In The Crisis of Meaning and the Life-World, Ľubica Učník examines the existential conflict that formed the focus of Edmund Husserl’s final work, which she argues is very much with us today: how to reconcile scientific rationality with the meaning of human existence. To investigate this conundrum, she places Husserl in dialogue with three of his most important successors: Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, and Jan Patočka.
For Husserl, 1930s Europe was characterized by a growing irrationalism that threatened to undermine its legacy of rational inquiry. Technological advancement in the sciences, Husserl argued, had led science to forget its own foundations in the primary “life-world”: the world of lived experience. Renewing Husserl’s concerns in today’s context, Učník first provides an original and compelling reading of his oeuvre through the lens of the formalization of the sciences, then traces the unfolding of this problem through the work of Heidegger, Arendt, and Patočka.
Although many scholars have written on Arendt, none until now has connected her philosophical thought with that of Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka. Učník provides invaluable access to the work of the latter, who remains understudied in the English language. She shows that together, these four thinkers offer new challenges to the way we approach key issues confronting us today, providing us with ways to reconsider truth, freedom, and human responsibility in the face of the postmodern critique of metanarratives and a growing philosophical interest in new forms of materialism.
Contemporary philosophers are increasingly turning to the work of Emmanuel Levinas to bring a consideration of ethics into their own thinking. As an exponent of the phenomenological tradition, Levinas ranks with Heidegger and Sartre; as a disciple of Husserl, he was one of the most independent and original interpreters, testifying to the fruitfulness of Husserl's phenomenology.
In collecting almost all of Levinas's articles on Husserlian phenomenology, this volume gathers together a wealth of thoughtful exposition and interpretation by one of the most important European philosophers of the twentieth century. Levinas's thought is relevant to a broad variety of disciplines and concerns. This volume serves as a reliable introduction for the beginning student, as well as satisfying the expert's more demanding and critical desire for insight into the complexities of Levinas's thought.
The product of many years of reflection on phenomenology, this book is a comprehensive and creative introduction to the philosophy of Edmund Husserl. Natanson uses Husserl's later work as a clue to the meaning of his entire intellectual career, showing how his earlier methodological work evolved into the search for transcendental roots and developed into a philosophy of the life-world. Phenomenology, for Natanson, emerges as a philosophy of origin, a transcendental discipline concerned with consciousness, history, and world rather than with introspection and traditional metaphysical warfare.
No symbol of progress in our century is more galvanizing than electricity—electric power and the technology it has spawned. The "invisible world" of electric energy that was emerging at the turn of the century is one we take for granted, but its influence on the growth and quality of city life was, and remains, profound. Using Chicago as a test case, Harold L. Platt investigates the emergence of an urban-based, energy-intensive society over the course of half a century in this first book-length history of energy use in the city.
At a time when many philosophers have concluded that Husserl's philosophy is exhausted, but when alternatives appear to be exhausted as well, Anthony J. Steinbock presents an innovative approach to Husserlian phenomenology. His systematic study of the problems and themes of a generative phenomenology, normality and abnormality, and sociohistorical concepts of homeworld and alienworld, and the steps he takes toward developing such a generative phenomenology, open new doors for a phenomenology of the social world, while casting new light on work done by Husserl himself and by many philosopher working more or less in a Husserlian vein. Both critique and an appropriation of a large and diverse body of work, Home and Beyond is a major contribution to contemporary Husserl scholarship.
Paul Ricoeur was one of the foremost interpreters and translators of Edmund Husserl's philosophy. These nine essays present Ricoeur's interpretation of the most important of Husserl's writings, with emphasis on his philosophy of consciousness rather than his work in logic. In Ricoeur's philosophy, phenomenology and existentialism came of age and these essays provide an introduction to the Husserlian elements which most heavily influenced his own philosophical position.
Husserl and the Idea of Europe argues that Edmund Husserl’s late reflections on Europe should not be read either as departures from his early transcendental phenomenology or as simple exercises of cultural criticism but rather as systematic phenomenological reflections on generativity and historicity. Timo Miettinen shows that Husserl’s deliberations on Europe contain his most compelling and radical interpretation of the intersubjective, communal, and historical dimensions of phenomenology.
Husserl and his generation worked in the aftermath of World War I, as Europe struggled to redefine itself, and he penned his late writings as the clouds of World War II gathered. Decades later, the fall of the Soviet Union again altered the continent’s identity and its political and economic divisions. Miettinen writes as a European involved in the question of Europe, and many of the recent authors and critics he addresses in this work—such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Giorgio Agamben—likewise deeply engaged with this new problem of European identity. The book illuminates the multifaceted problem of the idea of European rationality, and it defends novel conceptions of universalism and teleology as necessary components of radical philosophical reflection.
Husserl and Transcendental Intersubjectivity analyzes the transcendental relevance of intersubjectivity and argues that an intersubjective transformation of transcendental philosophy can already be found in phenomenology, especially in Husserl. Husserl eventually came to believe that an analysis of transcendental intersubjectivity was a conditio sine qua non for a phenomenological philosophy. Drawing on both published and unpublished manuscripts, Dan Zahavi examines Husserl's reasons for this conviction and delivers a detailed analysis of his radical and complex concept of intersubjectivity, showing that precisely his reflections on transcendental intersubjectivity are capable of clarifying the core-concepts of phenomenology, thus making possible a new understanding of Husserl’s philosophy.
Against this background the book compares his view with the approaches to intersubjectivity found in Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty, and it then attempts to establish to what extent the phenomenological approach can contribute to the current discussion of intersubjectivity. This is achieved through a systematic confrontation with the language-pragmatical positions of Apel and Habermas.
Combining Maurice Merleau-Ponty's 1960 course notes on Edmund Husserl's "The Origin of Geometry," his course summary, related texts, and critical essays, this collection offers a unique and welcome glimpse into both Merleau-Ponty's nuanced reading of Husserl's famed late writings and his persistent effort to track the very genesis of truth through the incarnate idealization of language.
In a penetrating and lucid discussion of the enigmatic relationship between the work of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, Steven Galt Crowell proposes that the distinguishing feature of twentieth-century philosophy is not so much its emphasis on language as its concern with meaning. Arguing that transcendental phenomenology is indispensable to the philosophical explanation of the space of meaning, Crowell shows how a proper understanding of both Husserl and Heidegger reveals the distinctive contributions of each to that ongoing phenomenological project.
This comprehensive study of Husserl's phenomenology concentrates on Husserl's emphasis on the theory of knowledge. The authors develop a synthetic overview of phenomenology and its relation to logic, mathematics, the natural and human sciences, and philosophy. The result is an example of philology at its best, avoiding technical language and making Husserl's thought accessible to a variety of readers.
Edmund Husserl, founder of the phenomenological movement, is usually read as an idealist in his metaphysics and an instrumentalist in his philosophy of science. In Nature’s Suit, Lee Hardy argues that both views represent a serious misreading of Husserl’s texts.
Drawing upon the full range of Husserl’s major published works together with material from Husserl’s unpublished manuscripts, Hardy develops a consistent interpretation of Husserl’s conception of logic as a theory of science, his phenomenological account of truth and rationality, his ontology of the physical thing and mathematical objectivity, his account of the process of idealization in the physical sciences, and his approach to the phenomenological clarification and critique of scientific knowledge. Offering a jargon-free explanation of the basic principles of Husserl’s phenomenology, Nature’s Suit provides an excellent introduction to the philosophy of Edmund Husserl as well as a focused examination of his potential contributions to the philosophy of science.
While the majority of research on Husserl’s philosophy of the sciences focuses on the critique of science in his late work, The Crisis of European Sciences, Lee Hardy covers the entire breadth of Husserl’s reflections on science in a systematic fashion, contextualizing Husserl’s phenomenological critique to demonstrate that it is entirely compatible with the theoretical dimensions of contemporary science.
At the dawn of the modern era, philosophers reinterpreted their subject as the study of consciousness, pushing the body to the margins of philosophy. With the arrival of Husserlian thought in the late nineteenth century, the body was once again understood to be part of the transcendental field. And yet, despite the enormous influence of Husserl’s phenomenology, the role of "embodiment" in the broader philosophical landscape remains largely unresolved. In his ambitious debut book, Phenomenology and Embodiment, Joona Taipale tackles the Husserlian concept—also engaging the thought of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Michel Henry—with a comprehensive and systematic phenomenological investigation into the role of embodiment in the constitution of self-awareness, intersubjectivity, and objective reality. In doing so, he contributes a detailed clarification of the fundamental constitutive role of embodiment in the basic relations of subjectivity.
In Phenomenology and the Problem of History, David Carr examines the paradox involving Husserl's transcendental philosophy and his later historicist theory. Rejecting the arguments of earlier critics that compromise aspects of Husserl's writing, Carr proposes a model of the transcendental philosopher who balances necessary historical reduction with a strict mind to historical context.
Derrida's first book-length work, The Problem of Genesis in Husserl's Philosophy, was originally written as a dissertation for his diplôme d'études supérieures in 1953 and 1954. Surveying Husserl's major works on phenomenology, Derrida reveals what he sees as an internal tension in Husserl's central notion of genesis, and gives us our first glimpse into the concerns and frustrations that would later lead Derrida to abandon phenomenology and develop his now famous method of deconstruction.
For Derrida, the problem of genesis in Husserl's philosophy is that both temporality and meaning must be generated by prior acts of the transcendental subject, but transcendental subjectivity must itself be constituted by an act of genesis. Hence, the notion of genesis in the phenomenological sense underlies both temporality and atemporality, history and philosophy, resulting in a tension that Derrida sees as ultimately unresolvable yet central to the practice of phenomenology.
Ten years later, Derrida moved away from phenomenology entirely, arguing in his introduction to Husserl's posthumously published Origin of Geometry and his own Speech and Phenomena that the phenomenological project has neither resolved this tension nor expressly worked with it. The Problem of Genesis complements these other works, showing the development of Derrida's approach to phenomenology as well as documenting the state of phenomenological thought in France during a particularly fertile period, when Levinas, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Ricoeur, and Tran-Duc-Thao, as well as Derrida, were all working through it. But the book is most important in allowing us to follow Derrida's own development as a philosopher by tracing the roots of his later work in deconstruction to these early critical reflections on Husserl's phenomenology.
"A dissertation is not merely a prerequisite for an academic job. It may set the stage for a scholar's life project. So, the doctoral dissertations of Max Weber and Jacques Derrida, never before available in English, may be of more than passing interest. In June, the University of Chicago Press will publish Mr. Derrida's dissertation, The Problem of Genesis in Husserl's Philosophy, which the French philosopher wrote in 1953-54 as a doctoral student, and which did not appear in French until 1990. From the start, Mr Derrida displayed his inventive linguistic style and flouting of convention."—Danny Postel, Chronicle of Higher Education
Through careful analysis of phenomenological texts by Husserl and Heidegger, Marion argues for the necessity of a third phenomenological reduction that concerns what is fully implied but left largely unthought by the phenomenologies of both Husserl and Heidegger: the unconditional "givenness" of the phenomenon. At once historically grounded and radically new, this phenomenology of givenness has revitalized phenomenological debate in Europe and the U.S.
In Speech and Phenomena, Jacques Derrida situates the philosophy of language in relation to logic and rhetoric, which have often been seen as irreconcilable criteria for the use and interpretations of signs. His critique of Husserl attacks the position that language is founded on logic rather than on rhetoric; instead, he claims, meaningful language is limited to expression because expression alone conveys sense. Derrida's larger project is to confront phenomenology with the tradition it has so often renounced--the tradition of Western metaphysics.
Subjectivity and Lifeworld in Transcendental Phenomenology contributes to discussions about Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology in light of the ongoing publication of his manuscripts. It accounts for the historical origins and influence of the phenomenological project by articulating Husserl's relationship to authors who came before and after him. Finally, it argues for the viability of the phenomenological project as conceived by Husserl in his later years, showing that Husserlian phenomenology is not exhausted in its early, Cartesian perspective, which is indeed its weakest and most vulnerable perspective. Rather, Sebastian Luft convincingly argues, Husserlian phenomenology is a robust and philosophically necessary approach when considered from its late, hermeneutic perspective.
The key point Luft brings into focus is that Husserl's hermeneutic phenomenology is distinct from other hermeneutic philosophers', namely Ernst Cassirer, Martin Heidegger, and Hans-Georg Gadamer. Unlike them, Husserl's focus centers on the work subjects must do in order to uncover the prejudices that guide their unreflective relationship to the world. Luft also demonstrates that there is a deep consistency within Husserl's own writings—from early to late—around the guiding themes of the natural attitude, the need and function of the epoché, and the split between egos, where the transcendental self (distinct from the natural self) is seen as the fundamental ability we all have to inquire into the genesis of our tradition-laden attitudes toward the world.
In this landmark study, Emmanuel Levinas discusses the aspects and function of intuition in Husserl's thought and its meaning for philosophical self-reflection. An essential, and illuminating explication of central issues in Husserl's phenomenology, it is also important as a formative work of one of this century's most distinguished philosophers.
Published in 1967, when Derrida is 37 years old, Voice and Phenomenon appears at the same moment as Of Grammatology and Writing and Difference. All three books announce the new philosophical project called “deconstruction.” Although Derrida will later regret the fate of the term “deconstruction,” he will use it throughout his career to define his own thinking. While Writing and Difference collects essays written over a 10 year period on diverse figures and topics, and Of Grammatology aims its deconstruction at “the age of Rousseau,” Voice and Phenomenon shows deconstruction engaged with the most important philosophical movement of the last hundred years: phenomenology.
Only in relation to phenomenology is it possible to measure the importance of deconstruction. Only in relation to Husserl’s philosophy is it possible to understand the novelty of Derrida’s thinking. Voice and Phenomenon therefore may be the best introduction to Derrida’s thought in general. To adapt Derrida’s comment on Husserl’s Logical Investigations, it contains “the germinal structure” of Derrida’s entire thought. Lawlor’s fresh translation of Voice and Phenomenon brings new life to Derrida’s most seminal work.
In search of the origins of some of the most fundamental problems that have beset philosophers in English-speaking countries in the past century, Claire Ortiz Hill maintains that philosophers are treating symptoms of ills whose causes lie buried in history. Substantial linguistic hurdles have blocked access to Gottlob Frege's thought and even to Bertrand Russell's work to remedy the problems he found in it. Misleading translations of key concepts like intention, content, presentation, idea, meaning, concept, etc., severed analytic philosophy from its roots.
Hill argues that once linguistic and historical barriers are removed, Edmund Husserl's critical study of Frege's logic in his 1891 Philosophy of Arithmetic provides important insights into issues in philosophy now.
She supports her conclusions with analyses of Frege's, Husserl's, and Russell's works, including Principia Mathematica, and with linguistic analyses of the principal concepts of analytic philosophy. She re-establishes links that existed between English and Continental thought to show Husserl's expertise as a philosopher of mathematics and logic who had been Weierstrass's assistant and had long maintained ties with Cantor, Hilbert, and Zermelo.
The World Unclaimed argues that Heidegger’s critique of modern epistemology in Being and Time is seriously flawed. Heidegger believes he has done away with epistemological problems concerning the external world by showing that the world is an existential structure of Dasein. However, the author argues that Heidegger fails to make good his claim that he has “rescued” the phenomenon of the world, which he believes the tradition of philosophy has bypassed. Heidegger fails not only to reclaim the world but also to acknowledge its loss. Alweiss thus calls into question Heidegger’s claim that ontology is more fundamental than epistemology.
The World Unclaimed develops its powerful critique of Being and Time by arguing for a return to Husserl. It draws on Husserl’s insight that it is the moving and sensing body that discloses how we are already familiar with the world. Kinaesthesia provides a key for understanding our relation to the world. The author thus suggests that thinkers in the vein of Husserl and Kant -who, for Heidegger, epitomize the tradition of modern philosophy by returning to a “worldless subject”- may provide us with the resources to reclaim the phenomenon of the world that Being and Time sets out to salvage.
Alweiss’s fresh and innovative study demonstrates that it is possible to overcome epistemological skepticism without ever losing sight of the phenomenon of the world. Moreover, Alweiss challenges us to reconsider the relation between Husserl and Heidegger by providing a forceful defense of Husserl’s critique of cognition.