The Last Best Hope
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What’s in a name?
What hasn’t been claimed in the name of phenomenology? Indeed, the locution itself—“in the name of”—conjures up images of usurpation, of nefarious stalking under the mantle of some authority, dubious claims to being representative. Regarding phenomenology, in particular, we have reason to be suspicious. Has not the recent fracas over the so-called “theological turn” in phenomenology taught us that anything done in its name will take one of two forms: either a charge that someone has overstepped the bounds of “real” phenomenology, or else a “creative” appropriation of the term that seeks authority for the philosophemedu jour? Why is it precisely the term phenomenology that gives rise, now, to a clash between guardians of orthodoxy and a tribe of heretics who can’t seem to do without the name?
One of the many virtues of Simon Glendinning’s important new book, In the Name of Phenomenology, is that it provides an answer to this question. The answer gives rise to more...
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