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David Carr
(Emory University, USA)

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"...So etwas wie Leiblichkeit." On Social Embodiment

In manuscripts from the 1920s Husserl elaborates on what in the Cartesian Meditations he calls “personalities of a higher order.” We might expect the founder of phenomenology to be suspicious of this idea, considering it a mere façon de parler. In fact, Husserl strongly endorses this notion, borrowing the term Gemeingeist from the German Idealists, and defending it against attempts by empirical psychologists to reduce everything to individuals. He attributes to certain forms of community not only personality but also subjectivity, consciousness, unity of consciousness, convictions, memory, and even “so etwas wie Leiblichkeit” — something like corporality.

It is this last notion that I want to explore in this paper: what would such communal corporality be like? “We-intentionality” is much discussed these days among phenomenologists. Can we attribute corporality to it, and if so, how? I will consider possible answers to this question, not limiting myself to what Husserl says.

Chong-fuk Lau

(CUHK, HongKong)

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On the Possibility of a Disembodied Mind

There is a philosophical tradition since Descartes that takes the mind to be transparent and directly apprehensible while the existence of body is considered dubitable or, as Husserl suggests, is to be bracketed.

However, there is another line of thought that questions the very possibility of a disembodied mind. In this paper, I will examine two independent, but related arguments along this line in response to the Cartesian-Husserlian tradition. On the one hand, Strawson argued that a bodiless mind would not be identifiable as an object of reference, without which no mental property could ever be ascribed to a mind. On the other hand, Kant refuted the possibility of internal self-consciousness in the absence of external spatial perception and thus claimed to have proven the existence of things outside us. Both arguments point to a fundamental unity underlying the dualism of mind and body.

Bret W. Davis
(Loyola University. Maryland, USA)

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Toward a Zen Phenomenology of Psychosomatic Practice

The relation between philosophy and religion has been a central issue in the Western tradition. Both religion and philosophy are concerned with the “big questions” of life, yet their methods of addressing these questions are different: religion relies on faith and revelation, while philosophy relies on reason and experience.  Yet, when we turn to the Kyoto School of modern Japanese philosophy, the relation between these terms, and even the very meaning of the terms themselves are called into question.  Many of the Kyoto School philosophers were deeply engaged in the holistic—embodied as well as spiritual—practice of Zen.  This paper will examine how the psychosomatic practice of Zen informed both their philosophical thinking and their thinking about philosophy.  

Rolf Elberfeld

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"Kata". Embodied Movements and Self-Awakening. ("Kata". Verkörperte Bewegungen und Selbst-Erwachen)

The Japanese word "kata" is mainly used in connection with certain Japanese arts ( Noh theater , swordsmanship , Karate , Aikido , etc. ) . It refers to a formalized form of movement , which is practiced for a long time. The practice of these forms of movement is a way to learn about the own bodily self and in the bodily encounter with others. However, this acquaintance takes place in a paradoxical form, as it is expressed in the following sentence of Dogen: "To learn one self means to forget  one self . " This sentence points at the Zen Buddhist motifs of the Kata exercise. Based on a phenomenology of Kata exercise certain insights of the western phenomenologies of the body are questioned and critically reflected.

Das japanische Wort „Kata“ wird vor allem im Zusammenhang mit bestimmten japanischen Künsten (No-Theater, Schwertkunst, Karate, Aikido usw.) verwendet. Es bezeichnet eine formalisierte Bewegungsform, die über lange Zeit hinweg eingeübt wird. Die Einübung dieser Bewegungsformen ist ein Weg, sich selbst in seiner Leiblichkeit und in der leiblichen Begegnung mit anderen kennenzulernen. Dieses Kennenlernen vollzieht sich jedoch in paradoxer Form, wie es der Satz von Dogen zum Ausdruck bringt: „Sich selbst zu erlernen heißt, sich selbst zu vergessen.“ Mit diesem Satz sind die zenbuddhistischen Motive der Kata-Übung genannt. Anhand einer Phänomenologie der Kata-Übung werden bestimmte leibphänomenologische Einsichten befragt und kritisch reflektiert.

Hans Feger
(Free University Berlin, Germany)

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Friedrich Nietzsche: Thinking as Listening to my Living Body

That which I always already am, without having to do it – the transcendental status of corporeality – is prefigured in Nietzsche’s theory, according to which every authentic philosophy is first of all to be thought “under the guidance of the body.” Nietzsche criticized philosophy’s forgetting of the living body long before a phenomenological difference was made between the living body and the dimensional body; he proposed that thinking be based on differences and not on oppositions. This turn toward the living body in philosophy can be described as a turn of aesthetics. As a discipline, aesthetics had originated as a theory of sensual perception. Through Nietzsche, it discovered the space of the living and feeling body as the foundational basis for philosophical knowledge.

Yvonne Förster

(Lüneburg, Germany)

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Imaginations of Intelligence: Embodiment and Disembodiment in Contemporary Cinema

In my paper I will analyze the image of the neural net as a paradigmatic image of disembodied intelligence. The image of the neural net (be it organic or artificial) invokes an utopia of emergent life, infinite intelligence and immortality. Therefore the neural net gains a transcendent, quasi-religious character. I will argue that it is different from other science fiction paradigms such as technology/machines or the famous brain-in-the-vat idea. The neural net is an abstract structure that is derived from cognitive and evolutionary sciences but is not tied to organic matter. It is closely linked to computer-nets and artificial intelligence. The neural net as an image is characterized by being self-organizing, by producing emergent effects and by being implemented in various ways. In my talk I will analyze how images of embodied cognition relate to utopias of disembodiment. To clarify my idea I will present some examples from contemporary cinema like “Ex Machina” (2015), “Transcendence” (2014) and “Her” (2013). I will argue that utopias of disembodied intelligence still rely on forms of embodiment as their fundament. In conclusion I would like to ask what these cinematic utopias reveal about our concept of what is human and what humanity is about to become. 

Tonino Griffero
(Rom, Italien)

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Felt-Bodily Resonances: Towards a Pathic Aesthetic

Moving from a (new)phenomenological theory of the lived body (Leib), the text outlines its constitutive (pre-reflective) role in human experience but especialy in aesthetic perception. Against every reductionist and introjectionist objectification of the lived experience, every explanatory hypothesis of associationist and projectivist type, a pathic aesthetics ‒ that emphasizes the affective involvement that the perceiver feels unable to critically react to or mitigate the intrusiveness of ‒ is an adequate investigation of the felt body as sounding board of outside atmospheres and Stimmungen. By means of its specific dynamics and lived “isles”, in fact the felt body feels what happens in the surrounding area without drawing on the five senses and the perceptual body schema. Felt-bodily isles turn out exactly to be both a tool for sensing the affective radiation provoked by atmospheres and quasi-things, and “places” that, communicating with each other and with our consciousness, are themselves quasi-things.  

Saulius Geniusas

(CUHK, Hong Kong)

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Phenomenology of Embodied Personhood and the Challenges of Naturalism in Pain Research

The naturalistically oriented science of pain has critically engaged phenomenology in one of three ways. First, it has denied any role that phenomenology could play in scientific pain research, claiming that to study pain scientifically is nothing other than to analyze the structures of the brain. Secondly it has misappropriated phenomenology as a form of introspectionism, which it then tried to correlate with neurological processes.
Thirdly, it has also aimed to pursue a genuine dialogue with phenomenology, yet only insofar as phenomenology is conceivable in accordance with the fundamental principles of static methodology. I claim that none of these three approaches to phenomenology bring out its full and fundamental significance for scientific pain research. I argue that genetic phenomenology of embodied personhood offers fresh and highly needed resources to address the “hard problem” in the framework of pain research, namely, the problem concerning the relation between pain, conceived as a brain mechanism, and pain, conceived as experience. Genetic phenomenology refashions this question in terms of the relation between the naturalistic and the personalistic attitudes, thereby inviting one to concede that neurological conceptions of pain are modifications derived from a more basic understanding of pain experience.
My analysis unfolds in three steps. First, I argue against the reductive approaches in the naturalistically oriented science of pain, which exclude phenomenology from pain research. Such exclusively neurophysiological approaches suggest that to study pain scientifically is to analyze the structures of the brain on the basis of the third-person methodologies. Such approaches fail to take into consideration that first-person experience constitutes an irreducible field of phenomena. Drawing on David J. Chalmers’ analysis, I argue for the need to distinguish between the “easy problems” of experience, which are explainable in terms of computational and neural mechanisms, and the “hard problem,” which lies in the realization that “you cannot explain conscious phenomena on the cheap” (Chalmers) by reducing the rich inner life to physical processing. The exclusively neurophysiological approaches do not have the resources to tackle the “hard problem.”
Secondly, I turn to the dominant appropriations of phenomenology in the naturalistically oriented philosophy of pain. I argue that those philosophies of pain, which are sympathetic to phenomenology, suffer from a serious deficiency in that they conceive of phenomenology in a highly non-technical sense, supposedly concerned with what it is like to undergo a certain experience. Yet phenomenology is not introspection.
Thirdly, I contend that even those philosophical approaches, which aim to pursue a serious dialogue between phenomenology and neuroscience in pain research, suffer from yet another shortcoming in that they rely exclusively on the resources of static phenomenology. Countering this tendency, I argue for the need to take into account a genetically oriented phenomenology of embodied personhood in the framework of pain research. I maintain that genetic phenomenology provides a much needed alternative to two dominant standpoints in philosophy of pain, which are designed to clarify the relation between the nature of experience (pain’s “physiology”) and the experience of nature (pain’s “phenomenology”). I have in mind the metaphysical alternatives of dualistic epiphenomenalism and monistic physicalism, which D. Price and M. Aydede present as the only viable explanations of the relation between pain’s experiential and physiological characteristics. On the basis of Husserl’s genetic account of embodied personhood, I maintain that in the framework of genetic phenomenology, the question concerning the relation between pain’s experiential and physiological dimensions should be understood as as twofold question concerning the relation between the lived-body (Leib) and the physical body (Körper) as well as the relation between the personalistic and the naturalistic attitudes.
On this basis I maintain that the current attempts to naturalize phenomenology in pain research should be countered with the genetic alternative of pheomenologizing naturalism.

Volker Heubel

(Tongji University in Shanghai)

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Dwelling as culture of atmospheres viewed from the perspective of East-Asian tea spaces

In his book “Der Leib, der Raum und die Gefühle” (Body, space and feelings) (Bielefeld 22009) Hermann Schmitz states that „dwelling is a culture of feelings in enclosed spaces“ and mentions the Japanese tea house as an example of dwelling. For him it is an “excellent opportunity” to study three interrelated aspects of space: bodily perceived space, the space of feeling and measurable geometrical space. Following this trace, the paper examines exemplary East-Asian tea spaces from the perspective of bodily-sensual perception as a culture of atmospheres. In a second step, it argues that this is closely related to the function of poetry and the creation of poetic spaces. Finally, it relates this culture of dwelling to the wider perspective of East-Asian tea culture regarded as an art of living or leisurely enjoyment of living and a way of self-cultivation put forward by two influential authors at the beginning of the 20th century: Okakura Tenshin for the Japanese and Lin Yutang for the Chinese context. What than can we learn from this perspective concerning the relation of phenomenology to philosophical conceptions of life as art?

Kohji Ishihara

(University of Tokyo, Japan)

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Common Sense and Embodiment. Revisiting the Phenomenological Psychopathology of Blankenburg, Stanghellini, and Kimura on Schizophrenia and Depersonalization

In the tradition of phenomenological psychopathology, embodiment has been connected with common sense. W. Blankenburg characterizes schizophrenia as a lack of common sense that makes it possible to understand a situation and cope with the environment and others. G. Stanghellini too suggests that the “fundamental aspect of schizophrenic vulnerability” could be understood as a “common sense deficit.” In Japan, B. Kimura has adapted Blankenburg’s common sense theory to depersonalization. He also explicated the implication of embodiment in common sense theory drawing on K. Nishida’s concept of “active intuition.” The advantage of common sense theory is it suggests that the relational problem, which affects the sensual level, matters in mental disorders. However, the disadvantage is the reverse: it seems to be at risk of pathologizing the lack of common sense by overly focusing on maladies of the sensual level in its consideration of mental disorders.

Hilge Landweer 

(Free University Berlin, Germany)

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Mass Emotion and Shared Feelings

Are mass emotions and shared feelings two different phenomena? In this paper, I investigate two different forms of corporeal interaction; one bipolar and one unipolar. In the bipolar type, two individuals give different impulses, which are aligned with each other. In the unipolar type, the impulse derives from a thing, a task or a person. This impulse creates an identical corporeal dynamic in those involved. This synchronization of the corporeal directions leads to corporeal resonance and a reciprocal intensification. The shared experience of feelings is a part of unipolar corporeal interaction since the impulse for the corporeal dynamic of the individuals departs from one and the same feeling.

According to Max Scheler’s analysis of emotional contagion, contagion comes about through imitation; it is merely a fallacy to believe the other person’s feeling is one’s own. In this paper, I argue that emotional contagion and shared feelings cannot be distinguished by virtue of this criterion of genuineness and instead belong to the same type of corporeal interaction. On the whole, I question the assumption that feelings are solely personal states. Individual and collective feelings can only be distinguished unambiguously through concepts, whereas affective phenomena are always tied to others, to norms and discourse.

Leung Po Shan

(Hongkong Baptist University, China)

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Reflections on the Political Embodiment in Heidegger's "Black Notebooks" ― and a Brief Comparison with Confucianism

In Heidegger’s Black Notebooks, a profound interpretation of lived body (Leib) can be found. In order to compare his thoughts in detail with that of Chinese Philosophy, my analysis will focus on the problem of politics. Firstly, I’ll discuss how Heidegger claimed that racial politics historically stemmed from the western traditional understanding of lived body. Then, the subjectivity analysis of political lived body from both Heideggerian- and Confucian perspectives will be compared, and both commonalities and divergences between them will be explained.

Junichi Murata

(Rissho University, Japan)

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What are senses and sense modalities?— From a viewpoint of an ecological phenomenology

Consider a fire, a familiar event we experience in our everyday lives. We can have perceptual experiences of it in a variety of ways. We can see it, hear it, feel it, smell it, and even touch it. In these experiences, while the object of experiences remains the same, the way we experience is very different. This commonsensical fact indicates that perceptual experiences have at least two aspects: namely cognitive aspect and sensory aspect.

Cognitive aspect determines what we perceive through the experiences, so that I would like to call it WHAT aspect of perceptual experiences. Sensory aspect determines how we experience an object, so that I would like to call it HOW aspect.

If we are mainly interested in a cognitive function of perception, namely, in what we can know through perceptions, we tend to focus our attention on the WHAT aspect and neglect the characteristics of the HOW aspect, interpreting it as sensations, which only play a role of giving materials for cognition. In this cognitive stance, the world appears as an object, to which we are directed.

However, we are not only directed towards the world as an object, but we are always and already bodily situated and live in the world in a certain way, as many phenomenologists indicated. We, as embodied beings, are affected and motivated by various objects in the world. In order to express this aspect of our experiences, we can use the well-known concept Being-in-the-world in contrast to the Being-toward-the-world. Perceptual experiences, which are considered to be the most fundamental way of experiences, have also this aspect. And it is exactly the HOW aspect of perceptual experiences that corresponds to the aspect of the Being-in-the-world. In this sense, the HOW aspect can be seen as an embodiment aspect of perceptual experiences, and it is also clear that the function of a sensory aspect or sensations cannot be reduced to the function of giving materials for cognition. Senses function not only as organs through which input information is transferred to cognitive processes, but rather constitute various ways of embodied Beings-in-the-world.

The fact that it is usually presupposed that there are several different sense modalities indicates that each of the perceptual Beings-in-the-world is differentiated, but at the same time they are integrated in some way or other.

In my paper, I focus on this embodiment aspect of perceptual experiences and attempt to clarify the unique character of each sense modality and the relationship between different sense modalities, taking into consideration various results of recent research, phenomenology, and J. J. Gibson’s ecological approach.

Jan Slaby
(Freie Universität Berlin)

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Living in the Moment: Boredom and the Meaning of Existence in Heidegger and Pessoa

Not only in his infamous public speeches during his time as NSDAP-approved Führer-rector (president) of Freiburg University (1933/34), Heidegger advocated what can strikingly seem like an ‘activist’ understanding of human existence. To exist means to be called upon to take charge of one’s very being – actively, responsibly, authentically – whether explicitly mandated by Volk and Führer or not. Heideggerian resoluteness amounts to being active in a deep sense. Not much later, however, Heidegger reversed his view, dismounting from the activist, dasein-centric construal of the sense of being. However, in the present contribution, I will focus on his early position.

I will proceed by revisiting Heidegger’s phenomenology of boredom in his lectures on the Basic Concepts of Metaphysics, and contrasting the model of existence at the root of this line of thought with passages from Fernando Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet. This contrast will serve as a setting for staging a meditation on the sense of being: What can we learn from Heidegger’s writings about ‘deep activism’ – a tendency toward appropriation and production/productivity that is allegedly inscribed into the deep layers of Western metaphysical thought? What avenues open from there into radically different ontological orientations? Pessoa is a radical counterpoint to Heidegger in this regard, as not only his aesthetics but his entire existential style and character are so fundamentally at odds with Heidegger’s intellectual and political persona. Insofar as (early) Heidegger epitomizes the sinister forces ruling on the death star of Western metaphysics, Pessoa is bearing the light that might shred this kingdom of darkness into pieces.

Tanja Stähler
(University of Sussex, UK)

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Pregnant Embodiment as World Transformation

How does pregnancy transform our embodiment, that is, how does it affect our sense of being a body? The body gets in our way, becomes an obstacle. As a result, objects are less ready-to-hand, more out of reach -- world as we know it becomes removed. The habit body vanishes away. But pregnancy is not just a loss of the ordinary: it also opens up new dimensions. One such dimension is that of being touched from within. Such a touch is not a double sensation in the phenomenological sense; it originates from a creature different from me, but this creature does not necessarily feel particularly human yet. It is the other under my skin, which is where Levinas locates the origin of ethics. Following Paul Celan's line 'The world is gone, I must carry you' and Derrida's interpretation thereof, my paper tries to trace the different dimensions of pregnant embodiment with the help of the concepts of 'world' and 'carrying'. A phenomenology of the pregnant body thus leads to a removal of world, but also reveals new dimensions of world, and it even comes to disclose the other as a new world within.

Tae-Hee Kim

(Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea)

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A Situation-Hypothesis about Asymmetries of Perceptual Span: A Front-loaded Phenomenological Essay

Recently, there have been several suggestions about how a phenomenological research can possibly contribute to cognitive sciences, one of which widely discussed is the front-loaded phenomenology proposed by S. Gallagher. In this presentation, I attempt to examine the feasibility of its application to one topic which has attracted a great deal of attention from cognitive scientists, i.e. asymmetries of perceptual span in reading (hereafter APSR). For 40 years, many researchers identifying this phenomenon in various languages have set up diverse hypotheses about its possible causes, including brain-hypothesis and habit-hypothesis. In this presentation, I review some phenomenological theories and descriptions about relevant phenomena such as affection, attention, perception, time-consciousness, habit, and situation based on E. Husserl's works in order to put forward a seemingly more promising hypothesis for explaining APSR, i.e. situation-hypothesis. In this hypothesis, APSR could be explained as a phenomenon which paradigmatically shows that in most cases it is determined by the future-orientedness of perception which habit from the complex system of habits will be actualized in concrete situation. Finally, I attempt to front-load this hypothesis from phenomenological considerations to some experimental designs of cognitive sciences.

Toru Tani

(Ritsumeikan University, Japan)

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Body, Language and Mediality

Husserl attempted to found logics and language on intuition, and particularly perception. The relationship between logical language and intuition is therefore one of the fundamental themes of his phenomenology. Husserl regarded the two as sharing an isomorphic structure, and in this presentation, I will first show that this structure can be characterized as “mediality.” That is, the “meaning” of language appears by mediation of sound or script, and the “I” as person appears by mediation of the body. Secondly I will show that intuitions themselves appear through the mediation of language, and further interpret this idea of mediality in terms of the Japanese language. Thirdly I will attempt an analysis—guided by Husserl’s notion of Sprachleib (linguistic living body)—of the “bodily” function of Chinese script and of onomatopeia as a Sprachleib that connects intuition to language. The Sprachleib also functions as a “cultural living body” that makes community possible. Through this, new possibilities for a phenomenology of mediality will be shown..

Tze-Wan Kwan

(CUHK, HongKong)

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Bodily Dasein and the Chinese Script

In the Shuowen, one of the earliest comprehensive character dictionaries of ancient China, when discussing where the Chinese characters derive their structural components, Xu Shen proposed the dual constitutive principle of “adopting proximally from the human body, and distally from things around.” This dual emphasis of “body” and “things around” corresponds largely to the phenomenological issues of body or corporeality on the one hand, and lifeworld on the other. If we borrow Heidegger’s definition of Dasein as Being-in-the world, we can easily arrive at a reformulation of Xu Shen’s constitutive principle of the Chinese script as one that concerns “bodily Dasein.” By looking into various examples of script tokens we can further elaborate on how the Chinese make use not only of the body in general but various body parts, and how they differentiate their life world into material nature, living things, and a multifaceted world of equipment in forming a core basis of Chinese characters/components, upon which further symbolic manipulation such as “indication”, “phonetic borrowing”, semantic combination, and “annotative derivation”, etc. can be based. Finally, examples will be cited to show how in the Chinese scripts the human body (and its parts) might interact with other bodies (and their parts) or with “things around” (whether nature, living creatures, or artifacts) in various ways to cover the social, environmental, ritual, technical, economical, and even intellectual aspects of human experience. Bodily Dasein, so to speak, provides us with a new perspective of understanding and appreciating the entire scope of the Chinese script.

Bernhard Waldenfels
(Bochum and Munich, Germany)

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Der Leib als Umschlagstelle zwischen Natur und Kultur

Leibliches Verhalten, sei es Gehen, Wahrnehmen, Sprechen, Hantieren, Essen oder raumzeitliche Orientierung, entspringt diesseits von Natur und Kultur in einer Lebenswelt, in der alles mehr oder weniger natürlich vorgeprägt wie künstlich geformt ist. Es vollzieht sich in zwischenleiblichem Verkehr mit Anderen. Es verkörpert sich in einer Zwischensphäre von Werkzeugen, Apparaturen, Medien und Symbolen. Es zehrt von einer natürlichen Vorgeschichte. Die Natur fungiert innerhalb der Lebenswelt, bevor sie sich in Form alltäglicher Störungen, methodisch und technisch herbeigeführter Eingriffe oder pathologischer Spaltungen absondert. Unser Leib ist nicht aus einem Guß. Reine Natur und reine Kultur sind Konstrukte der Moderne, die aus einer naturalistischen oder kulturalistischen Leibvergessenheit resultieren. [mehr...]

Maren Wehrle
(KU Leuven, Husserl Archives, Belgien)

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The normative body and the embodiment of norms. Bridging the gap between phenomenological and Foucauldian approaches

Phenomenologically speaking, one can consider the body to be normative on two levels. Husserl speaks of the normal body as a norm that defines the general conditions of perception and functions as an optimum that serves the aim of adequate perception. But on a more concrete level, the experiencing body itself is normative; it generates norms through repeated actions and interactions, crystallizing into habits. According to Foucauldian approaches the subjective body does not generate norms but is itself produced by norms: Dominant social norms are internalized or ‘inscribed’ into experience via repeated practices and techniques of power (discipline).

How is the individual level of habit formation in phenomenology related to this embodiment of supra-individual norms? In what sense can we differentiate between a habit formation that results in a skill and one that (forcefully) disciplines a body? To address these questions the paper will analyze examples of the embodiment of norms in Foucault and feminist philosophy and show how they rely on the phenomenological concept of the actual and habitual body.

Wen-Sheng Wang

(National Chengchi University, Taiwan)

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Heidegger on the Problem of Embodiment of God

“Embodiment of God” is understood by me as “the appearance of God,” and in terms of “divinity (Gottheit),” “holy (Heilig),” and “Being (Sein).” Heidegger states in “Letter on Humanism”: “Only from the truth of Being can the essence of the holy be thought. Only from the essence of the holy is the essence of the divinity to be thought. Only in the light of the essence of divinity can it be thought or said what the word ‘God’ is to signify.” This statement basically shows how the latter stage, namely “God” appears or is embodied in the world. This also manifests how Heidegger understands onto-theo-logy. “The Letter on Humanism” was written in 1946. Is such relation between ontology and theology to be found in Heidegger’s early works? How about is Heidegger’s position later than 1946? How can we understand Heidegger’s position to God according to his works in general with regard to my formulation of it as the “embodiment of God”?

Christian Helmut Wenzel

(National Taiwan University, Taiwan)

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Zhuangzi and the New Phenomenology

Hermann Schmitz has developed a “New Phenomenology.” It emphasizes fundamental conceptions that undercut traditional subject-object distinctions. In the Chinese classic The Zhuangzi we find stories that describe involvements and dialogue that can be seen as doing something similar. I will bring out some of these parallels. In particular I will focus on freedom and mutual understanding.

Mark Wrathall
(University of Calif. Riverside, USA)

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“I” “here” and “you” “there”: Heidegger on existential spatiality and the “volatilized” self

As critics have often remarked, Heidegger had surprisingly little to say about the human body and embodiment, especially given the fact that he understood being-in-the-midst of entities in the world as an essential structure of existence.  The criticism is fair so far as it goes.  But what critics have perhaps not appreciated is the fact that the “whole problematic” of the bodily nature (Leiblichkeit) of human beings is just one piece of the more basic problem: understanding the spatial character of a “volatilized” self.  In this paper, I reconstruct Heidegger’s account of the true self of existence, and show how this self cannot be understood using familiar categories for thinking about selfhood and identity.  This self is something volatile, insubstantial, inconstant, and yet essentially worldly in character.  Once a clearer conception of the self of existence is in place, we can ask: in what exactly is the self embodied when it exists concretely?  Approaching the problem this way will make us rethink the centrality of the human body to Heidegger’s project, and shed a different light on the problematic of our bodily nature.

Dan Zahavi
(University of Copenhagen, Dänemark)

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Intersubjectivity, sociality, community: The role of embodiment

In my talk, I will discuss ideas found in early phenomenology (Husserl, Scheler, Stein, Walther, and Gurwitsch) concerning the link between interpersonal understanding and communal experience; ideas that throughout attribute an important role to embodiment.

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