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It may seem strange that this question has still to be asked half a century after the first works of Husserl. The fact remains that it has by no means been answered.P henomenology is the study of essences; and according to it, all problems amount to finding definitions of essences: the essence of perception, or the essence of consciousness, for example. JB ut phenomenology is also a philosophy which puts essences back into existence, and does not expect to arrive at an understanding of man and the world from any starting point other than that of their(facticity!I tis a transcendental philosophy which places in abeyance the assertions arising out of the natural attitude, the better to understand them; but it is also a philosophy for which the world is always already there before reflection begins as an inalienable presence; and all its efforts are concentrated upon re-achieving a direct and primitive contact with the world, and endowing that contact with a philosophical status. It is the search for a philosophy which shall be a rigorous science ,but it also offers an account of space, time and the world as we live them. I nries tove a direct descrip Uon of our experiengeas it is, without taking account of itsjpsychologica Xjprigin and the causal explanations which the scien Ustthe historian or the socio Iogjsrmayl)e able to provide. Yet Husserl in his last works mentions a genetic phenomenology ,and even a constructive phenomenology .O ne may try to do away with these contradictions by making a distinction between Husserl sand Heidegger sphenomenologies; yet the whole of Sein und Zeit springs from an indication given by Husserl and amounts to no more than an explicit account of the naturlicher Weltbegriff or the Lebenswejf, which Husserl, towards the end of his life, identified as the central Mll-LE hnomenology, with Uie result Ihat thecontradiction reappears
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'Merleau-Ponty was one of the most substantial French philosophers of the twentieth century.' - Times Literary SupplementAbout the Author:
Formerly of the Collège de France
Princeton University, USA
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