Husserl and America: Reflections on the Limits of Europe as the Ground of Meaning and Value for Phenomenology

March 29, 2016

Ian Angus

Tuesday, March 29, 7:00PM–9:00PM, Room 2050, SFU Harbour Centre

This paper investigates phenomenological philosophy as the critical consciousness of modernity beginning from that point in the Vienna Lecture where he discounts Papuans and Gypsies, and includes America, in defining Europe as the spiritual home of reason. Its meaning is analyzed through the introduction of the concept of institution (Urstiftung) in Crisis. It argues that the historical fact of encounter with America can be seen as an event for reason insofar as the encounter includes elements previously absent in the European entelechy. The conclusion shows that phenomenology must become a comparative, Socratic, diagnosis of the planetary crisis of reason. The entelechy of reason that becomes evident through the concept of institution should be understood less as a renewal of a pre-existing tradition than as an exogenic encounter and incursion of an outside that together define an event as new in relation to its tradition. 

Ian Angus received his Ph.D. (1980) from the Graduate Programme in Social and Political Thought at York University and is currently Professor of Humanities at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. Recent books include Identity and Justice (2008) and The Undiscovered Country: Essays in Canadian Intellectual Culture (2013). Love the Questions: University Education and Enlightenment (2009) has been widely excerpted and reviewed on the Internet. He is currently writing a manuscript on Husserl and Marx.

Workshop moderated by: Stuart Poyntz, Associate Professor, School of Communications.

Please contact insthum@sfu.ca if you are interested in participating.