I, Thou, and We: Phenomenological Perspectives – University of Copenhagen

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I, Thou, and We: Phenomenological Perspectives

CFS Workshop



The starting event of the CFS project "You and We: Second-person Engagement and Collective Intentionality", funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark, will focus on phenomenological and philosophical perspectives on I, Thou, and we. In the last years, the second-person or I-Thou relationship has gained increasing attention in philosophy and psychology, but its interrelations with the first-person plural or we-perspective have been relatively neglected. Importantly, the notions of I, Thou, and we are not newcomers to the philosophical conceptual landscape. They have a rich and complex history, which includes contributions by thinkers like Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber, and several figures of the phenomenological tradition, including Edmund Husserl, Emmanuel Levinas, and Karl Löwith. The aim of the workshop is to investigate the topics of I, Thou and we from a historical perspective, though in a way that also highlights the potential relevance of resources from classical phenomenology and the history of philosophy for contemporary discussions about the second-person perspective and collective intentionality.

Confirmed Speakers




Petar Bojanic

Professor & Director, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (IFDT)

University of Belgrade

Michael Fagenblat

Senior Lecturer, Department of History, Philosophy and Jewish Studies

Open University of Israel

Felipe León

Postdoc, Center for Subjectivity Research

University of Copenhagen

Ashraf Noor

Scholar, Researcher

Zurich James Joyce Foundation

Dan Zahavi

Professor & Director, Center for Subjectivity Research

University of Copenhagen


Preliminary Programme 


Thursday May 3, 2018




Ashraf Noor:

Buber and Blumenberg on alterity and phenomenological anthropology


Coffee break


Michael Fagenblat: 

Levinas's discovery of the other as a solution to the problem of elemental We-existence


Dan Zahavi:

Recognition and asymmetrical reciprocity: Edmund Husserl and Iris Marion Young

Friday May 4, 2018


Petar Bojanic:

Husserl on 'We' and on the subject of the superior level


Coffee break


Felipe León:

Three phenomenological approaches to the I-Thou relation


The workshop is free and open to all, but registration is required. Please let us know if you sign up and are later unable to attend.

Please fill in the registration form to sign up for the workshop.