CFP: Two Phenomenologies

Submission deadline: February 23, 2020

Conference date(s):
April 1, 2020 - April 2, 2020

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, Central European University Budapest
Budapest, Hungary

Topic areas


Call for abstracts

Two Phenomenologies, April 1-2, 2020

Central European University, Budapest

Room N15-103

Submission Deadline: February 23, 2020

Invited speakers

-Miriam Kyselo (Technische Universität Berlin)

-Dermot Moran (Boston College)

-Maja Spener (University of Birmingham)

-Mark Rowlands (University of Miami)

Phenomenology is the study of conscious human experience from the subject’s point of view. Over the past few decades, it has been received much attention from analytic philosophers and cognitive scientists; this was primarily a reaction to the ongoing problems of traditional approaches to the study of the mind that neglected the role of consciousness. Today, we can identify in analytic philosophy two different research programs that are motivated by phenomenology.

In the first one, central phenomenological descriptions are the ones about how the world appears in conscious experience and thought, which focus on the subject’s point of view in perception. This program echoes Edmund Husserl’s early characterization of conscious experience. Notable examples are Thomas Nagel on what it's like to be a bat, John Searle on the structure of intentionality, contemporary intentionalism about perception, and recent accounts of phenomenal intentionality.

In the second one, central phenomenological descriptions are the ones at the heart of which lies the subject’s experience of her bodily presence, action, and interaction with the environment. This program echoes the phenomenologies of Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Notable examples are Hubert Dreyfus’ critique of artificial intelligence, “the Embodied Mind” project by Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson and Eleanor Rosch, and many other varieties of what has recently been called 4E cognition views.

Accounts in these two programs often converge on rejecting functionalism and underlining the crucial role of the first-person phenomenology to understand cognition. However, they have different commitments regarding what an accurate phenomenological analysis of human experience should be: if phenomenology should revolve around mind-world and internal-external dichotomies; or if it should resolve these by a commitment to the continuity of mind, body, and world. These different commitments heavily determine their understanding of concepts like self, subjectivity, intentionality, consciousness, and agency. Surprisingly, there is a lack of dialogue between the proponents of these two programs. This two-day conference aims to help to nourish the collaboration between them.

Topics include but are not restricted to:

-the scope of the first-person methodology in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science;

-the distinction between internal and external in phenomenology;

-the distinction between sensory and cognitive phenomenology;

-the relationship between introspection and phenomenological descriptions;

-the relationship between causal/informational and phenomenological accounts of consciousness;

-the relationship between bodily action and the subject’s point of view;

-the difference between the two programs in the light of the disagreement between transcendental phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and so-called existential phenomenologies of Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty;

-the contribution of phenomenology to the debate on the normative character of the mental.

We invite submissions from researchers and graduate students with various backgrounds on the relevant topics. Please submit 500-800 words long extended abstracts suitable for a 30-minute presentation to the address Submissions must be prepared for blind review. Successful applicants will be notified by February 29th.

Bursaries are available to help cover accommodation and travel costs; priority will be given to PhD students. If you would like to be considered for a bursary, please state it in your email.

Please contact or for further inquiries.

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