An Archeology of Beginnings: Phenomenology and the Space of the World

Author's Department

English & Comparative Literature Department

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Analecta Husserliana

Publication Date





The concept of beginnings retains considerable importance among contemporary philosophers who seek to deepen the significance of phenomenology as an inquiry into the question of truth and the space of the world. Edmund Husserl frequently emphasized the role of a return to the things themselves as a prerequisite for extending phenomenology beyond the horizons of constitutive subjectivity. Recent scholarship has drawn attention to the theme of time and the emergence of the life-world in his mature standpoint, but the issue of how phenomenology integrates the moment of world-formation into a special approach to knowledge is rarely assigned long-range significance. Hence, we will be concerned in this paper with how the phenomenological tradition, particularly as developed in the work of Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, and Derrida, employs the space of the world in exploring the question of truth and opening up the possibility of ideal meaning. However, we will first discuss how the space of the world was explored in Heidegger’s seminal work, Sein und Zeit, in order to suggest its importance to later phenomenological research. Our discussion will then converge on Husserl’s important study, Der Ursprung der Geometrie, which will be shown to form a unique response to the problem of existence, just as it moves beyond a purely theoretical approach to life in attempting to reconcile the experience of truth with the phenomenology of language.

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