HUSSERL’S THEORY OF THE

PHENOMENOLOGICAL REDUCTION:
BETWEEN LIFE-WORLD AND CARTESIANISM
by
SEBASTIAN LUFT
Marquette University
ABSTRACT
This essay attempts a renewed, critical exposition of Husserl’s theory of the phenom-
enological 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 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 evi-
dent 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-
posed in his famous essay from the 1950s, in which he was clearly influenced by
Heidegger (a reading that is still valid in many contemporary expositions of Husserl’s
thought). This discussion should make apparent that Husserl’s theory of the phenom-
enological reduction deserves a renewed look both in light of material that has since
appeared in the Husserliana and in light of a new incorporation of the most important
results of recent tendencies in Husserl research.
Introduction
Anybody attempting to give an account of Husserl’s method of the
phenomenological reduction finds him/herself in an ungratified position.
After all, this theme has been one of the main topics in more than sixty
years of Husserl research.
1
Furthermore, this topic has been so dominant
in Husserl’s self-interpretation that talking about it equals discussing
Husserl’s phenomenology as a whole. A general account of what Husserl
“really intended” with his phenomenology risks being superficial, because
it can only conclude with generalities every traditional philosopher
would claim as her or his telos: to express the truth about the world.
Yet, were it true that “all great philosophers think the self-same,” we
Research in Phenomenology, 34
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would either end up in trivialities regarding philosophical endeavors
as such or we would miss Husserl’s point as regards the uniqueness of
his philosophical method. This notwithstanding that it was one of his
late realizations that he could not simply do away with the tradition
of which he himself was a part.
While Husserl’s self-characterizations, especially in his last work, The
Crisis of European Sciences, seem to put off readers due to their ceremonious
formulations, an approach “from the bottom up” will be more fruitful
than a presentation from the perspective of his late position. At that
time, he already was convinced of the deep veracity of his phenome-
nology and “certain of the future.”
2
Nevertheless, Husserl insisted that
the reduction as the method to enter the sphere of phenomenology is
not a device that, once performed, is valid for all times. It does not
entail that the one who has been “converted”
3
would remain so for the
rest of one’s life. Rather, the reduction must be practiced repeatedly;
the greatest threat for the philosopher being to “fall out” of the mind-
set of the philosophical attitude. This “danger” is integral to the per-
formance of the reduction. If the reduction is the only way into tran-
scendental phenomenology, then it must be part of this theory to
furnish an entrance in a “didactic” fashion. As Husserl once puts it,
nobody accidentally becomes a phenomenologist.
4
Thus, making an
entrance into phenomenology is a problem involving an enormous
amount of philosophical effort comparable to that of Hegel’s “Anstrengung
des Begriffs” in determining the beginning of philosophy.
Yet, every philosophical theory is an answer to a problem, in response
to which the theory receives its meaning, and this also goes for the
phenomenological reduction. The first piece of theory leading to the
reduction is the concept of epoché. This methodological device was
intended, following the Skeptic tradition, to gain a view unbiased by
the misguided theories of the past. Yet, the figure of bracketing is more
than just terminologically derived from the Skeptics; rather, it comes
out of a well-established philosophical background. To this, Husserl
nolens volens contributes, even if he purports to completely do away with
all previous philosophical problems by way of epoché to reach a “meta-
physical neutrality.”
5
Thus, although his framing of the reduction only
becomes understandable on the basis of his mature transcendental
philosophy, the problem emerges from a philosophical context he did
not create.
Thus, first I would like to expound the philosophical context, if only
to show that Husserl distances himself from it. Husserl attempts to
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suspend traditional misconceptions in an effort to solve the fundamental
philosophical problem of establishing “true and lasting knowledge.”
Nevertheless, he acknowledges the problem underlying his philosophical
commencement, precisely that of the commencement itself. This prob-
lem is the “starting point” for his project and is equal to that of finding
the true “entrance gate” to philosophy. This point of departure is
already a problem of how to begin with philosophy. This presupposes
that the act of philosophy is something “peculiar” compared to the
“normal” execution of life. This issue, underpinning his philosophical
enterprise, can be termed the epistemological problem. From here, Husserl
progresses from a descriptive phenomenological psychology to a sys-
tematic universal “science” in a transcendental register. The problem
of entering this emergent science is not a ladder to be thrown away
once climbed. Rather, “the problem of entry” is, and remains, part of
phenomenology itself.
In order to avoid lapsing back into an immanent reconstruction of
Husserl’s theory of the reduction, one must give a preliminary sketch
of the epistemological problem that led Husserl to perform the tran-
scendental reduction. The epistemological framing of the problem of
introducing phenomenology will lead to an explication of the funda-
mental form of life, the “natural attitude.” This is not only a prob-
lem of leaving this life form in order to make one’s way into phe-
nomenology. It is in itself a problem of thematizing this “primal”
attitude, and in doing so, one is already performing the first step of
the reduction. From there, I shall discuss the different ways into pheno-
menology. While the epoché deals with overcoming the natural attitude,
the methodological problems of making a concrete way into the tran-
scendental “realm” only begin here. One can discern three chief ways
into phenomenology and show a certain systematics in their unfolding.
This will be the issue of part two. In the third part, I will discuss the
meaning the reduction had for Husserl. It has essentially two conse-
quences that stand paradigmatically as the significance he attributes to
transcendental phenomenology at large. However, I want to assert crit-
ically that in these two directions Husserl failed to show their systematic
connection. Ultimately, we are left with two “loose ends” that Husserl was
not able to tie together, perhaps because this is ultimately impossible.
Although the topic of the phenomenological reduction has often-
times been an item of phenomenological research in the past—includ-
ing the “defining” article by Kern
6
—one is now, some thirty years
later, in a much better position to assess the meaning the reduction
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had for Husserl, especially in the light of manuscript material that has
since appeared in the Husserliana. What I would like to attempt here
is a renewed exposition of Husserl’s theory of the reduction focusing
on the concept of the natural attitude, the ways into the reduction,
and finally, the upshot of the “meaning of the reduction” that leads
to two, not necessarily related, focal points. While this discussion can-
not be exhaustive, it should make apparent that the issue of Husserl’s
theory of the phenomenological reduction deserves a renewed look.
I. The Epistemological Problem:
The Relativity of Truths and the Overcoming of the Natural Attitude
The epistemological problem concerns, simply stated, true knowledge
and the means of attaining it. This issue comes about where it is
noticed as a problem. Hence, is knowledge eo ipso true knowledge?
This depends not only on the meaning of knowledge but also on the
context in which one employs it. The sciences represent one such field.
The achievement and pursuit of true knowledge is vital to scientific
practice and to the meaning of science. Whether one speaks of absolute
truths (e.g., in mathematics or logic) or adequation to truth (e.g., in
meteorology) the value of a science depends upon its reaching “true”
knowledge.
The sciences, however, are not the only field in which knowledge
is an issue. In opposition to them, there is prescientific life and the
ordinary performance of life as carried out in the life-world. Whereas
the problem of “absolutely true” knowledge seldom becomes a theme
here, the question of truth is more crucial than one at first imagines.
Consider, for example, the occurrence of a car accident. Imagine then
the different “true stories” heard from different people involved: the
drivers, a passer-by on the sidewalk, etc. Especially when some inter-
est is at stake (who assumes the culpability), one will hear very (if not
altogether) different “versions,” all claiming “truth.” These are “situational
truths,” and it is the task of a judge to “judge the truth,” which might
lie, as often implied, “in the middle.” Obviously neither the notion of
truth nor that of knowledge are taken emphatically (absolutely). The
task of the judge entails the “distillation” of “the” truth from different
stories. The result is only an approximation to what “really happened.”
Truth in this sense is an “idea.” In the example, “truth” is an issue
of rhetoric serving certain interests. There is no “absolute truth” about
the car accident, although contradicting persons claim “true knowledge.”
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While here the justification for truths is debatable, there are other
areas where we do talk of truth and true knowledge in an unemphatic
manner. For example, in the market place one speaks of the “true”
price of produce. The vendors fix the price anew each day depend-
ing on different circumstances (season). Hence, the daily price of a
fruit is its situational “truth,” and it is debatable: one bargains over
the individual price every day. This notion of “truth” is relative to the
situation. Nevertheless, it will have its “authority” and “rigidity” that
is far from mathematical rigor.
7
Knowledge of this truth is fashioned
in a similar way. One calls the person experienced in employing these
situational truths a good salesperson or a good bargainer, employing
not “pure reason” but common sense. In a different context, Husserl
mentions the example of the house to illustrate that a single object
can yield differing “views” without invalidating others. What one per-
ceives depends on who one is: A real estate agent views the house as
an object for sale, an artist as a piece of art, etc.
8
Within each per-
spective, these “interpretations” claim situational truths, although from
an outside perspective, they are “mere” interpretations. None of these
persons sees their views as an interpretation.
9
Thus, in order for a situational truth to be a truth, it must block
out other contradicting truths. The truth of the artist is different from
that of the real estate agent but has its own “right,” because both do
not stand in competition with one another. But why not? The answer
lies in the notion of interest. What “constitutes” a certain situation,
what marks it as relative to other situations, is that the pursuit of a
certain interest circumscribes a situation and “constitutes” a self-enclosed
domain. The interest determines the truth of the situation. The inter-
est of the real estate agent in selling the house determines his situa-
tional truth. The artist, likewise, pursues her own interest. Life in gen-
eral is a “life of interest”
10
containing a multiplicity of interests, each
“creating” specific situations. However, one should not understand the
situational “field” of an interest as exactly delineated. Rather, it has
the character of a horizon that can expand and narrow, yet never comes
to an end. There is no principal limit to that which can fall in the
field of a certain interest. At the same time, these “fields” are self-
enclosed due to the current interest in operation.
Situations are not islands in a sea. Rather, they are horizons extend-
ing over a partial stretch or field of being. As such, they are essen-
tially limited (cf. Greek ır¤zein = to delimit) and exclude each other.
The metaphor of tinted eyeglasses best illustrates this. Seeing through
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red glasses makes green objects invisible, whereas they will become
visible when seen with glasses of another color. Similarly, a situational
attitude blocks out other situations. Moreover, the image remains the
same despite different colorings of the glasses. The object is in each
case the same; it is “raw being” or “hyletic stock.” In the natural
attitude, however, we can never see this object in its purity, for this
would involve stripping the world of its interest. Yet, due to its inten-
tional character, life always implements a certain interest. There is no
unintentional life, and intentionality always strives toward fulfillment.
11
The world has thus a “face of interest” that it always shows us in
one way or another. Since it is essentially a world of interests, one
can give another notion to characterize the world: If the execution of
life occurs in a multitude of situations, then life becomes the situation
of all situations, or the horizon of all horizons.
12
How is one to under-
stand a “horizon of all horizons”? Husserl conceives of the life-world
as the totality of life in its multitudinous facets. The life-world is the
field in which life in general carries itself out in its everydayness.
Whether Husserl calls this phenomenon life-world or “natural world-
life,” he alternately emphasizes either the noematic (the world) or the
noetic (the subjective, living) aspect. The noetic-noematic structure des-
ignates the correlational a priori in its universal form.
13
It signifies the
essential relatedness of world and conscious life. The correlate to the
life-world is that mode of living in which this life-world is the horizon
for any kind of action: the “natural attitude.”
14
In order to enter the sphere of philosophy and to assume a philo-
sophical point of view, one evidently has to relinquish the natural atti-
tude. However, it is not entirely clear why this would be necessary,
since as of now there is nothing “negative” involved in its character-
ization. Are there compelling reasons for “overcoming” natural life?
What do ‘natural’ and ‘philosophical’ designate here? As it becomes
clear in Husserl’s further fleshing out of the natural attitude, he intends
an adaptation of the traditional distinction between dÒja and §pistÆmh,
15
assigning a specifically “modern” interpretation to it that is localized
on a higher level than that of “mere” prephilosophical naiveté and
opposed to “mere” critical reasoning.
16
Thus, when Husserl conceives
of the ‘natural’ in opposition to the ‘philosophical attitude’, this echoes
the distinction between pre-transcendental and transcendental standpoints as
a modern “version” of the dÒja-§pistÆmh distinction. The transcendental
turn anticipated by Descartes, and taken by Kant, applies the real-
ization of the subject-relativity of the world. The turn to the subject,
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the “reduction” to the ego (cogito), becomes the foundation of science.
The world is not an “absolute being,” but is relative to the experi-
encing subject. All experience is worldly, but world is always an expe-
rienced world. Thus, Husserl interprets Descartes’ turn to the subject
and Kant’s transcendental philosophy as rudimentary forms of his tran-
scendental turn.
17
The realization of the essential subject-relatedness of
all worldliness necessitates this transcendental turn.
To Husserl, this transcendental turn is identical with leaving the
natural attitude, for the natural attitude knows per definition nothing of
this correlational a priori. The distinction between “world” (as hori-
zon of horizons) and nature (“stripped” of all apperceptions) illustrates
the natural attitude’s “naiveté.” Because it knows nothing of this sub-
ject-relatedness, it lives in the belief it can perceive the world as nature—
independent of any experiencing agent. However, this is impossible
within the natural attitude as it would foster the illusion of seeing the
world stripped of any interest. However, this is not to say that it is
impossible to gain an “uninterested” view. To the contrary, the recog-
nition that all situations in the natural attitude are guided by interests
means stepping beyond the natural attitude. Yet, the elements that
motivate this turn must already be present in the natural attitude.
Thus, the epistemological problem that started this discussion consists,
in other words, in being blind to the correlativity of world and experience.
The distinction of dÒja and §pistÆmh “translated” into this conception
means: Philosophy that believes it can operate on a “realistic” level is
bound to the natural attitude and it cannot be critical in the tran-
scendental sense. This is not only Husserl’s critique of pre-transcen-
dental philosophy but especially of his pupils who neglected to pursue
the transcendental path that he had taken up with Ideas I (1913).
This framing of the epistemological problem motivates the way into
phenomenology, which is identical with becoming aware of the limits
of the natural attitude. Phenomenology, for Husserl, is necessarily tran-
scendental philosophy that entails adhering to the subject-relatedness
of all experience.
II. The Performance of the Reduction:
The Main Paths into the Reduction
Husserl conceived several ways into the reduction, the number of which
has been subject to debate.
18
Of greater importance, however, is Husserl’s
belief in the systematic order of the reductions, regardless of the historic
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manner in which he discovered them. Within this systematics, none
of these ways devaluates, but rather explicates and compliments, the
others. Hence, this reconstruction attempts to adhere to the system-
atic order Husserl envisioned and disregards their temporal order of
development. Legitimization of this disregard owes to Husserl’s asser-
tion that the Cartesian way retains its “right” and “validity”
19
despite
the problems Husserl sees with it. We will see, however, how these
different ways lead to two “opposed” tendencies indicated in the title:
to the “Cartesian” and the “life-world Husserl.”
A. Tnr C\n+rsi\x W\v
If the reduction is not an impossible endeavor, then there must be
certain “proto-forms” of putting the normal pursuit of life out of action
within the natural attitude. Husserl considers a simple example of such
a proto-form: the suspension of judgment two people will practice when
in discordance with one another. If both are unsure of the truth of
their judgments, they will suspend it, until they have found out the
truth.
20
Only when one asserts the truth of the judgment hitherto uncer-
tain, will it again be put into action. In the time between doubt and
confirmation the judgment (“it is so”) is “bracketed.”
When Husserl labels this bracketing epoché, he takes it over from
the Skeptic tradition.
21
In a similar sense, Descartes’ method in his
Meditations is to be understood, according to Husserl, as an epoché
insofar as the decision to “once in his life” overthrow all knowledge
is equally a radical “step back” from everyday life.
22
The question why
the Cartesian epoché is the first way by which Husserl introduces the
reduction is of great importance. When he later uses the term “reduc-
tion” for this method as a whole, he seems to identify both steps of
epoché and reduction. This blurs certain nuances that one might want
to retain for the sake of clarifying the details of this method. In addi-
tion, it is only from his later understanding of transcendental subjec-
tivity that the concept of the reduction can become more dominant
in the carrying out of this method. How does the epoché come about?
The natural attitude consists in viewing the world as “nature,” as
existing independent of an experiencing agent. This belief Husserl calls
the general thesis of the natural attitude,
23
and it is a constant anony-
mous “stating as existing,” for it is so fundamental that it is never
actually uttered. It is comparable to a constant sound that the ear
blocks out. In Husserl’s words: “It is, after all, something that lasts
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continuously throughout the whole duration of the [natural] attitude,
i.e., throughout natural waking life.”
24
Thus, the epoché, as putting
the general thesis out of action, can be seen as making explicit this
constant base line “below” the “natural” hearing level. The epoché
does in no way devaluate or negate it, but rather puts it out of action
momentarily in order to pay attention to that which remains unbrack-
eted. In Ideas I, Husserl insists that this bracketing is a matter of our
perfect freedom, i.e., the freedom to inhibit what we want to and to
the extent we want to.
25
He later considered both elements (‘how’ and
‘to what extent’) of this “freedom” as problematic.
First, where does this freedom come from and how is it enabled?
If the natural attitude is this self-enclosed field of everyday life, then
why should, and how could, it be left by bracketing it? Secondly, even
discussing the possible extent of the validity of the general thesis gives
rise to an understanding of it as a field with a greater or smaller
scope—ultimately like a continent within an ocean. Discussing a smaller
or greater scope misconstrues the radicality of the epoché, which puts
the general thesis out of action “with one stroke.”
The general thesis of the natural attitude pervades every form of
life, since all life is guided by a certain interest and hence (tacitly or
explicitly) affirms being.
26
Putting this life-pulse of continuous asserting
out of action can only occur as totalizing act, and not piecemeal. There
is either being in or out of action (“on” or “off ”). However, whereas
this radicality in fact calls for an equally radical motivation, this rigid
“either—or” blurs the character of the “yes” of the general thesis and
the possibility of “breaking its spell.” It is a “yes” with respect to the
character of the world as “existing,” but this world is to be under-
stood as existing in a manifold of ways, referring to the multitude of
special worlds encountered in the natural attitude. How could it ever
be possible to bracket all these modes of living with one single stroke?
Apart from Husserl’s insistence that it is a matter of our perfect free-
dom, a motivation for this step lies precisely in the relativities of the
situational truths. If all of these are merely truths for themselves and
if the philosopher’s aim is to reach “absolute” truth, then it will seem
plausible to refrain from asserting any of the former. This realization
can already be seen as bracketing, since understanding these relativi-
ties as relativities overcomes being immersed in them. Situational truths
can only consider themselves as truths if they take themselves to be
absolutely true, where in fact they are only relative. The relativity is
determined by not knowing about their situational characters; because they
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do not know this, they take themselves as “absolute.” Not being bound
to situations means already having left their realm. Indeed, leaving
these situations behind and putting the validity of situational truths out
of action are the same. Yet, understanding the relativities of situations
as relativities—and having thus left the natural attitude—does not entail
that one has consciously grasped the meaning of the epoché. To Husserl,
it can only be fully achieved when one has reflected upon its meaning.
Hence, upon closer inspection, the metaphor of bracketing is yet
more complex, involving two sides: that within the bracket and that
without. Following the example of a doubtful judgment one does not
consent to: the judgment will only be put back into action when one
has “evidence” about its truth. Yet, the brackets can only be removed
by an Ego that has evidence and asserts (or modifies) the old judg-
ment. The method of bracketing necessarily reverts to the Ego, which
is the executor of any act directed at the world. Thus, the “methodic
expedient ”
27
Husserl takes over from Descartes—who carried out his
method “for an entirely different purpose”
28
—does not have the func-
tion of nullifying or negating the general thesis, but rather of moti-
vating the turn to the subject that is the origin of the acts directed at
the world. All situations are those of an Ego.
Thus, Husserl’s main interest in the process of bracketing is to posit
these brackets in order to determine what can be left “without.” The
universal doubt leaves over the doubting agent, a “pure” Ego stripped
of any worldly meaning, and it is only this Ego that can claim for
itself absolute evidence. What remains in spite of radical doubt is the
transcendental Ego, which is not part of the world, but is that which
“has” the world “opposed” to it as its universal correlate. This con-
sciousness is the totality of the field of intentionality, as the correlate
to the worldly totality given in intentional acts. As such, this subject
cannot be a psychic entity in the world, but is consciousness “as such.”
Bracketing the totality of the world necessarily entails bracketing my
ego as part of the world. What “remains” is not, as Husserl self-criti-
cally asserts in 1931, a “tag-end of the world.”
29
Rather, the epoché reveals
the pure ego, consciousness as such, opposed to the world; it reveals
subjectivity as such which I as human being can access.
30
Thus, of the
motivations to practice the reduction, the strongest one arises in this
Cartesian impetus of finding a basis from which to found apodictic
evidence in the self-evidence of the ego.
31
This search for an ultimate
and final apodictic foundation, which, following the Cartesian para-
digm, can only lie in the ego (cogito, ergo sum), is never given up by
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Husserl, no matter how much his actual emphasis might be directed
at other “phenomena.”
32
However, it is not yet clear how one is to found a new scientific
discipline from this basis “outside the world.” In fact, is not this claim
of a non-worldly subjectivity a metaphysical construction; does not this
very step of reverting to an absolute ego lapse back into a Platonism?
33
Although Husserl never gave up the claim of having laid the founda-
tion of phenomenology on the basis of a Cartesian ego, it is difficult
to see how a philosophical science could be “derived” from this absolute
Ego, if one sticks, apart from a Cartesian method, also to his concept of
subjectivity. Husserl’s later self-interpretation intends to show that this
way is merely one point of access among others and, furthermore, that
a Cartesian notion of subjectivity as a “tag-end of the world” is unable
to grasp subjectivity as a “field” of phenomenological intuition. Looking
back upon Husserl’s philosophical development after Ideas I, one can
say that the Cartesian way remained dominant before he felt forced
to broaden this approach, so as to stay “up to par” with the phe-
nomenological conception of subjectivity he later attained. As we shall
see, precisely his insights into the character of transcendental con-
sciousness made it necessary to modify his way into the reduction.
However, this modification was in no way an abandoning, but rather
the extension, of this first way.
B. Tnr Psvcnorooic\r W\v
The Cartesian way was introduced with the intention of securing a
field of apodictic evidence and, as such, to create a foundation on
which apodictic knowledge could be built. Up until Cartesian Meditations
(1931), Husserl employs Descartes’ image of the tree of knowledge,
whose branches are the positive sciences and whose trunk is the uni-
fying scientia universalis.
34
Phenomenology purports to be this unifying
science; in this sense “Cartesianism” means that only evidence of “egoic”
experience can give the ego apodictic evidence, whereas experience of
worldly entities is potentially doubtful, deceiving, etc. This is so, essen-
tially, because mundane experience can undergo modalizations. In Ideas
I, Husserl considered the epoché as a turn away from the world and
its experience to the realm of pure consciousness by virtue of brack-
eting the “reality claims” of the natural attitude, thus as a move from
transcendence to pure immanence.
35
The argument for this turn to “inwardness” as a basis for apodictic
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knowledge runs as follows. Nobody doubts the evidence of something
given directly, in intuition. An external thing, a sensuous object, gives
itself as itself, and is to be taken as such. The principle of all princi-
ples—to “take everything that gives itself in intuition originarily . . . as
what it gives itself, but only within the boundaries in which it gives
itself ”
36
—is stated precisely to support this claim. However, upon closer
inspection, what is seen of a perceptual object is merely its front side
facing me. The back side will always be hidden; as I turn the object
around to see its back side, its front side will again be hidden, etc.
An external object always is given in “adumbrations,” and therefore
the evidence of this object will never be absolute. Indeed, the mani-
fest side gives itself with apodictic evidence; in direct perception there
can be no doubt about it. However, other unseen sides can always
turn out to be different than anticipated. I will never see the totality
of an external thing, the evidence regarding it will always be presump-
tive. Evidence about transcendent objects will not be apodictic. Since
Husserl is searching for an absolute, apodictic foundation, the external
experience of transcendent objects does not qualify. Immanent expe-
rience on the other hand does not adumbrate itself. It is given apod-
ictically and adequately—or, there is no difference between both forms
of evidence. Only inner experience can be the basis for apodictic knowl-
edge, since there is no uncertainty regarding its evidence. “A mental
process is not adumbrated. . . . Rather is it evident . . . from the essence of
cogitationes, from the essence of mental processes of any kind, that
they exclude anything like that [sc., adumbrations].”
37
To be sure, there is no backside to the anger I feel or reflection I
carry out. If inner experiences do not adumbrate themselves, this means
that they cannot have a “spatial” extension; the category of “spatiality”
does not apply. It might be a form of intuition, but that which is intu-
ited in inner experience is not spatial. While I can only imagine the
external object as seeing it from its front side with its back side unseen,
the imagination itself is given directly and absolutely. In other words,
the lack of spatiality regarding inner experiences seems to be the criterion
for not adumbrating. Whereas adumbrations are linked to spatiality,
it will sound trivial to say that experience takes place in time. Following
Husserl’s analyses of time consciousness one can say that the time “of ”
these experiences is not external, natural time, but the time “of ” the
experiences themselves. Experiences are “given” in a temporal now in
a “primal impression” within a constant flow of time consciousness.
Experiences “flow away” from my current, living now and are retained
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within a certain halo from my present Now, until they recede out of
the periphery of my “mental eyesight” into the “stock” of my mem-
ory. “Periphery” connotes a certain spatiality, namely, a distance from
my present Now. This distance becomes apparent when an experience
slips out of my immediate retention into memory, when I forget what
I had just heard or thought. The very “act” of forgetting questions
the apodictic evidence of inner experience. Nevertheless, one need not
revert to such an obvious example. Already the “fading out” of expe-
rience in retention challenges the claim of apodicticity in inner expe-
rience in its totality. Inner experience can even deceive me; memory
might be false or incomplete, etc. Having full and total access to all
fields of my consciousness would mean that the Ego disposes over a
divine consciousness.
Indeed, time can be seen as a certain analogue of space in the sense
that, just as the spatiality of an object prevents us from gaining a fully
transparent view of it, so does the temporality of lived-experiences keep
us from “having” the totality of consciousness in one act. Since all
actual experience is “had” in the lived present, the temporally extended
nature of our mental life evades a complete overview.
38
Because I can
only view my mental life in a reflective gaze, I cannot “step outside”
of it, since I am bound to the now in which my experiences are
“actual.” I will always have experiences, also of reflection, in a living
present, and this present will move to an ever-new present from which
previous experiences will recede into recollection. Thus, Husserl’s own
concept of time-consciousness “behind his back” counters his own claim
to apodictic evidence of inner experience. Accounting for this in actual
analyses subtly moves Husserl away from the Cartesian motif of apo-
dictic evidence on the basis of ego cogito; for, were one to limit oneself
to “egoic” experience in apodictic evidence, one would have to con-
tent oneself with in fact a very small portion of subjective life.
If one, however, leaves aside the claim to apodictic foundation, a
whole world of subjective life opens up, readily available to be explored.
“This seemingly empoverished ego cogito has opened up to us an endless
realm of instrinsically intertwined phenomena, so to speak a phenom-
enological jungle. . . . [O]nly as a transcendental ego he [sc., the begin-
ning philosopher] could posit himself and only his absolute life with
cogito and cogitatum remains. However, it seems, an eternal manifold
lies herein.”
39
Put otherwise, Husserl’s insight into the extension of this
cogito forces him to expand the sphere of the ego itself. At the same
time, one cannot do without the ego, for there must be a synthesizing
RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 210
agent which binds the cogitationes together within one stream of con-
sciousness. As Husserl says in the Cartesian Meditations, the form of ego—
cogito—cogitatum is the general form of all conscious life.
40
Including the
cogitatum as the actual field of experience for the phenomenologist, apart
from “foundationalist” intentions, gives rise to a whole new sphere of
experience, which will be dealt with an equally novel discipline: phe-
nomenological psychology. The questions, then, will be a) how to char-
acterize this “field” of cogitata and, more importantly, b) how to account
for it methodologically. Given the desideratum of such a new “tran-
scendental science,” Husserl has to give answers to two interrelated
questions: what kind of analysis can there be of this phenomenal
“realm” or “field,” and how is this possible as a science, if this field
structure in its breadth escapes the claim for apodictic evidence? What
is the theme of phenomenological research, given that the ego is more
than a pure ego? In a different terminology, how can one account for
consciousness if consciousness itself has a “horizonal” structure?
From its inception in the Logical Investigations, phenomenology endeav-
ors to analyze consciousness. The “positive” discipline for this is, nat-
urally, psychology. However, phenomenology as rigorous science aims
at moving from facts regarding the human consciousness to essences;
it is an eidetic science of consciousness, as essentially characterized by
the structure of intentionality. Yet, this intentionality is itself not a
homogenous and “uniform” framework but is structured by the struc-
ture of cogito—cogitatum. Accounting for this “rich” structure calls for a
whole “psychology” on the basis of the phenomenological principles
(intentionality). Phenomenological psychology is this designated disci-
pline performed on the basis of an eidetic description of conscious
phenomena. Structuring this discipline has its own problems and
difficulties, which shall not be discussed here. Yet it is clear how it
would be necessary to systematically carry this out as a “universal”
analysis. Husserl reflected intensely on how to perform this task in a
systematic fashion.
41
In short, he proceeds from a positive science within
the whole of the human sciences. In this framework, psychology, as
science of consciousness conceived as a single ego would be followed
by the science of communal spirit
42
in the framework of a phenomenology
of intersubjectivity. However, these considerations, according to Husserl,
thematize subjectivity as part of the world and hence remain bound
to the natural attitude.
Hence, psychology is at first the thematization of an eidetics of
(worldly) consciousness, but not transcendental subjectivity, because
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psychology as a positive science, due to its methodological naivety,
remains blind to the transcendental dimension.
43
Thus, in numerous
attempts, Husserl strives to show how phenomenological psychology
can motivate the reduction from worldly to transcendental conscious-
ness by pointing out its methodological shortcomings and by explain-
ing why a pheno-menological psychology must necessarily lead to the
transcendental dimension. It might well be that the picture Husserl
draws of such a pre-transcendental psychology is a mere caricature in
order to expound his own “transcendental discipline” in contrast to it;
yet Husserl was also influenced by contemporary theories of psychol-
ogy, which he hoped to embed in a transcendental framework. How,
then, is the shift from phenomenological psychology to transcendental
phenomenology motivated, and more importantly, how is it possible?
Both questions belong together, for Husserl’s strategy for demonstrat-
ing the necessity of moving to the transcendental dimension is to
uncover the problems and paradoxes that arise if one remains bound
to a purely “psychological” concept of subjectivity. Thus, how can I
gain an overview over subjective life if I remain bound to my expe-
rience in the “lived present”?
The answer lies in the doctrine of the splitting of the ego, which
addresses the problem arising from expanding the ego to a field struc-
ture. If consciousness is more than an Ego (a cogito) but a whole sphere
of conscious life, then the question of the agent, the “unparticipating
observer”
44
carrying out this discipline, becomes pressing. An overview
of this sphere—which is a sphere of intersubjectivity—harbors the dan-
ger of dissolving this very agent that strives to gain an uninhibited
view over transcendental life. The life the ego experiences by reflection
is nothing but the life of this agent itself—but is it entirely her life
only? Yet, the Ego can only access this conscious life that it calls its
own by introspection. Thus, reflecting on one’s conscious life yields
access to this consciousness, but it also creates the following problem:
how can I have access to this conscious life as such if I can never
step outside of my individual self? And even if I could gain access,
how can I experience these regions, which are not mine alone, without
losing my individuality? I can inhibit the general thesis of the natural
attitude and turn to my consciousness. But how am I to characterize
the relationship between myself, the observing agent, and that which
I observe, if the latter is the whole sphere of consciousness? Would this
not end up in a vicious circle?
In phenomenological psychology, as in any science, there is a region
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to be observed and an observer. Only here we face the curious situation
that the observer and observed are of one and the same essence.
Hence, only an artificial rupture, which splits the ego into an observer
and a thematic field, can establish this difference of the same: the Ego
and her own conscious life. “In my living present I have in coexis-
tence the doubled ego and the doubled ego act; thus the ego, which
now continuously observes [e.g.] the house, and the ego, which car-
ries out this act: ‘I am aware that I am continuously observing the
house’.”
45
In principle this doubling has no limit. I can always again
reflect upon that which I have just observed and reflect upon this
reflection in infinitum. I can always make the part of the Ego that I
reflect upon “patent,” whereas the reflective ego will remain “latent.”
However, the reflection by a latent ego (which can occur repeatedly
in “iteration”) will render the latent ego patent, etc.
46
This infinite
regress, to Husserl, is “undangerous” because we are not dealing here
with a logical foundation; rather, it reveals, over and over, the reflective
“I can.” Although the reflection upon yet another ego yields no new
insight, the possible “iteration” of reflection proves the feasibility of
the reflective faculty of consciousness and asserts the Ego’s “insolubil-
ity” and centered “stability” in ever new reflective acts.
Whereas this iteration adds no new insight into the nature of con-
sciousness, the splitting into the observer of conscious life and con-
sciousness itself as a result of this activity can only occur as a radical
split, a rupture within the originally unitary conscious life. “Naive” life
has its breaks and ruptures, but is overall “one” due to the shared
belief in the general thesis of the natural attitude. Hence, the break
with the natural attitude in the epoché is to be conceived as a split
between the philosophizing Ego and that which it observes, consciousness
itself, in acting out its life intentionally in the form of the natural atti-
tude. The epoché is hence a radical splitting of the Ego. The reflective
ego is no longer under the “spell” of the general thesis; it reflectively
turns its attention to consciousness, which, in turn, is intentionally directed
at the world. As all intentional life “shoots at” the world and is as
such “enamored” with it—here Husserl plays on the pun “verschossen”
47

this reflective turn requires a radical change of attitude, although the
intentional character of the reflective ego itself is not altered. An alter-
native formulation of ‘being intentionally directed at the world’ is ‘being
interested in its affairs’. Hence, the term “uninterested observer” becomes
understandable as not being interested in the general thesis of naively
positing the world as existing in different ways. Husserl later prefers
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the term “unparticipating” to describe the “status” of this agent, as
the term “uninterested” implies an indifference. To be sure, the observer
is eminently interested in knowledge about consciousness—she is inter-
ested in a way the natural ego cannot and never will be “interested”
as long as it lives in the natural attitude. Alternatively, and more ade-
quately, “unparticipating” suggests that the philosophizing Ego does
not participate in asserting the general thesis of the natural attitude.
This splitting enables a view on the totality of conscious life. This
is not a “view from nowhere” because that which I gain access to is
nothing but my own life from the first person perspective. What can this
tell us about the discipline of phenomenological psychology, as yield-
ing a point of access to phenomenology? Is it necessary for it to be a
transcendental discipline? Ultimately, it has to be, because this totality
only comes into view after a break with the natural attitude. The split-
ting of the ego and the break with the natural attitude are inextricably
bound together. However, it is possible to practice an eidetic science
of consciousness. Here, too, there is the difference between a scientific
agent and the region this science thematizes. But this does not suffice
to gain a total overview over consciousness as such. Thus, the consequence
of the endeavor to thematize the totality of psychology’s subject mat-
ter necessitates the transcendental turn, something that psychology by
definition cannot accomplish. Thus, as long as this discipline does not
inhibit the general thesis, it remains on the ground of the natural atti-
tude as a positive science. Hence, paradoxically, mundane conscious-
ness thematizes itself as part of the world. In the hierarchy of the
foundational strata of nature and spirit this discipline deals with con-
scious life on the foundation of nature. The “personalistic” attitude,
which psychology occupies and which is necessary to access subjectiv-
ity, is thus an abstraction from the natural attitude, which experiences
the whole of constituted life, albeit without any knowledge of its own
accomplishments of constituting the world for itself.
By contrast, transcendental subjectivity is not part of the world; it
is the world’s correlate as product of its constitution. Transcendental
subjectivity is not in the world; it constitutes the world. Only the split-
ting of the ego makes it possible for the observer to have a “tran-
scendental experience” while remaining a mundane Ego. The Ego is
at the same time an object in the world and a subject for the world.
48
Yet, a phenomenological psychology, based in the natural attitude, is
indeed possible. The transcendental viewpoint, already accessed in the
Cartesian way, clarifies that this discipline, as a positive science, remains
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incomplete and methodologically ambiguous. A true phenomenological
psychology is necessarily forced to perform the reduction and move from
a mundane to a transcendental account. Thus, despite psychology’s
philosophical inadequacy, phenomenological psychology and transcen-
dental phenomenology are “parallel” disciplines. This parallelism, how-
ever, vanishes with the realization that this consciousness is nothing
but transcendental consciousness once one has inhibited the general
thesis. Or, viewed from the transcendental “side,” mundane con-
sciousness is an incomplete “part” or “layer” of consciousness that is
not part of the world, but correlated to it (the “correlational a priori”).
Hence, a methodological consideration of phenomenological psychol-
ogy reveals “that the consistent and pure execution of this task of a
radical reform of psychology had to lead, of itself and of necessity, to
a science of transcendental subjectivity and thus to its transformation
into a universal transcendental philosophy.”
49
Apart from psychology’s yielding an entrance gate to transcenden-
tal phenomenology or conceiving of psychology as a preliminary dis-
cipline before a treatment of ‘consciousness as such’, another result
comes to the fore in expanding phenomenology into a full-blown tran-
scendental discipline, namely, the unparticipating observer. Contrasted
with the Cartesian approach, the establishing of this agent “saves” the
philosophizing Ego from becoming “lost” or “drowning” within the
vast transcendental field. Moreover, only this way of access to the tran-
scendental as a sphere of experience opens the view towards tran-
scendental intersubjectivity—as a community of subjects constituting a
communal world. Yet, establishing this observer in a conscious method-
ological move retains the radicality of the Cartesian approach as it
insists on a philosophizing agent practicing this introspection; it can
be seen as a Cartesian remnant in a wholly different agenda. Only
with the clear carving out of such an agent can the philosopher claim
to take over responsibility for his or her own actions as a scientist and
human being. Not by accident is Socrates the archetype of a radical
inquirer, who has discovered the foundation of all knowledge in himself.
50
For Husserl, practicing radical self-introspection in the way outlined
equates living the ethical ideal of self-responsibility. This explicit estab-
lishing of the philosophical observer thus opens the path to “ethical”
considerations of the role of the philosopher, which are a crucial part
of Husserl’s late reflections.
51
Thus, moving from the Cartesian approach to the way into phe-
nomenology via psychology enables Husserl to harmonize the two
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requirements that satisfy his demand for rigorous science. The first
task is that of founding a scientific discipline, which phenomenology
claims to be—hence it provides more than “just” a philosophical foun-
dation in an Ego, rather a discipline of the cogitata of this cogito in the
broadest conceivable sense. The second requirement is that of living
up to the “epistemologico-ethical” ideal of fully legitimizing the actions
of the philosopher. This is only possible because the epoché opens up
an overview over the totality of consciousness that hitherto, and by
necessity, was hidden in this totality. As such, this science presents an
ideal for all other sciences. The idea of science as well as that of the
scientist are products of a variation from the philosopher as the “model
scientist,” and hence apply to all factual appearances of them.
52
Thus, the way via psychology becomes the “grand path” into phe-
nomenology, since such a psychology leads necessarily into transcen-
dental phenomenology, if taken to its methodological conclusions.
Psychology is the “field of decision” for an adequate framing of tran-
scendental phenomenology. Put differently, the modern separation of
psychology and transcendental philosophy has led to the fateful devel-
opment in modern philosophy, psychologism. Husserl’s transcendental
phenomenology can be seen as an effort to combine both strands gone
astray into one transcendental discipline. If psychology is truly to be
part of critical philosophy, it cannot be carried out from “an empiri-
cal point of view” (as Husserl’s heritage from the Brentano school
made him believe), but rather “according to critical method,” as, for
example, Natorp the Kantian conceived of psychology.
53
C. Tnr W\v yi\ +nr Lirr-Wonrr
In his last attempt to present an introduction into phenomenology in
the Crisis, Husserl proposes yet another way, that via the life-world
(the “ontological way”).
54
Although he already pursued this path in his
earlier work from the 1920s, it is not until the Crisis that it achieves
its most mature presentation as Husserl’s “last word” regarding this
topic. Without devaluating his previous attempts, Husserl considered
this path the principal one, although Husserl merely draws the con-
sequence from his earlier reflections. What motivated Husserl to broach
yet another path and what are its main lines of thought?
Insight into the nature of transcendental consciousness reveals “the
transcendental” to have essentially intersubjective and genetic dimensions.
On the deepest level ( passivity) it cannot even be called “subjective”
anymore. Husserl uses different terms to describe it, from simply “the
RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 216
transcendental” to “transcendental world,” etc. The initial conception
of transcendental subjectivity is expanded into two major dimensions:
as a field of consciousness it is not “only” a subjectivity but always
already an intersubjectivity. Furthermore, the description of this field
is incomplete if only analyzed in a static register. The static descrip-
tion turns out merely to grasp the uppermost stratum within a uni-
verse of genetic development.
55
Phenomenology in this full sense as a
theory of world constitution accounts for how transcendental con-
sciousness “forms” the world as product of its experience. Thus, only
a full understanding of this consciousness can give the philosopher an
equally full concept of the world as life-world. Since transcendental con-
sciousness as world constituting and the life-world as the product of
constitution are correlates, thematizing either of them yields a way into
phenomenology. Hence, the way via psychology and that via the life-
world complement each other. Whether I take my point of departure
from mundane consciousness and reduce to its transcendental “coun-
terpart,” or if I inquire back from the pre-given life-world to its con-
stituting achievements, I arrive at transcendental (inter-)subjectivity as
the “absolute being” that constitutes the world.
56
This means, if inquiring back into transcendental consciousness
reveals the world as what it truly is—a product of the transcendental
constitution—then only transcendental phenomenology can render a
real understanding of the world as a life-world. In other words, as long
as the world is not framed within this correlation, it has not been fully
understood. This is also a critique of the positive sciences. It is not the
case that they have relinquished their ideal to account for the essence
of the world, as much as they have pursued a wrong path and have
become blind to the true being of the world insofar as they have
abstracted from it and have forgotten its basic character, as a world of
everyday life. This is one of the main themes in the Crisis, where Husserl
tries to give a diagnosis of his time and to show how transcendental
phenomenology can help solve this crisis. This “missionary” motif in
Husserl’s philosophy goes back to the Kaizo-Articles from 1922, in
which he calls for a “renewal” of the European spirit.
57
When some
15 years later he diagnoses a “crisis” in modern European culture, he
reverts to the same topic. In both cases, Husserl proposes: the world
must be saved through rigorous science, this science ultimately being
phenomenology.
58
What does the crisis of modern European science consist in? Science
has departed from the life-world in modernity by its method of math-
ematization. This process is an abstraction that has converted the world
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into a mathematical universe.
59
Two results, again correlative, follow:
First, science abstracts from the “real” world and lives in its own world
of formulae. It has “forgotten” the life-world.
60
As a consequence, it
loses sight of the original life-world from which it has emerged and
continues to emerge. In this process, science not only loses sight of
the life-world but it replaces it with the scientific world. The life-world
has become covered up by a scientific view of this world that does
not see the world as what it is in its original sense: a world of pre-
scientific, pre-philosophical life. However, is not the scientific form of
life also a form of life, and a very special one? In what sense can the
life-world, accordingly, be pre-scientific? Whence this critique of science?
There can be no doubt about Husserl’s undiminished high regard
for science. One must never understand his call back to the life-world
as breaking with the ideal of a “scientific” mastery of the world. That
would be a crass misreading of Husserl’s famous quote of the dream
of rigorous science “ending.”
61
Indeed, the phenomenological approach
does thematize the world as a life-world and is conceived as a counter-
balance to the positive sciences, but its goal is also, thereby, to bring
the sciences back on track. Thus, phenomenology does in no way
devalue the achievements of the positive sciences, but wants to embed
them in an all-embracing scientific endeavor that should remain “in
touch” with the life-world from which it has sprung. What, then, does
Husserl mean by life-world?
62
The world of science is opposed to the
pre-scientific world. The life-world is hence the world of the pre-scientific
attitude; indeed, it is nothing but the world the natural attitude has
as its correlate. It is the subjective-relative world of dÒja as opposed
to the world of §pistÆmh. Not only does modern science “leap over”
this world, it has been never precisely in its pre-scientific character the
theme of a scientific endeavor, because relativity (to the subject, in this
case) was its decided terminus a quo; the terminus ad quem was objective
truth (and not the “subjective” truth “of the market place”). However,
the pre-scientific life-world is the basis of all human actions, natural
or scientific. Hence, it is the task of phenomenological reflection, first
of all, to thematize this life-world, that is, to re-cover it by uncovering
the abstractive strata that have become laid over it. Husserl calls for
a “reduction to the life-world” in the specific sense of an initial “opening
up,” because the life-world has been “forgotten” by modern man in
striving for a scientific world domination. Strictly speaking, one cannot
call this forgetfulness, since it never was thematized in the first place. It
has the character of a “primal doxa.” Not thematizing this as a founda-
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tion even for the sciences, means leaving the latter dangling in open space.
How is this “life-world reduction” executed? Paradoxically, one must
carry it out as a scientific endeavor aiming at a universal “ontology
of the life-world” (cf. Crisis, §51). As such, it seems it should be car-
ried out in the natural attitude. From the higher, transcendental stand-
point, however, the natural attitude has been understood as a “lower”
(naïve) form of the former and can only “artificially” be restituted.
This could be seen as contradicting Husserl’s own intentions in that
he seems to rescind the reduction. However, one has to insist that it
is a reduction that allows us to see the life-world as such (“stripped” of
idealizations). This “life-world reduction” reduces to the world before
any idealizations and reveals the sphere of basic life as the funda-
mental “presupposition”
63
of any activity.
64
An ontology of the life-world has been perhaps one of the most
intriguing ideas in the late Husserl. What this ontology consists of and
how it is to be carried out shall not be discussed here. However, the
very conception of this discipline is important in the present context,
because it also yields a way into the transcendental once we realize
that the life-world is a “product” of constitution. Indeed, this concrete
world of the natural attitude cannot come into view without practicing
a universal epoché. One needs the reduction to uncover the sphere of
transcendental subjectivity that constitutes this world as the world of
the natural attitude, from which any activity takes its stand. Only by
understanding the transcendental as constituting can we have access
to the world in its base-function, i.e., as pre-philosophical life-world.
The reduction must even go beyond the philosophical standpoint, and
the phenomenologist has to make her way back into the natural atti-
tude, without, however, forgetting its transcendental “origin.” Husserl
called this reverse movement “enworlding.”
65
Only through a universal epoché from the life-world can we attain
a full appreciation of the correlation between world and transcenden-
tal subjectivity. As Kern puts it: “only the ontological way hence grasps
subjectivity really as transcendental.”
66
Accordingly, only a thematiza-
tion of the life-world attains a view of the world in its universal dimen-
sions. After all, the world of the scientist is also a “world,” despite
resting on its un-thematic basis, the life-world. The world is thus a
universal foundation. Since transcendental subjectivity and life-world
are correlates in the framework of constitution, gaining a full grasp of
either one includes the possibility of understanding the other; one can-
not go without the other. Only from the standpoint of an ontology of
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the life-world can one practice the transcendental reduction. Likewise,
only through a full analysis of transcendental subjectivity in its broad-
est dimensions can we understand the world as the product of con-
stitution and thus as what it ultimately is: a historic world of life with
its genesis, history and a ground on which historic “subjectivities” have
developed and can ever develop. Only from this perspective can phe-
nomenology ultimately thematize the transcendental problem of history.
Indeed, Husserl insists that the reduction is in no way an impover-
ishment or a “reducing” of the world to some singular transcendental
ego. In fact, the reduction opens up a view on the world by transcending
the naiveté of the natural attitude towards a universal standpoint. What
has sometimes been understood as a “dis-engagement” with the world
turns out to be precisely the way to fully come to understand it.
67
Furthermore, the discovery of the genetic dimension of world con-
stitution reveals the life-world to be not only historical but also, in its
historicity, to have “laws of genesis.” Tracing back the history of the
life-world in its decisive developmental steps—its primal institutings—
reveals these as developments on the way to transcendental phenom-
enology itself. The sketch of phenomenological “archeology” Husserl
performs in the first part of the Crisis in going back to the first rudi-
mentary forms of mathematization in ancient Greece is a reconstruc-
tion of how science and philosophy have come about in a certain his-
torical situation. It is a reconstruction of how science arose from the
pre-philosophical life-world through a radically new idea, the math-
ematization of nature. But there is also a “progressive” side to this
historical consideration. Husserl’s reconstruction of the history of phi-
losophy is also an effort to trace these “primal institutings” as coming
ever closer to the discovery of transcendental subjectivity until it—in
this very “Hegelian”—reaches its decisive breakthrough in phenome-
nology. However, neither history nor philosophy come to an end;
rather, they should proceed from here—this was Husserl’s hope—in
a new and transcendentally enlightened style. Thus, by interpreting
history teleologically as a critical history of ideas,
68
it can be under-
stood as eclipsing in the reduction and from here as the way into a
transcendental reconstruction of the historic life-world.
To sum up, I have attempted to systematically present the three
principal ways into phenomenology. Although Husserl never gave a
systematic account of these ways, he was, at least at the end of his
life, convinced that there was an underlying systematics. There is ulti-
mately but one way, which may have its different procedures: the way
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through the life-world. In a self-critical note, in one of his last man-
uscripts from 1937, he writes:
I have drafted different introductions into transcendental-phenomenolog-
ical philosophy. . . . We shall see that this life-world is nothing but the
historical world. From here, it becomes conceivable that a complete sys-
tematic introduction into phenomenology begins and is to be carried
through as a universal historical problem. If one introduces the epoché
without the historic framing, then the problem of the life-world, i.e. of
universal history, remains unsolved. The introduction in Ideas [the Cartesian
way, sc.] does in fact retain its right, but I now consider the historical
way to be more principal and systematic.
69
III. Conclusion and Critique:
The Reduction Between Transcendental Ego and Life-World
In various ways Husserl tried to come to terms with what he intended
by the reduction. His sometimes emphatic or ceremonious formulations
show that he has more in mind than just solving a specific epistemological
problem. Rather, the epistemological problem in its full dimensions is
of such importance that solving it is comparable to a full “conversion
of humankind.” However literally these characterizations are to be
understood, Husserl emphasizes that he considers the reduction his
greatest discovery; he is convinced that it is also the most difficult part
of his philosophy. “The reduction” is much more than a purely method-
ological device.
70
At times it becomes a synonym for his entire phi-
losophy. Let us look at the consequences to which this leads.
The discussion of the ways into the reduction has shown that there
are two focal points the reduction leads to: the life-world as a consti-
tutive product of the full scope of the transcendental, on the one hand,
and, on the other, the transcendental Ego that, discovered by the
unparticipating observer, is the basis for any apodictic evidence upon
which to build the edifice of science. What are Husserl’s intentions in
focusing on these two phenomena?
Let us start with the Ego of the phenomenologist. Establishing this
observer vis-à-vis transcendental life in the process of constituting the
world puts the philosopher in the position of accounting for this tran-
scendental life, which he “partakes” of. This life is, in the last instance,
nothing other than “my own.” Accounting for it is more than an epis-
temological task. Since the phenomenological scientist has to legitimate
her actions, she has to give account of them responsibly and ultimately
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for herself. Accounting for one’s own deepest “self ” is more than just
performing another scientific “job”; it is a task of the highest respon-
sibility possible. The “dignity” of the philosopher’s activity stems from
his duty to act responsibly as a researcher. “Acting rightfully” in doing
philosophy is so much an ethical issue that one cannot conceive of
philosophy as being only a “job.” It is rather a “vocation.” In this
Husserl alludes to the German Beruf ( job) as derived from Berufung
(vocation).
71
Being a “good philosopher” becomes an ethical ideal.
Contrary to the view that the epoché enacts a “disengagement” with
the world, the position of the phenomenological observer is precisely
a radical giving an account of this life. This is possible because the
“unparticipating” view first makes a universal “overview” possible. This
is not to say that everyone ought to become a philosopher. However,
becoming one means not only achieving the highest dignity humanly
possible but also living humanness, which consists in rationality, to the
fullest. Becoming a philosopher as the one who has performed the
reduction and discovered absolute life “within” him- or herself, means
fulfilling a “self-forming of the ego through absolute reflection to the
absolutely genuine human.”
72
It is an ideal task of justifying all of one’s
actions and taking responsibility for them. This lies within the teleol-
ogy of human (rational) faculties. If practical rationality is a question
of freedom, then the philosopher’s actions in her “phenomenologizing”
activity are a genuine pursuit of freedom. Moreover, the philosopher
is even grander in this pursuit of freedom since she has become aware
of this freedom as a full instantiation of rationality discovered in leav-
ing the boundaries of the natural attitude. It is a freedom understood,
rather than “blindly” acted out.
73
Yet, the transcendental life I discover within myself is more than
my own life. The reduction yields the insight that transcendental achieve-
ments never belong only to me; the world is never a product of my
activity alone but of a transcendental intersubjectivity. Individual sub-
jectivity becomes formed only in terms of others, the ones before me
and after me, the ones I have never encountered and never will
encounter, etc. All of these have “contributed” to the world as it is.
Thus, the reduction gives access to transcendental life as such, and
hence breaks the spell of solipsism. In and through transcendental inter-
subjectivity we are bound together in one “spiritual” totality. Thus,
Husserl calls the philosophers the “functionaries of mankind.” They
can assume this function insofar as taking over responsibility for myself
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directly leads to all the others as united in the totality of “monads.”
The philosopher has a double task. On the one hand, he interprets the
life of humankind in an “absolute” view. On the other, the philoso-
pher in his activity of discovering this truth has to give account (lÒgon
d¤donai) for the actions of mankind in their relative ways of life and
in the multitude of (special) worlds. Giving a description of this life in
this world is the first step of judging human actions. Thus, Husserl
states programmatically, “phenomenological explication does nothing
but explicate the sense this world has for us all, prior to any philos-
ophizing, and obviously gets solely from our experience—a sense which
philosophy can uncover but never alter.”
74
Thus, the philosopher’s role is that of calling mankind back to its
preconceived, teleological path. This is the role that the philosopher
and citizen Husserl assumed in the Crisis at a time in which not only
science had deviated from its designated path but a whole nation had
gone astray, blinded by a frenzy of nationalism and racism. Husserl’s
calling for a reform of science in the light of the political upheaval in
Nazi Germany might seem utterly naïve to us. However, one must
bear in mind what science meant in the whole of human culture to
Husserl: Scientific and ultimately philosophical activity are the highest
realizations of human life as such. In this “emphatic” sense the philoso-
pher’s role might well be described, with Nietzsche, as a “doctor of
culture.” Indeed, a “crisis” can also be understood in medical terms
as the crest of a sickness. Thus, the philosopher cannot directly inter-
vene in the course of history—the sense of the world is one that can
“never” be altered. Rather, one can only react to a disease that has
already taken its course; that is, the philosopher has the duty to point
out where and why, from which motives, this deviation from the “good”
path has occurred and show possible ways out of the crisis.
However, despite the emphasis on the philosopher’s role as standing
in lieu of humanity, Husserl insists on the “uniqueness” and “personal
indeclinability”
75
of the philosophizing ego. Despite Husserl’s empha-
sis upon intersubjectivity, he holds that the agent can never be “reduced”
to an irrelevant, contingent mode within an inter-monadic totality:
The ‘I’ that I attain in the epoché . . . is actually called ‘I’ only by equiv-
ocation—though it is an essential equivocation since, when I name it in
reflection, I can say nothing other than: it is I who practice the epoché,
I who interrogate, as phenomenon, the world which is now valid for me
according to its being and being-such, with all its human beings, of whom
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I am so fully conscious; it is I who stand above all natural existence that
has meaning for me, who am the ego-pole of this transcendental life, in
which, at first, the world has meaning for me purely as world; it is I
who, taken in full concreteness, encompass all that.
76
Thus, Husserl’s philosophy remains a critical transcendental philosophy
that can never do without an absolute ego as foundation and starting
point of all reflection. It is precisely this “Cartesianistic” motif that
Husserl never gives up, because it is connected to the idea that there
is ultimately an apodictic foundation, an “Archimedean point” that
provides a final foundation in the evidence of the ego. The consequence
of the reduction pursued thus far leads to a partial validation of the
“Cartesian” Husserl. It is from this approach only that he can inter-
pret the role of the philosopher in the framework of cultural activity
of mankind. In order to secure this cultural implication and to enable
the philosopher to be more than a citizen of an ivory tower, Husserl
“needs” Cartesianism.
However, on the other side of the balances, there is the issue of
the life-world, which becomes increasingly important to the later Husserl.
Some scholars, most forcefully Husserl’s own former assistant Landgrebe,
have interpreted Husserl’s turn of attention to the pre-scientific world
as a “departure from Cartesianism,”
77
as Landgrebe famously phrases
it. His argument is that Husserl realized that he could not lay an apo-
dictic foundation in the Ego. Therefore, he (more or less consciously)
abandoned this project and instead turned to the life-world as the
actual working field of phenomenology. Performing an “ontology of
the life-world” is the true task for phenomenology. In order to do this,
one does not need a Cartesian reduction to a transcendental con-
sciousness. Hence, the departure has already occurred behind Husserl’s
back, the moment he turned to the life-world as his primary field of
interest. This reading of Husserl’s late philosophy has been very dom-
inant in the first decades after Husserl’s death and has clearly been
influenced by Heidegger, more precisely by the notion that Husserl
himself was (subconsciously) influenced by Heidegger’s hermeneutics of
facticity. This is evidenced, supposedly, by Husserl’s unfinished sketch
of a life-world ontology. The fact that this ontology was never worked
out in detail and only hinted at in the Crisis was taken as an implicit
proof that the problem of the life-world was merely an “afterthought,”
a glimpse of something radically new that Husserl was not able to give
account of ultimately.
78
It was an idea hinted at rather than clearly
seen in view of its consequences, namely, that it would lead to an
abandoning of his transcendental project.
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However, in the past three decades a good deal of manuscript mate-
rial from Husserl’s Nachlass has been published showing that a “the-
ory of world apperception”
79
is in fact not only worked out in great
detail; indeed, Husserl had been working on a life-world interpretation
already since the early 1920s. Since this material has become known, the
“departure”-thesis has become highly problematic, and there is con-
sensus among scholars that Husserl ultimately was not able to “achieve”
this last step.
80
More importantly, it could never have been his inten-
tion to leave Cartesianism behind. But how can both tendencies be
reconciled? Although Landgrebe’s assessment of Husserl’s late thought
is clearly incorrect, and if one, furthermore, “substracts” the Heidegger-
inspired overtones of this interpretation, did he perhaps see something
that is not altogether wrong?
As has been shown, transcendental and life-worldly, “ontological”
analysis complement each other to Husserl. Therefore, the reduction
is needed in order to access this life-world, since in all “normal” pur-
suit of life it is un-thematic and remains all the more un-thematized in
modern science. That is, by science’s abstracting from the life-world,
it is nevertheless bound to it unknowingly. Thematizing the life-world,
as that which always remains un-thematized in the natural attitude,
means already having left the natural attitude. Nevertheless, this does
not mean doing away with it. To the contrary, it remains the basic form
of life (the philosopher remains a citizen, a father, a mother etc.). From
the transcendental standpoint one understands the natural attitude as
a “lower” stance, or which says the same, the natural attitude is already
transcendental, yet without knowing it. The natural attitude is “impli-
cated” in the transcendental perspective.
81
For an ontology of the life-world, this entails that Husserl’s “resti-
tuting”
82
of the natural attitude in order to attain a standpoint to ana-
lyze it cannot mean that we, the analyzing philosophers, are to “for-
get” the perspective gained in the reduction. Going back into the old
attitude, resuscitating the old naiveté, is impossible, as Husserl points
out. Rather, this step back must be understood as a quasi-imaginary
move: I pretend to go back into the “old” attitude and from there
description of life-world can proceed in analyzing what life in the nat-
ural attitude was like before I became aware of it. We can understand
“restitution” in this context as “reconstruction” of something that has
been “un-built” in transcendental analysis.
83
This is why performing
the reduction rightly understood does not stand in contradiction with
the task of a life-world ontology. Tersely put: Without the reduction,
we would never gain an uninhibited view of the life-world.
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Yet, although this ontology is “enabled” through the transcenden-
tal turn, it is also true that this discipline soon takes on its own char-
acter. Describing the world from its most primitive elements, through
first formations of communal life to higher-order personalities and end-
ing up finally in cultures, home-worlds, alien-worlds, etc. is a gigantic
field of research. The rich methodological instruments Husserl has
forged in his development of a genetic phenomenology provide the
tools needed to pursue this task. In fact, one can say, this method
takes on the character of a hermeneutics of the life-world, as it is the
world given to experiencing subjects. It is a description of how the
world we live in has come to be and how it functions. The term
“hermeneutics”—which Husserl uses in a similar context—is designated
to mean precisely this. It is rather a descriptive than a normative disci-
pline. Where Husserl attempts such descriptions—for example, in analy-
ses of Greek culture and philosophy—the “genetic” is oftentimes indis-
tinguishable from factual-historical analyses.
84
It is thus not surprising
that quasi-philosophical disciplines such as sociology, political theory,
history, and pedagogy have taken up Husserl’s ideas on the life-world.
Furthermore, it cannot be accidental that the term life-world has become
almost a household name that nowadays has little to do with its ori-
gin. The very “mundaneity” of the problem of the world of life suggests its remote-
ness from transcendental questions.
Thus, the interpretation presented here attempts to overcome the
common assertion that there is a “contradiction” between Husserl’s
Cartesian position and his account of the life-world. I have tried to
show that a philosophical thematization of the life-world is not possi-
ble without a transcendental question as to its origin in (inter-)subjec-
tivity. In Husserl’s eyes, both agendas are correlative. At the same
time, I would like to insist that Husserl’s Cartesian account of the sub-
ject and his life-world ontology present two distinct and in this sense,
separate programs. They are projects Husserl pursues with different aims:
Whereas the “Cartesian Husserl” pursues a path of scientific ground-
ing and foundationalism, the “life-world Husserl” is interested in what
can been called a hermeneutics of the world of everyday life. Both
projects are set squarely against each other, not in the sense that they
contradict or cancel each other out, but in that they pursue two different
agendas. They are located on two different “maps.” One can pursue
one while completely neglecting the other. It is possible to pursue a
“theory” of the life-world without at all being interested in transcen-
dental (“constitutional”) problems. Likewise, one can immerse oneself
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in transcendental matters in the tradition of Kant and German Idealism,
and fruitfully utilize Husserl’s contributions to transcendental theories.
85
In the wake of fundamental criticisms of reason and rationality espe-
cially in the second half of the twentieth century, it is understandable
why this path has been of less interest than the former. This, how-
ever, cannot be a reason to discard this aspect of Husserl. In fact,
neglecting the Cartesian Husserl leads to fundamental misunderstand-
ings. These disregard the fact that Husserl never came close to con-
sidering transcendental phenomenology and the idea(l) of rigorous sci-
ence a dream, let alone a dream that could come to an end.
86
This leads, however, to the concluding critical observation. Namely,
Husserl failed to combine these two major aspects of his philosophical
endeavor. There is neither just the “Cartesian” nor the “life-world
Husserl.” There is of systematic necessity both. However, there can-
not be a systematic principle uniting both, since formulating such a prin-
ciple would make the problematic step of considering one of the two
projects as absolute. Favoring one would result in devaluing the other.
It is inconceivable how foundationalist questions following the Cartesian
paradigm would fit into a life-world ontology, precisely because this
ontology is based on “the transcendental” as necessarily an inter-sub-
jectivity. Likewise, it is not clear why such a life-world ontology would
“need” foundationalist clarifications other than clarifying the role of
the philosophizing agent, who is but a minimal focal point of experi-
ence of the life-world. Metaphorically speaking, on the “map” of the
life-world, the Cartesian Ego is an infinitesimally small point. On the
Cartesian “map,” the problem of the life-world comes very late, so
that it lies almost on another “continent.” This is the consequence of
the Janus head of the phenomenological reduction. A sign of Husserl’s
keen philosophical view is that he had looked in both directions, “back-
wards” into the depths of transcendental life and “forward” into the
world. But, as profound as Husserl’s instinct was, this view is either
one-eyed or squinting.
The reduction thus has the double meaning of calling humanity to
its utmost possibilities, to the “true” and “genuine” rational human
being within one’s self, on the one hand. On the other, its task is to
convey an all-embracing understanding of the world we live in, includ-
ing ourselves as dwellers in this world of interests and distinct activi-
ties. The conflict of absolute humanity and relative life pursuit however
remains: we are left with the paradox of human subjectivity, the resolving
of which nobody else can decide but history itself in which reason
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unfolds teleologically—or where it can always disperse and even become
lost. Performing the phenomenological reduction, to Husserl, is nothing
but the constant attempt to “come to reason,” although there might
be factual hindrances on the way to this ideal—a way which neces-
sarily leads through the life-world.
With the reduction, Husserl has touched upon the fundamental issue
of freedom, the freedom to be oneself, or which is to say the same,
the freedom to open oneself to reason as the true meaning of human-
ity. The possibility of performing the phenomenological reduction would
thus be identical with the extent to which freedom is possible.
87
The
critical assertions mentioned notwithstanding, the reduction is Husserl’s
contribution to philosophy in the tradition of the enlightenment that
does not uncritically accept rationality as a given, but wants to con-
ceive of it within a transcendental and intersubjective account of sub-
jectivity. There might be no way to unify the issues of life-world and
Cartesianism, but there might also be no other way to go than into
these two, opposite directions.
88
NOTES
1. Whereas the first generations of Husserl scholars (e.g., E. Fink, R. Boehm, L. Landgrebe,
I. Kern) dealt extensively with the problem of the reduction, lately, especially in the
French phenomenological scene, the reduction has again been a dominant theme,
cf. the works by M. Henry and J.-L. Marion. For a good overview of these newer
tendencies cf. R. Bernet, “La réduction phénoménologique et la double vie du sujet,”
in La Vie du Sujet. Recherches sur l’Interpretation de Husserl Dans la Phénoménologie (Paris:
Presses Universitaires de France, 1994), 5–36.
2. Cf. “Der Zukunft bin ich sicher” [I am certain of the future], letter to his friend
G. Albrecht, December 29, 1930, Briefwechsel, ed. K. Schuhmann with E. Schuhmann,
vol. 3 of Husserliana Dokumente (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1994), 3/9: 75f.
In the following, Husserl’s Collected Works, Husserliana: Gesammelte Werke (Den Haag:
M. Nijhoff, 1950ff.), shall be abbreviated as Hua, followed by volume and page
numbers.
Hua VI: Die Krisis der Europäischen Wissenschaften und die Transzendentale Phänomenologie,
ed. K. Schuhmann (Den Haag: M. Nijhoff, 1976); translated by David Carr under
the title The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology (Evanston:
Northwestern University Press, 1970); hereafter cited as Krisis and Crisis, quoting the
German and English pagination respectively.
Hua III/I: Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und Phänomenologischen Philosophie, vol. 1:
Allgemeine Einführung in die Reine Phänomenologie, ed. W. Biemel (Den Haag: M. Nijhoff,
1950); hereafter cited as Ideen I; translated by F. Kersten under the title Ideas Pertaining
to a Pure Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy, First Book: General Introduction to
a Pure Phenomenology (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1982); hereafter cited as Ideas I.
3. The metaphor of a religious conversion is the image Husserl uses in the Crisis, cf.
Krisis, 140; after Crisis, 141.
4. Cf. Hua VIII: 19.
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5. On a supposed “metaphysical neutrality” already in Husserl’s early works, cf.
D. Zahavi, “Metaphysical Neutrality in Logical Investigations,” in One Hundred Years
of Phenomenology. Husserl’s “Logical Investigations” Revisited, ed. D. Zahavi and F. Stjernfelt.
Phaenomenologica 164 (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2002), 93–108.
6. I. Kern, “Die Drei Wege zur Transzendental-Phänomenologischen Reduktion,” in
Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 24 (1962): 303–49. I shall refer to this article subsequently.
7. Cf. Crisis, appendix text no. XVII, pp. 459ff., where Husserl speaks of “Sonderwahrheiten”
(special, particular truths).
8. Cf. Hua XI: 23f.
9. This aspect in Husserl’s account of the life-world was taken up in Gadamer’s herme-
neutics. Cf. his discussion of Husserl in Truth and Method, part II, §I.3. A, “The
concept of life in Husserl and Count Yorck” (Truth and Method, trans. J. Weinsheimer
and D. G. Marshall, 2nd rev. ed. [New York: Crossroad, 1989], 242ff.).
10. Cf. Hua VIII: 98ff.
11. Because the conception of life is considered here from the perspective of the nat-
ural attitude, the topics of passivity and self-affectivity are not germane to this dis-
cussion. For a reconstruction of this pre-affective life, cf. D. Zahavi, “The Fracture
in Self-Awareness,” in Self-Awareness, Temporality, and Alterity, ed. D. Zahavi. Contributions
to Phenomenology 34 (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1998), 21–40, as well as R. Kühn,
Husserls Begriff der Passivität. Zur Kritik der passiven Synthesis in der Genetischen Phänomenologie.
Texte und Kontexte 6 (Freiburg: K. Alber, 1998).
12. Cf. Hua. XV: 196–218, Text no. 14 (+ appendix XI); cf. also the critical inter-
pretation by K. Held, “Heimwelt, Fremdwelt, die eine Welt,” Phänomenologische
Forschungen 24/25 (1991): 305–37.
13. Cf. Krisis, 161f., §46, and ibid., 169 n; Crisis, 159f., ibid., 166 n.
14. Cf. Husserl’s first account of the natural attitude in Ideas I, §27ff., as well as his later,
more elaborate analyses in the manuscript material, published in Hua XV, as well
as in Crisis, §§34–37. Cf. also his especially penetrating accounts of attitudes in his
research manuscripts especially from the fall of 1926 (Hua XXXIV: 3–109).
15. Cf. Krisis, 158f., §44; Crisis, 155ff.
16. Whereas Husserl employs dÒja and §pistÆmh to characterize the fundamental
nature of this distinction—and hence the radically new nature of phenomenology—
he speaks of “Neustiftungen” (new/novel institutings) over against the original primal
institutings in early Greek thought; cf. his late text on “Teleology in the History
of Philosophy,” in Hua XXIX: 362–420, Text no. 32.
17. He also commends the British Empiricists in their development of a scientific psy-
chology. However, as for the development of transcendental philosophy, the deci-
sive figures of modern philosophy are the ones mentioned above. Cf. D. Cairns,
Conversations with Husserl and Fink. Phaenomenologica 66 (Den Haag: M. Nijhoff,
1976), 104; hereafter cited as Conversations.
18. Apart from the “classical” schema first established by Kern, Fink mentioned at
least one more way, that via the sciences. Be that as it may, Husserl did not have
such a clear vision of the different ways, one of the reasons being that he devel-
oped them over the course of more than twenty years and that they often inter-
mingle. For example, the way via the life-world (the one presented in the Crisis)
is also in a sense that via history, insofar as the life-world should be conceived right-
fully as “historical life-world.”
19. Cf. Hua XXIX: 425f. This passage will be discussed subsequently.
20. Cf. Cairns, Conversations, 11f., footnote 18, where this example is mentioned.
21. Cf. Held, “Husserls Rückgang auf das phainómenon und die geschichtliche Stellung
der Phänomenologie,” Phänomenologische Forschung 10 (1980): 89–145.
22. Cf. Hua VII: 159.
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23. Cf. Ideen I, 52, §30; Ideas I, 56. Cf. also Hua VIII: 44–50, where Husserl formulates
the “content“ of the General Thesis as “the world is” (Die Welt ist).
24. Ideen I, 53, §30; after Ideas I, 57.
25. Ideen I, 54; after Ideas I, 58. Cf. also the recent study by M. Brainard, Belief and
its Neutralization. Husserl’s System of Phenomenology in Ideas I (Albany, NY: State University
of New York Press, 2002), part II, chaps. 3 & 4. This concept of freedom influenced
Sartre’s concept of “radical freedom.” Cf. Being and Nothingness, trans. by H. E. Barnes
(New York: Philosophical Library, 1956), 315ff.
26. In his early years, Husserl was influenced by Schopenhauer’s philosophy, cf.
K. Schuhmann, Husserl-Chronik (Den Haag: M. Nijhoff, 1977), 9, 34, 51. Although
there is no mention of Schopenhauer in Husserl’s later years, it rings a striking
bell when Husserl characterizes the natural attitude (the “world of representation,”
in Schopenhauer’s words) as an attitude of “willing” which affirms being, and the
epoché as a bracketing, suspending and “letting go” of this basic life impulse.
27. Ideen I, 54; after Ideas I, 58.
28. Ibid.
29. Hua I: 63; after Cartesian Meditation: An Introduction to Phenomenology, trans. D. Cairns
(The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1960), 24; published as Hua I: Cartesianische Meditationen
und Pariser Vorträge, ed. S. Strasser (Den Haag: M. Nijhoff, 1963).
30. This anticipates the problem of the relationship between the “mundane” and the
transcendental ego. This problem, which was also of particular interest to Husserl’s last
assistant Eugen Fink, cannot be discussed here. Cf., however, S. Luft, “Phänomenologie
der Phänomenologie”: Systematik und Methodologie der Phänomenologie in der Auseinandersetzung
zwischen Husserl und Fink. Phaenomenologica 166 (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2002), esp.
chap. 4.
31. This tendency finds its most extreme execution in the lecture course from 1922/23,
Einleitung in die Philosophie, Hua. XXXV, where Husserl performs the “apodictic
reduction” in order to gain an absolute foundation within the sphere of transcen-
dental life. In this attempt of an ultimate foundationalism (Letztbegründung), he was
mainly influenced by the neo-Kantians.
32. Cf. the manuscript on the “meaning of the apodicticity of the I-am” from 1934
(Hua XXXIV: 467ff.), where Husserl emphasizes the importance of making the
apodictic “I-am” the foundation of philosophical thought, although with the most
significant addition that this “apodicticity” includes the world as a cogitatum (cf.
ibid., 469).
33. This “Platonistic” interpretation was widely held by some of Husserl’s contempo-
raries after the publication of Ideas I. Cf., for example, Natorp’s review of Ideas
from 1917/18, published in Logos (reprinted in Husserl, ed. H. Noack [Darmstadt:
Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1973], 36–60), or more strongly even Heidegger
in his Marburg lecture course from 1925/26; cf. M. Heidegger, Logik. Die Frage
nach der Wahrheit, ed. W. Biemel, vol. 21 of Gesamtausgabe (Frankfurt a.M.: Klostermann,
1976), 31–125.
34. Cf. also the London Lectures from 1922, where he speaks of phenomenology as
the “mathesis universalissima.” Cf. Hua. XXXV: 305.
35. In this he is consistent with the first presentation of the reduction in the 1907 lec-
tures on the Idea of Phenomenology; cf. Hua. II: 4f.
36. Ideen I, 51; after Ideas I, 44f.
37. Ideen I, 77; after Ideas I, 90. It should be mentioned, however, that in Cartesian
Meditations, Husserl distinguishes adequate and apodictic evidence. Adequate evidence
is not eo ipso apodictic (the evidence of transcendent objects is neither adequate
nor apodictic, that of immanent objects adequate but not necessarily apodictic),
although both yield “evidences.” This is a reflex of the broadening of the concept
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of phenomenological evidence as Husserl broadens the “field” of subjectivity. Cf.
Hua: I, §6f.
38. For an account of Husserl’s mature theory of lived-present, cf. K. Held, Lebendige
Gegenwart. Die Frage nach der Seinsweise des transzendentalen Ich bei Edmund Husserl, entwickelt
am Leitfaden der Zeitproblematik. Phaenomenologica 23 (Den Haag: M. Nijhoff, 1966).
39. Hua XXXV: 93f.: “Das scheinbar armselige ego cogito hat uns ein endloses Gebiet
vielverschlungener Phänomene eröffnet, einen phänomenologischen Urwald sozu-
sagen. . . . [N]ur als transzendentales Ich durfte er [the beginning philosopher] sich
setzen und nur sein absolutes Leben mit cogito und cogitatum ist ihm übrig. Unendlich
vieles liegt aber, scheint es, darin.”
40. Cf. Cartesian Meditations, Hua I: 70ff.
41. This effort can best be seen in the lecture course from 1925, Phänomenologische
Psychologie, Hua IX.
42. On the topic of “Gemeingeist“ cf. Hua XIV: 165–232.
43. One should not forget that “transcendental questions” also involve questions regard-
ing truth claims and reason, concepts that a psychology as a science of consciousness
does not (have to) deal with. Cf. Hua XXXV: 301: “Es ist ein Widersinn, aus der
Psychologie irgend etwas über das Wesen der Erkenntnis, über das Wesen des Ich,
des Bewusstseins und seiner Wesensmöglichkeiten und -notwendigkeiten intentionaler
Konstitution von Gegenständlichkeiten lernen zu wollen und somit von ihr etwas
lernen zu wollen über die Vernunft, nicht als eine empirische Charaktereigenschaft,
sondern als einen Titel für Wesensstrukturen der Erkenntnisgeltung, in der sich
erkenntnismäßig Abzielung und Erzielung abspielen, in der eine teleologisch geord-
nete Sinngebung unter dem Telos ‘wahres Sein’ erfolgen und jede Gegenstandsregion
ihre mögliche Selbstgegebenheit, ihre gültige Anerkennung als seiende und ihre
logische Bestimmung erfahren kann.”
44. This notion is introduced in the beginning of the ’20s. Already in the lecture course
from 1923/24 (Erste Philosophie), the term seems well established and has its dis-
tinct meaning; cf. Hua VIII: 126–31.
45. Hua VIII: 89 (my translation).
46. For the discussion of patent and latent Ego, cf. Hua VIII: 90–92. For a more detailed
account of the splitting of the ego, cf. also Hua XXXIV: 41ff., Text no. 2.
47. Krisis, 179; Crisis, 176, where Carr translates this term as “infatuation” (without
making a reference to the pun).
48. Krisis, 182ff.; Crisis, 178ff. On the paradox of subjectivity, cf. D. Carr, The Paradox
of Subjectivity. The Self in the Transcendental Tradition (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1999). In this book, Carr sets out to place this paradoxical character of sub-
jectivity in a broader historical context—most importantly Kant—and argues that
the “transcendental tradition” offers a critique of subjectivity that is “much more
subtle and devastating . . . than the one put forward by Heidegger” (ibid., 140).
49. Krisis, 203; after Crisis, 207. Cf. also Hua. XXXIV: 125ff., Text no. 7. On the
alleged “parallelism” of psychology and phenomenology, cf. also S. Luft, “Über
einige Grundprobleme in Husserls späten Texten über Reduktion,” in Subjektivität—
Verantwortung—Wahrheit. Neue Aspeke der Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls, ed. D. Carr
and C. Lotz. New Studies in Phenomenology, vol. 1 (Frankfurt a.M.: P. Lang,
2002), 127–48, esp. 135–39.
50. Cf. Hua. VII: 9ff.
51. For an account of responsibility in Husserl’s philosophy, cf. K. Held, “Evidenz
und Verantwortung,“ in M. Fleischer, ed., Philosophen des 20. Jahrhunderts (Darmstadt:
Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1989), 79–94, and F. Kuster, Wege der Verantwortung.
Husserls Phänomenologie als Gang durch die Faktizität. Phaenomenologica 138 (Dordrecht:
Kluwer, 1996).
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52. This is Husserl’s path into phenomenology in the Cartesian (!) Meditations from
1931 (originally published as Méditations Cartésiennes, trans. E. Levinas and G. Peiffer
[Paris: A. Colin, 1931]). Cf. esp. Cartesian Meditations, §§3–5.
53. Natorp’s work on psychology from 1912, which was closely read by Husserl, bears
the title Allgemeine Psychologie nach Kritischer Methode (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1912).
54. Cf. I. Kern, “Die Drei Wege zur Transzendental-Phänomenologischen Reduktion,”
op. cit., here 327ff. Unlike Kern, I differentiate the way via the life-world proper
from that via regional ontologies. I consider it as part of the way via the positive
sciences and as such I treat it as part of ‘B’.
55. Cf. the text on “static and genetic method“ in Hua. XI: 336–45. Cf. also D. Welton,
The Other Husserl. The Horizons of Transcendental Philosophy (Bloomington: Indiana
University Press, 2000), which deals largely with Husserl’s development of a genetic
phenomenology.
56. On the question of the “absolute being” of transcendental subjectivity cf. Hua.
VIII: 497–506, and Landgrebe’s “Meditation über Husserls Wort ‘Die Geschichte
ist das große Faktum des absoluten Seins’,” in Faktizität und Individuation (Hamburg:
Meiner, 1982), 38–57.
57. Only two of the five Kaizo articles were published in the Japanese journal “The
Kaizo” ( Japanese for “Renewal”); they have been published as a whole in Hua.
XXVII: 3–94. On Husserl’s “political” philosophy cf. also K. Schuhmann, Husserls
Staatsphilosophie (Freiburg: K. Alber, 1988).
58. A certain “missionary” impetus can also already be found in his article “Philosophy
as Rigorous Science” (1911); translated by M. Brainard in The New Yearbook for
Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy, ed. Burt C. Hopkins and Steven G. Crowell
(Seattle: Noesis Press, 2002), 249–95. Already the Logical Investigations make the claim
for a radical reform of psychology, and from there the totality of sciences.
59. Cf. the Galilei-paragraph in the Crisis (§9) for a detailed reconstruction of this process.
60. This thesis of science’s forgetfulness of the life-world rings familiar with Heidegger’s
critique of modern philosophy as “leaping over” the problem of the world, although
to Heidegger getting back to the world is only possible by doing away with the
dualism between subjectivity and objectivity altogether (under the heading of a
“destruction of metaphysics”), whereas to Husserl this forgetfulness is a crisis of a
logical consequence of scientific progress in modernity.
61. Cf. Krisis, 508; Crisis, 389. Cf. also D. Carr’s interpretation of this quote in his
translator’s introduction, Crisis, p. xxxf. as well as p. xxxi n. 21. Although it has
become “old hat” for Husserlians to correct this misreading, it shall be mentioned
for the sake of completeness: Husserl’s often-quoted phrase in an appendix text of
the Crisis, “the dream [of philosophy as rigorous science] is over [ausgeträumt],” does
not express his own opinion, but in this he mockingly formulates the position of
his critics. Cf. Krisis, 508, Appendix Text no. XXVIII.
62. This answer is but one reading of Husserl’s concept of the life-world. Cf. U. Claesges,
“Zweideutigkeiten in Husserls Lebenswelt-Begriff,” in Perspektiven Transzendentalphäno-
menologischer Forschung. Für Ludwig Landgrebe zum 70. Geburtstag, ed. U. Claesges and
K. Held. Phaenomenologica 49 (Den Haag: M. Nijhoff, 1972), 85–101; as well as
R. Boehm, “Husserls drei Thesen über die Lebenswelt,” in Lebenswelt und Wissenschaft
in der Philosophie Edmund Husserls, ed. E. Ströker (Frankfurt a.M.: Klostermann, 1979),
23–31.
63. Cf. Krisis, 105; Crisis, 103.
64. While it is known that Husserl, in trying to reveal this natural life-world, is influenced
by Avenarius’ notion of the “natürliche Weltbegriff,” it is historically interesting to
mention that in a treatment of Avenarius’ philosophy, the philosopher Leopold
Ziegler, in his essay “Ueber einige Begriffe der ‘Philosophie der reinen Erfahrung’ ”
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[On Some Concepts of ‘Philosophy of Pure Experience’], in Logos II (1911/12),
Heft 3, pp. 316–49 (in Husserl’s library), uses precisely the term “reduction” to
characterize the movement necessary to uncover this “world”: “[T]he plan of an
intentionally ahistorical comportment towards the world is not easily carried through.
A brief reflection must teach the philosopher the impossibility to just simply think
about the world. For what is the world? . . . Suddenly a task of its own difficulty
arises before the thinker. That is, to lead the ‘world’ back [zurückführen] to such
simplified basic notions, so that it in its totality becomes manageable [handlich] to
thought, manageable [handhablich] for human spirit. On this first reduction, which
necessarily has to be carried through in the development of any philosophy, depends
not only its further conception [Durchbildung], its organization; rather, it remains
also guiding [bestimmend ] for the relationship and the contradiction between schools
and directions, which history enumerates. The simplification, violent as well as
unavoidable, of the ‘all and everything’ to original, complementing notions such as
infinite and finite, moving and resting, becoming and being, one and many, tem-
poral and eternal, being-for-itself and being-for-us, conscious and unconscious, body
and soul, thinking and being, state of affairs and object—this simplification shows
to the connoisseur [Kenner] a multitude of systematic accounts and historical
philosophemes, which in all parts are governed by the reduction of beginnings.
Perhaps no thinker other than Avenarius has so much tried to make the effort, as
theoretically unsuspiciously as possible, to break reality down into a number of last
basic notions” (316f., my translation).
65. On Husserl’s (and Fink’s) concept of “enworlding” (Verweltlichung), cf. R. Bruzina, “The
Enworlding (Verweltlichung) of Transcendental Phenomenological Reflection: A Study
of Eugen Fink’s ‘6th Cartesian Meditation’,” in Husserl Studies 3 (1986): 3–29, as well
as the recent study by S. Luft, “Phänomenologie der Phänomenologie,” op. cit., esp. chap. 4.
66. Kern, “Die Drei Wege zur Transzendental-Phänomenologischen Reduktion,” op. cit.,
344 (my translation).
67. It was Merleau-Ponty who clearly saw this “mundanizing” import of the phe-
nomenological reduction, cf. Phénoménologie de la Perception (Paris: Gallimard, 1945),
p. I, where he makes a reference to the VIth Cartesian Meditation.
68. This is the title of the first part of the lecture course on Erste Philosophie, cf. Hua VII.
69. Hua XXIX: 425f. (my translation).
70. Cf. some of the passages listed in the editor’s introduction to Hua XXXIV: xx

xxiii.
71. Cf. Hua. XXIX: 353 (my translation): “Is vocation [Berufung] an empty word? Has
a philosopher ever . . . been a ‘genuine’ philosopher without the demonism of hav-
ing received such a vocation? Is philosophy to the genuine philosopher as a ran-
dom so-called life-occupation [Lebensberuf ], is it for him not rather fate, which for
him has decided over being and non-being?”
72. “Selbstgestaltung des Ich durch absolute Reflexion zum absolut echten Menschen”
(manuscript A V 5/16b, probably from the 1930s, of the Nachlass in the Husserl-
Archive, Leuven).
73. Only this kind of reflected freedom can account for one’s “good conscience” as
opposed to the “intuitively” conscientiously acting person. Thus, only the philoso-
pher can truly have a “good conscience” and her life can come to a “rest” here.
Cf. Hua XXXIV: 518, the critical note to p. 40, line 27.
74. Cartesianische Meditationen, 177; after Cartesian Meditations, 151.
75. Krisis, 188; after Crisis, 184f.
76. Krisis, 188; after Crisis, 184.
77. Cf. Landgrebe, “Departure from Cartesianism,” in L. Landgrebe, The Phenomenology
of Edmund Husserl, edited with an introduction by D. Welton (Ithaca: Cornell
University Press,1981), 66–121.
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78. Cf. Landgrebe, Faktizität und Individuation, op. cit., p. vii: The shift to the life-world
is an approach, “von deren Tragweite sich Rechenschaft zu geben ihm [Husserl]
nicht mehr vergönnt war.”
79. This is the title of section A VII of the Nachlass in the Husserl-Archives in Leuven.
80. Cf. K. Held, “Abschied vom Cartesianismus. Die Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls,”
in Neue Zürcher Zeitung 76 (March 30/31, 1996); in this comprehensive article, Held
summarizes this debate lucidly and concludes that Husserl was ultimately not able to
overcome “Cartesianism.” One can even go further to say that he neither strived to.
81. The topic of “implication” of the natural in the transcendental standpoint is very
dominant in Husserl’s late texts on the phenomenological reduction. Cf. Hua.
XXXIV: 454ff., Text no. 32 (“Die Implikation der Transzendentalen Subjektivität”).
82. Cf. Krisis, 176.
83. Husserl owes this notion of reconstruction to Natorp, to whom the “reconstructive”
method of psychology was the only way to analyze subjectivity. Cf. Natorp’s Allgemeine
Psychologie nach kritischer Methode, op. cit., which Husserl studied closely. For an
account of Natorp’s influence on Husserl, cf. I. Kern, Husserl und Kant. Phaenomeno-
logica 16 (Den Haag: M. Nijhoff, 1964), 321–73, §§29–33.
84. Which has caused Husserl to be charged with “Eurocentrism.” This discussion can-
not be reiterated here. However, Husserl explicitly does not want to give a factual-
historical account but rather one of “laws of genesis,” i.e., an ideal reconstruction.
In a late text he even calls this reconstructive reading an “interpretation”: “It is
an interpretation, i.e., a sort of substruction of facts for which all testimonies are lack-
ing” (Hua. XXIX: 396; my translation, emphasis added).
85. One example of this is to be found in K. Düsing, Selbstbewußtseinsmodelle. Moderne
Kritiken und Systematische Entwürfe zur Konkreten Subjektivität (Munich: Fink, 1997); Husserl
is one systematic voice in a systematic transcendental theory of self-consciousness.
Cf. 113–16.
86. Cf. here, footnote 61.
87. Cf. H.-L. van Breda: “Seine Freiheit wiederzugewinnen heißt also, sich von der
Welt frei machen oder wenigstens ihre autonome Quelle, das transzendentale Ego,
wiederfinden. Diese Entdeckung ist bekanntlich nach Husserl nur durch die tran-
szendentale Reduktion möglich” (“Husserl und das Problem der Freiheit,” in Husserl,
ed. H. Noack, op. cit., 277–81, here 281.
88. I would like to thank Matthias Jung and especially Donn Welton for helpful com-
ments, and Donald R. Moore for help with grammar and style.
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would either end up in trivialities regarding philosophical endeavors as such or we would miss Husserl’s point as regards the uniqueness of his philosophical method. This notwithstanding that it was one of his late realizations that he could not simply do away with the tradition of which he himself was a part. While Husserl’s self-characterizations, especially in his last work, The Crisis of European Sciences, seem to put off readers due to their ceremonious formulations, an approach “from the bottom up” will be more fruitful than a presentation from the perspective of his late position. At that time, he already was convinced of the deep veracity of his phenomenology and “certain of the future.”2 Nevertheless, Husserl insisted that the reduction as the method to enter the sphere of phenomenology is not a device that, once performed, is valid for all times. It does not entail that the one who has been “converted”3 would remain so for the rest of one’s life. Rather, the reduction must be practiced repeatedly; the greatest threat for the philosopher being to “fall out” of the mindset of the philosophical attitude. This “danger” is integral to the performance of the reduction. If the reduction is the only way into transcendental phenomenology, then it must be part of this theory to furnish an entrance in a “didactic” fashion. As Husserl once puts it, nobody accidentally becomes a phenomenologist.4 Thus, making an entrance into phenomenology is a problem involving an enormous amount of philosophical effort comparable to that of Hegel’s “Anstrengung des Begriffs” in determining the beginning of philosophy. Yet, every philosophical theory is an answer to a problem, in response to which the theory receives its meaning, and this also goes for the phenomenological reduction. The first piece of theory leading to the reduction is the concept of epoché. This methodological device was intended, following the Skeptic tradition, to gain a view unbiased by the misguided theories of the past. Yet, the figure of bracketing is more than just terminologically derived from the Skeptics; rather, it comes out of a well-established philosophical background. To this, Husserl nolens volens contributes, even if he purports to completely do away with all previous philosophical problems by way of epoché to reach a “metaphysical neutrality.”5 Thus, although his framing of the reduction only becomes understandable on the basis of his mature transcendental philosophy, the problem emerges from a philosophical context he did not create. Thus, first I would like to expound the philosophical context, if only to show that Husserl distances himself from it. Husserl attempts to

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 

suspend traditional misconceptions in an effort to solve the fundamental philosophical problem of establishing “true and lasting knowledge.” Nevertheless, he acknowledges the problem underlying his philosophical commencement, precisely that of the commencement itself. This problem is the “starting point” for his project and is equal to that of finding the true “entrance gate” to philosophy. This point of departure is already a problem of how to begin with philosophy. This presupposes that the act of philosophy is something “peculiar” compared to the “normal” execution of life. This issue, underpinning his philosophical enterprise, can be termed the epistemological problem. From here, Husserl progresses from a descriptive phenomenological psychology to a systematic universal “science” in a transcendental register. The problem of entering this emergent science is not a ladder to be thrown away once climbed. Rather, “the problem of entry” is, and remains, part of phenomenology itself. In order to avoid lapsing back into an immanent reconstruction of Husserl’s theory of the reduction, one must give a preliminary sketch of the epistemological problem that led Husserl to perform the transcendental reduction. The epistemological framing of the problem of introducing phenomenology will lead to an explication of the fundamental form of life, the “natural attitude.” This is not only a problem of leaving this life form in order to make one’s way into phenomenology. It is in itself a problem of thematizing this “primal” attitude, and in doing so, one is already performing the first step of the reduction. From there, I shall discuss the different ways into phenomenology. While the epoché deals with overcoming the natural attitude, the methodological problems of making a concrete way into the transcendental “realm” only begin here. One can discern three chief ways into phenomenology and show a certain systematics in their unfolding. This will be the issue of part two. In the third part, I will discuss the meaning the reduction had for Husserl. It has essentially two consequences that stand paradigmatically as the significance he attributes to transcendental phenomenology at large. However, I want to assert critically that in these two directions Husserl failed to show their systematic connection. Ultimately, we are left with two “loose ends” that Husserl was not able to tie together, perhaps because this is ultimately impossible. Although the topic of the phenomenological reduction has oftentimes been an item of phenomenological research in the past—including the “defining” article by Kern6—one is now, some thirty years later, in a much better position to assess the meaning the reduction

” Truth in this sense is an “idea. “truth” is an issue of rhetoric serving certain interests. although contradicting persons claim “true knowledge. are not the only field in which knowledge is an issue.” which might lie. the ways into the reduction. and finally.. the question of truth is more crucial than one at first imagines. Imagine then the different “true stories” heard from different people involved: the drivers. This issue comes about where it is noticed as a problem. a passer-by on the sidewalk. focal points.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 201 ’   201 had for Husserl..” all claiming “truth. Whereas the problem of “absolutely true” knowledge seldom becomes a theme here.” . it should make apparent that the issue of Husserl’s theory of the phenomenological reduction deserves a renewed look. There is no “absolute truth” about the car accident. What I would like to attempt here is a renewed exposition of Husserl’s theory of the reduction focusing on the concept of the natural attitude.” In the example. Hence. for example. Especially when some interest is at stake (who assumes the culpability). in mathematics or logic) or adequation to truth (e. The Epistemological Problem: The Relativity of Truths and the Overcoming of the Natural Attitude The epistemological problem concerns. however. true knowledge and the means of attaining it. the occurrence of a car accident. Consider. one will hear very (if not altogether) different “versions. as often implied. “in the middle. The task of the judge entails the “distillation” of “the” truth from different stories. simply stated.g. the upshot of the “meaning of the reduction” that leads to two. not necessarily related. The sciences. in meteorology) the value of a science depends upon its reaching “true” knowledge.” and it is the task of a judge to “judge the truth. The result is only an approximation to what “really happened. etc.” These are “situational truths. especially in the light of manuscript material that has since appeared in the Husserliana.” Obviously neither the notion of truth nor that of knowledge are taken emphatically (absolutely). there is prescientific life and the ordinary performance of life as carried out in the life-world. The achievement and pursuit of true knowledge is vital to scientific practice and to the meaning of science. The sciences represent one such field. Whether one speaks of absolute truths (e. While this discussion cannot be exhaustive. In opposition to them.g. is knowledge eo ipso true knowledge? This depends not only on the meaning of knowledge but also on the context in which one employs it. I.

The vendors fix the price anew each day depending on different circumstances (season). The truth of the artist is different from that of the real estate agent but has its own “right. But why not? The answer lies in the notion of interest. likewise.7 Knowledge of this truth is fashioned in a similar way. There is no principal limit to that which can fall in the field of a certain interest. although from an outside perspective. etc. in the market place one speaks of the “true” price of produce. these “fields” are selfenclosed due to the current interest in operation.” because both do not stand in competition with one another. each “creating” specific situations.9 Thus. The metaphor of tinted eyeglasses best illustrates this. As such.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 202 202   While here the justification for truths is debatable. these “interpretations” claim situational truths. one should not understand the situational “field” of an interest as exactly delineated. What one perceives depends on who one is: A real estate agent views the house as an object for sale. it must block out other contradicting truths. Situations are not islands in a sea. the daily price of a fruit is its situational “truth. Rather. However. an artist as a piece of art. For example. Rather. The interest of the real estate agent in selling the house determines his situational truth. Life in general is a “life of interest”10 containing a multiplicity of interests. One calls the person experienced in employing these situational truths a good salesperson or a good bargainer. they are horizons extending over a partial stretch or field of being.” and it is debatable: one bargains over the individual price every day. they are “mere” interpretations. Nevertheless. in order for a situational truth to be a truth. What “constitutes” a certain situation. it will have its “authority” and “rigidity” that is far from mathematical rigor. yet never comes to an end. In a different context.8 Within each perspective. The interest determines the truth of the situation. it has the character of a horizon that can expand and narrow. Greek ır¤zein = to delimit) and exclude each other. there are other areas where we do talk of truth and true knowledge in an unemphatic manner. pursues her own interest. This notion of “truth” is relative to the situation. what marks it as relative to other situations. None of these persons sees their views as an interpretation. Seeing through . The artist. Hence. Husserl mentions the example of the house to illustrate that a single object can yield differing “views” without invalidating others. At the same time. employing not “pure reason” but common sense. they are essentially limited (cf. is that the pursuit of a certain interest circumscribes a situation and “constitutes” a self-enclosed domain.

The transcendental turn anticipated by Descartes. we can never see this object in its purity. The life-world is the field in which life in general carries itself out in its everydayness. it is “raw being” or “hyletic stock. Since it is essentially a world of interests.” In the natural attitude. and intentionality always strives toward fulfillment. The noetic-noematic structure designates the correlational a priori in its universal form. for this would involve stripping the world of its interest. since as of now there is nothing “negative” involved in its characterization. the image remains the same despite different colorings of the glasses. one can give another notion to characterize the world: If the execution of life occurs in a multitude of situations. living) aspect. Whether Husserl calls this phenomenon life-world or “natural worldlife. life always implements a certain interest.12 How is one to understand a “horizon of all horizons”? Husserl conceives of the life-world as the totality of life in its multitudinous facets. when Husserl conceives of the ‘natural’ in opposition to the ‘philosophical attitude’. However. or the horizon of all horizons.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 203 ’   203 red glasses makes green objects invisible. due to its intentional character. Similarly. The correlate to the life-world is that mode of living in which this life-world is the horizon for any kind of action: the “natural attitude. whereas they will become visible when seen with glasses of another color.” he alternately emphasizes either the noematic (the world) or the noetic (the subjective.13 It signifies the essential relatedness of world and conscious life. however. this echoes the distinction between pre-transcendental and transcendental standpoints as a modern “version” of the dÒja-§pistÆmh distinction.11 The world has thus a “face of interest” that it always shows us in one way or another. There is no unintentional life. applies the realization of the subject-relativity of the world. The turn to the subject. Moreover. then life becomes the situation of all situations. a situational attitude blocks out other situations.”14 In order to enter the sphere of philosophy and to assume a philosophical point of view. one evidently has to relinquish the natural attitude. it is not entirely clear why this would be necessary. . Are there compelling reasons for “overcoming” natural life? What do ‘natural’ and ‘philosophical’ designate here? As it becomes clear in Husserl’s further fleshing out of the natural attitude. he intends an adaptation of the traditional distinction between dÒja and §pistÆmh. The object is in each case the same.15 assigning a specifically “modern” interpretation to it that is localized on a higher level than that of “mere” prephilosophical naiveté and opposed to “mere” critical reasoning. and taken by Kant.16 Thus. Yet.

in being blind to the correlativity of world and experience. for the natural attitude knows per definition nothing of this correlational a priori. The world is not an “absolute being.17 The realization of the essential subject-relatedness of all worldliness necessitates this transcendental turn. II.” but is relative to the experiencing subject. All experience is worldly. this is not to say that it is impossible to gain an “uninterested” view. becomes the foundation of science. Thus.” Because it knows nothing of this subject-relatedness. this transcendental turn is identical with leaving the natural attitude.18 Of greater importance. which is identical with becoming aware of the limits of the natural attitude. it lives in the belief it can perceive the world as nature— independent of any experiencing agent. the epistemological problem that started this discussion consists. This framing of the epistemological problem motivates the way into phenomenology.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 204 204   the “reduction” to the ego (cogito). for Husserl. Phenomenology. The distinction of dÒja and §pistÆmh “translated” into this conception means: Philosophy that believes it can operate on a “realistic” level is bound to the natural attitude and it cannot be critical in the transcendental sense. To the contrary. is Husserl’s belief in the systematic order of the reductions. Yet. the recognition that all situations in the natural attitude are guided by interests means stepping beyond the natural attitude. in other words. is necessarily transcendental philosophy that entails adhering to the subject-relatedness of all experience. This is not only Husserl’s critique of pre-transcendental philosophy but especially of his pupils who neglected to pursue the transcendental path that he had taken up with Ideas I (1913). this is impossible within the natural attitude as it would foster the illusion of seeing the world stripped of any interest. Thus. the number of which has been subject to debate. regardless of the historic . The Performance of the Reduction: The Main Paths into the Reduction Husserl conceived several ways into the reduction. The distinction between “world” (as horizon of horizons) and nature (“stripped” of all apperceptions) illustrates the natural attitude’s “naiveté. Husserl interprets Descartes’ turn to the subject and Kant’s transcendental philosophy as rudimentary forms of his transcendental turn. To Husserl. but world is always an experienced world. However. however. However. the elements that motivate this turn must already be present in the natural attitude.

When he later uses the term “reduction” for this method as a whole. It is comparable to a constant sound that the ear blocks out. T C W If the reduction is not an impossible endeavor. it is only from his later understanding of transcendental subjectivity that the concept of the reduction can become more dominant in the carrying out of this method. something that lasts . he takes it over from the Skeptic tradition. Descartes’ method in his Meditations is to be understood. In addition.23 and it is a constant anonymous “stating as existing. according to Husserl. this reconstruction attempts to adhere to the systematic order Husserl envisioned and disregards their temporal order of development. How does the epoché come about? The natural attitude consists in viewing the world as “nature. Hence. This belief Husserl calls the general thesis of the natural attitude. the others. Husserl considers a simple example of such a proto-form: the suspension of judgment two people will practice when in discordance with one another.” When Husserl labels this bracketing epoché. as an epoché insofar as the decision to “once in his life” overthrow all knowledge is equally a radical “step back” from everyday life. however. will it again be put into action. after all. then there must be certain “proto-forms” of putting the normal pursuit of life out of action within the natural attitude. he seems to identify both steps of epoché and reduction.” as existing independent of an experiencing agent.20 Only when one asserts the truth of the judgment hitherto uncertain. until they have found out the truth.” for it is so fundamental that it is never actually uttered. how these different ways lead to two “opposed” tendencies indicated in the title: to the “Cartesian” and the “life-world Husserl.21 In a similar sense. We will see.22 The question why the Cartesian epoché is the first way by which Husserl introduces the reduction is of great importance.” A. Within this systematics. they will suspend it. This blurs certain nuances that one might want to retain for the sake of clarifying the details of this method.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 205 ’   205 manner in which he discovered them. If both are unsure of the truth of their judgments. but rather explicates and compliments. Legitimization of this disregard owes to Husserl’s assertion that the Cartesian way retains its “right” and “validity”19 despite the problems Husserl sees with it. In the time between doubt and confirmation the judgment (“it is so”) is “bracketed. In Husserl’s words: “It is. none of these ways devaluates.

25 He later considered both elements (‘how’ and ‘to what extent’) of this “freedom” as problematic.26 Putting this life-pulse of continuous asserting out of action can only occur as totalizing act. If all of these are merely truths for themselves and if the philosopher’s aim is to reach “absolute” truth. where in fact they are only relative. Husserl insists that this bracketing is a matter of our perfect freedom. can be seen as making explicit this constant base line “below” the “natural” hearing level. the freedom to inhibit what we want to and to the extent we want to.” The general thesis of the natural attitude pervades every form of life. then it will seem plausible to refrain from asserting any of the former. How could it ever be possible to bracket all these modes of living with one single stroke? Apart from Husserl’s insistence that it is a matter of our perfect freedom. In Ideas I. There is either being in or out of action (“on” or “off ”).e.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 206 206   continuously throughout the whole duration of the [natural] attitude.. where does this freedom come from and how is it enabled? If the natural attitude is this self-enclosed field of everyday life. then why should. whereas this radicality in fact calls for an equally radical motivation. this rigid “either—or” blurs the character of the “yes” of the general thesis and the possibility of “breaking its spell. since understanding these relativities as relativities overcomes being immersed in them.” It is a “yes” with respect to the character of the world as “existing. and how could. the epoché.”24 Thus. referring to the multitude of special worlds encountered in the natural attitude. Situational truths can only consider themselves as truths if they take themselves to be absolutely true. i.” but this world is to be understood as existing in a manifold of ways.e. since all life is guided by a certain interest and hence (tacitly or explicitly) affirms being. a motivation for this step lies precisely in the relativities of the situational truths. throughout natural waking life. Discussing a smaller or greater scope misconstrues the radicality of the epoché. because they . which puts the general thesis out of action “with one stroke. The relativity is determined by not knowing about their situational characters. but rather puts it out of action momentarily in order to pay attention to that which remains unbracketed. However. First. The epoché does in no way devaluate or negate it. i.. it be left by bracketing it? Secondly. even discussing the possible extent of the validity of the general thesis gives rise to an understanding of it as a field with a greater or smaller scope—ultimately like a continent within an ocean. This realization can already be seen as bracketing. and not piecemeal. as putting the general thesis out of action.

” Not being bound to situations means already having left their realm. which. a “tag-end of the world. and it is only this Ego that can claim for itself absolute evidence. understanding the relativities of situations as relativities—and having thus left the natural attitude—does not entail that one has consciously grasped the meaning of the epoché. involving two sides: that within the bracket and that without. To Husserl. the brackets can only be removed by an Ego that has evidence and asserts (or modifies) the old judgment. upon closer inspection. which is not part of the world. Hence. leaving these situations behind and putting the validity of situational truths out of action are the same. The method of bracketing necessarily reverts to the Ego.”29 Rather. Yet. but rather of motivating the turn to the subject that is the origin of the acts directed at the world. Yet. Following the example of a doubtful judgment one does not consent to: the judgment will only be put back into action when one has “evidence” about its truth. it reveals subjectivity as such which I as human being can access. Thus. consciousness as such. Indeed. the epoché reveals the pure ego.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 207 ’   207 do not know this. which is the executor of any act directed at the world. What “remains” is not. as the correlate to the worldly totality given in intentional acts. but is that which “has” the world “opposed” to it as its universal correlate. Thus. the metaphor of bracketing is yet more complex. this subject cannot be a psychic entity in the world. a “pure” Ego stripped of any worldly meaning. as Husserl self-critically asserts in 1931. As such. can only lie in the ego (cogito. is never given up by . This consciousness is the totality of the field of intentionality. the “methodic expedient ”27 Husserl takes over from Descartes—who carried out his method “for an entirely different purpose”28—does not have the function of nullifying or negating the general thesis. it can only be fully achieved when one has reflected upon its meaning.” Bracketing the totality of the world necessarily entails bracketing my ego as part of the world. ergo sum).31 This search for an ultimate and final apodictic foundation. but is consciousness “as such.30 Thus. they take themselves as “absolute.” The universal doubt leaves over the doubting agent. the strongest one arises in this Cartesian impetus of finding a basis from which to found apodictic evidence in the self-evidence of the ego. following the Cartesian paradigm. of the motivations to practice the reduction. All situations are those of an Ego. Husserl’s main interest in the process of bracketing is to posit these brackets in order to determine what can be left “without. opposed to the world. What remains in spite of radical doubt is the transcendental Ego.

whose branches are the positive sciences and whose trunk is the unifying scientia universalis. it is difficult to see how a philosophical science could be “derived” from this absolute Ego. in this sense “Cartesianism” means that only evidence of “egoic” experience can give the ego apodictic evidence.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 208 208   Husserl. Up until Cartesian Meditations (1931). precisely his insights into the character of transcendental consciousness made it necessary to modify his way into the reduction. but rather the extension. whereas experience of worldly entities is potentially doubtful. one can say that the Cartesian way remained dominant before he felt forced to broaden this approach. apart from a Cartesian method. so as to stay “up to par” with the phenomenological conception of subjectivity he later attained. This is so. deceiving. because mundane experience can undergo modalizations. is not this claim of a non-worldly subjectivity a metaphysical construction.35 The argument for this turn to “inwardness” as a basis for apodictic . Husserl’s later self-interpretation intends to show that this way is merely one point of access among others and. Husserl considered the epoché as a turn away from the world and its experience to the realm of pure consciousness by virtue of bracketing the “reality claims” of the natural attitude. furthermore.” In fact. to create a foundation on which apodictic knowledge could be built. as such. this modification was in no way an abandoning. no matter how much his actual emphasis might be directed at other “phenomena. does not this very step of reverting to an absolute ego lapse back into a Platonism?33 Although Husserl never gave up the claim of having laid the foundation of phenomenology on the basis of a Cartesian ego. However. that a Cartesian notion of subjectivity as a “tag-end of the world” is unable to grasp subjectivity as a “field” of phenomenological intuition. it is not yet clear how one is to found a new scientific discipline from this basis “outside the world.”32 However. thus as a move from transcendence to pure immanence. of this first way. Husserl employs Descartes’ image of the tree of knowledge. In Ideas I. also to his concept of subjectivity. if one sticks.34 Phenomenology purports to be this unifying science. As we shall see. T P W The Cartesian way was introduced with the intention of securing a field of apodictic evidence and. Looking back upon Husserl’s philosophical development after Ideas I. B. etc. essentially.

RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 209 ’   209 knowledge runs as follows. a sensuous object. In other words. from the essence of mental processes of any kind. It might be a form of intuition. since there is no uncertainty regarding its evidence. from the essence of cogitationes. . but only within the boundaries in which it gives itself ”36—is stated precisely to support this claim. etc. in intuition. there is no difference between both forms of evidence. An external thing.. what is seen of a perceptual object is merely its front side facing me. . adumbrations]. as what it gives itself. Nobody doubts the evidence of something given directly. the evidence regarding it will always be presumptive. It is given apodictically and adequately—or. Experiences “flow away” from my current. the category of “spatiality” does not apply. Whereas adumbrations are linked to spatiality. gives itself as itself. and is to be taken as such. in direct perception there can be no doubt about it. However.”37 To be sure. upon closer inspection. Since Husserl is searching for an absolute. but the time “of ” the experiences themselves. as I turn the object around to see its back side. that they exclude anything like that [sc. . . the imagination itself is given directly and absolutely. this means that they cannot have a “spatial” extension. the external experience of transcendent objects does not qualify. . Indeed. Only inner experience can be the basis for apodictic knowledge. Rather is it evident . . However. The back side will always be hidden. natural time. “A mental process is not adumbrated. . Experiences are “given” in a temporal now in a “primal impression” within a constant flow of time consciousness. it will sound trivial to say that experience takes place in time. Immanent experience on the other hand does not adumbrate itself. there is no backside to the anger I feel or reflection I carry out. but that which is intuited in inner experience is not spatial. The principle of all principles—to “take everything that gives itself in intuition originarily . apodictic foundation. Evidence about transcendent objects will not be apodictic. If inner experiences do not adumbrate themselves. the lack of spatiality regarding inner experiences seems to be the criterion for not adumbrating. While I can only imagine the external object as seeing it from its front side with its back side unseen. other unseen sides can always turn out to be different than anticipated. the manifest side gives itself with apodictic evidence. An external object always is given in “adumbrations. its front side will again be hidden. I will never see the totality of an external thing.” and therefore the evidence of this object will never be absolute. living now and are retained . Following Husserl’s analyses of time consciousness one can say that the time “of ” these experiences is not external.

for. Nevertheless.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 210 210   within a certain halo from my present Now. time can be seen as a certain analogue of space in the sense that. This distance becomes apparent when an experience slips out of my immediate retention into memory. so does the temporality of lived-experiences keep us from “having” the totality of consciousness in one act. however. Since all actual experience is “had” in the lived present. . so to speak a phenomenological jungle. Inner experience can even deceive me. one cannot do without the ego. namely. also of reflection. the beginning philosopher] could posit himself and only his absolute life with cogito and cogitatum remains. [O]nly as a transcendental ego he [sc. one would have to content oneself with in fact a very small portion of subjective life. etc. At the same time. . “This seemingly empoverished ego cogito has opened up to us an endless realm of instrinsically intertwined phenomena. Already the “fading out” of experience in retention challenges the claim of apodicticity in inner experience in its totality. Indeed. readily available to be explored.” I will always have experiences. I cannot “step outside” of it. for there must be a synthesizing . Husserl’s insight into the extension of this cogito forces him to expand the sphere of the ego itself. it seems. the temporally extended nature of our mental life evades a complete overview. The very “act” of forgetting questions the apodictic evidence of inner experience. If one. just as the spatiality of an object prevents us from gaining a fully transparent view of it. Having full and total access to all fields of my consciousness would mean that the Ego disposes over a divine consciousness.38 Because I can only view my mental life in a reflective gaze. one need not revert to such an obvious example. leaves aside the claim to apodictic foundation.”39 Put otherwise. Husserl’s own concept of time-consciousness “behind his back” counters his own claim to apodictic evidence of inner experience. . an eternal manifold lies herein. and this present will move to an ever-new present from which previous experiences will recede into recollection. when I forget what I had just heard or thought.. a whole world of subjective life opens up. “Periphery” connotes a certain spatiality. However. since I am bound to the now in which my experiences are “actual. memory might be false or incomplete. Thus. Accounting for this in actual analyses subtly moves Husserl away from the Cartesian motif of apodictic evidence on the basis of ego cogito. a distance from my present Now. were one to limit oneself to “egoic” experience in apodictic evidence. until they recede out of the periphery of my “mental eyesight” into the “stock” of my memory. in a living present.

the form of ego— cogito—cogitatum is the general form of all conscious life.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 211 ’   211 agent which binds the cogitationes together within one stream of consciousness. thematize subjectivity as part of the world and hence remain bound to the natural attitude. naturally. it is an eidetic science of consciousness. Given the desideratum of such a new “transcendental science. as essentially characterized by the structure of intentionality. b) how to account for it methodologically.” Husserl has to give answers to two interrelated questions: what kind of analysis can there be of this phenomenal “realm” or “field. he proceeds from a positive science within the whole of the human sciences. if this field structure in its breadth escapes the claim for apodictic evidence? What is the theme of phenomenological research. these considerations. The questions. phenomenology endeavors to analyze consciousness. As Husserl says in the Cartesian Meditations. which will be dealt with an equally novel discipline: phenomenological psychology. Structuring this discipline has its own problems and difficulties. apart from “foundationalist” intentions. as science of consciousness conceived as a single ego would be followed by the science of communal spirit42 in the framework of a phenomenology of intersubjectivity.41 In short. Phenomenological psychology is this designated discipline performed on the basis of an eidetic description of conscious phenomena.40 Including the cogitatum as the actual field of experience for the phenomenologist. more importantly. Yet. psychology.” and how is this possible as a science. Hence. phenomenology as rigorous science aims at moving from facts regarding the human consciousness to essences. Yet it is clear how it would be necessary to systematically carry this out as a “universal” analysis. will be a) how to characterize this “field” of cogitata and. which shall not be discussed here. because . according to Husserl. psychology is at first the thematization of an eidetics of (worldly) consciousness. given that the ego is more than a pure ego? In a different terminology. In this framework. then. Husserl reflected intensely on how to perform this task in a systematic fashion. psychology. Accounting for this “rich” structure calls for a whole “psychology” on the basis of the phenomenological principles (intentionality). how can one account for consciousness if consciousness itself has a “horizonal” structure? From its inception in the Logical Investigations. but not transcendental subjectivity. The “positive” discipline for this is. gives rise to a whole new sphere of experience. this intentionality is itself not a homogenous and “uniform” framework but is structured by the structure of cogito—cogitatum. However. However.

But how am I to characterize the relationship between myself. and that which I observe. due to its methodological naivety. An overview of this sphere—which is a sphere of intersubjectivity—harbors the danger of dissolving this very agent that strives to gain an uninhibited view over transcendental life. which addresses the problem arising from expanding the ego to a field structure. then. the Ego can only access this conscious life that it calls its own by introspection. remains blind to the transcendental dimension. is the shift from phenomenological psychology to transcendental phenomenology motivated. without losing my individuality? I can inhibit the general thesis of the natural attitude and turn to my consciousness. there is a region .43 Thus. if the latter is the whole sphere of consciousness? Would this not end up in a vicious circle? In phenomenological psychology. Thus. How. becomes pressing. in numerous attempts. It might well be that the picture Husserl draws of such a pre-transcendental psychology is a mere caricature in order to expound his own “transcendental discipline” in contrast to it. for Husserl’s strategy for demonstrating the necessity of moving to the transcendental dimension is to uncover the problems and paradoxes that arise if one remains bound to a purely “psychological” concept of subjectivity. Thus. which are not mine alone. how can I experience these regions.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 212 212   psychology as a positive science. then the question of the agent. the observing agent. reflecting on one’s conscious life yields access to this consciousness. and more importantly. The life the ego experiences by reflection is nothing but the life of this agent itself—but is it entirely her life only? Yet. Husserl strives to show how phenomenological psychology can motivate the reduction from worldly to transcendental consciousness by pointing out its methodological shortcomings and by explaining why a pheno-menological psychology must necessarily lead to the transcendental dimension. how can I gain an overview over subjective life if I remain bound to my experience in the “lived present”? The answer lies in the doctrine of the splitting of the ego. how is it possible? Both questions belong together. but it also creates the following problem: how can I have access to this conscious life as such if I can never step outside of my individual self? And even if I could gain access. which he hoped to embed in a transcendental framework. yet Husserl was also influenced by contemporary theories of psychology. the “unparticipating observer”44 carrying out this discipline. If consciousness is more than an Ego (a cogito) but a whole sphere of conscious life. as in any science.

a rupture within the originally unitary conscious life. which carries out this act: ‘I am aware that I am continuously observing the house’. but is overall “one” due to the shared belief in the general thesis of the natural attitude. the possible “iteration” of reflection proves the feasibility of the reflective faculty of consciousness and asserts the Ego’s “insolubility” and centered “stability” in ever new reflective acts. which splits the ego into an observer and a thematic field. Whereas this iteration adds no new insight into the nature of consciousness. which. rather.g. thus the ego. Hence. I can always make the part of the Ego that I reflect upon “patent.” whereas the reflective ego will remain “latent. etc. the reflective “I can.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 213 ’   213 to be observed and an observer. it reveals. “Naive” life has its breaks and ruptures. Only here we face the curious situation that the observer and observed are of one and the same essence. the splitting into the observer of conscious life and consciousness itself as a result of this activity can only occur as a radical split.” However. it reflectively turns its attention to consciousness. The reflective ego is no longer under the “spell” of the general thesis. can establish this difference of the same: the Ego and her own conscious life. The epoché is hence a radical splitting of the Ego. the reflection by a latent ego (which can occur repeatedly in “iteration”) will render the latent ego patent. although the intentional character of the reflective ego itself is not altered. which now continuously observes [e. consciousness itself. Hence. the break with the natural attitude in the epoché is to be conceived as a split between the philosophizing Ego and that which it observes. over and over. I can always again reflect upon that which I have just observed and reflect upon this reflection in infinitum. As all intentional life “shoots at” the world and is as such “enamored” with it—here Husserl plays on the pun “verschossen”47— this reflective turn requires a radical change of attitude.] the house. An alternative formulation of ‘being intentionally directed at the world’ is ‘being interested in its affairs’.” Although the reflection upon yet another ego yields no new insight. is intentionally directed at the world. and the ego.46 This infinite regress. to Husserl.”45 In principle this doubling has no limit. “In my living present I have in coexistence the doubled ego and the doubled ego act. in acting out its life intentionally in the form of the natural attitude. in turn. is “undangerous” because we are not dealing here with a logical foundation. the term “uninterested observer” becomes understandable as not being interested in the general thesis of naively positing the world as existing in different ways. Husserl later prefers . only an artificial rupture. Hence.

The “personalistic” attitude. By contrast. as long as this discipline does not inhibit the general thesis. as the term “uninterested” implies an indifference. The splitting of the ego and the break with the natural attitude are inextricably bound together. mundane consciousness thematizes itself as part of the world. and more adequately. The transcendental viewpoint.48 Yet. which experiences the whole of constituted life. something that psychology by definition cannot accomplish. is indeed possible. clarifies that this discipline. remains . which psychology occupies and which is necessary to access subjectivity. To be sure. there is the difference between a scientific agent and the region this science thematizes. This splitting enables a view on the totality of conscious life. Here. as yielding a point of access to phenomenology? Is it necessary for it to be a transcendental discipline? Ultimately. But this does not suffice to gain a total overview over consciousness as such. paradoxically. The Ego is at the same time an object in the world and a subject for the world. a phenomenological psychology. Transcendental subjectivity is not in the world. because this totality only comes into view after a break with the natural attitude. the consequence of the endeavor to thematize the totality of psychology’s subject matter necessitates the transcendental turn. based in the natural attitude. it constitutes the world. is thus an abstraction from the natural attitude. In the hierarchy of the foundational strata of nature and spirit this discipline deals with conscious life on the foundation of nature. it remains on the ground of the natural attitude as a positive science. Thus. it is the world’s correlate as product of its constitution. Hence. Only the splitting of the ego makes it possible for the observer to have a “transcendental experience” while remaining a mundane Ego.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 214 214   the term “unparticipating” to describe the “status” of this agent. it is possible to practice an eidetic science of consciousness. the observer is eminently interested in knowledge about consciousness—she is interested in a way the natural ego cannot and never will be “interested” as long as it lives in the natural attitude. “unparticipating” suggests that the philosophizing Ego does not participate in asserting the general thesis of the natural attitude. albeit without any knowledge of its own accomplishments of constituting the world for itself. However. Alternatively. transcendental subjectivity is not part of the world. What can this tell us about the discipline of phenomenological psychology. Thus. This is not a “view from nowhere” because that which I gain access to is nothing but my own life from the first person perspective. it has to be. already accessed in the Cartesian way. as a positive science. too.

establishing this observer in a conscious methodological move retains the radicality of the Cartesian approach as it insists on a philosophizing agent practicing this introspection. Hence. phenomenological psychology and transcendental phenomenology are “parallel” disciplines. which are a crucial part of Husserl’s late reflections.51 Thus. a methodological consideration of phenomenological psychology reveals “that the consistent and pure execution of this task of a radical reform of psychology had to lead. despite psychology’s philosophical inadequacy. the establishing of this agent “saves” the philosophizing Ego from becoming “lost” or “drowning” within the vast transcendental field. who has discovered the foundation of all knowledge in himself. practicing radical self-introspection in the way outlined equates living the ethical ideal of self-responsibility. moving from the Cartesian approach to the way into phenomenology via psychology enables Husserl to harmonize the two . of itself and of necessity. the unparticipating observer.” mundane consciousness is an incomplete “part” or “layer” of consciousness that is not part of the world. Contrasted with the Cartesian approach. another result comes to the fore in expanding phenomenology into a full-blown transcendental discipline. Or. Only with the clear carving out of such an agent can the philosopher claim to take over responsibility for his or her own actions as a scientist and human being.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 215 ’   215 incomplete and methodologically ambiguous. to a science of transcendental subjectivity and thus to its transformation into a universal transcendental philosophy.”49 Apart from psychology’s yielding an entrance gate to transcendental phenomenology or conceiving of psychology as a preliminary discipline before a treatment of ‘consciousness as such’. vanishes with the realization that this consciousness is nothing but transcendental consciousness once one has inhibited the general thesis. Thus. namely. only this way of access to the transcendental as a sphere of experience opens the view towards transcendental intersubjectivity—as a community of subjects constituting a communal world. Moreover. however. but correlated to it (the “correlational a priori”). Yet. viewed from the transcendental “side. Not by accident is Socrates the archetype of a radical inquirer. A true phenomenological psychology is necessarily forced to perform the reduction and move from a mundane to a transcendental account. This parallelism. it can be seen as a Cartesian remnant in a wholly different agenda. This explicit establishing of the philosophical observer thus opens the path to “ethical” considerations of the role of the philosopher.50 For Husserl.

RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 216 216   requirements that satisfy his demand for rigorous science. As such. Husserl uses different terms to describe it. for example. This is only possible because the epoché opens up an overview over the totality of consciousness that hitherto. T W   L-W In his last attempt to present an introduction into phenomenology in the Crisis. The idea of science as well as that of the scientist are products of a variation from the philosopher as the “model scientist. which phenomenology claims to be—hence it provides more than “just” a philosophical foundation in an Ego. but rather “according to critical method. since such a psychology leads necessarily into transcendental phenomenology. Natorp the Kantian conceived of psychology. On the deepest level (passivity) it cannot even be called “subjective” anymore. Without devaluating his previous attempts. What motivated Husserl to broach yet another path and what are its main lines of thought? Insight into the nature of transcendental consciousness reveals “the transcendental” to have essentially intersubjective and genetic dimensions.52 Thus. it is not until the Crisis that it achieves its most mature presentation as Husserl’s “last word” regarding this topic. Husserl considered this path the principal one. this science presents an ideal for all other sciences. although Husserl merely draws the consequence from his earlier reflections. from simply “the . If psychology is truly to be part of critical philosophy. it cannot be carried out from “an empirical point of view” (as Husserl’s heritage from the Brentano school made him believe). the modern separation of psychology and transcendental philosophy has led to the fateful development in modern philosophy. that via the life-world (the “ontological way”).54 Although he already pursued this path in his earlier work from the 1920s. if taken to its methodological conclusions.53 C. Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology can be seen as an effort to combine both strands gone astray into one transcendental discipline. Psychology is the “field of decision” for an adequate framing of transcendental phenomenology. The second requirement is that of living up to the “epistemologico-ethical” ideal of fully legitimizing the actions of the philosopher. the way via psychology becomes the “grand path” into phenomenology. and by necessity. Put differently. Husserl proposes yet another way. was hidden in this totality. The first task is that of founding a scientific discipline. psychologism.” as.” and hence apply to all factual appearances of them. rather a discipline of the cogitata of this cogito in the broadest conceivable sense.

the way via psychology and that via the lifeworld complement each other. the description of this field is incomplete if only analyzed in a static register.” or if I inquire back from the pre-given life-world to its constituting achievements.57 When some 15 years later he diagnoses a “crisis” in modern European culture. Whether I take my point of departure from mundane consciousness and reduce to its transcendental “counterpart.55 Phenomenology in this full sense as a theory of world constitution accounts for how transcendental consciousness “forms” the world as product of its experience. Hence.” etc. if inquiring back into transcendental consciousness reveals the world as what it truly is—a product of the transcendental constitution—then only transcendental phenomenology can render a real understanding of the world as a life-world. only a full understanding of this consciousness can give the philosopher an equally full concept of the world as life-world. This process is an abstraction that has converted the world . It is not the case that they have relinquished their ideal to account for the essence of the world. In both cases. thematizing either of them yields a way into phenomenology. as a world of everyday life.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 217 ’   217 transcendental” to “transcendental world. Furthermore. as much as they have pursued a wrong path and have become blind to the true being of the world insofar as they have abstracted from it and have forgotten its basic character. This “missionary” motif in Husserl’s philosophy goes back to the Kaizo-Articles from 1922. where Husserl tries to give a diagnosis of his time and to show how transcendental phenomenology can help solve this crisis. Since transcendental consciousness as world constituting and the life-world as the product of constitution are correlates. he reverts to the same topic. as long as the world is not framed within this correlation. In other words. Thus. I arrive at transcendental (inter-)subjectivity as the “absolute being” that constitutes the world. This is one of the main themes in the Crisis. this science ultimately being phenomenology. The initial conception of transcendental subjectivity is expanded into two major dimensions: as a field of consciousness it is not “only” a subjectivity but always already an intersubjectivity. This is also a critique of the positive sciences. in which he calls for a “renewal” of the European spirit.56 This means. Husserl proposes: the world must be saved through rigorous science. it has not been fully understood. The static description turns out merely to grasp the uppermost stratum within a universe of genetic development.58 What does the crisis of modern European science consist in? Science has departed from the life-world in modernity by its method of mathematization.

first of all. indeed. The life-world is hence the world of the pre-scientific attitude. again correlative. one cannot call this forgetfulness. phenomenology does in no way devalue the achievements of the positive sciences. science not only loses sight of the life-world but it replaces it with the scientific world. that is. to re-cover it by uncovering the abstractive strata that have become laid over it. then. to bring the sciences back on track. However. it is the task of phenomenological reflection. does Husserl mean by life-world?62 The world of science is opposed to the pre-scientific world. Thus. That would be a crass misreading of Husserl’s famous quote of the dream of rigorous science “ending. In this process. science abstracts from the “real” world and lives in its own world of formulae. One must never understand his call back to the life-world as breaking with the ideal of a “scientific” mastery of the world.60 As a consequence. but its goal is also.” because the life-world has been “forgotten” by modern man in striving for a scientific world domination.” Not thematizing this as a founda- . It has “forgotten” the life-world. thereby. and a very special one? In what sense can the life-world.”61 Indeed. the terminus ad quem was objective truth (and not the “subjective” truth “of the market place”). Strictly speaking. be pre-scientific? Whence this critique of science? There can be no doubt about Husserl’s undiminished high regard for science. the phenomenological approach does thematize the world as a life-world and is conceived as a counterbalance to the positive sciences. The life-world has become covered up by a scientific view of this world that does not see the world as what it is in its original sense: a world of prescientific. it loses sight of the original life-world from which it has emerged and continues to emerge. natural or scientific. However. accordingly. Husserl calls for a “reduction to the life-world” in the specific sense of an initial “opening up.59 Two results. since it never was thematized in the first place. it has been never precisely in its pre-scientific character the theme of a scientific endeavor. What.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 218 218   into a mathematical universe. the pre-scientific life-world is the basis of all human actions. to thematize this life-world. Hence. but wants to embed them in an all-embracing scientific endeavor that should remain “in touch” with the life-world from which it has sprung. is not the scientific form of life also a form of life. It is the subjective-relative world of dÒja as opposed to the world of §pistÆmh. because relativity (to the subject. it is nothing but the world the natural attitude has as its correlate. pre-philosophical life. in this case) was its decided terminus a quo. Not only does modern science “leap over” this world. It has the character of a “primal doxa. follow: First.

After all. however.”65 Only through a universal epoché from the life-world can we attain a full appreciation of the correlation between world and transcendental subjectivity. From the higher. This could be seen as contradicting Husserl’s own intentions in that he seems to rescind the reduction. the life-world. However. the world of the scientist is also a “world. Since transcendental subjectivity and life-world are correlates in the framework of constitution. Crisis. it seems it should be carried out in the natural attitude.”66 Accordingly. because it also yields a way into the transcendental once we realize that the life-world is a “product” of constitution. As Kern puts it: “only the ontological way hence grasps subjectivity really as transcendental. however. one must carry it out as a scientific endeavor aiming at a universal “ontology of the life-world” (cf. this concrete world of the natural attitude cannot come into view without practicing a universal epoché.” despite resting on its un-thematic basis. This “life-world reduction” reduces to the world before any idealizations and reveals the sphere of basic life as the fundamental “presupposition”63 of any activity.64 An ontology of the life-world has been perhaps one of the most intriguing ideas in the late Husserl. the very conception of this discipline is important in the present context. from which any activity takes its stand. the natural attitude has been understood as a “lower” (naïve) form of the former and can only “artificially” be restituted. Only from the standpoint of an ontology of ..” Husserl called this reverse movement “enworlding. one has to insist that it is a reduction that allows us to see the life-world as such (“stripped” of idealizations). one cannot go without the other. The world is thus a universal foundation. forgetting its transcendental “origin. means leaving the latter dangling in open space.e. as pre-philosophical life-world. only a thematization of the life-world attains a view of the world in its universal dimensions. One needs the reduction to uncover the sphere of transcendental subjectivity that constitutes this world as the world of the natural attitude. As such. gaining a full grasp of either one includes the possibility of understanding the other. without. i. The reduction must even go beyond the philosophical standpoint. However. §51). Indeed. Only by understanding the transcendental as constituting can we have access to the world in its base-function. and the phenomenologist has to make her way back into the natural attitude.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 219 ’   219 tion even for the sciences. What this ontology consists of and how it is to be carried out shall not be discussed here. transcendental standpoint. How is this “life-world reduction” executed? Paradoxically.

the mathematization of nature. rather.67 Furthermore. in its historicity. The sketch of phenomenological “archeology” Husserl performs in the first part of the Crisis in going back to the first rudimentary forms of mathematization in ancient Greece is a reconstruction of how science and philosophy have come about in a certain historical situation. There is ultimately but one way. However. In fact. Thus. by interpreting history teleologically as a critical history of ideas. Likewise.” Tracing back the history of the life-world in its decisive developmental steps—its primal institutings— reveals these as developments on the way to transcendental phenomenology itself. the discovery of the genetic dimension of world constitution reveals the life-world to be not only historical but also. only through a full analysis of transcendental subjectivity in its broadest dimensions can we understand the world as the product of constitution and thus as what it ultimately is: a historic world of life with its genesis. Husserl insists that the reduction is in no way an impoverishment or a “reducing” of the world to some singular transcendental ego. neither history nor philosophy come to an end. It is a reconstruction of how science arose from the pre-philosophical life-world through a radically new idea. Although Husserl never gave a systematic account of these ways. the reduction opens up a view on the world by transcending the naiveté of the natural attitude towards a universal standpoint. which may have its different procedures: the way . to have “laws of genesis. Only from this perspective can phenomenology ultimately thematize the transcendental problem of history.68 it can be understood as eclipsing in the reduction and from here as the way into a transcendental reconstruction of the historic life-world. they should proceed from here—this was Husserl’s hope—in a new and transcendentally enlightened style. convinced that there was an underlying systematics. What has sometimes been understood as a “dis-engagement” with the world turns out to be precisely the way to fully come to understand it. Indeed.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 220 220   the life-world can one practice the transcendental reduction. at least at the end of his life. I have attempted to systematically present the three principal ways into phenomenology. Husserl’s reconstruction of the history of philosophy is also an effort to trace these “primal institutings” as coming ever closer to the discovery of transcendental subjectivity until it—in this very “Hegelian”—reaches its decisive breakthrough in phenomenology. history and a ground on which historic “subjectivities” have developed and can ever develop. To sum up. But there is also a “progressive” side to this historical consideration. he was.

on the other. of universal history. “The reduction” is much more than a purely methodological device. Conclusion and Critique: The Reduction Between Transcendental Ego and Life-World In various ways Husserl tried to come to terms with what he intended by the reduction. Rather. in one of his last manuscripts from 1937. it becomes conceivable that a complete systematic introduction into phenomenology begins and is to be carried through as a universal historical problem.70 At times it becomes a synonym for his entire philosophy. she has to give account of them responsibly and ultimately . the transcendental Ego that. The introduction in Ideas [the Cartesian way. Since the phenomenological scientist has to legitimate her actions. is the basis for any apodictic evidence upon which to build the edifice of science.e. Let us look at the consequences to which this leads.69 III. and. in the last instance. From here. What are Husserl’s intentions in focusing on these two phenomena? Let us start with the Ego of the phenomenologist. he writes: I have drafted different introductions into transcendental-phenomenological philosophy. nothing other than “my own.] does in fact retain its right. discovered by the unparticipating observer. Establishing this observer vis-à-vis transcendental life in the process of constituting the world puts the philosopher in the position of accounting for this transcendental life. We shall see that this life-world is nothing but the historical world. In a self-critical note. i. he is convinced that it is also the most difficult part of his philosophy. but I now consider the historical way to be more principal and systematic. The discussion of the ways into the reduction has shown that there are two focal points the reduction leads to: the life-world as a constitutive product of the full scope of the transcendental. the epistemological problem in its full dimensions is of such importance that solving it is comparable to a full “conversion of humankind. Husserl emphasizes that he considers the reduction his greatest discovery. sc.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 221 ’   221 through the life-world. . remains unsolved.” Accounting for it is more than an epistemological task.” However literally these characterizations are to be understood. If one introduces the epoché without the historic framing. His sometimes emphatic or ceremonious formulations show that he has more in mind than just solving a specific epistemological problem. . This life is. . then the problem of the life-world. which he “partakes” of. on the one hand.

Moreover. Individual subjectivity becomes formed only in terms of others. the philosopher is even grander in this pursuit of freedom since she has become aware of this freedom as a full instantiation of rationality discovered in leaving the boundaries of the natural attitude. which consists in rationality. In and through transcendental intersubjectivity we are bound together in one “spiritual” totality. This is possible because the “unparticipating” view first makes a universal “overview” possible. “Acting rightfully” in doing philosophy is so much an ethical issue that one cannot conceive of philosophy as being only a “job. Contrary to the view that the epoché enacts a “disengagement” with the world. the ones I have never encountered and never will encounter. If practical rationality is a question of freedom. becoming one means not only achieving the highest dignity humanly possible but also living humanness. This lies within the teleology of human (rational) faculties. the position of the phenomenological observer is precisely a radical giving an account of this life. Husserl calls the philosophers the “functionaries of mankind. Thus. It is a freedom understood. The “dignity” of the philosopher’s activity stems from his duty to act responsibly as a researcher.”72 It is an ideal task of justifying all of one’s actions and taking responsibility for them.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 222 222   for herself.” It is rather a “vocation. The reduction yields the insight that transcendental achievements never belong only to me. and hence breaks the spell of solipsism. the ones before me and after me.71 Being a “good philosopher” becomes an ethical ideal. Thus. means fulfilling a “self-forming of the ego through absolute reflection to the absolutely genuine human. the reduction gives access to transcendental life as such. This is not to say that everyone ought to become a philosopher. then the philosopher’s actions in her “phenomenologizing” activity are a genuine pursuit of freedom.73 Yet. to the fullest. it is a task of the highest responsibility possible. the world is never a product of my activity alone but of a transcendental intersubjectivity.” In this Husserl alludes to the German Beruf ( job) as derived from Berufung (vocation). Accounting for one’s own deepest “self ” is more than just performing another scientific “job”. rather than “blindly” acted out. Becoming a philosopher as the one who has performed the reduction and discovered absolute life “within” him.” They can assume this function insofar as taking over responsibility for myself . All of these have “contributed” to the world as it is. However. the transcendental life I discover within myself is more than my own life.or herself. etc.

. one must bear in mind what science meant in the whole of human culture to Husserl: Scientific and ultimately philosophical activity are the highest realizations of human life as such. contingent mode within an inter-monadic totality: The ‘I’ that I attain in the epoché . This is the role that the philosopher and citizen Husserl assumed in the Crisis at a time in which not only science had deviated from its designated path but a whole nation had gone astray.”74 Thus.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 223 ’   223 directly leads to all the others as united in the totality of “monads. However. with Nietzsche. as phenomenon. Giving a description of this life in this world is the first step of judging human actions. In this “emphatic” sense the philosopher’s role might well be described. Despite Husserl’s emphasis upon intersubjectivity. On the other. Husserl insists on the “uniqueness” and “personal indeclinability”75 of the philosophizing ego. I who interrogate. Rather. On the one hand. and obviously gets solely from our experience—a sense which philosophy can uncover but never alter. teleological path. is actually called ‘I’ only by equivocation—though it is an essential equivocation since. Husserl’s calling for a reform of science in the light of the political upheaval in Nazi Germany might seem utterly naïve to us. the world which is now valid for me according to its being and being-such. with all its human beings. “phenomenological explication does nothing but explicate the sense this world has for us all. when I name it in reflection. of whom . a “crisis” can also be understood in medical terms as the crest of a sickness. despite the emphasis on the philosopher’s role as standing in lieu of humanity. that is. from which motives. he interprets the life of humankind in an “absolute” view. the philosopher has the duty to point out where and why.” Indeed. However.” The philosopher has a double task. I can say nothing other than: it is I who practice the epoché. prior to any philosophizing. he holds that the agent can never be “reduced” to an irrelevant. . this deviation from the “good” path has occurred and show possible ways out of the crisis. the philosopher cannot directly intervene in the course of history—the sense of the world is one that can “never” be altered. blinded by a frenzy of nationalism and racism. one can only react to a disease that has already taken its course. Husserl states programmatically. Thus. the philosopher in his activity of discovering this truth has to give account (lÒgon d¤donai) for the actions of mankind in their relative ways of life and in the multitude of (special) worlds. the philosopher’s role is that of calling mankind back to its preconceived. Thus. as a “doctor of culture.

who am the ego-pole of this transcendental life. one does not need a Cartesian reduction to a transcendental consciousness. The consequence of the reduction pursued thus far leads to a partial validation of the “Cartesian” Husserl. supposedly. encompass all that.” a glimpse of something radically new that Husserl was not able to give account of ultimately. This is evidenced. more precisely by the notion that Husserl himself was (subconsciously) influenced by Heidegger’s hermeneutics of facticity.78 It was an idea hinted at rather than clearly seen in view of its consequences. Some scholars. at first. the departure has already occurred behind Husserl’s back. In order to do this.”77 as Landgrebe famously phrases it. it is I who. It is precisely this “Cartesianistic” motif that Husserl never gives up. on the other side of the balances. the world has meaning for me purely as world. an “Archimedean point” that provides a final foundation in the evidence of the ego. . His argument is that Husserl realized that he could not lay an apodictic foundation in the Ego. there is the issue of the life-world. This reading of Husserl’s late philosophy has been very dominant in the first decades after Husserl’s death and has clearly been influenced by Heidegger. Performing an “ontology of the life-world” is the true task for phenomenology. However. In order to secure this cultural implication and to enable the philosopher to be more than a citizen of an ivory tower. the moment he turned to the life-world as his primary field of interest. because it is connected to the idea that there is ultimately an apodictic foundation. most forcefully Husserl’s own former assistant Landgrebe. it is I who stand above all natural existence that has meaning for me. by Husserl’s unfinished sketch of a life-world ontology.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 224 224   I am so fully conscious.76 Thus. Husserl “needs” Cartesianism. namely. It is from this approach only that he can interpret the role of the philosopher in the framework of cultural activity of mankind. Hence. have interpreted Husserl’s turn of attention to the pre-scientific world as a “departure from Cartesianism. that it would lead to an abandoning of his transcendental project. which becomes increasingly important to the later Husserl. he (more or less consciously) abandoned this project and instead turned to the life-world as the actual working field of phenomenology. Husserl’s philosophy remains a critical transcendental philosophy that can never do without an absolute ego as foundation and starting point of all reflection. The fact that this ontology was never worked out in detail and only hinted at in the Crisis was taken as an implicit proof that the problem of the life-world was merely an “afterthought. in which. Therefore. taken in full concreteness.

RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 225 ’   225 However. it is nevertheless bound to it unknowingly. since in all “normal” pursuit of life it is un-thematic and remains all the more un-thematized in modern science. That is. transcendental and life-worldly. . or which says the same. did he perhaps see something that is not altogether wrong? As has been shown. Rather. “ontological” analysis complement each other to Husserl. the natural attitude is already transcendental. Therefore.83 This is why performing the reduction rightly understood does not stand in contradiction with the task of a life-world ontology. indeed. it remains the basic form of life (the philosopher remains a citizen. To the contrary. From the transcendental standpoint one understands the natural attitude as a “lower” stance. this does not mean doing away with it. Going back into the old attitude. as that which always remains un-thematized in the natural attitude. we would never gain an uninhibited view of the life-world. the analyzing philosophers. and there is consensus among scholars that Husserl ultimately was not able to “achieve” this last step. is impossible. and if one. Nevertheless. means already having left the natural attitude. furthermore. We can understand “restitution” in this context as “reconstruction” of something that has been “un-built” in transcendental analysis. yet without knowing it. Tersely put: Without the reduction. resuscitating the old naiveté. it could never have been his intention to leave Cartesianism behind. this step back must be understood as a quasi-imaginary move: I pretend to go back into the “old” attitude and from there description of life-world can proceed in analyzing what life in the natural attitude was like before I became aware of it.80 More importantly. But how can both tendencies be reconciled? Although Landgrebe’s assessment of Husserl’s late thought is clearly incorrect. a father. the reduction is needed in order to access this life-world. in the past three decades a good deal of manuscript material from Husserl’s Nachlass has been published showing that a “theory of world apperception”79 is in fact not only worked out in great detail. this entails that Husserl’s “restituting”82 of the natural attitude in order to attain a standpoint to analyze it cannot mean that we. Since this material has become known.81 For an ontology of the life-world. by science’s abstracting from the life-world. the “departure”-thesis has become highly problematic. Thematizing the life-world. as Husserl points out. The natural attitude is “implicated” in the transcendental perspective. a mother etc.). Husserl had been working on a life-world interpretation already since the early 1920s. are to “forget” the perspective gained in the reduction. “substracts” the Heideggerinspired overtones of this interpretation.

The very “mundaneity” of the problem of the world of life suggests its remoteness from transcendental questions. is a gigantic field of research. They are projects Husserl pursues with different aims: Whereas the “Cartesian Husserl” pursues a path of scientific grounding and foundationalism. political theory. history. separate programs. It is possible to pursue a “theory” of the life-world without at all being interested in transcendental (“constitutional”) problems. it is also true that this discipline soon takes on its own character. In Husserl’s eyes. and pedagogy have taken up Husserl’s ideas on the life-world. Thus. It is a description of how the world we live in has come to be and how it functions. Furthermore. one can say. In fact.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 226 226   Yet. it cannot be accidental that the term life-world has become almost a household name that nowadays has little to do with its origin. through first formations of communal life to higher-order personalities and ending up finally in cultures. They are located on two different “maps. in analyses of Greek culture and philosophy—the “genetic” is oftentimes indistinguishable from factual-historical analyses. both agendas are correlative. etc.84 It is thus not surprising that quasi-philosophical disciplines such as sociology. as it is the world given to experiencing subjects. It is rather a descriptive than a normative discipline. Where Husserl attempts such descriptions—for example. At the same time. although this ontology is “enabled” through the transcendental turn. I would like to insist that Husserl’s Cartesian account of the subject and his life-world ontology present two distinct and in this sense. I have tried to show that a philosophical thematization of the life-world is not possible without a transcendental question as to its origin in (inter-)subjectivity. Describing the world from its most primitive elements. Likewise. the interpretation presented here attempts to overcome the common assertion that there is a “contradiction” between Husserl’s Cartesian position and his account of the life-world.” One can pursue one while completely neglecting the other. alien-worlds. home-worlds. The term “hermeneutics”—which Husserl uses in a similar context—is designated to mean precisely this. Both projects are set squarely against each other. not in the sense that they contradict or cancel each other out. this method takes on the character of a hermeneutics of the life-world. one can immerse oneself . but in that they pursue two different agendas. The rich methodological instruments Husserl has forged in his development of a genetic phenomenology provide the tools needed to pursue this task. the “life-world Husserl” is interested in what can been called a hermeneutics of the world of everyday life.

let alone a dream that could come to an end. A sign of Husserl’s keen philosophical view is that he had looked in both directions. cannot be a reason to discard this aspect of Husserl. the resolving of which nobody else can decide but history itself in which reason . Likewise. on the “map” of the life-world. Favoring one would result in devaluing the other.86 This leads.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 227 ’   227 in transcendental matters in the tradition of Kant and German Idealism. including ourselves as dwellers in this world of interests and distinct activities. neglecting the Cartesian Husserl leads to fundamental misunderstandings. to the concluding critical observation. However. on the one hand. On the Cartesian “map. there cannot be a systematic principle uniting both. since formulating such a principle would make the problematic step of considering one of the two projects as absolute. The conflict of absolute humanity and relative life pursuit however remains: we are left with the paradox of human subjectivity. however.” the problem of the life-world comes very late. But. This.85 In the wake of fundamental criticisms of reason and rationality especially in the second half of the twentieth century. however.” There is of systematic necessity both. Namely. its task is to convey an all-embracing understanding of the world we live in. the Cartesian Ego is an infinitesimally small point. and fruitfully utilize Husserl’s contributions to transcendental theories. Metaphorically speaking. It is inconceivable how foundationalist questions following the Cartesian paradigm would fit into a life-world ontology. this view is either one-eyed or squinting. These disregard the fact that Husserl never came close to considering transcendental phenomenology and the idea(l) of rigorous science a dream. The reduction thus has the double meaning of calling humanity to its utmost possibilities. so that it lies almost on another “continent.” This is the consequence of the Janus head of the phenomenological reduction. it is not clear why such a life-world ontology would “need” foundationalist clarifications other than clarifying the role of the philosophizing agent. There is neither just the “Cartesian” nor the “life-world Husserl. as profound as Husserl’s instinct was. it is understandable why this path has been of less interest than the former. precisely because this ontology is based on “the transcendental” as necessarily an inter-subjectivity. Husserl failed to combine these two major aspects of his philosophical endeavor. In fact. On the other. to the “true” and “genuine” rational human being within one’s self. who is but a minimal focal point of experience of the life-world. “backwards” into the depths of transcendental life and “forward” into the world.

Recherches sur l’Interpretation de Husserl Dans la Phénoménologie (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Albrecht.). First Book: General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology (The Hague: M. R. For a good overview of these newer tendencies cf. 3. Schuhmann (Den Haag: M. shall be abbreviated as Hua. quoting the German and English pagination respectively. Henry and J. lately. Hua VIII: 19. E. The possibility of performing the phenomenological reduction would thus be identical with the extent to which freedom is possible. 141. 3/9: 75f. Biemel (Den Haag: M. Performing the phenomenological reduction. W. the freedom to open oneself to reason as the true meaning of humanity. translated by F. Boehm. 4. Briefwechsel. K. cf. 1994).” in La Vie du Sujet. Hua III/I: Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und Phänomenologischen Philosophie. Nijhoff.” although there might be factual hindrances on the way to this ideal—a way which necessarily leads through the life-world. R. Nijhoff. 1950ff. L. the works by M. vol. Landgrebe. opposite directions. Schuhmann with E. followed by volume and page numbers. Nijhoff.87 The critical assertions mentioned notwithstanding. Krisis. 1982). the freedom to be oneself. 1970). 3 of Husserliana Dokumente (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Fink. 1930.. hereafter cited as Ideas I. is nothing but the constant attempt to “come to reason. Kersten under the title Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy. 1994). or which is to say the same. Cf.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 228 228   unfolds teleologically—or where it can always disperse and even become lost. Cf.-L. There might be no way to unify the issues of life-world and Cartesianism. vol. December 29. Schuhmann. ed. 140. ed. after Crisis. hereafter cited as Krisis and Crisis. . Husserliana: Gesammelte Werke (Den Haag: M. but wants to conceive of it within a transcendental and intersubjective account of subjectivity. Kern) dealt extensively with the problem of the reduction. especially in the French phenomenological scene. Whereas the first generations of Husserl scholars (e.g. ed. Husserl’s Collected Works.88 NOTES 1. Nijhoff. hereafter cited as Ideen I. translated by David Carr under the title The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology (Evanston: Northwestern University Press. letter to his friend G. “La réduction phénoménologique et la double vie du sujet. “Der Zukunft bin ich sicher” [I am certain of the future]. In the following. Hua VI: Die Krisis der Europäischen Wissenschaften und die Transzendentale Phänomenologie. I. but there might also be no other way to go than into these two. K. Husserl has touched upon the fundamental issue of freedom. The metaphor of a religious conversion is the image Husserl uses in the Crisis. 1950). the reduction has again been a dominant theme. the reduction is Husserl’s contribution to philosophy in the tradition of the enlightenment that does not uncritically accept rationality as a given. 1: Allgemeine Einführung in die Reine Phänomenologie. 1976). to Husserl. Bernet. cf. Marion. With the reduction. 5–36. 2.

Husserl’s “Logical Investigations” Revisited. Stjernfelt. that via the sciences. Text no. Phaenomenologica 66 (Den Haag: M. the topics of passivity and self-affectivity are not germane to this discussion. This aspect in Husserl’s account of the life-world was taken up in Gadamer’s hermeneutics. part II. Conversations.” Phänomenologische Forschung 10 (1980): 89–145.” in Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 24 (1962): 303–49. also his especially penetrating accounts of attitudes in his research manuscripts especially from the fall of 1926 (Hua XXXIV: 3–109). 18. Alber. Hua. his late text on “Teleology in the History of Philosophy. Because the conception of life is considered here from the perspective of the natural attitude. as for the development of transcendental philosophy. 158f. XVII. §44. pp. 11f. Zur Kritik der passiven Synthesis in der Genetischen Phänomenologie. cf. Held.” in Self-Awareness. 20. “Metaphysical Neutrality in Logical Investigations. Contributions to Phenomenology 34 (Dordrecht: Kluwer. [New York: Crossroad. 9.3. He also commends the British Empiricists in their development of a scientific psychology. also the critical interpretation by K. D. Cf. as well as R.” in One Hundred Years of Phenomenology. 2nd rev. 459ff. 22. J. and Alterity.. §27ff.. Temporality. “Husserls Rückgang auf das phainómenon und die geschichtliche Stellung der Phänomenologie. 2002). die eine Welt.. Apart from the “classical” schema first established by Kern.” in Hua XXIX: 362–420. Hua VIII: 98ff..” 19. ed. Krisis. 8. Fink mentioned at least one more way. Kühn. 1989].. the way via the life-world (the one presented in the Crisis) is also in a sense that via history.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 229 ’   229 5. 15. Cf. 159f. Hua XXIX: 425f. Crisis. 104. Hua XI: 23f. appendix text no. 1998). On a supposed “metaphysical neutrality” already in Husserl’s early works. Husserl’s first account of the natural attitude in Ideas I. his discussion of Husserl in Truth and Method. insofar as the life-world should be conceived rightfully as “historical life-world. 6. . trans. cf. Held. ibid. Zahavi. Kern.).” Phänomenologische Forschungen 24/25 (1991): 305–37. Cf. Nijhoff. Hua VII: 159. 12. For example. Conversations with Husserl and Fink. Zahavi. 242ff. Cf. “The Fracture in Self-Awareness. Cairns. §I. Cf. “Die Drei Wege zur Transzendental-Phänomenologischen Reduktion. 21–40. 32. more elaborate analyses in the manuscript material. where Husserl speaks of “Sonderwahrheiten” (special. 16. §46. Husserls Begriff der Passivität. Krisis. 1976). Cairns. Husserl did not have such a clear vision of the different ways. as well as his later. 17. cf. 14. D. ed. §§34–37. as well as in Crisis.. Cf. Cf.. hereafter cited as Conversations. ed. XV: 196–218. 11. For a reconstruction of this pre-affective life. Crisis. G. 1998). “Heimwelt. Phaenomenologica 164 (Dordrecht: Kluwer. 166 n. “The concept of life in Husserl and Count Yorck” (Truth and Method. 21. 161f. footnote 18. 13. particular truths). 10. 155ff. 14 (+ appendix XI). Text no. Weinsheimer and D. D. published in Hua XV. Cf. Cf. Zahavi and F. A. This passage will be discussed subsequently. one of the reasons being that he developed them over the course of more than twenty years and that they often intermingle. D. Zahavi. Cf. the decisive figures of modern philosophy are the ones mentioned above.. D. Be that as it may. cf. where this example is mentioned. Cf. Cf. However. Whereas Husserl employs dÒja and §pistÆmh to characterize the fundamental nature of this distinction—and hence the radically new nature of phenomenology— he speaks of “Neustiftungen” (new/novel institutings) over against the original primal institutings in early Greek thought. Marshall. Texte und Kontexte 6 (Freiburg: K. 93–108. Cf. Cf. 169 n. Fremdwelt. and ibid. I. I shall refer to this article subsequently. 7. Crisis.

469). suspending and “letting go” of this basic life impulse. 315ff. by H. 51. XXXV: 305. 30. Cf. Strasser (Den Haag: M. Being and Nothingness. where Husserl performs the “apodictic reduction” in order to gain an absolute foundation within the sphere of transcendental life. 37. 34. Ideen I.M. 44f.” This is a reflex of the broadening of the concept . Biemel. K. §30. ed. 36. Ideen I. E. 3 & 4. 1960). for example. 77. This anticipates the problem of the relationship between the “mundane” and the transcendental ego. 2002). although both yield “evidences. Einleitung in die Philosophie. Cf. Cairns (The Hague: M. cf. 1976). Although there is no mention of Schopenhauer in Husserl’s later years. Belief and its Neutralization. after Ideas I. In this attempt of an ultimate foundationalism (Letztbegründung). 2002). This “Platonistic” interpretation was widely held by some of Husserl’s contemporaries after the publication of Ideas I. Brainard. Logik.. S. where Husserl emphasizes the importance of making the apodictic “I-am” the foundation of philosophical thought. vol. after Ideas I. ibid. Cf. which was also of particular interest to Husserl’s last assistant Eugen Fink. Phaenomenologica 166 (Dordrecht: Kluwer. Adequate evidence is not eo ipso apodictic (the evidence of transcendent objects is neither adequate nor apodictic.). NY: State University of New York Press. published as Hua I: Cartesianische Meditationen und Pariser Vorträge. 9. 53. Nijhoff. In his early years.” in Schopenhauer’s words) as an attitude of “willing” which affirms being. 34. Nijhoff. 29. Hua.: Klostermann. Hua. 31–125. W. although with the most significant addition that this “apodicticity” includes the world as a cogitatum (cf. 25. that of immanent objects adequate but not necessarily apodictic). that in Cartesian Meditations. part II. 1963). 90. after Ideas I. cannot be discussed here. 33. ed. 51. 58. 54. where he speaks of phenomenology as the “mathesis universalissima. In this he is consistent with the first presentation of the reduction in the 1907 lectures on the Idea of Phenomenology. also Hua VIII: 44–50.. chaps. chap. however. Nijhoff. however. Cf. published in Logos (reprinted in Husserl. Husserl’s System of Phenomenology in Ideas I (Albany. Hua. 4. trans. 57. after Ideas I. M. after Cartesian Meditation: An Introduction to Phenomenology. after Ideas I. 24.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 230 230   23. H. 1973]. 31. 1956).. 36–60). Die Frage nach der Wahrheit. XXXV. 24. cf. or more strongly even Heidegger in his Marburg lecture course from 1925/26. Husserl distinguishes adequate and apodictic evidence. and the epoché as a bracketing.” Cf. trans. esp. 52. 35. 26. Natorp’s review of Ideas from 1917/18. Husserl was influenced by Schopenhauer’s philosophy. Schuhmann. Husserl-Chronik (Den Haag: M. he was mainly influenced by the neo-Kantians.” Cf. This problem. cf. Hua I: 63. ed. also the recent study by M. Barnes (New York: Philosophical Library. It should be mentioned. Heidegger. where Husserl formulates the “content“ of the General Thesis as “the world is” (Die Welt ist). Ideen I. it rings a striking bell when Husserl characterizes the natural attitude (the “world of representation. S. Cf. This concept of freedom influenced Sartre’s concept of “radical freedom. 1977). Ideas I. Ideen I. 32. 56. 54. Cf. 28. also the London Lectures from 1922. the manuscript on the “meaning of the apodicticity of the I-am” from 1934 (Hua XXXIV: 467ff. Ideen I. 27. Noack [Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. Ibid. §30. 21 of Gesamtausgabe (Frankfurt a. This tendency finds its most extreme execution in the lecture course from 1922/23. “Phänomenologie der Phänomenologie”: Systematik und Methodologie der Phänomenologie in der Auseinandersetzung zwischen Husserl und Fink. Cf. Luft. 58. Ideen I. II: 4f. D.

Krisis. Luft. Hua XXXV: 301: “Es ist ein Widersinn. 51. Already in the lecture course from 1923/24 (Erste Philosophie).M. 176. Cf. über das Wesen des Ich. 207. 48. Hua VIII: 89 (my translation). 49. Hua XIV: 165–232.” in Subjektivität— Verantwortung—Wahrheit. Phaenomenologica 138 (Dordrecht: Kluwer. Krisis. Carr and C. Fleischer. [N]ur als transzendentales Ich durfte er [the beginning philosopher] sich setzen und nur sein absolutes Leben mit cogito und cogitatum ist ihm übrig. Crisis. Wege der Verantwortung. On the alleged “parallelism” of psychology and phenomenology. Unendlich vieles liegt aber.. also S. Hua IX.. of phenomenological evidence as Husserl broadens the “field” of subjectivity. “Evidenz und Verantwortung. One should not forget that “transcendental questions” also involve questions regarding truth claims and reason. Husserls Phänomenologie als Gang durch die Faktizität. after Crisis. Hua VIII: 90–92. aus der Psychologie irgend etwas über das Wesen der Erkenntnis. Lebendige Gegenwart. . des Bewusstseins und seiner Wesensmöglichkeiten und -notwendigkeiten intentionaler Konstitution von Gegenständlichkeiten lernen zu wollen und somit von ihr etwas lernen zu wollen über die Vernunft. 50. Cf. Text no. cf. . 1996). ed. D. 43. sondern als einen Titel für Wesensstrukturen der Erkenntnisgeltung. Philosophen des 20. For an account of responsibility in Husserl’s philosophy. in der sich erkenntnismäßig Abzielung und Erzielung abspielen. Die Frage nach der Seinsweise des transzendentalen Ich bei Edmund Husserl. cf.” This notion is introduced in the beginning of the ’20s. Hua I: 70ff. nicht als eine empirische Charaktereigenschaft. 79–94. Cartesian Meditations. Hua. cf. K.. . 1999). Phänomenologische Psychologie. cf. Carr. This effort can best be seen in the lecture course from 1925. Hua XXXV: 93f. Neue Aspeke der Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls. Lotz. The Paradox of Subjectivity. Hua VIII: 126–31.. 127–48. 44. cf. Carr sets out to place this paradoxical character of subjectivity in a broader historical context—most importantly Kant—and argues that the “transcendental tradition” offers a critique of subjectivity that is “much more subtle and devastating . einen phänomenologischen Urwald sozusagen. Lang. also Hua. 7. 47. 1989). esp. 2. cf. In this book. 46. where Carr translates this term as “infatuation” (without making a reference to the pun).” Cf.: P. the term seems well established and has its distinct meaning.: “Das scheinbar armselige ego cogito hat uns ein endloses Gebiet vielverschlungener Phänomene eröffnet. 135–39. . 42. . Nijhoff. “Über einige Grundprobleme in Husserls späten Texten über Reduktion. Hua: I. §6f. 41. 140). Jahrhunderts (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. The Self in the Transcendental Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press. 45. than the one put forward by Heidegger” (ibid. ed. XXXIV: 125ff. ihre gültige Anerkennung als seiende und ihre logische Bestimmung erfahren kann. Crisis. concepts that a psychology as a science of consciousness does not (have to) deal with. For a more detailed account of the splitting of the ego. 1 (Frankfurt a. cf. also Hua XXXIV: 41ff. New Studies in Phenomenology. On the paradox of subjectivity. VII: 9ff. scheint es.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 231 ’   231 38. 40. Phaenomenologica 23 (Den Haag: M. and F. in der eine teleologisch geordnete Sinngebung unter dem Telos ‘wahres Sein’ erfolgen und jede Gegenstandsregion ihre mögliche Selbstgegebenheit.. On the topic of “Gemeingeist“ cf. 179. For the discussion of patent and latent Ego. K. Held. 2002). darin. entwickelt am Leitfaden der Zeitproblematik. Cf. Kuster. Cf. 1966). Held. 182ff. For an account of Husserl’s mature theory of lived-present. D. 178ff. 203.“ in M. vol. Krisis. . Text no. 39.

I. 1988). Phaenomenologica 49 (Den Haag: M. The Horizons of Transcendental Philosophy (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Claesges and K. Cartesian Meditations. C. Husserls Staatsphilosophie (Freiburg: K. This is Husserl’s path into phenomenology in the Cartesian (!) Meditations from 1931 (originally published as Méditations Cartésiennes. 1979).” it is historically interesting to mention that in a treatment of Avenarius’ philosophy. Brainard in The New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy. it shall be mentioned for the sake of completeness: Husserl’s often-quoted phrase in an appendix text of the Crisis. This thesis of science’s forgetfulness of the life-world rings familiar with Heidegger’s critique of modern philosophy as “leaping over” the problem of the world. Cf. the Galilei-paragraph in the Crisis (§9) for a detailed reconstruction of this process. 54. Krisis.” in Faktizität und Individuation (Hamburg: Meiner. Cf. ed. Hua. XXVII: 3–94.. Burt C. E. 60. Natorp’s work on psychology from 1912.M. Krisis. “the dream [of philosophy as rigorous science] is over [ausgeträumt]. 21. On Husserl’s “political” philosophy cf. 59. Cf. “Zweideutigkeiten in Husserls Lebenswelt-Begriff. Carr’s interpretation of this quote in his translator’s introduction. also D.” in Lebenswelt und Wissenschaft in der Philosophie Edmund Husserls. xxxf. Although it has become “old hat” for Husserlians to correct this misreading. Unlike Kern. Hopkins and Steven G. 55. This answer is but one reading of Husserl’s concept of the life-world. While it is known that Husserl. Already the Logical Investigations make the claim for a radical reform of psychology. Appendix Text no. Mohr. Crisis. A certain “missionary” impetus can also already be found in his article “Philosophy as Rigorous Science” (1911). VIII: 497–506. U. Für Ludwig Landgrebe zum 70. XI: 336–45. “Husserls drei Thesen über die Lebenswelt. Claesges. Alber. 38–57. 103. bears the title Allgemeine Psychologie nach Kritischer Methode (Tübingen: J. Peiffer [Paris: A. 1912). 23–31. Cf.” does not express his own opinion. which was closely read by Husserl. I consider it as part of the way via the positive sciences and as such I treat it as part of ‘B’. ed. 1931]). esp. Cf. Krisis. 56. is influenced by Avenarius’ notion of the “natürliche Weltbegriff. Nijhoff.” in Perspektiven Transzendentalphänomenologischer Forschung. 508. 1972). 249–95. “Die Drei Wege zur Transzendental-Phänomenologischen Reduktion. XXVIII. Cf. 389. §§3–5. 105. Only two of the five Kaizo articles were published in the Japanese journal “The Kaizo” ( Japanese for “Renewal”). xxxi n. whereas to Husserl this forgetfulness is a crisis of a logical consequence of scientific progress in modernity. cit. also D. E. B. Geburtstag. I differentiate the way via the life-world proper from that via regional ontologies. Kern. Crisis. 61. 508. p. which deals largely with Husserl’s development of a genetic phenomenology. Crisis. the philosopher Leopold Ziegler. 2002). Colin. Cf.: Klostermann. in his essay “Ueber einige Begriffe der ‘Philosophie der reinen Erfahrung’ ” . 85–101. trans. 2000).RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 232 232   52. Ströker (Frankfurt a. but in this he mockingly formulates the position of his critics. they have been published as a whole in Hua. Schuhmann. and Landgrebe’s “Meditation über Husserls Wort ‘Die Geschichte ist das große Faktum des absoluten Seins’. Boehm. Cf. Crowell (Seattle: Noesis Press.” op. U. here 327ff. On the question of the “absolute being” of transcendental subjectivity cf. 53. 1982). Cf. Cf. ed. 63. 58. also K. the text on “static and genetic method“ in Hua. 64. in trying to reveal this natural life-world. although to Heidegger getting back to the world is only possible by doing away with the dualism between subjectivity and objectivity altogether (under the heading of a “destruction of metaphysics”). Levinas and G. 57. Welton. as well as R. 62. The Other Husserl. as well as p. and from there the totality of sciences. translated by M. Held.

Only this kind of reflected freedom can account for one’s “good conscience” as opposed to the “intuitively” conscientiously acting person. 316–49 (in Husserl’s library). . 66–121. 188. 66.” in Husserl Studies 3 (1986): 3–29. where he makes a reference to the VIth Cartesian Meditation. to lead the ‘world’ back [zurückführen] to such simplified basic notions. Thus.. its organization. Luft. The Phenomenology of Edmund Husserl. On Husserl’s (and Fink’s) concept of “enworlding” (Verweltlichung). (my translation). I. “Die Drei Wege zur Transzendental-Phänomenologischen Reduktion. Heft 3. Cf. . which in all parts are governed by the reduction of beginnings. depends not only its further conception [Durchbildung].. manageable [handhablich] for human spirit. Suddenly a task of its own difficulty arises before the thinker.” op. 71. so that it in its totality becomes manageable [handlich] to thought. after Cartesian Meditations. Hua XXIX: 425f. 76. . uses precisely the term “reduction” to characterize the movement necessary to uncover this “world”: “[T]he plan of an intentionally ahistorical comportment towards the world is not easily carried through. body and soul. 188. 75. pp. after Crisis. esp. cit. 72. p. Krisis. being-for-itself and being-for-us.” op. state of affairs and object—this simplification shows to the connoisseur [Kenner] a multitude of systematic accounts and historical philosophemes. becoming and being. . chap. 177. 70. only the philosopher can truly have a “good conscience” and her life can come to a “rest” here. Phénoménologie de la Perception (Paris: Gallimard. 344 (my translation). violent as well as unavoidable. of the ‘all and everything’ to original. Welton (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 67. Landgrebe. of the Nachlass in the HusserlArchive. Cartesianische Meditationen. after Crisis. one and many. R. the critical note to p. moving and resting. Cf. cit. which necessarily has to be carried through in the development of any philosophy. “Phänomenologie der Phänomenologie. A brief reflection must teach the philosopher the impossibility to just simply think about the world. edited with an introduction by D. 40. “Departure from Cartesianism. conscious and unconscious. Leuven). 151. which history enumerates. Cf. temporal and eternal. which for him has decided over being and non-being?” “Selbstgestaltung des Ich durch absolute Reflexion zum absolut echten Menschen” (manuscript A V 5/16b. 77. XXIX: 353 (my translation): “Is vocation [Berufung] an empty word? Has a philosopher ever . Perhaps no thinker other than Avenarius has so much tried to make the effort. probably from the 1930s. cf. 74. Cf. “The Enworlding (Verweltlichung) of Transcendental Phenomenological Reflection: A Study of Eugen Fink’s ‘6th Cartesian Meditation’. Krisis. This is the title of the first part of the lecture course on Erste Philosophie.” in L. it remains also guiding [bestimmend ] for the relationship and the contradiction between schools and directions.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 233 ’   233 65. For what is the world? . 68. [On Some Concepts of ‘Philosophy of Pure Experience’]. some of the passages listed in the editor’s introduction to Hua XXXIV: xx–xxiii. Hua XXXIV: 518. rather. to break reality down into a number of last basic notions” (316f. 73. 69. as well as the recent study by S. On this first reduction. line 27. It was Merleau-Ponty who clearly saw this “mundanizing” import of the phenomenological reduction. thinking and being. Kern. Landgrebe.. complementing notions such as infinite and finite. as theoretically unsuspiciously as possible. 184. been a ‘genuine’ philosopher without the demonism of having received such a vocation? Is philosophy to the genuine philosopher as a random so-called life-occupation [Lebensberuf ]. Hua. The simplification. . Bruzina. Hua VII. is it for him not rather fate.1981). cf. cf. 184f. That is. 4. my translation). 1945). in Logos II (1911/12).

sich von der Welt frei machen oder wenigstens ihre autonome Quelle. Husserl und Kant. Nijhoff. 1997). K. Moore for help with grammar and style. 32 (“Die Implikation der Transzendentalen Subjektivität”). H. . 86. 88. Husserl owes this notion of reconstruction to Natorp. Cf. my translation. Landgrebe.e. In a late text he even calls this reconstructive reading an “interpretation”: “It is an interpretation. Text no. Faktizität und Individuation. One example of this is to be found in K. Cf. The topic of “implication” of the natural in the transcendental standpoint is very dominant in Husserl’s late texts on the phenomenological reduction. Düsing.. an ideal reconstruction.. op. Krisis. Moderne Kritiken und Systematische Entwürfe zur Konkreten Subjektivität (Munich: Fink. Cf. However. Noack. H. cf. 321–73. Selbstbewußtseinsmodelle.” 79. Cf. 176. Natorp’s Allgemeine Psychologie nach kritischer Methode. Which has caused Husserl to be charged with “Eurocentrism. “Abschied vom Cartesianismus. I would like to thank Matthias Jung and especially Donn Welton for helpful comments.. here. here 281. op.e. cit. Held summarizes this debate lucidly and concludes that Husserl was ultimately not able to overcome “Cartesianism. Kern. Hua.” in Husserl. i. I.RIPH 34_f12_198-234 9/28/04 10:26 AM Page 234 234   78. cit. §§29–33. 277–81.” This discussion cannot be reiterated here.” i. 1964). to whom the “reconstructive” method of psychology was the only way to analyze subjectivity. and Donald R.” in Neue Zürcher Zeitung 76 (March 30/31. 85.. vii: The shift to the life-world is an approach. das transzendentale Ego. Held. 83. ed. For an account of Natorp’s influence on Husserl. Cf. Die Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls. Cf. 1996). Husserl is one systematic voice in a systematic transcendental theory of self-consciousness. Phaenomenologica 16 (Den Haag: M. 80. This is the title of section A VII of the Nachlass in the Husserl-Archives in Leuven. 81. cit. XXXIV: 454ff.-L. which Husserl studied closely. Cf. 87.. van Breda: “Seine Freiheit wiederzugewinnen heißt also.” One can even go further to say that he neither strived to. p. Diese Entdeckung ist bekanntlich nach Husserl nur durch die transzendentale Reduktion möglich” (“Husserl und das Problem der Freiheit. footnote 61. wiederfinden. a sort of substruction of facts for which all testimonies are lacking” (Hua. Cf. XXIX: 396. in this comprehensive article. op.. “von deren Tragweite sich Rechenschaft zu geben ihm [Husserl] nicht mehr vergönnt war. 82. Husserl explicitly does not want to give a factualhistorical account but rather one of “laws of genesis. emphasis added). 113–16. 84.