Max Scheler’s Cognition and Work (Erkenntnis und Arbeit) first appeared in German in 1926, just two years before his death. The first part of the book offers one of the earliest critical analyses of American pragmatism, an analysis that would come to have a significant impact on the reception of pragmatism in Germany and western Europe. The second part of the work contains Scheler’s phenomenological account of perception and the experience of reality, an account that is as original as both Husserl’s and Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenologies of perception. Scheler aims to show that the modern mechanistic view of nature fails to account for the dynamic relation that not only the human being but all living beings have to the environment they inhabit.
Available in English translation for the first time, Cognition and Work pushes the boundaries of phenomenology as it is traditionally understood and offers insight into Scheler’s distinct metaphysics. This book is essential reading for those interested in phenomenology, pragmatism, perception, and living beings in their relation to the natural world.