Edmund Husserl's Freiburg Years

Edmund Husserl's Freiburg Years: 1916-1938

Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 512
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  • Book Info
    Edmund Husserl's Freiburg Years
    Book Description:

    In his award-winning bookThe Philosophy of Edmund Husserl: A Historical Development, J. N. Mohanty charted Husserl's philosophical development from the young man's earliest studies-informed by his work as a mathematician-to the publication of hisIdeasin 1913. In this welcome new volume, the author takes up the final decades of Husserl's life, addressing the work of his Freiburg period, from 1916 until his death in 1938.

    As in his earlier work, Mohanty here offers close readings of Husserl's main texts accompanied by accurate summaries, informative commentaries, and original analyses. This book, along with its companion volume, completes the most up-to-date, well-informed, and comprehensive account ever written on Husserl's phenomenological philosophy and its development.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-17623-0
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-2)

    This introduction is primarily for those who may not have read myPhilosophy of Edmund Husserl: A Historical Development(New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), of which this present work is a continuation. In that preceding volume I traced the development of Husserl’s thought from his Halle years through the Göttingen period. The story began with the 1886 workPhilosophy of Arithmeticand ended with 1913’sIdeas toward a Pure Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy. Thus the previous volume covered a period of almost thirty years, and in this volume we take up the story from 1916, when Husserl moved to...

  5. Part I Completion of the First Systematization
    • 1 The Freiburg Project
      (pp. 5-8)

      Before I begin my exposition of Husserl’s work let me briefly summarize the philosophical accomplishments of the Göttingen years, so that we keep in mind where precisely Husserl took off in Freiburg. These are:

      1. Already in Halle, Husserl had broken though the Brentanian circle and had come to appreciate higher mathematics as a purely formal theory, especially geometry as a formal science of a definite manifold. All this rules out the possibility of a psychologistic theory of the foundations of mathematics.

      2. In theLogical Investigations, the greatest achievement, no doubt, was the refutation of psychologism in philosophy of logic. To...

    • 2 The Inaugural Lecture on “Pure Phenomenology”
      (pp. 9-12)

      Husserl seizes the opportunity of his inauguration as professor to present his philosophy—transcendental phenomenology, its method and its field of research—to the audience, his colleagues in Freiburg, who are not familiar with his newly developed mode of thinking.¹ Beginning with a quick reference to the revolutionary changes that have been taking place in the spiritual life of humankind, the dissolution of norms that previously were regarded as unchangeable, Husserl brings them all under the concept of “dissatisfied reason” (“die unbefriedigte Vernunft”). Even philosophy exhibits such a change. The well-established styles of doing philosophy were in flux. It is...

    • 3 Constitution of Nature
      (pp. 13-28)

      A complete draft of the second book of theIdeaswas prepared by Husserl in 1912, apparently soon after he wrote the first book. However, it appears that he was not quite satisfied with that draft; he worked on the manuscript from time to time, more so after moving to Freiburg. In 1916, he appointed Edith Stein as his assistant and entrusted her with the task of preparing the second and the third parts of theIdeasfor the publication. Stein prepared two versions of theIdeas II—one in 1916 and another in 1918—using many of Husserl’s lectures...

    • 4 Constitution of Living Beings and Mind
      (pp. 29-42)

      The soul (here the wordSeeleis used to stand for the layer of subjectivity that belongs to all living organisms, animals and humans) is connected to the material body as an object of scientific research.¹ In dealing with this, Husserl plans to strictly adhere to the phenomenological method of remaining faithful to the lessons of originary experience. As phenomenologists, we need to follow the higher levels of theoretical thinking, but need to attend to its beginning in originary experience. Theory cannot possibly eliminate the sense found in originary intuition, which prescribes the norm by which all subsequent theory must...

    • 5 Constitution of the Spiritual World
      (pp. 43-61)

      Mind (or what Husserl callsSeele) is, according to him, very different from spirit (orGeist). This distinction between mind and spirit—we have to keep in mind that mind is a part of Nature—corresponds to the distinction between natural sciences and sciences of spirit (Geisteswissenschaften, also translated as human sciences or humanities). Whereas scientific psychology studies the mind as a part of nature, the sciences of spirit would include a doctrine of personality or “egology” and a theory of society.

      Up to now, Husserl’s description of nature—material as well as mental—has been from the naturalistic point...

    • 6 Phenomenology and the Foundation of the Sciences
      (pp. 62-74)

      The subtitle of the third book of theIdeen, edited by Marly Biemel, is “Die Phänomenologie und die Fundamente der Wissenschaften” (“Phenomenology and the Foundation of the Sciences”).¹ This topic, however, was not assigned to the third volume in the draft of the original plan of theIdeen, in which it was included underIdeen IIas its Part B; Part A was to be “Constitution Analysis.” Work on the second volume continued for years in Freiburg, and the volume became much larger than anticipated. The topic entitled “Phenomenology and the Sciences,” in a revised draft, was made the sole...

  6. Part II Time and Intersubjectivity
    • 7 The Bernau Manuscripts and the C-Manuscripts on Time
      (pp. 77-96)

      In the exposition of Husserl’s researches on time that are contained in the 1917–18 manuscripts written in Bernau, I follow Husserliana volume 33, edited by Dieter Lohmar, and refer to the texts by the numbers given to them by Lohmar (and also by the manuscript number when necessary). The central concern of the researches on time written in Bernau is to develop a phenomenology of individuation, which, Husserl hoped, would contribute to a renewal of “rational metaphysics” according to fundamental principles.¹

      I will also follow Lohmar’s exposition of the main lines of research, and the principal results. They are...

    • 8 Researches in Intersubjectivity
      (pp. 97-124)

      In Bernau, during 1918, Husserl had begun to devote his thoughts to the theory of empathy.¹ He begins the earliest surviving text on this topic from Bernau by distinguishing between straightforward and oblique empathy, analogous to straightforward and oblique recollection.

      I may recollect, in memory, directly what happened yesterday, but not my experience of it which I could turn to reflectively, but do not do so now. Likewise, I may be presentifying the other’s experience, as though I was having that experience, and through that experience turn toward the experienced thing. In a straightforward empathy, there is included a presentification...

    • 9 The Fifth Meditation and After
      (pp. 125-162)

      Now that we have followed the development of Husserl’s thought about intersubjectivity, we can turn to the Fifth Meditation, which contains the classic and famous statement of his view. Supporters and opponents alike have focused on this account, and those who read the Fifth Meditation alone for the first time find it difficult to grasp the sense of all that Husserl was doing. Now that we have met with each component of his account separately as it developed, we need to look at the Meditation to see how they are knit together.¹

      §§ 40–41 of the Fourth Meditation lay...

  7. Part III Passive Synthesis and the Origin of Logic
    • 10 Passive Synthesis and Genetic Phenomenology
      (pp. 165-197)

      In our expositions of Husserl’s researches into time-consciousness and intersubjectivity, we repeatedly encountered the idea of passive constitution. It is now time to take up this idea, which marks a major phase in the development of Husserl’s thinking. The idea of passive synthesis will lead us to his idea of genetic phenomenology. I begin with the former.

      The idea of passive synthesis is already anticipated in Husserl’sIdeen I, § 118, in theIdeen II, § 9 and § 61, even as early as theLogical Investigations, Investigation 6. At all these places, Husserl is concerned with drawing a distinction...

    • 11 Transcendental Logic I
      (pp. 198-212)

      Husserl’s researches into transcendental logic, it appears, had their origin in the 1920s, as he came to develop the ideas of passive synthesis and genetic constitution. The lectures of the winter semester of 1920–21 were called “Transzendentale Logik,” now published as a supplementary volume (Hua XXXI) to theAnalyzen zur passiven Synthesis. These lectures develop the contrast between activity and passivity (as we saw in the preceding chapter), and then turn toward “active objectification” and to theory of judgment. Eventually, the researches will culminate in the two worksFormale und transzendentale Logik(1929) andErfahrung und Urteil, written about...

    • 12 Transcendental Logic II
      (pp. 213-255)

      In the year 1929, Husserl—in a hurried frenzy of writing—finished hisFormale und transzendentale Logik, which may be regarded as his second great systematic work after theIdeas(I deal with it in the next chapter). After finishing this work, Husserl was concerned about writing a more readable introduction to his philosophy of logic, becauseFormale und transzendentale Logikmoved on a much higher plane and was a relatively difficult work. He therefore asked his then assistant Ludwig Landgrebe to collect his manuscripts and lectures on transcendental logic. In 1919–20, Husserl had given a lecture course entitled...

    • 13 Transcendental Logic III: The Final Phase
      (pp. 256-302)

      The precise relation between theFormale und transzendentale Logik(Formal and Transcendental Logic) and the much later posthumous workErfahrung und Urteil(Experience and Judgment, edited by Landgrebe and published in 1938), is difficult to determine with precision. One would expect that, as many remarks of Landgrebe seem to suggest, the 1929 book should serve as an introduction to the later book. But the later book makes extensive use of manuscripts of much earlier logic lectures, which the 1929 book also made use of, and it appears that the exposition ofFormal and Transcendental Logicremains difficult for readers and...

  8. Part IV Toward a Second Systematization
    • 14 Preparations for the Second Systematization
      (pp. 305-335)

      Between 1920 and his 1929 lecture series entitled “Cartesian Meditations,” Husserl tried various systematic presentations of his transcendental phenomenology—all leading to the second¹ systematization in the Paris Lectures. In this chapter we will follow these attempts.

      The “first philosophy” was the name Husserl used for transcendental phenomenology. The lectures under this title were given in the winter semester of 1923–24, for four hours a week, and Rudolf Boehm, who put them together in Husserliana volumes VII and VIII,² surmised, from the manuscript, that Husserl wrote a lecture every week just before he delivered it. Husserl uses the Aristotelian...

    • 15 The Lectures between 1925 and 1928: Toward a Phenomenological Psychology
      (pp. 336-366)

      In the years after theErste Philosophielectures and preceding theCartesian Meditationsof 1929, Husserl devoted several of his lectures to the theme of a phenomenological psychology,¹ first in the summer semester of 1925, then in the winter semester of 1926–27, and again in the summer of 1928. In addition, in 1927 he was working on his article for theEncyclopedia Britannicawith the cooperation of Heidegger, and in April 1928 he wrote the Amsterdam Lectures—in all of which the idea of a phenomenological, intentional psychology remained at the center of his attention. It is interesting that...

    • 16 The Cartesian Meditations
      (pp. 367-384)

      Husserl retired from his professorship in Freiburg in 1928. In 1929, he traveled to Paris to lecture at the Sorbonne.

      The following is the impression recorded by a then young scholar who heard him:

      I saw Husserl for the first time in Paris in the year 1929. As a stipend holder I attended at the time a lecture [series] by Professor Lalande on Logic at the Sorbonne, which met in the afternoon from 5–6 pm, if I remember correctly. The lecturer one day announced that we would have to stop the lecture earlier, for in the same hall there...

  9. Part V A Final Systematization under Gathering Clouds
    • 17 The Vienna and Prague Lectures
      (pp. 387-419)

      Husserl was invited to give a lecture at the Wiener Kulturbund, which he presented on May 7, 1935. In response to many requests, he repeated the lecture on May 10. The title of the lecture was “Die Philosophie und der Krisis der europäischen Menschheit.” The lecture was called aDoppelvortrag, lasting for two and a half hours.

      A few months later, in November of the same year, at the invitation of the Philosophical Circle in Prague, Husserl gave two different lectures, one at the German University and one at the Czech University in Prague.¹ These are the beginnings of the...

    • 18 “Origin of Geometry” and Husserl’s Final Philosophy of History
      (pp. 420-434)

      Among the fragments from theKrisisperiod were pieces that might have been composed with the larger work in view but were never taken up into theKrisisvolume. Luckily they were included by Walter Biemel asBeilagenin Husserliana volume VI, and also included by David Carr in his English translation ofKrisis. Among them is a fragment that today is very much in the minds of Husserl scholars. This piece is entitled “Origin of Geometry,” a title given not by Husserl himself but most probably by Eugen Fink, who published it under that title in 1939 in the...

    • 19 The End? Thoughts on Death (and Birth)
      (pp. 435-438)

      These remarks on existential problems¹ like birth and death by the phenomenologist are from manuscript A VI 14, entitled “Die phänomenologiche Problematik von Geburt, Tod, Unbewusstsein zurückgeleitet zur allgemeinen Theorie der Intentionalität,” from 1929–30. The editors note that parts of this passage may be from an earlier date. Page numbers are to the manuscript in theNachlass.

      My death, as an event in the world, is transcendentally constituted by me, and its transcendental meaning. Also my birth. How do I throw light on my future transcendental life? My worldly future as “phenomenon” I know of—that I will go...

  10. Part VI Comparisons and a Résumé
    • 20 Husserl and His Others
      (pp. 441-462)

      In this chapter, as a prelude to my final estimation of Husserl’s philosophical accomplishments, I relate him and his thoughts to those philosophers who were, in a preeminent sense, his others, that is to say those to whom his thought stands related by its internal dialectic as well as by its own structure and motivation. In such cases, it is my claim that the otherness of others is constitutive of his philosophy. Husserl, in other words, is to be understood by his difference from Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger—three philosophers who occupy this status of being truly his others. Of...

    • 21 A Theory of Intentionality: A Final Overview
      (pp. 463-465)

      Among Husserl’s lasting contributions to philosophy remains, in this author’s estimation, a theory of intentionality. At the end of this work, which follows on myPhilosophy of Edmund Husserl, it is worthwhile to take a final look at this theory. For perspicuity, I intend to present it in the form of thirty propositions,P₁toP₃₀, divided into three sets.

      P₁: An intentional act refers to its object through an ideal content.

      P₂: As meaning-intending, the act constitutes its ideal meaning.

      P₃: With the bracketing of the object intended, the intentional act is discovered to be a correlation between noesis...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 466-488)
  12. Index
    (pp. 489-501)