Toward the Transcendental Reduction: A Reading of Edmund Husserl's "Ideas"

Dissertation, University of Washington (1982)

The subject of this dissertation is Edmund Husserl's notion of the Transcendental Reduction as found in his work Ideas. In the first part of this dissertation Husserl's notion of the Transcendental Reduction in Ideas is developed by carefully and critically reading the analysis which precedes his formulation of it as his attempt to philosophically introduce and defend that notion. This analysis is shown to form a unified, progressive phenomenological clarification of knowledge, and the Transcendental Reduction is shown to be initially articulated by Husserl as the "corrective" to a fundamental ontological assumption of previous thought that analysis discovers and shows to be deficient. Three distinct, but systematically related approximations of this ontological corrective are located in Husserl's presentation which I label 'the Epoche' , 'the Phenomenological Reduction' and 'the Transcendental Reduction proper' . In the second part of this dissertation Husserl's notion of the Transcendental Reduction is re-examined by focusing upon one of the crucial, but almost completely neglected, steps in his presentation of the notion in Ideas: the transition between the Phenomenological Reduction and the Transcendental Reduction proper. By assembling around this transition certain of the problems in Husserl's presentation discovered in the previous reading of Ideas I attempt to locate both the fundamental problems with this notion and its potential philosophical value.
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