Our Workshops

Attend one of our 2024 Workshops

Concerning Human Rights

Our workshop about Perspectives on Human Rights can be joined quarterly in 2024.  Title of the workshop is:

– Human Rights in Perspective
From cultural relativisme to Future Practice

At the start of our workshop we first look at some open source ‘fast journalism’ articles on Human Rights to get a grip on the field. The topics range from failure of Human Rights politics to defenses for future use. The article of Volodymyr Yermolenko: “Do European values still matter in Ukraïne?” from eurozone.com will be the starting point for the discussion.

During the discussion we will look at the works of Martha Nussbaum and the ‘capabilities theory’. With Nussbaum we go back to the philosophy of Hugo Grotius, ‘founder’ of Natural Law, and look more closely to his cultural position in the Dutch Republic of the 17th century.  We also take a look at the position of Pierre Bayle, his opinion on Grotius and Natural Law.  We then discuss the weak and strong points of these authors, using the notions ‘agora’ (market place) and ‘agon’ (struggle) from the Yermolenko article to get a grip on the positions.

We then look at some ‘agora’ philosophers like Hannah Arendt and Jürgen Habermas, and some ‘agon’ philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche, Carl Schmidt and Chantal Mouffe.

To clarify these historical forms of thinking in modern terms we conclude with a analysis (in line with Nussbaum’s capability approach) of the book of Bridle: ”Ways of Being”, and the ecological concepts he uses.

The results of this historical journey will be that from the two opposing positions of Yermolenko in his article, the ‘agora’ and ‘agon’, we will get a new edifice of meaning concerning the Human Rights discussion to be used in ‘fast journalism’.

Candide - Voltaire
Velasques Pope

On Human Language

Our workshop perspectives on human language can be joined quarterly in 2024. Title of the workshop is:

– Who owns our language?
Perspective on human language and its extension to A.I.

We start with a summary of the New York Times article “A.I. Is Mastering Language. Should We Trust What It Says?” by Steve Johnson. This gives us an overview on what the OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model does and the prima facie questions we can raise on these developments in producing ‘meaningful language’.

We then look at some open source articles on what (human) language is to get a wide spectrum of opinions on the notion of language.

Next we take a look at the controversy between Slavoj Žižek and Bruno Latour about what it exactly is to use language within an overarching  ‘world view’. From this we get a clearer sight on the most influential languages theories within an overarching world view. Here we also touch on the problematic position of ‘the linguistic turn’ in philosophy.

From these positions on language, especially of Žižek and Latour, but also of philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Gilles Deleuze, we end up with a new edifice of meaning concerning the use of (human) language in a complex world, and what language ‘does’ in the world and and how to use it properly.

Your stay in Rotterdam