, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 225-232
Date: 19 Oct 2010

Robert Sokolowski: Phenomenology of the Human Person

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The essence of Robert Sokolowski’s latest book might be captured in a single word: recapitulation, so long as this term has the special sense Sokolowski gives it in Phenomenology of the Human Person. According to Sokolowski, “recapitulation” is preferable to “hermeneutics” or “interpretation” as a description of the “coming to life again” of the thought of one person or one age in another, because the latter categories are overburdened with epistemological baggage.

Sokolowski (2008, p. 78, n. 10). All further parenthetical references will refer to this text.

In contrast, he writes, “to recapitulate is to repeat, but also to select, to summarize, and to put into hierarchic order, with the more important distinguished from the less.” A recapitulation preserves a text without merely repeating it, and does so without raising fears that the original was “lost in translation” or “dissolved into perspectives” in an “interpretation” (p. 79, n. 10).

Given this definition, Sokolowski’s work is a r ...