An Ethical Phenomenology of Listening: Søren Kierkegaard and Hannah Arendt on the ‘Voice’ of Conscience
Claudia Welz (University of Copenhagen)

November 7, 2018, 10:30am - 12:30pm
PHI research group, Deakin University

Level 12, Tower 2, 727 Collins Street
Melbourne 3008

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


An Ethical Phenomenology of Listening:

Søren Kierkegaard and Hannah Arendt on the ‘Voice’ of Conscience


What does it mean to listen to the ‘voice of conscience,’ and how can we know whether we have understood what this ‘inner voice’ wants to tell us? After all, one’s conscience does not ‘speak’ audibly, often not even in words, but rather non-verbally through feelings. When listening, we are on the threshold between ‘the inner’ and ‘the outer,’ between self and other. Most often, we have to relate to several conflicting voices ‘within’ and ‘without.’ How can we, then, decide which voice we shall heed? Søren Kierkegaard’s view of the self-other-relation, as seen through the ‘lens’ of an ethical phenomenology of listening, will be compared to Hannah Arendt’s discussion of how a human being’s inner dialogue takes place in thinking—with special consideration of the interaction between emotion and cognition.



Claudia Welz is Professor with special responsibilities in Ethics and Philosophy of Religion at the University of Copenhagen and Founding Director of CJMC: Center for the Study of Jewish Thought in Modern Culture.

She is the author of the books Love’s Transcendence and the Problem of Theodicy (Mohr Siebeck, 2008), Vertrauen und Versuchung (Mohr Siebeck, 2010), Humanity in God’s Image: An Interdisciplinary Exploration (Oxford University Press, 2016), and the editor or co-editor of Despite Oneself. Subjectivity and its Secret in Kierkegaard and Levinas (Turnshare, 2008), Trust, Sociality, Selfhood (Mohr Siebeck, 2010), Atrocities – Emotion – Self,(special issue of Passions in Context: International Journal for the History and Theory of Emotions, vol. 2, 2011), Ethics of In-Visibility: Imago Dei, Memory, and Human Dignity in Jewish and Christian Thought (Mohr Siebeck, 2015), Ethics and Aesthetics of Holocaust Memory (special issue of Scandinavian Jewish Studies, vol. 28:1, 2017), Hermeneutics and Negativism: Existential Ambiguities of Self-Understanding (Mohr Siebeck, 2018), and The Problem of Evil and Images of (In)Humanity (special issue of Scandinavian Jewish Studies, vol. 29:1, 2018). Currently, she is preparing a trilogy entitled Vox peregrina: An Ethical, Theological, and Psycho(patho)logical Phenomenology of Listening.

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