Where Do I Start Reading Phenomenology?


Martha Robinson

Phenomenology is a philosophical movement that explores the structures of experience and consciousness. It was founded by Edmund Husserl, a German philosopher, in the early 20th century.

Phenomenology has since become a widely studied topic in philosophy, psychology, and other fields. However, as a beginner, you might find yourself asking – “Where do I start reading phenomenology? “.

What is Phenomenology?
Phenomenology is the study of subjective experience and consciousness. It seeks to understand how we experience the world around us and how our consciousness shapes our perception of reality. This philosophical movement emphasizes exploring the structures of our experiences rather than focusing on objective reality.

Where to Start Reading Phenomenology?
If you’re new to phenomenology, it’s important to start with foundational texts that introduce the basic concepts and ideas behind this philosophical movement. Here are some recommended texts for beginners:

1) Cartesian Meditations by Edmund Husserl

This book by Husserl himself is an excellent place to start for beginners. It provides a clear introduction to phenomenology and its major themes. This book also covers Husserl’s method of reduction, which helps to uncover the essential structure of experience.

2) Phenomenology of Perception by Maurice Merleau-Ponty

This book is another great starting point for beginners in phenomenology. Merleau-Ponty explores how our bodies shape our experiences and perception of reality. He also discusses how language influences our understanding of the world around us.

3) The Basic Problems of Phenomenology by Martin Heidegger

Heidegger is another influential philosopher in phenomenology who expands on Husserl’s ideas. In this book, he presents his own perspective on phenomenological inquiry and explores topics such as being-in-the-world and temporality.

  • Other Recommended Texts:
  • Being and Time by Martin Heidegger
  • Ideas by Edmund Husserl
  • The Phenomenology of Spirit by G.W.F. Hegel

Tips for Reading Phenomenology
Phenomenology can be a challenging philosophical movement to understand, especially for beginners. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your reading:

1) Take Notes and Reflect on Them

As you read through a text, take notes on the main points and ideas presented. Reflect on these notes to deepen your understanding of the material.

2) Read Critically

Phenomenology is a complex philosophical movement that requires critical reading and analysis. Take the time to carefully read through each text and consider different interpretations of the material.

3) Discuss with Others

Discussing phenomenology with others can help you gain new perspectives and insights into the material. Consider joining a philosophy club or discussion group to engage in thoughtful conversations about phenomenology.

In conclusion, starting your journey in reading phenomenology requires an open mind, patience, and persistence. The recommended texts provide an excellent foundation for exploring this fascinating philosophical movement. Remember to take notes, read critically, and discuss with others to fully engage with this subject matter!