Discovering the We: The Phenomenology of Sociality Conference


The aim of this three-day conference is to re-evaluate critically and in contemporary terms the rich phenomenological resources regarding the understanding of social relations and social reality generally, i.e. the intersubjective, interpersonal, collective and communal aspects of the shared life-world. However much they differ in degree and commitment, phenomenologists all agree on the basic idea that humans are intrinsically social beings, necessarily embodied and embedded in a common, historical world shared with others. Phenomenological conceptions of sociality are expressed in such notions as ‘being-with-others’ (Heidegger’s Mitsein or Sartre’s Being-for-Others), ‘consociality’ (Schütz), the ‘we-world’ (Husserl’s Wir-Welt), ‘communalization’ (Vergemeinschaftung), and so on.

A special feature of the conference is that it will not only focus on the phenomenology of sociality found in main figures such as Husserl, Heidegger, Schütz, Scheler, or Sartre, but also on hitherto more neglected figures of the period such as Edith Stein, Felix Kaufmann, Adolf Reinach, Dietrich von Hildebrand, and Karl Löwith, among others.

By exploring the methodological and thematic variety of phenomenological approaches to human sociality the conference shall, not least, contribute to recast and invigorate the conceptions of collectivity and sociality as currently discussed in post-Frankfurt School social philosophy, in research on social cognition or in analytic social ontology.

8-10 May 2013
Newman House,
86 St Stephen's Green,
Dublin 2

Plenary Speakers:

  • Havi Carel (University of Bristol, UK)
  • Lester Embree (Florida Atlantic University, USA)
  • Jean-Claude Gens (University of Bourgogne, France)
  • Karsten Harries (Yale University, USA)
  • Sara Heinämaa (University of Helsinki, Finland)
  • Dermot Moran (University College Dublin)
  • James Risser (Seattle University, USA)
  • Larry Vogel (Connecticut College, USA)
  • Richard Wolin (City University of New York, USA)
  • Dan Zahavi (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)