Hypostases de l'esprit et de l'individu au XVIIe siècle

The Pierre-Georges Castex prize of the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences in Paris was awarded in 2013 for the book the Croisées de la modernité.

Zeta Books are pleased to announce that on July 1st, 2013, the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences awarded Professor Vlad Alexandrescu the Pierre-Georges Castex prize for his book Croisées de la modernité. Hypostases de l'esprit et de l'individu au XVIIe siècle (Zeta Books, 2012). The French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, one of the five academies of the Institut de France, is the oldest and most prestigious institution of its kind in the field of humanities in France (http://www.asmp.fr/presentation/institution.htm). Professor Vlad Alexandrescu has been invited to receive the prize in an official ceremony, at the Academy’s meeting to be held at the Institut de France on Monday, November 18, 2013, at 3 pm.

Croisées de la modernité stems from a constant reflection over the religious dimension of the XVIIth century, over the role of theology in forming modern philosophical concepts and over the place of spiritual search in the European literature of that time. For people in that age, to think means to move in the universe of ideas. Moving forward in this universe has entirely different properties from moving forward in the universe of life, in lived temporality. One of the most obvious criteria is the fact that, in the universe of ideas one can at any time go back, while in the temporal realm of the external universe one is always situated. Another property distinguishing the realm of ideas is the fact that, at least for some thinkers, to begin to think first means to lay the foundations of a new way of conceiving the world, distinct from the very beginning from other ways of conceiving. The universe of ideas, to the extent to which we inaugurate it in a different way, is what distinguishes us among our fellows. In this perspective, to begin to think means to begin to be or, through a shortcut that does not eliminate anything from the idea, to be yourself.

Vlad Alexandrescu has been teaching since 1991 at the French Department of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures of the University of Bucharest and is the director of the research centre Foundations of European Modernity. He is currently leading a research project dedicated to Descartes’ correspondence at the New Europe College in Bucharest