The GNP advocates a form of philosophy that is not satisfied with interpreting the texts of classic phenomenologists. We try to promote an active form of systematic philosophical research that believes in discovery as process which should be engaged in by people themselves rather than something which should be done by anxiously clinging on to the great father-figures of the past. That is not to say that we support the kind of ignorance which would suggest that so much is ‘new’ because this would take liberties with the studying of documented material.
The GNP instead promotes a style of description and discussion that takes one’s own observations and everyday experiences seriously. Because the impression of irrelevance, an impression that is imposed upon us in the face of contemporary philosophy, stems not from the fields of research that are generally a part of our everyday lives, but stems instead from the laboratories of the natural scientists, a world of specialists only accessible to a privileged few. Those ‘real’ objects closest to us have, in a peculiar manner, become alien to philosophy, as if it were embarrassing and mundane to talk about visible objects instead of elementary particles, or about the discernable felt-body instead of the activities of nerve cells!
We need to readdress the ‘culture of examples’ in our philosophical planning, a culture which at the same time needs to be defined in a clear and novel way. The art of concept formation has declined, even though it has been refined under the influence of analytic philosophy in recent decades. A philosophical term is a word that is so well defined that it can be employed in clear sentences and constructive discussions.
The Society for New Phenomenology regards itself as a platform from which a new phase of phenomenological research can begin. In order to avoid the mistakes of previous phenomenologists, and not only those from within but also outside of the field of phenomenology, those not only supportive of but also sceptical of the field of phenomenology need to offer both their participation and analysis.
The GNP’s philosophical discussions therefore take place on a more interdisciplinary and intercultural level. This explains why our members stem from diverse fields of employment. Besides philosophy, our members currently work within the following fields: medicine (general medicine, psychiatry, orthopaedics), psychology, psychotherapy, law, the social sciences, the arts, literature, history, pedagogics, physics, biology, biochemistry, geography, ethnology, orientalism (sinology, Japanese studies, Indology) among other fields.
The Society for New Phenomenology (GNP) was founded in Kiel in 1992. It holds an open symposium every year in April, in which up to date contributions are discussed and, above all, new ideas find an interested and open forum. The symposiums are documented in a series of books, and besides this, monographs with the latest research results of new phenomenology are published.
Currently, the members of the GNP come from Germany, China, Great Britain, Japan, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, and the U.S.A.