skip to primary navigationskip to content

Verstehen Colloquium

Verstehen Colloquium

The Verstehen Colloquium began, informally, with a reading group on Dilthey’s The formation of the historical world in the human sciences in the summer of 2019. This reading group brought together a group of people interested in trying to recover, principally from the phenomenological and hermeneutic traditions, ways of thinking about the nature of knowledge of human behaviour and systems which have perhaps become obscure from the perspective of current "analytic" philosophy of science, epistemology and moral philosophy. Brought together as the Verstehen Colloquium, this group now meets frequently during and outside term-time both to discuss readings of shared interest, and also to provide sessions for participants to sound out their own work making efforts on this direction.

Convenors: Matt Bennett, Sen Bhuvanendra and Rosie Worsdale.

Cave paintings from Lascaux in France
Cave paintings from Lascaux in France, discussed in Fiona Hughes’ 2013 paper on passivity in Merleau-Ponty [Attribution: Lascaux / Public domain]


Upcoming meetings

In the latter part of the Easter vacation we are reading Husserl’s The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology:

Tuesday 21st April   

Reading: sections 47-55 of The Crisis

Tuesday 28th April   

Reading: ssections 57-64 of The Crisis

(Please email Sen sb2276 if you would like an invite to the meetings as they will be taking place online)

Previous meetings



Monday 23 March

Fiona Hughes "A Passivity Prior to Passive and Active: Merleau-Ponty’s Re-reading of the Freudian  Unconscious and Looking at Lascaux":

Monday 30 March

 Continuation of Hughes’ paper

Summer 2019

Wilhelm Dilthey, “General Theses about the System of the Human Sciences” from The Formation of the Historical World in the Human Sciences

Tues 9 July

Introduction and Section One, Makkreel and Rodi translation, pp142-51 (Gesammelte Schriften 7:120-9) on objective

Tues 16 July

Section One to Section Two, pp145-55 (7:123-33), on objective apprehension, life and the human sciences

Thurs 25 July

Section One, part 2 and Section Two, chapter 1, pp149-57 (7:127-35)

Tues 30 July

Section Two, chapter 1, pp152-60 (7:130-8), on life-experience

Tues 6 August

Section Two, chapter I, pp155-62 (7:133-40), on life-attitudes, life-experience and lived experience

Tues 13 August

Section Two, chapters 1 and 2, pp158-66 (7:137-45)

Tues 27 August

Section Two, chapter 2, pp160-8 (7:139-46) on structural nexus of consciousness, reflection on lived experience, time, mutual understanding, and generality/universality

Tues 3 September

Section Two, chapters 2 and 3, pp163-70 (7:141-8) on understanding, generality and universality

Tues 10 September

Section Two, chapters 2 and 3, pp167-74 (7:145-52)

Thurs 19 September

Section Two, chapters 3 and 4, pp169-75 (7:147-53) on objectivity

Thurs 26 September

Section Two, chapter 4, part 1, pp170-8 (7:148-56)