Research in Phenomenology 20 (1):136-151 (1990)
It is well known that Husserl wanted his philosophy to be " presuppositionless." The idea of a presuppositionless philosophy tends to arouse immediate objections, yet it is an idea which is far from clear. In this paper, I would like to clarify what Husserl meant by " presuppositionless philosophy." In particular, I want to show the relationship of presuppositionlessness to Husserl's ideal of a self-justifying science, and to offer this relationship as the context for interpreting the epoche or "suspension" of the so-called natural attitude. This procedure has at least two advantages: it gives a functional interpretation of phenomenological method, and it shows why, for Husserl, phenomenology must become transcendental in order to be philosophical. Before undertaking this, it will be useful to review some of the received opinions about Husserl's idea of presuppositionlessness, progressing from the least to the most radical suggestions
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