Social Ontology and Philosophy of Social Sciences

Research Group at the Department of Philosophy

Confronting fanaticism: theoretical and applied perspectives

Workshop 20 - 22 November 2019, Department of Philosophy

Funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)


Call for papers

Submission deadline: May 3, 2019



Although understanding fanaticism—its character, its causes, and its cures—was a major theme in the work of Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Hobbes, Locke and others, it is a topic that receives very little philosophical attention today. This is a pity, since not only does fanaticism appear to be thriving in contemporary society, it also seems to be changing in ways and at a pace we are yet to fully understand. This suggests that renewed attention to various questions about fanaticism is merited. What exactly is fanaticism?  What are its distinctive features? What are its causes?  Is religious fanaticism—in its disconcerting contemporary return—an exemplary or rather the paradigmatic form of fanaticism?  And how can it be combatted or curtailed? 

Our workshop aims to address these and other questions by focusing on the following four themes:

  • the epistemology of fanaticism
  • fanaticism and affectivity
  • fanaticism and collectivity
  • political aspects of fanaticism

Confirmed speakers:

  • Quassim Cassam (Warwick)
  • Anne Reichold (Flensburg)
  • Thomas Szanto (Copenhagen)
  • Jacob Rogozinski (Strasbourg)

We welcome contributions from disciplines as diverse as philosophy of religion, anthropology of religion, phenomenology, social and political philosophy, epistemology, and philosophy of emotions, with interdisciplinary accounts being especially encouraged.

Submission instructions:

Abstracts should be 700 - 1000 words and prepared for anonymous review (please also submit a separate cover page, including author details and contact information). NB: When submitting your abstract, please specify which of the four themes mentioned above your paper best fits under.

Send your abstract to by 3 May 2019. Notice of decisions will be sent out by 19 June 2019.

For inquiries about the workshop, please contact:

Supporting material: Detailed description

The Organizing Committee: J. W. Alvis, H. B. Schmid, R. R. Tietjen, L. Townsend, & M. Staudigl