ISBN n/a


On Generativity

Vol. 13 (2)

Edited by

Vanessa Ossino, Federico Fantelli, Damian Nussbaumer

Official Call for Paper:

Deadline: Wednesday 30th April 2025

Throughout the history of phenomenology, several attempts have been made to reach beyond the limits of an egological-transcendental philosophy, while not completely abandoning the realm and dynamics of transcendental subjectivity. A crucial approach that positions the social and historical situation of an experiencing subject at the center of its research is generative phenomenology. One can summarize the central intuition of generative phenomenology with Eugen Fink’s claim that every philosophy necessarily starts from the “fact of the situation” which concerns the factuality of an “inheritance of the history of thought”. Or as Anthony Steinbock puts it, the notion of generative phenomenology denotes a “transcendental phenomenological philosophy of the social world” that is non-foundational and historical and is conceptualized as the “most concrete dimension” of phenomenology because it concerns intersubjective and historical processes. Generativity, in this sense, refers both to the process of becoming—that is, generative origination—as well as to a process that extends over generations. This leads to a proximity between generative phenomenology and critical phenomenology and political phenomenology. Feminist and political phenomenologists especially pick up on this supra-individual temporality and sedimentation of sense which they consider to be inherently intersubjective, normative, and socio-political.
Following these lines, any reduction to an egological position would bear the danger of neglecting its own socio-historic conditions of possibility. This raises the question of whether and how phenomenology can address the phenomena of communities and social formations in their process of historical development. Can the notion of generativity contribute to shedding light on historical, cultural, intersubjective, and normative phenomena in a distinguished fashion?
This thematic issue of METODO addresses a twofold horizon of questions that go along with generative phenomenology. On the one hand, the question of the scope and significance of the critical and political potential of generative phenomenology. We wish to investigate the presumed importance of generative phenomenology for a critical/political theory that acknowledges subjective experiences in view of their socio-historical conditions. This line of questioning becomes especially significant when considering the political dimensions of experience and their (de)stabilization as hegemonic patterns of experience. For the recognition of the generativity of personal experiences inherently involves a denaturation and potential politicization of these experiences.
On the other hand, the issue questions the methodological consequences for the phenomenological inquiry. Phenomenology is commonly understood as a first-person method for analyzing all kinds of phenomena that are given to a describing subjectivity. This analysis can start with already constituted objects, mapping and describing their structures of sense, the intentional acts in which they are given, and the founding relations between these acts. On a deeper, genetic level, the analysis can also take a regressive direction, moving from the constituted to the constituting, from the object as it is given to consciousness to the becoming of its layers of sense. The question then arises about how a generative approach, concerned with socio-historical temporalization, can relate to static and genetic phenomenology. What is the point of view from which generative analyses are conducted? Does the generative approach and the phenomena it addresses exceed the limits of the describing subject?
Developing a critical and political phenomenology on the foundation of a generative phenomenology thus implies fundamental questions concerning the methodological as well as ontological horizon of phenomenology. The edition wishes to not only invite affirmative contributions to this development but likewise contributions that thematize possible difficulties that arise for and within generative phenomenology.

We invite contributions addressing the following topics:

1. Methodological questions
    • What is the relationship between static, genetic, and generative analyses?
    • What is the methodological specificity of generative phenomenology? From what point of view does it conduct its analyses? Are the phenomena studied through the generative approach distinct and peculiar to this approach?
    • (In which way) Does generative phenomenology point beyond a mere descriptive method towards a potentially normative dimension of phenomenology?

2. Generative phenomenology beyond Husserl and the label “generative”
    • How do certain philosophers elaborate on Husserl’s notion of generativity, and in what manner do they rework, criticize, or go beyond Husserl? (E.g., Heidegger, Fink, Merleau-Ponty, Waldenfels, etc.)
    • Which phenomenologists could be described as developing a generative method, even if they do not necessarily label it as generative?

3. Generative phenomenology as critical/political phenomenology
    • How could recent critical and political endeavors in phenomenology be thought of together with a generative method?
    • (In what way) Is it possible to draw normative conclusions from generative approaches? Can such conclusions still be labeled “phenomenological”?
    • To what extent do future generations play a decisive role in generative phenomenology?

Abstracts and papers must be submitted to the following e-mail address: ongenerativity@gmail.com
The deadline for submissions is 30.4.2025.

The preferred language for this issue is English, but papers in German, French, and Italian will be accepted. Submitted papers must follow the publication ethics and the author guidelines of METODO.

All contributions will undergo a double-blind peer-review process.

Back to Open Call for Papers

This document is unfortunately not available for download at the moment.