1st Edition

Pragmatic Perspectives in Phenomenology

Edited By Ondrej Svec, Jakub Capek Copyright 2017
    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    270 Pages
    by Routledge

    Pragmatic Perspectives in Phenomenology offers a complex analysis of the pragmatic theses that are present in the works of leading phenomenological authors, including not only Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, as it is often the case within Hubert Dreyfus’ tradition, but also Husserl, Levinas, Scheler, and Patocka. Starting from a critical reassessment of existing pragmatic readings which draw especially on Heidegger’s account of Being-in-the-world, the volume’s chapters explore the following themes as possible justifications for speaking about the pragmatic turn in phenomenology: the primacy of the practical over theoretical understanding, criticism of the representationalist account of perception and consciousness, and the analysis of language and truth within the context of social and cultural practices. Having thus analyzed the pragmatic readings of key phenomenological concepts, the book situates these readings in a larger historical and thematic context and introduces themes that until now have been overlooked in debates, including freedom, alterity, transcendence, normativity, distance, and self-knowledge. This volume seeks to refresh the debate about the phenomenological legacy and its relevance for contemporary thought by enlarging the thematic scope of pragmatic motives in phenomenology in new and revealing ways. It will be of interest to advanced students and scholars of phenomenology who are interested in moving beyond the analytic-continental divide to explore the relationship between practice and theory.

    Introduction: Localizing the Pragmatic Turn in Phenomenology

    Ondřej Švec and Jakub Čapek

    Part I: Contemporary Pragmatic Readings of Phenomenology

    1. On Layer Cakes: Heidegger’s Normative Pragmatism Revisited

    Mark Okrent

    2. Heidegger’s Pragmatist Readers

    Thomas Nenon

    3. Primordiality and the Pragmata. A Critical Assessment of Rorty’s Challenge to Heideggerian Nostalgia

    Andreas Beinsteiner

    4. Two Forms of Practical Knowledge in Being and Time

    Tucker McKinney

    5. Discursive Intentionality as Embodied Coping. A Pragmatist Critique of Existential Phenomenology

    Carl B. Sachs

    Part II: Pragmatic Readings Challenged by the History of the Phenomenology

    6. The Limits of Dreyfus’ View of Husserl: Intentionality, Openness, and praxis

    Witold Płotka

    7. On Dreyfus’ Naturalization of Phenomenological Pragmatism: Misleading Dichotomies, and the Counter-Concept of Intentionality

    Sophie Loidolt

    8. Perceptual Faith beyond Practical Involvement: Merleau-Ponty and His Pragmatist Readers

    Jakub Čapek

    9. Max Scheler and Pragmatism

    Zachary Davis

    10. From Circumspection to Insight

    Eddo Evink

    Part III: Opening up Perspectives

    11. Freedom and The Theoretical Attitude

    James Mensch

    12. The Primacy of Practice and the Pervasiveness of Discourse

    Ondřej Švec

    13. Making Sense of Human Existence (Heidegger on the Limits of Practical Familiarity)

    Mark Wrathall

    14. Exemplary Necessity: Heidegger, Pragmatism, and Reason

    Steven Crowell


    Ondřej Švec is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. His publications include a book about phenomenology of emotions and various articles on lifeworld, historical conditions of objectivity, overcoming subjectivism in phenomenology and French historical epistemology.

    Jakub Čapek is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. His areas of specialization cover twentieth-century German and French philosophy, especially phenomenology and hermeneutics, philosophy of action, philosophy of perception and questions of personal identity.

    "There are some excellent papers here that not only articulate the pragmatic turn in the history of phenomenology, but offer much-needed insight into the problems associated with long-standing pragmatic interpretations of the works of Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Husserl."Phenomenological Reviews

    "The debate over the pragmatic turn in phenomenology is of the utmost significance since it will determine the future of the movement, and in this volume prominent philosophers examine the key positions and arguments that have been developing over at least a decade."Michael D. Barber, St. Louis University, USA