Conference: Phenomenology, Reality and Essences

Conference: Phenomenology, Reality and Essences (November 16-17, 2023)

In phenomenology, a standard way to make claims about reality is through the identification of invariant features of and in experience, traditionally called “essences”. Phenomenology as essence intuition, eidetic variation or eidetic reduction raises fundamental questions concerning, among other things, the ontological structure of reality, the status of essences, their normativity, the relationship to empirical sciences and the nature of the phenomenological a priori in general.

This conference has two aims: (1) To establish a fuller picture of the manifold ways in which essence intuition has been understood by phenomenologists historically. How was phenomenology as an eidetic science conceived in and especially outside of Husserl’s writings? (2) To inquire if the idea of essence intuition, broadly construed, might still be considered a viable way of doing phenomenology, especially in light of recent interdisciplinary developments in various fields of phenomenology.

For meeting-ID please email:

The conference is organized by Daniel Neumann, Center for the History of Women Philosphers and Scientists, Paderborn University.

The event is hosted by the Center for the History of Women Philosphers and Scientists, Paderborn University, directed by Prof. Ruth E. Hagengruber.


All times are CET

Thursday, November 16 (via Zoom)

14:50 – 15:00 Welcome
15:00 – 16:20 Session 1 – Essence and Aesthetics – Moderation: Victor Portugal
Irene Breuer (Bergische Universität Wuppertal) – Essence Intuition in Conrad-Martius’ Aesthetics
Adrian Wieczorek (Hochschule Fresenius) – The Language of Essence. The Late Heidegger’s Involving Realism
16:20-16:40 Coffee Break
16:40-18:00 Session 2 – The Metaphysics of Intuition – Moderation: Matthew Clemons
Denis McManus (University of Southhampton) – Being-in-a-World Fit for Philosophy: Categorial and Eidetic Intuition in Heidegger’s Early Phenomenology
Daniel Neumann (Universität Paderborn) – Conrad-Martius on Two Senses of Metaphysics
18:00-19:00 Lunch/Dinner Break
19:00-21:00 Session 3 – The Idealism and Realism of Essences – Moderation: Adrian Wieczorek
Peter Antich (Dominican University New York) – Wesen in Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being
Giulio Marchegiani (Bergische Universität Wuppertal) – On the Meaning of the Anti-Platonism of Essence Intuition in Husserl
Matthew Clemons (Stony Brook University) – The Transformation of the A Priori from Kant to Max Scheler

Friday, November 17 (via Zoom)

15:00 – 16:20 Session 4 – Enduring Eidetics? – Moderation: Giulio Marchegiani
Victor Portugal (KU Leuven) – Is Eidetics Enough for ‘Realism’? Bringing Classical and Contemporary Debates Together
Sterling Hall (Villanova University) – The Eidetic Reduction Reconsidered: Invariance as a Conceptual Category of Critical Analysis
16:20-16:40 Coffee Break
16:40-18:00 Session 5 – Essences and Worldviews – Moderation: Daniel Neumann
Eden Elliott (Queen’s University) – Talking About the World: Husserl, Norms, and Human Activity
Tom Poljansek (Universität Göttingen) – From Essences to Substances and Back Again – The Metaphysics of the Lifeworld AND Transphenomenal Reality According to Husserl and Millikan
18:00-19:00 Lunch/Dinner Break
19:00-21:00 Session 6 – Metaphysics, Language and Religion – Moderation: Tom Poljansek
Giuditta Corbella (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore) – Roman Ingarden’s Metaphysical Qualities and Their Complex Ontological Status
Mary Gennuso (New York City College of Technology) – Jean-Luc Marion and his Responders on God and Religion
Rayan Magon (University of Toronto) – Eidetic ‘Seeing’ and the Reconstruction of the Logos of Being: The Phenomenological Method in the Search for the Perfect Language
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