghe

FNRS/Catholic University of Louvain
Place Cardinal Mercier, 14
B 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)



  • Ankara, Republic of Turkey


  • Monday, March 01, 2010


  • phenomenology, creation, asubjectivity


  • Clélia Van Lerberghe
    courriel : clelia [dot] vanlerberghe [at] uclouvain [dot] be

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Clélia Van Lerberghe
    courriel : clelia [dot] vanlerberghe [at] uclouvain [dot] be


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Asubjectivity and creation in Jan Patočka », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, November 24, 2009, https://calenda.org/199638

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