Phenomenology and Bodies of Knowledge

This is an interdisciplinary research group united by a shared interest in phenomenology. From Edmund Husserl's phenomenological breakthrough onward, phenomenology has understood himself as an undogmatic philosophy "from below." Phenomenology start out from the phenomena as they originally show themelves prior to theoretical constructions of knowledge. By returning to what is given, phenomenological approaches can bring to light questions that have been neglected within many disciplines. Scholars are opening new lines of inquiry into fields such as health science, theology, literature, architecture, social sciences, archeology and aesthetics.

From the Harvard Art Museums' collection Jocular Sounds Foto: Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Association Fund and Purchase in memory of Eda K. Loeb Artwork © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris


Our group is particularly interested in exploring the double meaning of "bodies of knowledge."
We explore the role of the body in discovering, organizing and creating knowledge, but also exploring it as a metaphor for the finite limits of knowledge.
Disciplinary bodies of knowledge often assume a body-as-object, knowable outside of lived embodied experience. This creates the illusion of certainty and projects certainty as an absolute value. Returning to the phenomenology can make available for theoretical reassessment those areas of human experience that do not admit of certainty.  


1) Revitalize phenomenology and its relevance for various academic disciplines;

2) Reopen for discussion the relationship between embodied life and academic bodies of knowledge;

3) Describe phenomena such as incarnation, love, disease, appetite and pain through multidisciplinary seminars, conferences and writing projects;

4) Question the value of certainty as the goal of knowledge, especially with regard to the experience and representation of the human body.

Upcoming PhD Course

SVF 8060: Interdisciplinary Phenomenology will take place at UiT 14-16 November, 2018. The course is designed for doctoral students from across different disciplines who could benefit from more knowledge of phenomenology. The course will be organized into three focus areas: phenomenologies of the other, the body, and the past. 

Presenters include: Hans Ruin, Drew Leder, Espen Dahl, Cassandra Falke, Thor Eirik Eriksen and Dag Andersson. Presentations will primarily be in English.

Further information: