In the beginning was thelogos: Hermeneutical remarks on the starting-point of Edmund Husserl's Formal and transcendental Logic
Man and World 22 (2):185-213 (1989)
AbstractAccording to the leading commentators and the author himself, Edmund Husserl's Formal and transcendental Logic is the most important work on phenomenological logic ever written. Nonetheless, it has, in general, gained far less attention than theLogical Investigations and the Ideas on a Pure Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy. In particular, the argument of § 1 of the Logic, namely, that it is fruitful to start with the meanings of the expression “logos” in order to develop a genuinely transcendental logic, has received virtually no consideration. This paper takes a step towards filling this empty space by analyzing and criticizing the argument of § 1 as a problem to which (a) solution(s) must be found: First, it offers an introduction to the problem per se, which is one of the relationship between speech and reason; second, it tries to bring the given senses of “logos” to a higher grade of conceptual clarity and distinctness than that in the text; third, it attempts to decide whether and how far these senses of the word can be documented according to principles of Classical philology; fourth, it endeavors to determine exactly the relationship between the meanings of “logos” in § 1 and the senses of “logic” in §§ 1–107; finally, it strives to show that, with respect to the account of the relationship between speech and reason provided by Husserl in the Logic, there is, at best, a conflict and, at worst, a contradiction between the strategy outlined in § 1 and the tactics adopted in § 2ff. Throughout, the paper reads Husserl's “descriptions” as ‘arguments’ for his positions, thereby avoiding any of the obscurity sometimes infecting work in “Continental philosophy”.
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