edited by Steven Crowell, Lester Embree and Samuel J. Julian
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John Brough
      Art and Non-Art: A Millennial Puzzle
Shaun Gallagher and Francisco Varela
      Redrawing the Map and Resetting the Time: Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
Ronald Bruzina
      Construction in Phenomenology
Ted Toadvine
     Ecophenomenology in the New Millennium
Elizabeth A. Behnke
     Phenomenology of Embodiment/Embodied Phenomenology: Emerging Work
John Drummond
Michael Barber
     Ethnicity and Phenomenology: Primordial vs. Social Constructionist Approaches
Mary Jeanne Larrabee
     Phenomenology and Gender
Thomas Seebohm
     The Methodology of Hermeneutics as a Challenge for Phenomenological Research
David Carr
     On the Phenomenology of History
Roberto J. Walton
     The Phenomenology of Horizons
Dan Zahavi
     Phenomenology and the Problem(s) of Intersubjectivity
Olav Wiegand
     Phenomenology of Logic and Mathematics
Richard M. Zaner
     Envisioning Power, Revisioning Life: Prominent Issues for a Phenomenology of Medicine
Javier San Martín and María Luz Pintos Peñaranda
     Animal Life and Phenomenology
Florence Romijn Tocantins and Lester Embree
     Phenomenology of Nursing as a Cultural Discipline
David Woodruff Smith
Dermot Moran
     Analytic Philosophy and Phenomenology
Robert Bernasconi
     Reviving Political Phenomenology: The Quest for Community and Its Drawbacks
Burt Hopkins
     Phenomenological Psychology: Tasks and Problems for the New Millennium
Natalie Depraz
     Holy Body and Rainbow Body: The Lived Body as an Exemplary Access to the Absolute
Don Ihde
     Phenomenology and Technoscience
LEE, Nam-In
     Active and Passive Genesis: Genetic Phenomenology and Transcendental Phenomenology


© 2001 The Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology, Inc.

This work has been organized under the auspices of the Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology, Inc. ( to mark the transition from the second to the third millennium, which is also the transition from the first to the second century of the phenomenological tradition. To serve this purpose, over two dozen colleagues were brought together in Delray Beach, Florida, in January 2001, to discuss many of the drafts of what have become chapters of the present work. Others who were unable to participate in that research symposium have nevertheless contributed chapters.

We began by inviting participants with expertise in certain "areas"-that is, fields where phenomenological investigation has proven fruitful. There are other areas than those we have addressed-for instance, cyberspace, interculturality, psychiatry, generational difference-but either no phenomenological expert for those areas was known to us, or those who were known were unable to contribute. No doubt other areas exist, but an overview of the phenomenological field as a whole is already beyond the grasp of even a consortium of editors. While the contributors are from a variety of countries, we especially regret the absence of contributions from Eastern Europe, but otherwise we have tried to draw on as much of the planet's resources for phenomenology as we could within the limits of the space and time available. The result at least hints at the global vitality of phenomenology.

Each participant was invited to write a substantial essay of about 9,000 words on her or his area. In addition, each was encouraged to engage the area on two levels: first, to identify five to fifteen pressing problems for phenomenology in that area; and second, to advance the account of one such problem through original phenomenological analysis. It has not always been possible to impose uniformity of structure on the result-the areas lend themselves differently to the project's aims-but in every case the reader will find insights into the "state of the art" as well as the kind of independent reflection that phenomenologists are known for. In addition, this work is remarkable for how very little it contains in the way of interpretations of texts. We feel that this concern for the "matters themselves" is the most appropriate beginning of phenomenology's second century that could be asked for.

The expression, "The Reach of Reflection," refers, of course, to the fundamental method of phenomenology. But if the way of attaining phenomenological results is not particularly new, our way of disseminating them is. So far as we know, this is the first large publication of original work in phenomenology to be published over the Internet. Inevitable glitches aside, we believe that web publishing will have an important role to play in the future. Because production and distribution costs are low, only a very modest price per copy is needed to recover those costs. And because the cost to purchase a copy (with no limit on how many printouts can be made once the copy is purchased) is low, dissemination in less affluent countries-where phenomenology is no less vital than in more affluent ones-becomes far easier. Communication is possible as never before. The e-mail address for the author of each chapter is not only symbolic; it is a serious invitation to communicate. Again, this is the future.

As phenomenology enters its second century another change comes into view, one that bodes well, we think, for our tradition. About half the chapters take up more or less traditional philosophical themes or phenomenological problem-areas. These include aesthetics, embodiment, ethics, hermeneutics, history, intersubjectivity, logic and mathematics, ontology, politics, psychology, and religion, as well as "technoscience" and the "cultural disciplines," which extend the scopes of the traditional philosophies of the natural and the social or cultural sciences. Yet an almost equal number of chapters are devoted to relatively new areas, including constructive phenomenology, cognitive science, ecology, ethnicity, gender, genetic phenomenology, horizonality, medicine, and nonhuman animal life. In addition, one chapter confronts an issue that could not have appeared at the beginning of phenomenology's first century, but will play an increasing role in its second: the relation of phenomenology to analytic philosophy.

Phenomenology came to the world's attention with Husserl's Logische Untersuchungen of 1900-1901. It was adapted from philosophy into psychiatry by Binswanger and Jaspers on the eve of World War I, and then into a score of other non-philosophical disciplines in the decades that followed. During those same decades of the last century, it spread to over a score of nations, beginning with France, Japan, Russia, and Spain also before World War I.

The first creative phase of phenomenology occurred when young people at Göttingen before World War I extended the reach of realistic phenomenology into many new areas. The second phase is constitutive phenomenology, which began to appear in print in 1913 and was led by Husserl himself-powerful insights are being found in his Nachlass still-and has been continued by his closest followers. The third phase is existential phenomenology, which includes the early Heidegger and then Arendt, Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, and others. These thinkers expanded phenomenological reflection beyond those areas recognized by its earlier practitioners. A fourth phase is hermeneutical phenomenology, which began about 1960. Though its emphasis on textual interpretation can at times conflict with phenomenological method, hermeneutical phenomenology (and even deconstruction in some of its forms) has opened original areas of phenomenological research that have been cultivated productively.

Today, a renewed interest in original phenomenologizing in the area of religion seems to have begun in France, and other new ventures in such areas as ecology, ethnicity, gender, nonhuman animal life, and so on, can be discerned. It appears that something like a fifth period in the phenomenological tradition has begun, and we hope that the present work will contribute to fostering it.

Finally, a few technical remarks. First, we have arranged the chapters alphabetically by topic, except for one that may function as a sort of conclusion. Second, we have divided this text into three volumes so that if the whole is printed out, each can be bound separately and handled more easily. Third, we are including the abstracts of the chapters in the table of contents, as well as in advertisements, so that a useful overview of the work's contents can be easily had on the screen of one's computer. This facilitates selecting and printing specific chapters one may be especially interested in. Fourth, let us repeat that once this work has been purchased with a credit card from there is nothing to prevent printing out more than one copy. Finally, since a new and unconventional mode of publication is being ventured here, we encourage all who appreciate both the mode and the contents of this work to get the word out among their colleagues. In the spirit of experimental Symphänomenologisierung, we hope to extend the reach of reflection even further in the new millennium.

Steven Crowell
Rice University

Lester Embree
Florida Atlantic University

Samuel J. Julian
University of Memphis


Chapter 1: John Brough, Art and Non-Art: A Millennial Puzzle

Phenomenology enjoys abundant resources with which to investigate such perennially vexing issues in aesthetics as the ontological status of the work of art, its ideality, its relation to beauty, and the nature of artistic experience. Phenomenology is especially well equipped to contribute to the recent discussion, prominent in the analytic tradition, of the proper definition of art, or, in phenomenological terms, of the essential features that distinguish the artwork from things that are not art. This essay will attempt to shed light on this issue by examining both the external cultural horizon in which certain objects appear as art and the internal structure of the appearing artwork itself.

Chapter 2: Shaun Gallagher and Francisco Varela, Redrawing the Map and Resetting the Time: Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

We argue that phenomenology can be of central and positive importance to the cognitive sciences, and that it can also learn from the empirical research conducted in those sciences. We discuss the project of naturalizing phenomenology and how this can be best accomplished. We provide several examples of how phenomenology and the cognitive sciences can integrate their research. Specifically, we consider issues related to embodied cognition and intersubjectivity. We provide a detailed analysis of issues related to time-consciousness, with reference to understanding schizophrenia and the loss of the sense of agency. We offer a positive proposal to address these issues based on a neurobiological dynamic-systems model.

Chapter 3: Ronald Bruzina, Construction in Phenomenology

"Construction" in phenomenology is best understood in the context in which it was first introduced into phenomenology (in Eugen Fink’s Sixth Cartesian Meditation of 1932), namely, as serving in the methodology of the disclosure of transcendental origins. Since these origins are in principle non-presentable, non-givable—being themselves that which gives rise to the horizons for presentation and giving—the originative can only be conceptualized as in excess of intuitional demonstration. The originative is thus methodologically "speculative," in a specifically phenomenological sense, and representable only via "construction," that is, in terms of what passes within the intuitionally givable. The character of this problematic, and the radical insights its pursuit can yield, is shown in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of living being, especially in his late work on "the visible and the invisible" in the context of his lectures on nature from 1956 to 1960.

Chapter 4: Ted Toadvine, Ecophenomenology in the New Millennium

Ecophenomenology is a new program of research operating at the intersection of ecology and phenomenology and recommending a mutually enriching dialogue between the two. The first half of this chapter explains the need for both a phenomenology of ecology and an ecological phenomenology, and sketches the basic lines of ecophenomenological investigation in the areas of axiology, ontology, and methodology. The second half of the chapter makes the case for an ecophenomenological examination of agricultural experience and explores agriculture’s role as mediator between nature and culture. The roots of culture, I suggest, lie in the primordial experience of risk and faith characteristic of subsistence cultivation.

Chapter 5: Elizabeth A. Behnke, Phenomenology of Embodiment/Embodied Phenomenology: Emerging Work

Part I raises issues of method and identifies areas needing further descriptive phenomenological research. For example, we should consider a broader spectrum of bodies, modes of embodiment, and styles of bodily awareness; we should describe cultural shaping of bodily life without falling into cultural determinism; we should explore bodily experience in its dynamic ongoingness; and we should continue to develop a truly embodied ethics. Part II uses the method of "unbuilding" (Abbau) to locate a somaesthetic "dimension"; traces the passive constitution first of a somaesthetic "field," then of the "Innenleib" as a transtemporal identity/unity; and inquires back from somaesthetic sensings to their kinaesthetic correlates.

Chapter 6: John Drummond, Ethics

This chapter considers two trends in phenomenological approaches to moral philosophy, namely, the axiological approach and the deontological, in relation to the contemporary discussion between neo-Aristotelians and neo-Kantians about how best to address the problem of an apparent separation between moral motivation and the ground of moral obligation. The chapter suggests that a careful consideration of the phenomenological approaches leads to a distinction between "manifest" and "non-manifest" or "transcendental" goods that unites the basis of our moral motivation with the ground of our moral obligations.

Chapter 7: Michael Barber, Ethnicity and Phenomenology: Primordial vs. Social Constructionist Approaches

This chapter discusses the relevance of phenomenology for six major issues regarding ethnicity. It examines the sociological debate about whether ethnic identity is a primordial given of social existence or a social construction. It argues that both social formations beyond kinship, of which ethnicity is one, and kinship itself make possible a social world whose typification and relevance structures, eidetically considered, are in a sense primordial for establishing personal identity. This minimalist account of ethnicity makes possible a playing field on which various in-groups socially construct their identity in the light of ever revisable relevances and depending on ever changeable circumstances.

Chapter 8: Mary Jeanne Larrabee, Phenomenology and Gender

This chapter takes two approaches to the topic of gender and phenomenology. First, it discusses the ways phenomenological methods can be applied to the study of gender. Second, it considers whether these methods are gendered. I summarize contributions of early phenomenologists on the topic of gender, followed by critiques of these, and then survey work from the end of the 20th century applying phenomenological analyses to women’s and men’s experiences of gender. Through a cross-cultural review the essay discusses the presupposition that the number of sexes/genders is limited to two, plus the implications arising from the gendered experiences of persons who are intersexed, transexed, and transgendered.

Chapter 9: Thomas Seebohm, The Methodology of Hermeneutics as a Challenge for Phenomenological Research

The first section is a survey of a phenomenologically guided general theory of understanding and its levels, namely, animalic understanding, elementary understanding, higher understanding, and the process of understanding in cultural traditions. Such a phenomenological theory is the presupposition for a phenomenological critique of methodologically guided hermeneutics. The second section is a survey of phenomenological viewpoints that can be applied in a critique of the principles and canons of general text hermeneutics and addresses the question whether they can be considered as warrants of objective validity in interpretations. A last section offers a sketch of the specific problems of archaeological hermeneutics.

Chapter 10: David Carr, On the Phenomenology of History

In this chapter I try to outline a phenomenological approach to history, and to distinguish it from standard or traditional philosophies of history. Philosophy of history has traditionally taken the form either of a metaphysics of history or of an epistemology of history. The former has tried to discern the grand design of the historical process, while the latter has asked how our knowledge of history is possible. Instead of an epistemology, I propose a phenomenology of history, which traces our concepts of history back to our experience of the historical. And instead of a metaphysics I propose an ontology of history, an account of the historical character of human existence. I conclude by describing several topics that issue from this phenomenological approach and that need to be further explored.

Chapter 11: Roberto J. Walton, The Phenomenology of Horizons

An analysis of horizonality implies an elucidation of its structure, function, and motivations. An essential structure can be disclosed in the light of a series of oppositions. On this basis a twofold function can be pointed out, for horizonality both enables the process of legitimation and provides a ground for intentional acts. Also to be dwelt upon are the motivations for the further forming of new horizons and the uncovering of pregiven horizons. A still further step is to develop this theme into a consideration of the motivating force of horizonality, i.e., its significance for transcendental philosophy and post-Husserlian phenomenology.

Chapter 12: Dan Zahavi, Phenomenology and the Problem(s) of Intersubjectivity

One of the classical objections to phenomenology has been its alleged failure to solve the problem of intersubjectivity—be it by way of omission, i.e., by simply failing to recognize the philosophical significance of intersubjectivity, or by way of an inborn shortcoming, i.e., by being in principle incapable of addressing this issue in a satisfactory manner. Drawing on the work of Scheler, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Husserl, Sartre, and Levinas, the aim of this chapter is to demonstrate the erroneous nature of this criticism and to present an overview of four different and distinct phenomenological approaches to intersubjectivity.

Chapter 13: Olav Wiegand, Phenomenology of Logic and Mathematics

In each of the problem areas mentioned in Part I, this chapter attempts to formulate several questions of interest to present-day phenomenology of the formal sciences. The problems addressed are in general formulated with reference to Husserl’s work and the phenomenological research program of a theory of science (Wissenschaftstheorie). Part II begins with the Lucas-Penrose thesis, which is the interpretation of the Gödel theorems according to which there are mathematical truths that cannot be found by merely employing algorithms; human mathematicians find truths by an "insight" that is essentially non-algorithmic. Genetic phenomenology can offer a thoroughgoing descriptive account of mathematical insight as emerging out of pre-linguistic experience. Our discussion will focus on the concept of "categorial intuition," which is an important part of the phenomenological explication of "mathematical insight" (better: "mathematical intuition"). In the last section two points will be argued: (1) mathematics is consistent since its primitives ("categories") are regimented concepts that stem from the pre-linguistic experience of the world, and (2) phenomenology does not allow for a causal or stochastic explanation of categorial intuition. At least non-reflective mathematical intuition is essentially non-algorithmic in nature.

Chapter 14: Richard M. Zaner, Envisioning Power, Revisioning Life: Prominent Issues for a Phenomenology of Medicine

Since the 1960s, philosophers in medicine have been interested in the doctor-patient relation: the interpretation of symptoms, the nature and requirements of clinical judgment, the social structure of clinical encounters, and the multiple forms of uncertainty and responsibility in decision-making. Such matters undergird many questions captivating public attention, including those before birth (abortion, alternative means to attain pregnancy, prenatal diagnosis, along with genetics and embryos) and those at the end of life (euthanasia, brain death, withholding and withdrawing life-supports, and others). Recently, medicine is undergoing radical changes, from concern to cure disease to the ancient dream of eugenics, from restoration of health to the deliberately engineered transformation of living beings. I explicate the implications of these developments, in particular the ironies and questions buried within the genetic utopias that inspire the new visions and revisions of human life.

Chapter 15: Javier San Martín and María Luz Pintos Peñaranda, Animal Life and Phenomenology

Following the preferences of Western culture in which nonhuman animals are treated as non-subjects, most phenomenological analyses deal primarily with human life. But in his actual research, Husserl shows that we are entwined with nonhuman animals because the primary stratum of our life is the experience of our own animate body. In the first part of this chapter, a variety of texts in which Husserl speaks about animality are interpreted to prove that animals of all species are transcendental subjectivities. In the second part, Husserl’s indications are followed to outline an ontology of what is common to both human and nonhuman animate life.

Chapter 16: Florence Romijn Tocantins and Lester Embree, Phenomenology of Nursing as a Cultural Discipline

A professor of nursing in Brazil leads a group of colleagues in an effort reflectively to understand what nursing is fundamentally, and they use the social phenomenology of Alfred Schutz in their reflections. She agrees to answer questions about their work via e-mail from a phenomenological philosopher interested in understanding such a discipline. He is convinced by her answers that nursing is indeed a cultural discipline of the practical sort. She teaches him much about her discipline; focuses on how her group investigates nurses as they relate to patients/clients, and correlatively, on patients/clients as they relate to nurses; and ultimately shows that nursing involves a personal as well as a professional attitude and is as such not so much about curing as about caring. The joint effort expressed in a dialogue also shows how a philosopher can learn about nursing. Presumably other disciplines of the same sort, e.g., psychiatry, could be reflected upon in analogous fashion.

Chapter 17: David Woodruff Smith, Ontology

Phenomenology (appraising our lived conscious experience) would seem to bracket ontology (appraising what ultimately exists). Yet from its inception, phenomenology has both presupposed and led into fundamental ontology. Here we consider specific ontological categories, starting with Aristotle’s list and moving to Husserl’s complex system of formal and material essences. Husserl’s categories are systematized and reorganized. We consider then the ontology of intentionality, as well as nonexistent objects and modes of being as opposed to types of beings. Finally, we consider how we might frame an up-to-date system of ontological categories consonant with phenomenology.

Chapter 18: Dermot Moran, Analytic Philosophy and Phenomenology

In this chapter I argue that the two modernist traditions of phenomenology and analytic philosophy stem from common roots. Both began with the same conception of philosophy as an a priori descriptive discipline and both rejected absolute idealism and psychologism. Analytic philosophy, however, in the main, especially under the influence of Quine, has been drawn toward naturalism, whereas Husserl’s critique of naturalism has meant that phenomenology has moved in an anti-naturalistic and in fact explicitly transcendental direction. Husserl’s wide-ranging critique of naturalism has particular relevance for analytic philosophy seeking to overcome a reductive scientism, and conversely, recent developments in the philosophy of mind and in the cognitive sciences could provide much material for phenomenologists who want to follow Husserl’s program of identifying the ABCs of consciousness. In the 21st century, the two main streams of contemporary thought could again merge into a single tradition.

Chapter 19: Robert Bernasconi, Reviving Political Phenomenology: The Quest for Community and Its Drawbacks

This chapter addresses political phenomenology in terms of three questions: what is the political? what are the basic units of politics? are there political communities? The tendency of phenomenologists to approach the political in terms of the concept of community is challenged. In an attempt to prepare for a reinvigoration of political phenomenology and to establish some of the terms it may employ, certain tasks are proposed, including phenomenological investigations of political activities, such as voting and opinion formation, and of the different kinds of collectivities that form and provide the context for political groups. The capacity of phenomenology to embrace a multiplicity of perspectives is presented as one of its great advantages.

Chapter 20: Burt Hopkins, Phenomenological Psychology: Tasks and Problems for the New Millennium

I situate basic issues pertaining to phenomenological psychology within the context of a general reflection on the status of psychology as a science at the end of the millennium. I then discuss Husserl’s formulation of phenomenological psychology, and take up his project of establishing it as an autonomous science. I investigate the phenomenon of "projection" as a guiding example in this regard, and draw provisional conclusions about its constitution as well as about the proper method and content of phenomenological psychology.

Chapter 21: Natalie Depraz, Holy Body and Rainbow Body: The Lived Body as an Exemplary Access to the Absolute

After having provided some indications about the way the articulation between phenomenology and theology has been settled by some of the most prominent phenomenologists (Husserl, Heidegger, Stein, Levinas, Henry, and Marion), I use the practical and mystical path in theology as the only view proving adequate to an experiential and descriptive phenomenological approach as opposed to the hermeneutical one. I then proceed to a description of the experienced praxis of a spiritual life, according to three steps that correspond to the three preconditions of a religious spiritual attitude toward life: (1) I show how necessary it is to be in possession of a steady religious "hearth," whatever it be,_and correlatively, how necessary it is to be able to go through a de-localization of such a traditional anchorage thanks to the adoption of another one; then (2) I make an explicit phenomenological claim about the primacy of the level of practical and mystical experience over the theoretical level of a rationalized doctrinal set of theological principles; finally (3) I account for the experience of the lived body as being the only relevant starting point and the only legitimate end goal of any genuine spiritual life, which involves, of course, a renewed phenomenological understanding of what we currently call the "lived body." I indicate how such a more complex understanding of the body can be usefully worked out thanks to two main religious traditions that focus on the body as a clue to spiritual life, i.e., Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Tibetan Buddhism.

Chapter 22: Don Ihde, Phenomenology and Technoscience

Technoscience studies, sometimes also science studies, is an interdisciplinary field that combines work in the philosophy of science, philosophy of technology, and the social studies of the sciences. This essay briefly explores some of the developments and key figures in the field, taking note of connections with phenomenology and hermeneutically oriented philosophy. These studies, usually humanities and social science perspectives upon science, have become a forefront field only in the last two decades, but hold promise for considerable development. And while there are only a few phenomenological-hermeneutical philosophers currently working in this area, the problems and approaches offer serious opportunities for new entrants.  The essay concludes with a concrete experiment in technoscience studies at the State University of New York – Stony Brook and describes current research projects.

Chapter 23: LEE, Nam-In, Active and Passive Genesis: Genetic Phenomenology and Transcendental Phenomenology

In this chapter I will first deal with three important issues of passive and active genesis that need further discussion: (1) the methods of genetic phenomenology, (2) the relation between static and genetic phenomenology, and (3) genetic phenomenology and the problems of foundation. Thereafter, I will discuss one important topic of passive and active genesis in detail, namely, the concept of transcendental subjectivity in genetic phenomenology. In comparison to the traditional concept of transcendental subjectivity, the concept that I will sketch out will turn out to be revolutionary. It is so revolutionary that some may not accept it as legitimate. However, this concept is not only legitimate, but also better than the traditional one in many respects. For example, it can serve as a good starting point for philosophical dialogues, on the one hand, between transcendental phenomenology and other forms of phenomenology, and on the other hand, between phenomenology and other streams of contemporary philosophy and science. Moreover, it can provide us with a useful tool to deal with various philosophical issues that we are now confronted by in an age of pluralism and environmental crisis.