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Introduction to Phenomenology
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Introduction to Phenomenology

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  226 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
This book presents the major philosophical doctrines of phenomenology in a clear, lively style with an abundance of examples. The book examines such phenomena as perception, pictures, imagination, memory, language, and reference, and shows how human thinking arises from experience. It also studies personal identity as established through time and discusses the nature of ph ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published October 28th 1999 by Cambridge University Press (first published October 1st 1999)
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Jun 30, 2014 Geoff rated it it was amazing
"The ignorant man is not free, because what confronts him is an alien world, something outside him and in the offing, on which he depends, without his having made this foreign world for himself and therefore without being at home in it by himself as in something his own. The impulse of curiosity, the pressure for knowledge, from the lowest level up to the highest rung of philosophical insight arises only from the struggle to cancel this situation of unfreedom and to make the world one's own in o ...more
Christina "6 word reviewer" Lake
Think phenomenology is irrelevant? Read this.
Tylor Lovins
Mar 04, 2014 Tylor Lovins rated it it was ok
This book was really an exercise of translating American neopragmatic philosophical concepts into phenomenological concepts. The language relies heavily--by heavily I mean entirely--on neopragmatic conceptions of the world, language, and experience. On this point I found it somewhat useful, if only as a translation into the 'real' conceptions of reality that phenomenology offers.
I would recommend this book as a Wikipedia-like resource: use it while reading introductions to phenomenology (that a
Sep 19, 2014 Jan rated it really liked it
I'm having difficulties with this one. Not because the language is difficult (it is not, at least not Sokolowski's), but because it's an unfamiliar approach (the name's not helping: phenomenology suggests obscurity). It's taking me unusuallly long to try to get to the concepts behind the words.

I do appreciate the thematic structure rather than one based on authors' names. His step by step approach takes you through multiple, ever-more precise discussions of what phenomenology is (can be a bit sl
Bruce Caithness
Feb 08, 2013 Bruce Caithness rated it liked it
Robert Sokolowlski's introduction to phenomenology is as clear an exposition of this often impenetrable subject as I have read. I like his layout into topics such as "What is intentionality, and why it is important", "Words, pictures and symbols" etc. Any questions I have concerning the subject of phenomenology are not criticisms of Sokolowski's book so much as of the umwelt in which it lives and which it exemplifies.

I have long felt discomfort with phenomenological jargon in that rather than it
Sep 08, 2010 Rebecca rated it liked it
This is a good introductory book. It actually got me excited about the ins and outs of phenomenology. But it was written from an introductory point of view in Solokowski's own voice. He didn't cite earlier work or really tell us much about other schools of thought that he counters with the phenomenological point of view.

When I went to my philosophy group discussion of this book, the hard core philosopher types ripped this book to shreds (as well as many of the concepts of phenomenology). Up unti
Chris Comis
Feb 04, 2009 Chris Comis rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
If you are unfamiliar with this branch of philosophy, then this is a great book for anyone wanting to know the basics of Phenomenology. This is a very obscure and almost impenetrable branch of philosophy, especially if you don't have much background in philosophical studies. But Sokolowski does a great job of interpreting it through a more analytical grid. The most beneficial thing about the book is the keen insights that can be gleaned from the study of phenomenology for the burgeoning studies ...more
Feb 25, 2012 Lance rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent and quick introduction to phenomenology. I've been wanting to read some phenomenological works, but found it hard to to just start reading because a deeper context is needed. This book has given me the proper context for understanding phenomenology, at least in a useful practical way. It is true that the author represents monolithically, what is most likely diverse and complex. Nonetheless, a very useful read for anyone who keeps running into phenomenology . . . which is pro ...more
Jun 24, 2007 James rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Philosophers
Shelves: recently-read
I do not hesitate to say that phenomenology represents the basic philosophy behind all of modern science. Sokolowski's intro to phenomenology does a very good job of explaining a very difficult philosophy in easy terms that can be understood. My only criticism is that he does not discuss the relationship between phenomenology and existentialism, which adopted the phenomenological method but not the philosophy behind it. This book is a decent, short read.
Jun 28, 2012 Katja rated it it was ok
I think it is an ok introduction: easy to follow, clearly written, not too verbose or cryptic. The reason why I stopped in the middle of it is that I missed a motivation for why this is an important branch of philosophy.
May 17, 2009 Eric rated it really liked it
Besides the short shrift Sokolowski gives to the moderns, this book is a great starting point for Husserlian philosophical reflection.
Ann Michael
Sep 26, 2014 Ann Michael rated it it was amazing
This is a lucid explanation for people who have an interest in philosophy. The author does a yeoman's job of explaining phenomenology, particularly the phenomenological concepts of absence and intentionality which are basic to an understanding of how human beings can study the "thingness" or objective qualities of things that are abstract or usually considered subjective. A good introduction to the foundational concepts of this particular philosophical approach.
Jul 14, 2015 Scott rated it it was amazing
This books serves as a wonderful introduction to phenomenology and the author writes with a welcome clarity. It seems to drag a bit in the first sections, but by the end it was clearly necessary since having a strong grasp on the founding parts of phenomenology is absolutely essential to developing its arguments.

Overall, I think this book would make a fantastic textbook, but it might be a little dry for people reading it for fun (unless one is very interested in learning about phenomenology).
Lukas op de Beke
May 03, 2016 Lukas op de Beke rated it really liked it
Decent introduction to phenomenology written in plain English. Pro: the appendix on the history and post-Husserlian development is quite interesting. Con: Sokolowski repeatedly suggests that phenomenology, contrary to popular thought, does have something to say in matters political- this was unconvincing.
Arjun Ravichandran
Sep 12, 2013 Arjun Ravichandran rated it really liked it
This book is exactly what it's title says it is ; a introduction to phenomenology. In other words, it is structured like a textbook and treats its subject-matter drily, even though phenomenology is the conceptual underpinning for most of the really exciting philosophy of the 20th century. That said, it does its job well, going over basic terms and their significance in the phenomenological tradition, such as intentionality, temporality, categorial intentions and so on. Since the subject matter i ...more
I came across Sokolowski's work about two years ago. Since then I have read chapters with my close colleague and friend and we have read the chapters in Colloquia with our PhD and Masters by thesis students. For many chapters we have created a crystal map to help guide our students to understand the potential of phenomenology for scholarly inquiry. Sokolowski has helped us understand and adopt a language of philosophy and phenomenology in ways that help us perceive the methodologies that might e ...more
Erum Iftikhar
Apr 18, 2015 Erum Iftikhar is currently reading it
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Feb 25, 2011 Danielle rated it really liked it
Very helpful introduction. Having little background in phenomenology, jumping right in to Husserl (in particular) was too much for me. Sokolowski explains in clear language some of the philosophy's essential concepts and premises - a great way to establish some familiarity with the subject before delving into the "primary" source material itself. This book is a keeper!
Jul 04, 2013 Olivia rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Sokolowski possesses that valuable talent of making what is complex simple.
Lesley Chen
May 03, 2016 Lesley Chen rated it it was amazing
Easy to read but helpful.
Jul 26, 2011 John rated it it was amazing
The best intro to phenomenology I've ever seen.
John Roberson
Feb 22, 2010 John Roberson rated it really liked it
A great introduction to phenomenology.
Scott Kleinpeter
To supplement Crisis.
Meghan Olson
Aug 14, 2013 Meghan Olson rated it really liked it
Great intro.
Bryanna Reid
Bryanna Reid rated it it was amazing
Jul 26, 2016
Preedeeporn Limcharoen
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Bhargava Anusuri
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Balakrishnan marked it as to-read
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Lance Raymond
Lance Raymond rated it it was ok
Jul 06, 2016
Tom Gleason
Tom Gleason rated it really liked it
Jul 06, 2016
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“There is a marvelous ambiguity to the ego: on the one hand it is an ordinary part of the world, one of many things that inhabit it. It occupies space, endures through time, has physical and psychic features, and interacts causally with other things in the world: if it falls, it falls like any other body; if it is pushed, it topples over like any other thing; if treated with chemicals, it reacts like any living organism; if light rays hit its visual organs, it reacts electronically, chemically, and psychologically. 'I' am a material, organic, and psychological thing. If we were to take the self simply as one of the things in the world, we would be treating it as what can be called the empirical ego.

On the other hand, this very same self can also be played off against the world: it is the center of disclosure to whom the world and everything in it manifest themselves. It is the agent of truth, the one responsible for judgments and verifications, the perceptual and cognitive 'owner' of the world. When considered in this manner, it is no longer simply a part of the world; it is what is called the transcendental ego.

The empirical and transcendental egos are not two entities; they are one and the same being, but considered in two ways.”
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