The International Association for Philosophical Anthropology, the Leonardo Polo Institute of Philosophy (USA) and the Center of the Thought of John Paul II (Poland) with the collaboration of the Cardinal Stefan Wyzsynski University (Poland) presents the International Congress Transcendence and Love for a New Global Society.
The Congress will take place in English, and seeks to gather English speaking scholars from throughout the world to explore the implications of Philosophical Anthropology and Ethics in the varied fields of Human Action, Culture, and History. Among many philosphers who have approached the problem of Love and Transcendence such as Plato, Augustine, Aquinas, Scheler, Mauss, von Hildebrand, Arendt, Derrida, Ricoeur, etc., we propose to focus on the anthropological discoveries of John Paul II and Leonardo Polo which are very relevant to the challenge of proposing a ‘logic of gift’ and building a ‘culture of love’ open to Transcendence.
On the one hand, John Paul II changed our direction of thinking about personhood with what he called the ‘theology of the body’. His revolutionary approach gave us the possibility of comprehending sexuality as an opening to transcendence. At the same time, the profound depth of John Paul II’s anthropology opens up new space in our thinking about human beings. For John Paul II, man is defined by a positive relation to the humanity of others, and the person finds himself and his fulfillment in the ability to live and work with others. These two fundamental anthropological dimensions: the relationship with God and the relationship with other human beings is crucial for the understanding of who the human being is, both in one's intimacy and in the context of interpersonal relationships and human communities.
On the other hand, Leonardo Polo's philosophical work can be inserted within the recurring questions of the last few centuries regarding freedom and love as transcendentals and of their relation to the earlier perennial or classical philosophy. It is here that Polo's historical significance lies insofar as he boldly proposes a methodology that opens the way for a metaphysics of freedom or, better said, a theory of the person that responds to the concerns of modern and contemporary philosophy and which continues and expands the achievements of classical and medieval philosophy (especially Thomas Aquinas’ real distinction between esse and essentia). What Polo proposes is a transcendental anthropology and this proposal is made possible by his methodology called leaving behind what limits the mind. A more thorough introduction to Polo's work can be found at the Leonardo Polo Institute of Philosophy website.
Understanding and implementing John Paul II and Leonardo Polo’s anthropology is indispensable for building ‘the civilization and logic of love’ which is of particular importance for the scientific milieu all over the world. It is especially fitting to think about these issues in the context of the World Youth Days (Krakow, Poland July 25 – 31, 2016). Thus, we invite all the scholars who wish to contribute to a better understanding of the heritage of Karol Wojtyła - John Paul II and Leonardo Polo and explore the themes, concepts and ideas embedded in their approach to anthropology and culture.
The II International Congress is mainly targeted at young academics, and aims to be an occasion for them to encounter and deepen their understanding of John Paul II and Leonardo Polo's thought, especially aspects of their philosophy that concern their ethics and philosophical anthropology. The main focus is to show how John Paul II and Leonardo Polo's philosophy provide an important philosophical framework for understanding how the different dimensions of human action and the various disciplines that are studied at the university (architecture, engineering, medicine, law, political theory, business, biology, psychology, education, leadership, ecology, etc.) are related to each other and with culture, history, and society at large. Because of this perspective, the Congress aims at a holistic presentation of the topic “Transcendence and Love for a New Global Society”. Thus it will be an interdisciplinary meeting not only for those with a background in a modern anthropological thought, but also for researchers from all different human scholarly fields with an interest in philosophical anthropology.
The program of the Congress is available here
The II International Congress will take place on Monday, August 1 and Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at the Center for Thought of John Paul II (Foksal street 11, 3rd floor, number 30, 00–372 Warsaw
Each day of the Congress will be divided into two sessions: a morning session with two main speakers and an afternoon session for presentation of papers and round table discussions.
Submission of Proposals for Papers
Abstract Submission has Closed
A selection of the papers and presentations will be published.
Resources for Papers and Presentations
Resources and preliminary translations of some of Polo's works into English are available at http://www.leonardopoloinstitute.org/resources.html
This page will be updated regularly.
The Registration Fee for the Congress is US$ 100 and includes Conference materials and lunch for both days.
Students Fee: US$30 (discount code: polo2016b)
Please register before July 1st, 2016 so that we can we can properly prepare the Congress and organize the afternoon presentations.
To register, please go to our Registration page:
Adrian J. Reimers: Adjunct Professor at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Notre Dame. PhD in philosophy at International Academy of Philosophy in Liechtenstein, M. A. in Philosophy and B. S. in Mathematics at the University of Notre Dame. Visiting Professor at Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow, Poland. Author of "Karol Wojtyla’s Personalist Philosophy: Understanding “Person and Act”" with Miguel Acosta (CUA Press, 2016), "The Truth About the Good: Moral Norms in the Thought of John Paul II" (Sapientia Press, 2011), "The Soul of the Person: A Contemporary Philosophical Anthropology" (CUA Press, 2006), "An Analysis of the Concepts of Self-Fulfillment and Self-Realization in the Thought of Karol Wojtyła, Pope John Paul II" (Mellen Press 2001).
Michał Łuczewski: Ph.D. in sociology, psychologist and methodologist. He is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw. His main areas of study include the thought and teachings of John Paul II, the subject of values, relation between theology and social sciences, sociology of the nation, memory, social movements and youth. Editor-in-chief of the sociological journal “The State of Things”. Author of “Erinnerungskultur des 20. Jahrhunderts. Analysen deutscher und polnischer Erinnerungsorte” (Peter Lang Verlag 2011), "Wartość krajobrazu. Rozwój przestrzeni obszarów wiejskich” (PWN 2011) [“Landscape Value. Spatial development of rural areas.”] and „Odwieczny naród. Polak i katolik w Żmiącej” (UMK 2012) [“Eternal Nation. Pole and Catholic in Żmiąca"].
Blanca Castilla de Cortázar: PhD in philosophy from the Complutense University in Madrid, and a PhD in theology from the University of Navarra. She is full professor of Anthropology and an active member of the Royal Academy of Spanish Doctors. She has been visiting professor in Spanish and American universities. She has studied authors like Gabriel Marcel, Thomas Aquinas, Xavier Zubiri, Ludwig Feuerbach, Karol Wojtyla and Leonardo Polo, and she has specialized in themes related to gender anthropology. She has spoken in several International Congresses organized by the Vatican in Fatima, Rome, and Milan. She has (co-) authored more than a hundred articles in specialized journals and books, among which is the pologue to the first Spanish edition of "Man and Woman He Created Them. A Theology of the Body" by John Paul II. Her books include: Noción de Persona en Xavier Zubiri, 1996. Persona femenina, persona masculina, 2004. ¿Fue creado el varón antes que la mujer? Reflexiones en torno a la Antropología de la Creación, 2005.
Roderrick Esclanda: President of the Leonardo Polo Institute of Philosophy. PhD in Philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. Author of "Leonardo Polo a Brief Introduction" (LPIP Press, 2015), "Freedom as Dependence Upon God in Soren Kierkegaard" (Università della Santa Croce, 2005), and editor of "Homo patiens: prospettive sulla sofferenza umana" (Armando Editore, 2003). Consulting Editor of the Journal of Polian Studies and Scientific Advisor of Studia Poliana.
Topics for Papers and Presentations
The II International Congress welcomes the submission of abstracts for papers (from professors and academics) and presentations (from students) that draw from a wide range of topics involving John Paul II and Leonardo Polo's ethics and philosophical anthropology. Abstracts involving the philosophical anthropology of other authors are also welcome.
Presentation of papers (by professors) will be limited to twenty minutes (+ 10 min for questions) and should be in English. Presentations by students will be limited to fifteen minutes (+5 min for questions) and should also be in English.
Possible areas to be explored may include:
Area 1: The Biological Sciences and Philosophical Anthropology
The notion of life. Human nature and human essence; received life-added life. Theory of evolution and adaption of non-hominid animals; implications of tool use with regard to evolution. The mind-body problem.
Area 2: Metaphysics and Anthropology: Nature, Essence and Existence
Topics related to anthropology of the human essence. Subjectivity and human essence as availing-of; having and giving; the will and freedom. The modern problem of the "I".
Area 3: Culture of Love: Law, Language, Communications, History and Society
The filial character of the human being. Friendship. Social action theory. The world as instrumental plexus; technology; philosophy of work. Language and communication. Philosophy of law. Philosophy of culture; society. Philosophy of history.
Area 4: Towards a logic of gift in Economics and Business Ethics
Cooperation and civil society. Philosophy of economics; trade; money; market; supply and demand. Business and society. The vocation of the business man. Distributive justice. Business ethics.
Area 5: Dimensions of Human Action: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Philosophy of Religion
Ethics. Habits and virtues. St. John Paul II’s and Polo's Ethics in relation with other ethical systems. Implications of philosophical anthropology of St. John Paul II and Leonardo Polo in the various dimensions of human life and therefore in the various disciplines of university studies (architecture, engineering, medicine, law, political theory, biology, psychology, education, leadership, ecology, etc.). Emphasis on how all these dimensions and disciplines require a philosophical understanding of the human being (focus on the essence of man). Aesthetics. Philosophy of Art. Philosophy of Religion.
Area 6: Family, Sexuality and Human Love
Human typologies. Family as a change agent. The new role of women in society. Affectivity and youth. Man and woman identity. The experience of the human love. Family as image of God.