Critical phenomenology of the we

Classical phenomenology offers not only incisive analyses of intentionality, experience, selfhood, empathy and interpersonal understanding, but also quite sophisticated investigations of collective intentionality, affective sharing, social participation, communal experience, and group-identity. Indeed, while starting out with an interest in the individual mind, phenomenologists began exploring dyadic forms of interpersonal relations shortly before the start of World War I, and were deeply engaged in extensive analyses of communal forms of intentionality during the interwar period – at a time when nationalism was on the rise.

Today, the "We" has not lost its place in philosophical, political, or popular discourse. Within the last decade especially, we have witnessed renewed interest in the early phenomenological reflections on group formations, communal experiences, empathy, and fellow-feeling. Does this renewed interest suggest a need to revise our understandings of the "We", or does it attest to its enduring philosophical, social, and political significance/relevance? How have, for instance, perspectives from critical theory and feminist philosophy provided insights into the importance and limitations of questions of belonging, We-experiences, and We-identities? The aim of the current conference is to investigate how this recent critical turn in phenomenology might support, challenge, extend or qualify the classical phenomenological analyses.

Speakers include Alia Al-Saji, Linda Alcoff, Robert Bernasconi, Lisa Guenther, Sara Heinämaa, Steffen Hermann, Sophie Loidolt, Johanna Oksala, Michael Staudigl and Dan Zahavi.

More info to follow.