History of the Department

 

The Department of Philosophy was established as part of the Faculty of Philosophy and History in 2002 and the first Head of Department was Assoc. Prof. Ivan Hristov, a specialist in the history of ancient philosophy.

Despite its ‘institutional youth', the intensive teaching of the philosophical courses at Plovdiv University 'Paisii Hilendarski' has its history and is associated with the specifics of training in the discipline of ‘Sociology' and the former Department of ‘Ethnology and Sociology'. A characteristic feature of the Department of Philosophy is a combination of academic activity, with an emphasis on several core theoretical directions – Logic and Applied Social Studies, History of Philosophy, interdisciplinary circles of the humanities and the functioning of the unit as a research institution. The Institute for Critical Social Investigations (ICSI), whose founder and one of the founders of the major is chief assistant professor Deyan Deyanov is part of the Department. Besides the numerous Bulgarian and international research projects in the field of practical logic and sociology, historical sociology of socialism, the methodology of social research and more,  ICSI is also a unit with an outstanding publishing record. The activities of the Institute are connected with the publication and distribution of one of the leading academic journals in the Humanities in Bulgaria – ‘Critique and Humanism', as well as with the work of the eponymous publishing house. Connected to this are also the joint research projects conducted by the Department of Philosophy, together with the Medical Academy (Sofia) and the ‘Balkan Academy of Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology' (BAFPP) under the heading ‘Philosophy and Mental Health'. Created with the support of the leadership of Plovdiv University, the Centre for Philosophy and Mental Health is the first ever academic structure of its kind in Eastern Europe. In connection with the activities of its research units, the Department of Philosophy, in the short time of its existence, has organized more than 20 Bulgarian and international academic conferences, bringing together the elite of the Bulgarian humanities.

The state of research in the department can be judged by the fact that only for the period from 2007 to early 2010 the lecturers (8 people) have published 7 books, 4 textbooks, 31 articles in Bulgarian journals and 7 in international journals. The lecturers of the department have co-organized seven international academic conferences, and three staff members are participants in the editorial boards of some of our most prestigious scholarly journals. Two PhD defences deserve a special mention with regard to their impressive scope and commanding authority – that of Prof. L Hristov on the issue of the nature of man and of Assoc. Prof. E. Grigorov's thesis on the ethical issues of critical theory of the 20th century.

The educational profile of the programme is built around the aforementioned areas – the logic of social studies, history of philosophy, philosophy and everyday life. This is also reflected in the orientation of the graduate programmes on offer – ‘Philosophy, Culture, Everyday life' (conducted together with the Department of Critical Sociology and the Department of Ethnology) and ‘Philosophy, Humanities, Literature'.

At the moment the academic staff of the department consists of five habilitated and three non-habilitated lecturers, as well as one administrative assistant.