The Sense of Things: Toward a Phenomenological Realism

Series: Analecta Husserliana (118)

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This book proposes a new interpretative key for reading and overcoming the binary of idealism and realism. It takes as its central issue for exploration the way in which human consciousness unfolds, i.e., through the relationship between the I and the world-a field of phenomenological investigation that cannot and must not remain closed within the limits of its own disciplinary borders. The book focuses on the question of realism in contemporary debates, ultimately dismantling prejudices and automatisms that one finds therein. It shows that at the root of the controversy between realism and idealism there often lie equivocations of a semantic nature and by going back to the origins of modern phenomenology it puts into play a discussion of the Husserlian concept of transcendental idealism. Following this path and neutralizing the extreme positions of a critical idealism and a naive realism, the book proposes a transcendental realism : the horizon of a dynamic unity that embraces the process of cognition and that grounds the relation, and not the subordination, of subject and object. The investigation of this reciprocity allows the surpassing of the limits of the domain of knowing, leading to fundamental questions surrounding the ultimate sense of things and their origin.