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Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl

Edmund Husserl
Full name Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl
Born April 8, 1859 (Prostějov, Moravia)
Died April 28, 1938 (aged 79) (Freiburg, Germany)
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Phenomenology
Main interests Epistemology, Mathematics
Notable ideas Epoché, Natural Standpoint, Noema, Noesis, Eidetic Reduction, Retention and protention, Phenomenology

Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (German pronunciation: [ˈhʊsɛʁl]; April 8, 1859, Prostějov, Moravia, Austrian Empire – April 26, 1938, Freiburg, Germany) was a philosopher who is deemed the founder of phenomenology. He broke with the positivist orientation of the science and philosophy of his day, believing that experience is the source of all knowledge, while at the same time he elaborated critiques of psychologism and historicism.

Born into a Moravian Jewish family, he was baptized as a Lutheran in 1887. Husserl studied mathematics under Karl Weierstrass, completing a Ph.D. under Leo Königsberger, and studied philosophy under Franz Brentano and Carl Stumpf. Husserl taught philosophy, as a Privatdozent at Halle from 1887, then as professor, first at Göttingen from 1901, then at Freiburg im Breisgau from 1916 until his 1928 retirement.

Husserl's teaching and writing influenced, among others, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Alfred Schütz, Paul Ricœur, Jacques Derrida,Dietrich von Hildebrand and Francisco Varela.

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Biography

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Education and early works

Husserl was born in 1859 into a Jewish family in Prostějov, a town that was then in the Austrian Empire, after 1918 a part of Czechoslovakia, and since 1993 a part of the Czech Republic.

He initially studied mathematics at the universities of Leipzig (1876) and Berlin (1878), under Karl Weierstrass and Leopold Kronecker. In 1881 he went to Vienna to study under the supervision of Leo Königsberger (a former student of Weierstrass), obtaining the Ph.D. in 1883 with the work Beiträge zur Variationsrechnung ("Contributions to the Calculus of Variations").

In 1884, he began to attend Franz Brentano's lectures on psychology and philosophy at the University of Vienna. Husserl was so impressed by Brentano that he decided to dedicate his life to philosophy. In 1886 Husserl went to the University of Halle to obtain his Habilitation with Carl Stumpf, a former student of Brentano. Under his supervision he wrote Über den Begriff der Zahl (On the concept of Number; 1887) which would serve later as the base for his first major work, Philosophie der Arithmetik (1891).

In these first works he tries to combine mathematics, psychology and philosophy with a main goal to provide a sound foundation for mathematics. He analyzes the psychological process needed to obtain the concept of number and then tries to build up a systematical theory on this analysis. To achieve this he uses several methods and concepts taken from his teachers. From Weierstrass he derives the idea that we generate the concept of number by counting a certain collection of objects. From Brentano and Stumpf he takes over the distinction between proper and improper presenting. In an example Husserl explains this in the following way: if you are standing in front of a house, you have a proper, direct presentation of that house, but if you are looking for it and ask for directions, then these directions (e.g. the house on the corner of this and that street) are an indirect, improper presentation. In other words, you can have a proper presentation of an object if it is actually present, and an improper (or symbolic as he also calls it) if you only can indicate that object through signs, symbols, etc. Husserl's 1901 Logical Investigations is considered the starting point for the formal theory of wholes and their parts known as mereology.[1]

Another important element that Husserl took over from Brentano is intentionality, the notion that the main characteristic of consciousness is that it is always intentional. While often simplistically summarised as "aboutness" or the relationship between mental acts and the external world, Brentano defined it as the main characteristic of mental phenomena, by which they could be distinguished from physical phenomena. Every mental phenomenon, every psychological act, has a content, is directed at an object (the intentional object). Every belief, desire, etc. has an object that it is about: the believed, the wanted. Brentano used the expression "intentional inexistence" to indicate the status of the objects of thought in the mind. The property of being intentional, of having an intentional object, was the key feature to distinguish mental phenomena and physical phenomena, because physical phenomena lack intentionality altogether.

The elaboration of phenomenology

Some years after the publication of his main work, the Logische Untersuchungen (Logical Investigations; first edition, 1900-1901), Husserl made some key conceptual elaborations which led him to assert that in order to study the structure of consciousness, one would have to distinguish between the act of consciousness and the phenomena at which it is directed (the objects as intended). Knowledge of essences would only be possible by "bracketing" all assumptions about the existence of an external world. This procedure he called epoché. These new concepts prompted the publication of the Ideen (Ideas) in 1913, in which they were at first incorporated, and a plan for a second edition of the Logische Untersuchungen.

From the Ideen onward, Husserl concentrated on the ideal, essential structures of consciousness. The metaphysical problem of establishing the material reality of what we perceive was of little interest to Husserl in spite of his being a transcendental idealist. Husserl proposed that the world of objects and ways in which we direct ourselves toward and perceive those objects is normally conceived of in what he called the "natural standpoint", which is characterized by a belief that objects materially exist and exhibit properties that we see as emanating from them. Husserl proposed a radical new phenomenological way of looking at objects by examining how we, in our many ways of being intentionally directed toward them, actually "constitute" them (to be distinguished from materially creating objects or objects merely being figments of the imagination); in the Phenomenological standpoint, the object ceases to be something simply "external" and ceases to be seen as providing indicators about what it is, and becomes a grouping of perceptual and functional aspects that imply one another under the idea of a particular object or "type". The notion of objects as real is not expelled by phenomenology, but "bracketed" as a way in which we regard objects instead of a feature that inheres in an object's essence founded in the relation between the object and the perceiver. In order to better understand the world of appearances and objects, phenomenology attempts to identify the invariant features of how objects are perceived and pushes attributions of reality into their role as an attribution about the things we perceive (or an assumption underlying how we perceive objects).

In a later period, Husserl began to wrestle with the complicated issues of intersubjectivity, specifically, how communication about an object can be assumed to refer to the same ideal entity (Cartesian Meditations, Meditation V). Husserl tries new methods of bringing his readers to understand the importance of phenomenology to scientific inquiry (and specifically to psychology) and what it means to "bracket" the natural attitude. The Crisis of the European Sciences is Husserl's unfinished work that deals most directly with these issues. In it, Husserl for the first time attempts a historical overview of the development of Western philosophy and science, emphasizing the challenges presented by their increasingly (one-sidedly) empirical and naturalistic orientation. Husserl declares that mental and spiritual reality possess their own reality independent of any physical basis,[2] and that a science of the mind ('Geisteswissenschaft') must be established on as scientific a foundation as the natural sciences have managed:

"It is my conviction that intentional phenomenology has for the first time made spirit as spirit the field of systematic scientific experience, thus effecting a total transformation of the task of knowledge."[3]

The Nazi era

Professor Husserl was denied the use of the library at Freiburg as a result of the anti-Jewish legislation the Nazis passed in April 1933. It is rumoured that his former pupil and Nazi Party member, Martin Heidegger, informed Husserl that he was discharged, but Heidegger later denied this, labelling it as slander[4]. Heidegger (whose philosophy Husserl considered to be the result of a faulty departure from, and grave misunderstanding of, Husserl's own teachings and methods) removed the dedication to Husserl from his most widely known work, Being and Time, when it was reissued in 1941. This was not due to diminishing relations between the two philosophers, however, but rather as a result of a suggested censorship by Heidegger's publisher who feared that the book may be banned by the Nazi regime[4]. The dedication can still be found in a footnote on page 38, thanking Husserl for his guidance and generosity. The philosophical relation between Husserl and Heidegger is discussed at length by Bernard Stiegler in the film The Ister.

After his death, Husserl's manuscripts, amounting to approximately 40,000 pages of "Gabelsberger" stenography and his complete research library, were smuggled to Belgium by Herman Van Breda in 1939 and deposited at Leuven to form the Husserl-Archives of the Higher Institute of Philosophy. Much of the material in his research manuscripts has been published in the Husserliana critical edition series.

The Philosophy of Edmund Husserl

Meaning and Object in Husserl

From Logical Investigations (1900/1901) to Experience and Judgment (published in 1939), Husserl expressed clearly the difference between meaning and object. He identified several different kinds of names. For example, there are names that have the role of properties that uniquely identify an object. Each of these names express a meaning and designate the same object. Examples of this are "the victor in Jena" and "the loser in Waterloo", or "the equilateral triangle" and "the equiangular triangle"; in both cases, both names express different meanings, but designate the same object. There are names which have no meaning, but have the role of designating an object: "Aristotle", "Socrates", and so on. Finally, there are names which designate a variety of objects. These are called "universal names"; their meaning is a "concept" and refers to a series of objects (the extension of the concept). The way we know sensible objects is called "sensible intuition".

Husserl also identifies a series of "formal words" which are necessary to form sentences and have no sensible correlates. Examples of formal words are "a", "the", "more than", "over", "under", "two", "group", and so on. Every sentence must contain formal words to designate what Husserl calls "formal categories". There are two kinds of categories: meaning categories and formal-ontological categories. Meaning categories relate judgments; they include forms of conjunction, disjunction, forms of plural, among others. Formal-ontological categories relate objects and include notions such as set, cardinal number, ordinal number, part and whole, relation, and so on. The way we know these categories is through a faculty of understanding called "categorial intuition".

Through sensible intuition our consciousness constitutes what Husserl calls a "situation of affairs" (Sachlage). It is a passive constitution where objects themselves are presented to us. To this situation of affairs, through categorial intuition, we are able to constitute a "state of affairs" (Sachverhalt). One situation of affairs through objective acts of consciousness (acts of constituting categorially) can serve as the basis for constituting multiple states of affairs. For example, suppose a and b are two sensible objects in a certain situation of affairs. We can use it as basis to say, "a<b" and "b>a", two judgments which designate different states of affairs. For Husserl a sentence has a proposition or judgment as its meaning, and refers to a state of affairs which has a situation of affairs as a reference base.

Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics

Husserl believed that truth-in-itself has as ontological correlate being-in-itself, just as meaning categories have formal-ontological categories as correlates. Logic is a formal theory of judgment, that studies the formal a priori relations among judgments using meaning categories. Mathematics, on the other hand, is formal ontology; it studies all the possible forms of being (of objects). Hence for both logic and mathematics, the different formal categories are the objects of study, not the sensible objects themselves. The problem with the psychological approach to mathematics and logic is that it fails to account for the fact that this approach is about formal categories, and not simply about abstractions from sensibility alone. The reason why we do not deal with sensible objects in mathematics is because of another faculty of understanding called "categorial abstraction." Through this faculty we are able to get rid of sensible components of judgments, and just focus on formal categories themselves.

Thanks to "eidetic intuition" (or "essential intuition"), we are able to grasp the possibility, impossibility, necessity and contingency among concepts and among formal categories. Categorial intuition, along with categorial abstraction and eidetic intuition, are the basis for logical and mathematical knowledge.

Husserl criticized the logicians of his day for not focusing on the relation between subjective processes that give us objective knowledge of pure logic. All subjective activities of consciousness need an ideal correlate, and objective logic (constituted noematically) as it is constituted by consciousness needs a noetic correlate (the subjective activities of consciousness).

Husserl stated that logic has three strata, each further away from consciousness and psychology than those that precede it.

  • The first stratum is what Husserl called a "morphology of meanings" concerning a priori ways to relate judgments to make them meaningful. In this stratum we elaborate a "pure grammar" or a logical syntax, and he would call its rules "laws to prevent non-sense", which would be similar to what logic calls today "formation rules". Mathematics, as logic's ontological correlate, also has a similar stratum, a "morphology of formal-ontological categories".
  • The second stratum would be called by Husserl "logic of consequence" or the "logic of non-contradiction" which explores all possible forms of true judgments. He includes here syllogistic classic logic, propositional logic and that of predicates. This is a semantic stratum, and the rules of this stratum would be the "laws to avoid counter-sense" or "laws to prevent contradiction". They are very similar to today's logic "transformation rules". Mathematics also has a similar stratum which is based among others on pure theory of pluralities, and a pure theory of numbers. They provide a science of the conditions of possibility of any theory whatsoever. Husserl also talked about what he called "logic of truth" which consists of the formal laws of possible truth and its modalities, and precedes the third logical third stratum.
  • The third stratum is metalogical, what he called a "theory of all possible forms of theories." It explores all possible theories in an a priori fashion, rather than the possibility of theory in general. We could establish theories of possible relations between pure forms of theories, investigate these logical relations and the deductions from such general connection. The logician is free to see the extension of this deductive, theoretical sphere of pure logic.

The ontological correlate to the third stratum is the "theory of manifolds" In formal ontology, it is a free investigation where a mathematician can assign several meanings to several symbols, and all their possible valid deductions in a general and indeterminate manner. It is, properly speaking, the most universal mathematics of all. Through the posit of certain indeterminate objects (formal-ontological categories) as well as any combination of mathematical axioms, mathematicians can explore the apodeictic connections between them, as long as consistency is preserved.

According to Husserl, this view of logic and mathematics accounted for the objectivity of a series of mathematical developments of his time, such as n-dimensional manifolds (both Euclidean and non-Euclidean), Hermann Grassmann's theory of extensions, William Rowan Hamilton's Hamiltonians, Sophus Lie's theory of transformation groups, and Cantor's set theory.

Husserl and the Critique of Psychologism

Philosophy of Arithmetic and Frege

Some analytic philosophers suggest that Husserl, after obtaining his PhD in mathematics, began analyzing the foundations of mathematics from a psychological point of view, as a disciple of Brentano. In his professorial doctoral dissertation, On the Concept of Number (1886) and in his Philosophy of Arithmetic (1891), Husserl sought, by employing Brentano's descriptive psychology, to define the natural numbers in a way that advanced the methods and techniques of Weierstrass, Dedekind, Georg Cantor, Frege, and other contemporary mathematicians. Later, in the first volume of his Logical Investigations, the Prolegomena of Pure Logic, Husserl, while attacking the psychologistic point of view in logic and mathematics, also appears to reject much of his early work, although the forms of psychologism analysed and refuted in the Prolegomena did not apply directly to his Philosophy of Arithmetic. While some scholars point to Frege's negative review of the Philosophy of Arithmetic, this did not turn Husserl towards Platonism, because he had already discovered the work of Bernhard Bolzano around 1890/91 and explicitly mentioned Bolzano, Leibniz and Lotze as inspirations for his newer position.

The Frege industry routinely informs us that the review quite transformed poor Husserl's philosophy; but elementary attention to chronology and sources (Hill 1991a, pt. 1) shows that this claim refers far more to the False than to the True.
Ivor Grattan-Guinness, 2000. The Search for Mathematical Roots 1870-1940, p. 204

Likewise, the opinion that Husserl's notions of noema and object are due to Frege's notions of sense and reference is to commit an anachronism, because Husserl's review of Schröder, published before Frege's landmark 1892 article, clearly distinguishes sense from reference. Likewise, in his criticism of Frege in the Philosophy of Arithmetic, Husserl remarks on the distinction between the content and the extension of a concept. Moreover, the distinction between the subjective mental act, namely the content of a concept, and the (external) object, was developed independently by Brentano and his school, and may have surfaced as early as Brentano's 1870's lectures on logic.

Scholars such as J. N. Mohanty, Claire Ortiz Hill, and Guillermo E. Rosado Haddock, among others, have argued that Husserl's so-called change from psychologism to platonism came about independently of Frege's review.[5] For example, the review falsely accuses Husserl of subjectivizing everything, so that no objectivity is possible, and falsely attributes to him a notion of abstraction whereby objects disappear until we are left with numbers as mere ghosts. Contrary to what Frege states, in Husserl's Philosophy of Arithmetic we already find two different kinds of representations: subjective and objective. Moreover, objectivity is clearly defined in that work. Frege's attack seems to be directed at certain foundational doctrines then current in Weierstrass's Berlin School, of which Husserl and Cantor cannot be said to be orthodox representatives.

Furthermore, various sources indicate that Husserl changed his mind about psychologism as early as 1890, a year before he published the Philosophy of Arithmetic. Husserl stated that by the time he published that book, he had already changed his mind—that he had doubts about psychologism from the very outset. He attributed this change of mind to his reading of Leibniz, Bolzano, Lotze, and David Hume.[6] Husserl makes no mention of Frege as a decisive factor in this change. In his Logical Investigations, Husserl mentions Frege only twice, once in a footnote to point out that he had retracted three pages of his criticism of Frege's The Foundations of Arithmetic, and again to question Frege's use of the word Bedeutung to designate "reference" rather than "meaning" (sense).

In a letter dated May 24, 1891, Frege thanked Husserl for sending him a copy of the Philosophy of Arithmetic and Husserl's review of Ernst Schröder's Vorlesungen über die Algebra der Logik. In the same letter, Frege used the review of Schröder's book to analyze Husserl's notion of the sense of reference of concept words. Hence Frege recognized, as early as 1891, that Husserl distinguished between sense and reference. Consequently, Frege and Husserl independently elaborated a theory of sense and reference before 1891.

Commentators argue that Husserl's notion of noema has nothing to do with Frege's notion of sense, because noemata are necessarily fused with noeses which are the conscious activities of consciousness. Noemata have three different levels:

  • The substratum, which is never presented to the consciousness, and is the support of all the properties of the object;
  • The noematic senses, which are the different ways the objects are presented to us;
  • The modalities of being (possible, doubtful, existent, non-existent, absurd, and so on).

Consequently, in intentional activities, even non-existent objects can be constituted, and form part of the whole noema. Frege, however, did not conceive of objects as forming parts of senses: If a proper name denotes a non-existent object, it does not have a reference, hence concepts with no objects have no truth value in arguments. Moreover, Husserl did not maintain that predicates of sentences designate concepts. According to Frege the reference of a sentence is a truth value; for Husserl it is a "state of affairs." Frege's notion of "sense" is unrelated to Husserl's noema, while the latter's notions of "meaning" and "object" differ from those of Frege.

In fine, Husserl's conception of logic and mathematics differs from that of Frege, who held that arithmetic could be derived from logic. For Husserl this is not the case: mathematics (with the exception of geometry) is the ontological correlate of logic, and while both fields are related, neither one is strictly reducible to the other.

Husserl's Criticism of Psychologism

Reacting against authors such as J.St. Mill, Sigwart and his own former teacher Brentano, Husserl criticised their psychologism in mathematics and logic, i.e. their conception of these abstract and a-priori sciences as having an essentially empirical foundation and a prescriptive or descriptive nature. According to psychologism, logic would not be an autonomous discipline, but a branch of psychology, either proposing a prescriptive and practical "art" of correct judgement (as Brentano and some of his more orthodox students did) [7] or a description of the factual processes of human thought. Husserl pointed out that the failure of anti-psychologists to defeat psychologism was a result of being unable to distinguish between the foundational, theoretical side of logic, and the applied, practical side. Pure logic does not deal at all with "thoughts" or "judgings" as mental episodes but about a priori laws and conditions for any theory and any judgments whatsoever, conceived as propositions in themselves.

Here ‘Judgement’ has the same meaning as ‘proposition’, understood, not as a grammatical, but as an ideal unity of meaning. This is the case with all the distinctions of acts or forms of judgement, which provide the foundations for the laws of pure logic. Categorial, hypothetical, disjunctive, existential judgements, and however else we may call them, in pure logic are not names for classes of judgements, but for ideal forms of propositions.[8]

Since "truth-in-itself" has "being-in-itself" as ontological correlate, and since psychologists reduce truth (and hence logic) to empirical psychology, the inevitable consequence is scepticism. Psychologists have also not been successful in showing how from induction or psychological processes we can justify the absolute certainty of logical principles, such as the principles of identity and non-contradiction. It is therefore futile to base certain logical laws and principles on uncertain processes of the mind.

This confusion made by psychologism (and related disciplines such as biologism and anthropologism) can be due to three specific prejudices:

1. The first prejudice is the supposition that logic is somehow normative in nature. Husserl argues that logic is theoretical, i.e., that logic itself proposes a priori laws which are themselves the basis of the normative side of logic. Since mathematics is related to logic, he cites an example from mathematics: If we have a formula like (a+b)(a-b)=a²-b² it does not tell us how to think mathematically. It just expresses a truth. A proposition that says: "The product of the sum and the difference of a and b should give us the difference of the squares of a and b" does express a normative proposition, but this normative statement is based on the theoretical statement "(a+b)(a-b)=a²-b²".

2. For psychologists, the acts of judging, reasoning, deriving, and so on, are all psychological processes. Therefore, it is the role of psychology to provide the foundation of these processes. Husserl states that this effort made by psychologists is a "μετάβασις εἰς ἄλλο γένος" (a transgression to another field). It is a μετάβασις because psychology cannot possibly provide any foundations for a priori laws which themselves are the basis for all the ways we should think correctly. Psychologists have the problem of confusing intentional activities with the object of these activities. It is important to distinguish between the act of judging and the judgment itself, the act of counting and the number itself, and so on. Counting five objects is undeniably a psychological process, but the number 5 is not.

3. Judgments can be true or not true. Psychologists argue that judgments are true because they become "evidently" true to us. This evidence, a psychological process that "guarantees" truth, is indeed a psychological process. Husserl responds by saying that truth itself as well as logical laws always remain valid regardless of psychological "evidence" that they are true. No psychological process can explain the a priori objectivity of these logical truths.

From this criticism to psychologism, the distinction between psychological acts and their intentional objects, and the difference between the normative side of logic and the theoretical side, derives from a platonist conception of logic. This means that we should regard logical and mathematical laws as being independent of the human mind, and also as an autonomy of meanings. It is essentially the difference between the real (everything subject to time) and the ideal or irreal (everything that is atemporal), such as logical truths, mathematical entities, mathematical truths and meanings in general.

Philosophers Influenced by Husserl

Husserl is perhaps best known for the influence he had on the early work of his student Martin Heidegger, whom Husserl chose as his successor at Freiburg. Heidegger's magnum opus Being and Time was originally dedicated to Husserl. Husserl and Heidegger worked very closely at Freiburg, but, contrary to popular belief, Heidegger was never one of Husserl's assistants, at least not in an official capacity.

Hans Blumenberg received his postdoctoral qualification in 1950, with a dissertation on 'Ontological distance', an inquiry into the crisis of Husserl's phenomenology.

Hermann Weyl's interest in intuitionistic logic and impredicativity appears to have resulted from his reading of Husserl. He was introduced to Husserl's work through his wife, Helene Joseph, herself a student of Husserl at Göttingen.

Rudolf Carnap was also influenced by Husserl, not only concerning Husserl's notion of essential insight that Carnap used in his Der Raum, but also his notion of "formation rules" and "transformation rules" is founded on Husserl's philosophy of logic.

Ludwig Landgrebe became assistant to Husserl in 1923. From 1939 he collaborated with Eugen Fink at the Husserl-Archives in Leuven, authorized by Husserl. In 1954 he became leader of the Husserl-Archives. Landgrebe is known as one of Husserl's closest associates, but also for his independent views relating to history, religion and politics as seen from the viewpoints of existentialist philosophy and metaphysics.

Max Scheler met Husserl in Halle and found in his phenomenology a methodological breakthrough for his own philosophical endeavors. Even though Scheler later criticised Husserl's idealistic logical approach and proposed instead a "phenomenology of love", he states that he remained "deeply indebted" to Husserl throughout his work. Husserl also had some influence on Pope John-Paul II, which appears strongly in a work by the latter, The Acting Person, or Person and Act. It was originally published in Polish in 1969 under his pre-papal name Karol Wojtyla (in collaboration with the Polish phenomenologist Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka)[9] and combined phenomenological work with Thomistic Ethics.[10]

Maurice Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception is influenced by Edmund Husserl's work on perception and temporality, including Husserl's theory of retention and protention. Merleau-Ponty was the first student to study at the Husserl-archives in Leuven.

Wilfrid Sellars, an influential figure in the so-called "Pittsburgh school" (Robert Brandom, John McDowell) had been a student of Marvin Farber, a pupil of Husserl, and was influenced by phenomenology through him:

Marvin Farber led me through my first careful reading of the Critique of Pure Reason and introduced me to Husserl. His combination of utter respect for the structure of Husserl's thought with the equally firm conviction that this structure could be given a naturalistic interpretation was undoubtedly a key influence on my own subsequent philosophical strategy.[11]

Husserl's formal analysis of language also inspired Stanisław Leśniewski and Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz in the development of categorial grammar.[12]

Kurt Gödel expressed very strong appreciation for Husserl's work, especially with regard to "bracketing" or epoche.

Jean-Paul Sartre was also largely influenced by Husserl, although he didn't agree with every aspect of his analyses.

Colin Wilson made Husserl's idea of intentionality the driving force behind his "New Existentialism."

The influence of the Husserlian phenomenological tradition in the 21st century is extending beyond the confines of the European and North American legacies. It has already started to impact (indirectly) scholarship in Eastern and Oriental thought, including research on the impetus of philosophical thinking in the history of ideas in Islam.[13][14]

See also

References

  1. ^ Simons, Peter, Parts: A Study in Ontology, Oxford University Press  
  2. ^ This assumption led Husserl to an idealistic position (which he originally had tried to overcome or avoid). On Husserl's phenomenological idealism see Hans Köchler, Die Subjekt-Objekt-Dialektik in der transzendentalen Phänomenologie. Das Seinsproblem zwischen Idealismus und Realismus. (Monographien zur philosophischen Forschung, Vol. 112.) Meisenheim a. G.: Anton Hain, 1974.
  3. ^ Crisis of European Humanity, Pt. II, 1935
  4. ^ a b "Nur noch ein Gott kann uns retten". Der Spiegel, 31 May 1967.
  5. ^ Consider Jitendra Nath Mohanty, 1995, "The Development of Husserl's Thought" in Barry Smith & David Woodruff Smith, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Husserl. Cambridge Univ. Press. For further commentaries on the review, see Willard, Dallas, 1984. Logic and the Objectivity of Knowledge. Athens OH: Ohio University Press, p. 63; J. Philip Miller, 1982. "Numbers in Presence and Absence, Phaenomenologica 90 (Den Haag: Nijhoff): p. 19 ff.; and Jitendra Nath Mohanty, 1984, "Husserl, Frege and the Overcoming of Psychologism", in Cho, Kay Kyung, ed., Philosophy and Science in Phenomenological Perspective, Phaenomenologica 95 (Dordrecht/Boston/Lancaster: Nijhoff), p. 145.
  6. ^ Husserl-Chronik, p. 25-26
  7. ^ See the quotes in Carlo Ierna, “Husserl’s Critique of Double Judgments”, in: Filip Mattens, editor, Meaning and Language: Phenomenological Perspectives, Phaenomenologica 187 (Dordrecht/Boston/London: Springer, 2008, pp. 50 f.
  8. ^ Edmund Husserl, Logical Investigations, volume 1, edited by Dermot Moran, trans. by J.N. Findlay (New York: Routledge, 2001), p. 112.
  9. ^ The World Phenomenology Institute
  10. ^ Wojtyla, Karol (2002), The Acting Person: A Contribution to Phenomenological Anthropology, Springer, ISBN 90-277-0985-8  
  11. ^ Sellars, Wilfrid (1975), "Autobiographical Reflections", in Hector-Neri Castañeda, Action, Knowledge, and Reality: Critical Studies in Honor of Wilfrid Sellars, Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, http://www.ditext.com/sellars/ar.html  
  12. ^ Cf. Smith, Barry (1989), "On the Origins of Analytic Philosophy" (PDF), Grazer Philosophische Studien 34: 153–173, http://ontology.buffalo.edu/smith/articles/dummett.pdf  
  13. ^ See for instance: Nader El-Bizri, The Phenomenological Quest Between Avicenna and Heidegger (Binghamton, N.Y.: Global Publications SUNY at Binghamton, 2000); and also refer to: Nader El-Bizri, "Avicenna's De Anima between Aristotle and Husserl", in The Passions of the Soul in the Metamorphosis of Becoming, ed. Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003), pp. 67-89
  14. ^ Refer also to the book-series published by SPRINGER on phenomenology and Islamic philosophy: [1]

Bibliography

Primary literature

In German

  • 1887. Über den Begriff der Zahl. Psychologische Analysen.
  • 1891. Philosophie der Arithmetik. Psychologische und logische Untersuchungen (Philosophy of Arithmetic)
  • 1900. Logische Untersuchungen. Erster Teil: Prolegomena zur reinen Logik (Logical Investigations, Vol 1)
  • 1901. Logische Untersuchungen. Zweiter Teil: Untersuchungen zur Phänomenologie und Theorie der Erkenntnis (Logical Investigations, Vol 2)
  • 1911. Philosophie als strenge Wissenschaft (included in Phenomenology and the Crisis of Philosophy: Philosophy as Rigorous Science and Philosophy and the Crisis of European Man)
  • 1913. Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie. Erstes Buch: Allgemeine Einführung in die reine Phänomenologie (Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology)
  • 1923-24. Erste Philosophie. Zweiter Teil: Theorie der phänomenologischen Reduktion (First Philosophy, Vol 2: Phenomenological Reductions)
  • 1925. Erste Philosophie. Erster Teil: Kritische Ideengeschichte (First Philosophy Vol 1: Critical History of Ideas)
  • 1928. Vorlesungen zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins.
  • 1929. Formale und transzendentale Logik. Versuch einer Kritik der logischen Vernunft (Formal and Transcendental Logic)
  • 1931. Méditations cartésiennes (Cartesian Meditations)
  • 1936. Die Krisis der europäischen Wissenschaften und die transzendentale Phänomenologie: Eine Einleitung in die phänomenologische Philosophie (The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy)
  • 1939. Erfahrung und Urteil. Untersuchungen zur Genealogie der Logik. (Experience and Judgment)
  • 1952. Ideen II: Phänomenologische Untersuchungen zur Konstitution.
  • 1952. Ideen III: Die Phänomenologie und die Fundamente der Wissenschaften.

In English

  • “Universal Teleology”. Telos 4 (Fall 1969). New York: Telos Press.
  • Cartesian Meditations, 1960 [1931]. Cairns, D., trans. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Online.
  • The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Philosophy, 1970 [1936/54], Carr, D., trans. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
  • Experience and Judgement, 1973 [1939], Churchill, J. S., and Ameriks, K., translators. London: Routledge.
  • Formal and Transcendental Logic, 1969 [1929], Cairns, D., trans. The Hague: Nijhoff.
  • Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy—First Book: General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology, 1982 [1913]. Kersten, F., trans. The Hague: Nijhoff.
  • Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy - Second Book: Studies in the Phenomenology of Constitution, 1989. R. Rojcewicz and A. Schuwer, translators. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
  • Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy - Third Book: Phenomenology and the Foundations of the Sciences, 1980, Klein, T. E., and Pohl, W. E., translators. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
  • Logical Investigations, 1973 [1913], Findlay, J. N., trans. London: Routledge.
  • On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time (1893-1917), 1990 [1928]. Brough, J.B., trans. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
  • "Philosophy as Rigorous Science", translated in Lauer, Q., ed., 1965 [1910] Phenomenology and the Crisis of Philosophy. New York: Harper.
  • Philosophy of Arithmetic, Willard, Dallas, trans., 2003 [1891]. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Anthologies:

  • Willard, Dallas, trans., 1994. Early Writings in the Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
  • Welton, D., ed., 1999. The Essential Husserl. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Secondary literature

  • Derrida, Jacques, 1954 (French), 2003 (English). The Problem of Genesis in Husserl's Philosophy. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press.
  • --------, 1962 (French), 1976 (English). Introduction to Husserl's The Origin of Geometry. Includes Derrida's translation of Appendix III of Husserl's 1936 The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology.
  • --------, 1967 (French), 1973 (English). Speech and Phenomena (La Voix et le Phénomène), and other Essays on Husserl's Theory of Signs. ISBN 0-8101-0397-4
  • Everdell, William R. (1998). The First Moderns. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-22480-5.  
  • Fine, Kit, 1995, "Part-Whole" in Smith, B., and Smith, D. W., eds., The Cambridge Companion to Husserl. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Follesdal, Dagfinn, 1972, "An Introduction to Phenomenology for Analytic Philosophers" in Olson, R. E., and Paul, A. M., eds., Contemporary Philosophy in Scandinavia. John Hopkins Univ. Press: 417-30.
  • Hill, C. O., 1991. Word and Object in Husserl, Frege, and Russell: The Roots of Twentieth-Century Philosophy. Ohio Univ. Press.
  • -------- and Rosado Haddock, G. E., 2000. Husserl or Frege? Meaning, Objectivity, and Mathematics. Open Court.
  • Levinas, Emmanuel, 1963 (French), 1973 (English). The Theory of Intuition in Husserl's Phenomenology. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
  • Köchler, Hans, 1983, "The Relativity of the Soul and the Absolute State of the Pure Ego", Analecta Husserliana 16: 95-107.
  • --------, 1986. Phenomenological Realism. Selected Essays. Frankfurt a. M./Bern: Peter Lang.
  • Kulikov, Sergei, 2005 (Russian). "E.Husserl's criticism of foundations of physical-mathematical natural science: its relativistic effects," Philosophy of Science 4 (27): 3-13.
  • Mohanty, J. N., 1974, "Husserl and Frege: A New Look at Their Relationship", Research in Phenomenology 4: 51-62.
  • --------, 1982. Edmund Husserl's Theory of Meaning. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
  • --------, 1982. Husserl and Frege. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Natanson, Maurice, 1973. Edmund Husserl: Philosopher of Infinite Tasks. Evanston: Northwestern University Press. ISBN 0-8101-0425-3
  • Ricoeur, Paul, 1967. Husserl: An Analysis of His Phenomenology. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
  • Rollinger, R. D., 1999, Husserl's Position in the School of Brentano in Phaenomenologica 150. Kluwer. ISBN 0-7923-5684-5
  • --------, 2008. Austrian Phenomenology: Brentano, Husserl, Meinong, and Others on Mind and Language. Frankfurt am Main: Ontos-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-86838-005-7
  • Schuhmann, K., 1977. Husserl – Chronik (Denk- und Lebensweg Edmund Husserls). Number I in Husserliana Dokumente. Martinus Nijhoff. ISBN 90-247-1972-0
  • Simons, Peter, 1987. Parts: A Study in Ontology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Sokolowski, Robert. Introduction to Phenomenology[2]. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN 978-0521667920
  • Smith, B. & Smith, D. W., eds., 1995. The Cambridge Companion to Husserl. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-43616-8
  • Smith, David Woodruff, 2007. Husserl London: Routledge.
  • Stiegler, Bernard, 2009. Technics and Time, 2: Disorientation. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Tieszen, Richard, 1995. "Mathematics" in B. Smith & D. W. Smith, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Husserl. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

External links

Husserl archives

Other links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Edmund Husserl (8 April 185926 April 1938) was a philosopher from Moravia, then part of the Austrian Empire, known as the father of phenomenology.

Sourced

Pure Phenomenology: Its Method and Its Field of Investigation; Inaugural Lecture at Freiburg im Breisgau 1917

  • A new fundamental science, pure phenomenology, has developed within philosophy: This is a science of a thoroughly new type and endless scope. It is inferior in methodological rigor to none of the modern sciences. All philosophical disciplines are rooted in pure phenomenology, through whose development, and through it alone, they obtain their proper force.
  • To every object there corresponds an ideally closed system of truths that are true of it and, on the other hand, an ideal system of possible cognitive processes by virtue of which the object and the truths about it would be given to any cognitive subject.
  • Experience by itself is not science.

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Simple English

Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl
File:Edmund Husserl
Edmund Husserl
Full name Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Phenomenology
Main interests Epistemology, Mathematics

Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (IPA: [ˈhʊsɛrl]; April 8, 1859, Prostějov, Moravia, Austrian Empire – April 26, 1938, Freiburg, Germany) was a philosopher who is deemed the founder of phenomenology. He broke with the positivist orientation of the science and philosophy of his time, believing that experience is the source of all knowledge.

Husserl studied mathematics under Karl Weierstrass, completing a Ph.D. under Leo Königsberger, and studied philosophy under Franz Brentano and Carl Stumpf.
Then Husserl taught philosophy, as a Privatdozent at Halle from 1887, and as a professor:

  1. first at Göttingen from 1901,
  2. then at Freiburg im Breisgau from 1916 until his 1928 retirement.

Biography

Education and early works

He initially studied mathematics but then started attending lectures on psychology and philosophy.
Husserl was so impressed by Brentano that he decided to dedicate his life to philosophy.
His major written work is Philosophie der Arithmetik (1891).

In these first works he tries to combine mathematics, psychology and philosophy with a main goal to provide a sound foundation for mathematics.
He analyzes the psychological process needed to obtain the concept of number and then tries to build up a systematical theory on this analysis.
To achieve this he uses several methods and concepts taken from his teachers.
From Weierstrass he derives the idea that we generate the concept of number by counting a certain collection of objects.
From Brentano and Stumpf he takes over the distinction between proper and improper presenting.
In an example Husserl explains this in the following way: if you are standing in front of a house, you have a proper, direct presentation of that house, but if you are looking for it and ask for directions, then these directions (e.g. the house on the corner of this and that street) are an indirect, improper presentation.
In other words, you can have a proper presentation of an object if it is actually present, and an improper (or symbolic as he also calls it) if you only can indicate that object through signs, symbols, etc.
Another important element that Husserl took over from Brentano is intentionality, the notion that the main characteristic of consciousness is that it is always intentional. While often simplistically summarised as "aboutness" or the relationship between mental acts and the external world, Brentano defined it as the main characteristic of mental phenomena, by which they could be distinguished from physical phenomena.

The elaboration of phenomenology

Some years after the publication of his main work, the Logische Untersuchungen (Logical Investigations; 1900-1901) Husserl made some key conceptual elaborations which led him to assert that in order to study the structure of consciousness, one would have to distinguish between the act of consciousness and the phenomena at which it is directed (the object-in-itself, transcendent to consciousness).
Knowledge of essences would only be possible by "bracketing" all assumptions about the existence of an external world.
He called this procedure called epoché.
Husserl then started try to concentrate himself on the ideal, essential structures of consciousness.
The metaphysical problem of establishing what kind of reality we perceive was of little interest to Husserl in spite of his being a transcendental idealist.
Husserl proposed that the world of objects and ways in which we direct ourselves toward and perceive those objects is normally conceived of in what he called the "natural standpoint", which is characterized by a belief that objects materially exist and exhibit properties that we see as emanating from them.
Husserl proposed a radical new phenomenological way of looking at objects by examining how we in our many ways of being intentionally directed toward them, actually "constitute" them (to be distinguished from materially "creating objects or objects" .

In a later period, Husserl began to wrestle with the complicated issues of intersubjectivity, specifically, how communication about an object can be assumed to refer to the same ideal entity (Cartesian Meditations, Meditation V).
Husserl tries new methods of bringing his readers to understand the importance of phenomenology to scientific observation: specifically he refers to psychology) and what he means for "bracketing natural attitude".
The Crisis of the European Sciences is Husserl's unfinished work that deals most directly with these issues. In it, Husserl for the first time attempts a historical overview of the development of Western philosophy and science, emphasizing the challenges presented by their increasingly (one-sidedly) empirical and naturalistic orientation.
Husserl declares that mental and spiritual reality possess their own reality independent of any physical basis.

Persondata
NAME Husserl, Edmund
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Husserl, Edmund Gustav Albrecht
SHORT DESCRIPTION German philosopher, known as the father of phenomenology
DATE OF BIRTH April 8, 1859(1859-04-08)
PLACE OF BIRTH Prostějov, Moravia, Czech Republic
DATE OF DEATH April 26, 1938
PLACE OF DEATH Freiburg, Germany


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