Rocío Garcés / The paradox of (self-)reflection and alterity

cfs-blog-rIt is a commonplace in the philosophical literature of the XX century to consider that the phenomenological method of reflection is a kind of internalism or introspection. This is so partially due to the fact that reflection is the process whereby consciousness directs its intentional aim at itself, thereby taking itself as its own object. In this regard, reflection appears to be a higher-order act that reifies a state into a sort of mental item. Or to phrase it differently: reflection — as King Midas’ golden touch — turns all that which it reflects upon into an object, and thus subjectivity into a form of self-objectification. As a consequence, reflection paradoxically leads to an infinite regress.

However things are not as simple as they seem at first glance: neither the phenomenological method of transcendental reflection is a sort of psychological introspection, nor the self-objectification is its major problem. What is really at stake here is the very possibility of phenomenology according to Husserl’s principle of principles. As is well known, this principle stated that phenomenology is supposed to base its considerations on that which is given intuitively in the phenomenological reflection. The crucial question is therefore whether intuition and reflection manage to apprehend the self-manifestation of subjectivity as such.

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Felipe León / Forthcoming book


I will soon publish a book in Spanish entitled “Dación y reflexión. Una investigación fenomenológica” (Giveness and reflection. A phenomenological investigation). The book engages with the idea that there is dichotomy between a reflective and a hermeneutical understanding of phenomenology, the former founded and represented by Husserl and the latter by the young Heidegger.

The view that these two ways of understanding phenomenology are incompatible has been considerably influential for many years. It was suggested by Heidegger in several places of his early work, and has been elegantly articulated by Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann in his book Hermeneutik und Reflexion. Der Begriff der Phänomenologie bei Heidegger und Husserl (translated into English in 2013). Heidegger’s and von Herrman’s incompatibilist position has not remained unchallenged, though.  Steven Crowell, Dan Zahavi and Wenjing Cai, among others, have argued against it.

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Yang Li / The Other Within Ourselves?

yang-liEven before the publication of his Logical Investigations, Husserl had begun to analyze intentional consciousness as a matter-form complex: Perceptual intentionality, for instance, comes about when immanent non-intentional sensations are animated by an intentional apprehension.

Some praised this ‘matter-form model’ as a ‘Copernican revolution’ in the theory of perception, since natural attitude tend to take the external object as the cause of our sensations, whereas phenomenology takes the immanent sensations as a constitutive presupposition for a perceptual object. Like a stuffed dumpling, sensations ‘coated’ with meaning becomes the unperceivable ‘hard-core’ of what is perceived.

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The Philosophy and Psychopathology of the We


On December 1-2, the Center for Subjectivity Research organizes a conference to mark the culmination of its research project The disrupted “we”: Shared intentionality and its psychopathological distortions.

To what extent does we-intentionality and we-identity presuppose self-consciousness, second-person engagement and empathy? The aim of the conference is to explore these questions and elucidate the nature of the we, through a focused study of its psychopathological disruptions.

Speakers include Thomas Fuchs, Vittorio Gallese, Josef Parnas, and Louis Sass.

The conference is free and open to all. No registration is needed.

For the full program please visit:

Simon Gusman / Different Dimensions of Selfhood

clinic3bNot many people would deny that they experience a sense of selfhood: that they are who they are, that they are the thinker of their thoughts, the subject of their experiences, the agent of their actions. That they are the body that they move and that they are the one who is speaking the words that come out of their mouth.

Apart from this subjective sense of selfhood, we also have what we can call an objective sense of selfhood. This is how we describe ourselves when someone would ask us who we are. We say our name, where we are from and depending on the context others things about our lives. We ascribe qualities to ourselves as if it were an object. This apple is green, this person is born in The Netherlands. We view ourselves as if it were through the eyes of someone else, and how we describe ourselves in this objective way does not differ from how we would describe other people.

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