Cite as: Barbara Henry, Crisis: Origins and Interpretations, lecture, ICI Berlin, 8 July 2010, video recording, mp4, 24:27 <>
8 Jul 2010


Origins and Interpretations
By Barbara Henry
The aim of the lecture is to disclose the meaning of the concept of ‘crisis’. Krinein, to distinguish and separate, constitutes the root of judicial activity as well as of crisis. It means separation and fracture, a point of no return where all is at stake (experimentum crucis). Here are the origins of the category of ‘crisis’ signifying both danger and opportunity, including the danger of opportunity.

The approach is ‘begriffsgeschichtlich’ and considers categories principally in use in the Western philosophical tradition and among authors such as Jünger, Schmitt, and Heidegger. Proceeding by analogy and comparison the intention is to regenerate critically rather than substitute the type of deductive and inductive reasoning still typical of logics and modern Western science.Barbara Henry is full professor of political philosophy at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies (SSSUP), Pisa. The main issues of her inquiries are: German classical philosophy, neokantianism, political judgement and hermeneutics, modern political myths and totalitarianism, political and cultural identity, tolerance and interculturality, political and cultural globalisation, gender issues, qualitative empirical research. She published books and articles on E. Cassirer, H. Arendt, M. Heidegger, E. Jünger. She translated the Eduard Gans’ Zusätze to Hegels’ Philosophy of Right. She is the Director of the Confucio Institute in Pisa and coordinates the PHD Course in Politics, Human Rights, and Sustainability.


ICI Berlin
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Organized by

Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Berlino
In cooperation with the ICI Berlin

Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:24:27
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin