David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Axiomathes 18 (4):445-460 (2008)
The special importance of the system of Hedwig Conrad-Martius lies in that she takes up the ideas of her teacher Husserl and pursues them on an independent path of phenomenology carefully anchored in the history of philosophy. This above all made possible the philosophical grasping of the then revolutionary findings in the modern natural sciences, especially in physics and medicine. The question concerning the border between the natural sciences and philosophy is today still debated with just as much urgency—indeed, ethically with even more urgency—as it was in her time. By virtue of this alone, her ideas can be of great help to us. The natural scientific progress made since her time does not, however, present a barrier; rather it corresponds to the spirit of phenomenology: not to produce results with rigid intellectual frameworks, but to make available a tool with which the world in its diversity—and thus also for its modern, ever-changing issues—can be disclosed ever anew. The essay will consist of an overview of the life of Hedwig Conrad-Martius, an introduction to the essential ideas of her work: her concept of essence and her formulation of phenomenological ideation [Wesensschau], a brief sketch of her epistemology and an exposition of her ontological conception of “real ontology” [Realontologie].
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