Breathless Messages: Phenomenology in Deep Space

A Reading of Joseph McElroy’s Plus and a Report on Anaximander’s Meteorology
  • Jay Lampert
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 23)


The metaphor “air” takes varied, even contradictory forms: The emotions of air range from the breezy to the stifling. The romanticism of air alternates a harmony with the elements and a struggle against them. The language of air provides both the breath that articulates messages and the wind in which words are lost. The cosmology of air allows air’s rarified spirituality to be condensed into heavy water and dissipated in chaotic fire. The consumerism of air offers both freshening and conditioning. Most important, the phenomenology of air represents air on the one hand as the epistemic vacuum which places the observer face to face with the objects of sight, and on the other hand as the existential plenum in which encounters take place, on which horizons are mapped out and distances freely penetrated.


Science Fiction Deep Space Intentional Object Heavenly Body Vegetable Growth 
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  1. McElroy, Joseph. Plus (New York: Alfred J. Knopf, 1977).Google Scholar
  2. Mirk, G. S., J. E. Raven, and M. Schofield. The Presocratic Philosophers (Cambridge University Press, 1983), ‘Anaximander of Miletus,’ pp. 100–142. Translations are my own.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay Lampert
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TorontoCanada

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