“On the life of Time. Temporality, affection, meaning. Phenomenological perspectives”

Universidad de Sevilla, September 15-17, 2021.
(Hybrid virtual/in-person event)

Nowadays, time and our temporality have become an urgent problem. The cultural and civilizational transformations that we have been experiencing in the last decades give rise to different reorientations and mutations in the lived experience of time that is ─sometimes inextricably─ interwoven with “liquid” metamorphoses of subjectivity and intersubjectivity. These transformations take place outside the traditional course of a stable identity. While this might produce both critical and creative effects, it also has adisastrous existential impact.

Moreover, for more than a year now our globalized world has been experiencing a profound impact our time experience; the insidious and cruel Covid-19 pandemic has gone beyond massive physical displacements, economical bonds and virtual networks, and allowed us to understand leibhaftig, in person, the meaning of “event”, the density of time, the sense of experiences such as everydayness in its lack of transcendence, boredom, tediousness… and of affects and feelings such as fear, anguish or anxiety

Contemporary subjectivity and intersubjectivity are exhibiting an increasing sensitivity to the fact that we are running out of time. Strangely, at the confluence of time-and-world, we are suddenly concerned with the lack of time in a life-world, which is as saturated as our "agendas". We no longer know what the well-known proverb Time is money means. The fragility and scarcity of time, as well as the general acceleration, result in a growing banalization of our experience of time, which is manifested, for example, in an increasing loss of interiority. Along with our absent-minded and buffeted circumstance in the world, the banalization of time ends up permeating our experience as a whole, in its affective and meaningful dimensions. Is this full time truly a fulfilled time or rather is it disclosed as an empty time?

As far as our relationship with the past and the future is concerned, we have never had more and better "means" to protect the former from oblivion and the latter from unpredictability. And yet, oblivion and the unexpected both move forward and leave subjectivity "suspended" in an unstable and inconsistent present, besieged by "novelties" that turn the future superficial ─if not directly uncertain and menacing─. In so doing, both past and present become irrelevant. Today, we usually live the time as a saturated, without interiority, in suspense, and inconsistent phenomenon.

After a one-year postponement due to the general suspension of on-site meetings as a health protection measure against Covid-19, the XIII Congress of the Spanish Society of Phenomenology (SEFE) asks these and many other questions in order to understand how these mutations in our experience of temporality affect our experience of subjectivity and, conversely, how self-understanding and the lived experience of subjectivity have influence on the lived experience of time.

Beyond the aforementioned contemporary circumstances, what is important resists along with what is urgent. The life of time itself remains fascinating, in the richness and depth of its structures, expressions, implications, repercussions.

Temporality is a crucial issue for philosophy in general, and for phenomenology in particular, not only due to its interrelation with subjectivity and intersubjectivity, but also because of its overlapping with the problem of the Other, the Body, the History, Generativity, Space and the Lifeworld.

The investigations of Henri Bergson and his contemporary, Edmund Husserl, were decisive in the philosophy of the twentieth century for a phenomenological study of time as an experience of durée (duration). Martin Heidegger published in 1928, a year after “Being and Time” (a masterpiece and a milestone for this issue), Husserl's lessons on the internal time-consciousness. Many other phenomenologies have worked intensely with time: Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Beauvoir, Lévinas, Ricoeur... However important it might be, the task of further thinking about the intrahistory, "academic" so to say, of phenomenology, in this Congress ─and from different phenomenological perspectives─ we would rather like to address the "thing itself" of experience. Not only is it the issue of the lived time, but, more daringly, the issue of what we call here "the life of time", as if time itself could live, and not only be-lived. In this way, the time would reach a decisive role, very difficult to think, for a passionate phenomenology in the link between consciousness and existence.

The proposal of this Congress thus covers a wide range of issues, from the update of the phenomenological research about the lived time to the specific problems that allow phenomenology to advance in the field of an applied phenomenology around our temporality within the life-world, intertwined with our affective, axiological life, and from multiple horizons of meaning.

Therefore, the objectives of the XIII International Congress of the Spanish Society of Phenomenology are:

1. To give an account of the current state of research on the phenomenology of lived time.
2. To think thoroughly about the link between temporality, emotional life, and horizon of meaning.
3. To diagnose the crisis of our temporality according to the epochal horizon in which we live.
4. To propose new styles of thought about the possibility of think over the articulation between life experience and temporality.
5. To exchange ideas, concerns and philosophical motivations stemming from the phenomenological horizon.

According to them, the following lines of Congress are established:

1. Time and consciousness, time and existence. Fundamental Phenomenology.
2. Time and genetic phenomenology. The pre-given to the time.
3. Temporary ecstasy: Present, Past and Future.
4. Temporality, affection and meaning in the life-world.
5. Temporality, ways of feeling, living, desiring and lifestyles.
6. Time, everyday life, crisis.
7. Lived time, space and body vs. Objective time, space and body.
8. Temporality, historicity, narration.
9. Phenomenology of time, literature, art and technology.

Suggested list of possible topics for submissions:

- Chronos and Kairos.
- The duration, the instant, the now, the present.
- Tempus fugit. The ephemeral.
- Time and attention. Focus and dispersion.
- Our relationship with the past. Memory, forgetfulness, nostalgia, memory loss. Memory and life. Memory without memories. Historical memory. Crisis of memory and dictatorship of the Novelty.
- The opening to the future. Time and project. The foresight and the unforeseen (unexpected).
- The slowness, the rush. Time and delay, time and acceleration. "Slow" and "Fast".
- Time and Event.
- The lost time, the recovered time.
- The time horizon of boredom. Tedium.
- Time, repetition, cycle. Routine, habit, addiction.
- Time to be born, time to die. Temporality, finitude.
- Lived time and ages of life.
- Time and mineness.
- Time and intersubjectivity. Shared time. Dynamics of the intergenerationality: contemporaries, predecessors and successors.
- Virtue and time
- Temporality and emotional-moral life (guilt, forgiveness, revenge, promise)
- Desperation, hope.
- Psychopathologies of the time experience.
- Temporality and contemporary social forms of appropriation and alienation of time. Occupation, Work, Leisure.