Scholars' Association News
Issue 35
July 2015


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New York Night of Philosophy: A 12-hour intellectual marathon

With a degree of watchful enthusiasm, more than 5,000 people attended the New York Night of Philosophy from 7pm to 7am on 15 April 2015; a 12-hour intellectual endurance race organised jointly by the Cultural Section of the French Embassy in New York, the Cultural Centre of the subsidiary Onassis Foundation in New York, the FACE Institute and the Ukrainian Institute of America.

85 philosophers and artists supplied the event with stimulating talks and artistic events, resulting in a total of 62 talks, 12 performances, 6 art videos and music. Just some of the outstanding speakers were Barbara Cassin from the Research Centre for Ancient Thought, Léon-Robin from the Sorbonne, Monique Canto-Sperber from the French National Centre for Scientific Research in Paris, philosophy professor Simon Critchley from the New School for Social Research in New York, philosophy professor Daniel Garber from Princeton University, philosophy

professor Bruno Karsenti from the Paris School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, philosophy professor Sandra Laugier from Panthéon-Sorbonne University (Paris 1), philosophy professor Francis Wolff from École Normale Supérieure in Paris, philosophy professor Anthony Appiah from New York University, Chiara Bottici from the New School for Social Research in New York and Pascal Engel from the University of Geneva. The event was planned by Mériam Korichi, philosopher, director and biographer of Andy Warhol, who has also curated similar events in Paris, London and Berlin in the past.

The programme involved parallel sessions so that the audience could move around and freely select the speaker they wanted to hear, and get to know and talk to other attendees. The philosophers each had 20 minutes to discuss a wide range of topics, from ethics to happiness and from freedom of speech, to suicide and scandal.

The artistic programme included a 5-hour reading of Marquis de Sade’s Philosophy in the Bedroom, the Rising Awareness performance presented by Eve Bailey, balancing on wooden beams, music from DJs, other-worldly sounds from within a wooden space capsule and quite a few other parallel events.

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