Subjectivity reconsidered – A Dialogue Beyond the Cultural Hiatus
Ever since Modernity, the concept of “subjectivity” has been formulated and thought out in an ambiguous manner alongside that of “objectivity,” both as opposed (dualism) and correlated. This ambiguity is not only found in the work of rationalists and empiricists, but has also had an impact on Kant’s critical proposal, on German Idealism and Hegel, as well as on the 19th century advocates of the “natural” and the “spiritual” sciences. During the 20th century this concept not only delimits the increasing rift between the analytic and continental traditions but also, ever since phenomenology’s breakthrough in 1900 with Husserl, it affects the development of the latter marked by deep hiatuses and misunderstandings which paradoxically flourish in different fruitful directions.
Members of the analytic tradition, more attentive to the developments of empirical-deductive and formal sciences, generally recused the continental tradition due to its alleged “anti-naturalism” and lack of “objective” criteria. Whereas members of the continental tradition, not only of its phenomenological or hermeneutical strands but also of its sequels more related to Western philosophy and its history, criticized the “naturalist”, “scientist” and “logicist” tendency of the analytic tradition, thus hindering any possible dialogue between them. Both traditions were confronted with the “enigma of subjectivity”. The first one, by reassessing the mind-body problem on a physicalistic basis and inspired by the cybernetic model, thus awakening Chalmers’ “hard problem of consciousness”. The second one, by interpreting subjectivity as an embodied, temporal, intersubjective, and historical consciousness, paying more attention to reason’s diversity and finitude than to its biological roots. Both traditions began to reconsider the problem of subjectivity beyond the old prejudices regarding alleged intellectual, biological, skeptic, relativist, or solipsistic “subjectivisms”. Two topics stand out in this reconsideration: on the one side, the dual approach to the subject from both the singular and plural “first” and “third person” perspectives; on the other side, the growing recognition of the originary, founding and pervasive character of the emotional dimension of subjective life. Both topics are given within the general scope of the mind-body relation.
Acknowledging the growing need of an interdisciplinary response to contemporary challenges, the 16th Peruvian Journeys of Phenomenology and Hermeneutics summon members from different philosophical traditions to discuss their views on the “enigma of subjectivity”. Some of the problems being currently researched are the problems of consciousness and self-consciousness in relation to our lived bodies and their physiological basis, the so-called pre reflective consciousness versus the narrative comprehension of oneself and the other, the paradox of the subject’s being in the world, and its being for the world, distressing experiences and the problem of pain, psychopathologies, cultural and social-political problems (such as exclusion or violence), the role of emotional life within theoretical rationality (“the colouring of life”), etc. To sum up, the 16th Peruvian Journeys wish to re-establish a dialogue among different current philosophical traditions that since the Modern Ages have tended to see themselves as determined by the so-called cultural hiatus.
This year’s keynote speakers are professors Dan Zahavi (Denmark) and Agustín Serrano de Haro (Spain).
Dan Zahavi is professor at the University of Copenhagen (Center for Subjectivity Research) and of the University of Oxford. He is currently conducting the project “Who are we? Self-Identity, Social Cognition, and Collective Intentionality” funded by the European Research Council and the Carlsberg Foundation. He is co-editor of the Journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, alongside S. Gallagher. His long list of published works –translated to several languages– include Husserl’s Phenomenology (Stanford 2003), Subjectivity and Selfhood (MIT Press 2005), The Phenomenological Mind (coauthored with S. Gallagher) (Routledge 2008/2012), Self and Other (OUP 2014), Husserl’s Legacy (OUP 2017), and Phenomenology: The Basics (Routledge 2019).
Professor Serrano de Haro is research fellow at the Centre of Human and Social Sciences of Madrid and of Spain’s High Council of Scientific Research. Ex-president of the Spanish Society of Phenomenology, his main published works are Cuerpo vivido (Ediciones Encuentro 2010), Paseo filosófico en Madrid. Introducción a Husserl (Trotta 2016), Hannah Arendt (RBA 2016), “En los límites de la fenomenología: el análisis del dolor físico” (Biblos 2010), “Is Pain an Intentional Experience?” (Phenomenology 2010), “Apariciones y eclipses del cuerpo propio” (Comares 2013), among others. He is one of the main Spanish translators of Husserl’s work into Spanish.
Those interested in participating can send their abstracts to: firstname.lastname@example.org until 09.15.2020. By 30.09.2020 you will be notified if you are part of the program.