Empathy

Assuming that you have managed to appreciate your own body as having a material, spatial nature like 'external' material things generally, it is possible that such an external thing should appear like your own body, materially conceived, in a way that goes beyond merely sharing a material nature. It is possible, in other words, that you should perceive a specific material likeness between some external thing and your own body. It is such a perceived similarity, according to Husserl, which...

Husserl And Descartes

The foregoing exposition of Husserl's views - featuring as it does an origin of true philosophical thinking among the ancient Greeks, one which has become sedimented and Unauthentic' in our tradition, one which, therefore, we must revitalize by attempting to think it through originally - may remind some readers of Martin Heidegger. Some, indeed, have suggested that Husserl derived such a perspective from Heidegger himself, importing it, unacknowledged, into (only) his late work the Crisis,...

The Sphere Of Ownness

One reason for the difficulty that Husserl finds in giving an account of the constitution of other subjects arises from the radicality with which he pursues his philosophical analysis. For it is one that must be given without employing any notion of objectivity at all (since the analysis is itself to be used to explicate this). In particular, Husserl wishes to trace the constitution of others back to what he calls a sphere of Eigenheit -of 'ownness' (or of what is 'peculiar' to an ego, as...

Husserls Metaphysics

Husserl's metaphysics is a topic seldom broached by commentators. This is not surprising. Husserl's main claim on our attention is as the creator of phenomenology, and phenomenology is, as such, constitutional and genetic analysis, not metaphysics. Nevertheless, that Husserl had a metaphysical picture of the world, one, moreover, that he believed followed from the method of transcendental phenomenology, is unignorable. (The heading of 60 of the Cartesian Meditations speaks of the 'metaphysical...

Second Meditation

We have, according to Husserl, discovered 'an infinite realm of being of a new kind' (66). This is the realm of 'transcendental experience', which is that of my 'pure' conscious life and all of its ingredients, together with all the 'pure' types of object that could possibly be given to - i.e., constituted in - it. This entire domain has, thanks to the epoche, been 'purified' of any positing of worldly realities, even the 'subjective' ones that psychology deals with. To describe this domain as...

Reality And Reason

The topic of reality may initially appear a surprising one to emerge in the course of transcendental reflection, since the latter is made possible precisely by disconnecting any concern with the reality of objects - indeed, with that of the world as a whole. So it is important for us, before looking at what Husserl has specifically to say, to understand how this issue can even so much as arise after the transcendental reduction. The justification for Husserl's conviction that it can - that the...

Ego Person Monad

In our radical philosophical turn from naive dedication to the world towards an exploration of pure consciousness, the first thing that has attracted our attention has been intentionality the way in which, through synthesis, the flux of experience gets polarized into unities of sense, in virtue of which we are conscious of identifiable and reidentifiable objects. So what has principally attracted our attention on the subjective side of things has been the flowing, changing character of the...

The Epoche And The Transcendental Reduction

I wish, however, briefly to postpone discussion of Husserl's account of evidence, because it is very easy, when reading through this First Meditation, to think that its overall argument is really very simple, and that Husserl's disquisition on evidence just slows the proceedings down somewhat. For at the end of that discussion he seems simply to say that apodicticity is demanded by the scientist, so that we, as beginning philosophers in search of true science, should settle for nothing less....

Static And Genetic Phenomenology

Husserl has described habitualities as 'acquisitions'. They presuppose, therefore, an 'establishment' or 'institution' Stiftung in the past. We encountered this notion briefly in the Introduction, but it is now time to give it its full recognition as a central concept of phenomenology. In virtue of such a reference back in time, habitualities are but a special case of a feature of transcendental life the importance of which Husserl came increasingly to appreciate, and which increasingly...

Note On Translations And Citations

I quote from Dorion Cairns's English translation of the Cartesian Meditations, though the references I give follow the pagination of the standard German edition, which is given in the margins of the Cairns translation. Indeed, I follow the pagination of the German editions whenever reference is made to any of Husserl's works, although I quote from their English translations where these exist. In almost all cases such pagination is indicated in the translations. In cases where it is not, I give...