Manual Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology

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Often, where the wording of the published text and that of Typescript C differ, the French translation indicates that it was based on a text that corresponded more closely to one or the other - usually to Typescript C. In such cases the French translation has been quoted or cited in a foornote.

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Published July 31st by Springer first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Cartesian Meditations , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Cartesian Meditations. Lists with This Book. A pdf can be found online here: The introduction is surprisingly clear — the importance of Descartes is the stripping back to first principles, the process of doing philosophy being a A pdf can be found online here: Changing its total style, philosophy takes a radical turn: Should not this continuing tendency imply an eternal significance and, for us, a task imposed by history itself, a great task in which we are all summoned to collaborate?

What this ground is, and whether or not it is even possible to actually get to such a position, is debatable. In a quasi-Cartesian fashion we intend, as radically beginning philosophers, to carry out meditations with the utmost critical precaution and a readiness for any even the most far-reaching transformation of the old-Cartesian meditations. Seductive aberrations, into which Descartes and later thinkers strayed, will have to be clarified and avoided as we pursue our course.

To presuppose logic as a method to get beyond presuppositions is obviously flawed. At first we must not presuppose even its possibility. Which seems to me a bit of a cop-out, but anyway So the scientific method, which wishes to ground itself on evidence, is the same as the Cartesian method, which similarly seeks to ground itself. Or is not always already completely saturated with all sorts of pre-existing crap? There is a line of advance. Just like there should be in philosophy — it is a doing, not a dogma It is plain that I, as someone beginning philosophically, since I am striving toward the presumptive end, genuine science, must neither make nor go on accepting any judgment as scientific that I have not derived from evidence, from "experiences" in which the affairs and affair-complexes in question are present to me as "they themselves".

Indeed, even then I must at all times reflect on the pertinent evidence ; I must examine its "range" and make evident to myself how far that evidence, how far its "perfection", the actual giving of the affairs themselves, extends. Where this is still wanting, I must not claim any final validity, but must account my judgment as, at best, a possible intermediate stage on the way to final validity.

Just had to google "apodicity". If we can know that certain evidence is not grounded, the possibility of evidence that would be grounded would be recognizable. So, seeing it is not X still gives us hints as to X. The existence of the world - " The being of the world, by reason of the evidence of natural experience, must no longer be for us an obvious matter of fact; it too must be for us, henceforth, only an acceptance-phenomenon.

Even if you decided not to believe in anything you experienced, that "not believing" would still be something. There is an Ego grasping all this "immediately". So if you cut out everything, you end up at "pure living", "pure experiencing" 22 " By my living, by my experiencing, thinking, valuing, and acting, I can enter no world other than the one that gets its sense and acceptance or status [Sinn und Geltung]in and from me, myself. But, yes, the issue is - can the experiencing of the transcendental self be apodictic? What about the past, memory as components of that self?

Can they not be doubted? But we can still separate the "lived present", the experiencing of something now, being such a ground. But how far does this extend? Clearly this is an uncertain ground, and indeterminate ground. So Descartes' mistake was to turn round at this point and start building back up - what we should do is stay in this position of radical uncertainty and stay true to our requirement for "evidence".

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Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology by Edmund Husserl

So the "Objective" world is irrelevant, and not something we should be attempting to inquire into or ascertain. The "reduced", or radically questioned, "Ego" is not part of the World. So therefore our subject should always simply be what the experiencing of the me doing the philosophical investigation is Now things are stepping up a gear.

We have to stay where we are — in the thinking of being.

Transcendental experience [groooovy maaan]. So we need to explore this realm, but it is, of course, mine and mine only, there is no assumption of universal applicability. And also we must note the difference between simply perceiving something, and also being aware of the fact of our perceiving and also remembering that we have bracketed off the existence of the thing being perceived. But do we not immediately get into a problem of infinite regress here Husserl? Will the Ego not keep splitting forever? Noematic the perceived intentional object —v- Noetic the processes of perception. These multiplicities include the Noematic and the noetic.

We can direct our intentionality at the object in different ways to emphasise different aspects of it, but these are never isolated from each other, or separated. These structures can be described, or investigated. This includes, for example, the fact that when I observe the computer in front of me, the object includes all sorts of other stuff which is "invisible" - not just the innards of the computer but, i guess, also all its Computer-ness. This something, the particular "intentional object qua intentional" in any consciousness, is there [bewusst] as an identical unity belonging to noetically-noematically changing modes of consciousness, whether intuitive or non-intuitive.

And this synthesis that is the internal object appearing in my consciousness is something that escapes the bracketing off we have done. The horizon of possibility around our interpretation of an object is delineated, is not infinite. There are only a certain number of ways we can experience or think through an object, and these are in place from the start.

So, even though the modes of consciousness of the object change, they do so within a limit. And we can investigate this limit. This issue is therefore not the investigation of the elements of something, but of potentialities. Any "Objective" object, any object whatever even an immanent one , points to a structure, within the transcendental ego, that is governed by a rule.

And our task as phenomenological investigators is to uncover them. Getting a concept pregnant is never easy. We are still directed towards a "thing". Synthesis gives us our reality. What makes up, what is the structure, of the actual or possible consciousness of Objects? This is true of the transcendental ego and, correspondingly, of the psychologically pure ego; it is true, moreover, with respect to any sense of the word ego. Since the monadically concrete ego includes also the whole of actual and potential conscious life, it is clear that the problem of explicating this monadic ego phenomenologically the problem of his constitution for himself must include all constitutional problems without exception.

Consequently the phenomenology of this self-constitution coincides with phenomenology as a whole. It is prior to all "concepts", in the sense of verbal significations; indeed, as pure concepts, these must be made to fit the eidos. I am not sure I agree with Husserl here - I don't think such ideal essences exist - what about language, what about the world, our bodies and all the other stuff that continually forms part of whatever is going on in us - I don't think I agree that there is some sort of untainted concept out there that we can get to. That transcendental phenomenology will allow us to get over even this.

Active —v- passive genesis in respect of the Ego — i. The "ready-made" object that confronts us in life as an existent mere physical thing when we disregard all the "spiritual" or "cultural" characteristics that make it knowable as, for example, a hammer, a table, an aesthetic creation is given, with the originality of the "it itself", in the synthesis of a passive experience.

As such a thing, it is given beforehand to "spiritual" activities, which begin with active grasping.

Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology

So there is a history, we can point backward to the giving of the beforehand of an Object. Without this history there could be no Objects. Owing to these, each and every passive constitution is to be made understandable both the constitution of subjective processes, as objects in immanent time, and the constitution of all real natural objects belonging to the Objective spatio-temporal world.


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Association is a fundamental concept belonging to transcendental phenomenology. Jan 02, David M rated it it was amazing. If the journey to the point of departure is so toilsome, it is because the concrete is the final conquest of thought - Paul Ricouer, Freud and Philosophy Ricoeur considered himself a humble student of Husserl, and I think the master would assent to the above.

The original rallying cry of phenomenology was 'to the things themselves. He spends so much time on his precious reduction, which must b If the journey to the point of departure is so toilsome, it is because the concrete is the final conquest of thought - Paul Ricouer, Freud and Philosophy Ricoeur considered himself a humble student of Husserl, and I think the master would assent to the above.

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He spends so much time on his precious reduction, which must be carried out laboriously over and over again. At the same time it's true that what I care most about in philosophy grows more or less directly out of Husserl. Speaking of my own personal triumvirate, Merleau-Ponty, Gadamer, and Ricoeur would all be inconceivable without Husserl.

Happily, in Phenomenology of Perception, M-P makes short work of the reduction, dispensing with it by the end of the preface. Phenomenology greatly expands the areas of human experience amenable to rigorous philosophical investigation. This is true even if Husserl himself stayed within a fairly limited framework of epistemological questions. I took a few notes as I read this book: Reading secondary literature you'll notice incredible disagreement about basic aspects of his philosophy.


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For instance, was he a strict realist or radical idealist? Possibly he was just more scrupulous and honest than most everyone else. Where most other philosophers find a need take a stance on basic issues in order to then formulate their own doctrine, Husserl was constantly circling back to reopen old wounds. This passage can be read as a swipe at the Kantian thing-in-itself or noumenal realm. In Husserl's view, Kant constructed obscure concepts where what was needed was a more rigorous clarification of the content of experience.

Even when he starts to stray into the wildly metaphysical territory of Leibniz, Husserl insists that phenomenology remains a kind of empiricism, a patient description or explication of the phenomena of experience. Yet one may wonder whether he's barking up the wrong tree by looking to consciousness for the foundations of the objective and cultural world. Husserl wishes to show that I do not infer the existence of another based on external evidence, as Descartes and the classic empiricists would claim, but that I apprehend the other directly as another - "What I actually see is not a sign and not a mere analogue, a depiction in the natural sense of the world; on the contrary, it is someone else" pp And yet Husserl remains committed to showing how the other is constituted in me.

Later on, arguably, this would change as the 'lifeworld' became a prominent category in his thought, but for the Cartesian Meditations he is unabashedly committed to a philosophy of the ego. The apotheosis of the ego, but also maybe the point at which the ego is pushed to the fucking brink.

Scholastic philosophers complained that Descartes asked some really silly questions, and indeed who could say there were wrong. Solipsism is an artificial problem that only arises once you've committed to a certain type of ego-centric philosophizing. Because of his Jewish background, he was subject to persecution by the Nazis, and after his death his unpublished manuscripts had to be smuggled to Louvain, Belgium, to prevent their being destroyed.

Husserl is the founder of the philosophical school known as phenomenology. The history of Husserl's philosophical development is that of an endless philosophical search for a foundational method that could serve as a rational ground for all the sciences. His first major book, Philosophy of Arithmetic , was criticized by Gottlob Frege for its psychologism, which changed the whole direction of Husserl's thinking. The culmination of his next period was the Logical Investigations His views took an idealistic turn in the Ideas Toward a Pure Phenomenology Husserl wrote little from then until the late s, when he developed his idealism in a new direction in Formal and Transcendental Logic and Cartesian Meditations Find it on Scholar.

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Joel Krueger - - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 2: Elijah Chudnoff - - Philosophical Studies 2: Sensorimotor Subjectivity and the Enactive Approach to Experience. Evan Thompson - - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 4: Phenomenology as a Form of Empathy. Matthew Ratcliffe - - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 55 5: An Analysis of His Phenomenology.