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An involuntary phenomenologist. The case of Alexandru Dragomir


Alexandru Dragomir became widely known in Romania as a philosopher 2 years after his death, in 2004. He had no prior publications and only a few of his close acquaintances were even aware of his work as a thinker. The editors of the five volumes of his posthumous papers have from the onset tried to present Dragomir, a former doctoral student of Heidegger, as a phenomenologist, while this interpretation is today well-established. The following paper tries to submit this interpretation to a closer scrutiny, on the one hand, by addressing the history of Dragomir’s publication and reception in Romania and abroad, and on the other hand, by analyzing several aspects of his oeuvre which do indeed hold close resemblance to aspects of the phenomenological method, even though they actually have quite different motivations.

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  1. 1.

    Noica (1995), p. 6, fn.

  2. 2.

    Anton (2005).

  3. 3.

    Liiceanu (2004), p. LIX. English translation: p. 58..

  4. 4.

  5. 5.

    Cf. Dragomir (2006), p. 423. The passage is for sure merely a list of paragraphs from the first book of the Ideas, but the list comprises 16 paragraphs from throughout the volume, unrelated to any specific topic. Thus, Dragomir’s intention here was obviously not that of simply recapitulating a precise issue, but rather that of selectively ranging through the entire work.

  6. 6.

    See for instance Dragomir (2006), p. 390 f.

  7. 7.

    Liiceanu (2004), p. LXII. English translation: p. 60.

  8. 8.

    In several of his early lectures, Heidegger explicitly addresses this issue by speaking of the “fundamental discoveries of phenomenology”. In the lecture course of the WS 1923/24, Einführung in die phänomenologische Forschung, he enumerates three such discoveries: intentionality, the conception of evidence and eidetic intuition; in the spring of 1925, in his Kassel lectures, he only names two: intentionality and categorial intuition, while in the lecture course of the SS 1925, Prolegomena zur Geschichte des Zeitbegriffs, one can again find all three, but in a different phrasing: intentionality, categorial intuition and the discovery of the original meaning of the a priori. Cf. Heidegger (1994), p. 34 f.

  9. 9.

    Husserl (1984), p. 342.

  10. 10.

    Husserl (1989), p. 39.

  11. 11.

    It would be no doubt interesting to study the resurgence of this Socratic paradigm throughout the history of late modern and contemporary philosophy as an argument for a practice of philosophy that detaches itself from any public or institutional anchors (in Kierkegaard or Patočka for instance).

  12. 12.

    Liiceanu and Cercel (2011), p. 158.

  13. 13.

    Dragomir (2004), p. 10.

  14. 14.

    Cf. Husserl (1973), p. 124. English translation: p. 92..

  15. 15.

    Husserl (1973), p. 124. English translation: p. 92.

  16. 16.

    Dragomir (2004), p. 25.

  17. 17.

    Dragomir (2004), p. 79.

  18. 18.

    Schmitz (2009), p. 13.

  19. 19.

    Schmitz (2011), p. 59 f.

  20. 20.

    Husserl (1994), p. 94.

  21. 21.

    Dragomir (2005), p. 7.


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Correspondence to Christian Ferencz-Flatz.

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Ferencz-Flatz, C. An involuntary phenomenologist. The case of Alexandru Dragomir. Stud East Eur Thought 69, 45–55 (2017).

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  • Romanian phenomenology
  • Alexandru Dragomir
  • Phenomenological reduction
  • Edmund Husserl
  • Hermann Schmitz