Phenomenology of Sociality: Discovering the ‘We’, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Phenomenology of Sociality

Discovering the ‘We’, 1st Edition

Edited by Thomas Szanto, Dermot Moran


338 pages

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Phenomenological accounts of sociality in Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Scheler, Schütz, Stein and many others offer powerful lines of arguments to recast current, predominantly analytic, discussions on collective intentionality and social cognition. Against this background, the aim of this volume is to reevaluate, critically and in contemporary terms, the rich phenomenological resources regarding social reality: the interpersonal, collective and communal aspects of the life-world (Lebenswelt). Specifically, the book pursues three interrelated objectives: it aims 1.) to systematically explore the key phenomenological aspects of social reality; 2.) to offer novel, state-of-the-art assessments of both central and lesser-known proponents of the phenomenology of sociality (Gurwitsch, Löwith, von Hildebrand, or Walther), and 3.) to contextualize this elaborate body of work in light of contemporary social cognition research, the growing literature in analytic social ontology, and current trends in moral psychology, moral phenomenology, and social and political philosophy. The collection brings together original articles by a host of prominent scholars and upcoming young talents to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date treatment of the topic. It will be essential reading for those studying phenomenological accounts of intersubjectivity, empathy, and community, including analytic, social, moral and political philosophers, and will also be of interest for social scientists and social psychologists.


"This volume is thus a rather adventurous and truly inspiring journey through a wide variety of topics and views, with just enough salient landmarks … never to lose one's orientation along the many ways."Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"(…) PoS is a rich work that has the potential to enliven existing debates and generate new ones concerning the nature of social cognition, empathy, shared affects, group formation, etc." – Journal of Social Ontology

"Phenomenology of Sociality is an excellent resource for graduate students and professional academics interested in learning more about phenomenology’s engagement with the social and how phenomenology can make a positive contribution to current debates in social ontology, social cognition, collective intentionality, and philosophy of the emotions." – Timothy A. Burns in Husserl Studies

"Szanto’s and Moran’s volume is a veritable treasure trove that amply documents the fertility and richness of the phenomenological tradition. Containing contributions on both familiar and lesser well known phenomenologists, Phenomenology of Sociality is mandatory reading for anybody working on sociality and collective intentionality." Dan Zahavi, Professor of Philosophy, University of Copenhagen

"This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the phenomenological foundations of the social mind and our experience of living together in a common world of the ‘We’. It brings together eminent scholars and talented young researchers to evaluate the relevance of a phenomenological theory of sociality in contemporary philosophical and interdisciplinary discussions, thereby revitalizing lesser-known voices from the tradition as well as exploring new directions of phenomenological research." – Thiemo Breyer, University of Cologne

"A groundbreaking collection of fresh insights into the nature of the social self." – James Mensch, Charles University, Prague

Table of Contents

Phenomenological Discoveries Concerning the ‘We’: Mapping the Terrain Thomas Szanto, Dermot Moran Part I: Historical and Methodological Issues 1. Locating Shared Life in the ‘Thou’: Some Historical and Thematic Considerations James Risser 2.Hannah Arendt’s Conception of Actualized Plurality Sophie Loidolt 3. Habermas and Social Phenomenology: From Verstehen to Lebenswelt Richard Wolin 4. Second-Person Phenomenology Steven Crowell Part II: Intersubjectivity, the ‘We-World,’ and Objectivity 5. Concrete Interpersonal Encounters or Sharing a Common World: Which is More Fundamental in Phenomenological Approaches to Sociality? Jo-Jo Koo6. Ineinandersein and l’interlacs: The Constitution of the Social World or ‘We-World’ (Wir-Welt) Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty Dermot Moran 7. Davidson and Husserl on the Social Origin of Our Concept of Objectivity Cathal O’Madagain Part III: Social Cognition, Embodiment, and Social Emotions 8. From Types to Tokens: Empathy and Typification Joona Taipale 9. An Interactionist Approach to Shared Cognition: Some Prospects and Challenges Felipe Léon 10. "If I had to live like you, I think I’d kill myself": Social Dimensions of the Experience of Illness Havi Carel 11. Shame as Fellow Feeling Christian Skirke 12. Relating to the Dead: Social Cognition and the Phenomenology of Grief Matthew Ratcliffe Part IV: Collective Intentionality and Affectivity 13. Affective Intentionality: Early Phenomenological Contributions to a New Phenomenological Sociology Íngrid Vendrell Ferran 14. Love and Other Social Stances in Early Phenomenology Alessandro Salice 15. Gurwitsch and the Role of Emotion in Collective Intentionality Eric Chelstrom 16. The Affective ‘We’: Self-regulation and Shared Emotions Joel Krueger Part V: Collective Agency and Group Personhood 17. Husserl on Groupings: Social Ontology and Phenomenology of We-Intentionality Emanuele Caminada 18. Collectivizing Persons and Personifying Collectives: Reassessing Scheler on Group Personhood Thomas Szanto 19. Brothers in Arms: Fraternity-Terror in Sartre’s Social Ontology Nicolas de Warren

About the Editors

Thomas Szanto is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Subjectivity Research (CFS), at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Dermot Moran is Professor of Philosophy at University College Dublin, Ireland and Sir Walter Murdoch Adjunct Professor in the Humanitires, Murdoch University, Australia.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Phenomenology

Routledge Research in Phenomenology 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.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Movements / Phenomenology