2010-2013: Habitus, Memory, Sediment: Facets of a Phenomenological Approach to Tradition


The project deals with the problem of tradition in phenomenology. To this extent, it aims to combine the structural perspectives offered by three great areas of phenomenological research: memory, habit and sedimentation. All three represent manners in which, at the elementary level of everyday life-world, we are able to carry along, assume and assimilate our lived past. Our starting point is the analysis of the life-world conducted by Husserl and Heidegger. The life-world is the horizon of our daily practical life, and as such it represents the primary field of all constitution of meaning. In view of the dimension of the life-world, we seek to document the forms, the functions and the structure of the way we retain our own lived past, by trying to find their unity in the phenomenon called by Husserl traditionalizing. Our research will systematically lay out, by means of a rigorous exegesis, the significance of Husserl’s conception, also following its later developments in the work of other phenomenologists, like Heidegger, Gadamer, Ricœur, Patočka, Schütz, or Alexandru Dragomir. Finally, we wish to sketch out a few concrete hermeneutical applications, by analyzing some exemplary phenomena of everyday life-world, like the wearing of habitual things (Dragomir, 2005), past-depositing objects (photography, souvenir), the familiarity of lived spaces, the habitual forms of everyday motivational processes, like routine, boredom or monotony etc. Through our entire research, we will emphasize the points in which philosophical conceptual analysis need to be further complemented by empirical sciences like psychology, sociology or cultural studies.

Project director: Dr. Christian Ferencz-Flatz