"Munich phenomenology" refers to the philosophical orientation of a group of philosophers and psychologists that studied and worked in Munich at the turn of the twentieth century. Their views are grouped under the names realist phenomenology or phenomenology of essences. Munich Phenomenology represents one branch of what is referred to as the early phenomenology.
In 1895, a number of students working with the psychologist Theodor Lipps at the University of Munich founded the Psychologische Verein ("Psychological Association"). A number of the participants in this student association, notably Johannes Daubert, Moritz Geiger, Alexander Pfänder, and Adolf Reinach, were inspired by Edmund Husserl's Logical Investigations (1900/01). The book was critical of the psychologism of their teacher (Lipps), and presented a new way of doing philosophy, known as phenomenology. Choosing to align themselves with Husserl, they became the Munich Circle of phenomenologists. Around 1905, many of Lipps' students (following the lead of Daubert) temporarily abandoned Munich and headed to the University of Göttingen to study with Husserl directly. This is referred to as the Munich invasion of Göttingen, and is generally considered to be the starting point of the phenomenological movement proper. The arrival of students from Munich eventually led to the establishment of a similar student group in Göttingen circa 1910, known as the Göttingen Circle.
In 1912 the Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phänomenologische Forschung was founded with Husserl, Geiger, Reinach, Pfänder, and Max Scheler as its editors. After Husserl's publication of the Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie. Erstes Buch (Ideas I) in the first edition of the Jahrbuch, a number of his followers took a critical stance towards Husserl's new vision of phenomenology. Many members of the Munich group distanced themselves from Husserl's idealism and his transcendental phenomenology, preferring the earlier realist phenomenology of the first edition of the Logical Investigations.
The Munich phenomenologists
Other members of the Munich Circle and the Psychologische Verein
- Ernst von Aster
- Matthias Baumgartner
- Hedwig Conrad-Martius
- Ludwig Curtis
- Wolf Dohrn
- August Endell
- Aloys Fischer
- August Gallinger
- Dietrich von Hildebrand
- Rudolf Hirsch
- Edgar Istel
- Theodor Lessing
- Hans von Liebig
- Otto Selz
- Wilhelm Schapp
- Eduard Schmidt
- Alfred Schwenninger
- Else Voigtländer
- Karl Schuhmann, "Philosophy and Art in Munich around the turn of the Century," in Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, Vol. 54, 1997, pp.35-51.
- Karl Schuhmann and Barry Smith, "Adolf Reinach: An Intellectual Biography," in Speech Act and Sachverhalt ed. Kevin Mulligan, 1987, pp.1-27.
- Josef Seifert and Cheikh Mbacke Gueye (Eds.), Anthologie der Realistischen Phänomenologie, 2009.
- Herbert Spiegelberg, The Phenomenological Movement (The Hague/Boston/London 1982)
- Helmut Kuhn, Ederhard Avé-Lallemant, R. Gladiator (Eds.), Die Münchener Phänomenologie, Phaenomenologica 65, 1976
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