“Knowledge, Nescience and the (New) Media"

IV. Conference of The International Alfred Schutz Circle for Phenomenology and Interpretive Social Science

Conference Program

Konstanz, May 3-5, 2018, University of Konstanz

Keynote Speaker: Luigi Muzzetto, Hans-Georg Soeffner

“Fake news,” “Alternative Facts,” “Lying press” – slogans like this indicate that something has been set in motion within the information society that might have the potential to re-define the socio-politically established borderlines between true and false, right and wrong. Considering this trend, The International Alfred Schutz Circle for Phenomenology and Interpretive Sociology chooses the subject area of knowledge, nescience and the (new) media as the central topic for its 4th Conference. Seen from a phenomenological point of view, what stands behind the development in question can be described as a shift in the relevance system of the (late/post-)modern subject: less and less knowledge is based on first-hand experience, more and more knowledge is the result of mediation processes and thus depends upon the alleged authority of others. Instead of fostering the Enlightenment’s ideal of using one’s own understanding, mediatization thus seems to expose the societal construction of reality to manipulation and propaganda both of which address the emotional rather than the intellectual aspect of the citizen.

Decidedly starting from the perspective of a sociology and phenomenology of the life-world, participants shall address questions on the level of (1) description, (2) analysis, and (3) evaluation: (1) What counts as a “fact” in the new media? How are evidence and social acceptance created, how is knowledge legitimated within a “virtual” community? (2) Is there a special kind of thou-orientation towards the “virtual” other? Is there a special quality to communication via the internet, one that renders internet users more easily deceived (talking of social bots)? (3) Is there a need to secure reality construction against fabrication and de-legitimation in the context of the new media? Is the well-informed citizen still a possible and desirable ideal in face of the information explosion with which humankind is confronted nowadays?

Besides the general focus on “Knowledge, Nescience and the (New) Media,” there will be sessions in addition that are principally open to other topics within the Schutzian paradigm. Paper proposals are not necessarily bound to the main topic of the conference. Session proposals are also welcome.

Propositions have to be written in English. Please submit an abstract of approximately 500 words. To be considered all presentation proposals must include a cover sheet with name, paper title, affiliation, five key words, and full contact information including email. For more information, see our website www.schutzcircle.org. The Ilse Schutz Memorial Prize of $750 will be awarded for the best paper presented by a graduate student or faculty member who has not yet reached the rank of Associate or Full Professor. Please submit full papers until the submission deadline.

Local Organizer: Jochen Dreher, Andreas Göttlich (University of Konstanz), Hisashi Nasu, Waseda University (Tokyo)

Organizers / Executive Committee: Jochen Dreher (Chair), Hisashi Nasu,  Michael D. Barber, Hermílio Santos, Andreas Göttlich