In the Name of Phenomenology  book cover
1st Edition

In the Name of Phenomenology

ISBN 9780415223386
Published August 29, 2007 by Routledge
280 Pages

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Book Description

The attempt to pursue philosophy in the name of phenomenology is one of the most significant and important developments in twentieth century thought. In this bold and innovative book, Simon Glendinning introduces some of its major figures, and demonstrates that its ongoing strength and coherence is to be explained less by what Maurice Merleau-Ponty called the 'unity' of its 'manner of thinking' and more by what he called its 'unfinished nature'.

Beginning with a discussion of the nature of phenomenology, Glendinning explores the changing landscape of phenomenology in key texts by Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Levinas and Derrida. Focusing on the different ways in which each philosopher has responded to and transformed the legacy of phenomenology, Glendinning shows that the richness of this legacy lies not in the formation of a distinctive movement or school but in a remarkable capacity to make fertile philosophical breakthroughs. Important topics such as the nature of phenomenological arguments, the critique of realism and idealism, ontology, existentialism, perception, ethics and the other are also closely examined. Through a re-evaluation of the development of phenomenology Glendinning traces the ruptures and dislocations of philosophy that, in an age dominated by science, strive constantly to renew our understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.

Clearly and engagingly written, In the Name of Phenomenology is essential reading for students of phenomenology and contemporary philosophy.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Movement of Phenomenology  1. The Inheritance of Phenomenology  2. Edmund Husserl and the Emergence of Phenomenology  3. Martin Heidegger and Phenomenology as Fundamental Ontology  4. Jean-Paul Sartre and Existential Phenomenology  5. Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the Phenomenology of Perception  6. Emmanuel Levinas and the Phenomenology of the Other  7. Jacques Derrida and the Limits of Phenomenology

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Simon Glendinning is Fellow in European Philosophy at the European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author of On Being with Others: Heidegger – Derrida – Wittgenstein and The Idea of Continental Philosophy, and editor of The Edinburgh Encyclopedia of Continental Philosophy and Arguing with Derrida.


'What is phenomenology? Simon Glendinning has provided an original, artful, and provocative response to this question, provocative in the very best sense of the term ... This is an important book for those who want to understand better the phenomenological tradition and a book from which much is to be learned.' – John J. Drummond, Fordham University, USA, Mind, Vol. 118 . 471 . July 2009

'Simon Glendinning's original, rigorous and elegantly written book invites us to consider phenomenology not as a philosophical school or movement, but rather as a set of modernist texts which put naturalism and scientism in question in ways that should interest contemporary Anglo-American philosophers, and which open themselves to question by their successors in ways that might renew philosophy's relevance to contemporary culture. It is a provocation to thought that is also a pleasure to read.' – Stephen Mulhall, New College, Oxford

'A masterful exposé of the central themes and thinkers of the phenomenological revolution. Written in a lucid and engaging style, this volume deploys the best resources of both continental and analytic philosophy to prize open the thesaurus of the 'things themselves'. It deftly unravels the ethical and deconstructive implications of phenomenology in the twentieth century, from Husserl and Heidegger to Derrida and Levinas.' – Richard Kearney, Boston College, USA

'This rigorous and clear book is not only an outstanding advanced introduction to phenomenology but a development of this central philosophical inheritance for the English speaking world.' – Robert Eaglestone, University of London, UK

'This is a superior philosophical introduction for anyone unfamiliar with the trail from Husserl to Derrida. It is not a history of a ‘movement’, but an authoritative argumentative defence – in Glendinning’s distinctive voice – of an intellectual tradition opposed to the subsumption of the practice of philosophy under the methods of the natural sciences.' – Stella Sandford, Middlesex University, UK