Review of Metaphysics 53 (2):453-455 (1999)

The initial collaboration and subsequent parting of the ways of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, and the closely related course of the early development of the phenomenological movement, are chronicled in part in the history of a text Husserl wrote for the fourteenth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The article, “Phenomenology,” which, until 1956, remained an important source of many a general reader’s information about phenomenology, was both one of Husserl’s few attempts to present in a concise way an account of the new fundamental science that he originated and “a programmatic outline for his future endeavors” from 1928 on. The five versions of the article and a set of lectures on phenomenological psychology that Husserl gave in Amsterdam in 1928 are brought together in the present volume. The fifth version of Husserl’s article was finally “done into English” by one of Husserl’s doctoral students, Christopher V. Salmon, whose version was eventually further truncated by the editors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The actual Britannica text is not reproduced here. The transmogrifications of this ill-fated text are meticulously illuminated by Thomas Sheehan, who has also prepared a complete edition of the marginalia to Husserl’s copy of Sein und Zeit. Richard E. Palmer has edited and translated the Amsterdam Lectures and Husserl’s marginal remarks in his copy of Heidegger’s Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik. Both sets of marginalia occupy about two-hundred pages of the volume. Also included are several other documents relevant to the history of the philosophical and personal relationship between Husserl and Heidegger, whom Husserl had chosen to be his academic successor and philosophical heir: remarks made by Heidegger in April 1929 on the occasion of Husserl’s seventieth birthday; Husserl’s letter to Alexander Pfänder from January 1931, in which he reveals his disappointment with Heidegger; and a lecture on “Phenomenology and Anthropology,” given by Husserl in June 1931, in which he publicly rejects Heidegger’s philosophy. The editors have worked with and, at times, updated Walter Biemel’s critical edition of Husserl’s texts on phenomenological psychology, as well as other materials available in the Husserl archives, at Louvain.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1999532184
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