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Breaking away from the theoretical: Von Herrmann on Husserl and Heidegger

Edwards, C. (2018) Breaking away from the theoretical: Von Herrmann on Husserl and Heidegger. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 50 (2). pp. 139-153.

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In his book, Hermeneutics and Reflection (2013), Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann outlines what he sees as the fundamental differences between Edmund Husserl’s “theoretical” phenomenology and Martin Heidegger’s “a-theoretical” phenomenology, which he frames in terms of the distinction between “reflective observation” and “hermeneutic understanding”. In this paper, I will clarify the sense of these terms in order to elucidate some of the crucial similarities and differences between Husserl and Heidegger. Against von Herrmann’s characterization of the Husserlian project, I argue that we should not consider these differences in terms of “reflection”, since this runs the risk of misconstruing Husserlian phenomenology with the philosophical tradition he was striving against. Taken together, by way of a close reading of von Herrmann, the following discussion will serve as a brief sketch of the early Heidegger’s turn away from Husserlian phenomenology and toward his own hermeneutic phenomenology.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Publisher: Jackson Publishing and Distribution
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