Although Foucault's early writings were strongly influenced by the discourse of existentialphenomenology, he later considered it an obstacle to a better understanding of social and political power. This essay seeks to understand some of the reasons for his shift, specifically with respect to Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty. I argue that Foucault diverges from existentialphenomenology according to an alternative tendency within the Kantian inheritance they both share: one which stresses the world-disruptive rather than the unifying or (...) world-disclosive power of transcendental imagination. Examining the role played by dreams and death in Foucault's early introduction to Binswanger's Dream and Existence allows us to situate his later analysis of the historical and political (rather than existential) meaning of death with respect to larger philosophical currents. (shrink)
: This essay analyzes the relation between nothingness and the work of art, where negation appears as a fundamental element of art. Starting at a discussion of the concept of nothingness in existentialphenomenology, it points to the limitations of Heidegger’s notion of nullity and negation, which spring from the denial of the dimension of consciousness to his Dasein. Although Sartre recovers that dimension in his portrayal of the pour-soi, now the idea of nothingness is not taken to (...) its ultimate consequence, where art would appear as a product of consciousness that is entrenched in nothingness. Only through an enlarged notion of consciousness, one that allows the perception of negative experience as intrinsically related to poiesis, will the work of art appear ontologically grounded in a form of Being that searches for its own contradiction. Such an enlarged notion of consciousness appears in the thought of Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitarō , where concepts such as ‘‘the place of nothingness’’ and ‘‘pure experience’’ can serve as ground to an analysis of the relation between nothingness and the work of art. (shrink)
This essay analyzes the relation between nothingness and the work of art, where negation appears as a fundamental element of art. Starting at a discussion of the concept of nothingness in existentialphenomenology, it points to the limitations of Heidegger's notion of nullity and negation, which spring from the denial of the dimension of consciousness to his Dasein. Although Sartre recovers that dimension in his portrayal of the pour-soi, now the idea of nothingness is not taken to its (...) ultimate consequence, where art would appear as a product of consciousness that is entrenched in nothingness. Only through an enlarged notion of consciousness, one that allows the perception of negative experience as intrinsically related to poiesis, will the work of art appear ontologically grounded in a form of Being that searches for its own contradiction. Such an enlarged notion of consciousness appears in the thought of Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitarō, where concepts such as "the place of nothingness" and "pure experience" can serve as ground to an analysis of the relation between nothingness and the work of art. (shrink)
Stem cell research and associated or derivative biotechnologies are proceeding at a pace that has left bioethics behind as a discipline that is more or less reactionary to their developments. Further, much of the available ethical deliberation remains determined by the conceptual framework of late modern metaphysics and the correlative ethical theories of utilitarianism and deontology. Lacking, to any meaningful extent, is a sustained engagement with ontological and epistemological critiques, such as with “postmodern” thinking like that of Heidegger’s existential (...)phenomenology. Some basic “Heideggerian” conceptual strategies are reviewed here as a way of remedying this deficiency and adding to ethical deliberation about current stem cell research practices. (shrink)
Whereas Phenomenology of Perception concludes with a puzzling turn to “heroism,” this article examines the short essay “Man, the Hero” as a source of insight into Merleau-Ponty’s thought in the early postwar period. In this essay, Merleau-Ponty presented a conception of heroism through which he expressed the attitude toward post-Hegelian philosophy of history that underwrote his efforts to reform Marxism along existential lines. Analyzing this conception of heroism by unpacking the implicit contrasts with Kojève, Aron, Caillois, and Bataille, (...) I show that its philosophical rationale was to supply experiential evidence attesting to the latent presence of human universality. It is a mythic device intended to animate the faith necessary for Marxist politics by showing that universal sociality is possible, and that the historically transformative praxis needed to realize it does not imply sacrifice. This sheds considerable light on Merleau-Ponty’s early postwar political thought. But inasmuch as the latter cannot be severed from his broader philosophical concerns, the prospect is raised that his entire phenomenological project in the early postwar period rested on a myth. Not necessarily a bad myth, but a myth nonetheless. (shrink)
With contributions from medicine, psychology and philosophy, Pathways into the Jungian World looks at the central issues of commonality and difference in phenomenology and analytical psychology. The essays investigate how existentialphenomenology and analytical psychology have been involved in the same fundamental cultural and therapeutic project. They both legitimize the subtlety, complexity, and depth of experience in an age when the meaning of experience has been abandoned to the dictates of pharmaceutical technology, economics and medical psychiatry. The (...) contributors reveal how Jung's relationship to the phenomenological tradition is being developed and rigorously show that the psychological resonance of the world is immediately available for phenomenological description. Contributors: Lionel Corbett, Veronica Goodchild, John Haule, David Michael Levin, Stanton Marlan, Bertha Mook, Robert Romanyshyn, Ronald Schenk, Charles E. Scott, Eva Marie Simms, Michael P. Sipiora, Mary Watkins, Mark Welman. (shrink)
A lucid introduction to the "existentialphenomenology" of Martin Heidegger, particularly as developed in his major work, Being and Time, this work focuses on how Heidegger's ideas bear on the central problem in epistemology--that of how we can have objective knowledge. The author constructs fresh arguments clarifying Heidegger's contribution to the theory of knowledge, and shows why Heidegger deemed misguided the search for knowledge of the way things are in themselves.
While the notion of the mind as information-processor--a kind of computational system--is widely accepted, many scientists and philosophers have assumed that this account of cognition shows that the mind's operations are characterizable independent of their relationship to the external world. Existential Cognition challenges the internalist view of mind, arguing that intelligence, thought, and action cannot be understood in isolation, but only in interaction with the outside world. Arguing that the mind is essentially embedded in the external world, Ron McClamrock (...) provides a schema that allows cognitive scientists to address such long-standing problems in artificial intelligence as the "frame" problem and the issue of "bounded" rationality. Extending this schema to cover progress in other studies of behavior, including language, vision, and action, McClamrock reinterprets the importance of the organism/environment distinction. McClamrock also considers the broader philosophical question of the place of mind in the world, particularly with regard to questions of intentionality, subjectivity, and phenomenology. With implications for philosophy, cognitive and computer science, AI, and psychology, this book synthesizes state-of-the-art work in philosophy and cognitive science on how the mind interacts with the world to produce thoughts, ideas, and actions. (shrink)
This paper is not a study in the history of ideas; rather, it is an interpretation of the Phenomenology of Spirit, guided largely by the commentaries of Alexandre Kojeve and Jean Hyppolite, and written from the standpoint of an existentialphenomenology. It opens with an exposition of Hegel’s concepts of consciousness and experience and a statement of his conception of the phenomenological method. Then, arguing that the Phenomenology of Spirit is a concrete idealism which offers a (...) cogent philosophy of human existence, the paper examines the closely related themes of death, freedom, intersubjectivity, action, and speech in Hegel’s phenomenology. Finally, it closes with remarks, suggested by Hegel’s analysis of action in the intersubjective world, on the interpretation of philosophical works. (shrink)
Emotions and bodily feelings -- Existential feelings -- The phenomenology of touch -- Body and world -- Feeling and belief in the Capgras delusion -- Feelings of deadness and depersonalization -- Existential feeling in schizophrenia -- What William James really said -- Stance, feeling, and belief -- Pathologies of existential feeling.
: This article contributes to the contemporary debate regarding the young Heidegger's method of formal indication. Theodore Kisiel argues that this method constitutes a radical break with Husserl—a rejection of phenomenological reflection that paves the way to the non-reflective approach of the Beiträge. Against this view, Steven Crowell argues that formal indication is continuous with Husserlian phenomenology—a refinement of phenomenological reflection that reveals its existential sources. I evaluate this debate and adduce further considerations in favor of Crowell's view. (...) To do so, I analyze the young Heidegger's account of phenomenological communication and argue that it further reflects the continuity that Crowell identifies: as he does with reflection, Heidegger refines Husserl's account of phenomenological communication and sheds light on its existential sources. (shrink)
Four Phenomenological Philosophers is the first book to examine the major texts of the leading figures of phenomenology in one volume. In separate chapters, the book explores the ideas of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty with detailed readings of their most important texts. The constantly evolving ideas of Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, are presented through a review of the three major periods of his work. Martin Heidegger, who made a decisive and controversial (...) break with his teacher, Husserl, set forth his own phenomenological program in Being and Time. Jean-Paul Sartre, who transplanted the tradition from its origins in Germany to the streets of Paris, set forth his existentialphenomenology in Being and Nothingness. The Phenomenology of Perception was the best and most representative work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, a contemporary of Sartre whose career was cut short by his early death. A knowledge of these key thinkers and their major texts is essential to an understanding of many of the major themes of contemporary philosophy, from hermeneutics and existentialism to postmodernism and deconstructivism. This book provides the ideal introduction to this important philosophical tradition. (shrink)
This paper is an assessment of the key debates on Heidegger’s existential conception of science. It relates the topics to contemporary problems in the philosophy of the natural sciences, providing the reader with a framework to evaluate various versions of hermeneutic phenomenology of scientific research as alternatives to both, naturalistic and normativeepistemological conceptions of scientific research. The paper delineates a context of constitution that is irreducible to the context-distinction between discovery and justification. In this context, the tenets of (...) the doctrine of cognitive existentialism are formulated. (shrink)
 In _What Computers Can't Do_ (1972), Hubert Dreyfus identified several basic assumptions about the nature of human knowledge which grounded contemporary research in cognitive science. Contemporary artificial intelligence, he argued, relied on an unjustified belief that the mind functions like a digital computer using symbolic manipulations ("the psychological assumption") (Dreyfus 1992: 163ff), or at least that computer programs could be understood as formalizing human thought ("the epistemological assumption") (Dreyfus 1992: 189). In addition, the project depended upon an assumption about (...) the data about the human world which we employ in thought - namely, that it consists of discrete, determinate, and explicit pieces which can be processed heuristically ("the ontological assumption") (Dreyfus 1992: 206). (shrink)
The scope of existential anthropology -- How to do things with stones -- Knowledge of the body -- The migration of a name: Alexander in Africa -- The man who could turn into an elephant -- Custom and conflict in Sierra Leone: an essay on anarchy -- Migrant imaginaries: with Sewa Koroma in southeast London -- The stories that shadow us -- Foreign and familiar bodies: a phenomenological exploration of the human-technology interface -- The prose of suffering -- On (...) autonomy: an ethnographic and existential critique -- Where thought belongs: an anthropological critique of the project of philosophy -- Epilogue. (shrink)
 The phenomenology of Edmund Husserl -- The existential philosophy of Albert Camus -- The existenz philosophy of Karl Jaspers -- The philosophy of Gabriel Marcel -- The philosophy of Martin Heidegger -- v. 2. The existential philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard -- The existential philosophy of Ortega y Gasset -- The philosophy of Martin Buber -- The existential philosophy of Nicolas Berdyaev -- The philosophy of Paul Ricoeur.
Friendship, as a unique form of social relationship, establishes a particular union among individual human beings which allows them to overcome diverse boundaries between individual subjects. Age, gender or cultural differences do not necessarily constitute an obstacle for establishing friendship and as a social phenomenon, it might even include the potential to exist independently of space and time. This analysis in the interface of social science and phenomenology focuses on the principles of construction and constitution of this specific form (...) of human encounter. In a “parallel action,” the perspective of social science focuses on concrete socio-historical constructions of friendship in different time periods. These findings are confronted with the description of principles of the subjective constitution of the phenomenon of “friendship” from a phenomenological perspective. The point of reference for the study is the real type of the symbolically established and excessively idealized form of friendship intended for eternity which was especially popular in eighteenth century Germany. Analogous to the method of phenomenological reduction, three different levels of protosociological reduction are developed for the exploration of the unique social phenomenon of friendship. (shrink)
This is an existential-phenomenological reading of Max Weber’s “Class, Status, Party” that seeks a fuller understanding of meaning accomplishment in a stratified World. I appropriate stratification as a single meaning structure ontically defined by domination, intersubjectivity, and life-chances and ontologically determined by the power-to-be (Seinkönnen), There-being-with-others (Mitdasein), and potentiality (Möglichkeit). I then discuss the significance of these structures in finite transcendence (There-being, Dasein) and describe ways they factually unfold in World achievement. I conclude with logotherapeutic reflections concerning meaning accomplishment (...) in a stratified World and a summary of key questions facing existential-phenomenology in light of the likelihood that There-being must embrace, indeed, live, the inherent equality of Being (Gleichheit des Seins) among Daseins to accomplish its authenticity. (shrink)
Merleau-Ponty was a pivotal figure in twentieth century French philosophy. He was responsible for bringing the phenomenological methods of the German philosophers, Husserl and Heidegger, to France and instigated a new wave of interest in this approach. His influence extended well beyond the boundaries of philosophy and can be seen in theories of politics, art and language. This is the first volume to bring together a comprehensive selection of Merleau-Ponty's writing and presents a cross-section of his work which shows the (...) historical progression of his ideas and influence. (shrink)
A comprehensive and scholarly exploration of the personal and philosophical origins of André Gorz's work, this book includes a unique analysis of his early untranslated texts, as well as critical discussions of his relationship to the work of Husserl, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Marx, and Habermas. Reassessing pivotal notions such as the "lifeworld" and the "subject," it argues that Gorz has pioneered a person-centred social theory in which the motive and the meaning of social critique is firmly rooted in people's lived experience.
Introduction: Husserl (1859-1938) -- An introduction to Husserl's ideas I -- Husserl's ideas II: analyses and problems -- A study of Husserl's Cartesian meditations, I-IV -- Husserl's Fifth Cartesian meditation -- Husserl and the sense of history -- Kant and Husserl -- Existentialphenomenology -- Methods and tasks of a phenomenology of the will.
This article draws in particular on existential-phenomenological notions of “witnessing.” Witnessing, often conceived in the context of testimony, obviously involves epistemological concerns, such as how we come to know through the experiences and reports of others. I shall argue, however, that witnessing as a mode of intersubjectivity offers understandings that involve questions about how people come to be. More specifically, I want to consider the positive potential of “witnessing” to disrupt intersubjective completeness or closure, particularly as this relates to (...) work on organizing subjectivities, as well as, in the field of organization studies. (shrink)
The existential approach described by Mark Nesti offers a radical alternative to the cognitive-behavioral model which informs most contemporary applied sports psychology. Whereas standard psychological models of athlete behavior would advocate appropriate "mental skills" training such as visualizing the perfect race to help an athlete overcome performance problems, the existential approach will refer to an athletes unique emotional world to find deeper causes of their limitation. These causes may be only very indirectly linked to the athletes sporting life. (...)Existential sports psychology has gone out of phenomenological theory and existential philosophy. Mark Nesti's text is the first book to present an overview of this exciting approach. It contains case studies and a framework for psychologists to apply this approach to their work. (shrink)
The Nature of Sexual Desire takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the psychology, philosophy, and anthropology of this most urgent of human desires. Examining both ancient writings and modern research, both Eastern and Western thought, the author argues that sexual desire is a continuous element in awareness and can only be understood in terms of our experience. The experience of sexual desire is explored and its relation to sexual interaction, erotic pleasure, the experience of gender, and romantic love, (...) is skilfully unravelled. Sexual desire is presented in a new light: an existential need that is continually sweeping through us, pulling us on to one of life’s highest fulfilments. (shrink)
Existential phenomenologists hold that the two most basic forms of intelligent behavior, learning, and skillful action, can be described and explained without recourse to mind or brain representations. This claim is expressed in two central notions in Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception: the intentional arc and the tendency to achieve a maximal grip. The intentional arc names the tight connection between body and world, such that, as the active body acquires skills, those skills are stored, not as representations in (...) the mind, but as dispositions to respond to the solicitations of situations in the world. A phenomenology of skill acquisition confirms that, as one acquires expertise, the acquired know-how is experienced as finer and finer discriminations of situations paired with the appropriate response to each. Maximal grip names the body's tendency to refine its responses so as to bring the current situation closer to an optimal gestalt. Thus, successful learning and action do not require propositional mental representations. They do not require semantically interpretable brain representations either.Simulated neural networks exhibit crucial structural features of the intentional arc, and Walter Freeman's account of the brain dynamics underlying perception and action is structurally isomorphic with Merleau-Ponty's account of the way a skilled agent is led by the situation to move towards obtaining a maximal grip. (shrink)
An interpretation of the yoga practice of prāṇāyāma (breath control) that is influenced by the existentialphenomenology of Merleau-Ponty is offered. The approach to yoga is less concerned with comparing his thought to the classical yoga texts than with elucidating the actual experience of breath control through the constructs provided by Merleau-Ponty's philosophy of the lived body. The discussion of yoga can answer certain pedagogical goals but can never finally be severed from doing yoga. Academic discourse centered entirely (...) on the theoretical concepts of yoga philosophies must to some extent remain incomplete. Patañjali's "Yoga Sūtra" is itself a manual of practice. For this reason, the commentary of the scholar-practitioner T. K. V. Desikachar has been chosen as the basis for this study, rather than a more exclusively theoretical commentary. In so doing, yoga will be approached as an experience or phenomenon, not just in the context of a series of academic debates. (shrink)
The goal of “Phenomenology of Distraction“ is to explore the imbrication of attention and distraction within existential spatiality and temporality. First, I juxtapose the Heideggerian dispersion of concern (which includes, among other things, the attentive comportment) in everyday life, conceived as a way to get distracted from one's impending mortality, to Fernando Pessoa's embracing of the inauthentic, superficial, and restless existence, where attention necessarily reverts into distraction. Second, I consider the philosophical confessions of St. Augustine and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (...) as evidence for the proto-phenomenological temporal synthesis that hinges upon distraction and dispersion, despite the confessors' best efforts to pay attention to their inner life and to concentrate it in the eternal present. The paper concludes with an assessment of the ethical effects of mutual distraction, outlining a model of “distracted intersubjectivity.. (shrink)
According to Louis Sass, Josef Parnas, and Dan Zahavi (2011), the account of current developments in "phenomenological clinical neuroscience" offered by Aaron Mishara (2007) is "not only confusing but highly inaccurate." Their critique is harsh, but I can find nothing to disagree with. Mishara's distinction between "neo-phenomenology" and "existentialphenomenology" does not apply to current work in the field; I do not recognize the two camps he describes. Neither do I find it helpful to distinguish two separate (...) historical traditions in phenomenological psychiatry. As for allegedly conflicting phenomenological claims, Sass, Parnas, and Zahavi rightly point out that an emphasis on involuntary hyperreflexivity is .. (shrink)
Advocates an existential, phenomenological reading of Heraclitus suggested by Hans-Georg Gadamer. Gadamer observes that within the Heraclitean fragments lay a subliminal wonder at the contradiction and groundlessness of the human experience, particularly the unmediated experience of thinking. I take Gadamer to suggest in part that Heraclitus writes the fragments motivated by a sort of phenomenological disclosure, not necessarily of Being (pace Heidegger), but of the human experience as one of contradictory transitions and unrestricted movements between poles of opposition.
Through a discussion of Agnès Varda's career from 1954 to 2008 that focuses particularly on La Pointe Courte (1954), L'Opéra-Mouffe (1958), The Gleaners and I (2000), and The Beaches of Agnes (2008), this article considers the connections between Varda's filmmaking and her femaleness. It proposes that two aspects of Varda's cinema—her particularly perceptive portrayal of a set of geographical locations, and her visual and verbal emphasis on female embodiment—make a feminist existential-phenomenological approach to her films particularly fruitful. Drawing both (...) directly on the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and on some recent film- and feminist-theoretical texts that have employed his insights, it explores haptic imagery and feminist strategy in The Gleaners and I, the materialization of space characterizing Varda's blurring of fiction and documentary, and the dialectical relationship of people with their environment often observed in her cinema. It concludes that both Varda's female protagonists and the director herself may be said to perform feminist phenomenology in her films, in their actions, movement, and relationship to space, and in the carnality of voice and vision with which Varda's own subjectivity is registered within her film-texts. (shrink)
Since the seventies, it has been customary to assume that intentionality is independent of consciousness. Recently, a number of philosophers have rejected this assumption, claiming intentionality is closely tied to consciousness, inasmuch as non- conscious intentionality in some sense depends upon conscious intentionality. Within this alternative framework, the question arises of how to account for unconscious intentionality, and different authors have offered different accounts. In this paper, I compare and contrast four possible accounts of unconscious intentionality, which I call potentialism, (...) inferentialism, eliminativism, and interpretivism. The first three are the leading accounts in the existing literature, while the fourth is my own proposal, which I argue to be superior. I then argue that an upshot of interpretivism is that all unconscious intentionality is ultimately grounded is a specific kind of cognitive phenomenology. (shrink)
In recent years, more and more people have started talking about the necessity of reconciling phenomenology with the project of naturalization. Is it possible to bridge the gap between phenomenological analyses and naturalistic models of consciousness? Is it possible to naturalize phenomenology? Given the transcendental philosophically motivated anti-naturalism found in many phenomenologists such a naturalization proposal might seem doomed from the very start, but in this paper I will examine and evaluate some possible alternatives.
What are we to make of works of art whose apparent point is to convince us of the meaninglessness and absurdity of human existence? I examine, in this paper, the attempt of Albert Camus to provide philosophical justification of art in the face of the supposed fact of absurdity and note its failure as such with specific reference to Sartre’s criticism. Despite other superficial similarities, I contrast Camus’s concept of the absurd with that of his ‘existentialist’ colleagues, including Sartre, and (...) suggest that the latter concept is more philosophically viable. I conclude that existentialphenomenology consequently provides a more promising philosophical justification for artistic creation in the light of the more viable conception of absurdity. (shrink)
An account of the source of ﬁrst-person knowledge is essential not just for phenomenology, but for anyone who takes seriously the apparent evidence that we each have a distinctive access to knowing what we experience. One standard way to account for the source of ﬁrst-person knowledge is by appeal to a kind of inner observation of the passing contents of one’s own mind, and phenomenology is often thought to rely on introspection. I argue, however, that Husserl’s method of (...) phenomenological reduction was designed precisely to ﬁnd a route to knowledge of the structures of consciousness that was independent of any appeal to observation of one’s own mental states. The goals of this essay are to explicate Husserl’s method of phenomenological reduction in contemporary terms that (1) show its distance from all inner-observation accounts, (2) exhibit its kinship to and historical inﬂuence on outer-observation accounts of selfknowledge popularized by Sellars, and (3) demonstrate that a contemporary ‘cognitive transformation’ view based on Husserl’s method may provide a viable contribution to contemporary debates about the source of self-knowledge. (shrink)
This article tries to create a bridge of understanding between cognitive scientists and phenomenologists who work on attention. In light of a phenomenology of attention and current psychological and neuropsychological literature on attention, I translate and interpret into phenomenological terms 20 key cognitive science concepts as examined in the laboratory and used in leading journals. As a preface to the lexicon, I outline a phenomenology of attention, especially as a dynamic three-part structure, which I have freely amended from (...) the work of phenomenologist and Gestalt philosopher Aron Gurwitsch (1901â1973). As a conclusion, I discuss the nature of subjectivity in attention and attention research, and whether attention might be the same as consciousness. (shrink)
Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are a highly complex and rich phenomena, and this has a number of important clinical, theoretical and methodological implications. However, until recently, this fact has not always been incorporated into the experimental designs and theoretical paradigms used by researchers within the cognitive sciences. In this paper, we will briefly outline two recent examples of phenomenologically informed approaches to the study of AVHs taken from a cognitive science perspective. In the first example, based on Larøi and Woodward (...) (Harv Rev Psychiatry 15:109–117, 2007 ), it is argued that reality monitoring studies examining the cognitive underpinnings of hallucinations have not reflected the phenomenological complexity of AVHs in their experimental designs and theoretical framework. The second example, based on Jones (Schizophr Bull, in press, 2010 ), involves a critical examination of the phenomenology of AVHs in the context of two other prominent cognitive models: inner speech and intrusions from memory. It will be shown that, for both examples, the integration of a phenomenological analysis provides important improvements both on a methodological, theoretical and clinical level. This will be followed by insights and critiques from philosophy and clinical psychiatry—both of which offer a phenomenological alternative to the empiricist–rationalist conceptualisation of AVHs inherent to the cognitive sciences approach. Finally, the paper will conclude with ideas as to how the cognitive sciences may integrate these latter perspectives into their methodological and theoretical programmes. (shrink)
In the attempt to construct a scientific approach to consciousness, it has been proposed that transcendental phenomenology or phenomenological psychology be introduced into the framework of cognitive neuroscience. In this article, the consequences of such an approach in terms of basic assumptions, methods for the collection of data, and evaluation of the collected data are discussed. Especially, the proposed notions of mutual constraint and the second perso are discussed. It is concluded that even though naturalising of phenomenology might (...) not prove impossible, the projec has not yet found a coherent basic ground. (shrink)
Hegel's classic Phenomenology of Spirit is considered by many to be the most difficult text in all of philosophical literature. In interpreting the work, scholars have often used the Phenomenology to justify the ideology that has tempered their approach to it, whether existential, ontological, or, particularly, Marxist. Werner Marx deftly avoids this trap of misinterpretation by rendering lucid the objectives that Hegel delineates in the Preface and Introduction and using these to examine the whole of the (...) class='Hi'>Phenomenology . Marx considers selected materials from Hegel's text in order both to clarify Hegel's own view of it and to set the stage for an examination of post-Hegelian philosophy. The primary focus of Marx's book is on the account. Hegel gives of the phenomenological journey from natural consciousness to philosophical wisdom (or absolute knowledge, as Hegel calls it). In showing that Hegel's many statements concerning consciousness 'finding itself' or 'knowing itself' in its world can be understood as discovering the rationality of the conditioning world, Marx offers a solution to several sets of interrelated problems that have troubled students of Hegel. His book contains valuable analyses of the relation between Hegel's thought and that of Descartes and Kant as well as that of Karl Marx, and it also sheds considerable light on the question of the internal unity or coherence of the Phenomenology. (shrink)
This paper will seek firstly to understand Deleuze’s main challenges to phenomenology, particularly as they are expressed in The Logic of Sense (1968) and What is Philosophy? (1991), although reference will also be made to Pure Immanence (1994) and Difference and Repetition (1968). We will then turn to a discussion of one of the few passages in which Deleuze (with Guattari) directly engages with Merleau-Ponty, which occurs in the chapter on art in What is Philosophy? In this text, he (...) and Guattari offer a critique of what they call the “final avatar” of phenomenology – that is, the “fleshism” that Merleau-Ponty proposes in his unfinished but justly famous work, The Visible and the Invisible (1964). It will be argued that both Deleuze’s basic criticisms of phenomenology, as well as he and Guattari’s problems with the concept of the flesh, do not adequately come to grips with Merleau-Ponty’s later philosophy. Merleau-Ponty is not obviously partisan to what Deleuze finds problematic in this tradition, despite continuing to identify himself as a phenomenologist, and is working within a surprisingly similar framework in certain key respects. In fact, in the more positive part of this paper, we will compare Merleau-Ponty’s notion of flesh, and Deleuze’s equally infamous univocity of being, as a means to consider the broader question of the ways in which the two philosophers consider ontological thought, its meaning and its conditions. It is our belief that through properly understanding both positions, a rapprochement, or at least the foundation for one, can be established between these two important thinkers. (shrink)
The return to religion in contemporary continental philosophy is characterized by a profound sense of intellectual humility. A significant influence within this discussion is Heidegger’s anthropology of finitude in Being and Time and his later critiques of onto-theology. These critiques, however, were informed by Heidegger’s earlier phenomenology of the lived experience of religious humility performed alongside his reading of Martin Luther’s theology. This article shows that for Luther and Heidegger, religious humility is foremost an affection structured according to the (...) enactment of one’s dissimilitude from God and resulting existential tribulation. During a seminal period in his development, Heidegger’s phenomenology of humility changed from an Eckhartian conception of detachment culminating in the unio mystica to a Lutheran conception of humiliation and Anfechtung . Heidegger’s break from a mystical phenomenology of humility parallels Luther’s own break from that tradition, and anticipates contemporary developments in the continental philosophy of religion. (shrink)
Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons’ work implies four criteria that moral phenomenology must be capable of meeting if it is to be a viable field of study that can make a worthwhile contribution to moral philosophy. It must be (a) about a unifed subject matter as well as being, (b) wide, (c) independent, and (d) robust. Contrary to some scepticism about the possibility or usefulness of this field, I suggest that these criteria can be met by elucidating the very (...) foundations of moral experience or what I call a moral ontology of the human person. I attempt to partially outline such an ontology by engaging with Robert Sokolowski's phenomenology of the human person from a moral perspective. My analysis of Sokolowski's thought leads me to five core ideas of a moral ontology of the human person: well-being, virtue, freedom, responsibility, and phronesis. Though I do not by any means boast a complete moral ontology of the human person, I go on to demonstrate how the account I have presented, or something like it, can go a long way to helping moral phenomenology meet the criteria it requires to be a viable and worthwhile pursuit. (shrink)
We undertake to bring a phenomenological perspective to bear on a challenge of contemporary law and clinical practice. In a wide variety of contexts, legal and medical professionals are called upon to assess the competence or capacity of an individual to exercise her own judgement in making a decision for herself. We focus on decisions regarding consent to or refusal of medical treatment and contrast a widely recognised clinical instrument, the MacCAT-T, with a more phenomenologically informed approach. While the MacCAT-T (...) focuses attention on individual cognitive performance criteria, an approach oriented by second-person phenomenology brings into view the complex role of time, others and identity in constituting the capacity for individual autonomous judgement. Our phenomenological analysis has consequences both for the practice of capacity assessments and for further research in this arena. Good practice in capacity assessment must attend to decision communities, distributed capacity, and temporal competence, while research on mental capacity will miss the phenomenon if it trains its focus ‘between the ears.’ We illustrate our approach by considering two recent cases of contested capacity: one involving cognitive disability in a dysfunctional decision community, the second presenting the possibility of competent decision-making under conditions of paranoid schizophrenia. (shrink)
Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka expands the phenomenological study of meanings (sense-bestowal) into an onto-genetic inquiry by grounding it in a phenomenology of life, including the emotional dimension. This phenomenology of life is informed by the empirical sciences and its doctrines parallel the new scientific paradigm of open dynamic systems. Embedded in the dynamics of the real individuation of life forms, human consciousness emerges at a unique station in the evolutionary process. Tymieniecka treats the constitution of sense as a function of (...) life, and thus the transcendental constitutive function of the cognitive, objectifying intentionality of consciousness, the purview of classical phenomenology, is viewed as a project that is limited in its scope. According to the phenomenology of life, meaning-genesis is exhibited throughout the various stages of structurization in the evolution of life. This paper highlights the transformative function of the “Imaginatio Creatrix,” which is the dynamic process at the human station of evolution that accounts for humanity’s inventive capacities necessary for the construction of a human world. The Imaginatio Creatrix transforms the more primitive stirrings of the human “soul” into subliminal passions of human existential significance. The enactive theory of the mind corroborates Tymieniecka’s rejection of Husserl’s doctrine of passive synthesis. However, Tymieniecka’s study of the creative function offers a key for further advancement in enactive theory. Three sense-bestowing functions of the Imaginatio Creatrix account for the human expansion of life: the Aesthetic/Poetic sense, the Objectifying Sense, and the Moral Sense. The Moral Sense, for Tymieniecka, is not the product of reasoning powers, but rather the fruit of subliminal passions that acquire their moral aspect through trans-actions guided by the “benevolent sentiment.”. (shrink)
The spectrum of methods (cf. Osterhoudt 1974) and the modes of thought that are used to analyse the world of sports are enormous. However, in international contexts, the range of philosophical reflections often seems to be reduced to a dichotomous structure, i.e. the analytical and the phenomenological approach. While the analytical position is linked to Anglo-Saxon countries, the phenomenological tradition is ascribed to continental philosophers. In this paper, firstly, I will address this seeming dichotomy of the continental and the Anglo-Saxon (...) positions ? being well aware of the problems of such generalisations. Secondly, I will sketch some key aspects of the phenomenology of movement and, especially, the phenomenological methodology from a German/French/Dutch perspective. Thirdly, I will focus on the existentialist interpretation of sports and how the existential philosophy is rooted in the phenomenological tradition. And finally, I will outline some advantages and limitations of the phenomenological method. (shrink)
Patient support tools have drawn on a variety of disciplines, including psychotherapy, social psychology, and social care. One discipline that has not so far been used to support patients is philosophy. This paper proposes that a particular philosophical approach, phenomenology, could prove useful for patients, giving them tools to reflect on and expand their understanding of their illness. I present a framework for a resource that could help patients to philosophically examine their illness, its impact on their life, and (...) its meaning. I explain the need for such a resource, provide philosophical grounding for it, and outline the epistemic and existential gains philosophy offers. Illness often begins as an intrusion on one’s life but with time becomes a way of being. I argue that this transition impacts on core human features such as the experience of space and time, human abilities, and adaptability. It therefore requires philosophical analysis and response. The paper uses ideas from Husserl and Merleau-Ponty to present such a response in the form of a phenomenological toolkit for patients. The toolkit includes viewing illness as a form of phenomenological reduction, thematizing illness, and examining illness as altering the ill person’s being in the world. I suggest that this toolkit could be offered to patients as a workshop, using phenomenological concepts, texts, and film clips to reflect on illness. I conclude by arguing that examining illness as a limit case of embodied existence deepens our understanding of phenomenology. (shrink)
This paper begins with the decisive moment of the 2010 Champions League final, as Diego Milito dribbles past van Buyten to settle the score. By taking a closer look at this situation we witness a complex and ambiguous movement phenomenon that seems to transcend established phenomenological accounts of performance, as a creative performance such as this cannot be reduced to bodily self-awareness or absorbed skilful coping. Instead, the phenomenon of the feint points to a central question we need to ask (...) when investigating performance in football: ?How can one intentionally transcend the expectations of others?? In order to clarify this, the paper will conduct a contextual analysis of a feint drawing on existential philosophy and phenomenology. The main argument is that the feint incarnates a fundamental and indispensable strategy in the game context of football and the analysis of it throws light on central existential phenomena involved in game creativity, with appearance, seduction, commitment and value being the focal ones. The analysis suggests a broader notion of expertise by pointing to the need of stressing the dynamic and social game context. What the feint explicates is that in football it is not enough to be aware of your own body or rely on your embodied habits. In order to cope in the game situation it is also necessary to be absorbed in the other and transcend his or her expectations. (shrink)
Husserl’s phenomenology opens itself with a critique of positive sciences. Husserl problematizes the hardcore presupposition of positivism that the world is a definite sort of an existential totality of objects and thus it is exhaustible with empirical data and deductive-conceptual abstraction on the basis of causalspatio-temoprality. Criticizing the wholesome reduction of nature into a physical reality and the instrumentalizing of theoretical reason, he proposes transcendental phenomenology, as an ideal form of science. Self-entitled as the genuine science, the (...) science of origin, the science of all sciences, etc., it concerns itself with the matter of validity. Claiming that validating objectivity as such and the meaning of scientific objectification is something of which onlyphenomenological reflection on pure consciousness is capable and that the positivistic objectivity is and must be founded on transcendental subjectivity, Husserl radically idealistically revised the whole positivistic concept of evidence and givenness of a fact and substituted it with the phenomenological notion of apriori self-evidence and originary givenness of primordial intentional consciousness. Nevertheless, it is noticed that the absolute universal validity of positivistic objectivity was never rejected or questioned; objectivity is still in and of itself an absolute criterion of scientificity in Husserl. This paper will argue that the idealistic turn toward subjectivity takes place through factualization of transcendentality and this, by bestowing apriori apodicticity with facticity, even enhances more the supreme epistemological function of positivity. It will discuss such positivistic drive, directly bequeathed from the very cultural ethos at which phenomenological criticism targeted, as an important locomotive for Husserl’s program and point out an antinomical consequence with which it is to be faced as a consequence. (shrink)