CFP: Phenomenological Personhood: Scientific, Theological, Political

Submission deadline: December 31, 2013

Conference date(s):
March 14, 2014 - March 15, 2014

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

New York Phenomenology Research Group, The New School for Social Research
New York, United States

Topic areas


Phenomenological Personhood
Scientific, Theological, Political
Presented by the New York Phenomenology Research Group
New School for Social Research
March 14th-15th, 2014

The task of this conference is to inquire into the idea of phenomenological personhood by elucidating it through three specific domains of discourse that engage the phenomenological tradition: science, theology, and politics. If the phenomenological tradition’s mode of analysis centers upon access and meaning, the person or the self stands at the forefront of all of its research. The issue of personhood thus serves as an intersection for the distinct phenomenological work being done today, and creates a conversation on the role and future of phenomenology.

Possible topics and questions include but are not limited to:

  • Is the project of “naturalizing” phenomenology feasible from a classical phenomenological standpoint? What are the consequences for phenomenological personhood?

  • How is personhood constituted from a scientific, theological, or political perspective? How, in the phenomenological tradition, do these perspectives intersect and bear on one another?

  • How does phenomenology’s emphasis on embodiment test the limits of contemporary scientific, theological, and/or political thinking?

  • What do phenomenology and philosophy of mind have to offer each other on questions of personhood? Can projects which unite phenomenology and cognitive science bear fruit, and if so, which? If not, why?

  • Is phenomenological clarification required to ground a science of the mind? If this Husserlian “modification” of psychology has failed, what are the consequences for phenomenology?

  • What is the relation between personhood and technology? Is science reducible to technology, and what are the consequences for a phenomenological approach to science or technology?

  • Does the phenomenological reduction preclude a religious attitude? That is, can there be phenomenology for/from a person’s distinctively religious faith?

  • How does the notion of the “given” in phenomenology speak to questions of religion?

  • Figures like J.N. Mohanty (Indian thinking) and the Kyoto School (Japanese thought) have done much to bridge Western phenomenology and Eastern philosophy and religion. What does their intervention reveal about personhood, and what more can be done?

  • Can there be a political phenomenology? Does analysis from a first-person perspective benefit or limit political theory?

  • Do phenomenological, transcendental commitments or projects of fundamental ontology work against contemporary political thinking resisting meta-narratives and metaphysical programs?

  • Is the political thinking of figures such as Beauvoir, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Arendt, and Schutz characteristically phenomenological, or do their political thoughts point to insufficiencies in phenomenology which could be better addressed by other theories?

We invite abstracts of 800 words or full paper submissions of no more than 4,000 words, with preference given to full papers, to be sent by January 1, 2014. Submissions should be from graduate students and prepared for blind review, with a cover sheet including: name, submission title, email address, and institutional affiliation. All paper submissions or inquiries should be directed to [email protected]. For more information about the New York Phenomenology Research Group, see the link below.

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