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Interiority, Exteriority and the Realm of Intentionality

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The realm of intentionality is definitive of phenomenology as a reflective methodology. Yet it is precisely the focus on the intentional given that has been condemned recently. Speculative realism (e.g. Meillassoux, 2008/2006) argues that phenomenology is unsatisfactory since the reduction to the intentional realm excludes the ‘external’, i.e. reality independent of consciousness. This criticism allows me to clarify the nature of intentionality. Material phenomenology finds, in contrast, that the intentional realm excludes the ‘inner’ (‘auto-affective life’—Henry, 1973/1963). This criticism allows me to discuss the way in which ipseity enters as an element of experience. Intentionality, viewed psychologically, is rightly the distinct arena of phenomenological psychology. However, there is no doubting the difficulty of maintaining a research focus precisely on the realm of intentionality; there are aporias of the reduction. I discuss some of the difficulties.

Affiliations: 1: Sheffield Hallam University UK


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