Call for Communications. International Conference. Invetion and Imagination. NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal. December 14-15, 2023

Both in sciences and techniques, both in arts and literature, invention seems to be inseparable from the possibility of making evident new connections, images, knowledge or procedures through an original combination of available means for a determined end. There is invention when previously unknown combinations are led to the identity of a defined and desired project, that usually allows the resolution of problems. 

However, the possibility of making evident what was not yet known or of realising it through an original agency of what was previously admitted seems to require the anticipation of potentialities inherent to accepted data or to practices taken as usual, which is characteristic of a creative or realizing imagination combined with a reproductive imaginary. Invention thus seems to be inseparable from the activity of imagining and from the images of a living subjectivity in permanent relation with its natural and cultural environment. 

But how are images, imagination and invention related? What relationship do they have with innovation, creation and creativity? What is the role of inspiration or dreams in inventive processes? How are imagination and invention inscribed in the becoming of the cultural and political environment in which we live? Can humanity’s invention endanger human life?

Focusing on philosophy and the history of ideas, the aim of this Conference is to clarify these and other questions related to the nature of imagination, invention and creation through a transdisciplinary reflection.

The Organising Committee thus calls for communications concerning (but not limited to)  the following topics:

Theories of Invention and Imagination in Philosophy:

– in contemporary philosophical debates

– in the history of philosophy

Invention and Imagination in Aesthetics and in the Arts: 

– in music and in the arts of sound (both in composition and improvisation)

– in cinema

– in the plastic arts 

– in drawing and architecture

– in dance or other arts of movement

– in literary creation

Epistemology and the role of Invention and Imagination Science:

– What is the relation between imagination, invention and scientific discovery?

– What is the role of imagination in mathematics?

– What is the importance of imagination and invention in the theories and representations of Physics?

– What is the role of imagination and invention in the Human and Social Sciences?

Invention and Imagination in the Philosophy of Techniques and Technologies:

– What is the meaning of technological invention and imagination?

– invention, imagination and the naturalness of living beings

– corporeality, imagination, invention and the resolution of problems

Invention and Imagination in Psychology, Education and Research:

– Imagination and invention in the tension between traditions, transmission and innovation

– Can we educate towards what is not yet?

– What is the relation between imagination, invention, creativity and knowledge?

– Imagination, spatiality and the body image

– Unconsciousness, dreams and insights 

Invention and Imagination in Spiritualities and Religions and their relation with Philosophy  and the development of Knowledge:

– ecstasy, vision and reconfiguration of the world

– How to give figure to an infinity that cannot be figured?

– symbolic imagination and the ineffable and invisible dynamics of the mind

– What is the meaning of imagination in the debates between iconophiles and iconoclasts?

– theories of the “imaginal”

Both individual paper submissions and panel submissions (i.e., a thematically coherent set of 3 or 4 papers) are most welcome. 

This conference will have a hybrid format, and every participant may freely choose in advance to present their contributions either in person or online (via Zoom). Every presentation may last up to 30 minutes in one of the following languages: English, Portuguese, French or Spanish.

Each submission should contain two separate documents as follows:

  1. an anonymous word or pdf document containing title, abstract (200-300 words per paper), 5 keywords and 3 to 5 bibliographical references.

         2. a word or pdf document conveying the identification of the author(s) (i.e., brief bio-notes, contact info, statement of preference regarding in-person or online participation).

All submissions must be sent to

before July 07, 2023. 

Decisions will be transmitted until September 15. 

Organizing Committee: Nuno Miguel Proença (CHAM-Center for the Humanities, NOVAFCSH), Adelino Cardoso (CHAM-Center for Humanities, NOVAFCSH), Teresa Lousa (FBAUL-Fine Arts Lisbon, CHAM-NOVAFCSH), Nuno Fonseca (IFILNOVA- NOVA Institute of Philosophy), Paulo Cardoso de Jesus (CFUL- Center of Philosophy, University of Lisbon).

Scientific Committee: Maria de Jesus Cabral (CEHUM), João Pedro Cachopo (CESEM-NOVA), Carlos Caires (ESML, CESEM), Nélio Conceição (IFILNOVA), Guido Guiglioni (Università di Macerata), Ana Lúcia Mandelli de Marcillac (UFSC), Soraya Nour-Sckell (CFUL, NOVA School of Law), Susana Viegas (IFILNOVA).

CHAM – Centre for the Humanities, NOVA Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, Lisbon, Portugal

IFILNOVA – NOVA Institute of Philosophy, Lisbon, Portugal

CFUL – Centre of Philosophy, University of Lisbon, Portugal