About our department
The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies conducts research and teaching in an extremely broad range of areas of philosophy and religious studies covering the main historical periods (from ancient to contemporary philosophy) as well as traditional disciplines (logic, ethics, political philosophy) and trends (phenomenology, hermeneutics, analytic philosophy). Religious areas in focus include ancient Greece and Rome, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and the ancient Near East, as well as general theories of religion from different perspectives: philosophy of religion, phenomenology of religion, psychology of religion, sociology of religion, anthropology of religion. In this way, the philosophy’s pivotal role in university education and research is adequately developed within the high standards of philosophical scholarship. The department’s traditional strengths are phenomenology (due to the influence of Jan Patočka) and ancient philosophy. However, the faculty members combine and investigate different approaches and philosophical methods in several other domains, esp. philosophy of art, analytic philosophy and early modern philosophy. The results of this long-term strategy are very positive, including an ever-increasing number of international (mainly English, German, and French) publications in prestigious journals and publishing houses. The subject of philosophy at Charles University ranks traditionally high in the QS World University Ranking by Subject (among the top 150 Universities since 2011).
Our department offers courses in all areas of philosophy. Each term there are at least three to five courses in English and couple of others in other foreign languages (i.e. mostly French or German). There are new courses each term, for the actual courses please check our schedule HERE (if you click on the course code, the course page from the Student Information System with annotation will open in a new window).
Unfortunately we do not offer a degree programs in foreign languages, in order to study with us on any level (BA, MA and PhD) you have to know some Czech in order to follow the lectures and participate in the seminars. Nevertheless, a degree program (most probably a PhD program in Philosophy) is one of our plans for close future.
If you have any questions concerning our department, please do not hesitate to contact our departmental coordinator of international relations (Ondřej Švec).
For historical reasons, the department’s strengths have been in phenomenology and ancient philosophy. In the last decade, the faculty members have systematically combined different approaches and philosophical methods in their research. This has led to original output in the intersection of areas such as ethics and ancient philosophy, pragmatism and phenomenology, hermeneutics and political philosophy, philosophy of mind and history of modern philosophy, analytic philosophy and philosophy of art etc. Scholarly papers have appeared in high quality journals such as Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, Phänomenologische Forschungen, Rhizomata, Erkenntnis, Synthese, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Philosophia, Annales bergsoniennes, Revue Internationale de Philosophie, Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie, Phronesis, Aries, Contemporary Pragmatism, etc. Monographs have been published in Cambridge University Press, Bloomsbury, Vrin, OLMS, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Doubleday, Herder Verlag, Harrassowitz Verlag.
As for institutional funding, most of the recent research has been associated with the university’s research program Rationality in Human Sciences (2012-2016). This research scrutinizes overlapping themes in different human sciences in order to identify common forms of rationality and their critical potential in the present world. The program divides thematically into three modules: (a) Varieties of Ethics, (b) Knowledge and Normativity, (c) Cultures as Metaphors of the World. The research in ancient and medieval philosophy is conducted within the framework of the University Centre for the Study of the Ancient and Medieval Tradition of Thought (2012-2017). The centre combines philosophical, theological and philological perspectives on the common cultural and spiritual heritage. As for special-purpose funding (mainly Grant Agency of Czech Republic), the research of the last years has been focused on the ancient philosophy (2014-2016 Man in Aristotle’s Philosophy), the interactions between traditional and modern philosophy (2011-2015 Apriority, Syntheticity and Analyticity from Medieval Thought to Contemporary Philosophy), the interactions between pragmatism and phenomenology (2014-2016 Pragmatic Turn in Phenomenology) and the philosophy of mind (2012-2015 Concept of Consciousness, Its Unity and Variability). Since 2012, the Institute has been an active participant in the Prague Centre for Jewish Studies, particularly in the area of Jewish philosophy.
In accord with the philosophy’s role in university education the department’s publishing strategy aims at both high quality publications in prestigious international journals and publishing houses and development of the department’s educational and cultural function (translations and editorial work in Czech for a wider academic, as well as a non-academic, audience and the like).
As for recent outputs, listed below are a few covering the variety of the department’s research:
T. Halík, O meu Deus é um Deus ferido. Prior Velho: Paulinas, 2015.
M. Pehal, Interpreting Ancient Egyptian Narratives. Bruxelles: EME, 2014.
O. Švec, Phénoménologie des émotions, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2013.
R. Chlup, Proclus: an introduction. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
J. Hill, Descartes and the Doubting Mind, London: Bloomsbury 2012.
J. Karásek, Sprache und Anerkennung: philosophische Untersuchungen zum Zusammenhang von Selbstbewusstsein, Intersubjektivität und Personalität. Göttingen: V&R Unipress, 2011.
J. Palkoska, Substance and Intelligibility in Leibniz’s Metaphysics, Franz Steiner Verlag: Stuttgart 2010.
J. Čapek. Action et situation. Le sens du possible entre phénoménologie et herméneutique, Georg Olms Verlag: Hildesheim 2010.
V. Kolman, „Logicism as Making the Arithmetic Explicit“, Erkenntnis 80, 2015, 487-503.
K. Thein, „Aristotle, critique de Platon sur les causes“, Chôra. Revue d’études anciennes et médiévales 12, 2014, 15‑46.
V. Kolman, „Normative Pragmatism and the Language Game of Music“, Contemporary Pragmatism 11, 2014, 147-163.
K. Thein, „Some Conceptual Difficulties in Aristotle’s De caelo I.9“, Rhizomata. A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science 1, 2013, 63-84.
J. Hill, „How Hume Became ‚The New Hume‘: A Developmental Approach“, Journal of Scottish Philosophy, 2012, 2012, 163-181.
J. Jirsa, „Sophists, Names and Democracy“, Croatian Journal of Philosophy, 35, 2012, 125-138.
K. Thein, „Imagination, Self-Awareness, and Modal Thought at Philebus 39-40“, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 42, 2012, 109-149.
V. Kolman, „Continuum, Name, and Paradox”, Synthese 175, 2010, 351–367.
Since 2010, the department has been the co-issuer of the philosophical journal Reflexe.
National and International Partner Institutions
The department’s principal domestic partner is the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. The Department is engaged in OFFRES, a network of university departments in French-speaking countries, participating in the organization of events such as the Action Summer University. A further, international partner organisation is The Southeast-European Association for Ancient Philosophy (SEAAP). The student exchange contracts under the Erasmus Programme include 14 universities. The department has also intensive relations with the Department of Philosophy at Central European University and with the School of Philosophy, University College Dublin.
Major Conferences and Events
Recent conferences organized and co-organized by Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies include:
Pragmatic Perspectives on Phenomenology, Prague, 5.-6. 2. 2015
Canguilhem et la pensée du vivant, Prague, 24.-25. 11. 2014
De Anima III, in cooperation with Southeast-European Association for Ancient Philosophy (SEAAP), Prague, 4.-6.9.2014
Phenomenal Consciousness in the Physical World, in cooperation with the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, 2.-4. 6. 2014
Ninth International Plato Symposium in Prague on the theme of Plato's Philebus, Prague, 14.–16. 11. 2013
Questioning Subjectivity, in cooperation with the Jan Patočka Archive, Prague, 16.-17. 9. 2013