Guest Editors: Daniele De Santis & Claudio Majolino

Since the second half of the last century, the manifold relationships between the Phenomenological movement and the Aristotelian tradition have been at the center of scholarly interest. Themes such as the nature of intentionality, the question of being, the roots of virtue ethics or the idea of the “political” (to mention only a few) have been deeply investigated and submitted to close scrutiny as to flesh out the intimate connections between Aristotle and phenomenology. By contrast, the actual extent of Plato’s legacy on the various figures and concepts of the phenomenological movement has comparatively received far less attention. It is safe to say, however, that Phenomenology has never stopped assessing in many ways the different aspects of such “Platonic” legacy.

On the one hand, phenomenologists have never ceased to confront themselves with and experiment new “variations” on Plato’s conceptuality: from Husserl’s early appraisal of Lotze’s theory of ideas to his mature endorsement of an overtly Platonic “ideal” of philosophy; from Heidegger’s lectures on the Sophist to his claim that metaphysics as such is Platonism; from Patočka’s interpretation of the “care of the soul” as the spiritual “foundation” of Europe to his idea of “negative Platonism”; not to mention Antonio Banfi’s transcendental reading of Plato or Enzo Paci’s interest in the Parmenides and the Phaedrus; Levinas’ constant references to “the Good” in the Republic or Edith Stein’s systematic appropriation of Platonic and neo-Platonic “metaphysical” motives; Alexandre Koyré’s Platonic reading of Galileo or Jacob Klein’s approach to the eidetic numbers; Adof Reinach’s motto “Phänomenologie als Rückgang zu Platon” or Roman Ingarden’s assessment of the doctrine of ideas as the basis for any possible material ontology.

But there is definitively more. For, on the other hand, if some “phenomenologists” have actually commented on Plato’s dialogues or openly tackled some of the claims characterizing the Platonic tradition, others have rather followed an entirely different path. Authors such as Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and Michel Henry, for instance, implicitly resort to Platonic ideas and mobilize Platonic themes without making their strategy perspicuous. For the presence of Plato’s legacy in phenomenology is far from being limited to the explicit discussion and/or critique of Plato’s texts and themes.

The ambition of the present call for papers is to invite scholars (both phenomenologists and Plato scholars) to explore the relations between 20th century phenomenology and “history of Platonism(s)” in order to provide what could be characterized as a first and systematic “cartography” of all those motives that—implicitly or explicitly, directly or indirectly, in a positive, negative or even opposite way—animate them and their intertwined histories.

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We welcome submissions on any aspects of the relation between phenomenology and the Platonic legacy. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Phenomenology and the history of (ancient and modern) Platonism;
  • Phenomenology and Neo-Platonism;
  • The doctrine of principles;
  • Phenomenological interpretations of Plato’s doctrine of forms or Plato’s philosophy as a whole;
  • Phenomenological criticisms of Plato and the Platonic legacy;
  • Comparison between phenomenological readings of Plato’s philosophy and other interpretations (e.g., Neo-Kantianism, the Brentano school etc.);
  • Plato’s foundational role vis-à-vis the history of Western thought and the idea of philosophy;
  • Platonic paideia and the phenomenology of education;
  • The idea of Europe and the “care of the soul”;
  • Skepticism and the paradox of knowledge;
  • Intuitive and discursive form of cognition;
  • Platonic dialectics and the method of philosophy;
  • Plato and the “a priori”.

Guidelines: The articles can be written in English, French, and German (maximum 60,000 characters including spaces and footnotes). The submissions should comply with the following guidelines:

Deadline: May 31, 2019

 Contact: Please send your submissions to