Patočka and English Sensualism and its Place in Modern Philosophy
Reception of the British empirical-sensualistic tradition as a unique form of philosophizing has its irreplaceable place in the history of philosophy. Jan Patočka takes this fact into consideration, but his reception and interpretation of British empiricism is not purely historical. Patočka was trained by Husserl’s phenomenology and formed by Heidegger’s intellectual heritage, and this makes for his specific philosophical thinking. Furthermore, his thinking is highly influenced by a thematic element initially formed on the grounds of Husserl’s phenomenology as the problem of Lebenswelt, now present in Patočka’s work as the problem of natural world. Patočka perceives entire philosophical tradition via the context of this leitmotif, which we find present in his thinking. His critical reception of British empiricism was an inseparable component in the rethinking of the problem of natural world. Patočka did not offer any attempt at summarization of his attitude towards British sensualism in form of a stand-alone paper or study. Nevertheless, reception of British philosophical heritage of the 17th century in Patočka’s optics definitely is of primary importance – firstly, in context of phenomenological tradition (especially its founder E. Husserl), which Patočka joins, and secondly for the purpose of articulating his own philosophical position. Commentaries to British sensualistic tradition can be found in various writings from his early, as well as late period. His notion of empiricism is always fundamentally interrelated with his other philosophical works – within his interpretation of Husserl, Heidegger and later still more intensively within Patočka’s own notion of natural world and his project of asubjective phenomenology.
English sensualism; English empricism; phenomenology; natural world; subjective phenomenology
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J. Patočka: Tělo, společenství, jazyk, svět. Praha: OIKOYMENH 1995.
J. Patočka: Fenomenologické spisy I. Sebrané spisy. Sv. 6. Praha: OIKOYMENH 2008.
J. Patočka: Fenomenologické spisy II. Sebrané spisy. Sv. 7. Praha: OIKOYMENH 2009.
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