1st Edition

Experiencing Phenomenology An Introduction

By Joel Smith Copyright 2016
    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    Phenomenology is the general study of the structure of experience, from thought and perception, to self-consciousness, bodily-awareness, and emotion. It is both a fundamental area of philosophy and a major methodological approach within the human sciences.

    Experiencing Phenomenology is an outstanding introduction to phenomenology. Approaching fundamental phenomenological questions from a critical, systematic perspective whilst paying careful attention to classic phenomenological texts, the book possesses a clarity and breadth that will be welcomed by students coming to the subject for the first time.

    Accessibly written, each chapter relates classic phenomenological discussions to contemporary issues and debates in philosophy. The following key topics are introduced and explained:

    • the methodological foundations of phenomenology
    • intentionality as the ‘mark of the mental’ and the problem of non-existent objects
    • perceptual experience, including our awareness of things, properties, and events
    • the experience of body, self, and others
    • imaginative and emotional experience
    • detailed discussions of classical phenomenological texts, including:
    • Brentano's Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint
    • Husserl's Logical Investigations, Cartesian Meditations, and On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time
    • Heidegger’s History of The Concept of Time, and Being and Time
    • Stein's On the Problem of Empathy
    • Sartre's Transcendence of the Ego, Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions, and The Imaginary
    • Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception.

    Also included is a glossary of key terms and suggestions for further reading, making this book an ideal starting point for anyone new to the study of phenomenology, not only in Philosophy but related disciplines such as Psychology and Sociology.


    1. The Science of Experience 

    2. The Objects of Experience 

    3. Experiencing Things 

    4. Experiencing Properties 

    5. Experiencing Events 

    6. Experiencing Possibilities 

    7. Experiencing Oneself 

    8. Experiencing Embodiment 

    9. Experiencing Others 

    10. Experiencing Emotion 

    11. Conclusion. 


    Suggested Reading 




    Joel Smith is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Manchester, UK.

    'Joel Smith’s Experiencing Phenomenology is the best introduction to phenomenology that I know. Exceptionally lucid, historically sensitive and philosophically rich, this book deserves to become a classic. I recommend it enthusiastically for students and for experts too.' - Tim Crane, University of Cambridge, UK

    'An excellent book, which embeds its discussion of phenomenology within lively contemporary debates in philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology. Well-conceived and well-executed, it is peppered with good examples to illustrate key principles, and steers clear of the dense, forbidding jargon that mars so much writing in phenomenology. Quite an accomplishment!' - Wayne Martin, University of Essex, UK

    'An excellent, stimulating, systematic and high-level introduction to phenomenology. It is historically informed and philosophically lucid with just the right balance of exposition and argument. Philosophers of mind and cognitive scientists wondering what insights the phenomenological tradition might have to offer them should look no further. Highly recommended.' - Kenneth Williford, University of Texas at Arlington, USA

    'The best introduction to phenomenology that I know. Joel Smith comprehensively explains the central topics of the movement and the dialogues between the great philosophers within it, and does so with sympathy, highly intelligent critical discussion, and outstanding clarity. This will be the standard introduction for many years to come.' - Paul Snowdon, University College London, UK

    ‘As the Conclusion to Experiencing Phenomenology suggests, this book encourages us to dwell in Phenomenology in order to judge its claims adequately and in doing so provides a much-needed bridge from contemporary philosophy to the world of Phenomenology … I would thoroughly recommend the text to undergraduate students and scholars keen to look at Phenomenology in dialogue with the analytic tradition.’ - Owen Earnshaw, Phenomenological Reviews