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Petra Gehring: A theory of the senses between philosophy of science, phenomenology and ethics: Michel Serres
Michel Serres is perhaps the most well-known “unknown” contemporary French philosopher. Ever since the late 1950s until he passed away in June 2019, he has been writing – a lot, fluently and creating his own écriture. His works cross the boundaries of formats. In the Talk Serres’ Version of Sensualism, which is notably represented by the book Les Cinq Sens, The five senses, is being presented. Serres’ Theory of the Senses is closely associated with the philosophical tradition of phenomenology, but as well a masterpiece of classical structuralism. Aim of the talk is to characterise Serres first as a historian and a philosopher of science – which by right he is primarily recognised. But other points of view will then have to be added to the picture. Specifically relevant are those of aesthetics, technology and especially ethics. It is hard to say whether the latter aspect of Serres’ work is indeed to be interpreted as “ethical” or better as: culturally diagnostic, political or even religious. The fit between this culture-critical trait seen in Serres’ work and the empiricism (evident in the theory of senses in Les Cinq Sens) is worth to be examined in detail.
Photo: Alexander Vejnovic
Prof. Dr. Petra Gehring is teaching Theoretical Philosophy at the TU Darmstadt, Germany. Her scientific work focuses on the philosophy of technology, biotechnology and digital technologies, methods of digital humanities, and forms of judical and ethical normativity.