KEYNOTE SPEAKER



PROF. VIRIATO SOROMENHO-MARQUES

Viriato Soromenho-Marques (1957) teaches Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Nature, and European Ideas in the Departments of Philosophy and European Studies of the University of Lisbon, where he is Full Professor.

Since 1978 he has been engaged in the civic environmental movement in Portugal and Europe. He is member of: the National Council on Environment and Sustainable Development; the Lisbon Academy of Sciences, Class of Humanities (Letras); and the Navy Academy.
He is a regular contributor to some Portuguese mass media, particularly, the Jornal de Letras, Rádio Renascença, the public television network (RTP), Diário de Notícias, Visão, and the Portuguese and Brazilian Sections of the BBC.

He wrote over four hundred works on Philosophy, Environment and International Relations matters.

He already was:
- Chairman of Quercus (1992-1995);
- Vice-Chair of the European Environmental and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils network (2001-2006);
- Scientific coordinator of the Gulbenkian Environment Program (2007-2011);
- One of the twelve members of the High Level Group on Energy and Climate Change by invitation of the President of the European Commission (2007-2010);
- Awarded in 1997 and 2006 by the President of the Republic (“Grande Oficial da Ordem de Mérito” and “Grande Oficial da Ordem do Infante D. Henrique”);
- The representative of public opinion in the Press Council (1985-1987);
- Speaker in over one thousand conferences in Portugal and twenty three other countries.


KEYNOTE SPEECH

The 1755 Lisbon Earthquake as a Philosophical Landslide in Western Thought

The 1755 Lisbon tragedy, with a toll of over 30,000 lives in one of the world major cities of the time, was a challenging moment to Western philosophical self-conscience.  It meant the sudden collapse of the long standing hegemony of optimism and theodicy (mainly in the line of Leibniz and Pope) and the advancement of new affirmative and praxis oriented world visions, like those that were established within the plural constellation of the “philosophy of history”. The riddle of evil in its different modes and shapes left the field of theology and ontology to be engaged into the colorful landscapes of natural sciences, ethics and politics.