Projects / Programmes source: ARIS


Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.10.00  Humanities  Philosophy   

Code Science Field
H001  Humanities  Philosophy 

Code Science Field
6.03  Humanities  Philosophy, Ethics and Religion 
public, Enlightenment, Hegel, modern philosophy, information, subject, speech act
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (7)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  02650  PhD Miran Božovič  Humanities  Researcher  2011 - 2014  283 
2.  11798  PhD Zdravko Kobe  Humanities  Researcher  2011 - 2014  214 
3.  09979  PhD Slavoj Krečič Žižek  Philosophy  Head  2011 - 2014  2,022 
4.  30660  PhD Gregor Kroupa  Philosophy  Researcher  2011 - 2014  54 
5.  02155  PhD Radivoj Riha  Philosophy  Researcher  2011 - 2014  321 
6.  25580  PhD Jurij Simoniti  Philosophy  Researcher  2011 - 2014  99 
7.  11158  PhD Alenka Zupančič Žerdin  Philosophy  Researcher  2011 - 2014  417 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  95,857 
2.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,024 
One of the problems of today’s world is the fact that the link between the private and the public sphere became immediate and lost all the critical connotations it once had had. The private discourse is thoroughly absorbed within the public discourse, and the public sphere is understood only as a place of application of private narratives. The skeleton plan of the proposed project consists in disconnecting the link between the private and the public discourse using critical tools, hence, in offering a definition of public as an exertion of emancipation from precisely that private sphere, within which, according to Habermas, the public once emerged as a concept. The goal of the research is establishing a new definition of public for the present time, following an analysis of transformation of the concept of public from Enlightenment to the 21st century. We will perform the analysis of the public from three different, mutually supplementing viewpoints: (1) From the viewpoint of knowledge, where the research will be dedicated to techniques and processes needed for a scientific information, theory, or a paradigm, to become a public property and a common good. It is our view that this is not only a question of practicality, seeing that in the modern information society all forms of knowledge are always-already public, since they emerge within public institutions, on universities, institutes, in museums, inside various research groups, etc. In the era of Enlightenment one can perceive a slow, yet persistent turn away from private research, motivated by personal interest of the scientist, publishing his achievements, to broader and more systematic projects and investigations that request collaboration between experts both within a specialized field as well as within an interdisciplinary domain. This public nature of knowledge calls for reflection, since new media which, causing an information overload, nowadays accessible via the internet (and no longer only in the libraries), demand new skills of searching, sorting, classifying, differentiating, and, after all, reading as well. (2) From the viewpoint of subject, a key element to every theory of public. We will proceed from the dilemma between Kantian and Hegelian conceptualization of the subject. According to Kant, the path leading from a private person, a proprietor, over the public space, held as reasoning in front of the reading public, and all the way to the world-justice and cosmopolitan society, is a linear, continuous one. Kant’s ideal is a permanent substitution of politics with morality, the abolishment of politics. Hegel however offers a conceptual scheme, in which one can perceive a break between a private and a public person, attributing to each a different type of subjectivity. For this reason, Hegel regards politics as irreducible non-exchangeable with morality. Following Hegel, the research will try to show that the identity of a public subject is »selective« and »reductive«, as a direct opposition to post-modern ethical thought (3) From the viewpoint of so called »essentially public« speech acts. The research will rethink the structure of the public subject as a subject of speech acts, outlining a rudimentary speech act situation only: a speaker as posed in front of the hearer, and the truth value, as derived from this setting. The research goals go as follows: definition, classification, and determination of all irreducibly public speech acts, that is, speech acts whose truth value depends on them being uttered publicly. We will offer a description of the speech act situation not bound by the symmetry of consensus, but by an essential asymmetry of the speaker and the hearer. The instance of verification will thus be transferred from the position of the speaker to the position of the hearer. With the triad knowledge – subject – speech we will try to identify the coordinates of the public space as necessary to the constitution of information society.
Significance for science
The influence on the development of science could be divided into the indirect and direct one. On the one hand, the project indirectly served to encourage the transfer of foreign compendia of knowledge, theoretical achievements of the global knowledge society into Slovenian space, and on the other hand to affirm and consolidate Slovene philosophy in its global recognition. Directly, the research work contributed to an innovative conceptualization of the notion of ‘public’, they also helped setting up a new terminology and instituted new concepts (‘the eccentric subject’, ‘the prestige form of enunciation’, ‘the hearer’). The research opened a new chapter in the studies of the public and public sphere, since the predominant orientation of the studies directly or indirectly addressing this question relied mostly on theories of communication, consensus, pragmatics, rational argumentation, dialogue (including the pioneering, yet today in many respects already insufficient works by Jürgen Habermas). We complemented and partially substituted the concepts of the latter with new analyses. While Habermas analysed the rise of public sphere focusing on the formation of bourgeois class, civil society and public opinion, which play the role of mediators between private sphere and the authority of the state, this project’s research focused its attention also to problems that are either of a later date (especially in the field of media new questions have arisen since the emergence of internet in the 90ties), either they affect special areas of public activity and communication (science, rhetoric), or rely more upon the philosophical and less on the sociological considerations (theory of the subject, characteristics of statements, the relations between the speaker and the hearer etc.)
Significance for the country
The immediate effects of the research work on the Slovenian social space could be summarized under the following points: 1. Inclusion of the research in the pedagogical process Because two members of the project group (Zdravko Kobe and Miran Božovič) are employed as lecturers in the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, the research results were directly involved in the pedagogical process in the lectures performed at the Department of Philosophy. Gregor Kroupa and Jure Simoniti were also included in the pedagogical process, covering the topics they have published in books and articles in the duration of this research project. 2. Transfer of the research results to the public space The researchers were involved in cultural, scientific, and political events in Slovenia, where their contributions and public appearances met with a wide response. That goes particularly for the project leader, Slavoj Žižek, who is an important participant and an agent of public opinion in the debates on political shifts, social justice, or broader social movements. 3. Translating and editorship Of special importance for the Slovenian theory in the Humanities is the contribution of the research group towards translating, editing and presenting important philosophical works in the introductions of their Slovenian editions. Besides the obvious benefits (the availability of translations), the immediate effect of such activities is apparent in philosophical terminology, which has been thereby significantly augmented. This type of contribution is especially important in the case of smaller language regions like Slovenia, which unfortunately still lacks a proper dictionary of philosophical terms.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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