Second Order Thinking in the Ancient Fertile Crescent

At this conference specialists from the fields of ancient Near Eastern studies and Egyptology, Hebrew Bible, Religious Science and Philosophy will explore the potential of tracing the cultural origins of our modern mode of critical and scientific thinking back to the ancient Near Eastern “high cultures” of Israel, Mesopotamia, and Egypt.

2017.09.05 | Ulrik Albert Vosgerau

Date Thu 09 Nov Fri 10 Nov
Time 00:00    00:00
Location Nobelparken, Building 1453 Room 415

Many of our Western achievements build upon Second Order Thinking – a theoretical attitude that involves the ability to reflect on reflection, to think about thinking, to criticize and transcend the given, and to anticipate new realms by thinking ‘outside the box’. Until now, the state of the art has mainly argued for that this type of thinking started in ancient Greece, making ancient Greek philosophy the fountainhead of scientific thinking. At this conference, however, specialists from the fields of ancient Near Eastern studies and Egyptology, Hebrew Bible, Religious Science and Philosophy will explore the potential of tracing the cultural origins of our modern mode of critical and scientific thinking even further back to the ancient Near Eastern “high cultures” of Israel, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. The conference is funded by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.

 

Conference Program

Thursday 9, 2017

13.00-13.30 Arrival and Coffee

13-30-14.00 Jan Dietrich (Aarhus): Words of Welcome and Introduction

Section I: Philosophy and the Axial Age

14.00-14.45 Thomas Schwarz Wentzer (Aarhus): “What is Philosophy?”

14.45-15.30 Hans Jørgen Lundager Jensen (Aarhus): “Axial age theory and the study of the Hebrew Bible: Deuteronomism and beyond: mental and social asceticism and criticism of religion”

15.30-16.00 break

Section II: The Discipline of Philosophy and the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East

16.00-16.45 Marc Van De Mieroop (New York): “Can modern philosophers learn something from the ancient Babylonians?”

16.45-17.30 Jaco Gericke (Vaal Triangle): “My thoughts are (not) your thoughts - religious language as transposed second order thinking in the Hebrew Bible”

17.30-18.00 break

Keynote Lecture

18.00-20.00 Jan Assmann (Heidelberg/Konstanz): “Allegory and Commentary as ‘Second Order Thinking’ in Ancient Egypt

Friday 10, 2017

Section III: Epistemology

9.00-9.45 Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum (Berlin): “From World-Order to Epistemology: Mesopotamian ‘Denkstil’

and the Process of Civilisation”

9.45-10.30 Amr El Hawary (Bonn): “New Platonic, Post-Structuralistic – Except Modern: Ancient Egyptian Representations of Pre-Modern Dynamic Thinking”

10.30-10.45 break

10.45-11.30 Dru Johnson (New York): “Second Order Thinking in Hebrew Bible Epistemology”

11.30-12.15 Sebastian Fink (Helsinki): “Mesopotamian and Greek Philosophy: A Difference of Style?”

12.15-13.00 lunch

Section IV: Ethics and Metaphysics

13.00-13.45 Alexandra von Lieven (Berlin): “The Myth of the Sun’s Eye and other Discursive Texts as Examples of Second Order Thinking in Ancient Egypt”

13.45-14.30 Thomas Wagner (Wuppertal): “Due to a Lack of Knowledge: Pragmatism as Ethical Principle in the Book of Qohelet”

14.30-15.00 final discussion

Conference, Teologi