The Phenomenology of Affect - ACU - Online - 6-7 Dec

ACUThe Phenomenology of Affect

International E-Conference hosted by the School of Philosophy, Australian Catholic University


Conference dates: Monday/Tuesday 6-7 December, 2021.

Abstract Submission deadline: Monday 1 November

Call for Papers: Please submit a 300 word abstract prior to 1 November to Please include your name, affiliation, and paper title. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 10 November.


Conference description:

The close study of human affectivity has its roots in the very early years of the phenomenological movement in the work of the Brentano School and the Munich Phenomenological Circle, especially in the writings of figures such as Husserl, Scheler, Stein and Voigtlander. This interest was continued in the subsequent work of figures such as Heidegger, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty. If this broad research project dropped away noticeably in the post-war years, it has returned to the centre of interest over the last few decades in the so-called "affective turn" in phenomenology.

This conference looks to bring together scholars working on a broad range of areas within this field of the phenomenology of affectivity, including those that give historical readings, and those that engage with more contemporary research. In preferring the terminology of "affectivity" in preference to the "phenomenology of emotions" more specifically, the conference title signals a deliberately broad openness to a range of phenomena that include not only particular episodic emotional states, but also pervasive moods of various kinds (Stimmungen), intentional modalities, intersubjective attunements to the world (Befindlichkeiten), experiential qualities, and evaluative positionings. Framed in this way, the range of intersecting themes of research are many.


Possible Themes and Topics:

  *   The meaning and significance of empathy (and cognate "forms of sympathy" [Scheler] and compassion), as developed in the history of phenomenology (e.g., in Stein's work) or in contemporary research.

  *   The particularities of specific episodic emotions, moods, and other affective phenomena, both individually, and in relation to other adjacent or related forms.

  *   Affectivity and the "pre-intentional": the idea of an "affective allure" in which the perceptual field is bathed, which directs attention and makes possible evaluative cognition of all kinds.

  *   The mutual relation of affective and rational modes (e.g., "the rationality of the emotions" and "the emotional grounding of rationality" as R. Solomon put it).

  *   The embodied nature of affective states, including the relation between affectivity with the lived body (Leib) and the social environment, including the role of kinaesthesia (or "motor-intentionality" in perception).

  *   The intersubjective and social dimensions of affectivity, including the notion of collective affective intentionality, as well as the concept and operation of affective "atmospheres" (in Schmitz and recent work in this area).

  *   Understanding pathologies of affectivity, such as the cases of clinical depression, dementia, autism spectrum disorders, psychotic states, and sociopathies.

  *   The contributions of gender and race studies to the phenomenology of affectivity more generally.

  *   Intersections and dialogues between phenomenological and cognitive science research into affectivity, including collaborations with AI research, psychiatry and social psychology.

  *   The linkages between affectivity, values and evaluation, including the work of Husserl and early 'realist' phenomenology (Scheler, Reinach, Stein, Hildebrand) in this area, as well as more recent work on the evaluative and normative dimensions of the emotions, and links to volition and action.


Confirmed Conference Keynotes:

  *   Dermot Moran, Boston College

  *   Claude Romano, University of Paris-Sorbonne

  *   Andrew Benjamin, University of Technology Sydney/ Monash University

  *   Robyn Horner, Australian Catholic University


Dates and Location:

This conference will be held over two half days (6-7 December, 2021), via Team Events, involving presentations by scholars in Europe, United States and Australia.

This e-conference is being held immediately prior to the hybrid annual conference of the Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy that is being hosted by Bond University.



Note: Most of the events listed on the ASCP website are not hosted by the ASCP.  Events posted here are considered to be of interest to the Australasian continental philosophy community.

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