Over four decades, Habermas has put to paper many critical remarks on Husserl’s work as occasion has demanded. These scattered critical engagements nonetheless do add up to a coherent (if contestable) position regarding the project of transcendental phenomenology. This essay provides a comprehensive reconstruction of the arguments Habermas makes and offers a critical assessment of them. With an eye in particular to the theme of intersubjectivity (a theme of fundamental interest to both thinkers), it is argued that Habermas’s arguments do (...) indeed show up deficiencies in Husserlian phenomenology and yet that they do not succeed in proving that we must abandon the methods and tasks of phenomenological research. On the contrary, it is argued that phenomenological methods may well be needed in order to investigate certain philosophical questions that Habermas’s theory of communication has thus far only partially addressed. (shrink)
This essay considers the philosophical and theological significance of the phenomenological analysis of Christian faith offered by the early Heidegger. It shows, first, that Heidegger poses a radical and controversial challenge to philosophers by calling them to do without God in an unfettered pursuit of the question of being (through his ‘destruction of onto-theology’); and, second, that this exclusion nonetheless leaves room for a form of philosophical reflection upon the nature of faith and discourse concerning God, namely for a philosophy (...) of religion in a phenomenological mode (as exemplified most clearly in Heidegger’s 1920/21 lectures on the phenomenology of religious life). However, it is argued that the theological roots of Heidegger’s own phenomenological analyses subvert his frequently asserted claim concerning the incompatibility of Christian faith and philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
This article describes some of the main arguments for the existence of other minds, and intersubjectivity more generally, that depend upon a transcendental justification. This means that our focus will be largely on ‘continental’ philosophy, not only because of the abiding interest in this tradition in thematising intersubjectivity, but also because transcendental reasoning is close to ubiquitous in continental philosophy. Neither point holds for analytic philosophy. As such, this essay will introduce some of the important contributions of Edmund Husserl, Martin (...) Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Karl-Otto Apel, all of whom use transcendental reasoning as a key part of their analyses of intersubjectivity, and we also consider the work of Peter Strawson who does likewise in the analytic tradition. (shrink)
Hubert Dreyfus has claimed that Heidegger's phenomenological method involves a “hermeneutics of suspicion”. This is an intriguing suggestion, and if it were correct it would indicate that the standard interpretations overlook a significant aspect of the methodology of Being and Time. But is there really a hermeneutics of suspicion in Being and Time? Leslie MacAvoy has offered the most sustained challenge to Dreyfus on this point, arguing that his “hermeneutics of suspicion thesis” misconstrues both the overarching project and the methodological (...) structure of Heidegger's magnum opus. In this essay, after examining Dreyfus's “hermeneutics of suspicion thesis” and MacAvoy's objections to it, I argue that the criticisms offered by MacAvoy, despite correcting some misunderstandings in Dreyfus's reading, are not fatal to the general thesis that a hermeneutics of suspicion is operative in Being and Time. Indeed, I contend that Dreyfus's basic intuition is correct and that it does identify a significant and often overlooked aspect of Heidegger's phenomenological method. In the body of the essay, Dreyfus's intuition is developed into a more detailed and rigorous analysis of the “suspicious” dimension of Being and Time. (shrink)
The critique of psychologism -- Phenomenology and other 'eidetic sciences' -- Phenomenology and transcendental philosophy -- The transcendental reduction -- The structure of intentionality -- Intuition, evidence, and truth -- Categorial intuition and ideation (eidetic seeing) -- Time-consciousness -- The ego and selfhood -- Intersubjectivity -- The crisis of the sciences and the idea of the 'lifeworld' -- Conclusion: mastering Husserl.