Repository | Book | Chapter


(2006) Phenomenology and psychological science, Dordrecht, Springer.

Did Husserl change his mind?

Karin Dahlberg

pp. 89-100

Husserl's notion of transcendence has been and continues to be the source of much philosophical discussion and dispute among human science researchers. As long as there has been a phenomenological tradition there has been debate as to whether or not to follow Husserl's ideas about transcendental phenomenology. Typically, such discussions easily become debates between extreme and opposing positions. One viewpoint sees transcendence as a notion of standing aside from one's subjective experience, in order to observe the world or a particular phenomenon from a pure epistemological perspective, one of total objectivity. One might imagine a free-floating platform upon which the phenomenologist sits and that provides an unhindered view of the phenomenon in question. People defending this position put forward the notion that the reduction is a necessary part of a methodological approach that aims to be scientific. The other viewpoint holds that such a position of pure transcendence is impossible and that the transcendental idea was built on a false understanding. These critics deny the possibility of a pure consciousness. They emphasize that transcendence should be considered a hypothetical philosophical notion, which therefore ought to be discarded altogether. In the wake of this dispute is the debate about whether HusserFs well-known followers Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Gadamer reject his idea of transcendentality or not. It is obvious that Husserl's lifeworld theory became a substantial gift to subsequent philosophy, but whether or not Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Gadamer also took up his transcendental phenomenology is more veiled.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-33762-3_5

Full citation:

Dahlberg, K. (2006)., Did Husserl change his mind?, in P. Ashworth & M. Chung (eds.), Phenomenology and psychological science, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 89-100.

This document is unfortunately not available for download at the moment.