31 July 2013

Review: The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Phenomenology

The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Phenomenology edited by Dan Zahavi reviewed by Andreas Elpidorou, University of Louisville.

In putting together The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Phenomenology (OHCP), Dan Zahavi has done a truly marvelous job. He has amassed essays of outstanding quality, replete with fascinating ideas, imaginative examples, and above all, carefully constructed arguments. There are critical and insightful phenomenological analyses of topics that run the gamut: from art, religion, and history; to the nature of perception, embodiment, and consciousness; to epistemological foundationalism and the problem of other minds; to methodological issues that phenomenology faces; to forgiveness, ethics, and shame; to the nature of self and self-consciousness; to sex and gender; and to the relationship between science and phenomenology. Still, what's most impressive is the fact that most of the essays could have been published in their present form in journals. This speaks highly not only of the quality and rigor of the contributions, but also of the book's timeliness. OHCP is a state-of-the art presentation of research conducted in, through, or inspired by, phenomenology. Given the breadth of the issues examined in it, the clarity of presentation, and the strength of argumentation, the volume is a remarkable achievement.

Philosophical reviews