The Promise of Phenomenology

The Promise of Phenomenology : Posthumous Papers of John Wild

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The Promise of Phenomenology: Posthumous Papers of John Wild includes articles that remained unpublished during Wild's lifetime, some of which he was preparing for publication, a journal that he kept, as well as a masterful exposition and commentary on Emmanuel Levinas' book, Totality and Infinity. This book gives a lively picture of a master philosopher at work conveying the vitality and importance of philosophy to everyday life.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 328 pages
  • 149.9 x 223.5 x 22.9mm | 476.28g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739113666
  • 9780739113660

Review quote

This book contains a landmark collection of essays on the foundational issues of existential phenomenology. It displays the depth and versatility of one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. These posthumous papers of John Wild are a treasure trove of erudition, cogent argumentation, and a jargon-free exploration of timeless philosophical questions. Wild confronts the phenomenological tradition with his own vast knowledge of the history of philosophy. His approach is fresh, surprising, and exciting. A final bonus is Wild's introduction to the thought of Emmanuel Levinas which marks the very first American recognition of Levinas' overall importance. This book is not only an invaluable look at a key historical moment in contemporary philosophy; it is also a challenge to continental thought, calling for a renewed examination of its most basic points of departure. -- Robert J. Anderson, Washington College With unusual clarity and insight, the American philosopher John Wild used his phenomenological approach to explore what he called "lived experience," which never grasps the world completely but grants us opportunities to glimpse truth and to give meaning to our lives in positive ways if we learn to use our freedom well. Retrieved through the careful attention that Richard Sugarman and Roger Duncan have paid to the posthumous papers of this major twentieth-century philosopher, John Wild's much-needed wisdom shines again in the twenty-first century-sane and sensible, profound and yet down to earth, illuminating and helpful. -- John K. Roth, Edward J. Sexton Professor of Philosophy and director, Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, Claremont McKenna College In this volume of carefully selected previously unpublished texts, each perceptively introduced, contextualized and annotated, Professors Sugarman and Duncan masterfully bring to life yet more of the penetrating insights of a rightfully distinguished American philosopher, or as John Wild might have said, they have retrieved and renewed his intellectual inquiries into and for our unfolding "life world." -- Richard A. Cohen, author of Out of Control: Confrontations between Spinoza and Levinas This book offers an excellent introduction to phenomenology! It provides the most penetrating critique of relativism even as it constructs a perspectival realism not indifferent to transcendence. More than any other thinker, Wild understands the dissolution of the self wrought by abandoning the world or sinking into nihilism. In his writings, Wild both lives and explains the imperative and the dread of communicating the self in its individuality, its style, by projecting it into writing. I really enjoyed every page and 'studying' with Wild... -- Anne Ashbaugh, Colgate University The philosophical world stands in debt to Professors Richard Sugarman and Roger Duncan for making available a representative portion of the unpublished works of an internationally eminent twentieth century American philosopher. John Wild, a member of the philosophy faculty at Harvard University over a span of thirty-four years, was the consummate teacher/scholar who in the course of his career influenced generations of instructors and researchers and helped shape the direction of philosophy in the United States as it moved toward a new century. With a veritable mastery of the history of philosophy and a rigor in analysis and argumentation, Professor Wild remained in the forefront of critical assessments of the contributions of twentieth century continental phenomenology and existentialism and became a pioneer in the recovery and revitalization of indigenous American pragmatism. -- Calvin O. Schrag, Purdue University Bringing together writings from John Wild's later life, this carefully annotated posthumous collection attests his significance not only as a premier interpreter of phenomenology but as a major original thinker. Juxtaposed against a still unrivalled section by section reading of Emmanuel Levinas's major work, Totality and Infinity, are essays on guilt, responsibility, God, the quest for meaning and a phenomenological response to relativism. Drawing upon realist and pragmatist traditions, Wild reinforces and criticizes an ethics of otherness in which rights and other social issues do not play a key role. His suggestive 1957-58 journals, fragments recounting conversations with analytic philosophers Gilbert Ryle and J. L. Austin among others offer not only engaging portraits but philosophical insights into what unites and ultimately separates these traditions. As its title hints, this work is a remarkable fulfillment of phenomenology's promise. -- Edith Wyschogrod, Rice University This book offers an excellent introduction to phenomenology! It provides the most penetrating critique of relativism even as it constructs a perspectival realism not indifferent to transcendence. More than any other thinker, Wild understands the dissolution of the self wrought by abandoning the world or sinking into nihilism. In his writings, Wild both lives and explains the imperative and the dread of communicating the self in its individuality, its style, by projecting it into writing. I really enjoyed every page and 'studying' with Wild. -- Anne Ashbaugh, Colgate Universityshow more

About Richard I. Sugarman

Richard I. Sugarman is professor of Religion and Director of the Integrated Humanities Program at the University of Vermont. Roger B. Duncan is retired from the University of Connecticut, where he taught Philosophy at the Hartford campus for 27 years.show more

Table of contents

Part 1 Explorations of the Human Life-World Part 2 Conversations, Reflections, and Beliefs Part 3 Toward a Phenomenology of Transcendence Part 4 New Directions, A Philosopher at Work: Toward a Phenomenology of the Other Part 5 Letter to John Wild Part 6 Bibliography of John Wild's Posthumous Papersshow more