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[Apr 16] Decadence and Technology: Revisiting Jan Patocka's Heretical Essays (Prague, 1975)

Updated: Apr 12

Date: April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)

Time: 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Venue: CRT-5.41, 5/F., Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Contemporary humanity is "no longer capable of surviving but for a made of production that rests increasingly on technology," according to 20th-century Czech philosopher Jan Patočka. And yet, he adds in a text of the 1970s, that mode of production "increasingly devastates the planetary store of energy." In his Heretical Essays, Patočka reflects on this - and other - dilemmas of what he calls our "technological civilization." He refuses to call modern civilization "decadent," yet he believes that our ever-deepening reliance on machines endangers the earth - and ourselves. For at our core lies a mystery, and the acute danger of modernity is that, in it, "humans, like all else, are stripped of all mystery."


Dr. David L. Dusenbury

Senior Fellow, Danube Institute

Visiting Professor, Eötvös Lorànd University


Professor Stefan Auer

School of Modern Languages and Cultures, HKU


Dr. Brian Wong

Department of Philosophy, HKU

All are welcome. No registration is required.



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