Adventures of the Reduction

Abstract
In his illuminating Aquinas Lecture Jacques Taminiaux offers a bold interpretation of certain contemporary European philosophers in terms of the way in which they react to and transform Husserl’s phenomenological reduction. He highlights issues relating to embodiment, personhood, and value. Taminiaux sketches Husserl’s emerging conception of the reduction and criticizes certain Cartesian assumptions that Husserl retains even after the reduction, and specifically the assumption that directly experienced mental acts and states are not given in adumbrations but present themselves as they are. Heidegger too does not escape a certain Cartesian dualism with his privileging of the individual authentic self over and against the inauthentic das Man. Taminiaux portrayspost-Heideggerian philosophy (specifi cally Arendt, Jonas, and Levinas) as responding to failures or dualisms haunting Husserl’s reduction. Taminiaux is right to insist on the importance of the reduction in Husserl and also, despite appearances, in Heidegger, but it is not clear that the meditations of Arendt, Jonas, and Levinas can really be seen as responding to failures in the reduction. Furthermore, Taminiaux downplays the centrality of Husserl’s commitment to transcendental idealism and his representation of the epochē and reduction as ways of breaking through the natural attitude to reach the transcendental attitude of the non-participating spectator
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