Sunday, September 2, 2007

Edmund Husserl (1859-1938)

Sierra Club


For the sole purposes of attaining to the domain of pure consciousness and keeping it pure, we therefore undertake to accept no beliefs involving Objective experience and, therefore, also undertake to make not the slightest use of any conclusion derived from Objective experience.


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Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), originator of the phenomenological movement. Pupil of Franz Brentano. Husserl Influenced Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, among others. Husserl is best known for his extensive use of the the notion that that the main characteristic of consciousness is that it is always intentional, i.e. directed at some kind of content ("Inhalt"): consciousness is always "consciousness of something." He borrowed the concept of the intentional from Brentano, as can be seen from the latter's Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt (Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint). Further, he asserted that studying the flow of consciousness as directed (the act of noesis) at the perceived phenomena (the noemata) yields knowledge of essential structures in reality. In the last period of his life, Husserl shifted to a more explicitly idealist position, which is best expressed in his Cartesian Meditations (1931). His main work, however, remains Logische Untersuchungen (Logical Investigations; first edition, 1900-1901). Husserl, who was born into a Jewish familly in Prossnitz in Moravia was eventualy denied the use of the university library at Freiburgformer, because of the racial cleansing laws issued by the Nazi party, and carried out at the university by Martin Heidegger, Husserl's most famous pupil. Moreover Heidegger removed the dedication to his most widely known work Being and Time when it was reissued in 1941. [This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Edmund Husserl.]

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