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James Mensch [90]James R. Mensch [26]James Richard Mensch [4]
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James Mensch
Charles University, Prague
  1.  8
    Temporality and embodied self-presence.James Mensch - forthcoming - Continental Philosophy Review:1-13.
    As Merleau-Ponty points out, our sense of time is that of passage. This demands that we think of time both as extended—that is, as including the past and the future—and as now, the latter being conceived as the point of expiration. The difficulty comes when try to think these separately. To consider time as extended is to think of it in terms of space—i.e., in terms of the “parts outside of parts” definitive of space. The simultaneous existence of such parts (...)
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  2. Husserl's Account of Our Consciousness of Time.James Mensch - 2010 - Marquette University Press.
    Having asked, “What, then, is time?” Augustine admitted, “I know well enough what it is, provided that nobody asks me; but if I am asked what it is and try to explain, I am baffled.” We all have a sense of time, but the description and explanation of it remain remarkably elusive. Through a series of detailed descriptions, Husserl attempted to clarify this sense of time. In my book, I trace the development of his account of our temporal self-awareness, starting (...)
     
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  3. The a Priori of the Visible.James Mensch - 2007 - Studia Phaenomenologica 7:259-283.
    Jan Patočka and Maurice Merleau-Ponty attempted to get beyond Husserl by focusing on manifestation or visibility as such. Yet, the results these philosophers come to are very different — particularly with regard to the a priori of the visible. Are there, as Patočka believed, aspects of being that can be grasped in their entirety, the aspects, namely, that involve its “self-showing”? Or must we say, with Merleau-Ponty, that being can only show itself in finite perspectives that can never be summed (...)
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  4. Violence and Embodiment.James Mensch - 2008 - Symposium 12 (1):4-15.
    While the various forms of violence have been the subject of special studies, we lack a paradigm that would allow us to understand the different forms of violence (physical, social, cultural, structural, and so on) as aspects of a unified phenomenon. In this article, I shall take violence as destructive of sense or meaning. The relation of violence to embodiment arises through the role that the body plays in our making sense of the world. My claim is that violence is (...)
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  5. Levinas's Existential Analytic: A Commentary on Totality and Infinity.James R. Mensch - 2015 - Northwestern University Press.
    By virtue of the originality and depth of its thought, Emmanuel Levinas’s masterpiece, _Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority, _is destined to endure as one of the great works of philosophy. It is an essential text for understanding Levinas’s discussion of “the Other,” yet it is known as a “difficult” book. Modeled after Norman Kemp Smith’s commentary on _Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, Levinas’s Existential Analytic _guides both new and experienced readers through Levinas’s text. James R. Mensch explicates Levinas’s (...)
     
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  6. Givenness and Alterity.James Mensch - 2003 - Idealistic Studies 33 (1):1-7.
    If we trace the word phenomenon to its Greek origin, we find it is the participle of the verb, phainesthai, “to show itself.” The phenomenon is that which shows itself; it is the manifest. As Heidegger noted, phenomenology is the study of this showing. It examines how things show themselves to be what they are.1 One of the most difficult problems faced by phenomenology is the mystery of our self-showing. How do we show ourselves to be what we are? How (...)
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  7.  57
    Embodiments: From the Body to the Body Politic.James Mensch - 2009 - Northwestern University Press.
    The intertwining: the recursion of the seer and the seen -- Artificial intelligence and the phenomenology of flesh -- Aesthetic education and the project of being human -- The intertwining of incommensurables: Yann Martel's life of Pi -- Flesh and the limits of self-making -- Violence and embodiment -- Excessive presence and the image -- Politics and freedom -- Sovereignty and alterity -- Political violence -- Public space -- Sustaining the other: tolerance as a positive ideal -- Forgiveness and incarnation.
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  8. An Objective Phenomenology.James R. Mensch - 2000 - Journal of Philosophical Research 25 (January):231-260.
    This paper proposes an explanatory bridge between structures of processing and qualia. It shows how the process of their arising is such that qualia are nonpublic objects, i.e., are only accessible to the person experiencing them. My basic premise is that the subjective “felt” character of qualia is a function of this first-person character. The account I provide is basically Husserlian. Thus, I use Husserl’s analyses to show why qualia always refer to a single point of view, that of a (...)
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  9. The Question of Naturalizing Phenomenology.James Mensch - 2013 - Symposium 17 (1):210-228.
    The attempt to use the results of phenomenology in cognitive and neural science has in the past decade become increasingly widespread. It is, however, open to the objection that phenomenology does not concern itself with the embodied, empirical subject, but rather with the non-causally determined “transcendental” subject. If this is true, then the attempt to employ its results is bound to come to grief on the opposition of two different accounts of consciousness: the non-causal, transcendental paradigm put forward by phenomenology (...)
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  10.  9
    Ethics and Selfh Ood: Alterity and the Phenomenology of Obligation.James R. Mensch - 2003 - State University of New York Press.
    Argues that a coherent theory of ethics requires an account of selfhood.
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  11.  27
    Violence and Selfhood.James Mensch - 2013 - Human Studies 36 (1):25-41.
    Is violence senseless or is it at the origin of sense? Does its destruction of meaning disclose ourselves as the origin of meaning? Or is it the case that it leaves in its wake only a barren field? Does it result in renewal or only in a sense of dead loss? To answer these questions, I shall look at James Dodd’s, Hegel’s, and Carl Schmitt’s accounts of the creative power of violence—particularly with regard to its ability to give individuals and (...)
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  12.  15
    Intersubjectivity and Transcendental Idealism.James Mensch - 1988 - SUNY Press.
    This book offers new answers to this persistent philosophical question by defining the question in specifically Husserlian terms and by means of a careful examination of Husserl’s later texts, including the unpublished Nachlass.
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  13.  23
    Senseless Violence: Liminality and Intertwining.James Mensch - 2017 - The European Legacy 22 (6):667-686.
    The claim of this article is that the perpetrators of violence are “liminal” figures, being inside and yet outside of the world in which they act. It is this liminality, this existing on the border, that makes their violence senseless. Because of it, their actions can be understood in terms neither of the actual reality of their victims nor of the imagined reality that the perpetrators placed them in. Sense, here, fails, for the lack of a common frame. Liminality exists (...)
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  14.  14
    Postfoundational Phenomenology: Husserlian Reflections on Presence and Embodiment.James R. Mensch - 2000 - Pennsylvania State University Press.
    This book offers a fresh look at Edmund Husserl’s philosophy as a nonfoundational approach to understanding the self as an embodied presence. Contrary to the conventional view of Husserl as carrying on the Cartesian tradition of seeking a trustworthy foundation for knowledge in the "pure" observations of a disembodied ego, James Mensch introduces us to the Husserl who, anticipating the later investigations of Merleau-Ponty, explored how the body functions to determine our self-presence, our freedom, and our sense of time. The (...)
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  15.  37
    Husserl, Heidegger, and Sartre: Presence and the Performative Contradiction.James Mensch - 2016 - The European Legacy 21 (5-6):493-510.
    In this essay I explore the divide that separates Heidegger and Sartre from Husserl. At issue is what Derrida calls the “metaphysics of presence.” From Heidegger onward this has been characterized as an interpretation of both being and knowing in terms of presence. To exist is to be now, and to know is to make present the evidence for something’s existence. Husserl’s account of constitution assumes this interpretation. By contrast, Heidegger and Sartre see constitution in terms of our pragmatic engagements (...)
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  16. Derrida–Husserl: Towards a Phenomenology of Language.James Mensch - 2001 - New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy 1:1-66.
  17.  94
    Benito Cerino: Freud and the Breakdown of Politics.James Mensch - 2003 - Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy/Revue canadienne de philosophie continentale 7 (2):117-131.
    In a world shaken by terrorists’ assaults, it can seem as if no one is in control. Political leaders often appear at a loss. They cast about for opponents, for those on whom they can exert their political will. The terrorists, however, need not identify themselves. If they do, the languge they use may be messianic rather than political. Rather than indicating negotiable political solutions, it points to something else. Coincident with this, is the pursuit of terror dispite the harm (...)
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  18.  46
    Instincts — a Husserlian Account.James R. Mensch - 1997 - Husserl Studies 14 (3):219-237.
    According to the standard, accepted view of Husserl, the notion of a Husserlian account of the instincts appears paradoxical. Is not Husserl the proponent of a philosophy conducted by a “pure” observer? Instincts relate to the body, but the reduction seems to leave us with a disembodied Cartesian ego. Quotations are not lacking to support this view.
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  19.  46
    Religious Intolerance.James Mensch - 2011 - Symposium 15 (2):171-189.
    Religion has been a constant throughout human history. Evidence of it dates from the earliest times. Religious practice is also universal, appearing in every region of the globe. To judge from recorded history and contemporary accounts, religious intolerance is equally widespread. Yet all the major faiths proclaim the golden rule, namely, to “love your neighbour as yourself.” When Jesus was asked by a lawyer, “Who is my neighbour?” he replied with the story of the good Samaritan—the man who bound up (...)
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  20. Public Space and Embodiment.James Mensch - 2012 - Studia Phaenomenologica 12:211-226.
    Hannah Arendt’s notion of public space is one of her most fruitful, yet frustrating concepts. Having employed it to analyze political freedom, she claims that such space has largely disappeared in the modern world. In what follows, I am going to argue that this pessimistic assessment follows from Arendt’s exclusion of labor and work from the public realm. Against Arendt’s claim that such activities are essentially private, I shall argue that they, like action, manifest our embodied being-in-the-world. When we think (...)
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  21.  25
    Patočka’s Conception of the Subject of Human Rights.James R. Mensch - 2011 - Idealistic Studies 41 (1-2):1-10.
    Jan Patočka appears as a paradoxical figure. A champion of human rights, he often presents his philosophy in quite traditional terms. He speaks of the “soul,” its “care,” and of “living in truth.” Yet, in his proposal for an “asubjective” phenomenology, he undermines the traditional notion of the self that has such rights. The question that thus confronts a reader of Patočka is how to reconcile the Patočka who was a spokesman of the Charter 77 movement with the proponent of (...)
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  22.  45
    Husserl's Concept of the Future.James R. Mensch - 1999 - Husserl Studies 16 (1):41-64.
    At first glance, a phenomenological account of the future seems a contradiction in terms. Phenomenology’s focus is on givenness or presence. Attending to what has already been given in its search for evidence, it seems incapable of handling the future, which by definition, has not yet been given since it not-yet-present. Thus, for the existentialists, in particular Heidegger, phenomenology misses the fact that the Da-, the “thereness” of our Dasein, is located in the future. It misses the futurity inherent in (...)
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  23.  23
    Temporalization as the Trace of the Subject.James Mensch - 2001 - In Ralph Schumacher, Rolf-Peter Horstmann & Volker Gerhardt (eds.), Kant Und Die Berliner Aufklärung: Akten des Ix. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. Bd. I: Hauptvorträge. Bd. Ii: Sektionen I-V. Bd. Iii: Sektionen Vi-X: Bd. Iv: Sektionen Xi-Xiv. Bd. V: Sektionen Xv-Xviii. De Gruyter. pp. 409-417.
    Both in its methods and spirit, Kant’s critical philosophy seems the opposite of recent French philosophy. In its deductive approach, it exemplifies a severe rationality; its structures of argument and proof often abstract from our lived experience. The philosophies of Derrida and Levinas, however, attend to such experience. In particular, they are sensitive to precisely those aspects of it that seem to exceed our conceptual abilities. Thus, for Levinas the face of the other manifests an “inabsorbable alterity.” It cannot be (...)
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  24.  4
    Trust and Violence.James Mensch - 2019 - Studia Phaenomenologica 19:59-73.
    Jean Améry’s memoir of his imprisonment and torture by the Nazis links the loss of “trust in the world” to the violence he experienced. The loss of trust makes him feel homeless. He can no longer find a place in the intersubjective world, the world for everyone. What is this “trust in the world”? How does violence destroy it? In this article, I use Améry’s remarks as guide for understanding the relation of violence, trust, and homelessness. Trust, I argue, is (...)
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  25.  38
    The Mind-Body Problem: Phenomenological Reflections on an Ancient Solution.James R. Mensch - 1994 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 68 (1):31-56.
  26.  25
    The Phenomenological Status of the Ego.James R. Mensch - 2009 - Idealistic Studies 39 (1-3):1-9.
    For phenomenology, the study of appearances and the ways they come together to present a world, the question of the ego presents special difficulties. The ego, itself, is not an appearance; it is the subject to whom appearances appear. As such, it cannot appear. As the neo-Kantian, Paul Natorp expresses this:“The ego is the subjective center of relation for all contents in my consciousness. . . . It cannot itself be a content and resembles nothing that could be a content (...)
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  27.  14
    After Modernity: Husserlian Reflections on a Philosophical Tradition.James R. Mensch - 1996 - State University of New York Press.
    Offers an alternative to the modern foundationalist paradigm, based in Husserl's analysis of temporality, that shows how the passing of modernity provides an opening for doing metaphysics in a new nonfoundationalist manner.
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  28.  13
    James Mensch, Embodiments: From the Body to the Body Politic (Evanston, Il: Northwestern University Press, 2009) Religious Intolerance: Hating Your Neighbour as Yourself.James Mensch - 2011 - Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy/Revue canadienne de philosophie continentale 15 (2):171-189.
    Religion has been a constant throughout human history. Evidence of it dates from the earliest times. Religious practice is also universal, appearing in every region of the globe. To judge from recorded history and contemporary accounts, religious intolerance is equally widespread. Yet all the major faiths proclaim the golden rule, namely, to “love your neighbour as yourself.” When Jesus was asked by a lawyer, “Who is my neighbour?” he replied with the story of the good Samaritan—the man who bound up (...)
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  29. Multiple Personality Disorder: A Phenomenological/Postmodern Account.James R. Mensch - manuscript
    A striking feature of post-modernism is its distrust of the subject. If the modern period, beginning with Descartes, sought in the subject a source of certainty, an Archimedian point from which all else could be derived, post- modernism has taken the opposite tack. Rather than taking the self as a foundation, it has seen it as founded, as dependent on the accidents which situate consciousness in the world. The same holds for the unity of the subject. Modernity, in its search (...)
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  30.  5
    Religious Intolerance: Hating Your Neighbour as Yourself.James Mensch - 2011 - Symposium 15 (2):171-189.
    Religion has been a constant throughout human history. Evidence of it dates from the earliest times. Religious practice is also universal, appearing in every region of the globe. To judge from recorded history and contemporary accounts, religious intolerance is equally widespread. Yet all the major faiths proclaim the golden rule, namely, to “love your neighbour as yourself.” When Jesus was asked by a lawyer, “Who is my neighbour?” he replied with the story of the good Samaritan—the man who bound up (...)
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  31.  52
    Phenomenology and Artificial Intelligence: Husserl Learns Chinese.James R. Mensch - 1991 - Husserl Studies 8 (2):107-127.
    For over a decade John Searle's ingenious argument against the possibility of artificial intelligence has held a prominent place in contemporary philosophy. This is not just because of its striking central example and the apparent simplicity of its argument. As its appearance in Scientific American testifies, it is also due to its importance to the wider scientific community. If Searle is right, artificial intelligence in the strict sense, the sense that would claim that mind can be instantiated through a formal (...)
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  32.  40
    Artificial Intelligence and the Phenomenology of Flesh.James Mensch - 2006 - PhaenEx 1 (1):73-85.
    A. M. Turing argued that there was "little point in trying to make a 'thinking machine' more human by dressing it up in ... artificial flesh." We should, instead, draw "a fairly sharp line between the physical and the intellectual capacities of a man." For over fifty years, drawing this line has meant disregarding the role flesh plays in our intellectual capacities. Correspondingly, intelligence has been defined in terms of the algorithms that both men and machines can perform. I would (...)
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  33. Patocka and Artificial Intelligence.James Mensch - manuscript
    It may seem strange to associate the name of Jan Patočka with artificial intelligence. Neither a mathematician nor a logician, the phenomenology he espoused, with its emphasis on lived experience, seems worlds apart from the formalism associated with the discipline. Yet, as I hope to show, the radicality and depth of Patočka’s thought is such that it casts a wide net. The reform of metaphysics that Patočka proposed in his asubjective phenomenology also affects artificial intelligence. It shows that what philosophers (...)
     
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  34.  21
    Politics and Freedom.James Mensch - 2006 - Idealistic Studies 36 (1):75-82.
    True freedom involves choices whose scope is not limited in advance by a particular dogma. When we attempt to understand it, a number of questions arise. It is unclear, for example, how the openness of real choice can fit into the organized structures of political life. What prevents the expressions of freedom from disrupting this life? What sets limits to their arbitrariness? The general questionhere concerns the adaptability of freedom to a political context. In this paper, I argue that freedom (...)
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  35.  35
    Excessive Presence and the Image.James Mensch - 2006 - Symposium 10 (2):431-440.
  36.  6
    The a Priori of the Visible: Patočka and Merleau-Ponty.James Mensch - 2007 - Studia Phaenomenologica 7:259-283.
    Jan Patočka and Maurice Merleau-Ponty attempted to get beyond Husserl by focusing on manifestation or visibility as such. Yet, the results these philosophers come to are very different — particularly with regard to the a priori of the visible. Are there, as Patočka believed, aspects of being that can be grasped in their entirety, the aspects, namely, that involve its “self-showing”? Or must we say, with Merleau-Ponty, that being can only show itself in finite perspectives that can never be summed (...)
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  37.  81
    Public Space.James Mensch - 2007 - Continental Philosophy Review 40 (1):31-47.
    “Public space” is the space where individuals see and are seen by others as they engage in public affairs. Hannah Arendt links this space with “public freedom.” The being of such freedom, she asserts, depends on its appearing. It consists of “deeds and words which are meant to appear, whose very existence hinges on appearance.” Such appearance, however, requires the public space. Reflecting on Arendt’s remarks, a number of questions arise: What does the dependence of freedom on public space tell (...)
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  38.  22
    Embodied Temporalization and the Mind-Body Problem.James Mensch - 2016 - Quaestiones Disputatae 7 (1):109-123.
    As David Chalmers notes, the “hard problem of consciousness” has two aspects. The first concerns the felt quality of experience. The contents we experience—say, the color of a book or the warmth of the sun—are not just present but felt to be so. The question is: how is this possible? What are the conscious processes involved in this? The second concerns the relation of the subjective aspect of experience to the physical processes that are at its origin. What is required, (...)
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  39. The Question of Being in Husserl's Logical Investigations.James R. Mensch - 1981 - Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  40.  29
    Selfhood and Politics.James Mensch - 2002 - Symposium 6 (1):11-22.
  41. After Modernity: Husserlian Reflections on a Philosophical Tradition.James Richard Mensch - 1996 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 187 (1):81-81.
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  42.  67
    The Temporality of Merleau-Ponty’s Intertwining.James Mensch - 2010 - Continental Philosophy Review 42 (4):449-463.
    In his last work, The Visible and the Invisible, Merleau-Ponty explored the fact that we believe that perception occurs in our heads and, hence, assert that the perceptual world is in us, while also believing that we are in the world we perceive. In this article, I examine how this intertwining of self and world justifies the faith we have in perception. I shall do so by considering a number of examples. In each case, the object in itself will turn (...)
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  43. The Question of Being in Husserl's Logical Investigations.James R. Mensch - 1982 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 172 (1):68-69.
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  44.  30
    Desire and Selfhood.James Mensch - 2015 - The European Legacy 20 (7):689-698.
    As Hegel observed in his Phenomenology of Spirit, “Self-consciousness, for the most part, is desire.” Phenomenologically, the “object of consciousness is itself… present only in opposition” to consciousness, while consciousness is felt as the absence of the longed-for object. According to Hegel, when desire is satisfied, this opposition ends and self-consciousness ceases. My essay seeks to answer the question of why desire never really terminates, why it almost continuously characterizes our waking life. I shall do so by exploring desire not (...)
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  45.  25
    The Spatiality of Subjectivity.James Mensch - 2016 - Symposium 20 (1):181-193.
    This article describes how the spatiality of our existence determines the temporal relations that inform the contents of our consciousness. It argues that the extension of time—the fact the moments that compose it do not collapse into each other—can only be explained in terms of the dependence of time on space. Such dependence causes us to rethink the concept of subjectivity according to a multi-dimensional spatial paradigm, one that crosses the traditional divide between minds and bodies.
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  46.  25
    Husserl and Sartre.James R. Mensch - 1994 - Journal of Philosophical Research 19:147-184.
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  47.  20
    Violence and Existence: An Examination of Carl Schmitt’s Philosophy.James Mensch - 2017 - Continental Philosophy Review 50 (2):249-268.
    This article examines the concept of existence underlying Carl Schmitt’s political philosophy—a concept is that Heidegger largely shares. Can such a conception do justice to our political life? Or is it, in fact, inimical to it? The crucial issue here is that of political identity and the role that violence plays in its formation. The article concludes by examining Jan Patočka’s account of existence as motion and applying it to our political commitments.
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  48. Die intersubjektive Grundlage der Imagination.James Mensch - 2003 - Phänomenologische Forschungen.
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  49. Empathy and Rationality.James Mensch - unknown
    Much of the current debate opposing empathy to rationality assumes that there are no universal standards for rationality. From the postmodern perspective, the “rational” does not just vary according to the different historical stages of a people. It also differs according the social and cultural conditions that define contemporary communities. What counts as reasonable in the Afghan cultural sphere is often considered as irrational in the Western European context. What Americans take to be rational modes of conduct are not considered (...)
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  50.  57
    Manifestation and the Paradox of Subjectivity.James Mensch - 2005 - Husserl Studies 21 (1):35-53.
    The question of who we are is a perennial one in philosophy. It is particularly acute in transcendental philosophy with its focus on the subject. In its attempt to see in the subject the structures and activities that determine experience, such philosophy confronts what Husserl called “the paradox of human subjectivity.” This is the paradox of its two-fold being. It has “both the being of a subject for the world and the being of an object in the world.” As the (...)
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