Central and East European
Society for Phenomenology

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Life and the natural world in the early work of Jan Patočka (1930–1945)

Karel Novotný(Charles University)

pp. 187-202


This article is a brief overview of Jan Patočka's early interpretation of phenomenology in his academic writings based, on the one hand, on his 1931 doctoral dissertation and his 1936 habilitation thesis, and, on the other hand, on his first critical revision and his own conception of transcendental phenomenology put forward in an important group of manuscripts written between 1940 and 1945, which have recently been published in his Collected Works. The article examines these texts closely and focuses on Patočka's attempts to link phenomenology with a philosophy of life. Important motifs that shaped Patočka's philosophy beginning in the early 1940s were his reflections on the sources of evidence in life, the unity of the world in the life of transcendental subjectivity and a "deeper life-correlation" with nature.

Publication details

Published in:

Płotka Witold, Eldridge Patrick (2020). Early phenomenology in Central and Eastern Europe: main figures, ideas, and problems, Springer, Dordrecht.

Pages: 187-202

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-39623-7_11

Full citation:

Novotný Karel (2020). Life and the natural world in the early work of Jan Patočka (1930–1945), in W. Płotka & P. Eldridge (eds.), Early phenomenology in Central and Eastern Europe, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 187-202.