The Interdisciplinary Phenomenology Hub

The Interdisciplinary Phenomenology Hub.

The Interdisciplinary Phenomenology Hub (IPH) at LiU, formed in 2022, intends to provide a home for national and international researchers who use phenomenological tools to understand scientific practice, the constitution and grounding of scientific knowledge, and the role of structures in shaping our perception and experience of ourselves, others and the wider world. Through seminars, talks and symposia, we seek to build and strengthen national and international collaborations within this area.

Phenomenology as a framework

“Phenomenology”, at its broadest, is the name of a philosophical orientation that considers the first person-perspective a necessary starting point for meta-theoretical investigations of various kinds. Although it is sometimes claimed that the whole point of the scientific method in the natural or life sciences is the systematic exclusion of everything subjective, phenomenologists hold that any attempt to understand scientific cognition without paying attention to the subject who does the science will always be incomplete. Further, while the qualitative social sciences are commonly hermeneutically aware and attentive, and acknowledge the role of the subject in knowledge production practices, phenomenological inquiry invites us to ask different questions: In its more classical forms, phenomenology seeks to analyze the most fundamental structures of experience that remain largely invariant across times and cultures. In its more recent, critical manifestations, phenomenology focuses on existential or socio-culturally dominant yet contingent structures that help shape the subject's very ways of perceiving, experiencing, and coming to know the world.

A central goal of a phenomenological philosophy of the natural sciences, medicine and other life sciences is to gain a better understanding of how embodied, socially and historically situated subjects generate knowledge about reality by utilizing tools; tools as diverse as mathematical models, diagnostic manuals, technical or clinical instruments or laboratories. At the same time, phenomenology puts special emphasis on careful descriptions of the phenomena which scientific theories set out to explain in the first place: although it is part and parcel of scientific explanation to posit entities and mechanisms that are far removed from lifeworld experiences, phenomenologists defend that all encounters with reality are fundamentally shaped by a primordial sense of embodiment, affectivity and temporality. Further, phenomenological inquires of lived experience of embodiment – such as pain, illness and health, invisibility and marginalization– have contributed to the understanding of how the singular body, as unique and distinct from other bodies, can form embodied selfhood and the self’s perception and experience of the world. Phenomenological philosophy also champions alternatives to dualistic conceptions of mind vs body and subject vs object, and contributes to on-going ontological discussions that offer radical moves away from common dualistic conceptions which dominate Western philosophy.

Phenomenological philosophy has branched out into several subareas, such as phenomenology of science, phenomenology of medicine, neurophenomenology, feminist, and other critical phenomenology. Despite differences in foci and emphasis, these sub-disciplines share a common focus on how self, objects, others and situations appear in perception and experience. Each of these subareas are central to the IPH hub.

A strong commitment to interdisciplinarity

A key value of this hub is a strong commitment to interdisciplinarity. IPH shares a commitment to the development and exploration of innovative combinations of research methods and welcomes dialogue between, for example, phenomenological philosophy and the neurosciences, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. For example, researchers at IPH engage with combinations of qualitative research and phenomenological philosophy to refine our understanding of structures of experience and modes of being-in-the-world.

IPH also puts emphasis on scientific practice as the starting point of every serious philosophical engagement with the sciences. Traditionally, “mainstream” philosophy of science was characterized by a strong and sometimes exclusively theoretical approach, whereas science and technology studies have highlighted the practical and social layers of scientific inquiry. At IPH, we seek to use phenomenology to engage with the theoretical, practical, social as well as normative dimensions of scientific production of knowledge.

We welcome anyone interested in these topics to join our events!


Inaugural Workshop

The Interdisciplinary Phenomenology Hub (IPH)

When: September 20-21, 2023
Where: Campus Valla, Room KY31/KY35, Key Building


9.00-9.15 Welcome! Introduction to the IPH and the Phenomenology of Science, Medicine and Health. Harald Wiltsche and Kristin Zeiler (Linköping University)

9.15-10.15 Presentation 1: Marjolein de Boer (Tilburg University). Sensitizing gender-sensitive medicine through empirical philosophical phenomenology
10.20-11.20 Presentation 2: Māra Grīnfelde (University of Latvia). Embodied Aspects of Disease Prevention: A Case of Vaccine Hesitancy

11.20-13.00 Lunch

13.00-14.00 Presentation 3: Ken Archer (Twitch/Amazon): The Constitution of AI Language Models 
14.00-15.00 Presentation 4: Eleanor Byrne (Linköping University). Narrative Deference.

15.00-15.30 Coffee break

15.30-16.30 Presentation 5: Rebecca Böhme (Linköping University). Experiencing the Self through Touch

Dinner in town


8.30-9.30  Presentation 6: Felipe León (Linköping University). Intersubjectivity, sociality, institution: Perspectives from Merleau-Ponty
9.30-10.30 Presentation 7: Sarah Bloem (Linköping University). Critical phenomenology and the normative body − a turn to disability and neurodiversity

10.30-11 Coffee

11.00-12.00 Presentation 8: Richard Levi (Linköping University and Region Östergötland). What can a clinical neuroscientist hope to get from phenomenology beyond descriptive psychology? A sincere question from a perplexed neurologist
12.00-13.00 Presentation 9: Philipp Berghofer (University of Graz). From Phenomenology to Physics: Agent-Based Approaches to Quantum Mechanics



The idea of the workshop is to bring together everyone interested in the newly founded Interdisciplinary Phenomenology Hub (IPH), at Linköping University and beyond. Most welcome to the workshop! Further, on September 20, everyone is most welcome to join for dinner in town (at one’s own expense). 

Register by sending an email to or

Everyone is welcome!

Call for papers, Workshop: The Role of Qualitative Research in Philosophy, Linköping, 6-8 Dec 2023

Submissions: 300-word abstract (excl. references) + 120-word bio sent to Harald Wiltsche in an email titles “Submission The Role of Qualitative Research in Philosophy”.
Submission deadline: Wednesday 23 August 2023, 23:55 CEST (GMT+2).
Decision communication: 8 September, 2023


Over the last few decades, philosophers have become increasingly interested in incorporating empirical data into their philosophical work. They not only draw on the results of existing empirical studies, but also conduct their own empirical research—either on their own or in interdisciplinary collaborations. We see this, for instance, in philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of medicine, political philosophy, and environmental philosophy, among many other fields.

Today, the most prominent approach to this is experimental philosophy, or X-Phi, which typically draws on classical quantitative methods. This workshop, in contrast, considers the relationship between qualitative research methods and philosophy. While there is a growing literature on philosophical contributions to qualitative research (e.g., how philosophical concepts and methods can help to analyse interview data in psychology), philosophers have said comparatively little about the value that qualitative studies have for their own philosophical thinking.

Fields like X-Phi have benefited immensely from self-reflective discussions about the integration of quantitative empirical material into philosophy. This workshop provides the opportunity to develop these kinds of self-reflective discussions about the use of qualitative material: How can qualitative studies productively inform or contribute to philosophical discourse and debate?

Contributions will consider topics and questions such as:

  • What kinds of qualitative material are philosophically relevant, and for which kinds of philosophical discussions and debates?
  • Does the use of qualitative methods require a certain philosophical framework—such as phenomenology or historical epistemology—or can qualitative methods be fruitful in all kinds of philosophical inquiry?
  • Can the findings of qualitative studies directly support or undermine philosophical claims? If so, how?
  • What sort of engagement with qualitative work is fruitful for philosophy? And do different ways of engaging qualitative work make different kinds of contributions to philosophy?
  • Does philosophical incorporation of qualitative research amount to epistemic boundary transgression? And, if so, what are the implications for standards of philosophical rigor?
  • What kinds of obstacles hinder the potential influence and use of qualitative research in philosophy?


Confirmed speakers

Lanei Rodemeyer (Duqesne University), Michael T. Stuart (National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University), Nora Hangel (Leibniz University Hannover), Lisa Guenther (Queen’s University at Kingston)


Anthony Fernandez (University of Southern Denmark), Helene Scott-Fordsmand (University of Cambridge), Harald Wiltsche (Linköping University) and Kristin Zeiler (Linköping University)

The event will be held at Vadstena Klosterhotell with support from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. Speakers will be expected to cover their travel expenses, but the cost of lodging will be covered. Most welcome with your abstract!