Call for Papers




Lisbon and São Paulo

Sciendo – Walter de Gruyter


Call for papers: Spring 2023, No. 35

Special issue: Phenomenology and The Social World


            The inescapably social character of mundane experience had already been noted by Husserl in the very elaboration of phenomenological questioning. In § 27 of Ide­as I (1913), when presenting natural experience, which would be methodically bracket­ed, Husserl recognized that we perceive the world as endowed with values and goods. In short, the world is immediately experienced as a humanized world, endowed with at­tributes that refer to the interests and purposes of people and communities.

            It is well known that Husserl proposes a modification of natural experience to reveal the subjective sources of the constitution of all sense formations that are opera­tive there. But can these subjective sources clarify the social meaning of experience? Is it not necessary to admit that intersubjective experiences are themselves constituents of forms of experience that are not reducible to the operations of the transcendentally puri­fied ego cogito? It is also worth noting that over the decades Husserl sketched very fine analyses of the distinctly social components of experience and established the founda­tions of an "ontology of the common spirit". These analyses are spread over several volumes of the Husserliana collection (for example, volumes XIII, XIV, XV, XXXIX) and deal with themes such as communicative relations, collective action, and higher-order personalities. It is then worth asking: how can the results of these inquiries har­monize with the constitutive analyses centered on transcendental subjectivity?

            The internal tensions in the very concepts developed by Husserl fueled different approaches by the subsequent members of the phenomenological tradition. To mention just a few, well-known authors: Schutz, starting from Max Weber's sociology, devel­oped a sociological method that inherits central aspects of phenomenological analyses of intentional capacities; Heidegger explained the opening to otherness as an ontological constituent of Dasein; Merleau-Ponty deepened the studies of forms of intersubjectivity to the level of intercorporality. Before them, Adolf Reinach and Edith Stein or Gerda Walther had made significant contributions to the phenomenology of the social world; and we should not forget the contributions, in the specific area of the theory of norms, of Kelsen-inspired phenomenologists such as Felix Kaufmann and Fritz Schreier – or even Edmund Husserl's own son, Gerhart Husserl. In addition to these classical ap­proaches, in recent years important publications on phenomenological approaches to the social world have been launched. The terrain is fertile for new explorations, and this issue of Phainomenon aims to contribute to the deepening of discussions around this subject.

Suggested topics:

  • Aspects still little discussed in the works of classical authors of phenomenology that deal with the social world.
  • New approaches to social phenomena treated by classical authors, establishing an in­tergenerational dialogue within the phenomenological tradition.
  • Phenomenological theories of communication, normativity, collective intentionality or the constitution of higher-order objectivities.
  • Productive dialogues with other traditions, particularly John Searle's ontology of the social world.
  • Contemporary social phenomena as a starting point for new phenomenological ques­tions.


  1. Articles shall be submitted at our working website:

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  1. Deadline for submissions: the 30th of November 2022