Donnerstag, 28. Juli 2016, 09:00 - 17:00 iCal

Workshop Existentialist Social Philosophy

28.-29. Juli 2016

IWK Institut für Wissenschaft und Kunst
Berggasse 17, 1090 Wien

Tagung, Konferenz, Kongress, Symposium

Weitere Termine

Freitag, 29. Juli 2016, 09:00 - 17:00

Invited Speakers

Rahel Jaeggi (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Sorin Baiasu (Keele University)

Tatjana Schönwälder-Kuntze (LMU München)


In recent philosophy of mind and action, it is frequently argued that a specific form of self-knowledge plays a crucial role in our understanding of what it means to be a person or an agent. This has always been a core claim of existentialist philosophy. We would like to investigate whether and how this existential notion of non-inferential self-knowledge, first-person authority, pre-reflective self-awareness, immediate self-consciousness can also be prolific in social theory. Such a notion appears to be challenged by the social embeddedness of human agency. Yet, in recent years new approaches have emerged that draw on an existential understanding of self-knowledge as a resource for a critical understanding of alienating social structures and for deepening our understanding of the interconnection between subjectivity and sociality.


A particularly conspicuous case in point is Sartre. In his early works, Sartre developed a powerful notion of pre-reflective self-awareness. Later, he sought to combine this existentialist framework with his commitment to Marxism. Is it plausible to link an existentialist understanding of subjectivity as radical freedom with a Marxist understanding of history and society emphasizing the embeddedness of action and the causal force of social structures? Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason, and other writings from the middle period, can be read as venturous attempt to solve this puzzle. With his persistent focus on individual freedom and the situatedness of human action, Sartre developed a rich phenomenology of human sociality and alienation, as well as a perspective on the place of the political in human existence.


The workshop aims at exploring the systematic tension between existentialism and social theory. Possible topics include (among others): Systematic approaches to the tension between first-person authority and social embeddedness; the interplay of self-knowledge, social roles, and social structures; the status of individual identity in a socially structured world; Sartre’s account of joint action; his understanding of the relation between joint action and social movements; and his view on the relation of individual agency and social structure.

Zur Webseite der Veranstaltung


Hans Bernhard Schmid, Gerhard Thonhauser/ Institut für Philosophie der Universität Wien


Michaela Bartsch
Institut für Philosophie der Uni Wien
DW 46 410