‌Aim of the Conference

This international conference, Phenomenology, Empathy, Intersubjectivity: New Approaches, aims to explore and critically assess the continued relevance of the phenomenological movement’s contribution to the understanding of subjectivity, embodiment, affectivity, self-awareness and awareness of others (empathy), relations between subjects (intersubjectivity), and the constitution of sociality, historicality, and the cultural world. Phenomenology has perhaps too often been characterized primarily as a descriptive science aiming at the essential structural features of individual consciousness, and its experiences, contents and objects. But, from very early on, phenomenologists (Husserl, Stein, Scheler, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty), recognized that human beings are never isolated Cartesian egos, but are embodied, dynamic perceivers, knowers and agents, capable of apprehending others, intrinsically social, and embedded in a shared, historical life-world. Phenomenological accounts of subjectivity, the encounter with others in empathy, intersubjectivity, social relations, and the whole manner of being-in-the-world, contain enormously rich and still underexploited insights that complement and sometimes challenge current discussions of intentionality, mind-reading, social relations, and the constitution of culture generally. Moreover, phenomenology is now a discipline that is practiced world-wide and, in recognition of this diversity, invited speakers for this conference come not just from Europe and USA but from China, Hong Kong, Korea and Australia.