Phenomenology and typewriters

So today I’m talking to the students in my existentialism class about the phenomenological moment, the encounter with the given which is presupposed in any account of how we encounter the world and which gives us back the world from a skeptical move which might try to doubt it or suggest it’s an illusion.  As part of this I was… Read more →

bordering on coherence

bordering on coherence

[NOTE TO ANY READER: this post is a classic example of pinball thought, ricochet rather than writing, a ‘thinking out loud’.  Beware of any apparent seriousness and discussion.] In a recent post on his blog Poetix discusses the ‘object oriented’ philosophy of Graham Harman.  I have only recently come across Harmans’ work, primarily because I have only recently returned to… Read more →

Hearing Touches

Hearing Touches

A former undergrad student of mine, now busy in his postgraduate studies, requested a copy of an article I wrote a while ago with a mate and so I’ve scanned this in because it wasn’t previously available in an electronic form. The files are rather large, I’m afraid – I could do with getting a proper copy of Acrobat working… Read more →

The breath as an organ

The breath as an organ

The snoring man on the train, just behind and to our left, revolts us. Their noise is more penetrating, more cutting, even though it is lower in decibel than the irritating child a few seats in front with their high pitched and hyperactive voice testing the patience of the father figure accompanying them. The snoring man is filthy in his… Read more →

The phenomenological reduction (notes for students)

The natural attitude contains within it an ability to move, a ‘natural mobility’, and this mobility is going to become the basis for the ‘reduction’ that is the central methodological core of phenomenology. Husserl says: “I can shift my standpoint in space and time, look this way and that, turn temporally forwards and backwards: I can provide for myself constantly… Read more →

Phenomenology and the ‘natural attitude’

Let’s begin by looking at the ‘natural attitude’.  In the ‘Ideas’ (class reader extracts), sections 27, 28, 29 and 30 contain the core outline of the ‘natural attitude’ (NA) that will concern us at the moment. Before going any further let me give a ‘pre-philosophical’ definition: the NA is that attitude in which we normally stand, the way in which… Read more →

Phenomenology and the content of thought

So in Lecture 2 I talked about the act/content distinction and the way it’s set-up within Husserl, with a view to understanding the critical role of a thought-content for our later investigations into Husserl’s phenomenological method. These are notes from that lecture and are a quite quick and ‘formalised’ account of Husserl. In other words, the account I’m presenting is… Read more →

Phenomenology and the question of ‘the given’ – notes from lecture 1 (part1)

Phenomenology begins with the work of Edmund Husserl (1859-1938). His project develops out of an attempt to understand the basis of mathematics as well as an engagement with the (at that time) newly formed science of psychology. Philosophically, however, it can be seen as a critical point in the development of philosophy. From Descartes onwards, modern philosophy was dominated by… Read more →