New York: Routledge (1993)
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 existential phenomenology 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.