The Philosophy and Global Politics of Concept Travel: Successful Workshop in Basel
On June 17, the workshop on "The Philosophy and Global Politics of Concept Travel" brought together philosophers and social scientists from India, South Africa and Switzerland to reflect on the link between concept travel, conceptual engineering and the politics of knowledge production. The discussions raised various issues about the dominance of Eurocentric concepts in social science; possible advantages and disadvantages of concept travel; and outlined some strategies for conceptually engineering concepts. The workshop was part of Dr. Lerato Posholi and Prof. Ralph Weber's work package under the SNSF-funded project "Reversing the gaze: Towards Post-Comparative Area Studies" and was organized in collaboration with Prof. Veli Mitova from the African Centre for Epistemology and Philosophy of Science, University of Johannesburg.
About the project and the organizers
"Reversing the Gaze" uses a "conceptual laboratory" to take a critical theoretical approach by deploying concepts developed in the Global South to the North. It tests the analytic purchase of three mid-level concepts – "re-tribalisation", "political society" and "the cunning state" – on political crisis phenomena in Europe against the background of a careful inquiry into the methodological scope of comparison.
Lerato Posholi is an SNSF Fellow in the project "Reversing the Gaze: Towards Post-Comparative Area Studies" at the Institute for European Global Studies. She holds a PhD in Education from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Her research interests include social epistemology, decolonial theory and curriculum studies.
Ralph Weber is Associate Professor of European Global Studies at the Institute for European Global Studies. He specializes in Political Theory, Chinese Politics, and modern Confucianism. Currently, he is the President of the European Association for Chinese Philosophy and the Chair of the Section on Political Theory in the Swiss Political Science Association.
Veli Mitova is Professor in Philosophy and Director of the African Centre for Epistemology and Philosophy of Science, the South African team leader for "The Geography of Philosophy Project", and a co-PI for the "Epistemic Injustice, Reasons, and Agency" project funded by a Newton Advanced Fellowship. She works at the intersection of epistemology, metaethics and the philosophy of action. At the moment, she is thinking about epistemic injustice and decolonising knowledge.