Edmund Husserl (1859-1938)

The founder of the movement in literary criticism known as Phenomenology. Husserl saw phenomenology as a psychology that distinctly separated the physical from the psychical and concentrated its attention on the psychical. Husserl attempted to shift the focus of philosophy away from large scale theorization, towards a more precise study of discrete phenomena,ideas and simple events. He was interested in the essential structure of things, using eidetic analysis of intensionality to yield apodictic(necessary) truths.

Husserl aided philosophy, breaking the Cartesian trap of dualism with new ideas like intentionality.


Born in the former Czechloslovakia, Husserl studied in Leipzig, Berlin and Vienna, where he also taught. He began his studies as a mathemetician, but his studies were influencedby Brentano, who moved him to study more psychology and philosophy. He wrote his first book in 1891, The Philosophy of Arithmetic. This book dealt mostly with mathematical issues, but his interests soon shifted. Husserl immersed himself in the study of logic from 1890-1900, and he soonafter produced another text: Logical Investigations(1901).

Some of his major ideas of this era were intentionality, relations, and identity of things. He came to focus on perceptual experience, and as he began to shed his early Kantian ways, he wrote Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy(1913).His last three books were Formal and Transcendental Logic(1929), Cartesian Meditations(1931), and Lectures on the Phenomenology of Inner Time-Consciousness (1928), a groupof lectures he compiled and edited. His lectures and essays comprise a large amount of his works.




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