Classical Phenomenology

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The Classical Phenomenology research section of the Graz University Philosophy Department conceives itself as a philosophical investigation of various modes of experience across the entire range of human consciousness and action (sensuous-bodily, intellectual, psychological, social). As a phenomenological-intuitionist approach, it aims at grasping the essence, idea or form (eidos) of the experiences it scrutinizes. It holds that essences can be given in an intuitive manner, just as many kinds of particular objects can be. Sticking to the principle of intuitive givenness while acknowledging that different types of objects (e.g. objects of perception, ideal objects, axiological objects) exhibit different kinds of intuitive givenness is a distinctive mark of this kind of non-dogmatic, reflective intuitionism. In our research group, this philosophical position is systematically elaborated through the development of experientially accurate conceptualizations of key notions like consciousness, intentionality, embodiment, intersubjectivity, or understanding.


This idea of philosophy stands in the tradition of Edmund Husserl’s refined proposal of classical phenomenology and tries to further advance it. From the beginning of the 20th century onward, Husserl formulated the core ideas of phenomenology which then were criticized and modified by other members of the early phenomenological movement (Martin Heidegger, Max Scheler, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, Adolf Reinach, Edith Stein, Felix Kaufmann, Hannah Arendt, Roman Ingarden and others).


Ever since its historical origin, phenomenology has been interested in interdisciplinary studies, on the one hand, and in the various and intricate manners in which philosophy, science and life-world are intertwined, on the other hand. With a view to current developments, we consider it of utmost importance to enter discussion with other philosophical paradigms, especially with analytic philosophy, existential philosophy, pragmatism and various traditional theories of subject and critical challenges of notions of subject, respectively.


Bringing to bear classical phenomenology in current philosophical debates, according to our areas of specialization (esp., (meta)ethics and theory of value, emotion studies, epistemology, metaphysics und theory of science) constitutes a shared commitment and binding motivation of the phenomenology group at Graz University. Moreover, we are interested in inquiring into the relations between Husserl’s work and various other brands of phenomenology, especially the early realist phenomenology as represented by the Munich group. Generally, we not only appreciate philosophical diversity as an inherent feature of the phenomenological movement, but also in its external dimension hinging upon interactions with non-phenomenological ways of doing philosophy. Indeed, we explicitly aim at pushing ahead the development of phenomenology by deliberately opening up to alternative philosophical and scientific approaches in a qualified way.


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Heinrichstr. 26/5th floorA-8010 Graz

Ao.Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Sonja Rinofner
+43 (0)316 380 - 2310
+43 (0)316 380 - 9705

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