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Free Submission Articles

Human Reproduction and Parental Responsibility: New Theories, Narratives, Ethic

Deadline for paper submission: 15 March 2020

The issue will be published by December 2020

Call for Papers

Advances in reproductive technologies have profoundly altered the demarcations of parenthood. They offer a significant challenge to conventional perspectives on parental rights and responsibilities. Emergent new possibilities of biological and social parenthood raise significant ethical and social questions, and call for in-depth philosophical, bioethical and legal reflection. Anthropogenic climate change also calls for new thinking and discussion in reproductive ethics and values, inspiring contrasting views, and raises questions about population growth and human procreation on a warming planet.

In this context, philosophical and bioethical debate, as well as literature, film and the arts, play a crucial role in shedding light on the complex and changing emotions and experiences of parenting, and interrogate the moral and social challenges associated with reproductive technologies. Literature and art may also draw attention to global patterns of exploitation and inequality, and bring into focus the discrepancies between political, philosophical and religious perspectives.

Phenomenology and Mind invites submissions for a special issue dedicated to “Human Reproduction and Parental Responsibility: New Theories, Narratives, Ethics”. This special issue will gather politically diverse perspectives from a variety of disciplines and fields, including philosophy, literature and film, bioethics, gender and queer studies and legal theory.

We welcome contributions that are related – but not limited – to the following questions:

  • How do conceptions and cultural representations of parental responsibility inform bioethical, legal and political approaches towards the introduction and use of reproductive technologies?
  • Conversely, to what extent have new reproductive technologies been altering the concepts of parenthood and parental responsibility?
  • What are the emergent transformations and moral challenges associated with new forms of parenting?
  • How can artistic practice create a space for political and bioethical reflection, and what is the role of specific forms, genres and media (e.g. performance and video art; Science Fiction; life writing etc).
  • How have stories about parents and children evolved? How will they evolve in the future?
  • What is the impact of advanced reproductive technologies on legal and philosophical debates about biological and social parenthood, gender, and the rights of the unborn?
  • How do planetary environmental pressures affect theories and narratives of parenthood? What is the meaning of procreative liberty, parental responsibility and procreative beneficence on a warming planet?

Guest Editors

Simona Corso (Università degli Studi Roma Tre)

Florian Mussgnug (University College London)

Virginia Sanchini (San Raffaele University; University of Milan; KU Leuven)

Digital Identities, Digital Ways of Living: Philosophical Analyses

Deadline for submissions: June 10th, 2020

Publication of the issue: July, 2021

Guest Editors:

Greta Favara (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan)

Nicole Miglio (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan)

Call for papers

The massive use of digital technologies today and the way they are prominently taking part in several of our everyday activities makes a philosophical reflection on this phenomenon particularly needed. Indeed, digital technologies are not just facilitating accomplishing several different tasks – from tracking our physical activities, to finding the right directions while driving, to communicating with others. Such technologies are also shaping and re-defining the way in which we make our activities and conceive our lives, while also affecting the sense of our identities and ourselves.

Let us think, for instance, to the way the constitution and the evolution of our personal, embodied and gender identity can be affected by the usage of social networks and, for instance, by the massive role of pictures on the social media (Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc.) or by profiling mechanisms used by some online platforms. Let us also consider the way language and communication acquire new forms on the web and can even have more relevance than before based on the augmented possibilities of fruition by web-users. Moreover, we should not forget the crucial way in which the usage of digital technologies is transforming the political identities of citizens, the forms of their participation in the public life, and the structures of collective political subjects and institutions (parties, parliaments, states).

A (non-exhaustive) list of possible questions to investigate is:

Section 1. Personal Identities – Digital Minds, Bodies and Persons

  • Can digital technologies be considered as actual cognitive extensions of our minds? If yes, would there be a specificity of digital technologies as different from other tools? How would this aspect affect our conception of the mental?
  • Are our embodied life and embodied interactions re-defined by the usage of digital technologies? Are we facing new forms of dis-embodiment through web and social networks? What role for our body-image and body-schema in shaping our personal and gender identities and interpersonal relations on the web?
  • How are our personal and gender identities shaped by the usage we make of digital technologies and social networks?
  • Do digital platforms modify the structure of our intersubjective and collective experiences (empathy, sympathy, contagion, identification and sharing forms, etc.)?
  • Does our sense of authorship and agency change in the acts we perform on social platforms?
  • How do social networks and liking-processes shape our self-esteem and consequently our sense of ourselves and finally our identity? Does self-esteem acquire new features in the digital era?
  • Do typifying mechanisms used by some online platforms also affect our perception of our preferences and ourselves?

Section 2. Language and MindSocial Media and Identity Construction

  • How do online communication and social media contribute to identity-based oppression and hierarchy?
  • What can hate speech policies learn from a philosophical analysis of harmful speech?
  • How can ordinary users counteract hate speech online? What are the most promising counterspeech strategies on social media?
  • Can social media platforms give disempowered speakers a voice and thus provide new means to resist, rather than bolster, social oppression?
  • Can gender identities, and social identities more broadly, be negotiated online?
  • What is the role of digital memories in the process of identity construction?
  • What are the consequences of storing and sharing memories online for the way we make sense of ourselves through our past?
  • Should digital memories be trusted? Are online platforms and digital devices reliable repositories of our past?
  • How can we coherently piece together our digital and non-digital memories?

Section 3. Ethical and Political Implications of Digital Technologies

  • Has digital innovation changed the way people see their present and future?
  • What are the ethical consequences of such innovations?
  • Can they change our perception of our moral and political identity?
  • How do they impact our moral and public interaction with others?
  • Some recent scandals such as the Cambridge Analytica case deeply influenced public opinion. How can data misuses impact democratic processes?
  • Do social media – though the polarization of opinions, the constitution of filter bubbles, and of echo chamber – represent a novel threat to public discourse and deliberation?
  • Can they have a positive impact on social opinion?
  • How does the use of digital technologies impact individual rights?
  • How to cope with the so-called gender digital divide? Which is the therapy against the risk of artificial intelligences excluding minorities and amplifying the prejudices already present in society?
  • What kind of political actions should the European Union pursue to guarantee the protection of its citizens’ interests?

Submissions must be prepared for double blind review. Manuscripts – in .doc format – should not contain any identifying information and they cannot exceed 4000 words (references included). Moreover, they must contain:

  • an abstract of no more than 150 words;
  • the indication of the section to which the author(s) wants to contribute to;
  • 4/5 keywords.

For stylistic details, see:

All manuscripts must be in English.

The Phenomenology of Social Impairment

Deadline for paper submission: 30th December, 2020

The issue will be published by December 2021


Call for Papers

Social impairments impact the way the world and others appear to us and are a key feature of mental disorders. Disturbed sociality typically involves modifications in intercorporeality and interaffectivity. These changes influence the structure of the self-other relation and determine the way subjects interact and perceive other people.

The close relationship between anomalies in interpersonal embodiment and affectivity and reduced sociality is reflected from a growing body of research on mental disorders. Ample evidence indicates that difficulties in establishing intersubjective engagements involve irregularities of social capacities and predispositions, such as empathy, joint attention, ‘we’-relationships and emotional sharing. These fundamental features of intersubjectivity that stem from intercorporeality and interaffectivity, are critical for establishing shared experiences, and attaining social affordances.


Phenomenology and Mind invites submissions for a special issue dedicated to “The Phenomenology of Social Impairments”. This special issue will offer a phenomenologically informed perspective on these issues. Phenomenological approaches help shed light on the experiential aspects of human sociality, and facilitate a systematic exploration of various subjective and intersubjective experiential anomalies.

We welcome contributions that are related – but not limited – to the following questions:

  • How can phenomenological methods help explain disturbances of intersubjectivity?
  • How can we distinguish between the structures of intersubjective engagement in autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder?
  • How does corporeality impact the development of intersubjectivity and what are the ways in which it is disrupted?
  • How does interaffectivity modulate social engagements and how it is regulated and disturbed?
  • Can we use phenomenology to elaborate new therapeutic directions?

Confirmed Invited Authors

Anna Bortolan (Swansea University)

Joel Krueger (University of Exeter)

Lily Martin (University of Heidelberg)

Philipp Schmidt (University of Vienna)

Leonardo Zapata Fonseca (National Autonomous University of Mexico)

Submission Guidelines

Submissions must be prepared for double blind review. Manuscripts – in .doc format – should not contain any identifying information and must not exceed 6000 words (references included).

Moreover, they must contain:

- An abstract of no more than 150 words

- 4/5 keywords

All manuscripts must be in English

Mind, Language, and the First-Person Perspective

Deadline for submissions: June 6, 2021

Publication of the issue: June 2022

Guest Editors:

Marta Benenti (Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele)

Laura Caponetto (Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele)

Elisabetta Sacchi (Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele)

Call for papers

What is the intrinsic nature of mental phenomena? What makes it the case that mental events, states, and properties are mental? How tight is the relation between language and what counts as mental?  According to Franz Brentano (1874), who famously revived the debate over the mark of the mental in the late 19th century, intentionality is the necessary and sufficient condition for something to be a mental phenomenon. This criterion, which has been by and large embraced by philosophers of mind over the past century, has recently come under criticism and a number of alternative candidates have been proposed. Being conscious and having a phenomenal character have prominently been listed as possible marks of the mental (e.g. Block 1995, Loar 2003, Strawson 2004, Farkas 2008, Kriegel 2011, Montague 2016). The 2021 San Raffaele School of Philosophy “Mind, Language, and the First-Person Perspective” will explore the nature and tenability of such emerging views, as well as of other potential alternatives to Brentano’s criterion. The boundaries of the mark of the mental will also be approached from the perspective of classic phenomenology (Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Reinach, Scheler, Stein), by addressing the issue of the qualitative varieties of intentionality. The School will finally zoom in on the connection between language and the phenomena and processes we regard as mental. Focus will be particularly laid on the role that our cognitive perspectives (or perspectival thought, Camp 2013, 2017) play in the interpretation of pejorative language (e.g. slurs), moral and aesthetical language (e.g. ‘thick’ terms), and other linguistic expressions that seem to encode or otherwise convey a first-person positioning.

The School is organized within the “Mark of the Mental” (MOM) Research Project, funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), and will host both invited lectures and contributions by PhD students, post-docs, and more experienced researchers selected through a double-blind peer-review process. Accepted papers will be published in a Special Issue of Phenomenology and Mind (expected publication date: June 2022). Phenomenology and Mind is indexed in Scopus and in The Philosopher’s Index.

The School will feature four sections, each of which will be dedicated to a specific strand of debate over mind, language, and the first-person perspective.

A (non-exhaustive) list of possible questions to investigate is:

Section 1. Intentionality, consciousness and the mark of the mental

  • Intentionality as the mark of the mental: What are the main challenges of the Intentionalist research project?
  • Are directedness and aspectuality sufficient criteria for intentionality?
  • Can so-called phenomenal intentionality be characterized as the mark of the mental?
  • What are the pros and cons of the thesis of consciousness as the mark of the mental?
  • Does the scope of consciousness and phenomenality coincide?
  • How do intentionality and consciousness relate to each other?
  • Which picture of the mind would result from the rejection of the mark thesis? Would such a picture be preferable to the one that takes the mind to be a unitary field of homogeneous phenomena?

Section 2. Mental content, phenomenology and the first-person perspective

  • Are external tracking relations necessary for content?
  • Does phenomenology ground mental content?
  • Do naturalistic externalist views of intentionality succeed in accounting for the “psychological involvement” of mental content?
  • Are the two main research projects concerning the theory of intentionality incompatible?
  • Do intentional content and phenomenal content coincide?
  • What would be the advantages in incorporating a first-person methodology in the study of mental content?
  • Is linguistic content derived from either phenomenal or non-phenomenal mental content?

Section 3. The boundaries of the mark of the mental: qualitative varieties of intentionality

  • Is intentionality reducible to directedness? Should positionality, as conceived by classic phenomenology, be taken into account for a plausible theory of intentionality?
  • Should the different modalities of intentional experience be considered in the debate about the mark of the mental?
  • If being conscious can be conceived as the mark of the mental, how can we account for pre-reflective experiences?
  • Can we adequately account for the first-person perspective without considering it as embodied and embedded?
  • Does the lived body shape intentionality and the first-person perspective?
  • How can we account for those intentional experiences that seem to imply both a first-person perspective and a second-person one, such as empathy and social cognition?
  • What can the classical phenomenological tradition teach the current analytic philosophy of mind about the issue of the relationship between intentionality and consciousness?

Section 4. Perspectival thought and perspectival language

  • What cognitive mechanisms influence the way we evaluate and respond to the things we ordinarily run across?
  • How and to what extent does the structure of our thought determine what we notice about a subject?
  • What sorts of linguistic expressions convey a first-person perspective? Can their workings be explained within a unitary theoretical framework?
  • What, if anything, do slurring utterances reveal about the speaker’s social, psychological, and/or affective relation to the group the slur targets?
  • Does finding a racist or sexist joke funny mean buying into a racist or sexist perspective?
  • How does moral language relate to a first-person perspective?
  • Does evaluative language (e.g. thin and thick terms) contribute to the creation of a shared perspective or does it express a private point of view?

Submissions must be prepared for double-blind review. Manuscripts – in .doc format – should not contain any identifying information and they cannot exceed 4000 words (references included). Manuscripts must be written in English. Moreover, they must contain:

  • an abstract of no more than 150 words;
  • the indication of the section to which the author(s) wants to contribute;
  • 4/5 keywords.

For stylistic details, see:

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