Can you suspend belief in everything? An intellectual challenge

Unthinkable: Phenomenology may make your head hurt but it’s trying ‘to teach us to see again’

What ‘shows itself’ when you consider a cup of coffee, the phenomenologist asks. Photograph: Getty images

What ‘shows itself’ when you consider a cup of coffee, the phenomenologist asks. Photograph: Getty images

Hold up a freshly brewed cup of coffee. What’s going on? Do you see the liquid, the colours decorating the cup and steam rising? Or is all of this “showing itself” to you? 

Welcome to the weird world of phenomenology. Or welcome back for those readers whose appetites were whetted by this column’s recent venture into “philosophy’s answer to jazz”.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.