At the Heart of Reason

Cloth Text – $120.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-3138-5

Paper Text – $45.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-3137-8
Publication Date
October 2015
Page Count
656 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

At the Heart of Reason

Translated from the French by Michael B. Smith and Claude Romano

In At the Heart of Reason, Claude Romano boldly calls for a reformulation of the phenomenological project. He contends that the main concern of phenomenology, and its originality with respect to other philosophical movements of the last century, such as logical empiricism, the grammatical philosophy of Wittgenstein, and varieties of neo-Kantianism, was to provide a "new image of Reason."

Against the common view, which restricts the range of reason to logic and truth-theory alone, Romano advocates "big-hearted rationality," including in it what is only ostensibly its opposite, that is, sensibility, and locating in sensibility itself the roots of the categorical forms of thought. Contrary to what was claimed by the "linguistic turn," language is not a self-enclosed domain; it cannot be conceived in its specificity unless it is led back to its origin in the pre-predicative or pre-linguistic structures of experience itself.

About the Author

CLAUDE ROMANO teaches at the University of Paris-Sorbonne and Australian Catholic University.   . His most recent works translated into English are Event and Time (2013) and Event and World (2009).

MICHAEL B. SMITH is a professor emeritus of French and philosophy at Berry College in Georgia; he has translated numerous philosophical works into English.


"Claude Romano, one of the leading phenomenologists of his generation, takes on a crucial challenge: to compare so-called continental phenomenology and its analytic opponents. Very well aware of both traditions, his impressive scholarship explains why phenomenology, if revisited and revised, may remain the living heart of rationality for the future."
--Jean-Luc Marion, author of Reduction and Givenness: Investigations of Husserl, Heidegger, and Phenomenology

Claude Romano's magnificent book comes as a breath of fresh air. Not content to interpret the texts of this or that great phenomenologist of the past, Romano’s concern is to return phenomenology to its original ambition of describing "the things themselves," the essential features of human experience. He focuses on the underlying assumptions that have always animated the phenomenological movement, then revises and enriches them by way of a dialogue with opposing views that are current today. The result is a book that all philosophers will read with interest and profit, whatever their philosophical affiliation.
--Charles Larmore, author of The Practices of the Self