Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy

The Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) is a philosophical society whose initial purpose was to promote the study of phenomenology and existentialism but has since expanded to a wide array of contemporary philosophical pursuits, including critical theory, feminist philosophy, poststructuralism, critical race theory, and, increasingly non-Eurocentric philosophies.[1] SPEP was created in 1962 by American philosophers who were interested in Continental philosophy and were dissatisfied with the analytic dominance of the American Philosophical Association.[2] It has since emerged as the second most important philosophical society in the United States. Gail Weiss and Alan Schrift are the current Co-Executive Directors of SPEP.[3][4]


SPEP's first meeting was at Northwestern University in 1962, during which "a handful or two of phenomenologists, existentialists, and iconoclasts gathered."[1] Now with a membership of over 2,500, SPEP has grown to be one of the largest philosophical societies in North America.[1][5]

As an acronym for Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, "SPEP" also denotes a series of scholarly monographs and translations founded by James M. Edie and published by Northwestern University Press since the early 1960s, including works by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Paul Ricoeur, and Edmund Husserl. The current series editor is Anthony Steinbock.[6]

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  1. ^ a b c Willett, Cynthia; Anthony Steinbock; Lauren Guilmette (2012). "Introduction". Journal of Speculative Philosophy. 26 (2): 79–81. doi:10.5325/jspecphil.26.2.0079.
  2. ^ Gutting, Gary (2012-02-19). "Bridging the Analytic–Continental Divide". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  3. ^ "SPEP officers". Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  4. ^ DesAutels, Peggy. "Amy Allen: November 2013". Highlighted Philosophers. American Philosophical Association. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  5. ^ "SPEP About". Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  6. ^ "Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy". Northwestern University Press. Northwestern University. Retrieved 1 December 2019.

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