I am Professor of Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy of Freie Universität Berlin, in the working area Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Emotion. I am a member of the Executive Board of the Collaborative Research Center „Affective Societies“ (SFB 1171).
What I find exciting about this research initiative
That it tackles the intersection of the political and the psychological. In what ways is political practice, but also more elusive dimensions such as political culture or political “climates”, involved in shaping the capacities and orientations of situated subjects? How do these mutual influences change over time, and particularly in the wake of significant societal events and developments? I’m intrigued by the interdisciplinary nature of this project and by its commitment to approach issues of contemporary societal urgency in a rigorous methodological fashion.
What my discipline can contribute to this research initiative
Philosophy has the tools to clarify elusive and often contested concepts in the realms of the social (e.g. cohesion, collective, institution, practice, lifeworld) and the mental (e.g. consciousness, belief, desire, emotion, affect). In the context of an ambitious research agenda focusing on interaction dynamics in ways that involve both quantifiable and qualitative measures, “work on the concept” can make non-trivial contributions as long as it remains tied up with empirical perspectives and is informed by different traditions. One area where I hope to contribute is on the understanding of “political emotions” and their complex preconditions. Moreover, ideas from philosophical affect and emotion theories can inform the project, and likewise perspectives from the 4E school in philosophy of mind (embodied, embedded, enactive and extended cognition).
Five key publications
Szanto, T., & Slaby, J. (2020). Political Emotions. In: Szanto, T., & Landweer, H. (eds.). The Routledge Handbook of Phenomenology of Emotions. New York: Routledge
Slaby, J. & C. von Scheve (2019). Affective Societies: Key Concepts. New York: Routledge
Slaby, J., Mühlhoff, R., & Wüschner, P. (2019). Affective Arrangements. Emotion Review 11(1), 3-12
Slaby, J. (2017). Affekt und Politik. Neue Dringlichkeiten in einem alten Problemfeld. Philosophische Rundschau 64, 134-162
Slaby, J. (2016). Mind Invasion: Situated Affectivity and the Corporate Life Hack. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 2016, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00266