PhenomenologyAn Introduction
An Introduction, 2nd Edition

A classic in its field, this comprehensive book introduces the core history of phenomenology and assesses its relevance to contemporary psychology, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science. It provides a jargon-free explanation of central themes in the works of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty. From artificial intelligence to embodiment and enactivism, Käufer and Chemero go on to trace how phenomenology has produced a valuable framework for analyzing cognition and perception, whose impact on contemporary psychological and scientific research, and philosophical debates, continues to grow.

New to this second edition are a treatment of nineteenth-century precursors of experimental psychology; a detailed exploration of Husserl's analysis of the body; and a discussion of the work of Aron Gurwitsch and other philosophers and psychologists who explored the intersection of phenomenology and Gestalt psychology. The new material also includes an expanded consideration of enactivism, and an up-to-date examination of current work in phenomenologically informed cognitive science.

This is an ideal introduction to phenomenology and cognitive science for the uninitiated, and will shed new light on the topic for experienced readers, showing clearly the contemporary relevance and influence of phenomenological ideas.

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  • July 2021
  • 288 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509540655
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  • 9781509540662
Table of Contents

List of Figures


1 Kant: Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Background

1.1 Kant’s critical philosophy

1.2 Intuitions and concepts

1.3 The transcendental deduction

1.4 Kantian themes in phenomenology

2 The Rise of Experimental Psychology

2.1  Wilhelm Wundt and the rise of scientific psychology

2.2 William James and functionalism

2.3  The structuralism-functionalism debate

3 Edmund Husserl and Transcendental Phenomenology

3.1  Transcendental phenomenology

3.2  Brentano

3.3  Between logic and psychology

3.4  Ideas

3.5  The body

3.6  Phenomenology of time consciousness

4 Martin Heidegger and Existential Phenomenology

4.1  The intelligibility of the everyday world

4.2  Descartes and occurrentness

4.3  Being-in-the-world

4.4  Being-with others and the anyone

4.5  The existential conception of the self

4.6  Death, guilt, and authenticity

5 Gestalt Psychology

5.1 Gestalt criticisms of atomistic psychology

5.2 Perception and the environment

5.3 Influence of Gestalt psychology

6 Aron Gurwitsch: Merging Gestalt Psychology and Phenomenology

6.1  Phenomenology of Thematics and of the Pure Ego

6.2 Others and the Social World

7     Jean-Paul Sartre: Phenomenological Existentialism

7.1  Transcendence of the Ego

7.2  The Imagination and The Imaginary

7.3  Being and Nothingness

8 Maurice Merleau-Ponty: The Body and Perception

8.1 Phenomenology of Perception

8.2 Phenomenology, psychology, and the phenomenal field

8.3 The lived body

8.4 Perceptual constancy and natural objects

9 Critical Phenomenology

9.1 The path not taken

9.2 Phenomenology and Gender

9.3 Phenomenology and Race

10 James J. Gibson and Ecological Psychology

10.1 Gibson’s early work: Two examples

10.2 The ecological approach

10.3 Ecological ontology

10.4 Affordances and invitations

11 Hubert Dreyfus and the Phenomenological Critique of Cognitivism

11.1       The cognitive revolution and cognitive science

11.2 “Alchemy and artificial intelligence”

11.3 What Computers Can’t Do

11.4 Heideggerian artificial intelligence

12 Enactivism and the Embodied Mind

12.1 Embodied, Embedded, Extended, Enactive

12.2 The Original Enactivism

12.3 Other Enactivisms: The sensorimotor approach and radical enactivism

12.4 Enactivism as a Philosophy of Nature

13 Phenomenological Cognitive Science

13.1 The frame problem

13.2 Radical embodied cognitive science

13.3 Dynamical systems theory

13.4 Heideggerian cognitive science

13.5 The future of scientific phenomenology


About the Author

Stephan Käufer is John Williamson Nevin Memorial Professor of Philosophy at Franklin and Marshall College.

Anthony Chemero is Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Cincinnati.

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“Käufer and Chemero have written a superb introduction to phenomenology, not merely as a chapter in intellectual history or as a gallery of great thinkers, but as a living tradition in philosophy, psychology, and cognitive science.”
Taylor Carman, Professor of Philosophy, Barnard College, Columbia University

“A sparklingly clear and widely insightful introduction to phenomenology for beginners – which, if we are phenomenologists, includes all of us. Highly recommended.”
Gayle Salamon, Professor of English, Princeton University

Praise for the first edition:
“A remarkably thorough and comprehensible account of the history of phenomenology that offers illuminating commentary on the work of Kant, Wundt, Husserl, Heidegger, Gestalt psychologists, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, and Gibson.”
Hubert Dreyfus, Former Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley

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