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Voice and Phenomenon: Introduction to the Problem of the Sign in Husserl's Phenomenology (Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology & Existential Philosophy) Paperback – 15 Aug 2010

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press (15 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810127652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810127654
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Jacques Derrida was a professor of philosophy at the Sorbonne, the Ecole Normale Superieure, and the University of California, Irvine, and the author of numerous books including" Of Grammatology," "Dissemination Of Spirit," and" Limited Inc." (NUP). L eonard Lawlor is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University. He previously translated Merleau-Ponty s "Husserl at the Limits of Phenomenology" and "Institution and Passivity" for Northwestern."

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Socrates, the phenomenologist. Plato certainly became a mystic. Socrates was no mystic: he was executed for this "lack". The mysticism of Plato dominated philosophy to the Renaissance. Then humanism, then Descartes, then the fumblings of Leibniz and Spinoza (attempts to square Descartes and Religion) then the breakthrough: ~ Kant. Nineteenth century philosophy (wrong turn) dominated by Hegel (back to mysticism, Romantic) then the return to phenomenonology: ~ Husserl. Husserl is the modern Plato (the mysticism of Plato, stripped to phenomenological Eidos, invoking the spirit of Socrates). Each numbered section in Husserl's Ideas has the content of a Platonic dialogue. Then another wrong turn. The student of Husserl ~ Heidegger swamps phenomenology in the ether of Romanticism ~ back to Hegel, and then French Existentialism. It took fifteen years after the "flowering" of French Existentialism (and how beautiful was their writing) for the reaction ~ Nietzsche, Nietzsche, Nietzsche. Nothing like the cold icy blast of a madman to sweep all that philosophical poesy away ~ the shadow of the ubermensch still looms large today. What happened to Husserl? ~ Forgotten ~ seen as either an old fashioned logician or the father of outdated Existentialism. The early Husserl was certainly a logician and his later works seem to blend phenomenology in with Heidegger's Being and Time (1927) but his Ideas (1913) is still the classic text of the phenomenological movement.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8c8b7840) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c87da2c) out of 5 stars Don't get this trans unless u have the old one 25 Jan. 2013
By Adam Katz - Published on
Format: Paperback
Sigh. Ten pages still to read, and there have been 15 or 20 instances where, in order to decipher Lawlor's grammar - in order to suss out simple questions like pronoun antecedent or subjective v. objective genitive - I had to look at Allison's translation.

Here is one example.

Lawlor: "Is it not excluded, for essential and structural reasons--the very reasons that Husserl recalls--that the unity of intuition and intention are ever homogeneous and that the meaning fuses into intuition without disappearing?"

Allison: "Are not two possibilities excluded from the start, namely, that the unity of intuition and intention can ever be homogenous at all and that meaning can be fused into intuition without disappearing?"

Tell me, which of these two translations would you like as your constant companion while working your way through Derrida's consistently complex and challenging argumentation?

Perhaps Lawlor is more faithful to the original?

At any rate, he has done extensive research, included in his translation's apparatus, on how Derrida is rendering Husserl's German terminology into French, which is useful to keep things straight when reading in English.

But I think Lawlor would benefit from re-taking English 101, and I think Allison should be his prof for that.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c8c9714) out of 5 stars More lucid and subtle translation than "Speech and Phenomenon" 9 Jan. 2012
By Jeff Enfinger - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're interested in Derrida, Husserl or the all that lies in-between them this is a must read. It is more an essay than a book; only 87 pages. The translator provides a very useful introduction to those unacquainted with Derrida's work; and if one is just starting out on the path of studying Derrida, Voice and Phenomenon is where I would recommend to begin; although as it will become clear Derrida has no beginning and no ending, his texts refers to other texts onwards to infinity, so the idea of a clear starting point will be constantly frustrated; and that's intentional, and it's not just to piss you off.

One of his lessons one is forced to learn when reading his texts is to slow down, not to get frustrated and allow the text to take you wherever it might lead. This doesn't mean skim through it; on the contrary. One learns to be rigorous and playful; to laugh at our own seriousness without forgetting the necessity of both; in short Derrida teaches one to not only tolerate contradiction but to see it as essential and unavoidable. Things are never as simple as we like to think. Derrida himself admitted his inability to master his own essays or texts, so a reader shouldn't expect to be able to get the bottom of his "meaning." One (provisionally) finishes reading the book with more questions than one began with, not answers, and that's a good thing.

If one wants quick and easy answers, i'd advise the "Philosophy for Dummies" book, not Derrida.

Philosophy is never in the answers, or the finish line; it lies in the questions and on the path of humility, the path of humanity; not of Icarus and Hubris (Pg 87).
One doesn't need to have studied Husserl to read and benefit from this text, although having a copy of Volume 1 of his Logical Investigations near by to reference might be something some readers will find helpful, although unnecessary (of course one of Derrida's goals is to interest us in thinkers, so he might convince you of the merits of studying Husserl or maybe not).
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