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International Conference on Concept of Impartiality to Take Place July 14 to 16 at Freie Universität

Scientists Shed Light on the Emergence of the Concept of Impartiality in the 17th and 18th Centuries

№ 231/2011 from Jul 08, 2011

An international conference dealing with the concept of impartiality will be held at Freie Universität Berlin from July 14 to 16, 2011. The aim of the interdisciplinary conference on "The Emergence of Impartiality: Towards a Prehistory of Objectivity" is to explore the history of the concept. The conference participants will consider those areas in which impartiality appears, such as philosophy, communications, Christian theology, empirical studies, literary criticism, or art theory. Most of the presentations will be given in English. The conference is open to the public, and there is no registration fee.

The starting point of the conference is the observation that from the early 17th century onward, the term impartial appears almost as a buzzword on the covers of various publications. In research the term impartiality was often associated with the emerging sciences and later was equated with the concept of objectivity. The conference will not primarily deal with the significance of these debates for the development of modern science ideals. Rather, the widespread assumption that impartiality and objectivity are twin concepts will be examined more closely.

The conference is supported by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. It is being organized by Anita Traninger from Freie Universität Berlin and Kathryn Murphy from the University of Oxford in collaboration with Dahlem Humanities Center and the Interdisciplinary Center “Middle Ages – Renaissance – Early Modern Times” at Freie Universität Berlin.

Date and Location

  • Thursday, July 14, 2011, 3 p.m. to Saturday, July 16, 2011
  • Topoi Building at Freie Universität Berlin, Hittorfstraße 18, 14195 Berlin; subway station: Thielplatz (U3)

Further Information

PD Dr. Anita Traninger
Institute of Romance Languages and Literatures, Freie Universität Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-55006, Email: