Cardiff Annual Lecture

Havi Carel, 'Phenomenology of Social Distancing'

Took place on 3rd November 2020, but you can watch it here on YouTube.

In this talk, Havi Carel argues that recent restrictions aimed at preventing the transmission of covid-19 have had a profound impact on our personal and social worlds. Using key phenomenological ideas, such as being-in-the-world, being-with, the intelligibility of our shared world, and the centrality of touch and embodiment in our experience, Carel suggests that our everyday experience has been deeply disrupted by social distancing, causing significant changes to the ways in which we inhabit our social and physical world. She closes by characterising these changes as a global uncertainty: the loss of a once pre-reflective trust or confidence that envelops one's experience of the world as a whole.

Havi Carel is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bristol, where she teaches both philosophy students and medical students. Her book Illness was shortlisted for the 2009 Wellcome Book Prize and is now published in its third edition.


She is also the author of Phenomenology of Illness (2016) and Life and Death in Freud and Heidegger (2006), and co-editor of Health, Illness and Disease (2012), New Takes in Film-Philosophy (2010), and What Philosophy Is (2004). She has been a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator, a British Academy Mid-Career Fellow, and a Leverhulme Fellow.