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)
Intentionality (?directedness?, ?aboutness?) is both a central topic in contemporary philosophy of mind, phenomenology and the cognitive sciences, and one of the themes with which both analytic and Continental philosophers have separately engaged starting from Brentano and Edmund Husserl?s ground-breaking Logical Investigations (1901) through Roderick M. Chisholm, Daniel C. Dennett?s The Intentional Stance, John Searle?s Intentionality, to the recent work of Tim Crane, Robert Brandom, Shaun Gallagher and Dan Zahavi, among many others. In this paper, I shall review recent discussions (...) of intentionality, including some recent explorations of the history of the concept (paying particular attention to Anselm), and suggest some ways the phenomenological approach of Husserl and Heidegger can still offer insights for contemporary philosophy of mind and consciousness. (shrink)
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)
This introduction presents a state of the art of philosophical research on cognitive phenomenology and its relation to the nature of conscious thinking more generally. We firstly introduce the question of cognitive phenomenology, the motivation for the debate, and situate the discussion within the fields of philosophy, cognitive psychology and consciousness studies. Secondly, we review the main research on the question, which we argue has so far situated the cognitive phenomenology debate around the following topics and arguments: phenomenal contrast, epistemic (...) arguments and challenges, introspection, ontology and temporal character, intentionality, inner speech, agency, holistic perspective, categorical perception, value, and phenomenological description. Thirdly, we suggest future developments by pointing to four questions that can be explored in relation to the cognitive phenomenology discussion: the self and self-awareness, attention, emotions and general the... (shrink)
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)
The chapter titled “The Body” in Being and Nothingness offers a groundbreaking, if somewhat neglected, philosophical analysis of embodiment. As part of his “es- say on phenomenological ontology,” he is proposing a new multi-dimensional ontological approach to the body. Sartre’s chapter offers a radical approach to the body and to the ‘flesh’. However, it has not been fully appreciated. Sartre offers three ontological dimensions to embodiment. The first “ontological dimension” addresses the way, as Sartre puts it, “I exist my body.” (...) The second dimension is the manner in which my body is experienced and utilized by the other. This includes my ready-to-hand equipmental engagement with the world and my body as the “tool of tools.” The third dimension is the manner in which “I exist for myself as a body known by the other.” In this paper, I explore Sartre’s original analysis and suggest comparisons with Merleau-Ponty’s account of embodiment. I shall suggest that Sartre offers more discussion on intercorporeality than Merleau-Ponty. -/- . (shrink)
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 transcendental idealism. Putnam reads Kant as rejecting the then current metaphysical picture with its in-built assumptions of a unique, mind-independent world, and truth understood as correspondence between the mind and that ready-made world. Putnam reads Kant as overcoming the false dichotomies inherent in that picture and even finds some glimmerings of conceptual relativity in Kant's proposed solution. Furthermore, Putnam reads Kant as overcoming the (...) pernicious scientific realist distinction between primary and secondary qualities, between things that really exist and their projections, a distinction that haunts modern philosophy. Putnam's revitalisation of Kant is not just of historical interest, but challenges contemporary versions of scientific realism. Furthermore, Putnam has highlighted themes which have not received the attention they deserve in Kantian exegesis, namely, the problematic role of primary and secondary qualities in Kant's empirical realism, and the extent of Kant's commitment to conceptual pluralism.However, I argue that Putnam's qualified allegiance to Kant exposes him to some of the same metaphysical problems that affected Kant, namely, the familiar problem of postulating an absolute reality (Ding an sich), while at the same time disavowing the meaningfulness of so doing. In conclusion I suggest that Putnam might consider Hegel's attempts to solve this problem in Kant as a way of furthering his own natural realism. (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.
Dermot Moran provides a lucid, engaging, and critical introduction to Edmund Husserl's philosophy, with specific emphasis on his development of phenomenology. This book is a comprehensive guide to Husserl's thought from its origins in nineteenth-century concerns with the nature of scientific knowledge and with psychologism, through his breakthrough discovery of phenomenology and his elucidation of the phenomenological method, to the late analyses of culture and the life-world. Husserl's complex ideas are presented in a clear and expert manner. Individual chapters explore (...) Husserl's key texts including _Philosophy of Arithmetic_, _Logical Investigations_, _Ideas_ I, _Cartesian Meditations_ and _Crisis of the European Sciences_. In addition, Moran offers penetrating criticisms and evaluations of Husserl's achievement, including the contribution of his phenomenology to current philosophical debates concerning consciousness and the mind. _Edmund Husserl_ is an invaluable guide to understanding the thought of one of the seminal thinkers of the twentieth century. It will be helpful to students of contemporary philosophy, and to those interested in scientific, literary and cultural studies on the European continent. (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)
The phenomenology of Edmund Husserl had a permanent and profound impact on the philosophical formation of Paul Ricoeur. One could truly say, paraphrasing Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s brilliant 1959 essay ‘The Philosopher and his Shadow’,that Husserl is the philosopher in whose shadow Ricoeur, like Merleau-Ponty, also stands, the thinker to whom he constantly returns. Husserl is Ricoeur’s philosopher of reflection, par excellence. Indeed, Ricoeur always invokes Husserl when he is discussing a paradigmatic instance of contemporary philosophy of ‘reflection’ and also of descriptive, (...) ‘eidetic’ phenomenology. Indeed, I shall argue in this chapter that Husserl’s influence on Ricoeur was decisive and provided an eidetic, descriptive methodology which is permanently in play, even when it has to be concretized and mediated by hermeneutics, as Ricoeur proposes after 1960. (shrink)
In this paper, I shall examine the evolution of Heidegger?s concept of?transcendence? as it appears in Being and Time,?On the Essence of Ground? and related texts from the late 1920s in relation to his rethinking of subjectivity and intentionality. Heidegger defines Being as?transcendence? in Being and Time and reinterprets intentionality in terms of the transcendence of Dasein. In the critical epistemological tradition of philosophy stemming from Kant, as in Husserl, transcendence and immanence are key notions. Indeed,?transcendence in immanence? is a (...) leitmotif of Husserl?s phenomenology. Husserl discusses transcendence in some detail in Cartesian Meditations?11 in a manner that is not dissimilar to Heidegger. Heidegger is critical of Husserl?s understanding of consciousness and intentionality and Heidegger deliberately chooses to discuss transcendence as an exceptional domain for the discussion of beings in his?On the Essence of Ground?, his submission to Husserl?s seventieth-birthday Festschrift. Despite his championing of a new concept of transcendence in the late 1920s, Heidegger effectively abandons the term during the early 1930s. In this paper, I shall explore Heidegger?s articulation of his new ontological conception of finite transcendence and compare it with Husserl?s conception of the transcendence of the ego in order to get clearer what is at stake in Heidegger?s conceptions of subjectivity, Dasein and transcendence. (shrink)
In this paper I explore Husserl’s and Foucault’s approaches to the historical a priori and defend Husserl’s richer notion. Foucault borrows the expression ‘historical a priori’ from Husserl and there are continuities, but also significant and ultimately irreconcilable differences, between their conceptions. Both are looking for ‘conditions of possibility,’ forms of ‘institution’ or instauration, and patterns of transformation, for scientific knowledge. Husserl identifies the ‘a priori of history’ with the ‘historical a priori’ and believes that the ‘invariant essential structures of (...) the historical world’ can be identified. Foucault, on the other hand, is less interested in the Kantian inquiry into the limits or legitimization of knowledge than in the relation between knowledge and power. Foucault rejects the idea of universal and necessary a priori structures and denies that the structure of the conceptual framework governing an era can be fully determined. Both Foucault and Husserl contrast ‘inner’ history with external history, but, I argue, Foucault misconstrues Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology as a form of ‘absolute subjectivity’ against which his ‘archaeological’ method reacts. In fact, Foucault’s own conception of the historical a priori is ambiguous and fails to have explanatory value precisely because it misunderstands the need for the a priori to be both universal and necessary, and offers no account of the ‘a priori of historicity’ which, for Husserl, is essential to human cultural life. (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, 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, but also, throughJaspers, in Heidegger. (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 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)
In his later works, Merleau-Ponty proposes the notion of ‘the flesh’ as a new ‘element’, as he put it, in his ontological monism designed to overcome the legacy of Cartesian dualism with its bifurcation of all things into matter or spirit. Most Merleau-Ponty commentators recognise that Merleau-Ponty’s notion of ‘flesh’ is inspired by Edmund Husserl’s conceptions of ‘lived body’ and ‘vivacity’ or ‘liveliness’ . But it is not always recognised that, for Merleau-Ponty, the constitution of the world of perception, the (...) problem of embodiment or incarnation, is at the very same time one with the problem of the experience of others in what Husserl called Einfühlung or Fremderfahung and indeed one with the problem of the constitution of the commonly shared world ‘for all’. As Merleau-Ponty put it in his late essay ‘The Philosopher and His Shadow’ in Signs, ‘the problem of Einfühlung, like that of my incarnation, opens on the meditation of sensible being, or, if you prefer, it betakes itself there’. In other words, the problem of the apprehension of the other is part of the overall apprehension of the transcendent world. In this paper I want to meditate on the relations between embodiment, experience of others, and experience of the world in Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy. I will take particular note, as in the title of this presentation, of the claim made by Merleau-Ponty in The Visible and the Invisible that ‘there is no brute world, only an elaborated world’. (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 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)
In this article I wish to re-examine the vexed issue of the possibility of idealism in ancient and medieval philosophy with particular reference to the case of Johannes Scottus Eriugena (c. 800idealisms immaterialism as his standard for idealism, and it is this decision, coupled with his failure to acknowledge the legacy of German idealism, which prevents him from seeing the classical and medieval roots of idealism more broadly understood.
In what sense can we speak of pluralism regarding the philosophical traditions or styles crudely characterised as ‘Continental’ and ‘Analytic’? Do these traditions address the same philosophical problems in different ways, or pose different problems altogether? What, if anything, do these traditions share?