Chad Engelland

This book in the Essential Knowledge series from MIT Press provides a succinct and understandable introduction to phenomenology, a school of philosophy that explores the experience of experience. Phenomenology, which was established by Edmund Husserl (1859–1938) and developed by Max Scheler, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau–Ponty, and others, forays into the realm of experience in order to encounter reality physically. It conducts a thorough investigation of everything. It believes that as experience develops, we can distinguish between actual and simple appearances and instead study things as they truly appear.

The words “world,” “flesh,” “speech,” “life,” “truth,” “love,” and “wonder” are all defined in the book and shown to be interconnected in experience. For instance, the world is the setting for the experience; flesh refers to the way our experiencing exploration is etched into the contours of our physical being; speech is established in bodily presence, and truth refers to the manner in which our statements about things are supported by experience. A chapter on the phenomenological method explains it as a way of elucidating the experiential modality woven into its own structure. A chapter on the phenomenological movement unites its many groups while addressing criticism from analytic philosophy and postmodernism.