The philosophical oeuvre of Eugene Gendlin is hardly as known as his psychological work, although it is his philosophy, as Gendlin emphasizes, that heavily inspired his psychological theory and practice.
Gendlin's Philosophy thinks together, what is mostly held apart: language, cultural meaning and living process. On account of Gendlin's interdisciplinarity, he integrates a kind of evidence (the therapeutic practise) in his reflection on language and it's functions, that is missing or even ignored in most contemporary work on language. By understanding meaning, language and body-process together, he changes the implications of those very notions in an unusual way. Language has never yet been considered so closely in it's connections to the body. This poses new questions: how must we conceive of our body, that something like "felt sense" is possible, how must we think of language, if concentrating on what we like to say brings out the words already finely ordered, why can saying something sometimes change our bodily feel? Gendlin presupposes a kind of order, that does not come about through our imposing of structures, notions and concepts but works in interaction with them. The order he is pointing to seems to belong to the characteristics of living process.
The project aims at laying out this approach on language, meaning and body in a systematic way. It wants to highlight the American (pragmatic) and European (phenomenological) roots of this thinking and point out the unusual point and consequence of this philosophy in close dialogue with current philosophical debate.
Gendlin's philosophy had a great impact on psychological theory and practise. It's impact on a philosophical, and also scientific practise is yet to be discovered. This will concern the meaning of practise for the creation of meaning in general. To be aware of thinking not only as reflecting our experience but as a kind of experiencing itself, has consequences for philosophy and research in ways, that are being explored by methods of Gendlin's school (e.g. Thinking at the Edge). How a kind philosophical practice may inspire therapeutical, creative and scientific practise is one of the aims my work would like to pursue.