Symposium 29th September 2005

symposiumSign and Critique – Comparative Analysis of Philosophical Re-Orientations
in the Baltic Sea Area

A Symposium in Aleksanteri Institute, 29 th of September – 1 st of October, 2005

The symposium is devoted to a comparative analysis of two significant re-organization processes of philosophical thought in the Baltic area: the reception of Kant’s philosophy in the end of the 18 th and beginning of 19 th century, and the demise of the Marxist-Leninist ideology in the end of the 20 th century.

Both processes led to considerable re-evaluations in philosophy and philosophical culture of the respective countries, which can be summed up in the concepts of “critique” and “sign”. In the first case, the critique, that is, the critical philosophy initiated by Kant, became itself a sign of a new orientation in philosophy; this is a process, the twists of which can be shown in concreto by analyzing the Kant reception in the Baltic area and how it, by introducing a reflexive point of view into philosophical matters, made the old metaphysics and Popularphilosophie impossible. In the second case, it will be explicated, how just a philosophical interest on the nature of the sign and different semiotic systems implicitely led to a critique of the orthodox Marxism-Leninism by making explicite its lack of reflection and thus “un-critical” nature. Such semiotic approaches which would deserve a special attention are e. g. the hermeneutics in Estonia, analytic philosophy in Lithuania, logical semantics in Poland, and, in particular, cultural semiotics (especially in Russia, but the phenomenology of culture in Latvia should be mentioned in this context, too).

The symposium will last three days (29 th of September – 1 st of October) so that the first day is dedicated to the questions of Kant reception, the second to the semiotic systems (language, culture) as a philosophical critique. The third day is reserved for a final discussion. The contributions will be published. The languages of the symposium are English and German.


For further information, please contact:
Vesa Oittinen
Ph. D., Docent, Researcher
Aleksanteri Institute
P.O.Box 42 (Töölönkatu 3 A)
Fax +358-9-191 2867
vesa.oittinen [at]