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Vol. 4 No. 2 (2021): Critical Phenomenology at the Collegium Phaenomenologicum

Six Senses of Critique for Critical Phenomenology

  • Lisa Guenther
February 9, 2023


What is the meaning of critique for critical phenomenology? Building on Gayle Salamon’s engagement with this question in the inaugural issue of Puncta: A Journal for Critical Phenomenology (2018), I will propose a six-fold account of critique as: 1) the art of asking questions, moved by crisis; 2) a transcendental inquiry into the conditions of possibility for meaningful experience; 3) a quasi-transcendental, historically-grounded study of particular lifeworlds; 4) a (situated and interested) analysis of power; 5) the problematization of basic concepts and methods; and 6) a praxis of freedom that seeks not only to interpret the meaning of lived experience, but also to change the conditions under which horizons of possibility for meaning, action, and relationship are wrongfully limited or foreclosed. While the first two dimensions of critique are alive and well in classical phenomenology, the others help to articulate what is distinctive about critical phenomenology.