In recent years there have been attempts to integrate first-person phenomenology into naturalistic science. Traditionally, however, Husserlian phenomenology has been resolutely anti-naturalist. Husserl identified naturalism as the dominant tendency of twentieth-century science and philosophy and he regarded it as an essentially self-refuting doctrine. Naturalism is a point of view or attitude (a reification of the natural attitude into the naturalistic attitude) that does not know that it is an attitude. For phenomenology, naturalism is objectivism. But phenomenology maintains that objectivity is (...) constituted through the intentional activity of cooperating subjects. Understanding the role of cooperating subjects in producing the experience of the one, shared, objective world keeps phenomenology committed to a resolutely anti-naturalist (or ) philosophy. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Preface; Introduction: Husserl's life and writings; 1. Husserl's Crisis: an unfinished masterpiece; 2. Galileo's revolution and the origins of modern science; 3. The Crisis in psychology; 4. Rethinking tradition: Husserl on history; 5. Husserl's problematical concept of the life-world; 6. Phenomenology as transcendental philosophy; 7. The ongoing influence of Husserl's Crisis.
Throughout his career, Husserl identifies naturalism as the greatest threat to both the sciences and philosophy. In this paper, I explicate Husserl’s overall diagnosis and critique of naturalism and then examine the specific transcendental aspect of his critique. Husserl agreed with the Neo-Kantians in rejecting naturalism. He has three major critiques of naturalism: First, it (like psychologism and for the same reasons) is ‘countersensical’ in that it denies the very ideal laws that it needs for its own justification. Second, naturalism (...) essentially misconstrues consciousness by treating it as a part of the world. Third, naturalism is the inevitable consequence of a certain rigidification of the ‘natural attitude’ into what Husserl calls the ‘naturalistic attitude’. This naturalistic attitude ‘reifies’ and it ‘absolutizes’ the world such that it is treated as taken-for-granted and ‘obvious’. Husserl’s transcendental phenomenological analysis, however, discloses that the natural attitude is, despite its omnipresence in everyday life, not primary, but in fact is relative to the ‘absolute’ transcendental attitude. The mature Husserl’s critique of naturalism is therefore based on his acceptance of the absolute priority of the transcendental attitude . The paradox remains that we must start from and, in a sense, return to the natural attitude, while, at the same time, restricting this attitude through the on-going transcendental vigilance of the universal epoché. (shrink)
Phenomenology, understood as a philosophy of immanence, has had an ambiguous, uneasy relationship with transcendence, with the wholly other, with the numinous. If phenomenology restricts its evidence to givenness and to what has phenomenality, what becomes of that which is withheld or cannot in principle come to givenness? In this paper I examine attempts to acknowledge the transcendent in the writings of two phenomenologists, Edmund Husserl and Edith Stein (who attempted to fuse phenomenology with Neo-Thomism), and also consider the influence (...) of the existentialist Karl Jaspers, who made transcendence an explicit theme of his writing. I argue that Husserl does recognize the essential experience of transcendence within immanence; even the idea of a physical thinghas “dimensions of infinity” included within it. Similarly, he asserts profoundly that every “outside” is what it is only as understood from the inside. Jaspers toomakes the experience of transcendence central to human existence; it is the very measure of my own depth. For Edith Stein, everything temporal points towardthe timeless structural ground which makes it what it is. Transcendence is an intrinsic part of being itself. Furthermore, the very lack of self-sufficiency of my own self shows that the self requires a ground outside itself, in the transcendent. There is strong convergence between the three thinkers studied on the concept of transcendence, which is indeed a central, if largely unacknowledged, concept in phenomenology both in Husserl and his followers (Stein), but also, throughJaspers, in Heidegger. (shrink)
In the last decade of his life (from 1928 to 1938), Husserl sought to develop a new understanding of his transcendental phenomenology (in publications such as Cartesian Meditations, Formal and Transcendental Logic, and the Crisis) in order to combat misconceptions of phenomenology then current (chief among which was Heidegger’s hermeneutic phenomenology as articulated in Being and Time). During this period, Husserl had an assistant and collaborator, Eugen Fink, who sought not only to be midwife to the birth of Husserl’s own (...) ideas but who also wanted to mediate between Husserl and Heidegger. As a result of the Fink- Husserl collaboration there appeared a rich flow of works that testify to the depth with which transcendental phenomenology had been rethought. Bruzina is the chief scholar of this material. This paper attempts both to disentangle the relationships between the phenomenologies of Husserrl, Heidegger, and Fink and to assess critically the value of Bruzina’s contribution. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
This work is a substantial contribution to the history of philosophy. Its subject, the ninth-century philosopher John Scottus Eriugena, developed a form of idealism that owed as much to the Greek Neoplatonic tradition as to the Latin fathers and anticipated the priority of the subject in its modern, most radical statement: German idealism. Moran has written the most comprehensive study yet of Eriugena's philosophy, tracing the sources of his thinking and analyzing his most important text, the Periphyseon. This (...) volume will be of special interest to historians of mediaeval philosophy, history, and theology. (shrink)
The Phenomenology Reader is the first comprehensive anthology of classic writings from phenomenology's major seminal thinkers. The carefully selected readings chart phenomenology's most famous thinkers such as Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre and Derrida as well as less well known figures such as Stein and Scheler. Each author and their writings is introduced and placed in philosophical context by the editors.
Inspired by Aristotle, Franz Brentano revived the concept of intentionality to characterize the domain of mental phenomena studied by descriptive psychology. Edmund Husserl, while discarding much of Brentano?s conceptual framework and presuppositions, located intentionality at the core of his science of pure consciousness (phenomenology). Martin Heidegger, Husserl?s assistant from 1919 to 1923, dropped all reference to intentionality and consciousness in Being and Time (1927), and so appeared to break sharply with his avowed mentors, Brentano and Husserl. Some recent commentators have (...) sided with Heidegger and have endorsed his critique of Husserl and Brentano as still caught up in epistemological, representationalist approaches to intentionality. I argue that Heidegger is developing Husserl, focusing in particular on the ontological dimension of intentionality, not reversing or abandoning his account. Heidegger?s criticisms of representationalism merely repeat Husserl?s. Furthermore, I argue that Husserl?s account of cognitive intentionality, which recognizes the importance of the disinterested theoretical attitude for scientific knowledge, has been underestimated and misunderstood by Heidegger, who treats scientific cognition as a deficient form of practice. In short, Heidegger is more dependent on Husserl than he ever publicly acknowledged. (shrink)
Since 1976 Hilary Putnam has drawn parallels between his `internal'',`pragmatic'', `natural'' or `common-sense'' realism and Kant''s transcendentalidealism. Putnam reads Kant as rejecting the then current metaphysicalpicture with its in-built assumptions of a unique, mind-independent world,and truth understood as correspondence between the mind and that ready-madeworld. Putnam reads Kant as overcoming the false dichotomies inherent inthat picture and even finds some glimmerings of conceptual relativity inKant''s proposed solution. Furthermore, Putnam reads Kant as overcoming thepernicious scientific realist distinction between primary and secondaryqualities, (...) between things that really exist and their projections, adistinction that haunts modern philosophy. Putnam''s revitalisation of Kantis not just of historical interest, but challenges contemporary versions ofscientific realism. Furthermore, Putnam has highlighted themes which havenot received the attention they deserve in Kantian exegesis, namely, theproblematic role of primary and secondary qualities in Kant''s empiricalrealism, and the extent of Kant''s commitment to conceptual pluralism.However, I argue that Putnam''s qualified allegiance to Kant exposes him tosome of the same metaphysical problems that affected Kant, namely, thefamiliar problem of postulating an absolute reality (Ding an sich), while atthe same time disavowing the meaningfulness of so doing. In conclusion Isuggest that Putnam might consider Hegel''s attempts to solve this problem inKant as a way of furthering his own natural realism. (shrink)
Introduction to Phenomenology is an outstanding and comprehensive guide to an important but often little-understood movement in European philosophy. Dermot Moran lucidly examines the contributions of phenomenology's nine seminal thinkers: Brentano, Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer, Arendt, Levinas, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and Derrida. Written in a clear and engaging style, this volume charts the course of the movement from its origins in Husserl to its transformation by Derrida. It describes the thought of Heidegger and Sartre, phenomenology's most famous thinkers, and introduces and assesses (...) the distinctive use of phenomenology by some of its lesser-known exponents, such as Levinas, Arendt and Gadamer. Throughout, the enormous influence of phenomenology on the course of twentieth-century philosophy is thoroughly explored. Clearly explaining technical terms and avoiding jargon, Introduction to Phenomenology is an indispensable introduction to the history and substance of this vital current in intellectual thought. (shrink)
Educating the Virtues David Carr Routledge, 1991. Pp. 304. ISBN 0?415?05746?9. £35. The Philosophical Theology of St Thomas Aquinas By Leo J. Elders E. J. Brill, 1990. Pp. 332. ISBN 0?04?09156?4. $74.36. The State and Justice: An Essay in Political Theory By Milton Fisk Cambridge University Press, 1990. Pp. x + 391. ISBN 0?521?38966?6. £10.95 pbk. Perspectives on Language and Thought: Interrelations in Development Edited by S. A. Gelman and J. P. Byrnes Cambridge University Press, 1992. Pp. xii + 524. (...) ISBN 0?521?37497?9. £50. Aristotle's First Principles By T. H. Irwin Oxford University Press, 1989. Pp. xviii + 702. ISBN 0?198?24717?6. £17.50 Pbk. Truth and Eros: Foucault, Lacan, and the Question of Ethics By John Rajchman Routledge, 1991. Pp. 155. ISBN 0?415?90380?7. £10.99. Logical Forms By Mark Sainsbury Blackwell, 1991. Pp. 408. ISBN 0?631?17777?9. £11.95. Form and Transformation. A Study in the Philosophy of Plotinus By Frederic M. Schroeder McGill?Queen's University Press, 1992. Pp. xiv + 136. ISBN 0?7735?1016?8. £34.95. Did The Greeks Believe Their Myths? An Essay on the Constitutive Imagination By Paul Veyne, translated by Paula Wissing The University of Chicago Press, 1988. Pp. 161. ISBN 0?226?85434?5. £8.75 Pbk. What is Philosophy? By Dietrich von Hildebrand Routledge, 1991. Pp. lvii + 242. ISBN 0?415?02584?2. £12.99. (shrink)