Macquarie University, North Ryde
8-10 December 2004

Theme: Critique Today

Contemporary continental philosophy has been criticised for having renounced its critical spirit, for having retreated from the political, or for having conformed itself to the demands of the global marketplace. On the other hand, numerous thinkers continue to challenge prevailing doxa on the social-political, economic, legal, and cultural features of modernity, and many continue to propose critical theoretical responses to our current historical situation.

The 2004 conference invited responses to the question of the status of critique today. What are the prospects for critical theory today? What obligation does philosophy have to question our historical actuality, or to invent new ways of thinking and acting? What is the future of the 'ethical turn' in recent Continental thought? What relationships are possible today between philosophy, art, and technology? What are the tasks and challenges for contemporary aesthetic critique? Has contemporary philosophy become "post-political," or are there new forms of philosophical critique emerging? Are gender, sexuality, and race/ethnicity the new sites of critical thinking? What role can philosophy play in confronting questions of justice, injustice, and the responsibility to others? What are the prospects for critical theory of society in an age of globalisation?


  • J.M. Bernstein (Graduate Faculty, New School University, NYC)
  • Colin Gordon
  • Genevieve Lloyd

Conference Streams

  • After Foucault
  • Aesthetics, Ethics, Politics
  • Art and Technology
  • Critical approaches to gender and sexuality
  • Critical Theory today
  • Critique of modernity in an age of globalisation
  • Democracy to come?
  • Ethics of Technology
  • Hegel Today
  • Merleau-Ponty today
  • Narrative Identity and Cultural Memory
  • Phenomenology and Cognitive Science
  • Philosophy and Literature
  • Politics or Post-politics?
  • Sartre/de Beauvoir today
  • Subjectivity and Recognition
  • Women and Philosophy

Film Screening: The Ister (a film by David Barison and Daniel Ross based on Heidegger's wartime Hölderlin lectures) with a presentation and discussion with co-director Daniel Ross. See for more information about the film.

Conference convenors

  • Dr. Robert Sinnerbrink
  • Dr. Jean-Philippe Deranty
  • Dr Peter Schmiedgen
  • Dr. Nicholas Smith


  • The Centre for Research into Social Inclusion, Macquarie University