Husserlian Phenomenology and Darwinian Evolutionary Biology: Complementarities, Exemplifications, and Implications

Seminar | February 10 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

 Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, University of Oregon

 Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Descriptive foundations and a concern with origins are integral to both Husserlian phenomenology and Darwinian evolutionary biology. The complementary aspects are rooted in the lifeworld as it is experienced. Detailed specifications of the complementary aspects testify to a mutual relevance of phenomenology to evolutionary biology and of evolutionary biology to phenomenology. Exemplifications of the mutual relevance are given in terms of both human and nonhuman agentive abilities. The experiential exemplifications show that agentive abilities are rooted in the kinetic sequence: I move, I do, I can. The kinetic sequence in turn testifies to an ability to think in movement, a thinking that engenders corporeal concepts. It also, however, attests to the need for a veritable phenomenology of learning on the one hand and for a veritable recognition of mindful bodies on the other, mindful bodies that are a driving force both in the evolution of animate forms of life and in the evolution of repertoires of I cans.