Call for Papers 2024

Call for Papers for the June 2024 issue // Submission deadline: May 1st

After an unfortunate silence, Kairos, Journal of Philosophy & Science, sends out a renewed Call for Papers. For opening this new chapter of the journal, we choose to focus on the concept of “resistance.”  We believe that this concept matches Kairos’ aim of dealing with philosophical topics of major concern in the contemporary scientific and social realms.

We understand the concept of resistance according to a broad meaning spectrum: from scientific to naturalistic uses, referring to the resilience and fitness of a body, to the description of sophisticated social and political attitudes. In its scientific scope, the concept of resistance, taking its roots in Physics, has acquired a pertinent place in medicine (referring to a body’s ability to resist disease), in psychology and psychoanalysis (the individual’s capacity to resist adversity or the analysis of the unconscious), and a central role in social sciences, namely in the so-called “Resistance Studies”. Moreover, the concept of resistance is of important relevance in Philosophy of science (for instance, the key innovative value of refutation in Karl Popper or Thomas Kuhn’s tribute to the constructive role of the normal scientist as the one who resists change).

However, it is in the context of political philosophy that the concept of resistance has been most thematized, namely in the tradition of Contractualism in which the “right to resistance” is consecrated. That is the case of Thomas Hobbes for whom resistance is a response to situations of misrule so extreme that life itself is put in danger. Later, for many political thinkers, resistance will be thought of, either as a mechanism of defence of the inalienable right to life, liberty, equality and property (Locke), or as a moral duty (Rousseau, Kant). Likewise, in the puzzled spectrum of XIX and XX century political philosophy, the concept of resistance will be claimed by diverse theoretical perspectives: from Marxist tradition to Henry David Thoreau, but also Bertrand Russell, Erich Fromm, Hannah Arendt, Norberto Bobbio, Jurgen Habermas and John Rawls, all offer paramount insights to this debate. 

Among the political theorists who do not recognize themselves within these realms, it is possible to find a radically different formulation, such as that put forward by Michel Foucault who approached the concept of resistance from an ontological perspective, and argued that if resistance is not primordial in relationships of power, if it is not inherent to will, then freedom is impossible. This is also the vantage point from which authors such as Toni Negri and Michael Hardt think of resistance, understood as the “will to be against.” That is, against the established authority and its tendency towards securing domination. We are thinking also of Jacques Rancière, who emphasizes the porosity of the relationship between politics and aesthetics by means of the concept of dissent, central to both fields and designating the urgency in the production of ruptures in the sensitive tissue of perceptions and in the dynamics of affect. Moreover, the Nietzschean will to power, the will’s refusal to bow down to power, can be understood in terms of resistance; so does Bergson’s concept of duration describing endurance and preservation of being through change. 

Furthermore, there is an eloquent complicity between philosophy and the act of resistance, to the extent that philosophy itself can be defined as an act of resistance. The conceptual positioning of philosophy against mere opinion functions as a transcendental, that is, it induces a vision of the world: it sketches a territory to come proposed as an alternative to the commonplaces where opinion is housed. That is why - as Deleuze & Guattari argue in What is Philosophy? – the philosopher’s job, as a creator of concepts, always consists in resisting the present, striving to offer new possibilities that are beyond the clichés of common sense. In short, we could say: philosophy is born as an act of resistance and its history is written as resistance.

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We would like to open the pages of Kairos, Journal of Philosophy & Science for your reflections on the theoretical complexity of the concept of resistance. Aware of the many names and nicknames that surround the concept of resistance − dissidence, contestation, protest, civil disobedience, insurrection, revolt, rebellion, rejection, and also resilience, adaptability, flexibility, reaction, opposition, reluctance, etc. − we invite contributions that aim at shedding light on the theoretical and practical levels of the concept of resistance, in its epistemological, political, ontological, aesthetical dimensions. What does it mean to resist today? What do we need to resist today?  What forms can resistance take today? What new names does resistance adopt today? And which old ones has it, or should it shed?