getting back to arguments

For some time now I’ve been writing a dissertation in phenomenology which deals particularly with Levinas and Merleau-Ponty. Not only is the phenomenologist’s argumentative mode one which adduces its evidence, rather than deducing or inducing, it tends to forgo the pursuit of arguments as we typically find them in classical philosophical texts. This is less true about Levinas than Merleau-Ponty. Perhaps we can call phenomenology a kind of ‘adduction’. Now that the new semester is upon us, I’ve been preparing to teach ethics, and have chosen some standard texts–Aristotle, Epictetus, Kant, Mill, Nietzsche. And I’ve been delighted to sit down and trudge though good old-fashioned argumentation. In fact, I can say that I’ve acquired a bit of a thirst for analytic philosophy, partly due to an allergic reaction to the limitations of phenomenological method. The irony here is that I was initially attracted to phenomenology as an undergraduate because of what I perceived to be the limitations imposed on thinking, or rather experience, by the analytics.