The enterprise of philosophy has, throughout the ages, become much narrow, be it in the humanities or in the so-called human sciences. Philosophers are nowadays often considered relicts of the past, useless figures that do not engage with the practical world outside of the academy. Indeed, the contemporary philosopher has created a chimerical space in which they try to improve their technical skills, and though they have been largely successful in doing this, they have in so doing forgot to consider the world outside of the academy and so let the central field of their philosophical activities fall into oblivion. Detached from the actual world of education, academic philosophy has almost lost its power of influence in the realm of ideas, world outlooks and beliefs.
The historical roots of this condition may be traced back to Ancient Greece. Socrates was a philosopher who was considered, in the society he lived in, a potential subversive figure, and was condemned to death by the judges of Athens. Plato, his student, founded the Academy almost ten years later, following the trial of his “master”. Since then, the academy has been a “refuge” of sorts, where philosophers could exercise their philosophical activities without being considered a danger to society.
The aim of the festival is hence to challenge philosophy to move outside of the technical realm and to renew such questions as: what is philosophy? Who is the philosopher? Does philosophy have any chance to survive outside of the academy in new ways? Is there any chance to create, in such a comprehensively professional world, a new “professional” philosophical figure? What could be one of the applied fields for these philosophers? Is philosophy nowadays still useful?