Thursday, October 13, 2011, 7 pm
What is Philosophy? Alteration, Complicity, Persistence

Lecture by Boyan Manchev (Sofia) as part of the series "What is Philosophy?"

To face an enormous question like this, Boyan Manchev refers to the pre-Socratic Heraclitus. What would we affirm if we followed this philosopher and his theory of fire? First, there is no philosophy without praxis. Philosophy is an active movement: it is an affirmative tracing of itinerary. Therefore, complicity. Second, there is no philosophy without tekhné. For Heraclitus, fire is an ontological technique and a cosmological-physical form of the logos. The world is only emerging through its modes of being. Philosophy should be the technique of the transmodal ontological operation. Therefore, alteration. Third, no praxis and tekhné, no philosophy without risk. As Heraclitus’s life shows, the philosopher of polemos (dispute) was always exposed to the risk of stasis (war). Therefore, persistence.

Boyan Manchev (b. 1970) is a professor of philosophy at the New Bulgarian University in Sofia, a visiting professor at the Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz Berlin, and vice president of the Collège International de Philosophie, Paris. He studied philosophy and Bulgarian literature at the University of Sofia and graduated in 1998 on narrative structures in Dostoevsky. His books and articles have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Swedish. Selected publications:
Miracolo (Milan: Lanfranchi, 2011); Anti-modernism: Radical Revisions of Collective Identity (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2011); Rue Descartes 67: Quel sujet du politique? (Paris: PUF, 2010); L’altération du monde (Paris: Editions Lignes, 2009); La Métamorphose et l’instant – Désorganisation de la vie (Paris: La Phocide, 2009); Rue Descartes 64: La métamorphose (Paris: PUF, 2009).

In English language

The complete series
What is Philosophy? is documented in a DVD-set and available at n.b.k.