Staff – University of Copenhagen

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Felipe León

Felipe León


  • My background is in classical phenomenology and philosophy of mind, and I mainly work on issues in the fields of social cognition and shared (or collective) intentionality. I also have interests in the philosophy of emotions, and in the nature of selfhood and reflection.
  • In the last years, I have been working as a PhD student (2013-2016) and postdoc (2016-2017) at the Center for Subjectivity Research, within the framework of the project "The Disrupted We: Shared Intentionality and Its Psychopathological Distortions". The project was funded by the University of Copenhagen's Excellence Program for Interdisciplinary Research.
  • In January 2018, I have started a two-year postdoc project on "Joint Attention and Group Identification", funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. My project is part of the larger project "You and We: Second-Person Engagement and Collective Intentionality", directed by Dan Zahavi. 

Current research

My current research aims at bringing together theoretical and empirical perspectives on two research domains that have been intensively explored in recent years, although in relative isolation from each other. On the one hand, an increasing number of philosophers, psychologist and social neuroscientists have investigated the role of second-person engagements in how we understand other people. Although there is a broad consensus that there is something distinctive about relating to someone as a you, it has proven challenging to pinpoint what precisely this distinctiveness amounts to. It has been proposed that a second-person relation involves action (instead of passive observation), affective engagement, reciprocity, communication, and/or a specific form of self-consciousness. On the other hand, some strands of research on group-identification and collective intentionality have investigated the relationship between individual or I-intentionality, and collective or we-intentionality, understood as the capacity to share mental states with other people (including intentions, beliefs, and emotions), and thereby adopt with them a group- or we-perspective. 

Although the topics of second-person engagement and group-identification point to pivotal structures of human sociality, their interrelations remain largely unexplored. Some of the questions I am interested in are:

  • Do second-person engagements play any role in how people come to identify with groups, and thereby adopt with others a we-perspective?
  • How, if at all, are second-person engagements and group-identification modulated by the spatio-temporal proximity of the participants in a social interaction, and by the number of them (in dyadic, triadic, and larger-scale interactions)?
  • What is the developmental route of second-person engagements and group-identification? 
  • Does joint attention amount to a basic form of we-perspective?



  • Spring 2017: Consciousness and Self-consciousness (with Dan Zahavi).
  • Fall 2016: Central Topics in Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind.
  • Fall 2014: Central Topics in Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind (with Adrian Alsmith and Alessandro Salice).
  • Spring 2014: Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (with Søren Overgaard and Mads Gram Henriksen).


Selected publications

  1. Submitted

    Autism, Social Connectedness, and Minimal Social Acts

    León, F. 2018 (Submitted) In : Adaptive Behavior.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Published

    For-me-ness, For-us-ness, and the We-relationship

    León, F. 2018 In : Topoi.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. E-pub ahead of print

    Emotional Sharing and the Extended Mind

    León, F., Szanto, T. & Zahavi, D. 3 Mar 2017 In : Synthese.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. Published

    Dación y reflexión: Una investigación fenomenológica

    León, F. 2016 Bogotá, Colombia: National University of Colombia. 200 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

  5. Published

    Phenomenology of experiential sharing: The contribution of Schutz and Walther

    León, F. & Zahavi, D. 2016 The Phenomenological Approach to Social Reality: History, Concepts, Problems. Salice, A. & Schmid, H. B. (eds.). Cham: Springer, p. 219-234 16 p. (Studies in the Philosophy of Sociality, Vol. 6).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

  6. Published

    Shame and Selfhood

    León, F. 2013 In : Phaenomenologische Forschungen. 2012, p. 193-211 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  7. Published

    Experiential Other-Directness: To What Does It Amount?

    León, F. 2013 In : Tidsskrift for Medier, Erkendelse og Formidling . 1, 1, p. 21-38 18 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

ID: 46294531