Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss phenomenology, a style of philosophy developed by the German thinker Edmund Husserl in the first decades of the 20th century. Husserl’s initial insights underwent a radical transformation in the work of his student Martin Heidegger, and played a key role in the development of French philosophy at the hands of writers like Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.

Phenomenology has been a remarkably adaptable approach to philosophy. It has given its proponents a platform to expose and critique the basic assumptions of past philosophy, and to talk about everything from the foundations of geometry to the difference between fear and anxiety. It has also been instrumental in getting philosophy out of the seminar room and making it relevant to the lives people actually lead.

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  • Simon Glendinning No other episodes
    Professor of European Philosophy in the European Institute at the London School of Economics
  • Joanna Hodge No other episodes
    Professor of Philosophy at Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Stephen Mulhall 8 episodes
    Professor of Philosophy and Tutor at New College at the University of Oxford

Reading list

  • The Problem of Genesis in Husserl's Phenomenology
    Jacques Derrida (trans. Marian Hobson) (University of Chicago Press, 2003; first published 1954)
  • A Politics of Impossible Difference: The Later Work of Luce Irigaray
    Penelope Deutscher (Cornell University Press, 2002) Google Books →
  • The Bodies of Women: Ethics, Embodiment and Sexual Difference
    Rosalyn Diprose (Routledge, 1994) Google Books →
  • Sartre's Being and Nothingness: A Reader's Guide
    Sebastian Gardner (Continuum, 2009) Google Books →
  • In the Name of Phenomenology
    Simon Glendinning (Routledge, 2007) Google Books →
  • Toward a Phenomenology of Sexual Difference: Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Beauvoir
    Sara Heinamaa (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003)
  • The Idea of Phenomenology
    Edmund Husserl (trans. L. Hardy) (Springer, 1999; first published 1907) Google Books →
  • Using Sartre: An Analytical Introduction to Early Sartrean Themes
    Gregory McCulloch (Routledge, 1994) Google Books →
  • Introduction to Phenomenology
    Dermot Moran (Routledge, 1999) Google Books →
  • Edmund Husserl: Founder of Phenomenology
    Dermot Moran (Polity Press, 2005) Google Books →
  • Discovering Levinas
    Michael L. Morgan (Cambridge University Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • Starting with Merleau-Ponty
    Katherine Morris (Continuum, 2012) Google Books →
  • Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Heidegger and Being and Time
    Stephen Mulhall (Routledge, 2005) Google Books →
  • On Merleau-Ponty
    Daniel Thomas Primozic (Cengage Learning, 2000) Google Books →
  • Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Husserl and the Cartesian Meditations
    A.D. Smith (Routledge, 2003) Google Books →
  • The Other Husserl: The Horizons of Transcendental Phenomenology
    Donn Welton (Indiana University Press, 2002) Google Books →
  • Husserl's Phenomenology
    Dan Zahavi (Stanford University Press, 2003) Google Books →

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