The International Society for Phenomenological Studies is a professional society devoted to the study of phenomenology, existentialism, and hermeneutics, as well as the leading texts of these traditions. The Society is united by the aim of studying the issues and texts prominent in 19th and 20th century European philosophy, as well as by a skepticism about the supposed methodological differences conventionally associated with “Continental” and “analytic” philosophy.
The society exists exclusively in order to hold an annual workshop-style meeting, in which some participants present their work-in-progress for feedback from other participants. Participation in the annual meeting is by invitation only.
The idea for the Society was formed in the Summer of 1998, at the end of a meeting in Urbino, Italy, when Mark Wrathall, Hubert Dreyfus, William Blattner, and Taylor Carman realized that an annual meeting of their own, in the United States, would help participants sustain a discussion of their current philosophical research. Mark Wrathall agreed to be the director and convener and served in this capacity for five years, 1999-2003. William Blattner served as director for eleven years, 2004-2015. By agreement of members at the 2015 meeting, the Society is now managed, and its annual meeting convened, by a three-person governing body (currently: Dave Cerbone, Leslie MacAvoy, and Joe Rouse), an on-site coordinator (Mark Okrent), and a treasurer (Kate Withy).
The Society held its inaugural meeting in Pacific Grove, California, July 19-23, 1999 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds and continued to meet annually at Asilomar until 2010. For this reason the annual gathering has been referred to as "the Asilomar meeting." At the 2010 meeting the participants decided for financial and logistical reasons to move the meetings to the East Coast. In 2011 the Society met at the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, Maine, and is likely to continue meeting there for the foreseeable future.
Participants in meetings can find the dedicated site for organizing the meetings here: https://sites.google.com/site/ispsmeetings/home