Part 1. Husserl: the outlines of the transcendental-phenomenological system -- 1. Husserl's phenomenological discovery of the natural attitude -- 2. Husserl's theory of the phenomenological reduction: between lifeworld and Cartesianism -- 3. Some methodological problems arising in Husserl's late reflections on the phenomenological reduction -- 4. Facticity and historicity as constituents of the lifeworld in Husserl's late philosophy -- 5. Husserl's concept of the "transcendental person": another look at the Husserl-Heidegger relationship -- 6. Dialectics of the absolute: the systematics of (...) the phenomenological system in Husserl's last period -- Part 2. Husserl, Kant, and neo-Kantianism: from subjectivity to lifeworld as a world of culture -- 7. From being to givenness and back: some remarks on the meaning of transcendental idealism in Kant and Husserl -- 8. Reconstruction and reduction: Natorp and Husserl on method and the question of subjectivity -- 9. A hermeneutic phenomenology of subjective and objective spirit: Husserl, Natorp, and Cassirer -- 10. Cassirer's philosophy of symbolic forms: between reason and relativism: a critical appraisal -- Part 3. Toward a Husserlian hermeneutics -- 11. The subjectivity of effective history and the suppressed husserlian elements in Gadamer's hermeneutics -- 12. Husserl's "hermeneutical phenomenology" as a philosophy of culture. (shrink)
This comprehensive treatment of Neo-Kantianism discusses the main topics and key figures of the movement and their intersection with other 20th-century philosophers. With the advent of phenomenology, existentialism, and the Frankfurt School, Neo-Kantianism was deemed too narrowly academic and science-oriented to compete with new directions in philosophy. These essays bring Neo-Kantianism back into contemporary philosophical discourse. They expand current views of the Neo-Kantians and reassess the movement and the philosophical traditions emerging from it. This groundbreaking volume provides new and important (...) insights into the history of philosophy, the scope of transcendental thought, and Neo-Kantian influence on the sciences and intellectual culture. (shrink)
on points that remain especially crucial, i.e., the concept of the natural attitude, the ways into the reduction (and their systematics), and ﬁnally the question of the “meaning of the reduction.” Indeed, in the reading attempted here, this ﬁnal question leads to two, not necessarily related, focal points: a Cartesian and a Life-world tendency. It is my claim that in following these two paths, Husserl was consistent in pursuing two evident leads in his philosophical enterprise; however, he was at the (...) same time unable to systematically unify these two strands. Thus, I am oﬀering an interpretation which might be called a modiﬁed “departure from Cartesianism” reading that Landgrebe pro-. (shrink)
Sebastian Luft presents and defends the philosophy of culture championed by the Marburg School of Neo-Kantianism. Following a historical trajectory from Hermann Cohen to Paul Natorp and through to Ernst Cassirer, this book makes a systematic case for the viability and attractiveness of a philosophical culture in a transcendental vein, in the manner in which the Marburgers intended to broaden Kant's approach.
This paper offers a further look at Husserl’s late thought on the transcendental subject and the Husserl–Heidegger relationship. It attempts a reconstruction of how Husserl hoped to assert his own thoughts on subjectivity vis-à-vis Heidegger, while also pointing out where Husserl did not reach the new level that Heidegger attained. In his late manuscripts, Husserl employs the term ‘transcendental person’ to describe the transcendental ego in its fullest ‘concretion’. I maintain that although this concept is a consistent development of Husserl’s (...) earlier analyses of constitution, Husserl was also defending himself against Heidegger, who criticized him for framing the subject in terms of transcendental ego rather than as Dasein. Husserl was convinced that he could successfully respond to Heidegger’s critique, but he did not grasp that Heidegger’s fundamental ontology was an immanent development, rather than a scathing criticism, of his own phenomenology. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that Husserl received important cues from Natorp and his project of a transcendental psychology. I also trace the entire relationship both thinkers had over the course of their lifetime and show how there were important cross-fertilizations on both sides. In particular, Natorp’s project of a reconstructive psychology proved crucial, I argue, for Husserl’s development of genetic phenomenology. Allowing for a reconstruction of subjective-intentional processes makes Husserl see the possibility of breaking with the paradigm of direct (...) intuition as the sole method of phenomenology. However, Natorp’s psychology was also seriously flawed, to Husserl. While exploiting the fruitful elements of Natorp’s reconstructive psychology, Husserl maintained that they could only come to actual fruition in a transcendental phenomenology. (shrink)
In this paper I will give a systematic account of Husserl's notion of the natural attitude in the development from its first presentation in Ideas I (1913) until Husserl's last years. The problem of the natural attitude has to be dealt with on two levels. On the thematic level, it is constituted by the correlation of attitude and horizon, both stemming from Husserl's theory of intentionality. On the methodic level, the natural attitude is constituted by three factors: naturalness, naivety and (...) normality. I shall conclude by sketching out a possible motivation for leaving the natural attitude and thus for entering the sphere of phenomenology. (shrink)
The latter half of the nineteenth and the early part of the twentieth century witnessed a remarkable resurgence of interest in Kant’s philosophy in Continental Europe, the effects of which are still being felt today. _The Neo-Kantian Reader_ is the first anthology to collect the most important primary sources in Neo-Kantian philosophy, with many being published here in English for the first time. It includes extracts on a rich and diverse number of subjects, including logic, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, (...) and transcendental idealism. Sebastian Luft, together with other scholars, provides clear introductions to each of the following sections, placing them in historical and philosophical context: the beginnings of Neo-Kantianism: including the work of Hermann von Helmholtz, Otto Liebman, Friedrich Lange, and Hermann Lotze the Marburg School: including Hermann Cohen, Paul Natorp, and Ernst Cassirer the Southwest School: including Wilhelm Windelband, Heinrich Rickert, Emil Lask, and Hans Vaihinger responses and critiques: including Moritz Schlick, Edmund Husserl; Rudolf Carnap, and the 'Davos dispute' between Martin Heidegger and Ernst Cassirer. The Neo-Kantian Reader is essential reading for all students of Kant, nineteenth and twentieth century philosophy, history and philosophy of science, and phenomenology, as well as to those studying important philosophical movements such as logical positivism and analytic philosophy and its history. (shrink)
Sebastian Luft explores the philosophy of culture championed by the Marburg School of Neo-Kantianism. Following a historical trajectory from Hermann Cohen to Paul Natorp and through to Ernst Cassirer, he defends the attractiveness of a philosophical culture in the transcendental vein.
This paper takes a fresh look at a classical theme in philosophical scholarship, the meaning of transcendental idealism, by contrasting Kant's and Husserl's versions of it. I present Kant's transcendental idealism as a theory distinguishing between the world as in-itself and as given to the experiencing human being. This reconstruction provides the backdrop for Husserl's transcendental phenomenology as a brand of transcendental idealism expanding on Kant: through the phenomenological reduction Husserl universalizes Kant's transcendental philosophy to an eidetic science of subjectivity. (...) He thereby furnishes a new sense of transcendental philosophy, rephrases the quid iuris-question, and provides a new conception of the thing-in-itself. What needs to be clarified is not exclusively the possibility of a priori cognition but, to start at a much lower level, the validity of objects that give themselves in experience. The thing-in-itself is not an unknowable object, but the idea of the object in all possible appearances experienced at once. In spite of these changes Husserl remains committed to the basic sense of Kant's Copernican Turn. I end with some comments on how both Kant and Husserl view the relation between theoretical and moral philosophy. (shrink)
Phenomenology was one of the twentieth century’s major philosophical movements and continues to be a vibrant and widely studied subject today. _The Routledge Companion to Phenomenology_ is an outstanding guide and reference source to the key philosophers, topics and themes in this exciting subject, and essential reading for any student or scholar of phenomenology. Comprising over fifty chapters by a team of international contributors, the _Companion_ is divided into five clear parts: main figures in the phenomenological movement, from Brentano to (...) Derrida main topics in phenomenology phenomenological contributions to philosophy phenomenological intersections historical postscript. Close attention is paid to the core topics in phenomenology such as intentionality, perception, subjectivity, the self, the body, being and phenomenological method. An important feature of the _Companion_ is its examination of how phenomenology has contributed to central disciplines in philosophy such as metaphysics, philosophy of mind, moral philosophy, aesthetics and philosophy of religion as well as disciplines beyond philosophy such as race, cognitive science, psychiatry, literary criticism and psychoanalysis. (shrink)
In the introduction to the third and last volume of his Philosophy of Symbolic Forms of 1929,entitled “Phenomenology of Knowledge,” Ernst Cassirer remarks that the meaning in which he employs the term ‘phenomenology’ is Hegelian rather than according to “the modern usage of the term.”1 What sense can it make, then, to invoke Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology in this context? Yet if, roughly speaking, phenomenology can be characterized as the logosof phenomena,that is, of being insofar as it appears (phainesthai)to a conscious (...) subject, then the sense of phenomenology need not be so different from what Cassirer terms “the modern usage.”2 Phenomenology in this more liberal sense would be an account of how consciousness experiences the world through different forms of experience and in different spaces of meaning. The addition ‘hermeneutic’, moreover, points to a broader methodological scope. (shrink)
This paper pursues the double task of presenting Cassirer’s Philosophy of Symbolic Forms as a systematic critique of culture and assessing this systematic approach with regards to the question of reason vs. relativism. First, it reconstructs the development of his theory to its mature presentation in his Philosophy of Symbolic Forms. Cassirer here presents a critique of culture as fulfilling Kant’s critical work by insisting on the plurality of reason as spirit, manifesting itself in symbolic forms. In the second part, (...) the consequences of this approach will be drawn by considering the systematics Cassirer intended with this theory. As can be reconstructed from his metaphilosophical reflections, the strength of Cassirer’s philosophy is that it accounts for the plurality of rational-spiritual activity while at the same time not succumbing to a relativism. The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms steers a middle course between a rational fundamentalism and a postmodern relativism. (shrink)
This chapter offers a reassessment of the relationship between Kant, the Kantian tradition, and phenomenology, here focusing mainly on Husserl and Heidegger. Part of this reassessment concerns those philosophers who, during the lives of Husserl and Heidegger, sought to defend an updated version of Kant’s philosophy, the neo-Kantians. The chapter shows where the phenomenologists were able to benefit from some of the insights on the part of Kant and the neo-Kantians, but also clearly points to the differences. The aim of (...) this chapter is to offer a fair evaluation of the relation of the main phenomenologists to Kant and to what was at the time the most powerful philosophical movement in Europe. (shrink)
This paper takes a renewed look at Husserl's method of the phenomenological reduction. It interprets "the reduction" as shorthand for the meaning of Husserl's entire phenomenology in its mature stage. In the same way, the method of reduction might have different manners of execution but they are nevertheless guided by a common intent. The text takes its starting point by considering the different metaphors Husserl uses - the "flatland creatures" and the reduction as akin to a religious conversion - and (...) spells out their implications, which lead me to consider their metaphilosophical significance. In this way, this article attempts a metaphilosophical reading of the meaning of the reduction in Husserl, which is equal to considering the meaning philosophy has for Husserl in the most general terms. In this way, some unorthodox reflections are carried out that shed new light on central phenomenological concepts, such as evidence and eidetic variation, phenomenology as a form of transcendental idealism, and the notorious problem of the lifeworld. In this way, Husserl's phenomenology is interpreted as a peculiar representative of Enlightenment philosophy that restitutes a special notion of responsibility. (shrink)
In this article, we present two accounts of intersubjectivity in Jaspers and Husserl, respectively. We argue that both can be brought together for a more satisfying account of empathy and communication in the context of psychiatric praxis. But while we restrict ourselves for the most part to this praxis, we also indicate the larger agenda that drives Jaspers and Husserl, despite all disagreement. Here we spell out, in particular, how a phenomenologically inspired account of empathy and intersubjectivity can have larger (...) ramifications for a theory of social life and interaction. Finally, we argue for a ‘relaxed' view concerning the relation between pure and applied phenomenology, such that both can mutually benefit from one another. (shrink)
This essay makes two claims. The first, exegetical, point shows that there are Husserlian elements in Gadamer’s hermeneutics that are usually overlooked. The second, systematic, claim takes issue with the fact that Gadamer saw himself in alliance with the project of the later Heidegger. It would have been more fruitful had Gadamer aligned himself with Husserl and the enlightenment tradition. following Heidegger in his concept of “effective history,” Gadamer risks betraying the main tenets of the enlightenment by shifting the weight (...) from subjectivity to effective history as the “agent” in history. This is not a wholesale dismissal of Gadamer’s project, however. The problem in Gadamer’s effective history can be remedied by insisting, with Husserl, on the subjective character of effective history. Gadamer was right to criticize Husserl’s idea of a transcendental genesis, but went too far in giving up the idea of human subjectivity as the agent in history. (shrink)
In this chapter, I present some systematic thoughts on a phenomenology of attention. There are two angles from which I will approach this topic. For one, the phenomenon in question is quite important for Husserl, but his thoughts on the topic have not been known to the public until recently through a new volume of the Husserliana that presents the only analyses in Husserl’s entire oeuvre dealing with this phenomenon. As it turns out, attention, as located between passive perception and (...) active, synthetic consciousness, plays a key role in genetic phenomenology and its attempt to work out the levels of consciousness from passivity to activity. Hence, one part of this paper has the intention of presenting some of Husserl’s thoughts on attention and the systematic role it plays in his phenomenology of constituting consciousness. Secondly, in order to further the systematic point of the phenomenon, I turn to Goethe’s reflections on the primal phenomenon that can, I believe, be brought to bear on attention. Indeed, the primal phenomenon as a phenomenon that immediately and forcefully seizes our attention Goethe once compares to “the most beautiful pearls” in a chain of related phenomena. Among the phenomena appearing to us, some “simply” have a special quality in that they beckon us to investigate them, very much in the way in which Husserl describes the manner in which some phenomena lure us to focus our attention on them. Finally, if it is the world which “chooses,” as it were, certain phenomena for us to be drawn into their meaningful contexts, this observation has serious consequences for phenomenology as transcendental idealism. I want to put it as a question: What does it mean for a theory of world-constitution through consciousness that the world is “designed” such that certain phenomena are privileged from within the world to leap out at us, enticing us to explore it? Does attention bring us before the limits of phenomenology as transcendental idealism? (shrink)
When Edmund Husserl retired in 1928, ceding his chair at the University of Freiburg to his successor Martin Heidegger, he again began working intensively on synthesizing his philosophical efforts into a new “system of phenomenology.” This new presentation could, hopefully, displace his earlier presentation of 1913 in the Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy, Book I, a work with which he had become dissatisfied in the meantime.
This paper takes a fresh look at a classical theme in philosophical scholarship, the meaning of transcendental idealism, by contrasting Kant's and Husserl's versions thereof. I present Kant's transcendental idealism as a theory distinguishing between the world as in-itself and as given to the experiencing human being. This reconstruction provides the backdrop for Husserl's transcendental phenomenology as a brand of transcendental idealism expanding on Kant: Through the phenomenological reduction Husserl universalizes Kant's transcendental philosophy to an eidetic science of subjectivity. He (...) thereby furnishes a new sense of transcendental philosophy, rephrases the 'quid iuris?,' and provides a new conception of the thing-in-itself. What needs to be clarified is not exclusively the possibility of a priori cognition, but instead, starting much lower, the validity of objects that give themselves in experience. The thing-in-itself is not an unknowable object, but the idea of the object in all possible appearances experienced at once. In all these innovations Husserl remains committed to the basic sense of Kant’s Copernican Turn. I end with some comments on how both Kant and Husserl view the relation between theoretical and moral philosophy. (shrink)
In this essay, I will attempt a systematic reconstruction of the general shape of Husserl's late philosophy, insofar as it centers on the concept of personhood. The systematic concatenation of this and other themes in Husserl's late work - the method of epoché and reduction, ethics, personhood, and teleology - has only recently begun to be explored in Husserl scholarship, and this article is a modest contribution to the further e1ucidation of their mutual relationship. One of the most striking results (...) of this reconstructive analysis is Husserl's final concept of "person", which goes beyond the traditional distinctions, such as "heart" and "mind" or "reason" and "emotion". For Husserl to conceive of the subject as moral person implies, then, the demand to not only conduct oneself morally, but also to have an ethical view of the world as a world that bears meaning and harbors values despite its apparent absurdities. (shrink)
In this paper I shall present two elements of Husserl’s theory of the life-world, facticity and historicity, which are of exemplary importance for his late phenomenology as a whole. I compare these two notions to two axes upon which Husserl’s phenomenology of the life-world becomes inscribed. Reconsidering and reconstructing Husserl’s late thought under this viewpoint sheds new light on a notoriously enigmatic problem, i.e., the concept of the transcendental and its relation to the „mundane“ – to the world as constituted (...) by transcendental consciousness. Drawing on unpublished manuscript material I claim, specifically, that the transcendental subject, in its „self-enworlding“ activity, as it were, „covers its tracks“ so as to obscure the transcendental origin of the worldly ego. This self-obscuring is itself an eidetic law of transcendental consciousness. The ambiguity in the transcendental/mundane ego is thrown into relief through Husserl’s analyses concerning the corporeal functioning of the lived-body. These considerations help further clarify Husserl’s claim that the transcendental and the factical are „moments of one structure“, while also incorporating the problem of historicity. (shrink)
This is a curious book, because the soul of its author is torn.On the one hand, the book is a monograph on the philosopher-intellectual Ernst Cassirer. It is scholarly, noticeably well-written , philosophical to the extent that it does not distort its subject matter too much, and a splendid piece of intellectual history, which places its subject, Cassirer, in a rich cultural, historical, and intellectual context. In terms of presenting the gist of Cassirer’s thought in relatively few pages, the author (...) does everything right, disregarding minor quibbles. So far, so good.But already reading the introduction, the author makes a confession that bathes the entire book in a different light. Here we learn that the precursor of the present tome was a “straight-faced” account of the philosopher of culture, Cassirer. But over the course of writing it, Skidelsky admits, doubts crept in. Little by little, he came to see Cassirer as a dinosaur of a past age, his philosophy as a “rearguard action on behalf of a vanishing civilization” , which died on the battlefields of the Second World War. The “Olympian” Cassirer had an “enchanting vision” and dreamt a “happy dream” of human culture, all of which went down the drain with the advent of Nazism and has now, in our own age of postmodernism, been. (shrink)
This short text to follow is an attempt at philosophizing "free-style"; an attempt, that is, which does not concern itself with much recourse to primary or secondary literature. Hence, references to texts by the philosophers mentioned here are kept to a minimum. The purpose of this text, instead, is to initiate a "fundamental reflection", as one could call it, on the nature of phenomenology. May the reader indulge me in this free-styling activity, and I would welcome equally unburdened responses.
This paper draws out the "speculative" consequences of Husserl's late philosophy which centers around the two major forms of life, the prephilosophical and philosophical attitude. Husserl also calls the philosophical sphere that of the "absolute," since every other form of life is relative upon it. The way to attain this state is, as I try to show, carried out in a certain "dialectical" fashion which attempts to synthesize both at first seemingly contradictory attitudes. In conclusion, I am drawing out a (...) critique of this idea. (shrink)
This essay attempts a renewed, critical exposition of Husserl’s theory of the phenomenological reduction, incorporating manuscript material that has been published since the defining essays of the first generation of Husserl research. The discussion focuses on points that remain especially crucial, i. e. the concept of the natural attitude, the ways into the reduction, and the question of the “meaning of the reduction”. The reading attempted here leads to two, not necessarily related, focal points: a Cartesian and a Life-world tendency. (...) In following these two paths, Husserl was consistent in pursuing two evident leads in his philosophical enterprise; however, he was at the same time unable to systematically unify these two strands. Thus, I am offering an interpretation which might be called a modified “departure from Cartesianism” reading that Landgrebe proposed in his famous essay from the nineteen-fifties. This discussion should make apparent that Husserl’s theory of the phenomenological reduction deserves a renewed look in light of material that has since appeared in the Husserliana and by incorporating the most important results of recent tendencies in Husserl research. (shrink)