UB Professor Honored By Philosophy Community

Release Date: November 12, 1998 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Kah Kyung Cho of Williamsville, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University at Buffalo, has been honored with a festschrift on the occasion of the 16th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Society for Phenomenology.

Cho is an internationally recognized author and expert in the philosophical fields of phenomenology, existentialism and hermeneutics. He has identified himself with the eastern philosophy of nature typified by Lao-tsu, helping to make possible a meeting of East and West at a very deep level. He also has immersed himself in a half century of German phenomenology, for which he has become well-known among German philosophers.

Cho has been affiliated with UB for 30 years, first as a visiting Fulbright Professor in 1967-68, then as a member of the UB philosophy faculty since 1970. He also is associated with UB's Korean Studies Program.

The society published the festschrift -- a volume of writings by different authors presented as a tribute to a scholar -- under the title "Phenomenology of Nature." It includes articles by five German philosophers, four Japanese scholars, three Americans and one Austrian.

Four of the German scholars -- Otto Pöggeler, Ernst Wolfgang Orth, Klaus Held and Bernard Waldenfels -- have served as president of the German Phenomenological Society, a position now held by the Austrian contributor, Helmuth Vetter. Another of the contributors, Seung-Chong Lee of Seoul's Yonsei University, received his doctorate in philosophy from UB.

The unifying theme of the volume is the naturalness of nature, which is one of Cho's lifelong research topics and one in which he critically confronted Edmund Husserl's "constitutive phenomenology," which tended to reduce nature to a correlate of human consciousness. Although Martin Heidegger largely overcame this methodologically constrained view of Husserl, Cho demonstrated that Heidegger, too, was not entirely free from the anthropocentric vision of the universe.

A native of Korea, Cho is a graduate of Seoul National University and received his doctorate from the University of Heidelberg.

He is the author of "Philosophy of Existence" and co-author of "Ontology," but is best known in German scholarly circles for his book "Bewusstsein und Natursein," which has been translated into Japanese and Korean. He also has edited several anthologies and has written more than 60 articles published in German, Japanese, Korean and English.

Cho serves on the editorial boards of the international phenomenological journals Husserl Studies and Phänomenologie -- Texte und Kontexte, and as general editor of Orbis Phaenomenologicus, the prestigious international publications series written by the world's leading phenomenological scholars.

He has been a visiting professor at Yale University; the University of Texas at Austin; Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany; Japan's Osaka University, where he lectured as a fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and at Soon Sil University in Seoul.

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