Husserl's Missing Technologies

Husserl's Missing Technologies

Husserl's Missing Technologies

Husserl's Missing Technologies

Synopsis

Husserl's Missing Technologies looks at the early-twentieth-century "classical" phenomenology of Edmund Husserl, both in the light of the philosophy of science of his time, and retrospectively at his philosophy from a contemporary "postphenomenology." Of central interest are his infrequent comments upon technologies and especially scientific instruments such as the telescope and microscope. Together with his analysis of Husserl, Don Ihde ventures through the recent history of technologies of science, reading and writing, and science praxis, calling for modifications to phenomenology by converging it with pragmatism. This fruitful hybridization emphasizes human-technology interrelationships, the role of embodiment and bodily skills, and the inherent multistability of technologies. In a radical argument, Ihde contends that philosophies, in the same way that various technologies contain an ever-shortening obsolescence, ought to have contingent use-lives.

Excerpt

In 2011, the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with panels and symposia giving retrospectives on its history Indeed, with this organization, phenomenology was marking its institutional beginnings, from 1962, as a distinctly minoritarian movement in North American philosophy Most departments were dominantly analytic departments, and that was particularly the case with graduate departments.

I, along with many, many of today’s recognizable American phenomenologists, was a graduate student then. I missed the first meeting of SPEP but got to the second at Northwestern University when it decided on its name. The business meeting was long and contentious, with the main issue one of which name would take precedence—phenomenology or existential philosophy. Phenomenology won. But since I was one of the relatively early post—World War II generations of graduate philosophers, I like many others came to . . .

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