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Phenomenology as a Methodological Research Program

  • Darko Polšek
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 34)

Abstract

During the course of my studies, I was astonished by the fact that Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Hartmann, Scheler, Heidegger, Ingarden, Waelhens are all counted as phenomenologists. What kind of philosophy would be able to cover such considerably different type of thinking? Is there anything common to all of them? Is it true that the unity and the real meaning of phenomenology should be found “in ourselves” only, as Merleau-Ponty once pointed out? And furthermore, are we to take phenomenology as a set of assumed common features or, rather, a suitable name for all the previously mentioned philosophies. Is it really so, as Gadamer once pointed out, that “every phenomenologist had his own opinion about what in fact should be called phenomenology”?1 Should we agree with Lyotard’s claim2 that phenomenology was just a “style”? A brief overview of recent publications and philosophical textbooks would encourage the second option, namely, the vague definition of phenomenology. In the light of this some critics, for instance Sayama and Kamppinen3 go so far as to state that “the phenomenological idea” is even to be found in the works of Aristotle, Aquinas, Occam, and many others. On the other hand, textbooks take it for granted that the philosophers mentioned first here are phenomenologists.

Keywords

Phenomenological Method Future Knowledge Phenomenological Consideration Absolute Knowledge Transcendental Subjectivity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Hans-Georg Gadamer, “Die phänomenologische Bewegung,” Phil. Rundschau 11/ 63.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jean-Francois Lyotard, La phenomenologie (Presses Universitaires de France, 1954).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Seppo Sayama, and Matti Kamppinen, A Historical Introduction to Phenomenology (London: Croom Helm, 1987).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See, for instance, Jean-Francois Lyotard, La phenomenologie (Presses Universitaires de France, 1954).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Herbert Spiegelberg, “Phenomenology and its Parallels,” Philosophy and Phenome-nological Research 3/83, pp. 281–298.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Shuhmann, Karl: “Makers on the Road to the Conception of the Phenomenological Movement. Appendix to Spiegelberg’s Paper,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 3/83, pp. 299–306.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Edmund Husserl, Ideas I (General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology) (New York: Collier-Macmillan, 1962).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Edmund Husserl, Ideas I (General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology) (New York: Collier-Macmillan, 1962), p. 16.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Edmund Husserl, Ideas I (General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology) (New York: Collier-Macmillan, 1962), p. 166.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Edmund Husserl, Ideas I (General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology) (New York: Collier-Macmillan, 1962), p. 5.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Edmund Husserl, Ideas I (General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology) (New York: Collier-Macmillan, 1962), p. 166.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Edmund Husserl, Ideas I (General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology) (New York: Collier-Macmillan, 1962), p. 166.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Garry Gutting, “Husserl and Scientific Realism”, Phil. and Phenomenological Research 1/78, pp. 42-57.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Martin Heidegger, Being and Time (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1980), p. 55; in the second German edition pp. 29–31.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Werner Marx, Die Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls (Munich: W. Fink Verlag, 1987).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Edmund Husserl, Ideas I (General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology) (New York: Collier-Macmillan, 1962), p. 167.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Leszek Kolakowki, Die Suche nach der verlorenen Gewissheit (Denkwege mit Edmund Husserl) (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer Verlag, 1977): “Ist die Reduktion wirklich ontologisch neutral? Ist sie nur eine Methode oder entscheidet sie als Methode (immer schon ueber) ontologische Fragen? Ist sie reversibel? Wird der Versuch, die Objektivität des Wissens (und der Werte) dadruch zu begründen, dass wir sie in die transzedentale Subjekivität hineinzuverlegen: wird er uns je gestatten, die prowisorische Klammern von der transzendentalen Welt zu entfernen? Werden sich diese Klammern nicht als ewige Fesseln erweisen, die für immer die Welt mit dem reduzierten Subjekt verbinden?” (p. 76) “Deshalb ist die Reduktion keine zeitweilige Suspension, die wir später aufzuheben hoffen duerfen. Sie hält mich für immer vom Sprechen über Seindes ab, das keinen Bezug zum Bewusstsein hat: in der Tat lässt sie nur Unsinniges von einem solchem Begriff aussagen. Es gibt keinen Weg zurück von der Reduktion.…” (p. 81)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Leszek Kolakowki, Die Suche nach der verlorenen Gewissheit (Denkwege mit Edmund Husserl) (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer Verlag, 1977), p. 67: (translation mine). “Es wäre gerecht und billig zu sagen, daß das Geschick von Husserls Vorhaben dem jenigen Descartes ähnlich war: Sein pars destruens erwies sich als stärker und zwingender als sein Glaube eine ursprüngliche Quelle der Geswissheit zu haben.”Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Edmund Husserl, Ideen III (Martinus Nijhoff 1952), p. 23.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Edmund Husserl, Ideen III (Martinus Nijhoff 1952), p. 22.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Leszek Kolakowki, Die Suche nach der verlorenen Gewissheit (Denkwege mit Edmund Husserl) (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer Verlag, 1977), p. 69: (translation mine).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Some philosophers think otherwise. See for instance, Theodore Kisiel: “Scientific Discovery: Logical, Psychological or Hermeneutical?” in D. Carr and E.S. Casey (eds.); Explorations in Phenomenology (Martinus Nijhoff, 1973). Kisiel throws himself into an effort to prove that there are many important similarities between phenomenology (of the Heideggerian line) and the “new philosophy of science” (Polanyi: Toulmin, Kuhn) which enters into such realms as historicity, accounts of tradition, the exposure of hidden meanings, etc. I find this effort exaggerated.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Darko Polšek
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ZadarYugoslavia

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