Labyrinth is a journal of the Institute for Axiological Research / Institut für Axiologische Forschungen, founded 1999 in Vienna. It was firstly published as an on-line review and later as printed volumes and special issues. It is actually both, a printed academic journal, available for purchase, and an electronic open access journal. We are working actually to make all past issues to be availble online in the archives. As a nonpartisan philosophical and interdisciplinary journal Labyrinth is engaged in publication of high quality peer-reviewed academic articles, critical essays, interviews and book reviews. Although it is focused on philosophy and on axiology, i.e. on the philosophy and theory of values and their sociocultural contexts, it is also open to related topics and inquieries in all fields of the humanities and the social sciences with a special emphasis on critical thinking, social controversies and conflict resolution, interreligious dialogue, intercultural and cross-cultural communication, gender studies and managing diversity.

News Library has vol. 16(2014) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Geography of Boredom. On Bogomil Raynov's Travelling in Everyday Life

    Nadezhda Stoyanova (Axia Academic Publishers, 2022-04-01)
    Thе aim of the paper is to present the problem of boredom in Bogomil Raynov’s fourth book Travelling in Everyday Life (1945). The interpretation of boredom in the novel is seen as based on the idea of a mismatch between expectation and experience. The expectation of the individual turns out to be modeled by the mass commercialization of the 20th century. The "cultural industry" replaces the sublime ideas of the romantic poetics with superfluous clichés, which deny the world its unpredictability, its unexpectedness. It is these kinds of clichés that are subject of irony in Bogomil Raynov's novel – false expectations create a false feeling of boredom. Boredom as a problem has been rarely discussed either by Bulgarian authors, or by Bulgarian literary historians, therefore this paper tries not only to focus scholars’ attention on it, but also to interprete it.
  • Pour une étude généalogique de la valeur des droits de l'homme : une opposition à l’historicisme et au racisme

    Laurent Balagué (Axia Academic Publishers, 2019-09-01)
    For a genealogical study of the value of human rights: an opposition to historicism and racism   The purpose of this article is to focus on human rights as a value in itself that has to fight against other values. We would like to show that human rights have become an intrinsic value only by following a path in human history that distinguish them from historicism. Because human rights became a value through history, it is important to be able to show the lay out of this history. We will illustrate it by means of diverse philosophical theories. We will begin with Leo Strauss' philosophy of natural rights which considers human rights in their opposition to historicism. Then, with the help of Michel Foucault's genealogy we will show how human rights develop themselves against the racist theory elaborated by a fraction of the French aristocracy in the 17th century. Consequently, a tension emerges inside those rights between their natural value and their historical one, which leads to the fundamental question: what is the essence of humankind involved in human rights?  
  • Non-philosophical mystique and the rehabilitation of heresis

    Eleni Lorandou (Axia Academic Publishers, 2018-09-01)
    In the second part of the Triptych, Mystique non-philosophique à l'usage des contemporains, François Laruelle puts to the test of "non-philosophy" the field of phenomena that are termed as "religious" whether Christian, Judaic or Gnostic. Non-philosophical mystique is born in the spirit of heresy rather than sanctity. It springs from the effort to join Man with himself rather than with God founding the radical cause of the new Logos in the One-in-One. Man is emptied from his identity, becomes a Christ-subject who comes to fight for the World. Future mystique ends as the amorous knowledge, an erotic a priori constitutive of the mystical subject: it is not an illusory transformation of Man or a revision of his relation to God or the World. The final aim – as I will try to show – is to transfigure the heretical experience, mystical as well as erotic of the human such as it becomes capable of a form of unison with itself as unique Other.
  • Philosophy between Power and Powerlessness: A Homage to Karl Jaspers

    Yvanka B. Raynova (Axia Academic Publishers, 2019-09-01)
    The aim of the following paper is to discuss Jaspers' disappointement of politics and his confession about the powerlessness of the (philosophical) Spirit, expressed at the end of his life. This confession may seem to contradict some of his earlier statements and positions. Yet, by analizing the evolution of his views about the complex relation between philosophy and politics, the autor claims that Jaspers' philosophy is an emblematic illustration of a tension, inherent in contemporary philosophy, namely that between the faith in Reason and the scepticism about its potentialities to achieve a substantial changement of human nature and society.  
  • Das Urchristentum im Rahmen der antiken Religionen

    Jan Patočka (Axia Academic Publishers, 2018-12-01)
    A book review of Rudolf Bultmann's Primitive Christianity in its Contemporary Setting - translated from Czech into German by Ludger Hagedorn.
  • Max Schelers Reformation der Religionsphilosophie

    Peter Gaitsch (Axia Academic Publishers, 2018-12-01)
    Max Scheler's Reformation of Philosophy of Religion   The following contribution aims to show the relevance of Max Scheler's reflections on the relation of Christianity and modernity for the present situation. It interprets Scheler's philosophy of religion in terms of a principle of reformation that can be implicitly found in Scheler's critical assessment of the historical impact of Lutheran Protestantism. Scheler's principle of reformation provides four criteria: (i) autonomy of the religious sphere, (ii) dialectics of life and spirit, (iii) community beyond religious denominations, and (iv) metaphysical determination of the divine. On that basis, we will see that Scheler's "catholic” phenomenology of religion from 1921 only partly meets his own criteria, whereas his "post-catholic” metaphysics of panentheism, developed after 1922, is more suitable to meet these criteria. Two factors are crucial: First, the divine is characterized by a fundamental metaphysical tension between spirit and vital impulsion, which leads to transferring the responsibility of balancing this tension to the history of mankind. Second, the community that corresponds to this metaphysical conception is not delimited by religious denomination but is integrated by solidarity among all human and living beings instead.  
  • The Experiential Self Re-Creates Itself in Others via the Enlargement of the Self’s Space-Control Ability: Dan Zahavi's Arguments for the Existence of the Self

    Đỗ Kiên Trung (Axia Academic Publishers, 2019-09-01)
    The diversity and complexity of the arguments and criticisms among philosophers on the question of the actual existence of the self can be condensed into two contrasting issues: The self is an experienced phenomenon that is generalized into a concept to assign to the cognitive subject as a tool for identification, or the self has its own existence as a transcendental entity that is activated and developed through interactions between the cognitive subject and the environment. Dan Zahavi summed up the endless controversy over the formation of the self in phenomenology, existentialism, and new insights in neuroscience to conclude that the existence of the self is only meaningful when it is "the experiential self." My article will focus on two issues: firstly, the self is formed by the interaction between the subject and the object in which the object is actively engaged in the control space of the subject; secondly, the understanding of the subject’s self-perception process, through the perspective of neuroscience, is triggered by the subject seeing itself in the other person.  
  • "Die Sprache ist eine große und göttliche Gabe" (Martin Luther) Reformation und Sprachkultur

    Susanne Heine (Axia Academic Publishers, 2018-12-01)
    "Language is a great and divine gift" (Martin Luther) Reformation and Language Culture   In this paper Luther's anthropology is shown as being based on the human capability of speaking. As a speaking person, the human being is not outside the world but involved in the world by communication. For Luther being human means – thanks to the capability of speaking – being in a personal relationship. The author argues that this relationship to others is based in the relationship to God. Although speaking is a gift of God, it can be abused whenever someone stirs up people to degrade others, as populists do. Luther had been reproached to be a populist in his closeness to simple people, but this was only due to his intention, that everyone should understand his translation of the bible. Instead of stoking fears, as populists do, Luther helped people to overcome their fears, by telling them in their own language – due to his German translation – that God loves them.   
  • The Painting "Confessions" of Nikolay Raynov

    Yvanka B. Raynova (Axia Academic Publishers, 2018-12-01)
    The aim of the following paper is to show that it is not possible to penetrate into the depths of Nikolay Raynov's universe and to comprehend its wholeness, without posing and investigating the question about the origin or the foundation of his various creative occupations, i.e his novels, philosophic and theosophic writings, art history and critique, paintings, decorative design etc. This question is far too complex to be answered briefly without being simplified, and therefore two main directions will be articulated: the recption of Orphism developed in Plotinus' and Porphyry's Neoplatonism – which is the basis of modern Theosophy –, and the synthetic understanding of art, which puts Raynov's views in close proximity to Wassily Kandinsky and Nicholas Roerich.  
  • Thinking from Justification Towards a New Perspective – in and with Martin Luther

    Andrea Vestrucci (Axia Academic Publishers, 2018-12-01)
    In this article I present a new perspective on the theological concept of justification, by focusing not on the content (the meaning) but on the form (the condition of formulation) of this concept. I start with the semantic overabundance related to justification, with specific reference three meanings: the forensic, the effective, and the ontological-theotic. Then, I confront these meanings with Luther's idea of justification as in his De servo arbitrio (1525). Thanks to this, I stress that the theological concept of justification plays a meta-conceptual function: it affirms the priority of divine justification over any standard condition of conceptualization and thinkability of justification – in specific, the structure of imputative justice. This leads to a reconsideration of the role of this concept as "articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiæ".
  • Human Rights without Objective Intrinsic Value

    Víctor Cantero-Flores; Roberto Parra-Dorantes (Axia Academic Publishers, 2019-09-01)
    The current predominant conception of human rights implies that human beings have objective intrinsic value. In this paper, we defend that there is no satisfactory justification of this claim. In spite of the great variety of theories aimed at explaining objective intrinsic value, all of them share one common problematic feature: they pass from a non-evaluative proposition to an evaluative proposition by asserting that a certain entity has intrinsic value in virtue of having certain non-evaluative features. This is a step that cannot be justified. In light of this negative result, we offer a radically different approach to intrinsic value. Our proposal reinterprets the claim that human beings have intrinsic value in terms of a commitment to value human beings intrinsically. This commitment provides both objective practical reasons for, and a rational explanation of, efforts aimed at defending and promoting human rights, without need to appeal to the existence of objective intrinsic value.  
  • The Roerich Pact: Three Documents

    Nicholas Roerich (Axia Academic Publishers, 2018-12-01)
    1. Formal draft of Roerich Pact and Banner of Peace, Prepared by Dr. Georges Chklaver, August 1928 2. Treaty for the Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historic Monuments (Roerich Pact) 1935 3. Call To World Unity (1947)
  • Figurative art in Bulgaria from the 1920s and 1930s: The School of Kyustendil, Kiril Tsonev and Boris Elisayeff

    Galina Dekova (Axia Academic Publishers, 2019-09-01)
    The aim of this paper is to present those realistic tendencies in Bulgarian painting from the 1920s and 1930s, that echoe contemporary West European ones, like the New Objectivity in Germany. Among others, it will be shown how Bulgarian artist’s paintings are inspired by the folklore primitive from the past and reflect the assiduity of cultural administration to renew the idea of a modern artistic school of art with a defined national character.     
  • La valeur de la connaissance des émotions

    Bertille De Vlieger (Axia Academic Publishers, 2019-09-01)
    The Value of the Emotional Knowledge   Emotional knowledge is a form of self-knowledge which holds great interest for ordinary individuals. It is not obtained by any obligation but rather because we think it is crucial to obtain (Cassam 2017). In this article it is a matter of demonstrating that emotional knowledge holds an instrumental and a prudential value. By arguing that it can allow a control over our emotions, I shall maintain that emotional knowledge affects individual marginalization or acceptance in society. In addition, this type of knowledge is revealing of our personality by allowing us to identify our affective identities. Finally, I shall defend the idea that emotional knowledge contributes to the conduct of a good life. As such, my hypothesis could be viewed as incompatible with widespread ideas (Montaigne 2019), according to which the knowledge of our own emotions can trigger negative emotional states, e.g. mental rumination, anxiety, that do not contribute to our well-being.  
  • Translational Universality: The Struggle over the Universal

    Saša Hrnjez (Axia Academic Publishers, 2020-03-01)
    The aim of this paper is to investigate the idea of universality through the lens of translation, in an attempt to sketch out what can be called a translational universality. As the starting point, I will take into consideration the recent Étienne Balibar's works on the universals, and especially his strategy of translation, i.e. the strategy of enunciating the universal by means of translational process. In the next step, I will analyze political consequences of the universalizing practices of translation, which due to their capacity to enunciate the universals, according to Balibar's thesis, have generated political communities. In order to examine this aspect, I will discuss the constitutive role of translation in the formation (Bildung) of German cultural identity in the 19th Century, by exposing Humboldt-Schleirmacherian model of translation. In doing so I will lean on Berman's study on translation in Romantic Germany and on Venuti's political reading of nationalist narratives of typically German foreignizing translation. The conception of Bildung, envisaged as an experience of the otherness through translation, will be approached as a historical model to understand the notion of translational universality that is at issue in this paper. After these historical and philosophical analyses, which in translation view one possible way to articulate a certain struggle over the universal from the particular position of cultural difference, the article will address some questions regarding our contemporary situation: what would be a historically different and potentially emancipatory form of universality? What are the translational capacities of such a universality to generate a new framework for political communities?  
  • Protestantismus und ostkirchliche Orthodoxie

    Basilius J. Groen (Axia Academic Publishers, 2018-12-01)
    Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy The relations between Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy span five centuries and bear upon nu-merous aspects, hence, only some items can be dealt with here. First, I discuss the late-sixteenth-century correspondence between German Lutheran theologians and Patriarch Jeremiah II of Constan-tinople, the Calvinist leanings of Patriarch Cyril Lukaris, and the influx of Protestant missionaries into traditionally Orthodox territory. Second, I outline the rise of a 'counter movement’, i.e. the Ecumeni-cal Movement, and the aim and structure of the World Council of Churches, where Protestantism and Orthodoxy meet, as well as other inter-ecclesiastical organizations and theological dialogues. Third, attention is paid to tension and resistance to ecumenism; ecclesiological differences between Ortho-doxy and Protestantism; and the need for solid ecumenical formation. Fourth, I focus on the key role of worship reform and liturgical theology, inter alia, on the significance of Alexander Schmemann’s oeuvre. Fifth, interdenominational cross-fertilization with respect to worship songs and hymnals, as well as monasticism, are examined. It is, however, not all roses and therefore, sixth, I mention the challenge of stumbling blocks like prejudice and lack of communication skills. Nevertheless, in both Orthodoxy and Protestantism, freedom in Christ is the principle that matters.
  • Über die Verwirrungen hinsichtlich der Genderfrage oder braucht die römisch-katholische Kirche eine Reformation?

    Susanne Moser (Axia Academic Publishers, 2018-12-01)
    On the Confusuions about the Gender Question or does the Roman Catholic Church need a Reformation?     The main purpose of this article is to show that fivehundred years after Luther, the concept of gender bears the same power for reformation as Luther's theses did bevor. Through a discussion of the connection between the horrific cases of abuse in the catholic church and its anti-genderism it is pointed out, that, instead of using gender as a tool for preventing sexualized violence, catholic church attacks gender-studies as gender-ideology. In explaining the concept of gender in detail and by showing how power and sexuality is interwoven and hidden behind a veil of love mystic, it is made clear how the confrontation with gender would bring the necessary reform into the structures of the catholic church.  
  • Non-Philosophy and the uninterpretable axiom

    Ameen Mettawa (Axia Academic Publishers, 2018-09-01)
    This article connects François Laruelle's non-philosophical experiments with the axiomatic method to non-philosophy's anti-hermeneutic stance. Focusing on two texts from 1987 composed using the axiomatic method, "The Truth According to Hermes" and "Theorems on the Good News," I demonstrate how non-philosophy utilizes structural mechanisms to both expand and contract the field of potential models allowed by non-philosophy. This demonstration involves developing a notion of interpretation, which synthesizes Rocco Gangle's work on model theory with respect to non-philosophy with Laruelle's critique of hermeneutics. I use Alexander Galloway's interpretation of "The Truth According to Hermes" as a case study of the limits non-philosophy sets upon its use as a basis for philosophical models, in contrast to arguments by Gangle regarding non-philosophy's greater genericity in comparison to philosophy.  
  • Bernard Williams and the concept of shame: What makes an emotion moral?

    Dina Mendonça; Susana Cadilha (Axia Academic Publishers, 2019-09-01)
    The paper proposes a way to understand moral emotions in ethics building upon Bernard Williams' claim that feelings, emotions and sentiments are an integral part of rationality. Based upon Bernard Williams' analysis of shame we argue that the richness and thickness that it is attached to some emotions is the key to understand why some emotions have a distinct ethical resonance. The first part takes up Bernard Williams' philosophical assessment of the concept of shame (Williams 1993) establishing a general framework to show how recent developments in philosophy of emotions are in line with the far-reaching consequences of Bernard Williams' insights. Then we highlight the way in which there is both an historical relativity to emotions and an intemporal understanding of their ethical role, and use the concept of meta-emotion to reinforce the idea that what makes some emotions moral requires employing Williams' distinction between thick and thin concepts.
  • "Traduire par amour authentique du beau": Novalis et le concept philosophique de la traduction

    Christina Bezari (Axia Academic Publishers, 2020-03-01)
    "Translating by the authentic love of the beautiful": Novalis and the philosophical concept of translation This article probes the concept of translation as perceived by the German poet Novalis in his Fragments. Special focus will be set on his philosophical considerations as well as on the passages that he devoted to translation and its three dimensions: grammatical, interpretative and mythical. In the context of this essay, I will proceed with an analysis of each of these dimensions placing particular emphasis on the notion of the imaginary. This novel approach provides an insight into the creativity of the translator and the fidelity to the text, the relationship between theory and praxis, and the symbolic or mystical aspects of translation.   

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