Between internalism and externalism: Husserl's account of intentionality

Inquiry 52 (1):53-78 (2009)
There is a strong consensus among analytic philosophers that Husserl is an internalist and that his internalism must be understood in conjunction with his methodological solipsism. This paper focuses on Husserl's early work the, Logical Investigations , and explores whether such a reading is justified. It shows that Husserl is not a methodological solipsist: He neither believes that meaning can be reduced to the individual, nor does he assign an explanatory role for meaning to the subject. Explanatory priority is assigned to objects which have an intrinsic property independently of any access or attitude we may have to them. Although not a methodological solipsist, there are nonetheless internalist elements to Husserl's thought: He believes that we can think of non-existent objects and his account of indexicals and demonstratives shows that there are two kinds of meaning: one is context independent and internally individuated, the other is partly determined by context and so externally individuated. The paper leaves it open whether this is sufficient to mark Husserl out as an internalist. However, even if he were considered as such, we can be sure of one thing, namely, that his internalism would not be a species of methodological solipsism.
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DOI 10.1080/00201740802661494
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Lilian Alweiss (2013). Beyond Existence and Non-Existence. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (3):448-469.
Lilian Alweiss (2009). The Bifurcated Subject. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (3):415 - 434.

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