European Philosophy and the History of Ideas

This research group is the largest centre in Victoria focusing specifically on European philosophy and the History of Ideas. In a period widely criticised for its loss of historical memory, EPHI is founded on the conviction that we are the legatees of rich philosophical traditions, from Europe and around the world, that remain worthy of study, both for their own sake, and in relation to our continuing and emerging concerns. Its members draw on key works and figures in the history of ideas in order to critically examine a number of concepts that are central to our contemporary thinking about ourselves, our world, and how we ought to live. They also explore how various philosophical ideas in European and global traditions have shaped wider cultures in different periods and, in turn, been shaped by wider institutional, economic, political, and social forces.

Particular areas of engagement

  • Personal identity
  • Subjectivity
  • Action and agency
  • Practical reason
  • Intersubjectivity
  • Political and legal authority
  • Politics and aesthetics
  • Philosophy as a way of life
  • Happiness and human flourishing
  • Spiritual practices
  • Time and change
  • Language and meaning
  • The literary
  • Psychoanalysis

Thinkers whose works are key references for the members of EPHI

  • Plato
  • Aristotle
  • the Stoics
  • Nagarjuna
  • Shankara
  • Dogen
  • Kant
  • Hegel
  • Kierkegaard
  • Nietzsche
  • Freud
  • Lacan
  • Simone de Beauvoir
  • Husserl
  • Heidegger
  • Sartre
  • Merleau-Ponty
  • Camus
  • Hadot
  • Foucault
  • Deleuze
  • Derrida
  • Badiou
  • Žižek
  • the Frankfurt School
  • Hannah Arendt

EPHI aims to facilitate dialogue between researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds with a view to developing new connections between the history of philosophical thought, abstract thinking about concepts, theoretical reasoning about the world and its contents, and practical reasoning about individual and collective activity. To this end, the group hosts a fortnightly research seminar as well as several focused workshops throughout the year.

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