Introduction to Phenomenology
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Introduction to Phenomenology

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  18 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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"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
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...more
Chris Comis
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
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
Tylor Lovins
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...more
Jun 24, 2007 James rated it 3 of 5 stars
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.
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.
Besides the short shrift Sokolowski gives to the moderns, this book is a great starting point for Husserlian philosophical reflection.
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...more
Bruce Caithness
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...more
Arjun Ravichandran
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
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!
Sokolowski possesses that valuable talent of making what is complex simple.
The best intro to phenomenology I've ever seen.
John Roberson
A great introduction to phenomenology.
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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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