Monday, August 16, 2010

Ideas 1 Part 1

So, I have made my way through several chapters of Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy, vol 1., and wanted to catalog my opening impression of the first 60 pages. Now, most of what I say here will not be about what I like since I like all of Husserl. What I like would simply be a regurgitation of agreement. That would be really redundant. Instead, I will focus on areas of confusion and what provoked my marginalia comments. With that said, I do have one striking question about the first chapter.

Nearing the end of the first chapter, Husserl introduces a range of logical concepts, yet he describe the purpose:
It has been our purpose to outline, on the basis of pure logic and as part of the fundamental structure of all possible cognition or cognitive objectivities proceeding from a pure logic, a schema in conformity with which individua must be determinable under synthetical principles a priori according to concepts and laws, or in conformity with which all empirical sciences are relevant to them and not merely on the pure logic common to all sciences (p. 32, section 17). 
I take it that whether grounded in pure logic or possible cognition or an ideal objectivity, Husserl wants to develop a schema, a type of conceptual representation that explains individual phenomena as determinable under synthetic principles a priori. In other words, the eidetic cognition that legitimates individual phenomena can be distilled to the point we can show eidetic cognition is the source for all possible knowledge of any individual phenomena. It can be shown to such an extent this eidetic cognition is a priori and comes to synthesize various elements of givenness from the phenomenon itself. In this way, it is not that these logical elements, or descriptions are common to all the sciences. Instead, these logical elements and descriptions serve as a legitimating force. So, here's the question: It feels like this was introduced in an impure way. Husserl does not bracket these elements, but instead simply insists upon these terms and logical elements. They seem to come out of nowhere, although they do have a stated purpose as I quote. So, the question that I first want to take on is if Husserl starts with these logical elements, terms and descriptions, then does the attempt at revealing their necessity feel a bit contrived apart from the phenomenology?

Now, it could be that this first chapter is simply a rehashing of the work Husserl did in Logical Investigations to establish the ideal objectivity of logical categories as independent from empirical naturalism. In this way, Ideas 1 is after a similar philosophical project, to defend the phenomenological attitude against any attempt to posit the general character of the natural attitude. So, I find that the contrivance of the logic chapter might not be that big of a deal, although it does feel a little too quick. I will post some other thoughts and questions I have tomorrow.

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