Author's Response to Timothy Leonard
I wrote the bulk of Folk Phenomenology when I was unable to understand it. It began as my doctoral dissertation at Ohio State University and I edited it for five years after graduation, oscillating between enthusiasm and despair. If I am being honest, I still feel this way about the book. More and more, selective concepts seem more fruitful than the work as a whole. It is not as systematic as I once thought it was. It lacks the development that might have better revealed that phenomenology is not a wholly static or dynamic affair—there is more to reality than well-regulated descriptions. I underestimated the moral significance of ontology because of my allergic reaction to overdetermined normative accounts of ethics and thinly veiled prescriptive politics. I still do not feel bad about rejecting logic-chopping epistemology and popular psychological mumbo jumbo, but I can see that there are other senses of meaning and thought that must be accounted for.