• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This innovative and thought-provoking book argues that phenomenology was the most significant, wide-ranging and influential philosophy to emerge in the twentieth century. The social character of phenomenology is explored in its relation to the concern in twentieth century sociology with questions of modern experience. Phenomenology and sociology come together as 'ethnographies of the present'. As such, they break free of the self-imposed limitations of each to establish a new, critical understanding of contemporary life. By reading phenomenology sociologically and sociology phenomenologically, this book reconstructs a phenomenological sociology of modern experience.

Insight: Edmund Husserl's Clarification of Experience
Insight: Edmund husserl's clarification of experience

Perception does not consist in staring blankly at something lodged in consciousness, inserted there by some strange wonder as if something were first there and then consciousness would somehow embrace it … It is an accomplishment that must be new for every novel object.

Husserl, Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy: First Book

If phenomena have no nature, they still have an essence.

Husserl, ‘Philosophy as a Rigorous Science’

An immense reality appears in self-consciousness.

Dilthey, Introduction to the Human Sciences

Prior to the writings of Edmund Husserl the term ‘phenomenology’ was occasionally used without implying by it a well-defined and comprehensive philosophical position or project. Husserl himself viewed the emergence of modern thought in ...

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