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Conference Presentation

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phenomenology, religious philosophy, phenomenological methodology


The presenter states that philosophy in general—and phenomenology in particular—remain predominantly academic endeavors, done by professional philosophers, to professional philosophers, for professional philosophers and that the key to changing this situation and so to recover the public nature of the phenomenological enterprise is to reconceive the task of philosophy as the 2 discernment of the spirits of the age in which we find ourselves. To do this, he highlights two distinct elements of phenomenological methodology that enable it to perform such a task: first, its epistemological claim that the matters to be investigated must be both taken on their own terms (the given) and taken within the context of how those terms are constituted by things outside of themselves; and second, the way it uses rigorous analytic tools in service of clarifying the common, integral life-world. He uses philosophy of religion as a test case to show how these two elements of phenomenological methodology help us recover the spiritual nature of the phenomenological enterprise, and so help us recover the cultural force and relevance of the philosophical task in a way that traditional philosophy of religion fails to do.


Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Society of Phenomenology and the Human Sciences held in New Orleans, Louisiana, October 23-25, 2014.