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Philosophical Psychology and Praxeological Gestalts

Social Psychology and Sociology in dialogue with the Philosophers of Gestalt Psychology

Thematic issue of Philosophia Scientiæ 26/3 (November 2022)

Guest editors

Dr Doug Hardman, Lecturer in Psychology, Bournemouth University

Dr Phil Hutchinson, Senior Lecturer in Applied Philosophical Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Anna C. Zielinska, Lecturer in Moral and Political Philosophy, University of Lorraine

Abstract to be sent before: July 1st 2021

Submission Deadline: September 1st, 2021

Acceptance Notification: January 1st, 2022

Final version due: May 1st 2022

Address for submission:

In the early to mid 20th century, a number of philosophers engaged with and shaped their own thinking in dialogue with the writings of Gestalt psychology. These engagements are not only key to the philosophical development of these thinkers, but would have significant ripple effects which arguably led to a radical shift in cognitive science, linguistics, social psychology, sociology, and theories of perception. The question was, and still is, about grasping the most salient and specific features of humanity, and this quest was often inspired by very different philosophical, scientific, anthropological and even political stances. Recent publications of lesser-known and previously unavailable texts by key authors show the complexity of the philosophical engagements, and shed new light on the dialogues between psychology, philosophy and cognitive science. 

Our main point of interest will be the way in which the insights of Gestalt psychology were taken up in different ways by philosophical figures with different philosophical agendas and predilections, but also by social psychologists and sociologists. In philosophy, the reception of Gestalt psychology comes via Aron Gurwitsch, D. W. Hamlyn, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Ludwig Wittgenstein, among others. These figures’ engagements with Gestalt psychology would influence a diverse range of thinkers across various disciplines and be foundational in numerous influential movements still thriving today: in Psychology through the work of James Gibson on perception and Roger Barker on Behaviour Setting Theory in Ecological Psychology; in Cognitive Science in the development of E-cognition and varieties of Enactivism; and in Sociology and Social Psychology with the development of Ethnomethodology and other versions of interactionism. Each of these approaches is indebted to Gestalt psychology and many of them inherit it via the philosophers who engaged with it. These engagements would often serve to move the analysis away from cognitive and neuroscientific explanations that would emerge within the discipline of psychology and instead analyse Gestalt phenomena constitutively (Gurwitsch), ecologically (Gibson), existentially (Merleau-Ponty), praxeo-grammatically (Wittgenstein) and praxeologically (Garfinkel). In some cases, a new category of Gestalt phenomena would be proposed; e.g., Garfinkel’s “praxeological Gestalts”.

For this special issue of Philosophia Scientiæ (open access), we invite potential authors to submit manuscripts addressing either the fields mentioned in the presentation or authors quoted.

Submissions have to be made electronically.

Manuscripts must be original, and cannot be in the process of being submitted for another publication.

Manuscripts should be submitted in French, English, and prepared for anonymous peer review.

Abstracts in French and English of 200-300 words in length should be included.

Articles should not exceed 50,000 characters/8 000 words (spaces, list of references and footnotes included).

Short papers can also be submitted.

They should be written under LaTeX, Word or OpenOffice (

Please send submissions to:

Guidelines for authors:

Please send us an abstract of your potential contribution before July 1, 2021 at – we will respond within days

Final papers (title, summary, keywords, article, bio-bibliography) must reach before September 1, 2021

You can also contact the editors of the special issue by email for any queries:


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Eisenmann, C., & Lynch, M. (2021). Introduction to Harold Garfinkel’s Ethnomethodological “Misreading” of Aron Gurwitsch on the Phenomenal Field. Human Studies, April.

Fornel, Michel de, Albert Ogien, et Louis Quéré. 2001. L’Ethnométhodologie. Une sociologie radicale. Paris: La Découverte.

Garfinkel, Harold. 1967. Studies in Ethnomethodology. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Polity Press; Recherches en ethnométhodologie. Traduit par Michel Barthélémy, Baudouin Dupret, Jean-Manuel de Queiroz, et Louis Quéré. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France

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———. (2021). Ethnomethodological Misreading of Aron Gurwitsch on the Phenomenal Field. Human Studies, April.

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Köhler, W. (1947). Gestalt Psychology: An Introduction to New Concepts in Modern Psychology. Liveright; Psychologie de la forme: introduction à de nouveaux concepts en psychologie, trad. fr. Serge Bricianer. Paris: Gallimard, 1964.

Lynch, Michael. 1997. Scientific Practice and Ordinary Action: Ethnomethodology and Social Studies of Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 1945. Phénoménologie de la perception. Paris: Gallimard.

Morris, K. J. (2017). "Wittgenstein and Merleau-Ponty on Gestalt Psychology". In K. Romdenh-Romluc (Ed.), Wittgenstein and Merleau-Ponty (pp. 11–30). Routledge.

Quéré, L. (2012). Is There Any Good Reason to Say Goodbye to “Ethnomethodology”? Human Studies, 35(2), 305–325.

Sharrock, Wes W., & Bob Anderson. 2011. The Ethnomethodologists. London: Routledge.

Wittgenstein, Ludwig. 2009 [1953]. Philosophical Investigations. 4th ed. Oxford: Blackwell; trad. fr. Recherches philosophiques. par Elisabeth Rigal, Françoise Dastur, Maurice Élie, Jean-Luc Gautero, et Dominique Janicaud. Paris: Gallimard, 2005.

———. (1983). Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology, Volume 1 (G. E. M. Anscombe, H. Nyman, & G. H. von Wright (Eds.)). Wiley-Blackwell.

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