London Met student hosts Schopenhauer workshop at prestigious congress in Romania

First-year PhD student, Oliver Brown, successfully convened a workshop at the fourth World Congress on Logic and Religion, held in Sinaia, Romania, between 3 and 8 September.

Date: 2 October 2023

Oliver Brown was competitively selected to design, convene, and chair a workshop by the Schopenhauer-Gesellschaft, at the World Congress on Logic and Religion.

The Congress aims to provide a place where scholars from all fields, as well as theologians of all religions, can come together to discuss the relationship between logic and religion, reason and faith, rational inquiry and divine revelation.

Oliver decided on the theme for the workshop,  Mythos and Logos: Schopenhauer and the Relationship between Philosophy and Religion. He recruited Professor Matthias Koßler, of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz and President of the Schopenhauer-Gesellschaft, to deliver the keynote paper to the workshop. The call for papers attracted scholars working on aspects of Schopenhauer’s writings on logic and religion from Japan, Brazil, India, Germany, Italy, Romania, and the UK, and the workshop was well attended by scholars working in fields apart from Schopenhauer.

Oliver was supported in his organisation of the workshop by Dr Jens Lemanski, Researcher in Philosophy at the University of Münster and FernUniversität, Hagen, and Oliver’s supervisor at London Met, Dr Christopher Ryan. Oliver, Jens and Christopher also presented papers at the workshop.

Papers at the workshop addressed issues concerning Schopenhauer’s thoughts on the use of logic diagrams; his rational representationalism; the significance to philosophy and religion of his sharp division between rational thinking (Wissen) and immediate perception (Anschauung); his conception of the relation between science and religion; the young Schopenhauer’s engagement with Romanticism and Indology; his thoughts on how the visual arts and music directly express religious sentiments; and the propriety of his use of the mahāvākya (Great speech) tat tvam asi to express the metaphysical foundation of his morality of compassion.

After the workshop, Oliver and Christopher were approached by Jean-Yves Beziau, Professor of Logic at the University of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, and editor of the series Studies in Universal Logic, Springer, to submit a book proposal based on the papers given in the workshop.

Oliver is currently studying for a PhD which aims to resolve some of the conceptual problems concerning the relation between Schopenhauer’s metaphysics and ethics by calling on resources from Indian philosophy.

The workshop would not have been possible without the financial support provided by the Logic and Religion Association and the Schopenhauer-Gesellschaft, while Oliver and Christopher are grateful to Kelly Cooper and Professor Duncan Stewart for supporting their attendance at and participation in the conference.

Attendees of World Congress of Logic and Religion. London Met student Oliver Brown (green shirt)