CFA: “Crises in Nature. Philosophy of Nature and Philosophy of Spirit” (Basel, 8 – 9 December 2023)

We are glad to give notice that the call for abstracts for the workshop “Crises in Nature. Philosophy of Nature and Philosophy of Spirit” is now open. The conference will take place at the University of Basel on December 8th– 9th, 2023.

The event is organized by Wacyl Azzouz and Andrej Sascha Peter (University of Basel).

Please find below the text of the call.


What do crises in nature (as all living beings suffer) and crises in spirit (such as in practice, history, art, and science) have in common? What we understand by “crisis” dates back to Hippocrates, who used the word to refer to the moment in the progression of an illness decisive for its outcome, which for the patient is either life or death. It seems, therefore, that all living beings suffer crises. And yet crises might also mark the point at which spirit differentiates itself from nature. Nature is all that is. Spirit is what comprehends its being. In crisis, it seems, being comprehends itself.

Hegel’s Encyclopedia concludes its chapters on nature with a chapter on sickness and death. Not just in Hegel, but also in contemporary works, topics such as actions and practices are introduced following the author’s reflection on crises in nature. Thus, it seems Hegel is not the only one for whom the notion of crisis plays a crucial role in the distinction between nature and spirit.

In our workshop, we would like to take a closer look at this role. We believe the role of crisis has yet to receive the attention it merits, though it is ever-present in both contemporary and historical discussions about the relations of world and mind, action and life, nature and spirit. Our workshop will be kindly supervised by Luca Illetterati, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Padova. Additionally, Professor Illetterati will give a lecture on Friday evening.


PhD students and early postdocs are invited to submit abstracts of about 500 words until the 31st of October. Abstracts should outline possible contributions to the discussion. They may be in English or in German.

We are interested in projects concerning the difference between nature and spirit, mind and world, in and beyond Hegel, the notion of crisis in general, and on the notion of crisis in nature in particular.

Presentations should be roughly 30 minutes long, as we would like to have enough time for discussions. For contributors we will take effort to organize accommodations and cover travel expenses.

For submitting your abstract, and also if you have any questions feel free to write an e-mail to




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