Spatial Thinking

Research in Phenomenology 39 (3):333-343 (2009)


This paper is an attempt to solve a key problem of phenomenology. The problem is given with the double role of the revealing capacity for which phenomena are present. On the one hand, this capacity must be prior to all phenomena, because it allows phenomena to show themselves and thus to be what they essentially are. On the other hand, the revealing capacity must be situated in the midst of phenomena; it must belong to the phenomenal world in order to have access to it. This problem has been discussed in different versions by Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty, but in every version it remains aporetic. The problem can be solved by conceiving the capacity, which reveals phenomena, as spatial. The paper shows how the essential priority of the revealing capacity as well as its situatedness in the midst of phenomena has spatial character. Phenomenology thus is spatial thinking.

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