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Lucy Osler
Cardiff University
  1. Taking empathy online.Lucy Osler - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Despite its long history of investigating sociality, phenomenology has, to date, said little about online sociality. The phenomenological tradition typically claims that empathy is the fundamental way in which we experience others and their experiences. While empathy is discussed almost exclusively in the context of face-to-face interaction, I claim that we can empathetically perceive others and their experiences in certain online situations. Drawing upon the phenomenological distinction between the physical, objective body and the expressive, lived body, I: (i) highlight that (...)
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  2. Engineering affect: emotion regulation, the internet, and the techno-social niche.Joel Krueger & Lucy Osler - 2019 - Philosophical Topics 47 (2):205-231.
    Philosophical work exploring the relation between cognition and the Internet is now an active area of research. Some adopt an externalist framework, arguing that the Internet should be seen as environmental scaffolding that drives and shapes cognition. However, despite growing interest in this topic, little attention has been paid to how the Internet influences our affective life — our moods, emotions, and our ability to regulate these and other feeling states. We argue that the Internet scaffolds not only cognition but (...)
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  3. Feeling togetherness online: a phenomenological sketch of online communal experiences.Lucy Osler - 2020 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 19 (3):569-588.
    The internet provides us with a multitude of ways of interacting with one another. In discussions about how technological innovations impact and shape our interpersonal interactions, there is a tendency to assume that encountering people online is essentially different to encountering people offline. Yet, individuals report feeling a sense of togetherness with one another online that echoes offline descriptions. I consider how we can understand people’s experiences of being together with others online, at least in certain instances, as arising out (...)
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  4. Taking Watsuji online: Betweenness and expression in online spaces.Lucy Osler & Joel Krueger - 2021 - Continental Philosophy Review (1):1-23.
    In this paper, we introduce the Japanese philosopher Tetsurō Watsuji’s phenomenology of aidagara (“betweenness”) and use his analysis in the contemporary context of online space. We argue that Watsuji develops a prescient analysis anticipating modern technologically-mediated forms of expression and engagement. More precisely, we show that instead of adopting a traditional phenomenological focus on face-to-face interaction, Watsuji argues that communication technologies — which now include Internet-enabled technologies and spaces — are expressive vehicles enabling new forms of emotional expression, shared experiences, (...)
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  5. ProAna Worlds: Affectivity and Echo Chambers Online.Lucy Osler & Joel Krueger - 2021 - Topoi 41 (5):883-893.
    Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is an eating disorder characterised by self-starvation. Accounts of AN typically frame the disorder in individualistic terms: e.g., genetic predisposition, perceptual disturbances of body size and shape, experiential bodily disturbances. Without disputing the role these factors may play in developing AN, we instead draw attention to the way disordered eating practices in AN are actively supported by others. Specifically, we consider how Pro-Anorexia (ProAna) websites—which provide support and solidarity, tips, motivational content, a sense of community, and understanding (...)
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  6. Communing with the Dead Online: Chatbots, Grief, and Continuing Bonds.Joel Krueger & Lucy Osler - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (9-10):222-252.
    Grief is, and has always been, technologically supported. From memorials and shrines to photos and saved voicemail messages, we engage with the dead through the technologies available to us. As our technologies evolve, so does how we grieve. In this paper, we consider the role chatbots might play in our grieving practices. Influenced by recent phenomenological work, we begin by thinking about the character of grief. Next, we consider work on developing “continuing bonds” with the dead. We argue that for (...)
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  7. Controlling the Noise: A Phenomenological Account of Anorexia Nervosa and the Threatening Body.Lucy Osler - 2021 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 28 (1):41-58.
    Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a complex disorder characterised by self-starvation, an act of self-destruction. It is often described as a disorder marked by paradoxes and, despite extensive research attention, is still not well understood. Much AN research focuses upon the distorted body image that individuals with AN supposedly experience. However, based upon reports from individuals describing their own experience of AN, I argue that their bodily experience is much more complex than this focus might lead us to believe. Such research (...)
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  8. Bodily saturation and social disconnectedness in depression.Lucy Osler - 2021 - Phenomenology and Mind 21:48-61.
    Individuals suffering from depression consistently report experiencing a lack of connectedness with others. David Karp (2017, 73), in his memoir and study of depression, has gone so far to describe depression as “an illness of isolation, a disease of disconnectedness”. It has become common, in phenomenological circles, to attribute this social impairment to the depressed individual experiencing their body as corporealized, acting as a barrier between them and the world around them (Fuchs 2005, 2016). In this paper, I offer an (...)
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  9. Agency, Environmental Scaffolding, and the Development of Eating Disorders - Commentary on Rodemeyer.Joel Krueger & Lucy Osler - 2020 - In Time and Body: Phenomenological and Psychopathological Approaches. Cambridge: pp. 256-262.
  10. Political emotions and political atmospheres.Lucy Osler & Thomas Szanto - forthcoming - In Dylan Trigg (ed.), Shared Emotions and Atmospheres. London, UK:
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    “An illness of isolation, a disease of disconnection”: Depression and the erosion of we-experiences.Lucy Osler - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13.
    Depression is an affective disorder involving a significant change in an individual’s emotional and affective experiences. While the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition mentions that social impairment may occur in depression, first-person reports of depression consistently name isolation from others as a key feature of depression. I present a phenomenological analysis of how certain interpersonal relations are experienced in depression. In particular, I consider whether depressed individuals are able to enter into “we-experiences” with other people. We-experiences (...)
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  12. (Un)wanted Feelings in Anorexia Nervosa: Making the Visceral Body Mine Again.Lucy Osler - 2021 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 28 (1):67-69.
    In my article "Controlling the noise," I present a phenomenological investigation of bodily experience in anorexia nervosa. Turning to descriptions of those who have suffered from AN, which repeatedly detail the experience of finding their bodies threatening, out of control and noisy, I suggest that the phenomenological conceptions of body-as-object, body-as-subject and visceral body can help us unpack the complex bodily experience of AN throughout its various stages. My claim is that self-starvation is enacted by a bodily-subject who wishes to (...)
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    Sociality and embodiment: online communication during and after Covid-19.Lucy Osler & Dan Zahavi - forthcoming - Foundations of Science:1-18.
    During the Covid-19 pandemic we increasingly turned to technology to stay in touch with our family, friends, and colleagues. Even as lockdowns and restrictions ease many are encouraging us to embrace the replacement of face-to-face encounters with technologically mediated ones. Yet, as philosophers of technology have highlighted, technology can transform the situations we find ourselves in. Drawing insights from the phenomenology of sociality, we consider how digitally-enabled forms of communication and sociality impact our experience of one another. In particular, we (...)
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  14. Empathy, familiarity, and togetherness: from offline to online.Lucy Osler - forthcoming - Metodo.
    In this paper, I consider the role that epistemic familiarity plays in our empathetic perception and our feeling togetherness with others. To do this, I distinguish between what I have dubbed familiarity by acquaintance and familiarity by resemblance and explore their role in our empathetic experiences and various forms of feeling togetherness with others both offline and online. In particular, I resist the idea that we should caveat experiences of online empathy and online togetherness with the requirement of already being (...)
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  15. See you online.Lucy Osler - 2020 - The Philosophers' Magazine 3 (90):80-86.
    Connecting with others online is not a new practice, of course. However, with lockdown measures in place across much of the globe, our social lives have been forced to migrate online to an even greater degree and intensity than ever before. While many decry the poverty of online social encounters, what underlies this debate is a philosophical question about how it is we encounter one another online. Perhaps somewhat counterintuitively, I explore how, in many cases, we directly perceive others and (...)
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    Reality + Reality-.Lucy Osler - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    Before David Chalmers’ new book Reality+ even hit the shelves, media outlets were showering it with praise, dubbing it a “mind-bending philosophical investigation” (The Guardian) and “the most alar...
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    Mediated Encounters in Autistic Spectrum Disorder: From the Material to the Digital.Lucy Osler - 2022 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 29 (3):209-211.
    Research on autistic spectrum disorder commonly describes autistic individuals as displaying: i) a preoccupation with the world of objects and ii) a withdrawal or detachment from the world of subjects. In her insightful and persuasive article, Sofie Boldsen argues that we should not fall into the trap of viewing the world of objects and the world of subjects in isolation from one another. Drawing from her qualitative and phenomenological study on social interaction in ASD, Boldsen urges us to recognize how (...)
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    WTF?! Covid-19, Indignation, and the Internet.Lucy Osler - 2023 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.
    The Covid-19 pandemic has fuelled indignation. People have been indignant about the breaking of lockdown rules, about the mistakes and deficiencies of government pandemic policies, about enforced mask-wearing, about vaccination programmes (or lack thereof), about lack of care with regards vulnerable individuals, and more. Indeed, indignation seems to have been particularly prevalent on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, where indignant remarks are often accompanied by variations on the hashtag #WTF?! In this paper, I explore indignation’s distinctive character (...)
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    Social Doubt.Tom Roberts & Lucy Osler - 2023 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-18.
    We introduce two concepts—social certainty and social doubt—that help to articulate a variety of experiences of the social world, such as shyness, self-consciousness, culture shock, and anxiety. Following Carel's (2013) analysis of bodily doubt, which explores how a person's tacit confidence in the workings of their body can be disrupted and undermined in illness, we consider how an individual's faith in themselves as a social agent, too, can be compromised or lost, thus altering their experience of what is afforded by (...)
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