San Raffaele School of Philosophy - SRSP

San Raffaele School of Philosophy 2024 - SRSP

Exploring Personal Identity. Philosophical Perspectives and Insights from Arts

San Raffaele School of Philosophy 2024

October 2nd–4th, 2024

Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan

Faculty of Philosophy

Palazzo Arese Borromeo – Cesano Maderno

Accepted papers will be published in a special issue of Phenomenology and Mind.

What does it mean to be a person? What is personal identity? These are highly-debated and multifaceted questions that need to be investigated from different but interrelated perspectives. In this School we aim at exploring these issues from a variety of philosophical points of view and from the perspective of art and history of art.

First, in Phenomenology (Section 1), we seek to explore how and to what extent a person is constituted through their subjective experiences, being them proprioceptive, practical, affective, axiological, cognitive. Such a phenomenological analysis aims at identifying invariant structures of the experience of being a person, and focuses specifically on the topics of personal individuation and individual personal style. Moreover, in this perspective, personal identity is to be investigated in relation to the issue of sociality and its role in favoring or hindering the flourishing of the person themselves.

Second, in Philosophy of Mind (Section 2), we aim to address questions regarding the role of the body, perception, emotions, language, etc. These complex relationships inspire various orientations, from soul-body dualism (spiritualism) to radical organic reductionism (mereological physicalism). Additionally, proposals like animalism and constitution theory seek to analyze the body-mind relationship without radically denying the existence of either component.

Third, from the perspective of Ethics and Political Philosophy (Section 3), we wish to examine how social contexts shape one’s identity, particularly exploring the interplay between core identity and extreme circumstances. This involves unravelling the complexities of mechanisms of resistance and adaptation in the face of harsh realities.

Fourth, in Feminist Philosophy and Gender Studies (Section 4), our goal is to dissect the dynamics of oppression, empowerment, and social change concerning gender identity as a crucial aspect of personal identity. These inquiries prompt reflection on the inherent nature of social structures and the potential for transformative action to create a more equitable and inclusive society.

Finally, in Philosophy and History of Art (Section 5), we would like to examine the role that contemporary art plays in building and challenging, interpreting and deconstructing socio-cultural norms, while performing and reshaping notions of identity. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary proposals, aimed at connecting the philosophical and art historical discourse, and related to contemporary case studies and experiences.

For further information, please contact Francesca Cesarano and/or Marco Di Feo and/or Eleonora Volta.

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