Department for the Study of Modern Czech Philosophy

Chair: Ivan Landa, Ph.D.

Deputy chair: Jan Mervart, Ph.D.

The Department for the Study of Modern Czech Philosophy carries out basic research on the history of Czech philosophy from the beginning of the 19th century through the end of the 20th century, within the broader context of European intellectual history. It works in fields that have been the object of considerable scholarly interest, in addition to other fields that have often been ignored. Members of the department concentrate on the following themes:

(I) Czech Marxist philosophy

(II) Czech non-Marxist philosophy

(III) Czech philosophy and society up to 1948

Within these areas of study a number of specific projects are underway (each involving original research as well as the publication of critical editions of important texts). These projects include:

1) Marxist humanism in Czechoslovakia (Feinberg, Kužel, Landa, Mervart, Tomek).

This project's principal goal is to investigate the character, intellectual context, and impact of Marxist humanism in Czechoslovakia. Special attention is given to the work of Karel Kosík, Robert Kalivoda, Vítězslav Gardavský, Ivan Sviták, and Lubomír Sochor.

2) Philosophy of the dissident movement (Feinberg, Kužel, Landa, Mervart).

This project's principal goal is to map out the intellectual world of participants in the dissident movement. Special attention is given to a number of principle representatives of Czech dissent, including Václav Benda, Václav Havel, Ladislav Hejdánek, and Jiří Němec.

3) Philosophical and social scientific thought in the Czech Lands between 1800 and 1948 (Svoboda, Ševeček, Tomek).

This project's principal goal is to prepare a bibliography of source material on the history of Czech thought (on the basis of work left unfinished by Karel Urianek). The bibliography will contain, among other things, a bibliography of works by Jewish and German authors working in the region, as well as a bibliography of writings from the Russian immigrant community living in Czechoslovakia between 1918 and 1949. Another goal of the project is to systematically investigate the history of Czech Hegelianism, anarchism, Herbartism, and structuralism and their position within the history of ideas in Central Europe.

The department's output in the coming years will include critical editions of source material in the form of anthologies and the selected or collected works of individual authors (Kosík, Gardavský, Sviták, and others); original scholarly studies and reviews in Czech as well as international journals; individual and collective monographs; translations; and bibliographies. The department also organizes conferences, workshops, seminars, and public lectures for scholarly and non-scholarly audiences.

The Department for the Study of Modern Czech Philosophy openly collaborates with researchers, universities, archives, and other research institutions within the Czech Republic and abroad.

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Upcoming events

  • 12.06.

    Oligarchy and the Politics of Wealth Power and Wealth Defense

    Od 17.30 v budově AV ČR, Národní 3, Praha 1, sál 205.


    How can we theorize the politics of wealth across different societies and different eras of human history? Oligarchic theory allows us to view wealth as a power resource in a context of tremendous material inequality. The key questions to answer concern the changing nature of threats that oligarchs face (from whom and from where), and the changing political responses to those threats (who or what provides a reliable defense of great fortunes throughout history). This framework is important for understanding the changing role and locus of violence in maintaining unequal societies, as well as how democracy and oligarchy coexist in the modern era.

    Přednáška se koná s podporou Strategie AV21

  • 13.06.

    Marxist Humanism and the Rise of Ethnonationalism in Post-Stalinist Bulgaria

    Od 16.00 v zasedací místnosti FLÚ, Jilská 1, 110 00 Praha 1

    Oddělení pro studium moderní české filosofie FLÚ AV ČR zve srdečně na přednášku

    Marxist Humanism

    and the Rise of Ethnonationalism in Post-Stalinist Bulgaria

    Zhivka Valiavicharska, Pratt Institute

    Marxist humanism had a profound influence on the political, social, and cultural life of the socialist countries and on left movements throughout the globe during the 1960s and 1970s. This paper seeks to contribute to a critical and comparative reassessment of the Marxist-humanist turn in the socialist countries and their impact on intellectual and social life during the post-Stalinist period in Eastern Europe and beyond. While mapping the theoretical contributions of the humanist turn and its leading concepts—alienation, praxis, and the "holistically developed person," among others—the paper also examines the disturbing political directions that it took. It traces the peculiar convergence between Marxist humanism and ethnonationalism during the post-Stalinist period in socialist Bulgaria. Studying the formation of the ethnonationalist doctrine from the post-Stalinist period, the paper shows how the ethnic assimilation projects launched by the socialist government during the last three decades of socialism unfolded within a Marxist-humanist framework.

  • 19.06.

    Zrození státu z války a česká státní idea

    Od 9.00 v Akademickém konferenčním centru
    Husova 4a, Praha 1.