Heidegger’s Meta-politics of Interpersonal Understanding: Phenomenology, Metaphysics, and the Volk

Steven Crowell (Rice University, USA)

Heidegger’s appeal to the Volk in his writings and lectures between 1927-1936 is deeply bound up with his attempt, after Being and Time, to develop the “metaphysical” implications of his phenomenologically “neutral” account of Dasein. I have argued elsewhere that this attempt is governed by a certain appropriation of Leibniz’s concept of the “monad,” a concept which Heidegger describes as one of the “cleverest philosophical ideas since Plato” and develops initially as a way of understanding the metaphysics of interpersonal understanding, or Mitsein. But it also serves as the basis for his metaphysical account of the difference between the being of Dasein and the being of the animal. By 1933, when Heidegger becomes the first National Socialist rector of the university of Freiburg, these metaphysical motifs have led to the idea that the individual can be authentic only within the State, the “being” of a particular historical Volk. In this paper, I will outline the elements of Heidegger’s move from phenomenology to metaphysics and will concentrate, particularly, on the transformation this entails in his concept of Mitsein: from the critique of empathy found in Being and Time to his “meta-political” idea of the State as the Volk-specific condition of all interpersonal understanding. My goal is to stimulate discussion not only of the philosophical underpinnings of Heidegger’s own involvement in politics, but also of the broader relation between transcendental phenomenology and metaphysics.

Steven Crowell is Joseph and Joanna Nazro Mullen Professor of Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at Rice University. He is the author of numerous articles on phenomenology, neo-Kantianism, and continental philosophy and has published two books: Husserl, Heidegger, and the Space of Meaning: Paths Toward Transcendental Phenomenology (Northwestern 2001) and Normativity and Phenomenology in Husserl and Heidegger (Cambridge 2013). He is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Existentialism (2012) and, with Jeff Malpas, Transcendental Heidegger (Stanford 2007). With Sonja Rinofner-Kreidl, Crowell is co-editor of Husserl Studies. His current research concerns the phenomenological basis of reason, and the relation between phenomenology and metaphysics.

Emotions Directed at the Fortunes of Others 

Alessandra Fussi (Università di Pisa, Italy)

In classic and contemporary classifications, envy belongs to the group of emotions directed at the fortunes of others. Within this group, Aristotle distinguishes envy from emulation without incurring serious difficulties. Much more complicated for Aristotle is the distinction between envy and indignation. Indignation is described in such a way as to become the best mask for envy, and this comes as no surprise if we consider, with Plutarch, that among many vices envy stands out almost alone as unmentionable.
On Plutarch’s account, envy is fundamentally different from a negative emotion like hate for two reasons: 1) it can be directed towards friends, while where there is hate there is no friendship, and 2) it can be directed at people we consider virtuous, while hate presupposes vice.
In Scheler’s interpretation we will observe the dissolution of the distinction between emotions directed at the fortunes of others and emotions directed at vice and virtue. The progression leading to Ressentiment is also the transformation of simple, straightforward envy for something good someone has, to existential envy and pure hatred.

Alessandra Fussi is associate professor of moral philosophy at the university of Pisa. She received her PhD from Penn State University, and taught for several years in the United States. She wrote extensively in English on Plato’s moral philosophy and psychology, on ancient and contemporary theories of emotions, and on contemporary interpreters of Plato (in particular on Bernard Williams and on Leo Strauss).
Among the most recent publications in Italian are Retorica e potere. Una lettura del Gorgia di Platone, ETS 2006 and La città nell'anima. Strauss lettore di Platone e Senofonte, ETS 2012. With Vinzia Fiorino she edited Emozioni, corpi, conflitti, ETS 2016.

Embodiment and Empathy: A Husserlian Approach

Sara Heinämaa (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)

The paper argues that Husserlian phenomenology offers powerful conceptual tools for the analysis of different senses of bodily being. These tools include (i) the conceptual distinction between the body as a material thing (Körper) and the body as our way of being in the world (Leib), (ii) the distinction between one’s own body as a double structure of sensing-sensed and the other’s body as an analogous structure, and (iii) the distinction between two alternative ways of apprehending bodies as environing objects: the naturalistic apprehension that articulates the human body as a two-layered reality and the personalistic apprehension that articulates it as an expressive whole. The paper explicates and clarifies these distinctions and argues that they must not be understood as oppositions but must be seen as differentiating between mutually complementing and supplementing structures of possible experience. However, the Husserlian framework also includes a strong critical line of thought that renders the naturalistic attitude as a secondary formation, dependent on the personalistic attitude. The paper discusses the grounds of this argument in Husserl’s theory of individuation.

Sara Heinämaa is academy professor (2017–2021) of the Academy of Finland, leading a five-year research project in phenomenology of normality. She holds a chair for philosophy at the University of Jyväskylä where she also operates as a research leader. In her systematic work, Heinämaa investigates the nature of embodiment, intersubjectivity, temporality, and normality. Her exegetic work is focused on the philosophies of Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Beauvoir, Heidegger, and Irigaray. She has published widely in phenomenology, existentialism, philosophy of mind, and history of philosophy. Her most important publications include, Phenomenology and the Transcendental (2014), with Mirja Hartimo and Timo Miettinen; New Perspectives on Aristotelianism and Its Critics (2015), with Virpi Mäkinen and Miira Tuominen; Birth, Death, and Femininity (2010) with Robin Schott et al., and Toward A Phenomenology of Sexual Difference (2003).

Back to Husserl: Reclaiming the Traditional Philosophical Context of the Phenomenological ‘Problem’ of the Other: Leibniz’s “Monadology”

Burt C. Hopkins (Université de Lille/UMR-CNRS 8163 STL)

My paper presents the basis of Husserl’s confidence that Leibniz was right—though for the wrong reasons—about the impossibilities of both the separate existence of two or more pluralities of monads and of the existence of more than one objective world. Phenomenology, as transcendental idealism, is able to show—on the basis of reflectively uncovered and verifiable evidence—that both the meaning and being of any possible other Ego and any possible world is inseparable from the constitution of each as an ideal unity in ‘my’ transcendental Ego or monad. More exactly, the combination brought about by the multiplicity of recollective representations yields the primordial transcendence of nature that appears in each monad—originally in ‘my’ monad and appresentatively in the other monad—as the one and only source of the meaning of other Egos and the objectivity of the natural world. Moreover, when this meaning is verified with evidence, the being is yielded of the plurality of monads whose community is constitutive of the objectivity of the one spatio-temporal nature and world, as an identical world for everyone. 

Burt C. Hopkins is Permanent Secretary of the Husserl Circle, former Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Seattle University, and founding co-editor of The New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy. He is author of The Origin of the Logic of Symbolic Mathematics: Jacob Klein and Edmund Husserl (2011), The Philosophy of Husserl (2010), and Intentionality in Husserl and Heidegger: The Problem of the Original Method and Phenomenon of Phenomenology (1993). His current research continues the tradition of transcendental phenomenology and is focused on the critique of symbolic reason.

On the criticism of the noematic presentation of alterity in M. Henry from the perspective of the phenomenology of the inapparent

Hernán Inverso (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Michel Henry questions the notion of subject and object, on the one hand, its linkage with representation and, on the other hand, the description of alterity seen from an intentional perspective. He tries to show in what sense intentionality and constitution are not adequate phenomenological ways in the task to explain the universal a priori of the experience of alterity. Indeed, this critic of the notion of subject does not only questions the noematic presentations of alterity, but affects any attempt to account for the Other from a perspective that is not self-affective. However, what at first sight seems irreconcilable with the husserlian phenomenological horizon, can be a substantive contribution in this same area. We will examine here Henry’s criticism on the husserlian position in order to provide a reading key that does not provoke a collision between them, but a synergy that, retaking the power of origins, deploys a research program that encompasses the study of the whole spectrum of phenomena.

Hernán Inverso holds a degree and PhD in Philosophy from the University of Buenos Aires. He is currently Professor of History of Contemporary Philosophy at the University of San Martín (UNSAM) and Professor of Gnoseology at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). He has published books among them El mundo entre paréntesis. Una arqueología de las nociones de reducción y corporalidad (Buenos Aires, 2015) and Fenomenología de lo inaparente (Buenos Aires, 2017) and numerous articles in international journals of philosophy. He is a researcher at the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) and leads a research project at the University of Buenos Aires on phenomenology and corporeality.

The Impact of the Other on the Life of the Subject

Niall Keane (University of Limerick, Ireland) 

When it comes to the self-other relation, phenomenologists have argued that one of the most important aspects of Husserl’s multi-layered analysis is the reciprocal and symmetrical nature of intersubjective experience. This one could call the mutuality of addressing and being addressed by the other. And if phenomenologists point to an asymmetrical aspect in the analysis of this experience, they tend to refer to the originary aspect of my relation to myself in prima persona, in contrast to my experience of the givenness of the other as non-originary. However, this paper is not so much concerned with how the other is intuitively given to me, or with how the other is given to me qua other, but with the transformative impact that the event of the encounter with the other has on the life of the subject. The issue then becomes not simply one of the meaningfulness of the world as it is established in the reciprocal opening of the self towards the other but, more saliently, the self-estranging impact of the other on me. My claim will be that with the experience of the other's givenness, there occurs something in and to the life of the subject which exceeds the standard mutually co-constituting account, namely, that the encounter with the other draws the self away from itself before giving it back to itself more fully by shattering the illusion of pure self-belonging.

Niall Keane is Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Philosophy at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. Dr. Keane received his PhD from the Catholic University of Leuven in 2009 with a thesis on Plato, Heidegger and the Problem of Hiddenness. Dr. Keane has published widely in the areas of phenomenology and hermeneutics and is the co-author of The Gadamer Dictionary (Continuum 2012) and co-editor of The Blackwell Companion to Hermeneutics (Wiley-Blackwell 2016). In addition to his publications on Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer, Michel Henry, and in the field of ancient philosophy, he is Treasurer of the Irish Phenomenological Circle, executive committee member of the British Society for Phenomenology, and cofounder and coordinator of the Irish Centre for Transnational Studies. Dr. Keane’s current research project focuses on the transformed and transformative nature of subjectivity in Heidegger’s phenomenology.

Merleau-Ponty’s Hermeneutics of the Normal and the Pathological

Kwok-ying LAU (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

For those who understand phenomenological philosophy not as a naturalism nor a positivism, the recognition of the positive role played by moments of constitutive negativity such as nothingness, absence, difference, écart and the invisible in the manifestation of phenomena should not be a subject of great dispute. Yet sometimes it needs thinkers at the peripheral or even outside the phenomenological movement, such as Michel Foucault, to remind us of the above state of affairs. To Foucault French phenomenology has not proceeded to reformulate the theory of the subject as it should be by incorporating the moment of error in the constitution of our knowledge of the subject, and is thus still too positivistic. By praising Canguilhem for introducing the study of error in a philosophy of the concept of the living being and of life in opposition to the theory of the subject practiced by phenomenologists, Foucault thinks that Canguilhem is able to overcome the positivist naivety of phenomenology. With this Foucault proposes a line of demarcation of the development of French philosophy, a line “that separates a philosophy of experience, of sense and of subject and a philosophy of knowledge, of rationality and of concept. On the one hand, one network is that of Sartre and Merleau-Ponty; and then another is that of Cavaillès, Bachelard and Canguilhem.”
While Foucault is right to raise from the point of view of theory construction the question of the constitutive role played by moments of negativity in the formation of the concept of life, rationality and world, his historical line of demarcation is contested. For not only the late Merleau-Ponty’s ontology of the invisible with the notion of écart shows his full awareness of constitutive negativity, in the Phenomenology of Perception the constitutive role of negative elements is already well thematized. This is shown in his hermeneutics of the normal and the pathological in the phenomenology of the body-subject in which the study of pathological behaviours play a constitutive role. We even invent the term “pathological reduction” to elucidate Merleau-Ponty’s method to thematize phenomena of the pathological. We will show that Merleau-Ponty’s non-positivist conception of the normal and the pathological is in close affinity with Canguilhem, to whom the positivistic scientific approach fails to understand the complicated and paradoxical relation between the normal and the pathological and norms and normativity on the one hand, and between the diseased and the healthy on the other.

Kwok-ying LAU, born and educated in Hong Kong, PhD University of Paris I in 1993 with a dissertation on Merleau-Ponty. Currently Professor and Director of M.A. Program at the Department of Philosophy, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, founding editor-in-chief of Phenomenology and the Human Sciences (journal in Chinese) since 2004, Director of Edwin Cheng Foundation Asian Centre for Phenomenology, since 2010, he is co-founder of the research network P.E.A.CE (Phenomenology for East-Asian CirclE) since 2004 and has organized the Symposia Asiatica Phaenomenologica, Summer Master Class in Phenomenology for Asian Scholars from 2007-2014. 

Authored books:

Phenomenology and Intercultural Understanding: Towarda New Cultural Flesh (Springer, 2016).
Traces of French Phenomenology: From Sartre to Derrida (in Chinese, Taipei, fall, 2017).
Selected Readings of Kant, Philosopher of Perpetual Peace, edition, introduction and annotations (in Chinese, Taipei, 1999).

Edited books:

Border-Crossing: Phenomenology, Interculturality and Interdisciplinarity, eds. Kwok-ying Lau and Chung-Chi Yu (Würzburg, 2014).
Phenomenology and Human Experience, eds. Chung-chi Yu and Kwok-ying Lau (Nordhausen, 2012).
Identity and Alterity. Phenomenology and Cultural Traditions, eds. Kwok-ying Lau, Chan-Fai Cheung and Tze-Wan Kwan (Würzburg, 2010).
Husserl’s Logical Investigations in the New Century: Western and Chinese Perspectives, eds. Kwok-ying Lau and John J. Drummond (Springer, 2007).

Egological Reduction and Intersubjective Reduction

Nam-In LEE (Seoul National University, Korea)

The egological reduction and the intersubjective reduction play a central role in the development of Husserl’s phenomenology. As I will show, Husserl conceives of his phenomenology as a systematic whole that consists of egology and the phenomenology of intersubjectivity; he accordingly addresses the egological reduction as the method of egology and the intersubjective reduction as the method of the phenomenology of intersubjectivity, putting them into practice for the development of the various fields of phenomenology.          
Even though these methods are of crucial importance for the development of Husserl’s phenomenology and he practices them implicitly throughout, he does not discuss them extensively in any of the works published during his lifetime. To the best of my knowledge, he discussed the issue of the egological reduction only on one occasion and never attempted to deal with the issue of the intersubjective reduction in works published during his lifetime. This is the main reason why these issues have not been discussed extensively in the literature on Husserl’s phenomenology. There are some studies on the egological reduction, but it is difficult to find any research on the intersubjective reduction, and no studies on the relationship between the egological reduction and the intersubjective reduction have been published. Their basic structures still remain unclear. And this is the reason why we need to study them systematically.
Moreover, such systematic study could provide us with a clue toward solving some difficulties concerning the phenomenological reduction in general. Even though Husserl has dealt with the phenomenological reduction over and over again and has left many texts dealing with this issue, there are still many difficulties concerning the phenomenological reduction . But a systematic study of the egological reduction and the intersubjective reduction can reveal an essential trait of the phenomenological reduction—namely, that it can be carried out step by step—and this essential trait can provide us with a clue to solve some of the difficulties concerning the phenomenological reduction.
This paper aims to clarify the basic structures of the egological reduction and the intersubjective reduction, to reveal the essential trait of the phenomenological reduction that it can be carried out step by step, and to show how some difficulties concerning the phenomenological reduction could be solved with recourse to this essential trait. In section 1, I will introduce three difficulties related to the issue of the phenomenological reduction. Then in section 2, I will specify that among four possible reductions—the transcendental egological reduction, the transcendental intersubjective reduction, the psychological egological reduction, and the psychological intersubjective reduction—the first two are the topic of this paper. Thereafter, in sections 3–4, I will clarify the basic structure of the transcendental egological reduction and the transcendental intersubjective reduction. In section 5, I will show that the transcendental egological reduction and the transcendental intersubjective reduction are two partial reductions within the universal transcendental reduction. Next, in section 6, I will show that the transcendental egological reduction and the transcendental intersubjective reduction should be carried out step by step and that each of them has different layers. In section 7, I will try to solve the difficulties introduced in section 1 by turning to the stepwise character of the transcendental egological reduction and the transcendental intersubjective reduction as discussed in section 6. Finally, in section 8, I will close with two remarks concerning some future tasks related to the issue of the egological reduction and the intersubjective reduction.

Nam-In LEE is Professor of Philosophy at Seoul National University in Seoul. He received his Ph.D. from the Bergische Universität Wuppertal.  He specializes in phenomenology, hermeneutics, applied phenomenology, theory of rationality and is the author of Edmund Husserls Phänomenologie der Instinkte (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1993), Phenomenology and Hermeneutics (in Korean, Seoul: SNU Press, 2005), E. Husserls Phenomenology and Contemporary Philosophy (in Korean, Seoul, Pulbit, 2006),  “Practical Intentionality and Transcendental Phenomenology as a Practical Philosophy”(2000), “Phenomenology of Feeling in Husserl and Levinas”(2005), “Problems of Intersubjectivity in Husserl and Buber”(2006), “Experience and Evidence”(2007), “Phenomenology of Language beyond the Deconstructive Philosophy of Language”(2010).

« Le social … comme dimension de mon être »

Merleau-Ponty’s intersubjectivity at the cross of phenomenology and ontology

Liu Zhe (Peking University, China)

In the PhP, Merleau-Ponty extends the phenomenal sphere far beyond the objective to include all the pre-objective world. He then is able to characterize all the forms of consciousness as perceptive. His most comprehensive conception of phenomenon and its associated form of consciousness must be based on the anti-Cartesian notion of generative subjectivity. For this reason, the early Merleau-Ponty’s transcendental phenomenology seems to me reflecting the farthest possibility to make visible the transcendence and hence the other. This way, the foreignness of the other cannot but be compromised because the other can only have the otherness as incorporated to the possibility of my existence. Yet the non-compromised other or otherness must be the constitutive condition of the selfhood and hence invisible. For this reason, the foreignness of the other as the invisible constitutes the point where the phenomenological thinking must be transcended.

Liu Zhe, PhD in Leuven in 2005 and Associate Professor both in the Institute of Foreign Philosophy and Department of Philosophy at Peking University since 2009. Member of the editorial board of the British Journal for the History of Philosophy since 2014. Research interests in the theory of subjectivity, German idealism, German and French phenomenology and early modern philosophy. Publications in Chinese: Hegel’s Dialectical-Speculative Concept of Genuine Infinity. Beijing 2009; Reading Merleau-Ponty. Eds. Du Xiaozhen and Liu Zhe. Beijing 2011, “Merleau-Ponty’s Anti-Cartesian Theory of Embodiment”, in Social Sciences in China (8), 2014, and “Kant or Fichte”, in Beida Journal of Philosophy (11), 2010. Publications in English: “Is Fichte’s Transcendental Thinking Transcendental Argument”, in Fichte and Transcendental Philosophy, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), “Fichte’s Practical Self-consciousness and Hegel’s Speculation”?in Fichte-Studien (37), 2013; “A Fundamental Limit of Merleau-Ponty’s Transcendental Phenomenology”, in Chiasmi International (11), 2009; “Hegel on Fichte’s Practical Self-consciousness”, in Philosophy Today (52), 2008; “Sartre on Kant in the Transcendence of the Ego”, in Idealistic Studies (37), 2007. Other essays on theories of self-consciousness and consciousness in German idealism, German and French phenomenology.

Outwardness, sharing a world, and the plurality of monads

Some transcendental and metaphysical problems of intersubjectivity

Sophie Loidolt (University of Kassel, Germany)

Phenomenology after Heidegger has largely agreed on conceiving consciousness as an “outwardness.” To a significant extent, this conception is targeted against a Cartesian (mis-) understanding of consciousness as an “enclosed mind,” which has repeatedly been associated with Husserl’s phenomenology. As we know from many valuable studies of the last twenty years, these accusations of a Cartesian internalism against Husserl are not only misguided. They essentially ignore the central importance of intersubjectivity for Husserl’s phenomenology on the transcendental, mundane, genetic, and generative levels. The main issue of these investigations has often been the phenomenon of empathy, as well as interpersonal relations.
What has been discussed a lot less, however, is Husserl’s “big picture,” which is closely intertwined with his detailed investigations: his claim that “the universe of monads” is “the intrinsically first being”(Hua 1, 182). What are we to make of this? Doesn’t the concept of the “monad” alone suggest a certain enclosedness? And are we therefore to reject these parts of Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology and replace them with the more moderate, less “idealistic” versions of a wordly Being-with?
I think that a productive form of trying to understand Husserl here is long overdue. For example, it is not quite clear if Merleau-Ponty even correctly understood Husserl’s notion of the “absolute,” since he argues that plural absolutes are impossible, and that a subjectivity conceived as absolute can only be solipsist. For Husserl, however, the “intentional intertwining of the absolute” is plainly “the metaphysical primal fact” (Hua 15, 366). On the other hand, a re-clarification is necessary what kind of ontological commitments are connected to the conception of “outwardness,” especially as far as the notion of “world” is concerned. That “the world is wholly inside and I am wholly outside myself” (PP 474) cannot at all be used as a claim for an uncomplicated realism that could easily be played off against Husserl’s transcendental idealism. I intend to discuss these questions by contrasting Husserl’s with Merleau-Ponty’s work, and by taking departure from the problem of intersubjectivity and sharing a world, in order to get a grip on their “big pictures” and the ontological and metaphysical visions tied to them.

Sophie Loidolt is Guest Professor at the Philosophy Department of the University of Kassel, Germany, and a member of the “Young Academy” of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW). Loidolt was visiting researcher in Paris, Leuven, New York and Copenhagen, Visiting Scholar at the New School for Social Research, APART-Fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and University Assistant at the University of Vienna. Her work centers on the role of subjectivity, alterity, and plurality in the theoretical as well as the ethical and political field, which she examines from the vantage point of the phenomenological tradition. Her books include Anspruch und Rechtfertigung. Eine Theorie des rechtlichen Denkens im Anschluss an die Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls (Phaenomenologica-Series Springer, 2009) and Einführung in die Rechtsphänomenologie (Mohr Siebeck, 2010), and her forthcoming habilitation-thesis, Phenomenology of Plurality. Hannah Arendt on Political Intersubjectivity (Routledge, 2017).

Habituality and Social Sensitivity

Elisa Magrì (University College Dublin, Ireland)

In this paper, I explore the contribution of habituality to the constitution of an intersubjective sense of reality. My claim is that Husserl’s genetic phenomenology offers the tools to examine the experiential levels of habits without reducing habituality either to sheer mechanism or absorbed coping. Following Husserl, I argue that habit organises and reworks perception in a way that includes conscious, deliberate involvement and also sensitivity to salient features of the surrounding world. In this respect, I show that Husserl’s account of habitus plays an important role in the relation between self and other, for habit enables a form of social sensitivity by means of which we translate the sense of reality experienced by another subject.

Elisa Magrì is currently an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the UCD School of Philosophy. Previously, she held a Newman Fellowship at UCD for a research project on Edith Stein's phenomenology of empathy. She specialises in Post-Kantian philosophy (esp. Hegel), phenomenology and phenomenological philosophy, and history of philosophy. She is author of "Hegel e la genesi del concetto. Autoriferimento, memoria, incarnazione (Verifiche, Trento 2017)" and co-editor of "Empathy, Sociality, and Personhood. Essays on Edith Stein's Phenomenological Investigations" (Springer, forthcoming) and "Hegel e la fenomenologia trascendentale" (Ets, Pisa 2015). 

Suffering and the Human

Jeff Malpas (University of Tasmania, Australia)

The topic of suffering is one of the most profound and far-reaching. It brings to the fore a set of key issues concerning the character of human being, of the relations between human beings, and of the relation of human beings to the world. Two sets of questions have typically come to the fore in most philosophical discussions of suffering: first, questions concerning the nature and definition of suffering, including the experience and significance of suffering; and second, questions concerning the nature of the response to suffering, including the imperative to relieve suffering, and the implications of that imperative and the manner in which it is realised. Although these questions have enormous reach, extending into medicine and public policy, among other areas, my aim here is to focus on certain philosophical issues, specifically the difference between suffering and pain or distress, the implications this has for the understanding of the relation between suffering and human being, the way this shapes the nature of responses to suffering, and the consequences of this for the understanding of the ethical, including the understanding of empathy and intersubjectivity.

Jeff Malpas is Distinguished Professor at the University of Tasmania. He has published more than twenty books and numerous essays on a wide range of topics from architecture to the transcendental. Engaging with thinkers in both the analytic and continental traditions, he has written on the work of Davidson as well as Heidegger, and is especially well-known for his work on questions of place and space.

From Empathy to Intersubjectivity

Dermot Moran (University College Dublin, Ireland)

In this paper I shall review briefly the specifically phenomenological approach to empathy (exemplified in the rich tradition of classical phenomenology that includes Husserl, Scheler, Edith Stein). I shall discuss Husserl and Scheler but I shall give special emphasis to Edith Stein. I shall discuss, in particular, the possibility of genuine empathy with people who are absent, historical persons, fictional persons, etc. I shall also address the question as to the relation between empathy and intersubjectivity. Does Mitsein ground empathy or is empathy the precondition for intersubjective relations?

Dermot Moran is Professor of Philosophy (Metaphysics & Logic) at University College Dublin, Ireland and is President of the International Federation of Philosophical Studies/Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie (FISP). Prof. Moran’s publications include: The Philosophy of John Scottus Eriugena. A Study of Idealism in the Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 1989), Introduction to Phenomenology (Routledge, 2000), Edmund Husserl. Founder of Phenomenology (Cambridge: Polity, 2005), Husserl’s Crisis of the European Sciences: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2012), and The Husserl Dictionary (Bloomsbury, 2012), co-authored with Joseph Cohen. He has edited Husserl’s Logical Investigations, 2 vols. (Routledge, 2001), The Shorter Logical Investigations, The Phenomenology Reader, co-edited with Tim Mooney (Routledge, 2002), Phenomenology. Critical Concepts in Philosophy, 5 Volumes, co-edited with Lester E. Embree (Routledge, 2004), The Routledge Companion to Twentieth Century Philosophy (Routledge, 2008) and, with Rasmus Thybo Jensen, The Phenomenology of Embodied Subjectivity (Springer 2014). He is Founding Editor of The International Journal of Philosophical Studies (1993)and Co-Editor of the book series Contributions to Phenomenology (Springer).

The Musicality of Experience: Listening, Rhythm between Self and Other

Felix Ó Murchadha (National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland)

Time is an irreducible constituent of listening. While sight can be understood statically, discreetly, we listen temporally and dynamically. This paper will explore this characteristic of listening through a phenomenological account of sound and rhythm, showing a musical structure in experience. Music re-duces acoustic phenomena to sound as that which is related through virtual, motivational sequences having sense independent of the physical causes of individual sounds. That musical listening, which is attentive not to the physical cause of a sound, but to its ‘imaginary’ meaning, characterises listening to an other. Such listening follows the rhythm of the sequence, is led by an event of meaning that allows an other to appear as a self within a temporally constituted sequence of sense. It is within that sequence of sense that speech is possible. While subject to such relations, listening is constitutively directed towards re-sensing, because we hear in terms of virtualities, whereby sense contains the power of new and unheard of meaning in each moment of its appearance. Listening to the sequence of sound is to listen to rhythm (and melody and harmony). Understanding rhythm in terms of speech and of dance, this paper lays out the framework of an inter-corporeal relation in which the voice of the other and the position of the other in place are related in terms of stress and patterns of submission and resistance structured around the ‘thing’ of experience. The sound and rhythm of sense originate neither in self nor other but rather in a causal logic peculiar to the world of sound but which echoes the living pulse of the body. In this ‘life-time’ sense is formed and listening is possible in which temporal situatedness conditions the reception of meaning as a response to an other’s expression.

Felix Ó Murchadha is a Professor of Philosophy at the National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland). A former Fulbright Scholar he has published articles, papers, books and book chapters on Phenomenology, in particular, Heidegger, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty and Levinas, philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of violence. His more recent publications include “Speaking after the phenomenon: the promise of things and the future of phenomenology”, Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, Volume 48, 2017, Issue 2, pp. 99-115; “Love’s Conditions: Passion and the Practice of Philosophy” in A. Calcagno and D. Enns: Thinking about Love: Essays in Contemporary Continental Philosophy (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2015), pp. 81-97; The Time of Revolution: Kairos and Chronos in Heidegger (London: Bloomsbury, 2013) and A Phenomenology of Christian Life: Glory and Night (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013). He is presently working on a book provisionally entitled “The Fidelity of Reason and the Rationality of Faith: A Phenomenology of the Self”.