Phenomenologizing with a Hammer: Theory or practice? [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Continental Philosophy Review 32 (4):379-393 (1999)
As a contribution towards clearing the ground for a new phenomenological evaluation of the essence of science, in this paper I present a critique of Heidegger''s argument in Being and Time for the priority of Zuhandenheit to Vorhandenheit. I argue that Heidegger''s notion of presence-at-hand is incoherent, conflating Husserl and Descartes, and that this general analysis has serious phenomenological flaws. Contrary to Heidegger, I maintain that there is a form of exploratory, theoretical activity including causal inquiry which is prior to the type of practical activity entailed by readiness-to-hand. Consideration of this exploratory activity points us in the direction of an alternate conception of the genesis and essence of theory.
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