Ph.d., Dr. habil. theol. & phil.
Institute of Philosophy
Slovak Academy of Sciences
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New Editor for Philosophy Series Published by Brill
Studies in the History of Western Philosophy
Series: Value Inquiry Book Series
Editor: Jon Stewart
Today research in the history of Western philosophy is a global phenomenon. The series features the work of leading scholars from the different subfields, regardless of where they are found in the world. Philosophy is a discipline substantially enriched by a broad dialogue of perspectives that transcend the local contexts – the Studies in the History of Western Philosophy series provides a forum for this dialogue. The series also strives to showcase the modern importance and relevance of the history of Western philosophy to pressing issues of our day. This series seeks single-author monographs and collected-author volumes that demonstrate that the texts, figures and debates from the history of the Western tradition are still very much alive in the academic field of philosophy, and in many areas beyond its conventional boundaries.
First volume of the series under the new editorship:
Modern and Postmodern Crises of Symbolic Structures:
Essays in Philosophical Anthropology
Edited by Peter Šajda
Leiden and Boston: Brill 2021
In debates about philosophical anthropology human beings have been defined in different ways. In Modern and Postmodern Crises of Symbolic Structures, the contributors view the human being primarily as animal symbolicum. They examine how the human being creates, interprets and changes symbolic structures, as well as how he is affected and impacted by them. The focus lies on the context of modernity and postmodernity, which is characterized by a number of interrelated crises of symbolic structures. These crises have affected the realms of science, religion, art, politics and education, and thus provoked crucial changes in the human being’s relations to himself, others and reality. The crises are not viewed merely as manifestations of dysfunctions, but rather as complex processes of transformation that also provide new opportunities.
Download Recent Articles
"Hegel’s Philosophy of Religion as a Phenomenology," in Filozofia, vol. 75, no. 5, 2020, pp. 386-400.
"The Crisis of the Danish Golden Age as the Problem of Nihilism," in The Crisis of the Danish Golden Age and Its Modern Resonance, edited by Jon Stewart and Nathaniel Kramer, Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press 2020 (Danish Golden Age Studies, vol. 12), pp. 123-168.
“Hegel’s Theory of the Emergence of Subjectivity and the Conditions for the Development of Human Rights," Filozofia, vol. 74, no. 6, 2019, pp. 456-471.
“Kierkegaard as a Thinker of Alienation,” Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook, 2019, pp. 193-216.
For more downloadable articles click here.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2021
Many students who attended Hegel’s lectures in Berlin in
the 1820s recalled with nostalgia in later life the
stimulating intellectual environment that radiated from
the ideas they heard in his lecture hall. This atmosphere
still existed a decade after his death, as zealous
students continued to flock to Berlin to study with
Hegel’s students in the 1840s. Over the coming decades
these students would come to constitute the leading lights
in Continental philosophy in the nineteenth century:
Feuerbach, Bauer, Kierkegaard, Engels, Marx, Bakunin, and
others. The present work is an introduction to the history
of this development. It takes as its point of departure
two concepts that originated in Hegel’s Phenomenology
of Spirit, namely, alienation and recognition.
Hegel’s students of both the first and the second
generation all appropriated these concepts, among others,
and applied them indifferent contexts. It is argued that
the broad constellation of problems surrounding these rich
ideas can be seen as providing a central theme of
philosophy in the nineteenth century. The work also
sketches how these concepts constituted a broader cultural
phenomenon as they spilled over into a number of other
fields as well, including religion, politics, literature,
and drama. Later in the twentieth century they were also
taken up in the then budding social sciences, especially
sociology and psychology. These concepts thus represent a
key element in the nineteenth century’s contribution to
the history of philosophy.
"It is often thought that Hegel's philosophy fell into a rather deserved obsolescence by the middle of the nineteenth century. But Hegel's Century shows that even while Hegelianism waned, Hegel's concerns with alienation and recognition continued to set the agenda for European philosophy, both inside and outside the universities. It offers a magisterial yet accessible guide to those thinkers, mystics, and revolutionaries who appropriated these Hegelian themes for radically new purposes."
Mark Alznauer - Northwestern University
An Introduction to Hegel’s Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion:
The Issue of Religious Content in the Enlightenment
This work attempts to give a basic introduction to Hegel’s religious thinking by seeing it against the backdrop of the main religious trends in his own day that he was responding to, specifically, the Enlightenment and Romanticism. The study provides an account of the criticism of religion by key Enlightenment thinkers such as Voltaire, Lessing, Hume, and Kant. This is followed by an analysis of how the Romantic thinkers, such as Rousseau, Jacobi and Schleiermacher, responded to these challenges. For Hegel, the views of these thinkers from both the Enlightenment and Romanticism tended to empty religion of its content. The goal that he sets for his own philosophy of religion is to restore this lost content. A detailed account is given of Hegel’s Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion with an eye to the issue of the content of religious faith. It is argued that the basic ideas of the Enlightenment and Romanticism are still present today and that this remains an important issue for both academics and non-academics, regardless of their religious orientation.
▪ “Hegel’s Phenomenological Method and the Later Movement of Phenomenology,” forthcoming in the Palgrave Handbook of German Idealism and Phenomenology, ed. by Cynthia D. Coe, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan 2021.
▪ “Kierkegaards Philosophische Rezeption,” forthcoming in Kierkegaard-Handbuch, ed. by Hermann Deuser, Markus Kleinert and Magnus Schlette, Stuttgart and Weimar: J.B. Metzler.
▪ “Sibbern’s Anticipations of Kierkegaard’s Polemic against the Hegelians: The Critique of Abstraction,” forthcoming in Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook, 2021.
▪ “The Significance of the Determinate Religions,” forthcoming in The Owl of Minerva, vol. 52, nos. 1-2, 2021.
Check out the new articles:
“The Misnomer of Relativism in the Modern World: The Rise of Individualism"
in the online journal Culturico (21 May, 2021):
“What is it to be Human? The Dominance of Subjectivity,” in the online journal Aeon (2 November, 2020):
The Palgrave Handbook of German Idealism and Existentialism
Edited by Jon
Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2020
This Handbook explores the complex relations between two great schools of continental philosophy: German idealism and existentialism. While the existentialists are commonly thought to have rejected idealism as overly abstract and neglectful of the concrete experience of the individual, the chapters in this collection reveal that the German idealists in fact anticipated many key existentialist ideas. A radically new vision of the history of continental philosophy is thereby established, one that understands existentialism as a continuous development from German idealism.
Oxford: Oxford University Press 2020
work presents a philosophical analysis of the development
of Western Civilization from antiquity to the Middle Ages.
It traces the various self-conceptions of the different
cultures from ancient Mesopotamia to Medieval Christendom.
The thesis is that as human civilization took its first
tenuous steps, it had a very limited conception of the
individual. Instead, the dominant principle was the wider
group: the family, clan or people. Only in the course of
history did the idea of individuality begin to emerge. The
conception of human beings as having an inner sphere of
subjectivity subsequently had a sweeping impact on all
aspects of culture and largely constitutes what is today
referred to as modernity.
Edited by Jon Stewart and Nathaniel Kramer
Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press 2020
Golden Age Studies, vol. 12)
The historical circumstances of the Danish Golden Age are well known: the Napoleonic Wars, the bombardment of Copenhagen, the state bankruptcy in 1814 with the ensuing financial crisis, the Revolution of 1848, and the establishment of a parliamentary democracy in 1849. There were peasant reforms, religious upheavals, and changes in class and social structures. These events constituted the milieu in which the Golden Age was born and developed. The guiding idea of the present volume is that these different crises served not just as a backdrop or as obstacles but rather as catalysts for the flowering of culture in the Golden Age.
Despite their many debates and polemics among themselves, the leading figures of Golden Age Denmark were generally in agreement about the fact that their age was in a state of crisis. The dramatic events spilled over into the various cultural spheres and shaped them in different ways. The articles in this volume trace the different crises as they appear in literature, criticism, religion, philosophy, politics and the social sciences. The contributing authors draw compelling parallels between the perceived crisis of the Golden Age and the acute issues of our own day. The articles collected here thus together show the continuing relevance of the Golden Age for readers of the twenty-first century.
Faust, Romantic Irony, and System:
German Culture in the Thought of Søren Kierkegaard
Tusculanum Press 2019
(Danish Golden Age Studies, vol. 11)
Kierkegaard readers are familiar with his dogged polemic with Hegelianism, his critique of Friedrich von Schlegel’s Romantic irony, and his visit to Schelling’s lectures in Berlin. However, these are only a few well-known examples of a much deeper relation of influence and inspiration. Kierkegaard read German fluently and was interested in many different authors and thinkers from the German-speaking countries. The auction catalogue of his personal library reveals a wealth of works in German from a number of different fields. Given his famous criticisms of the Hegelians, Schlegel, and Schelling, one might be tempted to believe that Kierkegaard was anti-German. But this is clearly not the case since he had high praise for some German thinkers such as Hamann, Lessing and Trendelenburg. The present work is dedicated to an exploration of Kierkegaard’s relation to different aspects of Germanophone culture. Its goal is to gain a better appreciation of the importance of the various German sources for his thought. The points of contact are so numerous that it can truly be said that if it were not for the influence of German culture, Kierkegaard would not have been Kierkegaard and the Danish Golden Age would not have been the Golden Age.
"This text leaves the reader with an entirely new perspective on Kierkegaard. Of course, Kierkegaard readers knew that the Dane was in dialogue with Hegel and that he occasionally refers to German theologians or literary figures, but the vast scope of this usage has gone unnoticed. Stewart demonstrates beyond a doubt that virtually all of Kierkegaard’s writings and indeed his academic agenda itself were in some way shaped by German thought. Indeed, Kierkegaard would never have been the thinker that he was without his interaction with the German intellectual tradition. This is an exciting new perspective that breaks with traditional wisdom....Jon Stewart’s new book Faust, Romantic Irony, and System: German Culture in the Thought of Søren Kierkegaard is of a very high academic standard, and it contributes in many respects new insights and promising perspectives to research in the field. The work will be highly relevant not only for researchers and scholars but for the general reader too."
István Czakó, Pázmány Péter Catholic University
"The Scandinavian countries have long been receptive to cultural currents flowing northward from the south. This has been especially the case as concerns Denmark in its relation to German culture, and this influx of ideas was particularly intense during the Danish Golden Age. Stewart’s manuscript covers a broad swath of these influences in exploring Kierkegaard’s entanglement in various aspects of Germanophone culture. Stewart’s work intends to cultivate greater appreciation of the significance of these sources for Kierkegaard’s creative work. Therefore, source work research is the functioning methodology that has allowed Stewart to identify the nature, scope, and extent of effects streaming from particular authors, writings, topics, and issues to shape Kierkegaard’s deliberations.....In every chapter the probing into the subject matter runs deep. Generally, the reader learns much about the social location of each author considered, the primary writings this figure has produced, major themes that have been addressed, Kierkegaard’s awareness of the figure, writings, and themes, and ways in which Kierkegaard was influenced by them. The highest level of scholarship informs all of these queries. An unsurpassed level of academic excellence is at work in the employment of the chosen research methodology, in the careful textual analysis of writings influencing and influenced, in the lucid articulation of the findings, and in the steadfast pursuit of carrying out the investigation in a purposeful manner."
Curtis L. Thompson, Thiel College
Interpretation of the Religions of the World:
In his Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, Hegel treats the religions of the world under the rubric “the determinate religion.” This is a part of his corpus that has traditionally been neglected since scholars have struggled to understand what philosophical work it is supposed to do. The present study argues that Hegel’s rich analyses of Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Egyptian and Greek polytheism, and the Roman religion are not simply irrelevant historical material, as is often thought. Instead, they play a central role in Hegel’s argument for what he regards as the truth of Christianity. Hegel believes that the different conceptions of the gods in the world religions are reflections of individual peoples at specific periods in history. These conceptions might at first glance appear random and chaotic, but there is, Hegel claims, a discernible logic in them. Simultaneously a theory of mythology, history and philosophical anthropology, Hegel’s account of the world religions goes far beyond the field of philosophy of religion. The controversial issues surrounding his treatment of the nonEuropean religions are still very much with us today and make his account of religion an issue of continued topicality in the academic landscape of the 21st century.
"Hegel's Interpretation of the Religions of the World is a thorough study of a neglected aspect of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s philosophy of religion: the role of history in Hegel’s overall philosophical construction. . . . Stewart’s book must be regarded as an extremely valuable piece of scholarship for both philosophers of religion and—more importantly—scholars of religion."
Nickolas P. Roubekas, Reading Religion
by Jon Stewart, Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press 2018
One of Denmark’s
greatest philosophers during its greatest philosophical
period, Frederik Christian Sibbern (1785-1872) was a major
figure on the landscape of the Danish Golden Age.
Profoundly influenced by German philosophy, he was
personally acquainted with figures such as Fichte,
Schleiermacher, Goethe and Schelling. Sibbern had long
been interested in the philosophy of G.W.F. Hegel but had
never written any extended analysis of it.
Annual Book Prize of the Slovak Academy of Sciences
New Homepages Launched for the Series, Texts from Golden Age Denmark
and Danish Golden Age Studies
See the new homepage for the series Texts from Golden Age Denmark here.
See the new homepage for the series Danish Golden Age Studies here.
New Chinese translation of Søren Kierkegaard: Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity:
Søren Kierkegaard: Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2015) 的 中译本将由北京华夏出版社出版，书名定为《克尔凯郭尔：丹麦黄金时代的苏格拉底》。 本书已由田王晋健翻译完成，他目前在四川 大学文学与新闻学院攻读文艺学专业博士, 是一位克尔凯郭尔研究者。这本书将纳入“西方传统：经典与解释”丛书。
中 译本面世后，将引领中国读者窥探索伦·克尔凯郭尔的思想以及他与现时代的关联。本书的蓝本是同名在线课程的字幕，大家可以 在Coursera平 台免费观看：https://www.coursera.org/learn/kierkegaard. 这 部精益求精的中译本，将引领参与这门课程的中国学生更有效地学习这门课程。同时，这本书新增了阎嘉教授写的一篇序言，他曾经 翻译过克尔凯郭尔的名作《或此 或彼》；译者在译后记中提及了访学丹麦时的相关经历；去年，在葡萄牙语译本出版之际，巴西的《浮士德》杂志专访了我，这篇采 访稿将作为中译本的附录呈现在 中国读者面前。
Completion of Kierkegaard
Sources, Reception and Resources
often claimed that relativism, subjectivism and nihilism
are typically modern philosophical problems that emerge
with the breakdown of traditional values, customs and ways
of life. The result is the absence of meaning, the lapse
of religious faith, and feeling of alienation that is so
widespread in modernity.
Philosophy in Different Countries:
Reflections on Authority or the Lack thereof in the Classroom"
Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, Matej Bel University
The lecture will be held online: on Wednesday 30th of September 2020 at 13:00 CET
Platform: MS Teams. We kindly ask everybody who is interested to participate to register by sending an email to: michal.sedik@.umb.sk no later than 29th of September 2020 till 19:00 CET.
Teaching is a social event, and the classroom is a part of a wider society. What takes place in the teaching context is thus invariably a reflection of the wider society. In this paper I wish to make some reflections based on several years of teaching philosophy in many different countries. I will explore how the social context of a given country influences the nature of the pedagogical approach and techniques used. My claim is that basic social structures concerning authority find their way into the classroom in ways that are not always conducive to the learning process.Read more
Annual Book Prize of the Slovak Academy of Sciences
June 23, 2020
title of Private Professor Awarded from
and Religion: Hegel’s Account of the Shapes of the Gods”
19th-Century Philosophy: Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, and
Account of Subjectivity in the World Religions”
Hegel: Subjectivity and Alienation in Judaism and
Book Prize of
The book Hegel’s Interpretation of the Religions of the World: The Logic of the Gods (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2018) was awarded the annual book prize of the Slovak Academy of Sciences under the category "Scientific Monographs in a Recognized Publishing House."
Discovery of Subjectivity as Reflected in Early
Notions of the Afterlife”
of Philosophy and Sociology
“Hegel’s Account of Christianity and Religious Alienation”
Pedagogical University, Crakow
June 24, 2019
“Feuerbach’s Conception of Philosophy of Religion as Anthropology”
“Memory and Anticipation as Anthropological Phenomena”
“Hegel’s Theory of Mythology”
Faculty of Central European Studies
Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra
Slovakia, December 3, 2018
“Hegel’s Account of the Representations of the Gods in his Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion”
Conference: “Image, Phenomenon, and Imagination in the Phenomenology of Religious Experience”
The Society for Phenomenology of Religious Experience (SOPHERE), Biennial Congress
Prague, November 2-4, 2018
“Hegel’s Parallel Story of the Development of World History and the Development
of the Religions of the World”
Internationaler Kongress: "Ethik, Politik und Weltgeschichte”
L’Università di Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino, Italy
24-27, October, 2018
Comparative Religion and Religious Pluralism”
Conference of the European Society for Philosophy of Religion: "Philosophy of Religion in a Pluralistic World"
of Social Sciences, Charles University
August 28-31, 2018
Anthropology as a Reflection of the Philosophy of
philosophiques de Bratislava, “l’Historicité de l'homme?”
May 25-26, 2018
théorie de la liberté subjective et la modernité de Hegel”
: “Homme nouveau, homme ancien: autour de figures émergentes
et disparaissantes de l’humain”
Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia, July 1-6, 2018
of the Romantic Ironist as a Sign of the Times Then and
Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary
Tárogató út 2-4. classroom 121/B
April 26, 2018, 2:15 to 3:45 p.m.Read more
"Hegel’s Theory of the Emergence of Subjectivity and the Development of Human Rights"
Workshop: “The Image of Man in the Context of Anthropology and Human Rights”
Institute of Philosophy, Slovak Academy of Sciences
Klemensova 19, 813 64 Bratislava
April 9, 2018
The workshop takes place between 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
book Søren Kierkegaard: Subjectivity, Irony, and the
Crisis of Modernity (Oxford: Oxford University
Press 2015) has recently appeared in a Portuguese
the interview with Jon Stewart in the Brazilian journal Fausto
Mag. on occasion of the translation. (December
e a crise da modernidade,
Theory of Recognition and Subjective Freedom and the
of the Danish Golden Age and its Modern Resonance”
for the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian
May 11-13, 2017, Minneapolis. Organizers: Jon Stewart and Nathaniel Kramer
many interesting debates and polemics, the leading figures
of Golden Age Denmark were in agreement about the fact that
their age was in a state of crisis. They believed that the
quick pace of change since the Enlightenment had led to a
sense of alienation from traditional values and ways of
thinking. This produced uncertainty that resulted in
different forms of relativism, subjectivism and nihilism.
Johan Ludvig Heiberg, dramatically announced the great
cultural crisis of the day in his treatise On
the Significance of Philosophy for the Present Age
from 1833. According to Heiberg, people in his generation
had lost their belief in truth and beauty in any deeper
sense. Likewise, in 1837 the classicist and philosopher,
Poul Martin Møller followed this line of thinking in his
influential article “Thoughts on the Possibility of Proofs
of Human Immortality,” in which he claims that modern
scientific and naturalistic thinking has undermined the
traditional belief in the immortality of the soul. In this
context he too explores the movement of nihilism that he
believes characterizes the age. In 1842 the theologian Hans
Lassen Martensen published an article entitled “The Present
Religious Crisis,” where he argues that much of the
uncertainty in religion is the result of the work of, among
others, the German theologian David Friedrich Strauss, who
argued that Christianity was a form of myth. The philosopher
Søren Kierkegaard treated the idea of a cultural and
religious crisis in a number of his famous works, such as The
Concept of Irony, Either/Or, A
Literary Review of Two Ages, and The
the texts from the Golden Age strike the reader as
profoundly modern since they seem to anticipate key
characteristics of the crisis of the 21st century. In
keeping with the conference theme—Nordic Connections: Old
and New—we invite papers focused on the Danish Golden Age
and its philosophical, literary and artistic heritage that
explore the theme of crisis and examine the resemblances
between the perils and crises of the Danish Golden Age and
those of our own.
European Cultural Studies, Comparative Literature, Master of Arts in Comparative Humanities (MACH),
and the undergraduate Humanities Fellows
Brandeis University, DuBois Lounge (Rabb Graduate Center, Rm. 119)
March 30, 2017, 4pm
“Hegel’s Use of Recognition and Subjective Freedom in His Interpretation of the Religions of the World”
Boston College, Higgins Hall 225
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
of the Greek Religion as a Religion of Spirit”
Religions: Hegel's Interpretation of the Religions of the
of the Sublime: Hegel’s Controversial Account of
“The Determinate Religions: Hegel's Interpretation of the Religions of the World”
Philosophy Department, Boston University
November 4, 2016.Read more
of Religion and the Logic of the Gods: Hegel’s
Interpretation of the Religions of the World”
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard UniversityOctober 19, 2016.
Education in a Globalized World and Our Modern
the conference “Classical Education in the 21st Century:
Challenges, Continuity, and Change”
Thales Academy, Rolesville, North Carolina
October 7, 2016.Read more
See the video of the lecture
The Conference, “The Registers of Philosophy II,”
Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Pázmány Péter Catholic University,
Budapest, Hungary, May 14, 2016.
Read the article
Description of the conference:
Jon Stewart has recently argued in his book The Unity of Content and Form in Philosophical Writing (2013) that the style of contemporary philosophy – particularly in its Anglo-American version – is extremely impoverished. This homogeneity, according to Stewart, has its roots in the scientific model of philosophy and philosophical writing, in the philosophy of language that was popular in the beginning of the last century and in the fact that during the professionalization of philosophy a particular mode of writing proved to be the most useful one. Noting the deep similarities of current philosophical pieces would of course not cause any surprise – but Stewart went on to argue that this kind of uniformity in philosophical writing causes much harm to philosophy itself. The standardization not only causes some thoughts to be only ineffectively expressible in philosophy, but shifts the attention of courses both at undergraduate and graduate level to the regular type of philosophical texts. Irregular genres or styles are left out from the curriculum at many places, their own characteristics and the messages encoded in philosophical styles do not gain attention. ‘By insisting on a single form of writing – Stewart emphasized –, professional philosophy implicitly imposes a certain notion about how to read philosophy.’ The ability to read some classics is fading away. And works falling outside of the scope of the writing which people are now accustomed to are deemed to be unphilosophical, lacking rigor and therefore uninteresting.
Nevertheless one might argue that even nowadays various philosophical genres and styles are flourishing, and not only in continental philosophy. Philosophical novels and poems are being published, philosophy is present in theatres and cinemas, not to mention the different web pages that are dedicated to philosophical topics. Even analytic writings do not always use the same style. Furthermore, as Keith Allen noted in his review of The Unity of Content and Form in Philosophical Writing, ‘Stewart’s selection of case studies to illustrate the diversity of forms that philosophical writing can take raises interesting questions about when it is appropriate to describe a work as a work of philosophy.’
Now how uniform really is today’s philosophy? Is the homogeneity of styles dangerous for philosophy itself? What are the themes that only fit well with some genres or styles? What is the exact connection between content and form? Should philosophers pay attention to genres practiced outside of academia? The aim of our series of conferences is to investigate these questions and more. We would like to look at the problems of content and form in philosophy both from historical and contemporary perspectives, from the viewpoint of analytic and continental philosophy as well as from the standpoint of styles that fall outside the scope of academic philosophy. Stewart claimed that questions of form, genre and style should be entertained not only at the literature departments but by professional philosophers too. As he argued: ‘To read philosophical texts as literature is to miss the specifically philosophical meaning that they contain.’ We would like to give a joint occasion for both of these disciplines to discuss the problems introduced above. Like Stewart, we would like to bring philosophers to the edges of conformity, to explore the various forms and the diverse ways of not only writing, reading and interpreting philosophy but teaching, discussing, presenting, popularizing or doing it.