Recreation Of The Ideas Of Edmund Husserl

1816 words - 7 pages

The purpose of this paper is to provide a recreation of the ideas held by Edmund Husserl post-1890 and then to elucidate them in light of modern understanding. His greatest contributions of phenomenology and consciousness as a directed event will be the focus and offer guidance for Husserl’s uncovering of the ego as not only a state of being separate of the environment but also a state of immersion within the environment.
We begin by explaining what the phenomenological attitude is not. This method contrasts with the popular framework, advocated by Husserl himself in his earlier works, of psychologism. Through this lens, the totality of human logic stems from psychological processes contained within the brain. However, Husserl did not hold that invoking the sciences was conducive to genuine philosophical pursuits due to their heavy reliance on presuppositions with which psychologism is fraught [Naturalistic Philosophy, 81]. Under the influence of psychologism, a type of species relativism is implied. Human understanding is elevated to anthropocentric psychologism. Truth cannot find its grounds in the science of matter of fact [Psychologistic Prejudices, 104]. By basing truth in the material dependent on human cognition, its scope is restricted. For example, before Mt. Everest was discovered, the tallest mountain in the world remains Mt. Everest regardless of its gnostic status . Husserl puts forth three prejudices that permeate psychologism, the first of which identifies normative mental acts must have a mental basis (Psychologistic Prejudices, 101). However, a distinction must be made between normative statements and descriptive statements that include normative motivations. It is an is-ought problem. Logic is normative and carries a sense of obligation, but the relation of logic to itself is descriptive. The second prejudice is similar; since logical inferences occur in the mind, they are based on human psychology [Psychologistic Prejudices, 108]. Through analogy, we can purport that maths should also follow this rule, but arithmetic provides an easy counterexample showing that this is not the case. Concepts like addition are not localized to brain-events and extend beyond the psychical. If logical rules are based in psychology, humans would always behave in a logical manner. Of course, this is not true and the psychologist himself can verify this fact. The final prejudice that infects psychologism is the notion of self-evidence implies truth [Psychologistic Prejudices, 115]. Nevertheless, the relation is in the wrong direction. An ideal truth does not depend on self-evidence but self-evidence is the mind experiencing truth. It is not a component of truth but a unification of it and to whom it is present. What, then, can we do to combat psychologism and with it naturalism? Husserl aims to cast away what counts as thought-noise and consider primal traits, the essence of objects, similar to Descartes radical skepticism. Unlike Descartes, he...

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