Guest Seminar: 'Group identification, we-intentionality and empathy: Lessons from Phenomenology' – University of Copenhagen

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Guest Seminar: 'Group identification, we-intentionality and empathy: Lessons from Phenomenology'

with Professor Dan Zahavi, Director of the Center for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen 

Notions of group formation and identification are implied in thinking about conflict and peace in various ways. We talk about conflicts between groups and think of conflict intensification in terms of stronger group adherence and marked processes of ’othering’ people into enemy categories. Similarly, peacebuilding is thought of making existing groups more tolerant and encompassing of each other. In other words, the notion of group is fundamental independent of which particular theoretical school individual researchers adhere to. There is therefore good reasons to reflect upon and re-examining our notions of group processes. To facilitate this exercise we have invited philosopher Dan Zahavi to present crucial phenomenological insights into the subjects of group identification, we-intentionality and empathy. How can these insights inform extant theories of the role of group formation and intentionality in conflict? And how can existing theories with conflict and peace research inform and interact with the basic phenomenological reasoning on these issues? These question and the question of possible practical implications of phenomenological theory we will address after Dan Zahavi’s 45 minutes presentation. In sum, attending this seminar you get a great opportunity of sharpening your theoretical vocabulary in light of insights drawn from modern phenomenology and contemporary cognitive sciences.

To sign up, please send an email to CRIC at jacob.jensen@cric.ku.dk.

Deadline for registration: Friday 4th March

The background text 'You, Me, and We - The Sharing of Emotional Experiences' will be distributed on request

Dan Zahavi is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen. In his systematic work, Zahavi has mainly been investigating the nature of selfhood, self-consciousness, intersubjectivity, and social cognition. He is currently working and publishing on issues related to we-intentionality and group-identification. He is author and editor of more than 20 volumes including Subjectivity and Selfhood (MIT Press 2005), The Phenomenological Mind together with S. Gallagher (Routledge 2008), and most recently Self and Other (OUP 2014). He is co-editor in chief of the journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.