Now showing 1 - 10 of 19
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    Meister Eckhart in 20th-Century Philosophy
    (Brill, 2013)
    The manner in which Meister Eckhart has been viewed by scholars has changed considerably over the centuries. Nevertheless, the Bull In agro dominico of 27th March 1329 already points towards the future directions that Eckhart research would subsequently take. There Eckhart is described in three-­‐fold manner as 'from Germany, a doctor of sacred theology (as it is said) and a professor of the Order of Preachers'. These characterisations of Eckhart continue to frame the debate – in other words, his connection with the German philosophical and mystical tradition, his status as a University of Paris master and Scriptural exegete, and his role as a theologian and vernacular preacher for the Dominican Order.
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    Revisiting Sartre's Ontology of Embodiment in Being and Nothingness
    (Ontos Verlag, 2011)
    In Being and Nothingness (1943) Sartre includes a groundbreaking chapter on 'the body' which treats of the body under three headings: 'the body as being for-itself: facticity', 'the body-for-others', and 'the third ontological dimension of the body'. Sartre's phenomenology of the body has, in general, been neglected. In this essay, I want to revisit Sartre's conception of embodiment. I shall argue that Sartre, even more than Merleau-Ponty, is the phenomenologist par excellence of the flesh (la chair) and of intersubjective intercorporeity while emphasising that touching oneself is a merely contingent feature and not 'the foundation for a study of corporeality'.
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    Even the Papuan is a Man and Not a Beast: Husserl on Universalism and the Relativity of Cultures
    (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011-10)
    Edmund Husserl’s account, especially in his Crisis of European Sciences (1936) and Vienna Lecture (1935), of the Greek philosophical breakthrough to universal rationality has been criticized as Eurocentric. Husserl speaks of the universality inherent in ‘European’ philosophical culture of the logos and contrasts it with other communal life-worlds, which are, in his view, merely ‘empirical-anthropological’ types, with their own peculiar ‘historicities’ and ‘relativities’. In this paper, I propose to defend Husserl’s appeal to critical universal reason by situating it within the political context, especially the National Socialist inspired philosophy and anthropology of Germany in the 1930s. Husserl’s stance in favour of universal rationality as an enduring telos for humanity is an explicit rejection of National Socialist race-based ideologies that made reason relative to race. Husserl’s assertion in the Vienna Lecture that ‘there is, for essential reasons, no zoology of peoples’ must surely be read as a clear repudiation of race-based doctrines. Moreover, philosophy, for Husserl, is essentially international and every culture contains within it an implicit openness to the universal, although, as a matter of contingent history, it was the ‘a few Greek eccentrics’ who made the actual breakthrough to the concept of rationality open to infinite tasks.
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  • Publication
    Edmund Husserl's Phenomenology of Habituality and Habitus
    (Jackson Publishing & Distribution, 2011-01)
    Habit is a key concept in Husserl’s genetic phenomenology. In this paper, I want to flesh out Husserl’s conception of habit (for which he employs a wide variety of terms including: Habitus, Habitualität, Gewohnheit, das Habituelle, Habe, Besitz, Sitte, Tradition) to illustrate the complexity, range and depth of the phenomenological treatment of habit. I shall show that Husserl was by no means offering a limited Cartesian intellectualist explication of habitual action, rather he attempted to characterize and identify the working of habit across the full range of human individual, embodied, sub-personal, personal experience as well as collective, social and cultural involvement. Habituality is intimately involved at all levels in the constitution of meaningfulness (Sinnhaftigkeit), from the lowest level of passivity, through perceptual experience, to the formation of the ego itself, and outwards to the development of intersubjective society with its history and tradition, to include finally the whole sense of the harmonious course of worldly life. Though it is not always fully acknowledged, Husserl’s account deeply influenced Alfred Schutz, Martin Heidegger, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Finally, I shall show that Husserl’s account is much more complex and differentiated and less ‘subjective’ than Pierre Bourdieu suggests in his own account of habitus.