Questions of Phenomenology: Language, Alterity, Temporality, Finitude

Questions of Phenomenology: Language, Alterity, Temporality, Finitude

Questions of Phenomenology: Language, Alterity, Temporality, Finitude

Questions of Phenomenology: Language, Alterity, Temporality, Finitude

Synopsis

Françoise Dastur is well respected in France and Europe for her mastery of phenomenology as a movement and her clear and cogent explications of phenomenology in movement. These qualities are on display in this remarkable volume. Dastur guides the reader through a series of phenomenological questions—language and logic, self and other, temporality and history, finitude and mortality—that also call phenomenology itself into question, testing its limits and pushing it in new directions. Like Merleau-Ponty, Dastur sees phenomenology not as a doctrine, a catalogue of concepts and catchphrases authored by a single thinker, but as a movement in which several thinkers participate, each inflecting the movement in unique ways. In this regard, Dastur is both one of the clearest guides to phenomenology and one of its ablest practitioners.

Excerpt

At the beginning of the twentieth century, with the publication of the Logical Investigations, the term “phenomenology” (which had first appeared in Lambert’s Nouvel Organon in 1764) no longer named a particular discipline within philosophy, as had been the case with Hegel, but rather a new conception of what philosophy must be. the Husserlian enterprise has gained its profound and long-lasting fecundity from the idea, borrowed from the Ancients, that philosophical work must be done in common and requires the concordance of several thinkers. These thinkers are united not so much by the unity of a doctrine or by belonging to a school, but rather by the practice of a method. Husserl himself had strongly insisted on this idea, as had Heidegger; Merleau-Ponty perhaps expressed it most clearly in the Preface to the Phenomenology of Perception, stating that “phenomenology can be practiced and recognized as a manner or a style” and that it “exists as a movement” rather than as a completed system.

Our task here is certainly not to provide an exhaustive inventory of this phenomenological movement, to which so many philosophers in the last century belong. What we propose instead is simply to provide a glimpse of this movement, placing the emphasis less on the proper names of thinkers than on the problems they share in common. the essays collected in this volume are dedicated to a small number of fundamental questions, which have created a dialogue among some of the most eminent stars in the phenomenological constellation, sometimes resulting in irreconcilable positions. Phenomenology was fortified by bringing new perspectives to . . .

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