Husserl to PfÄnder

Dear Colleague: Your letter shook me so profoundly that I was unable to answer it as soon as I should have. I am continuously concerned with it in my thoughts. Judge for yourself whether I have not inflicted more pain on myself than on you, and whether I may not ethically regard this guilt towards you and blame towards myself as stemming from the best conscience, something I have had to accept, and still must accept, as my fate. Clarifing the matter requires that I lay out a part of my life history. I had quickly realized that the project for Parts II and III of my Ideas was inadequate, and in an effort (beginning in the autumn of l9l2) to improve them and to shape in a more concrete and differentiated fashion the horizon of the problems they disclosed, I got involved in a new, quite far-ranging investigations. (These included the phenomenology of the person and personalities of a higher order, culture, the human environment in general; the transcendental phenomenology of “empathy” and the theory of transcendental intersubjectivity, the “transcendental aesthetic” as the phenomenology of the world purely as the world of experience, time and individuation, the phenomenology of association as the theory of the constitutive achievements of passivity, the phenomenology of the logos, the phenomenological problematic of “metaphysics,” etc.) These investigations stretched on all through the workfilled Freiburg years, and the manuscripts grew to an almost unmanageable extent. As the manuscripts grew so too did the ever greater the apprehension about whether, in my old age, I would be able to bring to completion what had been entrusted to me. This impassioned work led to repeated setbacks and repeated states of depression. In the end what I was left with was an allpervasive basic mood of depression, a dangerous collapse of confidence in myself. It was in this period that Heidegger began to mature -— for a number of..
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