HFIA03801U Module 10: Freely Chosen Topic in Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind:We-intentionality and shared experiences

Volume 2014/2015
Master in Philosophy

We-intentionality and shared experiences

In philosophy of mind, “intentionality” refers to the fact that consciousness is directed at or about objects or states of affairs. In addition to cases such as “seeing a rose,” “thinking about Venice” or “imagining a pixie”, people can also be directed at objects and states of affairs together. We can “plan a vacation”, “enjoy a movie” or “protest against the budget cuts” together.

Whenever we do things together, whenever we jointly attend to something, or share an emotion, we can be said to engage in shared intentionality. But what exactly is shared intentionality?

In the last twenty or thirty years, this question has started to attract a steadily growing attention, mainly within analytic philosophy of action. However, the recent debate has by and large neglected the fact that very similar investigations were conducted by phenomenologists such as Gurwitsch, Husserl, Reinach, Scheler, Schutz, Stein, and Walther during the first half of the last century. Thus, phenomenology offers not only sophisticated analyses of consciousness, subjectivity and intentionality, but also elaborate investigations of how individuals are experientially interrelated and the suggestion that shared intentionality might be based on interpersonal understanding and reciprocal recognition.

The main purpose of this course is to analyze and discuss phenomenological contributions to the understanding of we-intentionality and the sharing of experiences. Various central texts by the figures listed above will be compared and contrasted to more recent discussions in analytic philosophy in order to assess whether and how phenomenological insights can elucidate the nature of shared intentionality and the status of the we.

The course is a module in the specialization Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind, but students not enrolled in that specialization are also very welcome.


The course will be taught by Dan Zahavi and Alessandro Salice.

Learning Outcome

Master´s level in Philosophy - The 2014 Curriculum:

Module 10: Freely Chosen Topic in Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind: HFIK03801E


Master´s programme in Philosophy - The 2008 Curriculum:

Module 2: Freely chosen topic A: HFIK03521E

Module 4: Freely chosen topic B: HFIK03541E

Module 5: Freely chosen topic C: HFIK03551E

Module 6: Freely chosen topic D: HFIK03561E

Module 7: Freely chosen topic E: HFIK03571E

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 367,5
  • Total
  • 409,5
Type of assessment
The exam will be conducted in English
Criteria for exam assesment