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Husserl’s Phenomenology (Cultural Memory in the Present) 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0804745451
ISBN-10: 0804745455
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Editorial Reviews


"Zahavi expresses the wish that this book will turn the reader towards Husserl's own writings, and one could not imagine a more authoritative and helpful introduction to them than this."—Robert Pepperell, Wales College

"This book is a splendid introduction to Husserl's writings. Indeed, more than an introduction, it is a remarkably comprehensive overview not only of Husserl's major published works but also of his unpublished research manuscripts....The book was a pleasure to read the first time, and it repays successive readings with new and ever deeper insights into Husserl's philosophical achievement."— Husserl Studies

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Danish

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Product Details

  • Series: Cultural Memory in the Present
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press; 1 edition (January 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804745455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804745451
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,418,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
At first glance, it seems improbable that Zahavi's slim volume (the text is only 144 pages) could do justice to the voluminous, minutely argued, stylstically challenged, sometimes tortured work of Edmund Husserl. In fact such a suspicion is well-taken, since no single volume that anyone could carry is likely to exhaust all the possibilities for commentary that Husserl inspires. But it is hard for me to imagine that anyone could write a better introduction in terms of lucidly and precisely explicating the central themes of Husserl's phenomenology. Any normal mortal who is seriously interested in Husserl would profit from reading this book.

The themes that have given students the greatest difficulty are treated concisely and with an elegance of expression that belies a deep understanding on Zahavi's part. These include intentionality, the nature of evidence and "apodicticity," the transcendental reduction and epoche, the balance of idealism and realism in Husserl's thought, the transcendental ego and constitution, time consciousness, the body, intersubjectivity, and the life world. The discussion of idealism/realism is very good, to a great extent owing to Zahavi's encyclopedic knowledge of all of Husserl's work -- both the major works published during or shortly after his lifetime, and the Husserliana, Husserl's notes and lectures that have only been available fairly recently. The discussion of the body, particularly in its role as both subject and object, and the foundation for intersubjectivity, is also extremely useful. The discussion of intersubjectivity is nothing short of superb. And the discussion of the life world, and the complexities and subtleties that this idea interjects into Husserl's developing understanding of the phenomenological project, is quite valuable.
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Format: Paperback
Dan Zahavi is widely recognized for his numerous contributions to different areas of Husserlian scholarship and his expertise in these areas of research are reflected, as he admits freely, in the selection of themes with which the strengths of Husserl's phenomenology are introduced and exhibited. The themes of time, body, inter-subjectivity and life-world, with which Zahavi navigates the expansion of transcendental phenomenology in Husserl's later thinking, attest to the range of Zahavi's familiarity with Husserl's written corpus. His specialized work is, I think, best characterized by its intellectual dexterity, as it operates on and across different fronts simultaneously: correcting mistaken and uninformed views of Husserl's phenomenology, not only by way of scrupulous reconstructions of Husserl's arguments but also by way of original research into Husserl's vast Nachlaß; reflecting on and engaging with recent trends in Husserlian scholarship, not only on both sides of the Atlantic but also on both sides of the Rhine; and assessing the defining claims of Husserlian phenomenology with an ear for and an openness to contemporary discussions in analytic philosophy of mind and epistemology. All of these strengths of Zahavi's specialized studies richly inform Husserl's Phenomenology, which confidently weaves a course through sympathetic reconstructions of key Husserlian arguments, the dismantling of widespread misconceptions afflicting Husserlian phenomenology, redressing apparent inconsistencies in Husserl's views and staking out Husserl's positions vis-à-vis contemporary debates.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I am going to try to keep this review relatively short and sweet. There are already some excellent reviews of this book here on amazon and Zahavi's book has already succeeded in establishing itself as a must read secondary on Husserl. I am going to limit myself to listing a few of the virtues of this book. First, Zahavi's clarity as a writer. Husserl was a very precise writer but, in his concern with precision, he is not always the most lucid writer. Reading Husserl can be a bit of a chore even for those who have a strong background in philosophy and the phenomenological tradition. Zahavi, on the other hand, is an extremely lucid writer. This was the first book I ever read on Husserl years ago and I found it clear when I first read it, and after having just re-read it during a graduate seminar on Husserl, I was again struck by its clarity. The book is short but Zahavi is able to pack a lot in because he does not waste words.

Second, Zahavi is one of the most well respected Husserl scholars around. There are a few places where Zahavi offers somewhat contentious interpretations, particularly in his interpretation of time consciousness, but, for the most part, you do not need to wonder, when reading this book, whether you are getting an accurate presentation of Husserl's ideas or not. Zahavi is a serious and well respected scholar. I just finished getting a Masters in philosophy and, in my experience, a lot of intro philosophy texts, like this one, offer really questionable interpretations of the philosophers they are interpreting. That can be a real problem for people who are just starting out in philosophy because the first books you read tend to influence how you read everything after that. So you want to get an accurate book to start with so that you have a solid foundation.
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