Phenomenology and metaphysics

Dan Zahavi
University of Copenhagen
What is the relation between phenomenology and metaphysics? Is phenomeno- logy metaphysical neutral, is it without metaphysical bearings, is it a kind of propaedeutics to metaphysics, or is phenomenology on the contrary a form of metaphysics, perhaps even the culmination of a particular kind of metaphysics (of presence)? What should be made clear from the outset is that there is no easy and straightforward answer to the question concerning the relation between phenome- nology and metaphysics. The term ‘metaphysics’ is simply too ambiguous. Even among phenomenologists the term is used and understood in quite different ways, and the answer to the question has consequently varied accordingly. Let me brief- ly illustrate this with a few examples
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