VENICE, JULY 12-15, 2016

Phenomenology and History

It has been a long time since one could legitimately ask the question of how an apparently a-historical philosophical discipline, such as phenomenology, the eidetic science of transcendental consciousness, could entertain a vital relation with the reflection on the factual and mundane dimension of history and, at a more fundamental level, with the notion of historicity. A vast number of Husserl’s writings published over the last decades, and revolving around themes such as the different levels of communal life, the distinction between “nature” and “spirit” and the methodological status of the corresponding sciences, the genetic dimension of constitution, and, finally, the rootedness of all sciences the life-word have made it impossible to see a principled opposition between the systematic recourse to the eidetic method on the one hand, and the recognition of the centrality of the historical dimension, on the other. At the same time, number of original post-war theoretical developments (chiefly those of Heidegger, Sartre, Patočka, Arendt, and Gadamer) have stressed the connection between phenomenology and historicity even more markedly. It has now appeared that, in virtue of the way in which it cuts across the most significant philosophical issues explored by the tradition loosely called “phenomenological” (the nature of rationality, the “history of being”, the role of philosophy in Western culture, the philosopher’s self-understanding as moment of a historical development, etc.), the theme of history is perhaps the most appropriate for a critical confrontation of the different authors belonging to it, as well as for an assessment of the relation between phenomenology and the other most important currents of contemporary philosophy.
The seminars of the School will address different aspects of this broad theme. No previous background in phenomenology is required. On the final day of the seminar, advanced students will be encouraged to give a personal contribution to the School’s activities.

Applicants should send a CV and a sample of writing (optional) to


The number of attendants being limited, a selection will take place.

Deadline for submission: May 10, 2016

Notification of acceptance: May 12, 2016

PARTICIPATION FEE: 100 euro (50 euro for Ca’ Foscari students and previous attendants)

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