The Essential Husserl / Edition 1

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The Essential Husserl, the first anthology in English of Edmund Husserl's major writings, provides access to the scope of his philosophical studies, including selections from his key works: Logical Investigations, Ideas I and II, Formal and Transcendental Logic, Experience and Judgment, Cartesian Meditations, The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, and On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time. The collection is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in twentieth-century philosophy.

Indiana University Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253212733
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/1999
  • Series: Studies in Continental Thought Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 408
  • Sales rank: 1,455,185
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Donn Welton is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Indiana University Press

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The Essential Husserl

Basic Writings in Transcendental Phenomenology

By Donn Welton

Indiana University Press

Copyright © 1999 Indiana University Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-253-21273-3



1. The Critique of Psychologism

Normative and Theoretical Disciplines

§11. Logic or theory of science as normative discipline and as technology

From our discussions up to this point logic—in the sense of the theory of science here in question—emerges as a normative discipline. Sciences are mental creations which are directed to a certain end, and which are for that reason to be judged in accordance with that end. The same holds of theories, validations and in short of everything that we call a "method." Whether a science is truly a science, or a method a method, depends on whether it accords with the aims that it strives for. Logic seeks to search into what pertains to genuine, valid science as such, what constitutes the Idea of Science, so as to be able to use the latter to measure the empirically given sciences as to their agreement with their Idea, the degree to which they approach it, and where they offend against it. In this logic shows itself to be a normative science, and separates itself off from the comparative mode of treatment which tries to conceive of the sciences, according to their typical communities and peculiarities, as concrete cultural products of their era, and to explain them through the relationships which obtain in their time. For it is of the essence of a normative science that it establishes general propositions in which, with an eye to a normative standard, an Idea or highest goal, certain features are mentioned whose possession guarantees conformity to that standard, or sets forth an indispensable condition of the latter. A normative science also establishes cognate propositions in which the case of non-conformity is considered or the absence of such states of affairs is pronounced. Not as if one had to state general marks in order to say what an object should be to conform to its basic norm: a normative discipline never sets forth universal criteria, any more than a therapy states universal symptoms. Special criteria are what the theory of science particularly gives us, and what it alone can give us. If it maintains that, having regard to the supreme aim of the sciences and the human mind's actual constitution, and whatever else may be invoked, such and such methods M1, M2 ... arise, it states general propositions of the form: "Every group of mental activities of the sorts AB ... which realize the combinatory form M1 (or M2 ...) yield a case of correct method," or, what amounts to the same "Every (soi-disant) methodical procedure of the form M1 (or M2 ...) is a correct one." If one could really formulate all intrinsically possible valid propositions of this and like sort, our normative science would certainly possess a measuring rod for every pretended method, but then also only in the form of special criteria.

Where the basic norm is an end or can become an end, the normative discipline by a ready extension of its task gives rise to a technology. This occurs in this case too. If the theory of science sets itself the further task of investigating such conditions as are subject to our power, on which the realization of valid methods depends, and if it draws up rules for our procedure in the methodical tracking down of truth, in the valid demarcation and construction of the sciences, in the discovery and use, in particular, of the many methods that advance such sciences, and in the avoidance of errors in all of these concerns, then it has become a technology of science. This last plainly includes the whole normative theory of science, and it is therefore wholly appropriate, in view of the unquestionable value of such a technology, that the concept of logic should be correspondingly widened, and should be defined in its sense.

§16. Theoretical disciplines as the foundation of normative disciplines

It is now easy to see that each normative, and, a fortiori, each practical discipline, presupposes one or more theoretical disciplines as its foundations, in the sense, namely, that it must have a theoretical content free from all normativity, which as such has its natural location in certain theoretical sciences, whether these are already marked off or yet to be constituted.

The basic norm (or basic value, or ultimate end) determines, we saw, the unity of the discipline: it also is what imports the thought of normativity into all its normative propositions. But alongside of this general thought of measurement in terms of a basic norm, these propositions have their own theoretical content, which differs from one case to another. Each expresses the thought of a measuring relation between norm and what it is a norm for, but this relation is itself objectively characterized—if we abstract from valuational interest—as a relation between condition and conditioned, which relation is set down as existent or non-existent in the relevant normative propositions. Every normative proposition of, e.g., the form "An A should be B" implies the theoretical proposition "Only an A which is B has the properties C," in which "C" serves to indicate the constitutive content of the standard-setting predicate "good" (e.g., pleasure, knowledge, whatever, in short, is marked down as good by the valuation fundamental to our given sphere). The new proposition is purely theoretical: it contains no trace of the thought of normativity. If, conversely, a proposition of the latter form is true, and thereupon a novel valuation of a C as such emerges, and makes a normative relation to the proposition seem requisite, the theoretical proposition assumes the normative form "Only an A which is B is a good A," i.e., "An A should be B." Normative propositions can therefore make an appearance even in theoretical contexts: our theoretical interest in such contexts attaches value to the being of a state of affairs of a sort—to the equilateral form, e.g., of a triangle about to be determined—and then assesses other states of affairs, e.g., one of equiangularity, in relation to this: If the triangle is to be equilateral, it must be equiangular. Such a modification is, however, merely passing and secondary in theoretical sciences, since our last intention is here directed to the theoretical coherence of the things themselves. Enduring results are not therefore stated in normative form, but in the forms of this objective coherence, in the form, that is, of a general proposition.

It is now clear that the theoretical relations which our discussion has shown to lie hidden in the propositions of normative sciences, must have their logical place in certain theoretical sciences. If the normative science is to deserve its name, if it is to do scientific work on the relations of the facts to be normatively considered to their basic norms, it must study the content of the theoretical nucleus of these relations, and this means entering the spheres of the relevant theoretical sciences. In other words: Every normative discipline demands that we know certain non-normative truths: these it takes from certain theoretical sciences, or gets by applying propositions so taken to the constellation of cases determined by its normative interest. This naturally holds, likewise, in the more special case of a technology, and plainly to a greater extent. The theoretical knowledge is there added which will provide a basis for a fruitful realization of ends and means.

The Arguments of Psychologism

§17. The disputed question as to whether the essential theoretical foundations of normative logic lie in psychology

If we now apply the general results arrived at in the last chapter to logic as a normative discipline, a first, very weighty question arises: Which theoretical sciences provide the essential foundations of the theory of science? And to this we forthwith add the further question: Is it correct that the theoretical truths we find dealt with in the framework of traditional and modern logic, and above all those belonging to its essential foundations, have their theoretical place in the sciences that have been already marked off and independently developed?

Here we encounter the disputed question as to the relation between psychology and logic, since one dominant tendency of our time has a ready answer to the questions raised: The essential theoretical foundations of logic lie in psychology, in whose field those propositions belong—as far as their theoretical content is concerned—which give logic its characteristic pattern. Logic is related to psychology just as any branch of chemical technology is related to chemistry, as land-surveying is to geometry, etc. This tendency sees no need to mark off a new theoretical discipline, and, in particular, not one that would deserve the name of logic in a narrower and more pointed sense. Often people talk as if psychology provided the sole, sufficient, theoretical foundation for logical technology. So we read in Mill's polemic against Hamilton: "Logic is not a science separate from and coordinate with psychology. To the extent that it is a science at all, it is a part or branch of psychology, distinguished from it on the one hand as the part is from the whole, and on the other hand as the art is from the science. It owes all its theoretical foundations to psychology, and includes as much of that science as is necessary to establish the rules of the art" (An Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy, p. 461). According to Lipps it even seems that logic is to be ranked as a mere constituent of psychology for he says: "The fact that logic is a specific discipline of psychology distinguishes them satisfactorily from one another" (Lipps, Grundzüge der Logik [1893], §3).

§18. The line of proof of the psychologists thinkers

If we ask for the justification of such views, a most plausible line of argument is offered, which seems to cut off all further dispute ab initio. However one may define logic as a technology—as a technology of thinking, judging, inferring, knowing, proving, of the courses followed by the understanding in the pursuit of truth, in the evaluation of grounds of proof, etc.—we find invariably that mental activities or products are the objects of practical regulation. And just as, in general, the artificial working over of a material presupposes the knowledge of its properties, so this will be the case here too, where we are specially concerned with psychological material. The scientific investigation of the rules according to which this stuff should be worked over naturally leads back to the scientific investigation of these properties. Psychology therefore provides the theoretical basis for constructing a logical technology, and, more particularly, the psychology of cognition.

Any glance at the contents of logical literature will confirm this. What is being talked of throughout? Concepts, judgments, syllogisms, deductions, inductions, definitions, classifications, etc.—all psychology, except that they are selected and arranged from normative and practical points of view. Draw the bounds of pure logic as tightly as one likes, it will not be possible to keep out what is psychological. This is implicit in the concepts constitutive for logical laws: truth and falsehood, affirmation and negation, universality and particularity, ground and consequent, etc.

§19. The usual arguments of the opposition and the psychologistic rejoinder

Remarkably enough, the opposition believes that it can base a sharp separation of the two disciplines on precisely the normative character of logic. Psychology, it is said, deals with thinking as it is, logic with thinking as it should be. The former has to do with the natural laws, the latter with the normative laws of thinking. It reads in this sense in Jäsche's version of Kant's Lectures on Logic: "Some logicians presuppose psychological principles for logic, but to introduce such principles into logic is as absurd as to derive morality from Life. If we take principles from psychology, i.e., from observations of our understanding, we shall only see how thought proceeds, and what happens under manifold subjective hindrances and conditions. Those would only lead to a knowledge of merely contingent laws. Logic does not however ask after contingent, but after necessary laws—not how we think but how we ought to think. The rules of logic must therefore be taken, not from the contingent, but from the necessary use of reason, which one finds in oneself apart from all psychology. In logic we do not wish to know what the understanding is like and how it thinks, nor how it has hitherto proceeded in its thinking, but how it ought to proceed in its thinking. It should teach us the correct use of the understanding, the use in which it is consistent with itself" (Introduction, I. Concept of Logic. Kant's Werke, ed. Hartenstein [1867], VIII, p. 15). Herbart takes up a similar position when he objects to the logic of his time and "the would be psychological stories about understanding and reason with which it starts," by saying that this is as badly in error as a moral theory which tried to begin with the natural history of human tendencies, urges and weaknesses, and by pointing to the normative character of logic as of ethics (Herbart, Psychologie als Wissenschaft, II, §119, original ed. II, p. 173).

Such arguments do not dismay the psychologistic logicians. They answer: A necessary use of the understanding is none the less a use of the understanding, and belongs, with the understanding itself, to psychology. Thinking as it should be, is merely a special case of thinking as it is. Psychology must certainly investigate the natural laws of thinking, the laws which hold for all judgments whatever, whether correct or false. It would, however, be absurd to interpret this proposition as if such laws only were psychological as applied with the most embracing generality to all judgments whatever, whereas special laws of judgment, like the laws of correct judgment, were shut out from its purview. (Cf., e.g., Mill, An Examination, pp. 459f.) Or does one hold a different opinion? Can one deny that the normative laws of thinking have the character of such special laws? This also will not do. Normative laws of thought, it is said, only try to say how one must proceed provided one wants to think correctly. "We think correctly, in the material sense, when we think of things as they are. But for us to say, certainly and indubitably, that things are like this or like that, means that the nature of our mind prevents us from thinking of them otherwise. For one need not repeat what has been so often uttered, that one can obviously not think of a thing as it is, without regard to the way in which one must think of it, nor can one make of it so isolated an object of knowledge. The man, therefore, who compares his thought of things with the things themselves can in fact only measure his contingent thinking, influenced by custom, tradition, inclination and aversion, against a thinking that is free from such influences, and that heeds no voice but that of its own inherent lawfulness."

"The rules, therefore, on which one must proceed in order to think rightly are merely rules on which one must proceed in order to think as the nature of thought, its specific lawfulness, demands. They are, in short, identical with the natural laws of thinking itself. Logic is a physics of thinking or it is nothing at all." (Lipps, "Die Aufgabe der Erkenntnistheorie," Philos. Monatshefte XVI [1880], pp. 530f.)

It may perhaps be said from the antipsychologistic side: Of course the various kinds of presentations, judgments, syllogisms, etc., also have a place in psychology as mental phenomena and dispositions, but psychology has a different task in regard to them than logic. Both investigate the laws of these activities, but "law" means something quite different in the two cases. The task of psychology is to investigate the laws governing the real connections of mental events with one another, as well as with related mental dispositions and corresponding events in the bodily organism. "Law" here means a comprehensive formula covering coexistent and successive connections that are without exception and necessary. Such connections are causal. The task of logic is quite different. It does not inquire into the causal origins or consequences of intellectual activities, but into their truth-content: it inquires what such activities should be like, or how they should proceed, in order that the resultant judgments should be true. Correct judgments and false ones, evident ones and blind ones, come and go according to natural laws, they have causal antecedents and consequences like all mental phenomena. Such natural connections do not, however, interest the logician; he looks rather for ideal connections that he does not always find realized, in fact only exceptionally finds realized in the actual course of thoughts. He aims not at a physics, but an ethics of thinking. Sigwart therefore rightly stresses the point that, in the psychological treatment of thought, "the opposition of true and false has as little part to play as the opposition of good or bad in human conduct is a psychological matter"


Excerpted from The Essential Husserl by Donn Welton. Copyright © 1999 Indiana University Press. Excerpted by permission of Indiana University Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Development of Husserl’s Phenomenology

Part One: Contours of a Transcendental Phenomenology
I. Antitheses
1. The Critique of Psychologism
Normative and Theoretical Disciplines
The Arguments of Psychologism
The Prejudices of Psychologism
2. The Critique of Historicism
II. Phenomenological Clues
3. Expression and Meaning
Essential Distinctions
Fluctuation in Meaning and the Ideality of Unities of Meaning
The Phenomenological and Ideal Content of the Experiences of Meaning
4. Meaning-Intention and Meaning-Fulfillment
III. Phenomenology as Transcendental Philosophy
5. The Basic Approach of Phenomenology
The Natural Attitude and Its Exclusion
Consciousness as Transcendental
The Region of Pure Consciousness
IV. The Structure of Intentionality
6. The Noetic and Noematic Structure of Consciousness
Noesis and Noema
The Question of Levels
Expressive Acts
Noema and Object
V. The Question of Evidence
7. Varieties of Evidence
8. Sensuous and Categorial Intuition
VI. From Subjectivity to Intersubjectivity
9. Empathy and the Constitution of the Other
Primordial Abstraction
The Appresentation of the Other

Part Two: Transcendental Phenomenology and the Problem of the Life-World
VII. Transcendental Aesthetics
10. Perception, Spatiality and the Body
Objective Reality, Spatial Orientation, and the Body
The Self-Constitution of the Body
11. A Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time
Analysis of the Consciousness of Time
Levels of Constitution of Time and Temporal Objects
12. Horizons and the Genesis of Perception
VIII. Transcendental Analytics
13. Formal and Transcendental Logic
The Discipline of Formal Logic
Formal Logic as Apophantic Analysis
The Transcendental Grounds of Logic
14. Individuals and Sets
Explication of Individuals
Constituting Sets
15. Universals
The Constitution of Empirical Universals
Eidetic Variation and the Acquisition of Pure Universals
16. The Genesis of Judgment
IX. Static and Genetic Phenomenology
17. Time and the Self-Constitution of the Ego
18. Static and Genetic Phenomenological Method
X. Transcendental Phenomenology and the Way through the Science of Phenomenological Psychology
19. Phenomenological Psychology and Transcendental Phenomenology
XI. Transcendental Phenomenology and the Way through the Life-World
20. The Mathematization of Nature
21. Elements of a Science of the Life-World

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