Friday, May 08, 2009

"Phenomenology, Social Sciences and the Arts," University of Konstanz, May 14-16, 2009.

The international and interdisciplinary conference “Phenomenology, Social Sciences, and the Arts” focuses on the specific interrelationship of a philosophical, epistemological position and a particular social scientific perspective with distinct analytical potential to investigate art phenomena. While the phenomenological perspective allows reflection on the subjective point of view of artists and interpreters, the social science perspective reconstructs the sociohistoric preconditions of the triad artist and interpreter, and the objectified work of art. The theory of the life-world developed in the interface of phenomenology and social sciences, allows an interpretation of diverse reality spheres involved in the work of art, thus describing the symbolically established meaning structure which is responsible for the function of the art work as such. The most significant social scientist and philosopher dedicated to the analysis of interrelations between phenomenology, and social science, was Alfred Schutz. As part of his work, he used phenomenology to describe the epistemological foundations of social science, in particular Max Weber’s concept of social action, which was declared the nucleus of social science. Furthermore, Schutz developed a theory of the life-world concept, as well as a theory of sign and symbol which especially serve the interpretation of art phenomena; in relation to this, Schutz’s work on literature and music in particular, became most crucial. Especially well-known among researchers in phenomenology and social science, are his analyses of multiple reality spheres within Don Quixote, as well as his interpretation of Mozart’s operas. This conference will commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Alfred Schutz’s death. The thesis supported within the theoretical framework of the symposium, claims that the analysis of production, as well as the perception and interpretation of art work, needs to take into consideration the subjective viewpoint of the artist, in addition to that of the interpreter. Phenomenology allows a description of the subjectively centered life-world of the individual actor – artist or interpreter – while the perspective of social science, serves to reconstruct the socio-historical structure involved in the creation and reception of the art work. This specific theoretical focus which combines both the disciplines phenomenology and social science offers an innovative framework for the analysis of art phenomena, and allows the conference participants a creative interpretation of a variety of distinct art forms and works, in addition to the realization of theoretical reflections on the interdependence of arts, phenomenology and social science. Visit the conference homepage here:

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