Jan Patocka: Philosophy and Selected Writings

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University of Chicago Press, Aug 15, 1989 - Biography & Autobiography - 386 pages
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One of the most important Central European philosophers of this century, Jan Patocka (1907-77) was a student and heir of Masaryk, Husserl, and Heidegger as well as a philosopher and historian of ideas in his own right. Patocka, who was forced to retire prematurely from Charles University in Prague for his political convictions, died of a brain hemorrhage while under Czech police interrogation for having signed the human rights manifesto Charta 77. Although many of his works are available in French and German, in this volume Erazim Kohák has translated Patocka's central philosophical texts into English for the first time.

As a student and personal friend of Husserl, Patocka was keenly aware of the focal role of reason in the constitution of experienced reality. Simultaneously, as a student of Heidegger, he was no less aware of the irreducible autonomy of that reality. This double recognition led Patocka on a lifelong philosophical quest for a synthesis that would bridge modernity's split between the freedom of humans and the givenness of the world and, more broadly, between the Enlightenment and romanticism. For the philosophical reader, Patocka's perceptive writings provide the most helpful key to understanding the basic modern dialogue acted out by Husserl and Heidegger. Yet Patocka, widely respected for his writings on culture and the arts as well as for his studies of J. A. Comenius and the history of science, offers much more: a comprehensive attempt to come to terms with our intellectual heritage and our divided present.

Kohák, as well as translating the writings, provides a comprehensive introduction, covering the full scope of Patocka's thought, and a complete bibliography of his writings. The result is an intellectually rich volume equally well suited as an introduction to Patocka, an advanced study in phenomenology, and a historical insight into philosophy behind the Iron Curtain since 1938.

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The Death of a Philosopher
The Philosophical Vocation
The Idea of the Natural World
The Idea of Reason
Socrates Plato Aristotle
The End of Metaphysics and Negative Platonism
From Ancient Cosmos to the World of Modern Science
Husserl and Heidegger
Charta 77
Titanism 1936
A Herderian Study 1942
Reflections concerning the Rise the Scope and
The Phenomenological Reduction
Edmund Husserls Philosophy of the Crisis of the Sciences and
The Natural World and Phenomenology 1967
A Selection from Body Community

Husserls Philosophy and Phenomenology
Husserls Transcendental Turn
The Natural World and the SubjectBody
The Hardness of the Real
Heidegger and Plato
The Dangers of Technicization in Science according to E Husserl and
Two Charta 77 Texts 1977
Index of Names

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About the author (1989)

Erazim Koh k, professor of philosophy at Boston University, is the author of Ideas and Experience and The Embers and the Stars, published by the University of Chicago Press.

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