Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Octagon Friday Forum: Recognition

05 February 2016, 10:00 am–5:40 pm

Octagon Friday Forum - Recognition Poster

Event Information

Open to



IAS Common Ground, Ground Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building

The Institute of Advanced Studies is proud to host the Octagon Friday Forum.  'Recognition' is a rich concept that has several meanings. In everyday use it refers to the identification of objects and persons as entities known to oneself. Here, recognition involves moving from a state of ignorance to one of knowledge as to the nature of an entity. It is also used to signal awareness that a particular state of affairs is of a certain kind; to recognise, for example, that one's actions were morally wrong. In another usage, recognition refers to acknowledgment of the existence or legality of something, such as an event or a nation state.

In a related usage, recognition, as it arises in the phrase 'the politics of recognition', refers to a mutual attitude towards others by which we acknowledge and honour their status. In this final meaning, the concept of recognition has been developed into a moral and political theory, and employed to understand and justify many contemporary struggles for identity and rights, including gay rights, the rights of ethnic minorities, and disability rights.  

This conference aims to explore the concept of recognition from an interdisciplinary perspective. Topics to be considered include: 

  • The different meanings of 'recognition'
  • History and evolution of the word recognition
  • The use of recognition (anagnorisis) in Classical and Modern drama
  • The relation between mutual recognition and identity formation
  • The ethical significance of recognition and misrecognition
  • Historical and philosophical underpinnings to contemporary political uses of the concept of recognition
  • Contemporary struggles for legal and cultural recognition of rights and status
  • Mechanisms of misrecognition and social invisibility

Download the programme here and the poster here.
Please contact Dr Mohammed Aboulleil Rashed for further information.