Whereas for the wider public Jan Patocka is kwn mainly as a defender of human rights and one of the first spokespersons of Charter 77, who died in Prague several days after long interrogations by secret police of the Communist regime, the international philosophical community sees in him an important and inspiring thinker, who in an original way elaborated the great impulses of European thought - mainly Husserl's phemelogy and Heidegger's philosophy of existence. Patocka also reflected on history and the future of humanity in a globalized world and laid the foundations of an original philosophy of history. His work is a subject of lively philosophical discussion especially in French and German-speaking countries, and recently also in Spanish-speaking, in U.S.A., and in the Far East. Scholars from around the world who are interested in the philosophy of Jan Patocka gathered in Prague to commemorate his centenary and the thirtieth anniversary of his death. The conference explored the significance of his work and its continuing influence on contemporary philosophy. The volume presents selected papers from the conference in English language.
Ivan Chvatik finished his graduate study under the supervision of leading Czech philosopher Jan Patocka. After Patocka's death in 1977, he became head of the clandestine Jan Patocka Archive, which now has become part of the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic. In 1993, he became the co-director of the Center for Theoretical Study, an interdisciplinary institute for advanced study at Charles University and the Academy of Science. He became the editor of the first complete Czech translation of Martin Heidegger's Being and Time (1996), and is currently in charge of editing Patocka's Complete Works (twelve volumes published to date out of a planned twenty-five).