Category Archives: Guests

Karel Kleisner

kleisnerInterested in evolution and ecology of organisms’ external appearances, theoretical morphology, biosemiotics, and cross-cultural and cross-species perception. There is a simple question behind all that: How it is come about that organisms evolved opaque patterned surfaces and for what reasons different organisms look as they look?  His theoretical and empirical research focuses on a broad span of phenomena from cross-cultural perception of human faces to ecology of ultraviolet patterns on butterfly wings. His papers regularly appear within standard international scientific journals, book series, and other scientific media

Gáspár Miklós Tamás

Tamás Gáspár MiklósBorn in Cluj, Romania, Gáspár Miklós Tamás—also known as TGM—emigrated to Hungary after encountering political difficulties with the authorities as an assistant editor of a literary weekly in Transylvania. He taught at the University of Budapest (ELTE) until he was sacked for political reasons once more, and became famous as a dissident intellectual. From 1986 to 1988, he taught in the United States, Britain and France, and studied at Oxford. A former representative of the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) from 1989 to 1994 in the Hungarian Parliament, he became President of the extra-parliamentary Green Left between 2010 and 2011.  He was recently granted the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Soros Foundation Hungary. He published books on political philosophy and social theory. His works, among which, have been translated into 12 languages.

See his synthesis on his concept of “post-fascism” on openDemocracy.

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Lenka Bydžovská

bydzovskaAn art historian trained in Prague and Sienna, Italy, Lenka Bydžovská has published extensively on the Czech avant-garde and modernism in international contexts—whether on the dark side of modernity (with Vojtěch Lahoda and Karel Srp, Černá slunce. Odvrácená strana modernity, 2012) or on singular artists (Josef Šíma, in 2006 or Jindřich Štyrský in 2007. She has been the curator of many exhibitions on the Czech avant-garde, as well as on Alfons Mucha: Slovanstvo bratrské (Alfons Mucha: The Fraternal Slavic People, Prague, 2005). She published in 2011 with Karel Srp a book on the Slavonic Epopee (Alfons Mucha. Slovanská epopej). Lenka Bydžovská is the head of the Department of 19th to 21st Centuries Art at the Institute of Art of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

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Miroslav Petřiček

PetricekCzech philosopher Miroslav Petřiček is renowned for his work on aesthetics and especially on cinema (Myšlení obrazem, 2009). Banned for political reasons from the university, he worked from 1972 to 1990 at the Hydrome­teorological Institute. Thus, he took part in Jan Patočka’s private seminars from 1971 to 1977. He has translated French modern philosophy extensively (Derrida, Barthes, Merleau-Ponty), and is also the translator in Czech of the works of Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard.  He currently teaches at the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University in Prague.

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Benedetta Zaccarello

Zaccarello2A specialist of Paul Valéry (Funzione e Mistero di Paul Valéry: tracce dei Cahiers nella filosofia contemporanea, 2016), Benedetta Zaccarello studies the relationship between philosophy and literary criticism. This led her to reappraise the part played by writing as a practice in philosophical texts, and to work on the textual archives left by philosophers such as Jan Patočka and Aurobindo Ghose. A researcher at CNRS, she is also a visiting professor at the Faculty of Humanities of the Charles University.

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Jan Maršálek

marsalekJan Maršálek obtained his Master Degree in sociology (2007) at the Charles University in Prague and a second Master Degree in “Political Studies” (2008) at the EHESS in Paris. Former élève at the École normale supérieure in Paris (International Selection, 2005-2008), he obtained his doctoral degree in philosophy at the Université de Franche-Comté and sociology at the Charles University in Prague (“On the Method’s Disappearance: Analysis between philosophies of social contract and classical sociologies”). Jan Maršálek is presently working on the generalization of the topic of “disappearance of scientific objects”. He is a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

Michaela Pejčochová

MP_12_2013Michaela Pejčochová is curator of the Chinese art collections in the National Gallery in Prague. During her studies at the Charles University in Prague, she was concerned mainly with the theory and philosophy of Chinese literature and art. The seeming “emptiness” of Chinese theoretical treatises is compensated in her work with the care of art collections, themselves of a very tangible nature, and curating of exhibitions from these artworks. In this realm, she concentrates mainly on ancient Chinese painting and Chinese art world of the inter-war period. This resulted in 2008 in the exhibition and publication Masters of 20th-Century Chinese Ink Painting from the Collections of the National Gallery in Prague. These topics will also be at the centre of the forthcoming publication The Call of the East – Europe in China, China in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s.

Monika Murawska

Murawskaphilosopher and a historian of art, Monika Murawska has dealt with French phenomenology in three books: on Levinas and Merleau-Ponty in Problem innego (The Problem of the Other, 2005), on Michel Henry in Filozofowanie z zamkniętymi oczami (Making Philosophy With One’s Eyes Shut, 2011) and on Jean Renoir. Malarz kadrów (Jean Renoir. Painter of movie frames2012). She is also a translator from French and Polish. She currently teaches in the Theory Department of the Faculty of Media Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. 

Judith Revel

Revel2As a specialist of French and Italian Contemporary Philosophy, Judith Revel is famous for her work on Michel Foucault (Foucault: Experiences de la pensée, 2005, Dictionnaire Foucault, 2007, Foucault. Une pensée du discontinu, 2010). IN the last decade, she has particularly worked on regimes of governmentally  modes of subjectivation and practices of resistance, as well as on French and Italian readings of biopolitics. She recently published Foucault avec Merleau-Ponty. Ontologie politique, présentisme et histoire (Foucault with Merleau-Ponty. Political Ontology, Presentism and History, 2015): she is now working about the different representations of History in Political Thought after 1945.  She is Professor of Contemporary Philosophy at Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense University.

Listen to here on France Culture Radio.

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Claire Marin

Marin2Doleo ergo sum. The vulnerability of man is at the core of French writer and philosopher Claire Marin’s thought, who criticizes the expectations surrounding medicine and the rationalist utopia of biotechnologies in her 2013 book L’Homme sans fièvre (Feverless Man). As a writer, she published a novel entitled Hors de moi (2008) where she gives account on her relationship with the disease which attacked her as a young woman. She received the Pierre Simon—Ethics and Society Award for her 2010 book Violences de la vie, violences de la maladie.

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Frédéric Keck

Keck2After studying anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, Frédéric Keck has published many works on Claude Lévi-Strauss and conducted ethnographic research on health crises caused by animal diseases, firstly at the Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments (2005-2007) then at the Hong Kong Pasteur Research Centre (2007-2009). Such research led him to publish several journal editions and collective books, as well as a book in the form of a traveller’s tale (Un Monde Grippé, 2010). Awarded many times, he is a member of the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale based at the Collège de France, where he headed the team on “Human/Animal Relations: Contemporary Issues” (with Claude Ferret) and the project “Social Representations of Pathogens on the Boundaries of Species”, which received support from the Axa Research Fund (2013-2016). He is currently the head of the Department of Research and Education of Quai Branly Museum in Paris.

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Michael Foessel

Foessel2A specialist of Kant and Ricoeur, Michael Foessel explores the relationship between the political and the private spheres and advocates for a balance between the mystery of the self and the openness of democracy. He is renowned for his 2013 Après la fin du mondeCritique de la raison apocalyptique (After the End of the World. Critique of the Apocalyptical Reason). In his last book, Le Temps de la consolation (The Time of Consolation, 2015), he reinvestigates the power of consolation at the origins of philosophy. A member of the board of French magazine Esprit, he is a regular contributor to French daily Libération and teaches at École Polytechnique.

Listen to him in French on France Culture Radio.

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Fabrice Flipo

flipoFabrice Flipo investigates the field of political ecology, on which he has published many books and articles, such as his last two opus, Les Enjeux d’une philosophie politique écologiste (The Stakes of a Political Ecologist Philosophy, 2014) and Nature et politique. Contribution à une anthropologie de la modernité et de la globalisation (Nature & Politics. Contribution to an Anthropology of Modernity and Globalization, 2014). He spent a year in Delhi for the purpose of his work. He is also renowned for his 2010 book with D. Bayon and F. Schneider on ‘Degrowth’ ( La décroissance – 10 questions pour comprendre et en débattre), which has been translated in Italian and Portuguese. He teaches at Telecom Business School in Paris.



Listen to some of his interviews in French on France Culture Radio.

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Bernard Feltz


Trained both as a biologist and a philosopher, Bernard Feltz’s work engages with contemporary debates both within the philosophy of science—reductionism, evolution theory, Darwinism or self-organization (see his 2006 Self-organization and emergence in life sciences) and with the question of environment (sustainable development, or the relationship between man and nature). On these topics, he is the author of several books and articles in French and English, among which La Science et le vivant. Philosophie des sciences et modernité critique (Science and Life. Philosophy of Sciences and Critical Modernity, 2014) and with Stéphane Leyens, La Nature en éclats. Cinq controverses philosophiques (Shattered Nature. Five Philosophical Controversies, 2015). He currently teaches at the Louvain-la-Neuve University in Belgium (UCLouvain), where he did head the Institut supérieur de philosophie.

Pierre Montebello

MontebelloFrench philosopher Pierre Montebello explores both aesthetics and metaphysics. He’s the author of many books and articles on the relationship between body and consciousness in the history of philosophy  (such as his Nietzsche, La Volonté de puissance in 2001), and on modern aesthetics (for instance, Deleuze, philosophie et cinéma, Vrin, 2008 or Kant, son esthétique entre mythes et récits in 2015 with Sabine Forero). Ha has lately developed his research on nature metaphysics from Schopenhauer to modern ontology, as shown by his last work, Métaphysiques cosmomorphes, la fin du monde humain (Cosmomorphic Metaphysics. The End of the Human World, 2015). He teaches at Le Mirail University in Toulouse.