Press Release

The philosophical "Organization of Phenomenological Organizations" (O.P.O.) was established in Prague, November 9th, 2002 at the meeting of representatives of 59 phenomenological organizations from all around the world. The meeting took place at the conference "Issues Confronting the Post-European World" dedicated to the Czech philosopher Jan Patočka (1907- 977).

The O.P.O. is composed of centers, societies, archives and working groups promoting the phenomenological tradition and its offspring. The O.P.O. aims at fostering communication and cooperation among philosophers around the globe.

The activities of O.P.O. shall be coordinated by the Executive Committee consisting of five members, one from each of the large regions in which there are phenomenological organizations: Asia-Pacific (Chan-Fai CHEUNG), Eastern and Central Europe (Ion COPOERU), Iberian Latin America (Julia IRIBARNE), North America (Lester EMBREE), Western Europe (Hans Rainer SEPP).

Representatives came from organizations in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Slovenia, Ukraine and United States of America.

The meeting was sponsored by the "Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology, Inc." at Florida Atlantic University and the "Center for Phenomenological Research" at the Charles University and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, with the support of the "Simons Foundation Vancouver, Canada", the "Center for Theoretical Study, Prague", the "Philosophical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic", the "Philosophical Institute of the Charles University, Prague" and the "Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Czech Republic".

The keynote address "Possibility and Limits of the International Understanding" was presented by Klaus Held, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany.

Inaugurated by Edmund Husserl (1859 - 1938) in 1900 and continued most prominently by Nishida Kitaro, Ortega y Gasset, Karl Jaspers, Ludwig Binswanger, Medard Boss, Max Scheler, Edith Stein, Roman Ingarden, Alfred Schütz, Aron Gurwitsch, Martin Heidegger, Simone de Beauvoir, Hannah Arendt, Gustav Špet, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jan Patočka, Theodore Celms, Enzo Paci, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, Wilhelm Szilasi, phenomenology is an approach concened to describe in particular as well as general terms the many ways in which things are encountered in human experience. This century old tradition is enormously rich and complex and reflected in all areas of philosophy, e.g., aesthetics, ethics, and philosophy of science, and in over a score of other cultural disciplines. New areas of investigation include, for example, ecology, technology, and intercultural relations.

Ivan CHVATIK
Center for Phenomenological Research" at the Charles University and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

Lester EMBREE
Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology, Inc." at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, U.S.A.