Calendar | Conference

Relation in Phenomenology - Phenomenology in Relation. Intra- and Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Warszawa, 1 - 2 December 2023


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CFP is closed


For Husserl and the phenomenological tradition, experience is not a passive reception of sense-data, but an active engagement that involves a complex interplay of perceptions and thoughts, but also affects or affective and volitional strivings. When experiencing, we are always situated in a network of relationships with other people, internal and external objects, and the world at large. Relationship structures, on the other hand, are not given in advance, but emerge in the processes of experience and interpretation. The subject embedded in this way also remains in a complicated relationship with itself. According to Husserl, a form of splitting is inscribed in the structure of the Ego, which gives it the opportunity to gain a critical distance from one’s own experience and to examine its constitutive conditions.


Following Husserl, Merleau-Ponty or Patočka deepen the reflection on relationality and emphasize the original rooting of the subject in the world and history. Lévinas builds ethics upon the relation with the Other, which is the experience of absolute Infinity for the subject. Simone de Beauvoir develops the topic of situatedness and introduces the topic of social and cultural entanglements between the sexes into phenomenology. But the life-world is also the sphere of thinking and of logic that governs it. Here a question arises about formal relationality and its reference to experience, a question about the logic of relations defining experience.


Relationality emerges as a crucial anthropological category. As such relationality should be also considered regarding the contemporary human sciences, in which the modern assumption of the autonomy of the human subject turns out to be problematic. The sciences, be they social, pedagogical, psychological/therapeutic, economic or political — they all operate in the field of relational structures that challenge phenomenological research of the human.


Also, in the questions posed today about relationality in relation to the "non-human" world— plants, animals, ecosystems, landscapes or the planet as the entire living environment—there is a need for an answer from philosophy that would go beyond anthropocentrism, and thus create space for new ideas of being human. We believe that phenomenology can offer an interesting research approach to these issues.


We propose the following thematic areas of presentation (however, this is not an exhaustive




  • Intentionality as relation

  • Relation with the world: broadly understood being-in-the-world, in the landscape, in systems of interdependence of life with other beings, but also with objects

  • Relation with others: intersubjectivity, coexistence — Mitsein, generativity

  • The group and the relational field of experience

  • Relationship with oneself: the issue of ownership, "self-objectification", “Ego-Splitting“ (Husserl)

  • Relation as the fundamental phenomenon of being: breathing, nourishment, and listening (as the originary phenomenon of co-existence with the world)

  • The body as a condition of relationality: senses (sight, touch, hearing, etc.), motor skills, affectivity in phenomenological approaches to relation

  • Relation between the subject and authority: issues of exclusion, violence, hostility, strangeness

  • Relational experience and language: discourse and predicative experience, relational communication;

  • Relationality and the dynamics of unconscious mechanisms and internal objects;

  • Sexuality as the basis of intentional direction and connection with the world /Gender as relational modus;

  • Figures of relations with the Other in phenomenological terms, e.g. father-son, master- disciple, mother-daughter;

  • Care and the possibility of human existence, e.g., issues: joint attention, caring, deprivation;

  • Resistance, ambivalence, conflict in relations

  • Professional relations: doctor-patient, analyst-analysand, teacher-student, employer-employee and others;

  • The logic of relations and the logic of thinking