Dan Zahavi / Empathy and morality

Since 2011, the Center for Subjectivity Research has been involved in a large-scale project on the empathy funded by the VELUX FONDEN. A central objective had been to investigate what empathy is and what role it plays in interpersonal relations.

In recent years, an increasing number of disciplines have shown interest in empathy, be it psychiatry, affective neuroscience, developmental psychology, anthropology, or philosophy. The increasing amount of work being done in the field hasn’t resulted in any converging consensus about what exactly empathy amounts to. In fact, if there is any agreement, it is about disagreeing about the definition of empathy.

Read more

Henning Nörenberg / A Concluding Postscript to The Bodily Dimension of Collective Affective Intentionality

These days, my 2 years stay as a visiting post doc at the Center for Subjectivity Research comes to an end. It has been a great time of learning and also a great pleasure. The people working at or visiting the Center have provided me with valuable feedback and hints for my work on collective atmospheres and also – though in a less theoretical way – with an impressive example of a good working atmosphere.

Read more

Søren Overgaard / Routledge Research in Phenomenology

In the world of phenomenological publishing outlets, there is a new kid on the block: Routledge Research in Phenomenology. This book series – which is edited by Komarine Romdenh-Romluc, David R. Cerbone, and myself – publishes volumes that relate phenomenological arguments and ideas to a broader range of current philosophical problems. It also offers more historically informed studies of themes and figures from the phenomenological tradition, with the aim to be a rich resource of new ideas and approaches that promise to enliven contemporary debates. Clearly written and rigorously argued, these books ensure accessibility to a broad philosophical audience and to theorists working in other disciplines.

Read more

Antony Fredriksson / The Alien World, Attention and the Habitual

Still photograph from the film HOME. Somewhere, by Lotta Petronella

At the moment, I am a visiting researcher at the Center for Subjectivity Research between January and July 2017. During my stay, I am working on my post-doctoral research project with the working title The Art of Attention. The plan is to publish several articles and eventually also a book that deals with the faculty of attention and a cluster of philosophical difficulties that are related to how we understand attention.

Read more

Søren Overgaard / The Cambridge Companion to Philosophical Methodology

As promised in a previous blog post, The Cambridge Companion to Philosophical Methodology has now been published!

Co-edited by Giuseppina D’Oro (Keele University) and myself, the book offers clear and comprehensive coverage of the main methodological debates and approaches within philosophy. The chapters in this volume approach the question of how to do philosophy from a wide range of perspectives, including conceptual analysis, critical theory, deconstruction, experimental philosophy, hermeneutics, Kantianism, methodological naturalism, pragmatism and, last but not least, phenomenology.

Read more

Felipe León / Upcoming Conference in Copenhagen on “Shared Cultural Context and Interpersonal Understanding”

Together with Dan Zahavi and Thomas Szanto, I have been involved in the organization of the upcoming CFS conference “Shared Cultural Context and Interpersonal Understanding”.

The conference will take place on May 18-19, and is part of the CFS project “Empathy and Interpersonal Understanding”, financed by the VELUX Foundation.

The main aim of the conference is to explore the interrelations between shared cultural context and interpersonal understanding from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Some of the questions to be considered at the conference are:

  • How do shared cultural contexts and in-group/out-group dynamics enable and influence different forms of interpersonal understanding?
  • Conversely, what is the impact of interpersonal understanding on shared cultural contexts?
  • In this regard, is there a specific role for empathy, sympathy, and mutual recognition?
  • Furthermore, how do processes of stereotyping and typification contribute to our understanding of the interrelations between interpersonal understanding and shared cultural context?

Read more

Zeynep Üsüdür / Curiosity, attention, interest – what are the differences?

Intuitively there is a clear difference between attention, curiosity and interest. Still, I have managed to be very confused on the question of what the differences exactly are. Recently, I have been interested in Husserl’s descriptions of how we are affected and motivated towards what is given and pegiven. My interest in these aspects of Husserl’s writings (in particular Analyses Concerning Passive and Active Synthesis) stems from my discomfort with on the one hand a sharp distinction between sensory and conceptual curiosity in the existing literature and the other hand the tendency to require to much of curiosity (that it is directed towards something specific and is aware of some information, knowledge, or the like, that it lacks).

Read more

Alba Montes Sánchez / Personal identity in the age of genomics

After a year and a half of work (not counting maternity leave!), my involvement with the project on The Genomic History of Denmark is slowly drawing to a close. Working in it has been both fun and enormously challenging, since I had to learn a lot about population genomics, ancient DNA research and genetic ancestry testing.

But you may wonder: why is someone from CFS working for such a project? Well, the answer is that one can often hear claims that genetics has something to tell us about our identity, about who we are. In the case of ancient DNA research and genetic ancestry testing, the claim is specifically that it can unlock the mysteries of our ancestry and tell us where we really come from, which is supposed to be a key to who we really are. All such claims spark controversy to a higher or lesser degree, and raise questions about what identity means. My job within this project has been to reflect upon the implications that this research may have, and should or should not have, for personal identity (for identity self-ascription, group-identification and the sense of group belongingness) and group membership.

Read more

Olle Blomberg / Workshop on Shared and Temporally Extended Agency

On April 28-29, CFS will host a two-day workshop on the theme of “Shared and Temporally Extended Agency”. People exercise shared agency when they intentionally do things together. Think about two or more people having a conversation, cooking dinner together, or navigating across the sea in a sailing boat together. These joint actions all consist of many “smaller” actions that are all performed to bring about some common goal (mutual understanding, eating food, safely reaching a destination). Similarly, temporally extended actions consist of many smaller actions that are all organised around a common goal.

Read more

Andrés Alonso Martos / On reading groups and other groups in general. The Brian Epstein’s case.

Last autumn I did a predoctoral research stay at the Center for Subjectivity Research (University of Copenhagen). My main goal was to introduce myself to contemporary issues in the field of collective intentionality and social ontology, and especially in the philosophy of collective and group action. While unfolding this task, the almost daily discussions with Olle Blomberg ‒ who is a post-doctoral fellow working on intentional joint action at CFS ‒ were of decisive importance. Besides doing research with respect to collective agency, I had the opportunity to take part in the activities hosted by the CFS (seminars, lectures, conferences, etc.), the result being one of the most stimulating research experiences I have ever had.

Read more