By Emmanuel Levinas

As a disciple of Husserl, Emmanuel Lavinas used to be essentially the most self sufficient and unique interpreters, attesting to the fruitfulness of Husserl's phenomenology and the various paths of proposal it brought. In gathering the vast majority of Levinas's articles on Husserlian phenomenology, this quantity gathers jointly a wealth of exposition and interpretation via one of many extra very important eu philosophers of the 20 th century .

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Extra resources for Discovering Existence with Husserl

Sample text

Intentionality is our openness to the world, our transcending mode of being. Husserl also developed the implications of this fundamental thesis. He repudiated Locke’s interpretation of ‘mind’ as an inner space set off from the rest of nature, and he rejected Kant’s distinction between phenomena and things-in-themselves. He also rejected the view that the task of philosophy is to guarantee that our concepts and theories somehow mirror the world. These themes brought a sense of liberation to many philosophers who by the early decades of the twentieth century had become weary of the insoluble problems generated by the modern account of cognition.

Continental thought has proved highly exportable, circulating far beyond the frontiers of Europe to provoke strong responses in the intellectual world at large. It is worth recalling at the outset that the term ‘continental’ philosophy was coined not by European thinkers themselves but by academic philosophy departments in the AngloAmerican world eager to differentiate it from ‘analytic’ thought. It was initially more a label of convention than a category corresponding to a given essence of thought.

Analytic thinkers inspired by the laterWittgenstein, Ryle, Davidson or Dummett, show equal resolve in disentangling such category mistakes. But the reasons for doing so are different in each case. Generally speaking, analytic thinkers seek to avoid such error in the interests of clarity, evidence, verification and coherence; continentals appear more impelled by ontological scruples to keep thought open to ‘irreducibles’ and ‘undecidables’—that is, to questions which surpass the limits of ‘pure reason’—questions of being and nothing, of transcendence and difference, of alterity and historicity.

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