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Phenomenology 2005

Volume 5, Issue Part 1, 2007

Selected Essays from North America Part 1

Lester Embree
Pages 271-282

Disciplines beyond Philosophy
Recollecting a Phenomenological Frontier

“Frontier” signifies not only a line between areas but also the area beyond one’s home area. The early giants in phenomenological philosophy were often concerned with other disciplines. Husserl knew much about the psychology as well as the mathematics of his time. Heidegger had an involvement with Greek philology that others have continued. Gurwitsch and then Merleau-Ponty gained much from the psychiatry of Kurt Goldstein and they plus Sartre took Gestalt psychology very seriously. And Schutz founded the phenomenological theory of the cultural sciences. This pattern of interest in and benefi t from disciplines beyond philosophy continues in Klaus Held, Thomas Seebohm, and Bernhard Waldenfels, but is becoming increasingly atypical because of, among other reasons, the non-German model for the preparation of philosophers. The present essay is an attempt to remind phenomenological philosophers of this component of their deeper tradition and then to explore how it can be revived.