program Phenomenology and the
                Transcendental Venue Cobb-Stevens, Crowell,
                Tengelyi organizers European rationality in the
                break from modernity


I myself use the word ‘transcendental’ in the broadest sense for the original motif, […] which through Descartes confers meaning upon all modern philosophies […]. It is the motif of inquiring back into the ultimate source of all the formations of knowledge, […] the motif of a universal philosophy which is grounded purely in this source and thus ultimately grounded.

(Husserl, The Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, § 26)

The transcendental status of phenomenological inquiry and its relationship to the Kantian tradition have been debated topics ever since the publication of the first volume of Husserl’s Ideas in 1913. These topics remain highly relevant for contemporary discussions concerning the tasks of phenomenological philosophy in relation to the empirical sciences, on the one hand, and to the other Post-Kantian movements and trends of 20th-century philosophy, on the other hand.

The aim of the conference Phenomenology and the Transcendental is to further an understanding of transcendental philosophy in the wide sense and to promote a critical discussion of its meaning and relevance for phenomenology. The idea of transcendental inquiry will be discussed in the framework of the history of philosophy and assessed in the context of contemporary thinking. The themes and lines of discussion of the conference include the following systematic and historical questions:

  1. Transcendental vs. empirical inquiries: What are the tasks of transcendental inquiry and how are they related to those of the empirical sciences, such as empirical psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience?
  2. Eidetic and a priori: How are these concepts understood in the history of philosophy and how should they be defined in phenomenology?
  3. The Kantian tradition: in what sense is phenomenology, or is not, a version of Kantian transcendental philosophy?
  4. Transformations of transcendental phenomenology: how was Husserl's transcendental approach developed and/or transformed by his successors, such as Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty?
  5. Phenomenology and 20th-century philosophy: How does phenomenology relate to other philosophical orientations of the 20th century, such as the Wittgensteinian and analytic traditions?

The conference is free of charge and open to all.