. . . Henry's book is a powerful advocate for life and affectivity, showing repeatedly that the dominant mode of phenomenology (and Western philosophy in general) priviledges ek-stasis and objectification at the expense of absolute subjectivity.-Adam Wells
This book will be of great value and interest to those interested in Henry's philosophy of life, Husserlian scholars, ad for thos interested in the future of phenomenology.Luna Dolezal
Published originally in French in 1990, this book is an important contribution to phenomenology. Henry (1922-2002; formerly, Univ. Paul Valry) argues that phenomenology must be grounded in the radical immanence of life. He elaborates on this argument through a careful, detailed analysis of Husserlian conceptions of hyle (matter), the method of phenomenological reductions, and intersubjectivity in chapters 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Henry consistently responds to phenomenological claims of transcendence with his own claims of immanence focusing on the pathos of life. He defines the substance of the material phenomenology of the title as the pathetic immediacy in which life experiences itself. So where Husserl speaks of reduction to a sphere of pure phenomenological seeing, Henry counters that such a reduction focuses too much on what is outside, visible, and at a distance, rather than on the materiality and self-affectivity of life.
About the Author
MICHEL HENRY was Professor of Philosophy at the Universit Paul Valry, Montpelier. The most recent of his books to appear in English Translation are I Am the Truth: Toward a Philosophy of Christianity and The Genealogy of Psychoanalysis.
SCOTT DAVIDSON is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Oklahoma City University.