Jan Patočka: Critical Consciousness and Non-Eurocentric Philosopher of the Phenomenological Movement

Studia Phaenomenologica 7:475-492 (2007)
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Abstract

By his critical reflections on the crisis of modern civilization, Jan Patočka, phenomenologist of the Other Europe, incarnates the critical consciousness of the phenomenological movement. He was in fact one of the first European philosophers to have emphasized the necessity of abandoning the hitherto Eurocentric propositions of solution to the crisis when he explicitly raised the problems of a “Post-European humanity”. In advocating an understanding of the history of European humanity different from those of Husserl and Heidegger, Patočka directs his philosophical reflections back to sketch a more profound phenomenology of the natural world insufficiently thematized in Husserl and absent in Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit. By virtue of its emphasis on the structural characteristics of movement, of praxis, and of the disclosure of the abyssal nature of human existence and of the original nothingness as the (non-)foundation of the phenomenal world, Patočka’s phenomenology of the natural world constitutes an opening towards the reception of Others and other cultures, in particular that of Chinese Taoist philosophy.

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Kwok-ying Lau
Chinese University of Hong Kong

Citations of this work

The brave struggle: Jan Patočka on Europe’s past and future.Francesco Tava - 2016 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 47 (3):242-259.
Ricœur and Patočka on the Idea of Europe and its Crisis.Goncalo Marcelo - 2017 - Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy 9 (2):509-535.

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