Contemporary Greek Philosophy at the Crossroads: Neokantianism - Existentialism - Phenomenology


  • Golfo Maggini University of loannina


Includes image: 'virgin mary with a book', 1932.


During the first two decades of the 20th century, Greece’s philosophical scene was dominated by neokantianism. In the so called “Heidelberg group” of philosophers we come across a company of people educated in post-WW 1 Germany, close to some of the most influential philosophers of their time. Immersed in neokantianism, the triad Theodorakopoulos-Tsatsos-Kanellopoulos served the spirit of this philosophical school not just within the university classroom, but also for a much wider public. Within this dominant framework, what was the role and significance of other philosophical trends, such as phenomenology, in the genesis of contemporary Greek philosophy? The main working hypothesis of our research is that the phenomenological movement in Greece was caught since its beginning in the tension between two dominant philosophical currents, neokantianism and existentialism. A more serious effort to cope with phenomenological thought on a systematic basis began in the 1980s. It was accompanied by the increasing recognition of phenomenology as an autonomous field of European philosophy within the Greek academic community. We will then try to demonstrate that this was contingent to the way in which Greek philosophy evolved in the 20th century, inside as well as outside the academia.