Phenomenology is a philosophical movement launched in Germany at the turn of the 20th century. Its basic tenet is to set aside theoretical prejudices and let different natural, social and human phenomena show themselves as they are, allowing philosophers to gain a clear grasp of the various phenomena and to further reflect on them. Since its beginnings a century ago, the influence of phenomenology has reached every corner of the globe - by now there are already more than one hundred phenomenology-related research institutes in the world - and academic areas in which phenomenology has played a part are every increasing in number, literature, film and theatre studies, sociology, aesthetics, linguistics, religious studies, architecture, law, education, medicine and nursing, and anthropology. Phenomenology has proven itself to be one of the most influential and widely applicable movements in contemporary philosophy.

As a movement across cultures, phenomenology has also gained a significant foothold in the Chinese-speaking world. In recent years, academic organizations devoted to phenomenological research have been founded at Peking University, Sun Yat-sen University, National Sun Yat-sen University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where the Research Centre for Phenomenology and the Human Sciences was established in 2002 and has been playing a constructive role in the region. Colleagues in the Department of Philosophy at the Chinese University have been working actively in phenomenology for years. They have developed a close relationship with scholars of phenomenology from all over the world. Over the years, the department has organized conferences jointly with major phenomenological organizations in the outside world and China, including the German Society for Phenomenology, the Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology, USA, and the Department of Philosophy of Peking University.

The establishment of the Archive for Phenomenology & Contemporary Philosophy at CUHK makes a new phase in the development of phenomenology in Hong Kong, in China as well as in Asia. Building on our considerable experience in the field, contact network, and library resources on phenomenology, the Archive will be devoted to collecting, editing and translating phenomenology classics and to promoting research on phenomenology and related issues. The meaning of this archival work can be compared to the introduction of Buddhism into China and the translation of Buddhist classics into Chinese during the period from the Eastern Han to the Tang Dynasty. From a historical perspective, the work of our Archive is a long term investment in our cultural infrastructure, which is also of fundamental importance to the promotion of intercultural and interdisciplinary understanding.


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