Sebastian Luft, Sonja Rinofner-Kreidl & Niels Weidtmann:
Introduction: Phenomenology and Pragmatism
Sami Pihlström: Pragmatism and the Phenomenology of Suffering: Remarks on Antitheodicy, Detachment, and Embodied Subjectivity
This essay compares Emmanuel Levinas’s phenomenological examination of the ”excess” of suffering to William James’s pragmatism, arguing that both thinkers develop an ”antitheodicist” criticism of theodicist attempts to render suffering meaningful. Their antitheodicism is ultimately based on their phenomenological recognition of the embodied character of human subjectivity and of suffering. The relation between involvement and detachment is then investigated as an issue concerning our ethically appropriate ways of attending to others’ suffering. These notions are also illuminated by some literary references.
Ryosuke Ohashi: ,Phainomenon‘ und ,Pragma‘ aus euro-japanischer Perspektive. Zur Idee des ,phänomenologischen Pragmatismus‘ im Geschichtsdenken
Die Ausgangsthese des Beitrags lautet: Die Phänomenologie ist wesentlich pragmatisch und der Pragmatismus ist im Grunde phänomenologisch, so dass man vom ,phänomenologischen Pragmatismus‘ reden kann. Durch diese Idee könnte man auch über das Wesentliche der phänomenologischen sowie auch der pragmatisch bzw. pragmatistischen Denkungsart erneut nachdenken. In der ersten Hälfte wird versucht, diese Idee anhand einiger aristotelischen Gedanken zu belegen. In der zweiten Hälfte handelt es sich um die Eröffnung der Perspektive dieser Idee für das philosophische Denken. Als ein konkreter Ansatzpunkt gilt das Thema ,Geschichtsdenken‘. Dieser Ansatzpunkt ist kein bloßer Einfall. Denn er trägt dazu bei, wenn er sachgemäß bearbeitet wird, das Wesentliche der Phänomenologie und des Pragmatismus zum beleuchten. Dazu sei zu bemerken, dass in der Phänomenologie und im Pragmatismus das Geschichtsdenken überhaupt eher zurückgeblieben als entwickelt war. Dies war kein Zufall, da das, worum es im Geschichtsdenken geht, in der gewöhnlichen Vorstellung das ist, ,was geschehen ist‘, während das ,phainomenon‘ in der Phänomenologie durchaus Gegenwartserlebnis sein soll. Wie man das Geschichtsphänomen als ,phainomenon‘ der Gegenwart auffassen kann, ist eine phänomenologisch-pragmatisch provokative Frage. Der Schlüssel dieser Frage wird im vorliegenden Beitrag in der ,reinen Erfahrung‘ gesehen, die von W. James vorgeschlagen und vom japanischen Philosophen K. Nishida weiter bearbeitet wurde.
Matthias Jung: Philosophie als Wissenschaft? Der gesellschaftliche Ort philosophischen Denkens bei Dewey und Husserl
This paper begins by pointing out the commonality of phenomenology and pragmatism, particularly by referring to Husserl and Dewey, respectively, but it soon turns to fundamental differences. The common starting point is the acknowledgement of everyday experience as the basis of any scientific proposition as well as any non-scientific notion of the world. Phenomenology and pragmatism are allies in their rejection of scientism. However, while Husserl reflects on the structure of experience in order to establish a theoretical view that allows us to scrutinize ordinary and scientific experience from without, from some privileged standpoint, Dewey states that the process of experience, properly conceived and due to its entanglement with action in a contingent world, is always already self-reflective. Philosophy is thus conceived of as the practice of internal criticism that relies on the very form of contingent experience, not, as in Husserl’s work, as some transcendental foundation drawing upon an ideal of timeless reason. Husserl’s conception of philosophy is scientific, while anti-scientistic, whereas Dewey sees philosophy as structurally different from science while mediating between it and all other forms of experience.
Niels Weidtmann: Erfahrung in Pragmatismus und Phänomenologie. Von der Erfahrung der Wirklichkeit zur Wirklichkeit der Erfahrung
This article explores the ontological status of experience. It starts by pointing out the difference between pragmatism’s empirical and Husserl’s transcendental notion of experience. Even though pragmatism, just like phenomenology, claims that in experience the experiencing and the experienced, i. e., subject and object or, in Dewey’s terms, organism and environment, belong together and may have mutual impact onto one other, this pragmatic approach does not analyze the reality of experience itself but locates experience in the empirical world. Husserl’s analysis of transcendental consciousness reveals the constitution of the empirical world by experience and therefore takes a first step beyond pragmatism’s notion of experience. However, if the world is constituted by experience, then phenomenology will have to inquire into the constitution of experience itself. In the article this is called the experience of experience or the self-experiencing experience. Only when experience can be phenomenologically proven in its self-constitution does it no longer presuppose subjectivity, but can be interpreted as the selfconstitution of reality. This must be the actual concern of a philosophy that goes back to experience if it is not to stop halfway in its attempt to found both, speculative thinking and the empirically working sciences, in experience
Sebastian Luft: Phenomenology without Foundations = Pragmatism? Or: What is Left of Phenomenology After a Pragmatic Critique
This essay attempts to spell out what might be left of Husserlian phenomenology when one leaves behind Husserl’s own grounding ambitions. Husserl construes transcendental phenomenology as first philosophy. In a pragmatist vein of leaving it behind in the interest of something other, I discuss what would happen if one were to ‘pragmatize’ phenomenology. After first laying out Husserl’s vision, in a second part I reconstruct the motives that led to it in reaction to a ‘Cartesian anxiety’ of not securing an indubitable ground of knowledge. After that, the article spells out some pragmatic reflections on what phenomenology would be, without the need to secure foundations of knowledge. Such a liberation would in effect enable phenomenology to more fully make true on the ideals of the Enlightenment (which Rorty, too, underwrites) of emancipating oneself of one of the last vestiges of a dogmatic slumber.
Karin Amos: Otto Friedrich Bollnow und John Dewey im Dialog
The contribution inquires what impact pragmatism and phenomenology had and still have on education? A logical starting point to answer this question is to back to the roots as it were and to relate Otto Friedrich Bollnow and John Dewey with respect to their understanding of experience and the role experience plays in education. Both have defended their understanding of experience in the context of major debates in the field of education. Dewey in 1938 after facing major criticism for the idea of a progressive education, which defines the foundations of the the process of learning on experiences rather than on a canon of knowledge. Bollnow positions himself in the methodological dispute of the 1960s and 1970s concerning a philosophical versus an empirical approach in education. Focusing on experience, Bollnow takes a third position in this debate, arguing that experience, while being empirical, needs to be interpreted hermeneutically. Amos points out that Bollnow and Dewey share the quest for orienting education toward experience, but also draws attention to some major differences. Dewey’s account of experience is an optimistic one. Bollnow on the other hand points to the danger of incrustation and rigidity of well-experienced positions.
Sara Heinämaa: Epoche as Personal Transformation. On the Similarities between the Philosophical Change of Attitude and Religious Conversions
This paper argues that the parallel that Husserl draws in The Crisis between the phenomenological epoché and religious conversions is not just a rhetorical device but involves a crucial methodological idea. By pointing to the depth-dimension of living consciousness and its possibilities of transformation, the parallel sheds light upon the ultimate task of the phenomenological- transcendental reduction. To argue for this this claim, the paper first explicates the two principal epoch