The Things Themselves

Phenomenology and the Return to the Everyday

By H. Peter Steeves

Subjects: American Culture
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791468548, 266 pages, August 2006
Hardcover : 9780791468531, 266 pages, August 2006

Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Section I: The Animal as First Philosophy


1. Monkey See

2. Illicit Crossings: The Familiar Other and the Feral Self

3. Lost Dog


Section II: The Good, the True, and the Beautiful


4. Being Beautiful Abs: Kiana, Christ, and the Gang at ESPN2

5. Cézanne’s Out

6. She Knows What You Did Last Summer: Feminist Epistemology and the Scientific Ideal


Section III: Away from Home


7. Mars Attacked! Interplanetary Environmental Ethics and the Science of Life

8. A Phenomenologist in the Magic Kingdom: Experience, Meaning, and Being at Disneyland

9. Las Vegas, Las Vegas

10. These Hits to the Body 



Essays on phenomenological encounters with the world.


Taking Edmund Husserl's dictum to heart yet finding in it a new direction, The Things Themselves is an attempt to return philosophy to the world and, in so doing, know ourselves and our place in that world anew. The book deals with the myriad ways in which a phenomenological approach to philosophy can inform commonplace experiences and understanding. From a trip to Disneyland to a morning spent watching television exercise shows, from the commitment to become a vegetarian to the choice to become a political revolutionary, this book breaks down the barrier between theory and praxis, demanding that we both investigate and hold ourselves accountable to this world. Written in an accessible yet philosophically rigorous style, H. Peter Steeves not only attempts to return philosophy to the world but also to return philosophy to the nonspecialist, to those simply interested in the simplest things, the things themselves that fill our lives but inevitably, and most wondrously, prove anything but simple.

H. Peter Steeves is Associate Professor of Philosophy at DePaul University. He is the author of Animal Others: On Ethics, Ontology, and Animal Life, also published by SUNY Press, and Founding Community: A Phenomenological-Ethical Inquiry.