Michael Gubser F'11
Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships 2011
James Madison University
The Far Reaches: Ethics, Phenomenology, and the Call for Social Renewal in Twentieth-Century Central Europe
Although German phenomenology is sometimes discounted as overly epistemological and solipsistic, the movement produced systematic reflection on moral concerns as well as ardent calls to renew European societies facing crisis in interwar Europe and, later, the Communist bloc. The self-appointed mandate to lead a philosophical-cum-social renewal informed the tradition’s wider purposes and, in the hands of East European dissidents, reshaped contemporary politics. This project traces the history of phenomenological ethics in Central Europe from its founders Franz Brentano and Edmund Husserl through its reception in East Central Europe by dissident thinkers such as Jan Patocka and Karol Wojtyla.