Call for Papers: Motivation and Time in Phenomenology

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CfP for a new published volume co-edited by Christos Hadjioannou, Peter Antich, and Nikos Soueltzis. Abstracts due 19 March 2023.

The editors invite papers that explore the relation between Motivation and Time in phenomenological philosophy, which will be published in a volume co-edited by Christos Hadjioannou (University of Cyprus & Sofia University), Peter Antich (Dominican University, New York) and Nikos Soueltzis (University of Patras).

Confirmed contributors include: Lilian Alweiss (Trinity College Dublin), Daniel Dahlstrom (Boston University), Susi Ferrarello (Cal State East Bay), Thomas Fuchs (University of Heidelberg), Shaun Gallagher (University of Memphis), and Sara Heinämaa (University of Helsinki).

The volume aims to investigate the various ways in which these two fundamental aspects of our experiential life intersect, sustain, or depend on each other and, conversely, the thematic and methodological limitations that should be considered in any such attempt.

Motivation has famously been a pivotal theme in phenomenological philosophy since its beginning. In his Ideas 2, Edmund Husserl looks to it as the lawfulness regulating the relations between different moments of the intentional structure of appearing without resorting to natural causality. In this context, he distinguishes between various kinds of motivation, such as motivations of reason, associative motivations, motivations between valuations, and motivations that relate different moments, e.g., affects motivating judgments. While Martin Heidegger does not employ the term Motivation in Being and Time or in the rest of his middle and later work, it is an important notion in his early Freiburg lecture courses. Ιn the Winter semester lecture of 1919/20 entitled Basic Problems of Phenomenology, Heidegger grasps the structural origin of spiritual life in terms of enactment and Motivation, and identifies the very motivating ground of phenomenology (“originary science”) with ēros. Alexander Pfänder offers a detailed analysis of motivation as a ground of willing, distinct from, e.g., causation, stimuli, sources of striving, and drives. In Phenomenology of Perception, Maurice Merleau-Ponty also appeals to motivation to describe the way, differing from both reason and causality, in which perceptual phenomena trigger one another. And Edith Stein, in her 1922 text Philosophy of Psychology and the Humanities (original: Beiträge zur philosophischen Begründung der Psychologie und der Geisteswissenschaften), offers a broad account of motivation, embracing both Husserl’s theoretical and Pfänder’s practical conception and tracing additional essential features. Thus, its unique way of regulating subjective life and its peculiar experiential quality was noticed early on by many phenomenologists, despite their disagreement as to what is encompassed by its lawfulness.

On the other hand, among the most intriguing and influential contributions of phenomenological philosophy are the original and groundbreaking analyses of time, the most prominent texts being Husserl’s On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time and Heidegger’s Being and Time. The former offers a thorough analysis of the constitution of time-consciousness and its various levels as well as descriptions of different phenomena related to it, such as memory (as recollection and as retention), anticipation (as expectation and as protention), self-awareness, perception of temporal objects and others. The latter offers an ontological interpretation that grounds the meaning of Being in the understanding of time, identifying temporality as the a priori transcendental condition for care, and distinguishing between the mundane conception of time and a more originary conception of time.

Thus, motivation and time have separately received considerable attention in the history of phenomenology. However, even in the work of such prominent figures surprisingly little has been said about motivation’s (involvement with) temporality. Does motivation exhibit a peculiar experiential character? And if it does, does it already involve our awareness of time? Or, conversely, does our awareness of time already involve motivation? What kind of experiences embody this intertwinement? And if there is indeed such a connection, do all kinds of motivation relate to time in the same way?

The goal will be to clarify this relation in historical as well as in systematic terms.

The editors welcome submissions that address related issues drawing from the broader phenomenological tradition. This includes (indicatively) the work of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Alexander Pfänder, Edith Stein, Eugen Fink, Ludwig Landgrebe, Roman Ingarden, Max Scheler, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jan Patočka, Karl Jaspers, Hannah Arendt, Paul Ricoeur, Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Henry, and Jacques Derrida.

Please submit an abstract of 500 words (max.) by March 19th, 2023, to [email protected].

Accepted contributors will have a chance to present a first draft of their paper in a blended conference that will take place online and at the University of Cyprus, at a time that will be announced at a later stage.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, explorations of the relation between Motivation and Time in the context of:

  • Time
  • Emotions
  • Affectivity
  • Self-awareness
  • Embodiment
  • Instincts
  • Action
  • Values
  • Imagination
  • Judgment
  • Narrativity
  • Attention
  • Meaning