Friday, 25 April 2014

Havel foundation awards Austrian philosopher Liessmann

6 October 2010

Prague, Oct 5 (CTK) - Austrian philosopher, essayist, literary critic and journalist Konrad Paul Liessmann, 57, who received the award of the Vision 97 (VIZE 97) foundation of Dagmar and Vaclav Havel yesterday, does not fear to cross boundaries in his work, Havel said at the award-giving ceremony.

He added that Liessmann, professor of philosophy at the University of Vienna, dared to put question marks where others would not dare it.

The Vision 97 award, presented for the 12th time this year, is the expression of support for unconventional opinions that Liessmann presents, Havel told reporters yesterday.

"The meaning of this award annually presented by our foundation is to point to those who are in a certain way able to cross the boundaries of conventional science... who are able to see a more general context of phenomena and do not share the proud conviction that we know everything. And that what we do not know we will learn soon since we are dab hands," said Havel, playwright, a leading anti-communist dissident and Czechoslovak and Czech president in 1989-2003.

Liessmann on this occasion said he considers the Vision 97 award the highest decoration he had ever received. He at the same time expressed his deep admiration for Havel.

Liessmann drew attention by his book The Theory of Miseducation (Theorie der Unbildung) in which he criticises the current education level in Europe. According to him, the current education system does not fulfil the ideal of "learned society," but it rather serves political and economic interests.

Liessmann won the titles the Scientist od the Year in Austria in 2006.

The Vision 97 has also published a book of Liessmann's essays.

The annual Vision 97 award consisting of a diploma and the award shaped as a crosier of St Vojtech (Adalbert) has been bestowed on a number of significant personalities of the Czech and foreign scientific circles.

Among the previous laureates are Italian writer Umberto Eco, Polish sociologist Zygmund Bauman, U.S. economist Robert B. Reich. Last year, the award was bestowed on Czech geologist Vaclav Cilek.

The Vision 97 was founded by the Havels in order to support interesting projects directed towards the future.

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