Thursday, August 12, 2010

Husserl, Finally...

As many of you may know, I think the unknown genius of the early 20th century is Husserl. He had the greatest contact with some of world's top intellectuals (Russell, Frege, Scheler, Gurswitch, Reinach) and had the generation of the world's greatest students and scholars influenced by his work in philosophy (Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Derrida). Yet, these are reasons of taste, not substantial reasons for Husserl's greatness. I don't really think we can argue for greatness, other than to say how it is that history overshadows someone's thought. Analytics write Husserl off as an echo of Frege, which is probably Follesdal's fault mainly. Continental philosophers (even though there is really no such thing as I have said) write Husserl off either completely or slightly given their misguided commitment to Heidegger. As Paul Ricoeur has said and I repeat this often, the history of phenomenology is a history of "Husserlian heresies."

Either way, the "finally" part of the above title hints at I am finally taking a Husserl course, an independent study, but an independent study nonetheless on Husserl. I will make my way through Husserl's Ideas I, II and III. This semester will be accompanied by courses in Kant's first critique and Heidegger's Being and Time. As such, the direction this blog will move is to meditate on the meaning of Husserl's thought in those works, and whatever ruminations will result.

I'll also slow down in my posting, and I am thinking of inviting others to join in on the festivities with discussions on Ideas I, II and III.


Clark Goble said...

I've never regretted my reading of Husserl. It's kind of hard to wrap ones mind around the key aspects that make his system work if only because I don't think it does work. But man if his insights and approach aren't fruitful.

Carbondale Chasmite said...

Dear Clark (if I may),

Glad to hear from you, and welcome.

May I ask what aspect of Husserl does not work in your opinion? That sounds the start of a great conversation.

Clark Goble said...

That's a heavy conversation I unfortunately just don't have time for. I'll just say I favor Heidegger and Derrida over Husserl.

Carbondale Chasmite said...

Aaah, but Heidegger and Derrida make little sense on their own without reading them through Husserl.

Well, you know where to find me if you ever want to have that conversation.