Simon Høffding

Image of Simon Høffding
Norwegian version of this page
Mobile phone +4560905201
Room V01-03
Visiting address Forskningsv. 3A Harald Schjelderups hus 0373 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1133 Blindern 0318 OSLO

Academic interests

I am interested in the nature of musical absorption and what it does to our consciousness. Therefore I work with some of the best "classic" and Jazz musician in the world doing in depth interviews and also physiological measures. The backbone of my investigations, however, are philosophical or phenomenoloigical. This is because experiences of absorption essentially are experiences of altered senses of self and consciousness. To understand absorption, we therefore need storng theories of what it means to be a self, what it means to be in command of one's actions (the sense of agency) and what it means to let go of control and yet maintain the highest level of mastery over one's playing. I examine these questions through my interviews and quantitative data from the perspective of phenomenology, enactivism, embodied cognition, social ontology, psychology of music and expertise theories. I am also interested in the phenomenology of aesthetics, in psychopathology and in research on dreaming and sleeping which potentially can enlighten the phenomenology of musical absorption.

Courses taught

I will give lectures in the philosophy of music, psychology of music and in the phenomenology of musical performance


I hold a BA in Liberal Arts from Soka University of America (2008), an MA in Philosophy from the University of Liverpool (2009), an MA in Philosophy specialized in phenomenology and philosophy of mind from the University of Copenhagen (2012) and a PhD on "The Phenomenology of Expert Musicianship" from the Center for Subjectivity Research, University of Copenhagen (2015). Since then I've been an external lecturer at the University of Southern Denmark and held post doctoral positions at the Interactive Minds Centre, University of Aarhus and at the Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen.


I collaborate with a number of artists as well as cultural and academic instututions. To mention a few: The Danish String Quartet (, The Center for Subjectivity Research (, The National Gallery of Denmark (, The Tokyo Fuji Art Museum (, The Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, Interacting Minds Centre (, The Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt (, Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, The Institute for Daisaku Ikeda Studies in Education at DePaul University, Chicago (



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  • Høffding, Simon (2019). A Phenomenology of Musical Absorption. Palgrave Macmillan.  ISBN 978-3-030-00659-4.  300 s.

View all works in Cristin

  • Høffding, Simon (2020). shared musical absorption: A Phenomenological case study with the Danish string quartet.
  • Mari, Lilleslåtten & Høffding, Simon (2020, 24. januar). De dyktigste musikerne kan spille uten å tenke. [Internett].
  • Høffding, Simon (2019). At a distance from myself – on the phenomenology of hyper reflection and ex-static musical absorption.
  • Høffding, Simon (2019). Grounding Enactivism - Review of Dan Hutto and Erik Myin, Evolving Enactivism (2017, MIT press); Shaun Gallagher, Enactivist Interventions (2017, Oxford University Press); Ezequiel Di Paolo, Thomas Buhrmann, and Xabier E. Barandiaran, Sensorimotor Life (2017, Oxford University Press). Philosophy.  ISSN 0031-8191. . doi: 10.1017/S0031819119000044
  • Høffding, Simon (2019). Hvad er musikalsk fordybelse?.
  • Høffding, Simon (2019). In the phenomenological workshop with “The Danish String Quartet":coping, mind-wandering and Amnesia.
  • Høffding, Simon (2019). Informing phenomenology through interviews: Dreyfus’ experts and musical virtuosos.
  • Høffding, Simon (2019). Kvalitativ forskning og fænomenologi tur-retur.
  • Høffding, Simon (2019). Moved in Museums: Activity and Passivity in Aesthetic Absorption.
  • Høffding, Simon (2019). Musical Empathy and expert automaticity: Applying phenomenology to Music performance.
  • Høffding, Simon (2019). Not being there: an analysis of expertise induced amnesia.
  • Høffding, Simon (2019). Performative passivity. Lessons on phenomenology and the extended musical mind with the Danish String Quartet, In  Music and Consciousness 2 Worlds, Practices, Modalities.  Oxford University Press.  ISBN 9780198804352.  7.
  • Høffding, Simon (2019). Phenomenological interviews.
  • Høffding, Simon (2019). Sammen i Musikken: Fri improvisation som unik social begivenhed.
  • Høffding, Simon (2019). The Phenomenological Interview and the Skeptic Philosopher.
  • Høffding, Simon (2019). Thinking in movement: An enactive account of improvisation.
  • Høffding, Simon (2019). What do expert musicians perceive when they perform? Phenomenological Explorations.

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Published Aug. 9, 2018 9:51 AM - Last modified Aug. 12, 2019 2:05 PM

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