Ádám Takács Phenomenology, Materiality and the Challenge of Realism

The term ‘realism’ acts like a battle-cry on the contemporary philosophical scene. It is directed against transcendental claims and positions, and their anthropological presuppositions, thus it targets phenomenology in the first place. With this context in mind, this talk seeks to address the question whether and to what extent phenomenology should and can meet the challenge of new realism. I will proceed in two steps. I will first discuss briefly the question of the status of ‘reality’ and ‘material reality’ in some of the predominant approaches in phenomenological thinking (Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty). I will argue that although phenomenology debuted as a realist project, the question of reality, and along with it that of materiality too, have been gradually and radically sidelined in the development of the phenomenological movement. In the second step, I will try to discern the most important features of a phenomenological position and method seeking to account for the factical reality in its material constitution. Through these maneuvers I am hoping to be able to get to the point where the importance of the relationship between materiality and temporality can be brought into the forefront of philosophical investigations.

Participants: Lazar Atanasković and Damir Smiljanić (Faculty of Philosophy, Novi Sad), Srđan Prodanović, Olga Nikolić, Igor Cvejić, Miloš Ćipranić, Rastko Jovanov, Željko Radinković and Mark Losoncz (IFDT).

Ádám Takács is senior lecturer at the Atelier Department of European Social Sciences and Historiography at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. He earned his PhD with a dissertation written on Husserl’s notion of fundament (Grund) at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris in 2009. Since then, he has been equally engaged in a philosophical research dedicated to the question of ‘temporal materialism’, and in various projects on Foucault, the Annales School, and the history of Marxism.