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Parallel program of the exhibition COEXISTENCE: FOR A NEW ADRIATIC KOINÈ

Lecture by Sven Rücker: Sea Horizons

28th November, MMSU, 8 pm


Sea Horizons
On the open water and its enclosures

The modern perception of the world is most notably constituted by the alliance of two terms: the horizon and the sea. The rise of modern Culture can be described as the passage from terrestrial, territorial and architectural metaphors to fluid and oceanic metaphors. From the great cathedrals of thinking in the middle ages, the summae, over Kants “architecture of pure reason” and finally Heideggers “House of Being”, thinking and culture has described itself – and, by this, created itself - as a form of building on solid ground. In contrast, the modern as well as the postmodern understanding of culture liquefies itself. Nietzsches call: “On the sea, philosophers” is perhaps the most famous gesture for that change. That culture is not built on solid ground but floating on water became so evident in the 19th century, that Ernst Kapp could write a history of world culture that is completely based on the rising of the water in relation to the land. From the “potamic phase” with its rivers over the “thalassic phase” and the inland seas to the “oceanic phase”, world culture progresses as the liquefaction of mankind.  
Although one can easily comprehend this change, the passage from solid to fluid, from land to sea is not as simple as it seems. You can distinguish two ways culture and thinking are going to sea: the first one transforms the sea into some other kind of land, the other transforms thinking and culture itself into fluidity. This difference can be shown by comparing two of the most famous sea- and adventure novels, Defoes “Robinson Crusoe” and Melvilles “Moby Dick”: two kinds of shipwrecks with a spectator , but very different from another.  

Sven Rücker (1975, Bad Segeberg) received his PhD in philosophy from Freie Universität Berlin in 2010, where he is currently teaching. His dissertation: “Das Gesetz der Überschreitung. Eine philosophische Geschichte der Grenzen” (The  Law of  Trangression: A philosophical History of Boundaries), was awarded with Ernst-Reuter-Award for the best Dissertation of the FU Berlin in 2010.     

The lecture will be held in English. Free entrance.


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