Phenomenology: The Basics: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Phenomenology: The Basics

1st Edition

By Dan Zahavi


158 pages

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pub: 2018-10-17
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Phenomenology: The Basics is a concise and engaging introduction to one of the dominant philosophical movements of the 20th century. This lively and lucid book provides an introduction to the essential phenomenological concepts that are crucial for understanding great thinkers such as Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty. Written by a leading expert in the field, Dan Zahavi examines and explains key questions such as:

• What is a phenomenological analysis?

• What are the methodological foundations of phenomenology?

• What does phenomenology have to say about embodiment and intersubjectivity?

• How is phenomenology distinguished from, and related to, other fields in philosophy?

• How do ideas from classic phenomenology relate to ongoing debates in psychology and qualitative research?

With a glossary of key terms and suggestions for further reading, the book considers key philosophical arguments around phenomenology, making this an ideal starting point for anyone seeking a concise and accessible introduction to the rich and complex study of phenomenology.


"A lucid and authoritative introduction to phenomenology including its practical applications in sociology and psychology from one of the world’s leading phenomenologists."

Dermot Moran, University College Dublin, Ireland

"Zahavi’s Phenomenology: The Basics will guide several generations of philosophers and scientists in the study of consciousness, embodiment, communality and normality."

Sara Heinämaa, Academy of Finland, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

"Dan Zahavi, one of the most prolific and insightful phenomenologists of his generation, has provided a concise, clear and intellectually stimulating introduction to the study of phenomenology."

Alessandro Duranti, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

"This lucid book gets to the core of what phenomenology is all about, and is essential reading for any students of that tradition."

Piet Hut, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA

"Phenomenology: The Basics as a whole is successful in achieving its task. The ideas are tied together in a well-ordered manner so as to present a general picture of phenomenological research. The language is clear enough to understand the claims, and the author provides tangible examples whenever required for the better clarification of the concepts…..The book is recommended to everyone who wants to get a coherent overview of the topic without focus on the issues such as the origins and the manifoldness of the existing approaches, internal debates and transformations, and the examination of the thoughts of phenomenological figures."

Khashayar Boroomandjazi, Philosophy PhD, Metapsychology Online Reviews

Table of Contents



Part I: Foundational Issues

1. The Phenomena

2. Intentionality

3. Methodological Considerations

4. Science and the Lifeworld

5. Digging Deeper: From surface to depth phenomenology

6. Merleau-Ponty’s Preface to Phenomenology of Perception

Part II: Concrete Analyses

7. Spatiality and Embodiment

8. Intersubjectivity and Sociality

Part III: Applied Phenomenology

9. Phenomenological Sociology

10. Phenomenological Psychology, Qualitative Research, and Cognitive Science




About the Author

Dan Zahavi is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and the University of Oxford, UK, and Director of the Center for Subjectivity Research in Copenhagen. He is the author of Self-Awareness and Alterity (1999), Husserl’s Phenomenology (2003), Subjectivity and Selfhood (2005), Self and Other (2014), and Husserl’s Legacy (2017). He co-authored The Phenomenological Mind (2012) with Shaun Gallagher, and has recently edited The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Phenomenology (2012) and The Oxford Handbook of the History of Phenomenology (2018).

About the Series

The Basics

The Basics is a highly successful series of accessible guidebooks which provide an overview of the fundamental principles of a subject area in a jargon-free and undaunting format.

Intended for students approaching a subject for the first time, the books both introduce the essentials of a subject and provide an ideal springboard for further study. With over 50 titles spanning subjects from Artificial Intelligence to Women’s Studies, The Basics are an ideal starting point for students seeking to understand a subject area.

Each text comes with recommendations for further study and gradually introduces the complexities and nuances within a subject.

Learn more…

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