Phenomenological Epistemology

Phenomenological Epistemology

Phenomenological Epistemology

Phenomenological Epistemology

Synopsis

This work offers a provocative new historical and systematic interpretation of the epistemological doctrines of three twentieth-century giants: Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty. Pietersma argues that these three philosophers, while connected by their phenomenological doctrines, have underappreciated and interestingly-linked views on the theory of knowledge.

Excerpt

This study is both historical and systematic in nature. Its historical character may be seen from the fact that the three central chapters of the book are an attempt to come to grips with the views of Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau- Ponty, three towering figures from the recent history of philosophy. In these parts of the book, I offer an historical interpretation of each of their epistemological doctrines. Each doctrine has its own power, excitement, and charm, which I have tried to capture in my exposition. Each chapter, I think, has enough integrity to be studied with profit without reading the others, if the pressure of time and circumstance should require it. I compare these doctrines with one another only to the extent necessary in light of the fact that both Heidegger and Merleau- Ponty developed their views in criticism of Husserl. But I have tried not to let comparisons of this kind come in the way of exposition of each philosopher's doctrine for its own sake. These chapters, as one would expect, are concerned to do justice to the relevant texts and are therefore essentially expository and historical in nature.

When it comes to making comparisons, I give more attention to the affinity between the three philosophers than to their differences from one another. It seems to me that it is particularly interesting to see them together and to relate them as a group to the general history of epistemology. Seeing them against this background, it became clear to me how deeply all three are indebted to the transcendental epistemology of Kant. Each of the three philosophers criticizes . . .

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