I am filled with joy at the opportunity to talk about the new phenomenology at this most venerable place of French learning, and for very special reasons. No philosopher of the past has affected the sense of phenomenology as decisively as René Descartes, France’s greatest thinker. Phenomenology must honor him as its genuine patriarch. It must be said explicitly that the study of Descartes’ Meditations has influenced directly the formation of the developing phenomenology and given it its present form, to such an extent that phenomenology might almost be called a new, a twentieth century, Cartesianism.
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