XXV World Congress of Philosophy

Round Table
Susanne K. Langer’s Philosophy and Legacy

Join us for a discussion with international scholars Donald Dryden (USA), Giulia Felappi (IT), Christian Grüny (DE), Tereza Hadravová (CZ), Adam Nocek (USA), Eldritch Priest (CAN), Martina Sauer (DE) and Lona Gaikis (DE/CAN).

2. August 2024. La Sapienza University, Rome.

ABSTRACT

Logician and philosopher of art Susanne K. Langer (1895–1985) is a remarkable figure of twentieth-century thought. She devoted her philosophical engagement to mathematical and linguistic questions, and had a deeply ingrained curiosity for the meaning of the forms of art. In this, Langer continued Ernst Cassirer and Alfred North Whitehead’s attempts towards a broader symbolistic turn. In review of twentieth century philosophy, and the female voices that shaped it, her work is currently experiencing a renaissance. 

This round table collects international scholars from various fields (philosophy, arts, aesthetics, psychology and theoretical biology) engaged in Langer’s work and its generative ideas. 

Langer is considered an early and formative figure of the analytic movement in the US, bridging the continental divide. Her philosophy centres on the idea of the arts having “epistemological import.” 

We will touch upon the interdisciplinarity in Langer’s philosophy, reaching from logic, across the study of perception to a biologically grounded theory of the embodied and embedded mind. 

Which aspects, brought into the present day, have visionary potential, offering, e.g., an organic theory of feeling as a new avenue in biology? Can her concept of mind aid in navigating an age of Human-like artificial systems?