One commonplace assumption in Continental philosophy circles today is that there is an unbridgeable gap between, on the one hand, Kantian and post-Kantian critical tradition in German thought and, on the other, Husserlian and post-Husserlian phenomenology.
Phenomena-Critique-Logos challenges this assumption and endeavors to work out a systematic concept of critique, using the resources of phenomenology itself. In this innovative work, Michael Marder argues that critique is situated at the very heart of phenomenology, traversing the Husserlian oeuvre and regulating the relation between phenomena and logos, conceived in its multiple senses as reason, logic, a mode of thinking, study and word. Having outlined the features of phenomenology as a kind of critique, Marder goes on to demonstrate how it is applicable to ontology, ethics and politics, through sustained readings of Heidegger, Levinas, Arendt and Derrida, as well as through an original elaboration of phenomenological critique pertinent to each of these fields.
Introduction: In the Beginning Was a Critique of Logos/ 1. Critical Phenomenology: Back to Husserl Himself / 2. Ontological Critique: Heidegger and the Phenomenology of Ontico-Ontological Difference / 3. Ethical Critique: Levinas and the Trembling of Phenomenology / 4. Political Critique: Arendt and the Crisis of Beginnings / 5. Critical Twilight: Derrida and the Postmetaphysical Critique of Phenomenology / Epilogue: An Affirmative Critique / Notes / Index
Michael Marder is Ikerbasque Research Professor in Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country. He is an associate editor of the journal Telos and his publications include Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life (Columbia University Press, 2013) and Groundless Existence: The Political Ontology of Carl Schmitt (Bloomsbury, 2012).
In Phenomena—Critique—Logos Michael Marder rethinks the phenomenological project in light of the centrality of critique and self-critique, thus illuminating the seismic motility of thinking as it addresses and articulates phenomena. Such a critical sensibility remarkably spans the work of Husserl, Heidegger, Levinas, Arendt, and Derrida, urging a reassessment of the relation between phenomenology and Kantian philosophy.
Marder’s well-written book undertakes a radical interrogation of phenomenology in light of recent discussions in contemporary philosophy on the possibility of critique. In its range of study it is truly an insightful work of original scholarship.
With care and courage, Michael Marder has written a critique of phenomenological reason. It is a necessary work for the past, the present, and the future of phenomenology.