International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Journal | Volume


Familiarity and togetherness

Volume 10 (1)

edited bySonia Maria LiscoLinas TranasSimone Aurora(University of Padova)


The times of Covid lockdown and a further step in moving our social world online provide a great opportunity to think about and discuss the relationship between the senses of togetherness and familiarity. The sense of togetherness is a sense that it is us, we who live, act, or feel, as opposed to living, acting, or feeling personally, on one’s own. Phenomena of being, acting, and feeling together with others have attracted both early and contemporary phenomenologists (e.g., Scheler, Walther, Gurwitsch, Heidegger, Schütz, Zahavi, Szanto) and analytic philosophers (e.g., Searle, Bratman, Gilbert, Tuomela, Salmela). The sense of familiarity is a sense of having experienced something before, strictly connected to the fuency of a particular process and sometimes associated with a positive feeling of “warmth”. It has been the object of interest in phenomenology (Husserl, Schütz, Steinbock, Ratclife), analytic philosophy of perception (Wittgenstein, Baz), philosophical anthropology (Plessner) and contemporary investigations in psychology, sociology, and epistemology (Whittlesea & Williams, Fuchs, Teroni, Luhmann, Meylan).

Deadline: Thursday 30 September 2021

On the one hand, these concepts seem to be closely connected. Imagine meeting an old friend who now looks and acts in new, unfamiliar ways. Or, think of a member of a highly coordinated crew who starts to perform her tasks in a novel and unexpected ways. It seems that such disruptions of familiarity would disrupt the (sense of) togetherness, since familiarity has often been observed as referred to habituality or as linked to specifc cultural traits of a community (Berger & Luckmann). On the other hand, togetherness and familiarity cannot be synonymous. Imagine, for instance, lifelong enemies who are familiar with one another in detail or long-term partners who do not feel connected anymore. Surprisingly, there is no systematic discussion of the relationship between the sense of familiarity and togetherness in contemporary debates in phenomenology and, more broadly, in philosophy. The goal of this issue is therefore to clarify these concepts and shed new light on their interconnections. Contributions from a broad range of perspectives such as phenomenology, philosophy of mind and social psychology, are welcome.

Suggested topics for the contributions include, but are not restricted to, the following:

• Conceptual clarifcation of the senses of togetherness and familiarity: Are they afective or cognitive experiences/acts? What are their intentional structures? Are familiarity and togetherness shared as other kinds of experiences?

• Familiarity as a precondition for togetherness

• Familiarity as an effect of togetherness and vice versa

• The role of the sense of familiarity in intra-group and inter-group dynamics

• Familiarity and togetherness in (disembodied) online interactions

• Ethical and political implications of familiarity

• Familiarity, togetherness, and the Covid pandemic


Confrmed contributors:

• Jérome Dokic (EHESS Paris)

• Mikko Salmela (Helsinki/Copenhagen)

• Erik Dzwiza (a.r.t.e.s. Cologne)

• Francesca Ervas (Cagliari)

• Lucy Osler (Copenhagen)


Please submit your paper via the journal website, selecting “Guidelines” and “submit article” from the dropdown menu:

Submitted papers (in English, German, French, Spanish or Italian) must follow the basic principles of Metodo and follow the Author Guidelines. The editorial board highly suggests all authors writing in a non-native language to have their texts proofread before submission. All contributions will undergo anonymous peer-review by two referees.

The fnal deadline for submissions will be September 30, 2021.