The concept of “the world” as life-world and environment in which the human being exists belongs to the key concepts of phenomenology and is present throughout the entire oeuvre of Edmund Husserl. Its significance is also emphasized and culminates in the development of the life-world as a world of our life in his later texts, mainly in the Krisis. It is subsequently developed in independent works by Jan Patočka, Eugen Fink, Ludwig Landgrebe, Alfred Schütz and other students of Husserl. Many of Husserl’s followers were especially concerned with ontological questions, questions of regional ontologies, and questions of reality.
There were predecessors for the phenomenological concept of the world. We meet the notion of “Umwelt” already in works of Jakob von Uexküll, who opened new possibilities of investigation in the field of philosophy of biology, philosophical anthropology, phenomenology, and contemporary biosemiotics. Richard Avenarius, with his development of the concept of natural world, is another predecessor. The concept of the world also appears in phenomenology in connection with the criticism of scientific conceptions which treat objectivity, reality, and nature in the naturalistic sense.
We will follow leading clues in the investigation of the world in several fields. At the conference, we want to discuss how the concept of the world is connected with the investigation of space, perception and horizon; how it becomes significant for experience, subjectivity and corporeality. In our everyday existence we are present in the world, we dwell in it, we are incorporated in the world, we live there with other people; it is a space for our creative activities, for what we can do (Ich kann), for scientific investigations.
In the earlier period of Heidegger’s philosophy, the topic of the world – of being-in-the-world, worldliness (Weltlichkeit), and so on – is especially important. In the later period, the notion of world remains crucial; we find Heidegger trying to articulate the relationship between man and world conceived as fourfold (Geviert).
The concept of the world is key in the thinking of Jan Patočka as well. The world means here the overall horizon of sense which is exceptionally disclosed as withdrawing through problematicity. We are interested in the role that Patočka’s thematization of the world plays in his understanding of modernity, care of the soul, movements of existence, phenomenology of corporeality, and so on.
Moreover, already beginning with the works of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, phenomenology has been concerned with political worlds as well. One example of this is found in Klaus Held’s phenomenology of the political world.
Phenomenological investigation leads us to further investigations of the world as both home world and alien world, and of the related phenomena of home, of the close and the distant, of the unknown, of the limit.
At the same time, phenomenology is confronted with new challenges concerning the investigation of the natural, nature, and environment, which has led many researchers to focus on ecophenomenology.
Using the life-world as a leading clue of phenomenological investigation opens a new field of phenomena, of diversity of human experience and action, such as art worlds, scientific worlds, religious worlds, political worlds, cultural worlds, historical worlds, and others, all of which offer new possibilities of return to the one world in its plurality.
The goal of the conference is to present the complexity of the concept of the world in phenomenology, of the world seen from multiple perspectives, on the one hand in the individual conceptions within the phenomenological tradition, but, on the other hand, also in the current research. We invite the participants to discuss the meaning and the new applications of the concept of the world stemming from phenomenological philosophy.
The contributions can, for example, focus on following themes:
- Umwelt in the works of Jakob von Uexküll, and other understandings of the concept of the Umwelt
- Phenomenological analysis of the concepts of space, horizon, Umgebung
- Natural world, Life-world in Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology
- The development of the concept of the world in the works of Jan Patočka, Eugen Fink, Ludwig Landgrebe, Max Scheler, Heinrich Rombach, and other phenomenologists
- Being-in-the-world and the concept of the world in the philosophy of Martin Heidegger
- Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s world of perception, and the approach to the world in Marc Richir
- Home world and alien world
- New realism
- Environment, nature, ecophenomenology
- Landscape, phenomenology of geography
- Phenomenology of the world, space and landscape in art and aesthetics
Language: the conference will be held in English
Deadline for submissions: April 15, 2024
Notifications of acceptance: May 15, 2024
E-mail: email@example.com (please state “CEESP 2024 conference proposal” in the e-mail heading)
Registration fee: 70 EUR
- Individual papers: Please submit an anonymized abstract of the proposed contribution (max. 300 words) and a cover letter with affiliation and contact information. A regular time slot is approx. 40 minutes (30 min for presentation + 10 min for discussion).
- Thematic panels: The proposal should consist of abstracts for 3 papers as part of one panel (max. 300 words per abstract) as well as a separate cover letter with the affiliations of the panelists and contact information. The panelists will have approximately 120 minutes in total for the discussion of the proposed topic.
Organizing committee: Jaroslava Vydrová, Jana Tomašovičová, Róbert Karul, Michal Lipták, Jozef Majerník, Michal Zvarík