25 June 2020

Anthropological Epochés: Phenomenology and the Ontological Turn

Professor Morten Axel Pedersen has contributed to the journal Philosophy of the Social Sciences with the article ‘Anthropological Epochés: Phenomenology and the Ontological Turn’.

The article has two objectives. In the first part, Morten Axel Pedersen presents a critical overview of the extensive anthropological literature that may be deemed “phenomenological.” Following this critique, which is built up around a classification into four different varieties of phenomenological anthropology, he discusses the relationship between phenomenological anthropology and the ontological turn (OT).

Contrary to received wisdom within the anthropological discipline, Morten Axel Pedersen suggests that OT has several things in common with the phenomenological project. For the same reason, he argues, it is not accurate to posit OT and phenomenology as opposing or antagonistic projects, as they are often depicted among critics and advocates of OT alike. On the contrary, he suggests, OT may be understood as one of the most concerted attempts anthropology has produced to realise a distinctly anthropological version of Husserl’s method of phenomenological bracketing, namely what could be called the ontological epoché.

The article can be accessed here.