Siebers, Johan - Scholars Directory


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NAME: Johan Siebers
INSTITUTION: Religious Studies,
Middlesex University,
The Burroughs,
London NW4 4BT
PHONE: 447913307676
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Metaphysics; Utopian Studies; Critical Theory; Whitehead; Plato; Plotinus; German Idealism; Bloch; Mysticism; Philosophy of Religion; Philosophy of Communication; Literary Studies; Psychoanalysis.

I am interested in the contemporary presence and relevance of neoplatonic philosophy and neoplatonic ideas in contemporary culture. I have published a study of the metaphysics of A.N. Whithead (The Method of Speculative Philosophy; Kassel University Press, 2002) and many articles and book chapters on a range of topics. I am founding editor of Empedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication and I have a special interest in the philosophy of Ernst Bloch, who prepared the ground for a synthesis between marxist and critical theory and the metaphysical heritage of western philosophy. In his lectures on the history of philosophy, given in Leipzig in the 1950s, Bloch said:

"Only at a future level of Marxism will it be possible to grasp Plotinus in an adequate manner - I emphasise: in an adequate manner; because all of this is not yet adequate, it is too much caught up in a speculative train of thought; Plotinus still too much seen through Plotinus himself, not from a happily alienated point of view, as Marxism provides." (Leipzig Lectures on the History of Philosophy, I, 497)

I am interested in what happens when the two perspectives of neoplatonic metaphysics and critical theory collide and see my own research as an investigation of the origins, effects and creative possibilities of that collision along various axes - being, subjectivity and consciousness, social and moral philosophy, temporality. I take the platonic tradition as a living and live current in philosophy, not just a historical topic, and one that is changing and developing with time, working out the particular vision and experience of truth that lies at its core. Plotinus writes: "Philosophy is the supremely precious." (Enneads, I. 3). What could mean to experience philosophy today as something "supremely precious"?

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