It is particularly auspicious for the 25th World Congress of Philosophy to take place in Rome. Few other places would as strikingly illustrate the theme of the Congress, “Philosophy across Boundaries”, as this city does through its unique historical heritage. Rome is not just a spectacular setting: it embodies a distinctive cosmopolitan ideal, the spirit of a civilization that remarkably chose the story of a refugee, Aeneas, drifting on a raft in the Mediterranean to seek asylum on the coast of Latium, as its founding myth.
The decision that Rome would host the next World Congress of Philosophy was taken in the dark days of the Covid-19 pandemic. While the social, economic, political, technological, and cultural destiny of our common world was deeply questioned, as it continues to be, the Italian Philosophical Society, Sapienza University, and the Italian philosophical community at large joined hands to provide us – philosophers from all corners of the world – with an actual hope of keeping our long-lasting tradition alive.
A glance at the plenary program of the Congress should reveal a shared attempt to embed theoretical reflections in the lived reality of our time. Leading scholars of diverse backgrounds will discuss pressing ethical, social, and spiritual issues; they will challenge rigid disciplinary demarcations; and they will address urgent public concerns such as inequalities, cultural and gender diversity, sustainability, rights, and political transformations on a global scale.
The design of the overall program is informed by an unrelenting commitment to diversity of all kinds. Through its 89 sections for submitted papers and a foreseeably significant number of panels proceeding from all areas of philosophy, the Congress will bring together scholars with diverse concerns and ideas from all continents and regions, and it will provide a platform to philosophically reflect on and exchange those ideas in ways that we hope will prove to be fruitful and durable. You are warmly invited to submit proposals either for individual communications or for round tables of your choice: in all cases, the spirit of Rome invites us to think across national and political divides, to overcome cultural delimitations, and to shift our gaze from our own traditions to the complex interweaving of human civilizations from antiquity to today.
In addition to established academics and lovers of philosophy, the Congress considers students and young scholars as vital participants. We hope that students will be able to establish contact and exchange their views with international scholars, that they will be able to foster durable friendships, scholarly as well as personal, and that the Congress may become the seeding ground of new philosophical networks. It is our hope that their experience at the Congress will enable them to regard the world as their home, to live in it with a deep sensitivity for other forms of reasoning, other points of view, and other habits. For the present, more than ever before, familiarity with a plurality of perspectives is critical for ensuring full freedom of choice and full citizenship to the next generations.
For all these reasons, it is our great honor to invite you to participate in the 25th World Congress of Philosophy, from August 1-8, 2024, in the breathtaking scenery of Rome – a Congress that we hope would become a historic opportunity for philosophical communities worldwide to assert the continuing importance of philosophical thinking in the public sphere. We look forward to welcoming you.
Luca Maria Scarantino
International Federation of Philosophical Societies