Deadline 30 Dec 2020

The Phenomenology of Social Impairments – Special Issue of Phenomenology and Mind

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 is it 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)


Guest Editors 

Valeria Bizzari (University of Heidelberg)

Oren Bader (University of Heidelberg)

Thomas Fuchs (University of Heidelberg)


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


For stylistic details, see:;


Submissions should be sent via the Phenomenology and Mind website ( by 30 December 2020.


The author should register here and then log in to submit her paper. Please, be sure to submit your paper to the section “The Phenomenology of Social Impairment”.


For information, please contact:


Important dates:

Deadline for submissions: 30 December 2020

Notification of acceptance: 15 March 2021

Publication of the issue: December, 2021