Edmund Husserl

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Edmund Husserl, 1910s.

Edmund Husserl (8 April 185926 April 1938) was a philosopher from Moravia, then part of the Austrian Empire, known as the father of phenomenology.



Pure Phenomenology (1917)


Edmund Husserl. Pure Phenomenology: Its Method and Its Field of Investigation; Inaugural Lecture at Freiburg im Breisgau (May 3, 1917) ;Die reine Phänomenologie, ihr Forschungsgebiet und ihre Methode

  • A new fundamental science, pure phenomenology, has developed within philosophy: This is a science of a thoroughly new type and endless scope. It is inferior in methodological rigor to none of the modern sciences. All philosophical disciplines are rooted in pure phenomenology, through whose development, and through it alone, they obtain their proper force.
  • To every object there corresponds an ideally closed system of truths that are true of it and, on the other hand, an ideal system of possible cognitive processes by virtue of which the object and the truths about it would be given to any cognitive subject.
  • ... bloße Erfahrung ist keine Wissenschaft.
    • Experience by itself is not science.

Cartesian Meditations (1931)

  • First, anyone who seriously intends to become a philosopher must "once in his life" withdraw into himself and attempt, within himself, to overthrow and build anew all the sciences that, up to then, he has been accepting.
    • Introduction

Quotes about Edmund Husserl

  • Whoever wishes to define the conceptual invariants of natural beauty would make himself as ridiculous as Husserl did when he reports that while ambulating he perceived the green freshness of the lawn. Whoever declaims on natural beauty verges on poetastery. Only the pedant presumes to distinguish the beautiful from the ugly in nature, but without such distinction the concept of natural beauty would be empty.
  • Husserl has shown that man's prejudices go a great deal deeper than his intellect or his emotions. Consciousness itself is 'prejudiced' — that is to say, intentional.
    • Colin Wilson in Introduction to the New Existentialism, p. 54
  • A child might be overawed by a great city, but a civil engineer knows that he might demolish it and rebuild it himself. Husserl's philosophy has the same aim: to show us that, although we may have been thrust into this world without a 'by your leave,' we are mistaken to assume that it exists independently of us. It is true that reality exists apart from us; but what we mistake for the world is actually a world constituted by us, selected from an infinitely complex reality.
    • Colin Wilson in Introduction to the New Existentialism, p. 63
  • No one in our century has raised the call for philosophy as a rigorous science with such clarity, purity, vigor, and breadth as Husserl.
    • Leo Strauss, "Philosophy as Rigorous Science and Political Philosophy", Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy 2, no. 1 (1971), p. 34
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