This paper investigates phenomenological philosophy as the critical consciousness of modernity beginning from that point in the Vienna Lecture where Husserl discounts Papuans and Gypsies, and includes America, in defining Europe as the spiritual home of reason. Its meaning is analyzed through the introduction of the concept of institution in Crisis to argue that the historical fact of encounter with America can be seen as an event for reason insofar as the encounter includes elements previously absent in the European entelechy. (...) The conclusion shows that phenomenology must become a comparative, Socratic, diagnosis of the planetary crisis of reason. The entelechy of reason that becomes evident through the concept of institution should be understood less as a renewal of a pre-existing tradition than as an exogenic encounter and incursion of an outside that together define an instituting event as new in relation to its tradition. (shrink)
This analysis of Herbert Marcuse’s appropriation of the argument concerning the “mathematization of nature” in Edmund Husserl’s Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology shows that Marcuse and Husserl both assume that the perception of real, concrete individuals in the lifeworld underlies formal scientific abstractions and that the critique of the latter requires a return to such qualitative perception. In contrast, I argue that no such return is possible and that real, concrete individuals are constituted by the relation between (...) a given perception and its horizon. In this manner, Marcuse’s social critique can be combined with Husserl’s theoretical-perceptual one, making possible an ecological critique. L’analyse de l’appropriation que fait Herbert Marcuse de l’argument concernant la « mathématisation de la nature » dans la Crise des sciences europe ennes et la phénoménologie transcendantale de Husserl démontre que Marcuse et Husserl assument tous les deux que la perception des individus réels concrets dans le monde de la vie sous-tend les abstractions scientifiques formelles et que la critique de ces dernières nécessite un retour à la perception qualificative. J’avance au contraire qu’un tel retour n’est pas possible et que les individus réels concrets sont constitués par la relation entre une perception donnée et son horizon. Nous pouvons alors combiner la critique sociale de Marcuse avec la critique théorico-perceptuelle de Husserl pour en faire une critique égologique. (shrink)
There are three steps in my description of the ground-problem of value: First, Husserl’s analysis of the crisis of reason is based on the systematic loss and phenomenological recovery of the intuitive evidence of the lifeworld. But if letter symbols are essential to formalizing abstraction, as Klein’s de-sedimentation of Vieta’s institution of modern algebra shows, then the ultimate substrates upon which formalization rests cannot be “individuals” in Husserl’s sense. The consequence of the essentiality of the letter symbols to formalization is (...) that no direct reference to intuitive evidence of individuals is possible from formal structures. Second, the crisis of reason in Marx’s Capital on commodities contains a parallel analysis of the contradictory relation between formalism and evidence. The value-structure of capitalist society expels qualitative value to subjective use and imposes a homogeneous standard on social representation of value such that quantitative values are not grounded in the experience of use which entails that the system of general value becomes a mere aggregate. Third, the problem of value, or formal axiology, is the core of a teleological convergence between phenomenology and Marxism. A short phenomenological description of the experience of value shows that practical activities generate valuations that are experienced with an intensity through which they aim toward social representation. The conclusion is that the social representation of value in capitalist society intervenes into the constitution of the community by the intensity of individuals’ value-experience to reduce its system of value to an unthematized simple aggregate of value-quantities. (shrink)
An extended review essay on Andrew Feenberg's Heidegger and Marcuse that argues that the concept of negation in Hegel is distinct from that in Heidegger which makes such an attempted synthesis problematic.
This volume, co-published with the Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology, presents the argument that a philosophy of technology is a central component of a contemporary political philosophy. It provides a theoretical groundwork for the encounter of phenomenology and critical theory. Written for courses in social and political theory, phenomenology and critical theory.
This is an in-depth study of the Canadian philosopher George Grant's intellectual development and his contribution to understanding the philosophical and political implications of contemporary technology.
Concerned with criticizing representational theories of knowledge by developing alternative concepts of knowing and communicating, Ian Angus and Lenore Langsdorf bring together eight essays that are united by a common theme: the convergence of philosophy and rhetoric. In the first chapter, Angus and Langsdorf illustrate the centrality of critical reasoning to the nature of questioning itself, arguing that human inquiry has entered a "new situation" where "the convictions and orientations that have traditionally marked the separation of rhetoric and philosophy—the concern (...) for truth and the focus on persuasion—have begun to converge on a new space that can be defined through the central term _discourse._"_ _In these essays, this convergence of rhetoric and philosophy is addressed as it presents itself to a variety of interests that transcend the traditional boundaries of these fields. The two editors, Raymie E. McKerrow, Michael J. Hyde and Craig R. Smith, James W. Hikins and Kenneth S. Zagacki, Calvin O. Schrag and David James Miller, and Richard L. Lanigan map this new space, recognizing that such mapping "simultaneously _constitutes _the territory mapped.". (shrink)
In this essay, I will outline the positive content of George Grant's conception of "particularity" and clarify it by comparing it to Reiner Schürmann's similar concept of "singularity" as a starting point for an engagement with the positive good to which it refers. In conclusion, a five-step existential logic will he presented, which, I will suggest, can resolve the important aspects of the difference between them.
Leslie Armour is the author of numerous books and essays on epistemology, metaphysics, logic, Canadian philosophy and Blaise Pascal, as well as on ethics, social and political philosophy, the history of philosophy (especially seventeenth-century philosophy) and social economics. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, he has worked as a reporter for The Vancouver Province, briefly as a sub-editor at Reuters News Agency, and for several years as a columnist and feature writer for London Express News and Feature Services. (...) He has taught at universities in Montana, California, Ohio and Ontario. Now a researchprofessor of philosophy at the Dominican University College, Ottawa, an emeritus professor at the University of Ottawa, and editor of the International Journal of Social Economics, he and his wife, Diana, divide their time between Ottawa and London, U.K. (shrink)
Winthrop Pickard Bell, a Canadian who studied with Husserl in Göttingen from 1911 to 1914, was arrested after the outbreak of World War I and interred at Ruhleben Prison Camp for the duration of the war. In 1915 or 1916 he presented a lecture titled “Canadian Problems and Possibilities” to other internees at the prison camp. This is the first time Bell’s lecture has appeared in print. Even though the lecture was given to a general audience and thusmakes no explicit (...) reference to Husserl or phenomenology, it is a systematic phenomenological analysis of the national form of group belonging and, as such, makes a substantial contribution to phenomenological sociology and political science, grounding that contribution in phenomenological philosophy. Bell describes the essence of the nation as an organic spiritual unity that grows or develops, and is thus not a product of will, and which becomes a unity by surmounting its parts. This unity is instantiated in a given nation by tradition. The particular character of a nation’s tradition gives it a tendency to act in one way rather than another. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe crisis of European sciences in Husserl’s late work diagnoses Galilean science as specifically and necessarily losing touch with the intuitive evidence that would legitimate it due to its reliance on a formal-mathematical conceptual apparatus. While the vast majority of Husserl’s late work was focussed on a critique of the formal-mathematical paradigm of the physical science of nature, at several points the possibility of biology as the exemplary science is raised to suggest that the lack of a reliance on formal-mathematical (...) conceptual language would mean that a systemic crisis would not occur in such a case. This investigation considers the grounds for the expectation that biology would not engender a crisis, suggests that a paradigmatic role for ecology would more adequately address this expectation, and finally claims that the question of the relation between a specific exemplary science and transcendental phenomenology is not fully resolved even in this case. (shrink)
This original, contemporary synthesis between phenomenology and Marx’s late work begins from Edmund Husserl’s The Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology to chart a new program for Socratic phenomenology in the current confrontation between planetary technology and place-based Indigeneity.
The present work develops the concept of instrumental reason in order to elaborate the implications of the connection of formalistic theory and technical action. Through a critique of this concept it establishes the limitations of instrumental reason and the necessity for a deeper conception o.
Crossing Borders: Essays In Honour of Ian H. Angus is a collection of original and cutting-edge essays by eighteen outstanding and diverse Canadian and International scholars that engage with Professor Ian Angus's rich contributions to three distinct, albeit overlapping, fields: Canadian Studies, Phenomenology and Critical Theory, and Communication and Media Studies. These contributions are distinct, unique, and have had resonance across the intellectual landscape over the thirty years that Angus has been teaching communications, philosophy, Canadian Studies, theory, and humanities first (...) in the United States and then in Canada. (shrink)
Recalling the phenomenological and Hegelian bases of the critique of misplaced concreteness, and supplementing these by the contribution of Gregory Bateson, it is possible to say that a contemporary critique of digital media cannot appeal to an irrevocable concreteness nor finally defeat abstraction. Since the digital media complex is characterized by temporal decay, transversality, and singularity, a new departure for a critical theory of digital media must centre on the cultural unconscious and the limit, or edge, of the cultural complex.
This essay seeks to demonstrate that the practice of phenomenological philosophy entails a practice of social and political criticism. The original demand of phenomenology is that theoretical and scientific judgments must be based upon the giving of the ‘things themselves’ in self-evident intuition. The continuous radicalization of this demand is what characterizes phenomenological philosophy and determines a practice of social and political criticism which can be traced through four phases: 1. a critique of institutions through the method of unbuilding (Abbau, (...) Destruktion, déconstruction); 2. presencing, or coming into presence, that directs one’s attention to the social movements of one’s time through which that which is pressed-out of the social form manifests itself; 3. authentic being-with (Mitsein) in which the sociality of human life is brought to the limit-condition of human life in being-toward-death; 4. nothingness, or negation, in which that which withdraws in any manifestation is incapable of a Hegelian re-immanentization as negation of the negation and thus points to an ethical dimension outside of history. (shrink)
Through a comparison of the logic of socio-economic and technical development in Marx with the logic of technical invention in Simondon, I argue the thesis that worker’s democracy is the forgotten political form that offers a viable alternative to both capitalism and Soviet-style Communism, the dominant political régimes of the Cold War period that have not yet been surpassed. Marx’s detailed account of the capitalist technical logic from handwork through manufacture to industry is a logic of continuous concretization in Simondon’s (...) sense. Its immanent teleology is the exclusion of living labor through automation such that freedom is understood as free time apart from labor and technical activity. A post-capitalist society would require a conception of freedom in labor, such as that held by the early Marx, that demands a leap from this logic of concretization to a new technical object. Such a new technical object would require workers to engage in technical activity that continues the activity of invention in Simondon’s sense. Through these interpretive and argumentative links, Simondon’s possibility of transindividual technical activity and knowledge can be seen as, in socio-political terms, aiming at workplace democracy. In philosophical terms, it aims to displace the priority of thought and imagination over activity and to locate both within an ongoing impersonal task which contains the possibility of individual and social self-realization. (shrink)
In response to Leroy Little Bear's description of the Blackfoot identity as rooted in place, the article articulates an ecological conception of value based in European thought that can be in close dialogue with the telling aboriginal phrase “I am the environment.” While important similarities are noted, especially the convergence of aboriginal and ecological conceptions of value on a critique of the assessment of value by commodity price, the difficulty of rooting value in Being within the European tradition contrasts with (...) the continuity of human, animal, and cosmic intelligence in aboriginal thought. (shrink)
It is a danger in the discursive turn in the human sciences that social criticism be abandoned in favour of ‘continuing the conversation.’ However, an analysis of the reflexive paradox inherent in every communication act provides the basis for a non-foundationalist critique of the historical epoch.