Call for Papers Working with others’ experiences: Theory, Practise and Application

Working with others’ experiences: Theory, Practise and Application

Call for papers: Special Issue in Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

Guest Editors:  

Katrin Heimann, Kristian Martiny & Simon Høffding


Over the last 30 years, a plethora of methods to understand, gather, and analyze others’ experiences through interviewing has emerged, stressing the importance of this approach within the scientific community. These methods involve, but are not limited to, Giorgi’s Phenomenological Psychology, Van Manen’s Hermeneutic Phenomenology, Smith’s Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, the phenomenological interview associated with Varela’s Neurophenomenology and its heir, Microphenomenology developed by Petitmengin, Bitboll, and Vermersch, Descriptive Experience Sampling by Hurlburt, as well as ethnographically inspired methods by people such as Ravn, Martiny, and Høffding.

Currently, these methods are used as research tools in cognitive science, philosophy, phenomenology, ethnography, psychology, psychiatry, in short, across the human, qualitative, and cognitive sciences. The impact of these methods, however, reaches far beyond the academic sphere and informs professional practices in psychology, psychiatry, athletics, contemplative science, healthcare, social work, and education. Nevertheless, for scholars and practitioners new to the field, a clear map of the potentials and pitfalls of the each of these methods is lacking. This also applies to their compatibility with quantitative or experimental methods. Finally, a number of the methods claim implicit or explicit allegiance to phenomenology. Often, however, the precise nature of that allegiance remains unclear.

Call for papers

We are calling for papers for this special issue of Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, because it is time to bring together the representatives from these approaches to discuss the practice and theory of their respective method and map their respective fields of application: Which method is suitable for what kinds of cases, experiences or practices, and why? To what extent is one method compatible with the others? In addition to the invitation to some of the main representatives of each method, we are also interested in contributions from junior scholars who employ them in novel ways, who have come up with different approaches to remedy a perceived shortfall in the established methods, or who have made use of some of these in a mixed method design.

To keep our discussions concrete and empirically grounded, we are looking for contributions addressing the questions above via a case study conducted by the author him or herself using one of the methods above – alone or in combination with other methods or measurements. With this, we want to ensure a pragmatic, future- and solution-oriented special issue, rather than a continuation of ongoing debates primarily concerning similarities and differences between the sometimes competing methods.

We ask each contribution to specifically address the following questions through their case study:

Theory and justification of use: what are the premises of the method and how did the case study fit the theoretical and practical problems the method was developed to address? For the approaches claiming alignment with some form of phenomenology: what is understood by phenomenology in your case; why is it important and what in particular is achieved with this theoretical framing that could not have been achieved without?Practise: how was the methodological or experimental setup created and what challenges remained? Application: what turned out as the final gain of the study? Did it fulfil the expectations? Which gaps remained?Generalizing from the case study: is the method particularly suited to analyze certain kinds of practices or experiences, for instance: experiences of a short, medium or long duration; existential situations; pathological conditions; human practices; expert performance; particularly intense or significant kinds of experiences?Discussion: what do these reflections imply for the future of the method within the field? Which developments within the method are needed? Which cooperations across methods should be enforced?

Our pragmatic vision is that, besides advancing the discussion in the field, this collection of papers will turn the special issue into something close to a handbook for scholars and practitioners in search of the right method for their research interest.

Contribution specifics

All contributions will be subject to standard double-blind peer-review. The following scholars have been specifically invited to contribute:

Claire Petitmengin & Michel Bitbol, James Morley & Magnus Englander, Max Van Manen, Jonathan A. Smith & Virginia Eatough, Natalie Depraz, Russel Hurlburt, Donata Schoeller, Reed Stevens, Mariana Levin, Anthony Fernandez & Allan Køster, Susanne Ravn, Marianne Klinke, Elizabeta Solomonova.

Editorial team:  Kristian Martiny (, Simon Høffding (, and Katrin Heimann (

For formatting details, please consult:

The deadline for submission is June 1, 2020  EXTENDED to September 1 2020. If you are planning to submit, please get in touch with one of the three guest editors first concerning the focus and content of your planned submission.