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Abstracts

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The Sense of Community is the Community of Sense: On Discovering the “We” with Eugen Fink and Jean-Luc Nancy
Artur R. Boelderl (Linz/Klagenfurt, Austria)

The main aim of my paper is to address and critically assess some striking correspondencies between the approaches to the phenomenon of the social as developed by Eugen Fink in his Freiburg lecture on Existenz und Coexistenz (1952/53, repeated in 1968/69, first published in 1987) and by Jean-Luc Nancy in various books and articles since the 1980s, most notably in La communauté désœuvrée (1983) and être singulier pluriel (1996).
Interestingly, Fink's argument begins exactly with stating that it is “us” who are in the focus of community: “Human community is not something alien to us in the sense that we would be able to consider it in a cool, neutral and unbiased manner; we live in the space of this community – it is the common and nontheless contentious conduct of our living as being together. As soon as we exist, human community enfolds us, holds us and carries us; even the most lonesome individual remains in its horizon” (Fink 1987, 8, my transl.). And yet, Fink is quick to add, “this human ‘community' is not a factual natural finding we can only discover,” but it is “essentially determined by a self-conception,” that is to say it “always entails an interpretation [Auslegung, lit. exposition] of itself” (ibd.).
Fink thus holds that a community conceives of itself on the grounds of “the presence of a 'sense' which enfolds all of its members” and “unfolds in the medium of linguistic understanding” which does not necessarily have “the form of a clear and elaborated conceptuality” (ibd.). But what is the “presence of a 'sense'” supposed to mean? Obviously Fink refers to what he also calls “ways of self-conduct”: Human community is made up by objectivated forms of self-relation, as it were; it consists of individual modes of behaviour turned reflective. “Paradoxically speaking”, says Fink, “community constitutes itself primarily in its projection of a sense for what community is all about”; communities are not simply “there”, they do not exist “in themselves”, but also always “for themselves” (cf. ibd.). So while they are not just there, they are nevertheless (being) given (not constructed or made), Fink seems to suggest in a way that opposes and challenges both the classical (Aristotelian) and most of the modern concepts of community, or the social, as developed since Hobbes: A community will always already have been given – it is neither the result of a process of communalization, nor would one be justified in saying that it “was just there at first and gained an understanding, a representation of itself later on; 'consciousness' is not a later ingredient to a previously existing inventory” (ibd.).
Fink's account of community thus pursues a chiasmatic logic he considers essential for community as such: If a community has a sense (I deliberately avoid the notion “meaning” whenever Fink speaks of “sense”, for reasons to be explained in detail in the final paper), this sense is a communal one. “A human community is essentially characterized by what it wants and means as a community.” (Ibd.) For Fink, the sense of community is community, or, to anticipate it in the words of Jean-Luc Nancy: “We are the sense.” (The Gravity of Thought, 61)
The very nature of this “we” and the community of sense which it both exposes and is being exposed to remains to be elucidated in an attempt to bridge Fink's basically phenomenological (if termed “cosmological” by the later Fink) approach on the one hand and Nancy's deconstructive one on the other via a close reading of their respective conceptions of being-in-common.

Rethinking Democratic Citizenship: Towards a Political Phenomenology of Worldliness
Marieke Borren (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Phenomenology has recently proven to be an extremely fruitful perspective to study social phenomena, both within philosophy and outside of it (e.g. cognitive science, neuroscience, psychiatry) (Zahavi 2005, 2011). Yet, it has rarely been applied to political or democratic theory. I will argue, however, that the phenomenological notion of the worldliness of human existence is a promising resource for current debates on democratic citizenship in the light of post-foundationalism: the growing consensus amongst democratic theorists that the normative foundations of liberal democracy, democratic civic action and judgment are not universal, but rather contingent and ambiguous (Marchart 2007). Most post-foundationalist theorists adhere to agonistic pluralism, a perspective that focuses on the ubiquity of power relations, irreducible cultural differences and disagreement (Honig 1993, 2009; Mouffe 2000, 2005; cf. Schaap 2009). Agonistic theorists are frequently charged with advocating relativism, since they would offer no orientation to shared objects of political action and judgment, due to their contestations of the self and the common good. While the former is reduced to a mere effect of hegemonic power relations, the latter is ignored due to the emphasis on difference.
I will argue that agonists rightly acknowledge the need for rethinking democratic citizenship considering the post-foundationalist challenge, yet have not countered the charge of relativism convincingly so far. Phenomenology could provide more robust notions of the self and the common good to remedy the danger of relativism, while still being in keeping with post-foundationalist assumptions. To this aim, I will draw on Hannah Arendt's political phenomenology (1998; cf. Borren 2010, 2013a, 2013b; Vasterling 2011) and Simone de Beauvoir's feminist phenomenology (2010, 1996; cf. Heinämaa 2003; Kruks 2012; Stoller 2010), since both have effected significant modifications in predominantly a-political and a-moral phenomenology. I will apply two dimensions of their respective notions of worldliness to contemporary debates in post-foundationalist democratic theory: (a) the understanding of the self as necessarily embedded in a historical, cultural and social world shared with others; and (b) the understanding of action (including civic action) and judgment as practices of building and disclosing this common world. I will focus on a key debate to which the danger of relativism is particularly urgent: feminist post-identity politics (Honig; Mouffe; Zerilli 2005).
The aim of my presentation is (1) to introduce a novel research topic—citizenship—in phenomenology and (2) to examine the potential of worldly instead of agonistic conceptions of the self, action and judgment to steer post-foundationalist theories of citizenship away from relativism.

Status markers and the Institutional Cycle:
Phenomenological and Game-Theoretical Approaches Integrated

Filip Buekens (KU Leuven/Tilburg University)

The Lebenswelt is peppered with status markers that shape and govern social interactions: labels and logos, traffic signs, fences and border markers, churches and townhalls, flags and red tape. What counts as money is easily recognizable and it is said that a visual encounter with money activates the same brain area that is also activated when thinking about sex. Wedding rings, uniforms and tags indicate our status to those we interact with; they are communicative signals with distinctively Gricean dimensions. It is sometimes said that we are surrounded by a huge invisible ontology – institutional reality – but that misses an important feature of institutions: their almost palpable presence in signs and signals and, more generally, status markers (Searle’s terminology). I explore the role of public status markers in the context of a theory of institutions that involves both evolutionary and game-theoretical dimensions. I focus on the following features of what I call the Institutional Cycle:
                  1. An encounter with a token status marker triggers behavioral dispositions that exist independently of those tokens. Their ‘deontic aura’ (Geertz) activates emotions that govern, in tandem with strategic beliefs, the formation of public strategic choices, which can be described in game-theoretical terms. Understanding a status marker is essentially understanding the deontic status it confers upon you in the specific context you find yourself in or you interact with the relevant other – the rights and duties, permissions and obligations which are bestowed on you.
                  2. the meaning of a status markers should be understood on the basis of three other features of institutions: (a) behavior dispositions that are not themselves institutional but give rise to strategic interaction and strategic choices. Territory behavior, mating strategies and exchange behavior have a constitutively social dimension that requires (b) that optimal solutions are found, which are (c) successfully imitated and reproduced via cultural processes. Successful solutions are stabilized by codified public status markers, which trigger the behavioral dispositions that gave rise to the emergence of the institution that produced the markers. The four components of the theory (dispositions, strategic choices, imitation and other forms of cultural learning, and public status marker systems) explain the key function of institutions: unburdening our cognitive/affective life by externalizing and stabilizing optimal solutions for what would otherwise become tiresome decision making processes. The account I present is closely related to active externalism and enactivism in philosophy of mind.
The main authors that will be discussed are Searle, Reinach, Husserl (social ontology), but also Brian Skyrms and David Lewis (game theoretical issues) combined with older

Group Experiences: Edith Stein's Philosophy of Psychology
and a Spanish Fire-Walking Ritual

Tim Burns (University College Dublin)

I intend to look at the question "What makes group experiences specifically communal?" We will be looking first at texts from Edith Stein's treatise, "Individual and Community." I will then turn to the findings of an article recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy for the Sciences, USA, that investigates synchronous arousal between performers and related spectators in a Spanish fire-walking ritual. I hope to draw some conclusions about the nature of group experience. If not, at least we spent some time talking about fire-walking.

Empathy: Ground/Background for Sociality
Denisa Butnaru (University of Augsburg)

During the past ten years, discussions on empathy were particularly ardent among psychologists, neuroscientists and philosophers. Yet sociologists seem not to pay that much attention to such a phenomenon. This lack of interest is even less legitimated given that one of the most important figures in social theory, namely Alfred Schutz, considers this concept in his writings (Schutz 1962; Schutz 1966). He also discusses in some of his texts the position of Max Scheler, whose attention for this conceptual tool has been recently stressed in the work of Dan Zahavi (Zahavi 2005; Zahavi, 2009; Zahavi, 2010).
Social theorists, in particular in the Anglo-Saxon milieu (Bendelow/Williams 1999; Crossley 1995; Crossley 1996), and more recently in Germany (Gugutzer 2002; Gugutzer 2004) discussed the principles that ground sociality, stressing prominently the role of the body. I argue that such a sociological orientation should fundamentally inquire on the empathic background that supports our intersubjective relations. The sociological discussions which deal with the theme of body and embodiment focus often on a binary approach. This approach splits the individual from her other fellow beings instead of insisting on the living of the individual with others and on how her experiences of others are constituted as a permanent exchange.
Empathy, being a direct experience of otherness, cannot be conceived apart from our bodily presence. In order to constitute an intersubjective relation, the body responds. It displays an intentional directedness through which I call the other and engage her actively. For sure, empathy needs some basic conditions, as for instance the sharing of a common context, a common temporality and a common spatiality. In order to have directedness and responsiveness, one needs to share presence.
Therefore, in a sociological approach one cannot omit these minimal requirements, because, to recall once more Schutz’s approach, it is only after the “face-to-face” experience has been acknowledged, that is after I am engaged in an awareness of the other, that other levels of intersubjectivity and sociality may become possible. This directedness towards the other is an experience that accompanies us all along our lives. It is the background with which we are born. I consider thus that a revival of empathy contributes to a deeper clarification of basic principles both for sociology in general as well as for the sociology of the body.

From Mitsein to Join Attention: Heidegger and the We, via finger pointing
Massimiliano Cappuccio (United Arab Emirates University/Universita’ degli Studi di Milano)

In What Calls for Thinking? (1954), Heidegger remarks that one of the most characteristic powers of the hand is its ability to indicate via pointing, a gesture that draws the attention of specific observers towards a distal target while soliciting them to withdraw from the immediate practical contingencies of their interaction (see Cappuccio and Wheeler). During the last decades, natural sciences like developmental psychology (e.g., S. Baron-Cohen; C. Trevarthen) and primatology (e.g., M. Tomasello; D. Leavens) studied how pointing manipulates “joint attention” (JA), the experience of openly sharing with others a common focus of interest. Though JA is pervasive among humans and crucial to their most characteristic forms of social intelligence, scientists and philosophers have yet to agree a functional model that consistently accounts for the experience of “openness” and “commonality” underlying JA, an experience that fills with meaning all our intuitions about the very possibility of being a “we”.
I argue that a satisfactory model could be achieved only by developing a correct phenomenology of the converging intentional operations and attentional stances that lead two or more co-attendants to transform a merely intersubjective and embodied experience of shared perception into a fully symbolic and detached experience of objectivity and publicity.
In particular, taking a position within the contemporary debate in philosophy of mind on the nature of JA (A. Seemann), I contend that this experience can’t be determined by an open-ended series of reciprocal acts of imaginative perspective-taking among co-attenders (as claimed by the dominant theoretical models that rely on the ideas of “recursive mindreading” and “Mutual Knowledge”, cfr. M. Tomasello; J. Campbell, etc), but by the concurrent recognition, neutralization, and symbolic transfiguration of the possibilities of practical interaction among co-attenders (“Open Knowledge”, cfr. Peacocke; Cappuccio and Shepherd). By endorsing Open Knowledge against Mutual Knowledge, and grounding the explanatory power of Open Knowledge into Heidegger’s phenomenology, my goal is twofold: on the one hand, I will argue that Heidegger’s phenomenology of pointing, in virtue of its characteristic treatment of the notions of intentionality and intersubjectivity as Mit-Sein, offers the best conceptual framework to answer the questions raised by the scientific research on pointing; on the other hand, I want to show that the historical background of the Heideggerian understanding of the symbolic function of pointing (importantly intertwined with some theoretical details of his famous controversy with Cassirer) is informed by Heidegger’s existentialist reading of the scientific literature of his time, and that the phenomenological stake of his investigation can be further enlightened and clarified by referring to the terms of the debate that animates today’s research in cognitive science.

Symbolized Consociality: Reflections on a Phenomenology of Friendship
Jochen Dreher (University of Konstanz)

For the analysis of interpersonal social relations, a phenomenological viewpoint offers the theoretical instruments to describe the constitutive principles of specific forms of communalization, in the present case of “friendship.” As forms of human encounter, they are according to their original idea established among consociates “growing older together” and living in a “pure We-relationship.” Following Edmund Husserl, Alfred Schütz and Thomas Luckmann, a unique methodological perspective at the interface of phenomenology and social science will be presented which serves for the analysis of the construction and constitution of friendship. Friendship, as a unique form of social relationship, creates a particular union among individual human beings which allows overcoming diverse boundaries between them. Age, gender or cultural differences do not necessarily constitute an obstacle for establishing friendship, it might even include the potential to exist transcending boundaries of space and time. In a “parallel action,” social science and phenomenology are methodically combined for the investigation of “friendship.” The perspective of social science focuses on concrete socio-historical constructions of friendship in different time periods and different cultural contexts. These findings are confronted with the description of principles of the subjective constitution of the phenomenon of “friendship” from a phenomenological perspective. One (sociological) point of reference for the study is the real type of the symbolically established and excessively idealized form of friendship intended for eternity which was especially popular in 18th century Germany. Analogous to the method of phenomenological reduction, three different levels of protosociological reduction are developed for the exploration of the unique social phenomenon of friendship which I define as (1) the socio-eidetic reduction of the construction of friendship; (2) the reduction of the symbolic constitution of “friendship”; and (3) the reduction of the sensual perception of the living body of the other. The example of “friendship” demonstrates how through symbolization the “pure We-relationship” obtains a cohesive power as interpersonal social relation. And it will be shown from the perspective of a phenomenology of sociality that – unlike Derrida’s argumentation – not “the enemy is my best friend who hates me in the name of friendship.”

Notes on Sociality in Phenomenology at the New School for Social Research
Lester Embree (Florida Atlantic University)

The history of phenomenology as focused on sociality and contributed to by Dorion Cairns, Aron Gurwitsch, and Alfred Schütz will be traced from the 1920s through the 1970s, reflection on collective as well as individual others, the structure of the socio-cultural world, the animistic revision of Husserl, and transcendental intersubjectivity being touched on.

Heidegger’s Early Conception of Empathy
Christian Ferencz-Flatz (University of Bucharest)

Heidegger’s firm and explicit rejection of the concept “empathy” is well known. In his lecture of the Summer Semester 1925 he considers the entire problem of “empathy” to be just as absurd as that of the reality of the exterior world (GA 20, p. 334f.), while in Being and Time he rejects it outright as foundation for his conception of Miteinandersein, admitting nevertheless that it might pose a certain problem as a surrogate compensating for a defficient being-with-one-another (SZ, p. 125). However, the same concept is used by Heidegger in a positive, albeit rather allusive fashion, in three consecutive lectures of his early Freiburg period: Basic Problems of Phenomenology (Winter Semester 1919/20), Phenomenology of Intuition and Expression (Summer Semester 1920) and The Phenomenology of Religious Life (Winter Semester 1920/21). Discussing – in the first of these lectures – history and biology as examples of a scientific “context of manifestation” (Bekundungszusammenhang), Heidegger is discontent, in one of his marginal notes, with the fact that the lecture did not explicitly clarify the specific connection between the two. Thus, he evokes a book by Richard Kroner, Das Problem der historischen Biologie (1884), wich analyzes precisely the methodological affinities between the historical and the biological, while Heidegger himself in enclined to see their common element in the phenomenon of “empathy” (GA 58, p. 50, n. 7). In the lecture of the summer semester 1920, the same term is explicitly identified with Dilthey’s idea of Gemeinsamkeit, while Heidegger himself seems to use the term, in a general acceptation, as a common place of the phenomenological school, speaking of „what we would call empathy” (GA 59, p. 156f.). Finally, the most detailled discussion of the term can be found in the lecture of the winter semester 1920/21. Here, Heidegger employs the term strictly in the perspective of historical research (as a way of acces to the historical situation of St. Paul), emphasizing two main ideas: 1) while empathy is certainly a genuine phaenomenon of factical life-experience, it is usually misinterpreted in an epistemological perspective (GA 60, p. 88) that covers it up, and 2) as such, it can only be grasped fully when considered in the light of „tradition” (GA 60, 89).
Our presentation would like to analyse these three passages of Heidegger’s early lectures in close detail, revealing their connection to the conceptions of both Dilthey and Scheler. Thus we aim to show, first of all, why Heidegger operated his famous terminological switch (arround 1924) from Mitwelt to Miteinandersein in his thinking of intersubjectivity (a switch insufficiently explained by Heidegger himself, in his lecture of the Summer Semester 1925), and, secondly, how exactly Heideggers rather idiosyncratic conception of intersubjectivity is actually rooted in the discussions of that topic in the phenomenological millieu of the early 1920s.

The Manifold Communities of the We-ness
Jean-Claude Gens (University of Bourgogne, Dijon)

The I, i.e. the ego, has simultaneously been thought of as the unquestionable principle and as the main problem of philosophy since Descartes. But two main events invite us today to question this evidence, so that the We-ness has become a crucial question. First of all the confrontation between the cultures at the age of globalization, and secondly an event tied to globalization: the ecological crisis, which requires enlarging the We-ness consciousness beyond the sphere of mankind.

From the ‘We’ to the World: Karl Löwith’s Phenomenology of
‘Being-with-others’ and its Reformulation
Bruno Godefroy (University of Lyon/Erlangen)

In contrast to his teacher Martin Heidegger, Karl Löwith already develops in 1935 in Das Individuum in der Rolle des Mitmenschen a different and deliberately opposed view both on a theoretical problem, the question of the relationship between the self and the others, and on its peculiar social intensification in the 1920s, with the growing importance of the “mass.” Against the separation between an isolated Dasein and the inauthenticity of public existence, Löwith accentuates “being-with-others (Miteinandersein)” and “Correflexivity (Korreflexivität)” as the primary modes of existence. This critique cannot be fully understood without its ethical implications, the answer to the question where to put the accent — on the self or on the others — is according to Löwith decisive with regard to man’s concrete live. Hence, his phenomenological approach of the relationship between human beings has to be read also as the theoretical basis of later works, which are more obviously political, such as his critique of Schmitt and Heidegger’s occasionalism. The primacy of “being-with-others” over the self has not only critical, but also constructive consequences, especially an a priori openness towards otherness, as it appears in Löwith’s fertile encounter with Japan and Oriental thought.
However, with respect to Löwith’s later works, the perspective of his first phenomenological study had to be modified. In the preface for the new edition of Das Individuum in der Rolle des Mitmenschen, he writes: “Would he [the author] today [1969] think anew about this topic, then it would no more start from the isolation of the formal structure of the relationship between ‘I’ and ‘you’ but, in a broader context, from the general question of the relationship between man and world, within which man’s Mitwelt and Umwelt are only relative worlds.” (14) As Mit- and Umwelt, the world is still considered as centred on man, a perspective indirectly influenced by the jewish-christian idea of creation that Löwith criticises in his later works. Therefore, this turn implies a reformulation of the phenomenology of “being-with-others” as well as its critical and ethical consequences. Considering this, I will focus on the following questions: How, starting from Heidegger’s perspective, can Löwith come to an opposite conclusion, namely an attenuation of the primacy of the Dasein and the accentuation of “being-with-others”? How does the reformulation of this first attempt within a cosmological perspective broaden both the critical and constructive potential of Löwith’s thought?
Above the emphasis on the fundamental sociality of the self, Löwith focuses on a “broader context,” the relationship and difference between man and the world. The world, being a distinct and meaningless entity, prevents both the risk of giving an excessive importance to human sociality and of reducing the world to a “historical world” centred on man. Similarly to contemporary thinkers (for example Eric Voegelin), Löwith’s foundation of a philosophical anthropology has to be read in consideration of its aim, “what our time needs (was ihr not tut), namely something absolutely persistent (Feststehendes).”

The Idealisation of the Interchangeability of Phases of Life
Andreas Göttlich (University of Konstanz)

The paper presents the concept of the idealisation of the interchangeability of phases of life as a further development of Alfred Schutz’s general thesis of the reciprocity of perspectives. It claims that the according figure of thought is a constitutive part of acts of understanding in everyday life where, in order to understand each other, individuals of different age-groups have to overcome the difference of perspectives that are attached to their particular ages, thereby constituting a cross-generational ‘We’.
From a phenomenological point of view which stresses the singularity of each individual’s approach to the world, intersubjective understanding calls for explanation: how can two (or more) individuals who each live in their own space and time – that is, who see things from a different angle and perceive the passing of time subjectively – share a world of common meaning? The according, practical as well as theoretical, problem pertains to the fabrication of knowledge that is “detached from and independent of my and my fellow-man’s definition of the situation, our unique biographical circumstances and the actual and potential purposes at hand involved therein.” (Schutz 1962, 12) For Schutz, this is accomplished by the so-called general thesis of the reciprocity of perspectives, consisting of two idealisations: (1) the idealisation of the interchangeability of the standpoints and (2) the idealisation of the congruency of the system of relevances. By performing these fundamental assumptions, argues Schutz, social actors open up the perspectival situatedness of their private worlds of meaning.
From a sociological point of view, one can add that within social interaction perspectives are typified: we speak of typical worldviews of Conservatives and Liberals, Natural scientists and Humanities scholars, or Young and Old. The latter case concerns a differentiation which can be found in any society and therefore must be regarded as universal. It refers not only to the physical, but also to the “metaphysical” aspects of ageing that have to do with the transformation of systems of relevances and their organisation into hierarchies (cf. Schutz 2011, 197). They establish different worldviews of Young and Old, thereby constituting a principal barrier of understanding that is transcended by what I call the idealisation of the interchangeability of phases of life. (cf. Göttlich 2013) It claims that if I exchange phases of life with a fellow-human in thought, so that his/her age becomes mine, I shall regard things with the same typicality as he/she does. This specific act of consciousness allows the assumption of a world of shared meanings – an assumption which stands the test or fails, according to circumstances that can be described empirically.

Phenomenological Reflections on Loneliness
Holly Havens (Durham University)

Loneliness can be defined by a subjective sense of lost felt-connectedness with others. It may involve a desire to regain or re-establish meaningful relationships one formerly had and may have taken for granted, not fully recognising their significance. It may serve as a haunting reminder of how vital our social relationships are to our functioning, let alone flourishing. Various studies indicate that loneliness can cause adverse physical and mental health effects. Yet despite the growing evidence of the harmful effects it is often responsible for, as well as our increasing awareness of the importance of relatedness with others, loneliness has not received much attention in philosophical accounts of intersubjectivity. In this paper, I shall attempt to rectify this oversight by taking some initial steps toward providing a phenomenology of loneliness. Focusing on the phenomenology of loneliness may be particularly fruitful as turning to particular ways in which the lived experience of loneliness can occur may shed light on the nature of our interpersonal relationships, highlighting ways in which we feel related to or estranged from others. I will first discuss the variety of contexts in which loneliness may occur. I will do this by looking at loneliness as both a ‘mood’ [Stimmung] and a ‘ground mood’ [Grundstimmungen] according to the Heideggerian conceptions. Loneliness can be elaborated by drawing on both of these, as both may have important implications for how we relate to others. In both conceptions, I hold that loneliness shapes the way we relate to others and is shaped by how we relate to others. In order to illustrate the variety of modalities loneliness may take as well as provide an analogy, I will draw on Heidegger’s distinctive account of boredom. From there, I will go on to provide some examples of how loneliness may be experienced in cases of depression and schizophrenia, demonstrating how these alterations from ordinary experience may aid in recognising the importance of connecting with others in a meaningful manner. I will conclude by showing how providing a phenomenology of loneliness may help illuminate the importance of having relationships with others that are meaningful and matter.

Empathy and Individuality according to Edith Stein:
The Influence of Dilthey on the Early Philosophy of Edith Stein
Anna Jani (ELTE University Budapest)

The problem of individuality lies at the basis of phenomenological investigations both in Edith Stein's earliest and mature works. Her doctoral thesis, the On the Problem of Empathy, focuses on the phenomenological acts of perceiving persons in an intersubjective situation. She aims at a conception of the individual person beyond a construction based on the pure “I” or the stream of consciousness. According to her the psyco-physical subject is able to comprehend the foreign living body as an individual. Stein grounds this analysis on the Husserlian notion of personal individuality in Ideas II and compares empathy to other acts such as imitation, association and analogy. “So now to empathy itself. Here, too, we are dealing with an act which is primordial as present experience though non-primordial in content. And this content is an experience which, again, can be had in different ways such as in memory, expectation, or in fancy. When it arises before me all at once, it faces me as an object (such as the sadness I ‘read’ in another’s face).” Stein distinguishes between the content of the experience and the perceptual subject, and claims that I am able to grasp the other individual by the means of his experiences. In an empathical act the content of an experience becomes the basis for the understanding of others. An important aspect of the act of empathy is its relation to the present situation: The experience of the foreign living body exists only in its factical present, but this perception has an effect on my past and future experiences.
Dilthey, contrary to Stein, conceives the individual as the basic constituent of the cultural world. For Dilthey the cultural life constitutes the objective basis of the methodology of cultural sciences, while for Stein it is the basic medium of intersubjectivity. Dilthey isn’t interested in the individual in a phenomenological sense, but rather in what constitutes value in the society. Although all of Stein’s references to Diltehy’s views in her doctoral theses are critical, there is still a connection between the two thinkers. In her Philosophy of Psychology and the Humanities Stein reflects on the problem of psychology both as a natural and as a descriptive science, i.e. whose acts are describable both in the terms of natural causality and psychical causality. In my presentation I would like to investigate the connection between Edith Stein’s critique of Dilthey’s understanding of the individual person in his Beiträge zum Studium der Individualität, with a special focus on Stein’s conception of empathical act as the founding act in the perception of others. Although in her Jahrbuch article in 1922 Stein refers only to the psychology of Hugo Münsterberg, her work is definitely related to Dilthey’s descriptive psychology as well.

Sharing a Common World or Concrete Face-to-Face Encounters:
Which is More Fundamental in Phenomenological Approaches to Intersubjectivity
Jo-Jo Koo (Dickinson College, USA)

In his concise and instructive overview on phenomenological approaches to intersubjectivity, Dan Zahavi (2012) notes that they consider and provide different, indeed, seemingly opposing, answers to one of the central questions that arises regarding the nature of intersubjectivity in the phenomenological tradition. This is the question about what is prior or more fundamental: the common world that human beings always already share in a “transcendental” sense and in the midst of which they must live (cf. Heidegger 1927/1962; Merleau-Ponty 1945/2012), or rather the experience of the other and perhaps of radical otherness, paradigmatically, through concrete face-to-face encounters and dialogues that befall human beings in the course of living their lives (cf. Buber 1923/1971 and 2002; Sartre 1943/1956; Theunissen 1977/1984; Levinas 1961/1969)?
I will argue that once we correctly understand the precise sense (or way) in which the common world is more fundamental than concrete interpersonal encounters and dialogues, this enables us to understand how there is no real opposition between the phenomenological conception of the common world and the experience of the other, even in its radical otherness. I will begin with a reconstructive appropriation of Heidegger’s early philosophy regarding human social existence in Sein und Zeit, along with some important supplementation by Merleau-Ponty’s reflection on intersubjectivity. Central to this appropriation will be the explication of the significance that normalization and normativity (as such, and not always the same thing!) have in the constitution of the common world. For once we properly appreciate their significance therein, they are what precisely enable norms to matter at all and thus for them to be intelligibly understood but also challenged, subverted, or rejected. It is our largely pre-reflective immersion in and conformity to norms – in general, not necessarily to some culturally specific constellation of norms – that enables the other and even radical otherness to encounter us as (radically) other.
Although this emphasis on the complementarity of normalization/normativity and the (radical) otherness of the other can respond convincingly, in my view, to the various misguided criticisms of Buber, Sartre, and Theunissen of early Heidegger’s and (by extension in this regard to) Merleau-Ponty’s defense of the priority of the common world, it will not be able to do the same as a response to Levinas’s insistence that the other (the “face”) always “infinitely” exceeds and is thus always “exterior” to the scope of any space of meaning, phenomenologically understood. For Levinas tries to show that the “face” (the radical and ethically significant otherness of the other), contrary to Heidegger’s and Merleau-Ponty’s view, can still be meaningful outside of or apart from any context whatsoever. Having noted this, I will suggest in response that the “surplus” of the face (the “height” of the other) in Levinas’s sense still remains parasitic on precisely the idea that all meaning (Sinn), phenomenologically understood, can only make sense within some context, even by way of rejection of the latter. If this is right, it becomes quite mysterious how Levinas’s asymmetrical conception of the relation between self and other is supposed to serve as a satisfying account of intersubjectivity (the phenomenological “we”) in general. 

Hannah Arendt’s Discovery of the ‘We’ in her Core-Phenomenon of Actualized Plurality
Sophie Loidolt (University of Vienna)

With her concept of plurality, Hannah Arendt has made an important and genuine contribution to the “intersubjective transformations of philosophy” (Apel) in the 20th century, which has been acknowledged in numerous interpretations and extrapolations, especially in political theory and political philosophy. Nearly every author who has engaged in a reading of Arendt’s work has recognized and stressed the importance of her notion of plurality. I want to argue, however, that often these acknowledgements remain on the level of a “standard-interpretation,” which fails to capture the real radicality of Arendt’s ontological commitment to plurality and its phenomenological conception and elaboration. Thereby, the more profound philosophical and especially phenomenological and ontological implications and consequences that Arendt has opened up with this new paradigm of plurality are not only left unexplored but sometimes even become obstructed.
In contrast to these interpretations, I would like to engage in an explicitly phenomenological interpretation of Arendt’s core phenomenon of “actualized plurality:”
To develop this thesis, is important to understand that by “plurality” Arendt neither means a mere quantitative multiplicity nor a quantitatively or qualitatively nameable differentiation, like e. g. unique genetic codes, different socialization processes or multiculturally understood “diversity.” (Often, her notion of plurality is interpreted in the sense of political pluralism which can partly be misleading and at any rate amounts to a flattened interpretation.) Plurality is not a matter of fact which is just “there” (vorhanden – present at hand) like trees or tables. Rather, it is an actualization of different, articulated perspectives on the world in the togetherness (“Miteinander”) of speech and action. Arendt (thereby resonating Heidegger’s “who” of Dasein and “what” of Vorhandensein) quite explicitly speaks of the “who” which is disclosed in speech and action and which cannot be reduced to an innerworldly “what” (cf. Human Condition, 179 ff.). This unobjectifiable dimension of consciousness/Dasein is her phenomenological heritage. What she adds to it and thereby develops a unique phenomenological approach to the question of the “we” is a reflection on the self-appearance of the who, on its givenness and on its conditions of givenness. These conditions are, according to Arendt, constituted by a plural Miteinander (a term Arendt uses frequently in the German version of The Human Condition (cf. Vita Activa oder vom tätigen Leben, 220, 221, 225, 249, 253, 256, 264, 265, 279, 305, 315 etc.) which establishes a space of appearance. The “content” of this space of appearance which also gives it a temporal, genetic/generative or historistic component is the “web of relationships” or the “second in-between” which consists of stories: the “products” that action and speech leave behind.
Arendt’s approach can be characterized as phenomenological since she describes this multiperspectivity not from a third-person-perspective or a bird’s-eye view (by describing its properties) but from the engaged perspective of the very interaction itself. What is special about her approach is that this first-person-perspective experience is transformed from the singular into the plural. What she wants to elaborate on, is the plurality of the “we” which is implied by appearing in a world and which can be actualized by acting, speaking and judging “in concert.”
Actualized plurality, phenomenologically explicated, thus means: the plurality of irreducible perspectives on a common world (or a common object) as interacting articulation and disclosure of each one’s being-a-perspective; at the same time as the constant actualization and sustainment of a common world (in the sense of a “second in-between”). This web of relationships is as important in constituting our reality as the objective world. With the actualization of plurality, Arendt wants to address a process which is (1) contingent and fragile, and which only by being actively and continuously performed (2) discloses the person and (3) constitutes a space of appearance (like a piece of music that has to be played so that it comes into actualized existence). It should be quite clear that by this phenomenon of actualized plurality, Arendt does not want to describe just any form of social interaction but a very special one, which she calls “political” and regards as the highest and most authentic possibility of human existence.
The heritage of the phenomenological notions of “intersubjectivity” and “Mitsein” is obvious in the unfolding of the phenomenon of actualized plurality, as is its implied transformation of the classical features of phenomenology, like Husserl and Heidegger developed it. In my talk, would like to give a short assessment of this ancestry and develop a systematical outline of how “actualized plurality” phenomenologically discovers the “We.”

The manifestations of ‘we’-attitudes in social encounters
Patrizio Lo Presti (Lund University)

I intend to combine a Heideggerian-Gurwitschian phenomenological analysis of being situated in a shared life-world with contemporary analytic social ontology, with the aim of providing an account of how ‘we’-attitudes are manifested and non-inferentially given in pragmatic contexts of interaction.
According to Heidegger (1968: 95), part of the structure of existence is that of having the world ‘at-hand’, a ‘being-in-the-world’, which means that how we encounter the world does not depend on a cognitive mode of disengaged observance and abstraction but “on our primary, pragmatic interaction with things” (86). Existence is fundamentally in a world with pragmatic meaning the structure of which is at-hand. In the terminology of contemporary cognitive science and philosophy of mind, agents are embedded in the world and their understanding of it fundamentally situational (Gallagher 2004). Aron Gurwitsch (1979) develops the Heideggerian analysis to account for the phenomenology of human encounters in the social world. Guwitsch writes that, “our originary encounter with other human beings does not place us as cognizing subjects over against an object to be cognized (namely other people) … we encounter them in the world in which our daily life occurs” (35).
Being in the world, with its pragmatic structure and co-given others, already suggests a functional structure (67). We do not encounter others from a disengaged cognitive attitude as disengaged cognizers of the shared world, but in a ‘being-togetherness’ delineated by the horizon of the pragmatic context in which the encounter is embedded (Scheler 1954; Plessner 1975).
Now, in contemporary analytic philosophy the structure of social reality is predominantly understood in ‘socio-functional’ terms (Searle 1995, 2006, 2010; Tuomela 2003, 2007). On this view, social reality is a structure of functions of objects and people assigned to them by declaration of collective attitudes about roles and statuses. Social reality depends for its existence on what people think about each other and their environments; how they intend, believe, desire, and accept social life to be organized (Gilbert 1989; List and Pettit 2011). The organization that prevails is the organization declared or collectively willed into existence. This dependency on collectivity secures a place for social reality as epistemically objective (most people recognize it) but ontologically subjective (without people it would not exist) (Searle 1995). Among the consequences drawn from this view in contemporary analytic philosophy are that, first, by enculturation into a social structure the social world appears as the natural habitus for its participants making social encounters routine (Tuomela 2007), and secondly, a symbolism for social functions – police badges, wedding rings – emerge as ‘epistemic indicators’ for subjects to perceive what functions apply in their encounters with others and the social environment (Searle 1995).
Given that the phenomenological analysis and the prevalent conception of social reality are on the right track, the proposition that ‘we’-attitudes are manifested in our shared social world and that our originary encounters with others is with their pragmatic functions or roles, suggests itself (Lo Presti in press-a, in press-b).

Pornography, Technology, and Closing off the Possibilities of Authentic MitseinNatalie Nenadic (University of Kentucky)

Through a feminist use of Heidegger’s reflections on technology, I argue that we may interpret the pornographic culture of late modernity as closing off possibilities of authentic Mitsein or Being-in-the-world with others, especially between the sexes. The overwhelming message of pornography is that sociality between men and women, especially in intimacy, reflects some manner of male sexual dominance and female subordination, which ranges from the more “benign” to the horrifically violent and degrading, which is increasingly the norm (MacKinnon and Dworkin 1997). Pornography presents this arrangement as ontological, both in terms of conveying the idea that there are two kinds of human nature, one male and the other female, and that relations between them are necessarily arrayed according to some version of this script. Through modern technology, especially in the age of the Internet, this way of framing human nature and sociality has succeeded in attaining a ubiquity as well as a reach into our most intimate daily lives that is historically unprecedented. Moreover, pornography has seeped into the popular culture and has shifted the norms of acceptable sexual objectification and violence towards women and girls. Studies show that pornography’s message is very widely believed and is resulting in widespread harms to women and in relations between the sexes (Dines 2010). As this “world picture” has come to characterize our era, it is successfully shutting out audible resistance to this framing of human nature and sociality, a development exacerbated by concealing itself through manufacturing this condition as “what is.” Far from being widely intelligible as a major problem, today’s pornographic culture is hardly visible as such. Rather, it is believed to reflect natural, healthy, explicit sexuality, indeed sexual liberation.
I show the distinct way by which today’s technologically-mediated pornography interferes with the possibilities of authentic Mitsein insofar as it orders us along this governing and taken-for-granted script for individual identity and sociality and as such aggressively holds us within this “they-self” of our historical time. I begin by introducing pertinent aspects of Heidegger’s criticism of technology. I present his ideas of “enframing” (Gestell) as the essence of technology, technology’s transformation of world into “standing reserve,” and the unique way that modern technology interferes with our facing our “essence” as beings free to choose our existence. I then show how pornography instantiates this phenomenon through the way it is publicly perceived and through its documented effects on most male consumers’ attitudes towards and treatment of women and girls and on the latter’s sense of self. Today’s pornography actively maintains us within this “they-self” by so effectively crowding out phenomena of resistance to this condition and therefore also interfering with recognition of and empathic identification with the other. And contact with such phenomena is precisely that which may dislocate us from inauthentic Mitsein to a questioning of it, which is assume our freedom to choose our existence or to confront the question of Being and thus shift our Mitsein to modalities that are more authentic, which includes collective and political action.

Locating Shared Life in the ‘Thou’: Some Historical and Thematic Considerations
James Risser (Seattle University)

In the phenomenological tradition the issue of intersubjectivity becomes an issue when one starts from the position and priority of the subject, from which our basic sociality is constituted through analogical presentation. In the first part of the twentieth century the issue of subjectivity shifted with the introduction of the thou, as we see in the works of Buber, Löwith, and others. While the experience of the thou does not escape a form of analogical presentation, it does raise the further issue of the of the precise character of the sharing constituting our basic sociality, as we see principally in the work of Gadamer.  This paper explores accordingly the notion of shared life under both historical and thematic considerations.

Touching another mind: Social Acts and Social Stances in Dietrich von Hildebrand
Alessandro Salice (University of Vienna)

Within phenomenology, the idea of an intrinsically social form of intentionality has to be traced back to Adolf Reinach and to his seminal work on the Apriori Foundations of Civil Law (1913). In this work Reinach argues for the idea that some intentional acts are successfully realized if they are “heard (vernommen)” by their addressees. Accordingly, those acts which need to secure uptake are qualified as “social acts”. Since Reinach ascribes a linguistic component to the noetic structure of these acts (these are founded by a linguistic act, namely, by an act of meaning or Meinen), such experiences could be characterized as “speech acts”.
These ideas were further developed by Dietrich von Hildebrand. In his book Metaphysics of Communities (1930), Hildebrand claims that social intentionality cannot be limited to social acts of a linguistic nature and develops a theory of so-called “etero-directed position-takings or stances (fremdpersonale Stellungnahmen)”: According to Hildebrand, there are forms of love, hate, esteem, blame, admiration etc., which require being heard by their addressee in order to be successful and, hence, which are social in the very same sense of speech acts.
After sketching Reinach’s main ideas on social acts, in the proposed talk I shall explore Hildebrand’s theory of social stances and its fundamental relevance for social ontology. Indeed, Hildebrand claims that such stances generate social relations and that these relations are communities of a given kind, namely, I-Thou communities.

Shame as Fellow Feeling
Christian Skirke (University of Amsterdam)

Fellow feelings allow us to sense how things are like for others. Characteristically, empathy, the paradigm of fellow feelings, is not a specific feeling or state or experience that I undergo, but a feeling with respect to feelings or states or experiences I do not undergo. Shame, by contrast, is often described as a feeling of nakedness in the presence of others. On this psychological or anthropological description, shame is not a fellow feeling. Although others are involved, there is no question of feeling anything of others or as of others.
A different picture emerges if shame and empathy are interpreted as intentional experiences. The central claim of my contribution is that, on a phenomenological interpretation, shame and empathy are rather closely related.
Essential to the success of my claim is a suitable reconstruction of shame. I suggest reconstructing it as a peculiar intentional structure, namely as an intentional experience of experiences which are present but not undergone. I argue that shame on Sartre’s conception of it (Being and Nothingness) has just this structure. Shame belongs to a larger group of intentional acts, including reflection, memory and, crucially, fellow feeling or empathy as discussed by Edith Stein (On the Problem of Empathy) and in Husserl’s studies on intersubjectivity (Husserliana 13-15). Besides falling under the same headline of Vergegenwärtigung, re-presentation or presentification, Sartre’s shame shares specific features with Stein’s and Husserl’s empathy, for instance the concurrence of component experiences. A first issue for discussion, therefore, is the role of this temporal characteristic for the presentification of experiences as other opposite one’s own. A second issue is the evidence shame and empathy provide for experiences present but not undergone. A third issue is the role of embodiment for the presentification of experiences as other – whereas Stein and Husserl think of the living body as indispensable for empathy, Sartre associates the presence of the other with a bodily materiality that is problematic.
Finally, I want to bring to bear my reconstruction of shame and empathy on the question of which phenomenological account of interpersonal relations is preferable. It is customary to reject accounts such as Sartre’s, which conceive of others as others opposite oneself, and to favour accounts that stress the mutual familiarity and likeness of situated and embodied subjects. I argue against this customary view that the latter accounts are in conflict with a version of the conceptual problem of other minds. According to this sceptical problem, we lack the very idea of others because we cannot conceive of others unlike ourselves – a disturbing possibility given our intuitions that, ultimately, you do not think my thoughts and she does not feel your feelings. I conclude that what recommends Sartre’s treatment of shame as well as Stein’s and Husserl’s account of empathy over alternatives is that they respond to this sceptical problem by allowing subjects to take at face value others unlike oneself.

On “Negative Sociality”: Reflections on the Ambiguity of Religion
Michael Staudigl (University of Vienna)

Exploring the different ways of making sense together does not lead us to one stable and monolithic essence of sociality.  Viewed phenomenologically, this approach rather unveils critical, indeed potentially abysmal, figurations of our social being.  In this context, violence is an exemplary case of what I term phenomena of “negative sociality.”  Any exploration of our social being hence should address the question these phenomena embody, since they can neither be located beyond the limits of our sociality (qua a-social), nor relegated to the affective roots of our (animalistic) pre-history, but need to be acknowledged as constitutive and irreducible parts of our very social being.
The conception of “negative sociality” implies that negative experiences such as mistrust, discrimination, contempt, or violence cannot be cancelled out by a society that is characterized by responsibility, justice, and recognition.  Rather, we are faced with the necessity fundamentally to revise these concepts, and eventually even the concept of the social itself, since the social, under these conditions, cannot be consistently brought under the procedural rule of law, lived rules of coexistence, or the assumption of an intrinsically “enactive intersubjectivity.”
Hence, the term “negativity” does not refer to a phenomenon of contingent deficiency that could be caught up with discursively, mediated dialectically, or overcome procedurally. Negativity does not merely amount to a contingent deficiency of justice, trust, responsibility, solidarity, communication, etc., as tends to be assumed by the mainstream of social philosophy. 
In contrast, I suggest that it is necessary that negativity be understood as a “factum,” which cannot be sublated into any basic social or a comprehensive legal or political order.  This is impossible since it is extraordinary in respect to this order.  To conceive of negativity in its extraordinariness hence entails a reflection on its order-constitutive function. For orders (re)generate through exclusion and selection—through the production of an extra-ordinary that they reproduce, i.e., include, and this not only symbolically.  Thus, within order inheres a constitutive moment of negativity. Yet this moment is not contingent since it renders possible the order’s very accomplishment.  Therefore, it is imperative torecognize that in its indissoluble extraordinariness, negativity plays a constitutive role for the accomplishment of social order—and thus for socialization.
In this lecture, I present an analysis of “negative sociality” by following the leading-clue of religion, i.e., its constitutive ambivalence.  Religion, indeed, is beleaguered by a fundamental ambivalence:  On one hand, it (re)presents itself as an inherently social (or socializing) practice, on the other hand it remains haunted by a variety of violent practices that pervade its specific traditions.  More precisely, I focus on religion in terms of a socializing symbolic practice that entails negative, i.e., desocializing actions like the purification of the orgiastic/demonic, the related sacrificial act, and the exclusionary universalization of this sacrificial logic.  Drawing on Patocka’s reflections on the orgiastic and Schutz’s theory of the symbolic economy of transcendencies, I demonstrate how the sociality of religion is irreducibly interwoven with its potential violence.

Group Persons: Early Phenomenological Accounts in Contemporary Perspective
Thomas Szanto (University College Dublin)

Group or corporate personhood, originally introduced as a legal concept in the Middle Ages, is arguably one of the most controversial concepts that has re-emerged in contemporary social ontology and the collective intentionality debate (French 1979; Rovane 1998; List/Pettit 2011; cf. also Runciman 1997). Now, the concept of group person and cognates, such as ‘collective’ or ‘communal person’ (Gesamtperson), ‘higher-order personalities’ (Personalitäten höherer Ordnung), etc., have also figured rather prominently in the work of many early phenomenologists from the Munich and the Göttinger Circles (Scheler 1913/16; Stein 1922, 1925; Walther 1922; von Hildebrand 1930), as well as in the later work of Husserl (cf. Hua XIV).
This paper shall evaluate these hitherto rather neglected phenomenological accounts of group personhood and reassess their contributions against the background of contemporary social ontology. The argument of the paper has three strands:
(1) First, I will outline what I take to be the key issue at stake in the phenomenological de-bate on group personhood: namely the controversy between what I label ‘collectivist’ (Scheler, Hildebrand, Walther) and ‘anti-collectivist’ (Stein, Husserl) or ‘pluralist’ (Husserl) construals of group persons. According to the collectivist accounts, group persons are not only analogous to individual persons, but literally individuals in their own right, comprising in some (mereological) sense or another individuals within themselves and exhibiting all significant properties of personhood (autonomy, agency, moral accountability, etc.). In contrast, according to the anti-individualist reading and, above all, the ‘pluralist’ account, which I shall advocate as the most promising, group persons are no supra-individual individuals or singularities of some sort (nor for that matter ‘overriding’ or ‘outflanking’ the intentional psychology of (humansized) individuals in the fashion of ‘collectivistic’ accounts (cf. Pettit 1993)) but ‘social integrates’ (Pettit 2003) of individuals. Thus, group persons, though they bear intentional, volitional and rational centres or points of views of their own (cf. Rovane 1998), are not some ‘extra’ individuals over above the individuals they intentionally and rationally integrate but, rather, what Husserl characterizes as ‘many-headed persons’ (vielköpfige Personalitäten) or ‘practical communities of will’ (praktische Willensgemeinschaft). 
(2) Against this background, I will focus on the rational, normative and phenomenal proper-ties of group personhood as discussed in early phenomenology. In particular, I will critically review Stein’s rather ambiguous critique of both Husserl’s account of higher-order persons and Scheler’s conception of collective personhood and her own account of the ‘personality’ of communities and group persons as ‘bearers of values’. In this connection, I will also point to Husserl’s failure to carefully delineate – as Stein well did – between the rational or intentional properties of group persons and the epistemic or experiential properties of communal minds and collective consciousness.
(3) Finally, I shall show how contemporary accounts help to recast and clarify what is at stake in the phenomenological debate. Conversely, I will argue that the phenomenology of group personhood, notably the pluralist conceptions of Husserl and Stein, may inform and ultimately provide ammunition not only for the much-contested group person thesis but also for cogent ‘plural subject’ accounts of group agency (Gilbert 1989) in current social ontology. 

Towards an Ontology of Social Institutions
Kevin Thompson (DePaul University)

The aim of this essay is to discern the eidetic structure of social institutions. To do so, I draw upon the resources and insights of both the realistic and constitutive tendencies within the phenomenological tradition, but, rather than engaging historical issues, the essay seeks to make a fresh attempt to work out the nature of institutions. I treat social institutions as one of the principal objects comprising the material ontology of social order and I employ eidetic methodology to ascertain their fundamental features as a distinctive type of object within this domain.
It is clear that various kinds of institutions stand at the very center of our lives forming the social space within which we engage in our most basic activities and marking out the resilient contours of our most developed forms of shared existence. Theoretical reflection on this fact—whether in the phenomenological tradition (Edith Stein, Adolf Reinach, Aron Gurwitsch, and Alfred Schutz) or in the analytic tradition (Margaret Gilbert, John Searle, and Raimo Tuomela)—has principally revolved around two basic theses: (1) institutions are enduring patterns of sanctioned behaviors and relationships (such things as money, property, government, or marriage) and (2) such structures are created and sustained by a form of collective intentionality, a distinctive ‘we-position-taking’ that accepts the patterns in question and their authoritativeness, that is, a shared disposition to act in accordance with the basic norms embodied in the institutional structure.
I contend that this model is rooted in a profound misdescription of the matter at hand. Specifically, the model allows institutions to be conflated with phenomena to which they are related, but from which they, nonetheless, stand distinct. States, schools, families, markets, and museums are not the same kind of objects as handshakes and traffic laws. Institutions are neither customs nor conventions. But this does little more than raise the fundamental question: what then are social institutions?
I propose a phenomenological account of institutions as temporal and spatial sites. It is, of course, trivially true that all institutions exist for some specific period of duration and at some definite location. But these features are wholly formal. The temporal and spatial dimensions of institutions that shall be our concern here are the determinate temporal order fostered by procedural requirement and the concrete spatiality established by a built environment, what I shall call the institutional technologies of ceremony and construction. Social institutions, on this view, are defined not by the uniformity of the practices that they instill, nor by the normativity of the constraints that they put in place, but by their ritual ordering of time and their architectural allocation of space. As sites, institutions serve two basic functions: they bind practices to norms, and, by doing so, they play a fundamental role in fostering social order. My contention is that they do this precisely in and through the techniques of ceremony and construction that define their fundamental structure.

The Issue of Shyness from a Phenomenological Viewpoint
Jaap Tromp (University College Dublin)

Shyness has remained an underexposed affect within the philosophical realm, contrary to shame. However, shyness can be rendered philosophically interesting when it is placed in the light of Jean-Paul Sartre’s phenomenology. My goal is to shed a light on this issue in relation to Sartre’s ideas on shame and the Other. My thesis is that shyness can be explained as both an anticipation of shame and as a fear of self-knowledge.
In his Being and Nothingness (1943), Sartre lightly touches upon the issue of shyness in the section “The Third Ontological Dimension of the Body”, in which he mainly portrays it as a reaction toward the alienation of the body. This occurs when the body is treated as an object among other objects. The body is in this sense alienated from me and it “escapes me toward a being-a-tool-among-tools, toward a being-a-sense-organ-apprehended-by-sense-organs”. The body is no longer purely mine, but the Other has taken ownership of it in a quasi-violent act of objectification. Shyness, then, is a reaction toward being constantly conscious of one’s body as it exists for the Other, in Sartre’s view.
I believe that this notion of shyness is adequate, but does not go far enough. I would like to present a view on shyness that goes further than the alienation and objectification of the body. What goes on in the shy person’s head is, in fact, an anticipation of shame. As Sartre understands shame, it is a revelation that makes the subject realise what he in fact is in a certain situation. In the famous example of the voyeur, he feels ashamed because through the look of the Other it is revealed to him that he is in a compromising situation. In my view, shyness is an anticipation of this realisation. The shy person knows that the look of the Other is capable of revealing to him what he is. It is precisely this revelation that he fears. The person is afraid of what he really is, and he knows that the Other is capable of exposing this essence.
This fits very well with psychologist Sidney M. Jourard’s writing on self-disclosure. Jourard (1964) tells us that true self-disclosure necessarily leads to knowledge of oneself. He writes that “no man can come to know himself except as an outcome of disclosing himself to another person”. In opening up to another, one also discovers oneself. A person who remains a mystery to another is also a mystery to himself. This means that true self-disclosure requires two segments. Firstly, it requires courage from me to disclose myself, and secondly the other person needs to show me that he will use my information for the good. If the Other is not transparent about his motives, it is risky for me to disclose myself. This shows that true self-disclosure lies in a continuous exchange of ideas. This renders self-disclosure an opening up to the other person in which one also becomes vulnerable to the Other’s judgment. It is the anticipation of this judgment from which shyness emerges.
The shy person has an internal object of fear the he does not wish to see exposed to himself through the look of the Other. The French proto-psychologist Paul Hartenberg already discussed the internal object of fear in his book Les Timides et la Timidité (1921). The object of fear of the shy person may be exposed to the Other in any social interaction. The object is then open to assessment by the Other, which, as indicated by Hartenberg, may lead to shame. This means that the shy person finds himself in the middle of an interplay between his own internal object of fear and the Other’s anticipated judgment. It is in this dynamic interplay of fear of self-disclosure and anticipation that we can locate shyness philosophically. Moreover, it allows us to make sense of shyness in the light of Sartre’s shame-focused phenomenology. The shy person anticipates the look of the Other and knows that it leads to self-disclosure. He does not wish to disclose himself, and thus decides to stay away from human contact.

Heidegger, Buber and Levinas: Must We Choose between
Authenticity, Mutuality, and Holiness?

Lawrence Vogel (Connecticut College)

In his 1938 critique of Heidegger’s account of Being-with-Others in Being and Time, Martin Buber draws a contrast between "mere solicitude" (where "one makes his assistance, not his self, accessible to the other") and "essential relations" (where one is not only concerned with the other but "anxious for the other to be concerned with him"). Heidegger’s description of solicitude is deficient, according to Buber, because the authentic individual is ultimately “a closed system” in “monologue” with himself, and so cannot enter the “essential relations” of love and friendship. Our deepest relations “can be as strong as death,” Buber tells us, because they are able to “acquire a form in the continuity of life” and “[build] a bridge between I and You across the dread of the universe.”
Emmanuel Levinas appreciates the importance of Buber’s shift by way of “dialogue” towards “the Other”; but he believes that Buber doesn’t go far enough. What Levinas sees in the face of “the Other” is not a partner, much less a friend or lover, but someone in need: naked and defenseless. The Other does not just stand before me as an equal in dialogue. S/he comes to me “from a height” and makes me ashamed of living in a self-centered world where I await mutuality. If I truly "welcome" you, then I say, "You first! (Aprez vous!)" The measure of ethical responsibility is “holiness” or "mad goodness” rooted in a love that is “agapic”, not erotic, for it exists “without the worry about being loved.” On Levinas’s interpretation, the mutuality of Buber's “dialogical” path remains too close to the 2Darwinism” of Heidegger's starting-point: concern for one’s own Being.
I propose that we should acknowledge authenticity, love and friendship, and holiness as aspects of a good life, though they pull in different directions. “We phenomenologists” should resist the temptation to take sides in a battle between different approaches to the complex nature of our social being.

Habermas and Hermeneutics: From Verstehen to Lebenswelt
Richard Wolin (CUNY, New York)
 
Husserl came to social phenomenology relatively late in life, with his 1936 manuscript on the Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, which, two decades later, helped to inspire the paradigm of phenomenological Marxism.
For Habermas, who throughout his career had sought to remain faithful to the idea of Marxism as “critique,” the reception of the later Husserl’s notion of the lifeworld would play a key role in surmounting the well-entrenched scientistic biases of philosophy and social science. Already in his 1965 inaugural lecture at Frankfurt University, “Knowledge and Human Interests” (Erkenntnis und Interesse, published in English as the afterward to Knowledge and Human Interests), his reliance on Husserl’s framework is noteworthy. Yet the major systematic turn to Husserl does not occur until Theory of Communicative Action (1981), where, in volume II, the idea of the lifeworld, as an inexhaustible repository of non-thetic, implicit meanings, comes to embody a reservoir of semantic resistance vis-à-vis the predatory subsystems of money and power that, under conditions of late capitalism, increasingly assume a hegemonic form. It is in this vein that, in the aforementioned study, Habermas coined the felicitous phrase, the “colonization of the lifeworld,” to characterize the process whereby informal spheres of life are increasingly subjected to regulation and control by superordinate economic and bureaucratic structures.
In this respect, it is significant that, in Habermas’s case, the discourse of social phenomenology, as it derives from the later Husserl, came to supplant the role that hermeneutics had formerly played in his work as a methodological alternative to the objectivating approach that the social sciences inherited from the natural sciences. For Habermas, as for Husserl during the 1930s, the attempt to remedy philosophy’s positivistic self-misunderstanding was more than an idle theoretical concern. Also at stake was the growing “scientific-technical organization of the lifeworld”; hence, the practical consequences of this methodological critique were immense. It is in this vein that Habermas aptly characterized his own approach as “Critical Theory with a practical intent.”

Empathy, emotional sharing and we-intentionality
Dan Zahavi (University of Copenhagen)

According to a currently influential view, supported by both philosophical arguments and empirical evidence, the capacity to adopt a we-perspective is a crucial prerequisite for the creation and maintenance of social norms, conventions, and institutional facts. Despite the last 15-20 years of intense research and theorizing, several issues continue to remain controversial, however. 1) How precisely should one understand the very notion of we? Does the we-perspective transcend the mind of the single individual, is it something that can only be ascribed to a collective, or is it after all merely a special form of individual intentionality? 2) What are the prerequisites for a we-perspective? To what extent does it presuppose and build upon self-consciousness, second-person perspective taking and empathy?
In my talk I will discuss a recent proposal by David Carr according to which the we is the label for a distinct way of being with others, a distinct form of social existence. As Carr stresses, experience can be social not only in the sense that it can take other subjects as its intentional objects, but also in the sense that it can enlist the individual into a We-subject, by making it a member of a community of experiencers. The we is consequently and very importantly not some entity that is observed from without, but rather something I experience from within in virtue of my membership and participation. On such a proposal, adopting the we-perspective is most definitely not to leave the first-person perspective behind; it is merely to take up the plural rather than the singular first-person perspective.
I am very sympathetic to Carr’s proposal, but I think there is an important question that remains rather underdetermined and unaddressed not only by Carr, but also by a number of other we-theorists, and this concerns the question regarding the the cognitive and affective presuppositions for we-intentionality. To make headway, I will turn to a number of phenomena discussed by Scheler. I think his analysis of the distinction between emotional contagion, empathy and emotional sharing can be quite illuminating not only when it comes to an understanding of the socio-affective/cognitive presuppositions for we-intentionality, but also allow for a better grasp of what precisely a we-perspective is.