Phenomenology, Architecture and the Built World is an introduction to the methods and basic concepts of phenomenological philosophy through an analysis of the phenomenon of the built world. The conception of the built world that emerges is of space and time fashioned in accordance with a living understanding of what it is for human beings to exist in the world. Human building and making is thus no mere supplementary instrument in the pursuit of the ends of life, but a fundamental embodiment of the self-understanding of human beings. Phenomenological description is uniquely capable of bringing into view the physiognomy of this understanding, its texture and complexity, thereby providing an important basis for a critique of what constitutes its essence and its conditions of possibility.
This pioneering book evaluates the early history of embodied cognition. It explores for the first time the life-force (
Lebenskraft) debate in Germany, which was manifest in philosophical reflection, medical treatise, scientific experimentation, theoretical physics, aesthetic theory, and literary practice esp. 1740-1920. The history of vitalism is considered in the context of contemporary discourses on radical reality (or deep naturalism). We ask how animate matter and cognition arise and are maintained through agent-environment dynamics (Whitehead) or performance (Pickering). This book adopts a nonrepresentational approach to studying perception, action, and cognition, which Anthony Chemero designated radical embodied cognitive science. From early physiology to psychoanalysis, from the microbiome to memetics, appreciation of body and mind as symbiotically interconnected with external reality has steadily increased. Leading critics explore here resonances of body, mind, and environment in medical history (Reil, Hahnemann, Hirschfeld), science (Haller, Goethe, Ritter, Darwin, L. Büchner), musical aesthetics (E.T.A. Hoffmann, Wagner), folklore (Grimm), intersex autobiography (Baer), and stories of crime and aberration (Nordau, Döblin). Science and literature both prove to be continually emergent cultures in the quest for understanding and identity. This book will appeal to intertextual readers curious to know how we come to be who we are and, ultimately, how the Anthropocene came to be.