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1. Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: Volume > 5
Don Ihde, Richard M. Zaner Introduction
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Phenomenology in the United States is in a state of ferment and change. Not all the changes are happy ones, however, for some of the most prominent philosophers of the first generation of phenomenologists have died: in 1959 Alfred Schutz, and within the past two years John Wild, Dorion Cairns, and Aron Gurwitsch. These thinkers, though often confronting a hostile intellectual climate, were nevertheless persistent and profoundly influential—through their own works, and through their students. The two sources associated with their names, The Graduate Faculty of The New School for Social Research, and the circle around John Wild first at Harvard and later at Northwestern and Yale, produced a sizable portion of the now second generation American phenomenological philosophers.
dialogue with analysis
2. Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: Volume > 5
Jacques Derrida The Copula Supplement
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Any theory of philosophie discourse based on the naive opposition between language and speech, language and discourse, seems to encounter the classic question: is philosophic discourse governed —to what extent and in what ways—by the constraints of language? In other words, if we consider the history of philosophy as one great discourse, a powerful discursive chain, isn’t it immersed in a reservoir of language, the systematic fund of a lexicology, a grammar, a group of signs and values? From then on, isn’t it limited by the devices and organization of that reservoir?
3. Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: Volume > 5
Peter Caws Thought, Language and Philosophy
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Hearing, as Heidegger remarks, is a possibility belonging to discursive speech; what I am now embarking on is therefore not just my own discursive speech but an exercise of our common faculty for it. There is of course a vector in the situation; the syntagma as which I appear before you is part of my output but part of your input. Still we share it: that is the first point to remember. In the universe of discourse each of us exists as a double syntagma, composed of two parallel, intermittent, usually alternating syntagmata, one of speaking (or writing), the other of hearing (or reading): parallel because they bear as it were a constant relation to one another, accompanying the same body (or the same mind) wherever it goes; intermittent because we cannot be engaged in discursive activity all the time, and also because keeping silent, as Heidegger says in the same place, is another possibility belonging to discursive speech; usually alternating, because what we say is usually intended for other ears, what we hear usually the product of other voices. (We also hear what we ourselves say, but I leave that complication aside.) If it were possible, in the case of a single individual, to reproduce this double syntagma in all its detail, this would be not a recounting but a reliving of his life as a discursive being, the limit of “totalization” as Sartre uses the term.
4. Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: Volume > 5
Newton Garver Grammar and Metaphysics
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How is metaphysics possible? This question can be perspicuously approached by asking, as Derrida has done, how it is possible for metaphysical remarks to be expressed, in what sort of language or medium metaphysics makes sense. To approach the question this way raises the problem about the relation of philosophy to language, whether there is a language of metaphysics, and whether what linguists have done or may do might conceivably throw light on the status of metaphysics.
5. Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: Volume > 5
Samuel Todes, Charles Daniels Part I. Beyond the Doubt of a Shadow
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We all presumably have some idea of a shadow. For the seeing of shadows is part of ordinary experience, and talking about shadows is part of ordinary language. In this paper we propose to investigate our common idea of a shadow. We will first present a preliminary account of shadows which is meant to be plausible. We trust you will agree in finding it so. Then in terms of a special imaginary case we will throw this preliminary version into doubt, leading to the suspicion that our common operative idea of shadows is confused or inconsistent. Afterwards, however, we will attempt to resolve this doubt by showing that closer attention to both the ordinary phenomenon and the ordinary language of shadows reveals our common idea of a shadow to be clear and consistent after all, but more subtle than at first appears. Finally, we will characterize in a general way the phenomenologico-linguistic method of analysis which seems to be successful in handling our particular problem and therefore likely to be fruitful in similar cases.
6. Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: Volume > 5
Samuel Todes Part II. Shadows in Knowledge: Plato’s Misunderstanding of and Shadows, of Knowledge as Shadow-Free
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Vision is a classic, a perennial and intuitive, metaphor for knowledge. Shadows play a subtle and important role in good vision. Because of their subtlety shadows are prone to misinterpretation, and, I shall argue, they have in fact been classically misinterpreted. Because of their important role in good vision, this misinterpretation of shadows has led, I shall try to show, to a disregard and denial of the shadow-laden norms of good vision and sound perceptual judgment. And because vision is understood to be a deep metaphor for knowledge, this disregard of the positive role of shadows in vision has in turn naturally led to an idea of shadow-free intellectual knowledge which has itslocus classicus in the work of Plato, particularly in his well-known discussions of the Divided Line and the Allegory of the Cave in Books VI and VII of the Republic. If we retain, as i do, the faith of philosophers such as Plato, Plotinus, Descartes, and Husserl that vision is a deep metaphor for knowledge, then any such demonstration that a given analysis of knowledge, espicially one employing visual metaphor, parallels a misunderstanding of vision, is sufficient to render that idea of knowledge dubious, particularly in light of further evidence of a crucial role played in intellectual knowledge itself by this misunderstood element of vision.
transcendental themes
7. Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: Volume > 5
J. N. Findlay Meinong the Phenomenologist
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My task on the present occasion resembles an achievement attributed to Ammonius Saccas, the teacher of Plotinus: he is alleged to have laid bare the homodoxy of Plato and Aristotle, the fact that, though Aristotle went pretty far from his base in Platonism, and had a deeply different direction of interest, he never went far enough not to be considered an alternative developer of the same philosophy, one which accepts εἴδη or Ideas, and their principles, as the supreme causative and explanatory principles both for being and for knowledge. My aim on this occasion is, in the same way, to expound the homodoxy of Meinong and Husserl, the philosophical identity, at a sufficiently deep level, of the school of Graz with its famous Gegenstandstheorie or Theory of Objects, which outdoes Ontology in its catholicity, together with its pendant Erfassungstheorie or Theory of Apprehension, and the school of Freiburg, with its yet more famous Phänomenologie or investigation of the necessary structures of subjectivity, together with the pendant Formal Ontology which investigates all the sorts of realities and irrealities constituted in and by such subjectivity. It is my purpose to contend that these two philosophers, and their entourages, were in the main, in so far as they deserve enduring attention, doing much the same philosophical work in much the same manner, and that their differences of outlook, as in the case of Plato and Aristotle, were such as to make their work truly complementary, two sides of a single investigation into the architecture and furniture of consciousness and the world.
8. Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: Volume > 5
Henry E. Allison The "Critique of Pure Reason" as Transcendental Phenomenology
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The relation between the philosophies of Kant and Husserl has quite naturally been the subject of considerable interest, perhaps to no one more than to Husserl himself. As Iso Kern has shown in his exhaustive study, Husserl und Kant, Husserl was continually engaged in the study of the Critique, and in defining his transcendental phenomenology in relation to it. This resulted in markedly different evaluations at different stages in Husserl’s philosophical development. From the time of Ideas, however, if not before, Husserl seems to have remained firm in his conviction that for all of his failings, Kant had at least grasped the idea of a genuine transcendental philosophy, although he had not succeeded in realizing this idea concretely.
9. Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: Volume > 5
David Carr Phenomenology and Reflection
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With these words, toward the end of the Cartesian Meditations, Husserl summarizes in remarkably succinct form his phenomenological program. Let us examine briefly what Husserl is saying in this passage. Three important elements can be disengaged from it.
10. Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: Volume > 5
Lester Embree Reflection on Planned Operations
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Alfred Schutz was an exemplary phenomenologist. Chief among the ways in which I am moved to emulate him is the manner in which he related himself in his own philosophizing to that of Edmund Husserl. Schutz was not interested in being a mere interpreter or transmitter of phenomenological doctrines. Rather it is manifest in his writings that he used Husserl’s findings to facilitate his own phenomenological investigations, adopting and adapting those results which he found sound and relevant to his own problematics and revising and extending them where he found them in one or another way wanting. As a tribute then to Schutz, I shall here attempt to treat a part of his theoretical product after that same fashion. Thus while the theme of this investigation was important for Schutz and while my results largely confirm those of Schutz and Husserl which bear on it, I am not so much concerned here with the thought of my phenomenological predecessors as I am with the matters themselves in question and in that respect I claim to have made some philosophically useful advances within constitutive phenomenology.
existential themes
11. Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: Volume > 5
Peter Fuss Some Perplexities in Nietzsche
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I feel that I must begin by confessing a prejudice. I find it difficult to take seriously commentators who ascribe a fixed or final position to Nietzsche. By this time Nietzsche scholarship has brought us safely beyond the crudest mis-identifications: Darwinian Eugenicist, Racist, Proto-Nazi, etc. But subtler ones persist. It is still generally supposed that one must identify Nietzsche with such doctrines as the Will to Power, the Übermensch, and the Eternal Recurrence in much the same way The Forms have been identified with Plato and the Categorical Imperative with Kant. I see no way of refuting such notions in one stroke short of reproducing the entire Nietzschean corpus—accurately translated and with careful textual exegeses wherever needed—in such a way that its impact can be felt in one synoptic overview. This being impractical, we shall have to settle for something less.
12. Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: Volume > 5
John D. Scanlon Desire, Need, and Alienation in Sartre
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The word “alienation” carries with it a swarm of vague but pre-dominantly negative connotations concerning the generally deplorable condition of modern man, theme ad nauseam of numerous psychologists, sociologists, theologians, novelists, journalists, and others.1 If these connotations accompany us when we approach Sartre’s study of alienation in Being and Nothingness, we seem called upon to make a decision: either alienation is not so horrible a phenomenon as others have made it out to be, or Sartre is being naïvely optimistic in missing its horror. If we decide in favor of Sartre’s position on the grounds of serious ontological evidence and consider ourselves liberated from the myth of modern man’s misery and then turn to Sartre’s study of Genet, all the horror returns a thousandfold and we feel betrayed: either Sartre has gone over to their side after all, or he was one of them all the time but deceived us earlier.
13. Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: Volume > 5
Wilfried Vet Eecke The Look, the Body, and the Other
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Sartre is the contemporary philosopher who has most explicitely interrelated the problem of the look, the body and the other. In Being and Nothingness, he devotes one-fourth of his seven hundred and twenty pages to the problem of the body and the other,1 and of that he devotes a total of nearly sixty pages to the function of the look.
14. Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: Volume > 5
James M. Edie The Significance of Merleau-Ponty's Philosophy of Language
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When Merleau-Ponty presented himself as a candidate for a chair of philosophy to the body of professors of the Collège de France in February, 1952, he furnished them with a comprehensive plan for future research which would, by building on the works he had already published in the fields of the phenomenology of perception, art, and history, proceed to the investigation of the realms of speaking and writing (in a projected work to be called La Prose du monde), of thinking and knowing (in a book to be called L’Origine de la vérité) and which would, after having thus established a theory of truth, culminate in a metaphysical treatise, L’Homme transcendental. As we know, none of these works was completed during his lifetime. He abandoned La Prose du monde (less than half completed) that same year, 1952, and seems to have definitively lost interest in it after 1959. The manuscripts which had been variously entitled “L’Origine de la vérité,” “Généalogie du vrai,” and “Être et monde,” were all put together, after 1959, under the new title, The Visible and the Invisible, the book Merleau-Ponty was working on at the time of his death and which we possess in the posthumous form of a half-completed treatise followed by an intriguing but unfinished.
15. Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy: Volume > 5
Notes on Contributors
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