How we look at the world is informed mainly by our assumptions and the ways in which we rationalise them. Seldom do we rely - or allow ourselves to rely - on 'gut thinking' or intuition.Intending the World shows how rationalism, which is our primary approach in thinking about world affairs, is in crisis. By studying the world rationalistically, we objectify it and we look at it as detached from ourselves. But in doing so, we cease to see that we are using a perspective that limits as well as enlightens.In a disciplinary first, Ralph Pettman provides an account of twenty-first century international relations in terms of phenomenology - one of the main philosophical attempts to compensate for these limits. He explores how this re-embedded use of reason can successfully describe and explain world affairs in ways unused by rationalists.Intending the World follows the lead of the German philosopher Edmund Husserl. It looks at the world not only in terms of things-in-themselves, but also in terms of why it is we keep willing the world the way we do.
Ralph Pettman is Director of the Master of International Politics program at the University of Melbourne. He has held teaching and research appointments at several prestigious universities including Princeton University, the University of Sydney and Cambridge University, and also worked at the Australian Human Rights Commission and the ABC. He is the author of several books, including World Politics: rationalism and beyond.