Special Section of Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy

Continental Philosophy and Hellenistic Thought

The Hellenistic schools of thought―most notably, but not exclusively, Stoicism, Academic and Pyrrhonian scepticism, and Epicureanism―have been very influential for many centuries both in antiquity and in modernity. Nonetheless, for a variety of reasons, this influence has never gone uncontested. First, contrary to Platonism and Aristotelianism, which have been integrated into canonical systems of thought, the Hellenistic philosophies and their subsequent varieties have mostly flourished outside institutional channels. Second, the complex philosophical and historical vicissitudes of those schools have often brought about a multifarious and subterranean impact whose full extent is not easy to identify. Third, the philosophical reputation of many Hellenistic thinkers is heavily tarnished by accusations of hedonism, unoriginal eclecticism, relativism, an apolitical stance, etc.

The aim of the planned special section is to explore the intriguing reception of Hellenistic thought in Continental philosophy, from Nietzsche to twenty-first-century thinkers. This exploration will move in three directions.

First, the special section intends to shed light on the more or less explicit impact of the Hellenistic philosophies on Continental thinkers (e.g., Nietzsche, Arendt, Foucault, Deleuze, Agamben, etc.). In this regard, we shall pay particular attention to the ways in which they have appropriated, interpreted, and misunderstood the rich and multifaceted heritage of Hellenistic thought.

Second, the special section intends to challenge certain generally held assumptions and prejudices that have affected the Continental reception of the Hellenistic philosophies, with the result that their role, originality, and potential has often been neglected or underestimated (e.g., Heidegger). We plan to test the truth of those prejudices by shedding light on their philosophical, cultural, and historical background.

Third, the special section aims to show whether and to what extent a reappraisal of the Continental reception of Hellenistic thought can help us to develop a clearer understanding of how Continental philosophers have appropriated, used, and interpreted ancient sources.

Guest Editors

Antonio Cimino (), Frederik Bakker () & Elena Nicoli (), Center for the History of Philosophy and Science, Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, Radboud University.


Proposals must include your name, the title of your planned paper, your academic affiliation, contact information, and an abstract (max. 200 words). Proposals can be submitted in English or French.


Deadline for the submission of abstracts:15thof September 2019. Please send your proposal to: . Our decision about the submitted abstracts will be communicated by the 30th of September 2019. The authors of the selected abstracts are expected to submit the final version of their papers of about 6,000-8,000 wordsby the 10thof January 2020. These papers must be prepared for anonymous review and can be submitted in Englishor French. The papers will be subject to peer review in accordance with the journal’s procedure. The publication of the papers will be dependent on the result of the peer-review evaluations.