Café Philosophique 5: Kafka’s Metamorphosis

Monday, 14 May 2018, at 6.00 pm Blackwells Bookshop, South Bridge, Edinburgh

This meeting of the Café will be introduced by Alisa Mandrigin, Research Fellow in Philosophy and Psychology at Stirling University.

For our third Café at Blackwells, we have chosen The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. Commercial traveller Gregor Samsa wakes to discover that he has been transformed over night into an extraordinary and grotesque insect with a curved abdomen, an armoured back and an abundance of thin, ineffectual legs. Kafka’s story is often understood as an expression of a sense of alienation from society, or as a commentary on the dehumanising effects of capitalism. But might it also tell us something about self-knowledge and personal identity? Unable to communicate, increasingly interested in scuttling across the walls and ceiling of his dark and filthy bedroom and overwhelmed with self-disgust, what might Samsa’s predicament reveal to us about what and how we know about ourselves, and what makes us who we are? Come along to join in the conversation.

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