Monday, June 07, 2010
"Concepts of Tradition in Phenomenology." STUDIA PHAENOMENOLOGICA 11 (2011).
The 2011 issue of Studia Phaenomenologica is dedicated to the topic: Concepts of Tradition in Phenomenology. As it is commonly known, Husserl’s phenomenology demanded at its first breakthrough a total refutation of all uncertified knowledge, theory or meaning inherited from the past. However, the development of phenomenological inquiry gradually resulted in a more ambiguous attitude towards history and tradition. On the one hand, history and tradition are necessary but still unfortunate distortions, which hinder phenomenological research in its strive for original self-givenness; on the other hand, they become themselves universal phenomena that must be explored as such. As recent publications of late Husserlian manuscripts have revealed, Husserl himself became more and more aware of these topics in his last decade, as he was finally inclined to interpret the Life-world itself in its full concreteness as a “generative tradition”. Tradition in this sense pertains to all meaning sprung from earlier acquisition. Therefore, the concept obviously exceeds its ordinary meaning, exclusively related to inter-subjective historical inheritance, by gaining a fundamental importance for all areas of phenomenological analysis, as they all have the characteristic of “traditionalizing”. Thus, there is “tradition” at work in all action or bodily movement, in every instance of a given situation and in any relation to another thing or being. Understood in this broad sense, the term does not address only the genetic fact of sedimentation, but also a specific, “habitual” quality that things allow to see through themselves, as bearers of a past. Hence, the theme marks an intersection of various problematic strata in Husserlian phenomenology, starting from the correlation of genetic and static phenomenology, following through different aspects of phenomenological methodology, and up to several ground-themes of phenomenological research, such as historicity, memory, language, bodily existence, inter-subjectivity, life-world and others. The same twofold relation to tradition – of growing thematic interest, on the one hand, and utter criticism, on the other – shows in the post-Husserlian phenomenology as well. Heidegger, for instance, is from his early beginnings convinced that history should be the true guideline for phenomenological research, while at the same time pleading for a systematic destruction of the philosophical tradition. A similarly ambiguous position defines his later project of transcending metaphysics, and certainly other examples can be found as well. The aim of our 2011 issue is therefore to explore the two fundamental poles that define the phenomenological approach of tradition: the task of understanding the problem of tradition thematically, on one hand, and the necessity of confronting it methodically as a residual distortion, on the other hand. We welcome all submissions addressing either one of these two landmarks. Contributions to the late Husserlian topic of “tradition”, in its universal acceptation or in some concrete life-worldly application, are particularly encouraged, as well as submissions dealing with other, post-Husserlian, phenomenological approaches to the concept of “tradition”. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.