Associate Professor Lubica Ucnik
BA Honours; PhD in Philosophy

Associate Professor

About me

I am an associate professor in philosophy. For me philosophy is not only the oldest discipline in Western thinking, it is something we all do most of the time. We wonder about why we are here, what is the meaning of life, where we are going.

Philosophy helps us to understand ourselves, others and the world we live in. It teaches us how to question our own sedimented understanding and the way we think.

To think means to ask with Socrates: “What do you mean when you say, justice, truth, good life?”

It means to remember with Nietzsche that ideas that change the world come on doves’ feet in the quietness of the night.

It is to think with Patočka that the real test for all of us is not how well we play the roles we have invented for ourselves, but how well we play the hand we have been dealt.

The biggest pleasure in teaching philosophy is to watch students realise the power of thinking differently – realising that we need to question the knowledge we are given and that questions, not answers, are often more important.

For me, philosophy is about thinking critically so as to become responsible not only for our way of living, but also for the world we live in with others.

Teaching area

PHL131 Critical and Creative Thinking
PHL207 Existentialism
PHL317 Meaning and Interpretation
PHL377 Life, Death, and Meaning

Research areas

Phenomenological Philosophy: Husserl, Heidegger, Patočka
Moral Phenomenology
History of Ideas
History of Science
Political Philosophy
Film, Tragedy and Philosophy

Current projects

The project: Patočka’s Supercivilisation and Historical Humans

Awards and grants

2017
The Professorial Internal Research Support (three months) awarded by the Scientific Committee of the Institute of Philosophy at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

2010-2012

ARC Discovery Grant with Prof. Dermot Moran (Ireland) and Ivan Chvatík (the Czech Republic): “Judgment, Responsibility, and the Life-World: The Phenomenological Critique of Formalism”.

2010
The Fellowship of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic for Foreign Specialists Engaged in Bohemistic Studies (Czech language and literature, history, culture, ethnology, etc.): research in Patočka’s Archive in Prague, September/October 2010.

2007
The Fellowship of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic for Foreign Specialists Engaged in Bohemistic Studies (Czech language and literature, history, culture, ethnology, etc.): research in Patočka’s Archive in Prague, August/September 2007.

Professional and community service

SCHOOL COMMITTEES/WORKING GROUPS:
Academic Chair in Philosophy (2010–S1, 2016)
Research Committee (member, 2011–2, 2014–6)
ERA Division 22 Advisor (2011–12)
School Management Group (member 2011)
Research Working Party (member 2011)
Honours Working Group (member 2010)
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS:
A member of the Husserl Circle.
The General Secretary of the OPO (Organization of Phenomenological Organizations).
A member of the ASCP (Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy).
A member of the Editorial Board of the Reframing the Boundaries: Thinking the Political Series, published by Rowman and Littlefield.
A member of the Editorial Board of Off the Fence: Morality, Politics and Society, published by Rowman and Littlefield.
A member of the International Board of Advisors for Phenomenological Workshop Texts, published by ZETA Books.
A member of the Scientific Board of Phainomena: Journal of Phenomenology and Hermeneutics.
A Senior Associate Fellow of the IIH (International Institute for Hermeneutics).
A member of the Scientific Boards of the libri nigri-series.
A member of the Scientific Boards of the libri virides-series for young authors.
A member of the board of the Society for Applied European Thought.

Doctoral and masters supervisions

PhD Supervision
Anthony Backhouse, 2010–
Ciaran Summerton, 2012–
Geoffrey Power-King (with Anne Surma), 2015–
Daniel Sheaf (with Anne Surma), 2015–
Chris Edwards (with Helena Grehan), 2016–
Daniel Burke (with Sandra Wilson), 2016–
Charles Foster (with Mark Jennings and Anne Surma), 2016–
Kalle Jarvinen (with Kathryn Trees), 2016–
Kyle Gleadell (with Sandra Wilson), 2017–

Honours Supervision
Pascale Cho: “Heidegger’s Idea of Authenticity as Authentic Care for Existence”, 2006
Anthony Backhouse: “Movement, Meaning, Emotion: Jan Patočka’s Appropriation and Critique of Heidegger’s Formal Ontology of Human Existence”, 2009
Michael Rosides: “Being and the Sacred”, 2009
Daniel Burke: “The ‘Perspective of the Daytime’: Nishida Kitarō’s ‘East-West Synthesis’ and the Modernisation of Japan”, 2009
Chris Grant: “‘Who Are We?’: An Explication of Patočka’s Philosophy”, 2010
Ciaran Summerton: “Modern Mathematical Science and Technology: Formalisation of the Life World”, 2011
Sam Millett: “Science & Certitude: Husserl’s Prolegomena to Pure Logic and the Grounding of Empirical and Theoretical Science”, 2013
Geoffrey Power-King (with Anne Surma): “The Literary and the Philosophical: Representing Freedom and Desire in The Brothers Karamazov”, 2013
Jack Douglas Anderson: “Dialectic Knowledge and the Dialogue Form”, 2014
Daniel Sheaf (with Anne Surma): “‘The Inbent Spiral’: A Critique of Postmodern Irony in the Fiction of David Foster Wallace”, 2014
Christopher Edwards: “The Light That Illuminates: Heidegger, Being and the World”, 2015
Gracie Holliday Beck: “Heidegger’s Concept of Truth Reconsidered in the Light of Tugendhat’s Critique” 2015
Jennifer Mcshera: “Ἔρως According to Socrates in Plato’s Symposium”, 2015
Kalle Jarvinen: “Madness Revisited: On the Relationship between Madness and Reason at the Heart of Philosophy”, 2015
Charles Foster (with Alex Jensen): “Horizons of Health: A Critical Investigation into Hans-Georg Gadamer’s Discussion of Health”, 2015
Kyle Gleadell: “Human Finitude and the Dialectics of Experience”, 2016
Andrew Lefroy
:  “The Personal Body: Jan Patočka’s Body, Community, Language, World & the Mind/Body Problem”, 2017
Brock Smith
  (with Anne Surma): ““A Matter that Concerned Everybody”: A Philosophical-Literary Exploration of Community and Human Connectedness in Albert Camus’s The Plague“, 2017
Kathy Shields: “A History of the Idea of the Self-Regulating Market”, 2017

 

Publications

Books

  • Ucnik, L., (2016),The crisis of meaning and the life-world. Husserl, Heidegger, Arendt, Patocka,Ohio University Press.
  • Ucnik, L., (2003),European Discourses on Rights. The Quest for Statehood in Europe: The Case of Slovakia,Peter Lang Publishing.

Chapters

  • Ucnik, L., (2016),This is a mathematical certainty: Patocka and the Neoliberal ideology,In: Thinking after Europe. Jan Patocka and Politics, Rowman & Littlefield International Ltd., pages 277 to 297.
  • Ucnik, L., Chvatik, I., (2015),Patocka on Galileo,In: The Phenomenological critique of mathematisation and the question of responsibility, Springer, pages 43 to 55.
  • Ucnik, L., (2015),Patocka's discussion with Dostoevsky on the future of Science and christianity,In: The New Yearbook for Phenomenoloy and Phenomenological Philosophy XIV 2015, Routledge, pages 199 to 215.
  • Ucnik, L., (2015),Dostoevsky: A Seismographer of Disintegration: Patockian Reflections,In: Hermeneutics - Ethics - Education, Lit Verlag Gmbh & Co. KG Wien, pages 247 to 263.
  • Ucnik, L., Williams, A., Chvatik, I., (2015),Jan Patocka's project of an Asubjective Phenomenology, and the movement of human existence,In: Asubjective Phenomenology: Jan Patocka's Project in the Broader Context of his work, Verlag Traugott Bautz GmbH, pages 1 to 13.
  • Ucnik, L., (2015),Jan Patocka: From the concept of evidence to the natural world and beyond,In: The Phenomenological critique of mathematisation and the question of responsibility, Springer, pages 31 to 42.
  • Ucnik, L., Williams, A., Chvatik, I., (2015),The Phenomenology Critique of Formalism: Responsibility and the Life-World,In: The Phenomenological critique of mathematisation and the question of responsibility, Springer, pages 1 to 14.
  • Ucnik, L., (2015),Movement and Human Existence: The Mysterium of Mundanity,In: Asubjective Phenomenology: Jan Patocka's Project in the Broader Context of his work, Verlag Traugott Bautz GmbH, pages 253 to 272.
  • Ucnik, L., (2011),Patocka on Techno-Power and the Sacrificial Victim (Obet),In: Jan Patocka and the Heritage of Phenomenology: Centenary Papers, Springer, pages 187 to 201.
  • Ucnik, L., (2010),Human Existence: Patocka's Appropriation of Arendt,In: Phenomenology 2010, Volume 1: Selected Essays from Asia and Pacific, Phenomenology in Dialogue with East Asian Tradition, Zeta Books, pages 409 to 434.
  • Ucnik, L., (2007),Aesthetics or Ethics? Italian Neorealism and the Czechoslovak New Wave Cinema,In: Italian Neorealism and Global Cinema, Wayne State University Press, pages 54 to 71.
  • Ucnik, L., (2000),The Individual at the End of History,In: Liberalism and Social Justice: International Perspectives, Ashgate Publishing Limited, pages 128 to 144.
  • Ucnik, L., (1998),The Discourse of Liberalism in Post-Socialist Europe,In: Nationalism and Racism in the Liberal Order, Aldershot, pages 1 to 76.

Journals

  • Ucnik, L., (2015), The problem of morality in a mathematized universe: time and eternity in Dostoevskys The Brothers Karamzov and the Concept of love in Patocka's last essay, Social Imaginaries (Online), 1, 2, pages 72 - 91.
  • Ucnik, L., (2013), Patocka's Socrates: The Care for the Soul and Human Existence, Investigaciones Fenomenologicas (Electronic), 4, II, pages 87 - 100.
  • Ucnik, L., (2013), Patocka's solvitur ambulando: Modern science and human existence, Angelaki: journal of the theoretical humanities, 18, 2, pages 179 - 189.
  • Ucnik, L., (2013), Science and Lebenswelt, Phainomena, 22, 84-85, pages 25 - 50.
  • Ucnik, L., (2007), Esse or Habere. To be or to have: Potocka's critique of Husserl and Heidegger, British Society for Phenomenology, Journal, 38, 3, pages 297 - 317.
  • Ucnik, L., (2007), Patocka on Techno-Science and Responsibility, Studia Phaenomenologica, VII, , pages 409 - 434.
  • Ucnik, L., (2006), Kant on Relations and the Selbstsetzungslehre [Self-Positing], Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy, 10, , pages 65 - 93.
  • Ucnik, L., (2004), Kant: sensus communis and public reasoning, Impulso: Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 15, 38, pages 105 - 117.
  • Ucnik, L., (2003), Americans are from Mars, Europeans are from Venus, Arena Journal & Magazine, 21, , pages 127 - 150.

Conference

  • Ucnik, L., (2013),Patocka's Discussion with Dostoyevsky on the Future of Science and Christianity,In: The Reasons of Europe. History and Problems of a Philosophical Concept (2013).
  • Ucnik, L., Williams, A., (2012),Judgement, Responsibility and the Life-World,In: Judgement, Responsibility and the Life-World.
  • Ucnik, L., (2012),Patockian Reflections on the Life-World and the Space of Manifestation,In: Judgement, Responsibility and the Life-World.

Edited Books

  • Ľubica Učník, Anita Williams, eds. Phenomenology and the Problem of Meaning in Human Life and History. Eds. Ľubica Učník, and Anita Williams. Nordhausen: Verlag Traugott Bautz GmbH, 2017
  • Ľubica Učník, Ivan Chvatík, eds. Patočka, Jan. The Natural World as a Philosophical Problem. Trans. Erika Abrams. Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2016
  • Ľubica Učník, Ivan Chvatík, Anita Williams, eds. The Phenomenological Critique of Mathematisation and the Question of Responsibility: Formalisation and the Life-World. Contribution to Phenomenology. Dordrecht/NL: Springer, 2015
  • Ľubica Učník, Ivan Chvatík, Anita Williams, eds. Asubjective Phenomenology: Jan Patočka’s Project in the Broader Context of his Work. libri nigri 41. Nordhausen: Verlag Traugott Bautz GmbH, 2015

Journal Articles (Refereed)

  • Ľubica Učník. “Husserl’s Critique of the Mathematization of Nature: From Philosophy of Arithmetic to The Crisis of European Sciences,” In: Far Eastern University Colloquium: The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Journal, Vol. 3, 2009, 47–79

Book Chapters (Refereed)

  • Ľubica Učník. “Patočka’s Discussion with Dostoevsky: Modern Science and Religion.” The Reasons of Europe: History and Problems of a Philosophical Concept. Ed. Edoardo Ferrario. libri nigri. Nordhausen: Verlag Traugott Bautz GmbH, forthcoming
  • Ľubica Učník. “The Movement of Human Existence and Asubjective Phenomenology.” Phenomenology and the Problem of Meaning in Human Life and History. Eds. Ľubica Učník and Anita Williams. libri nigri. Nordhausen: Verlag Traugott Bautz GmbH, 2017, 293–305
  • Ľubica Učník and Anita Williams. “The Diversity of Phenomenology.” Phenomenology and the Problem of Meaning in Human Life and History. Eds. Ľubica Učník and Anita Williams. libri nigri. Nordhausen: Verlag Traugott Bautz GmbH, 2017, 11–15

Conference and Seminar Papers

  • Keynote speaker: “Nature, technē and the question of technology”, ‘Heidegger and Nature’ Workshop, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne Campus, Fitzroy: 16–17 June 2017
  • “Responsibility vs. Responsibilisation: The Neoliberal Space of Human Activity.” 11th Annual, International, Interdisciplinary Conference: Radical Interventions: Politics, Culture, Society. Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics (CAPPE), University of Brighton, UK, 7–9 September 2016
  • “Jan Patočka and the Century of Josef K”, The Lecture organized and financed by the research project Loss of Grounds as Common Ground, Södertörn University, Huddinge, Sweden: 6 November 2015
  • “The Current Crisis and the Engineering of Consent: Jan Patočka on Radical Supercivilisation”, The Current Crisis of Europe from the Point of View of Phenomenology: An international conference to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Jan Patočka Archives in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic: 14–16 May 2015
  • “Movement of Human Existence and Asubjective Phenomenology”, 5th Organization of Phenomenological Organizations (OPO) Meeting, Phenomenology and the Problem of Meaning in Human Life and History, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia: 8–12 Dec 2014
  • “Dostoevsky: A Seismographer of Disintegration. Patočkian Reflections.” International Conference organised by Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna:  Human Existence as Movement: Patočka’s Existential Phenomenology and its Political Dimension. Vienna: 3–5 June 2014
  • “The Problem of Time and Eternity in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and the Concept of ‘Love’ in Patočka’s Last Essay”. Invited speaker to 6th International Conference of P.E.A.CE (Phenomenology for East-Asian CirclE). The Chinese University of Hong Kong: 20–23 May 2014
  • “Patočka’s Discussion with Dostoyevsky on the Future of Science and Christianity”. International Conference organised by La Sapienza University of Rome: The Reasons of Europe. History and Problems of a Philosophical Concept. Rome: 13–14 December 2013
  • “Heretical Reading of Arendt: The Space of Thinking”. Australasian Society For Continental Philosophy Annual Conference, University of Western Sydney (Parramatta campus) Sydney: 3–5 Dec 2013
  • “Movement and Human Existence: Mysterium of Mundanity – Whence to Where”. A Workshop 2013: Phenomenology and the Problem of Meaning in Human Life and History, Prague, Czech Republic: 19–20 April 2013
  • “Heretical Reading of Arendt: The Space of Thinking”. A Workshop on Life-World and Natural World: Husserl and Patočka, Dublin, Ireland: 29–30 November 2012
  • “Jan Patočka: From the Concept of Evidence to the Natural World and Beyond”.  A Workshop 2012: Judgment, Responsibility and the Life-world, Prague, Czech Republic: 9–11 May 2012
  • “Phenomenological Reflections on Hawking’s Mystery of Being.” Australasian Society For Continental Philosophy Annual Conference: The Time of Our Lives, La Trobe University, Melbourne: 12–15 Dec 2011
  • Patočkian Reflections on the Life-World and the Space of Manifestation.” A Workshop 2011 – Judgment, Responsibility and the Life-world, Perth: 28–29 November 2011
  • “Patočka’s Socrates: The Care for the Soul and Human Existence.” The Organisation of Phenomenological Organisations IV, Segovia, Spain: 19–23 Sept 2011
  • “The Immortality of the Transcendental Ego.” Commentary on Francesca Dell’Orto: Reconstructing Opacity: Husserlian Motivation as a ‘Third Synthesis.’ 42nd Annual Meeting of the Husserl Circle. Gonzaga University, Florence, Italy: 27–30 April 2011
  • “Border-Crossing: Science in Connection with Husserl and Patočka’s Notion of the Lebenswelt”. The Fourth Conference of the Phenomenology for East Asian CirclE (P.E.A.CE), National Sun Yat-Sen University in Kaohsiung, Taiwan: 9–13 Dec 2010
  • “The Lebenswelt: Subjectivity and Objectivity in Husserl and Patočka.” 41st Annual Meeting of the Husserl Circle. The New School for Social Research, New York: 21–23 June 2010 (http://husserlcircle.org/HC_NYC_Proceedings.pdf)
  • “Thinking the World: Patočka and Husserl.” APHA Conference in University of Tasmania, Hobart: 29 April –1 May 2010
  • “Patočka and Arendt.” Gender Workshop in University of Tasmania, Hobart: 25 June 2009
  • “Patočka’s Solvitur Ambulando: Sophocles’ Tragedies on Labdakos’ Progeny.” Australasian Society For Continental Philosophy Annual Conference: Philosophy and The Work of Art, Monash University, Melbourne: 29 Nov –1 Dec 2009
  • “Human Existence: Patočka’s Appropriation of Arendt.” The Organisation of Phenomenological Organisations III, Hong Kong: 15–20 December 2008
  • “Husserl’s Critique of the Mathematization of Nature: From Philosophy of Arithmetic to The Crisis of European Sciences.” The University of Western Australia Philosophy Society, Perth: October 2008
  • “Patocka on the Sacrificial Victim.” La Trobe University Philosophy Seminars, Melbourne: 28 May 2008
  • “Husserl’s Crisis of European Sciences and Patočka’s Heretical Essays.” The Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy conference at UTAS, Dialogues In Place, Hobart: December 2007
  • “Patočka on Techno-Power and the Sacrificial Victim (Oběť).” An International Conference to Commemorate Jan Patočka 1907 – 1977 and the 37th Annual Meeting of the Husserl Circle, Prague, Czech Republic: 22–28 April 2007
  • “Patočka on Techno-Power and Sacrificial Victim.” Philosophy seminar series at The Notre Dame University, Perth: May 2006
  • “Patočka on Techno-Power, Sacrifice, and Victim: The Logic of Calculation and its Impossibility.” 7th Biennial Conference: Society for Applied European Thought, Inclusions and Exclusions in the New Europe, Tatranská Lomnica, Slovakia: 3–8 July 2005
  • “Care for the Soul: Patočka.” The Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy conference at Macquarie University: Critique Today, Melbourne: December 2004
  • “Community and the Selbstsetzungslehre [Self-Positing].” 6th Biennial Conference: Society for Applied European Thought, Meaning of Community, Olomouc, Czech Republic: July 2003
  • “Kant: Sensus Communis and the Public Use of Reason.” The Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy conference at the University of Melbourne, Melbourne: December 2002
  • Poiesis and Praxis.” CSAA Conference: Ute Culture: The Utility of Culture and the Uses of Cultural Studies, the University of Melbourne, Melbourne: December 2002
  • “Is Political Philosophy Dead?” 5th Biennial Conference: Society for Applied European Thought, Conflict and Identity, Olomouc, Czech Republic: July 2001