The World Unclaimed
A Challenge to Heidegger's Critique of Husserl

By Lilian Alweiss

The World Unclaimed is a truly philosophical text and a solid work of scholarly erudition. It provides an excellent presentation of the issues at stake in the disagreement between Heidegger and Husserl and gives the latter a second chance without falling into Husserlian apologetics. I am impressed by Alweiss's uncommon familiarity with both continental and analytic philosophy and by the maturity of her philosophical judgments.”

Rudolf Bernet, Director of the Husserl Archive and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Leuven, Belgium

"In this exceptionally stimulating book Dr. Alweiss effectively shows how the traditionally central problem of the relation between the perceiving subject and the so-called external world can be illuminated through a closely argued reading of such paradigmatically "continental" philosophers as Husserl and Heidegger. It should appeal to an unusually wide range of philosophers of otherwise quite different backgrounds and interests. In particular, contemporary analytic philosophers concerned with the problems of knowledge and perception may learn much from seeing their problems argued out in the context and language of a prima facie very different tradition from their own."

Alan Montefiore, Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford

The World Unclaimed argues that Heidegger's critique of modern epistemology in Being and Time is seriously flawed. Heidegger believes he has done away with epistemological problems concerning the external world by showing that the world is an existential structure of Dasein. However, the author argues that Heidegger fails to make good his claim that he has “rescued” the phenomenon of the world, which he believes the tradition of philosophy has bypassed. Heidegger fails not only to reclaim the world but also to acknowledge its loss. Alweiss thus calls into question Heidegger's claim that ontology is more fundamental than epistemology.

The World Unclaimed develops its powerful critique of Being and Time by arguing for a return to Husserl. It draws on Husserl's insight that it is the moving and sensing body that discloses how we are already familiar with the world. Kinaesthesia provides a key for understanding our relation to the world. The author thus suggests that thinkers in the vein of Husserl and Kant -who, for Heidegger, epitomize the tradition of modern philosophy by returning to a “worldless subject”- may provide us with the resources to reclaim the phenomenon of the world that Being and Time sets out to salvage.

Alweiss's fresh and innovative study demonstrates that it is possible to overcome epistemological skepticism without ever losing sight of the phenomenon of the world. Moreover, Alweiss challenges us to reconsider the relation between Husserl and Heidegger by providing a forceful defense of Husserl's critique of cognition.


Lilian Alweiss is a lecturer in philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin. She is the author of a number of articles and has edited a special issue on McDowell's Mind and World for the Journal of the British Society of Phenomenology.

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Series in Continental Thought

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Philosophy

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Hardcover

978-0-8214-1464-4
Retail price: $49.95, S.
Release date: Jul. 2003
272 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights: World

Electronic

978-0-8214-4086-5
Release date: Jul. 2003
≅ 272 pages