go home Phenomenalism

Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 2 (1971)


Edmund Husserl


Husserl: Phenomenology and the Crisis of Western Man


Edmund Husserl's Article for the Encyclopaedia Britannica* (1927)

Revised Translation by Richard E. Palmer [1]


I. Pure Psychology: Its Field of Experience, Its Method and Its Function

1. Pure natural science and pure psychology.

2. The purely psychical in self-experience and community experience. The universal description of intentional experiences.

3. The self-contained field of the purely psychical.-Phenomenological reduction and true inner experience.

4. Eidetic reduction and phenomenological psychology as an eidetic science.

5. The fundamental function of pure phenomenological psychology for an exact empirical psychology.

I1. Phenomenological Psychology and Transcendental Phenomenology

6.. Descartes' transcendental turn and Locke's psychologism.

7. The transcendental problem.

8. The solution by psychologism as a transcendental circle.

9. The transcendental-phenomenological reduction and the semblance of transcendental duplication.

10. Pure psychology as a propaedeutic to transcendental phenomenology.

III Transcendental Phenomenology and Philosophy as Universal Science with Absolute Foundations

11. Transcendental phenomenology as ontology.

12. Phenomenology and the crisis in the foundations of the exact sciences.

13. The phenomenological grounding of the factual sciences in relation to empirical phenomenology.

14. Complete phenomenology as all embracing philosophy.

15. The "ultimate and highest" problems as phenomenological.

16. The phenomenological resolution of all philosophical antitheses.



The term 'phenomenology' designates two things: a new kind of descriptive method which made a breakthrough in philosophy at the turn of the century, and an a priori science derived from it; a science which is intended to supply the basic instrument (Organon) for a rigorously scientific philosophy and, in its consequent application, to make possible a methodical reform of all the sciences. Together with this philosophical phenomenology, but not yet separated from it, however, there also came into being a new psychological discipline parallel to it in method and content: the a priori pure or "phenomenological" psychology, which raises the reformational claim to being the basic methodological foundation on which alone a scientifically rigorous empirical psychology can be established. An outline of this psychological phenomenology, standing nearer to our natural thinking, is well suited to serve as a preliminary step that will lead up to an understanding of philosophical phenomenology.

I. Pure Psychology: Its Field of Experience, Its Method, and Its Function

1. Pure Natural Science and Pure Psychology.

Modern psychology is the science dealing with the "psychical" in the concrete context of spatio-temporal realities, being in some way so to speak what occurs in nature as egoical, with all that inseparably belongs to it as psychic processes like experiencing, thinking, feeling, willing, as capacity, and as habitus. Experience presents the psychical as merely a stratum of human and animal being. Accordingly, psychology is seen as a branch of the more concrete science of anthropology, or rather zoology. Animal realities are first of all, at a basic level, physical realities. As such, they belong in the closed nexus of relationships in physical nature, in Nature meant in the primary and most pregnant sense as the universal theme of a pure natural science; that is to say, an objective science of nature which in deliberate one-sidedness excludes all extra-physical predications of reality. The scientific investigation of the bodies of animals fits within this area. By contrast, however, if the psychic aspect of the animal world is to become the topic of investigation, the first thing we have to ask is how far, in parallel with the pure science of nature, a pure psychology is possible. Obviously, purely psychological research can be done to a certain extent. To it we owe the basic concepts of the psychical according to the properties essential and specific to it. These concepts must be incorporated into the others, into the psychophysical foundational concepts of psychology.

It is by no means clear from the very outset, however, how far the idea of a pure psychology--as a psychological discipline sharply separate in itself and as a real parallel to the pure physical science of nature has a meaning that is legitimate and necessary of realization.

2. The Purely Psychical in Self-experience and Community Experience. The Universal Description of Intentional Experiences.

To establish and unfold this guiding idea, the first thing that is necessary is a clarification of what is peculiar to experience, and especially to the pure experience of the psychical-and specifically the purely psychical that experience reveals, which is to become the theme of a pure psychology. It is natural and appropriate that precedence will be accorded to the most i mnediate types of experience, which in each case reveal to us our own psychic being.

Focusing our experiencing gaze on our own psychic life necessarily takes place as reflection, as a turning about of a glance which had previously been directed elsewhere. Every experience can be subject to such reflection, as can indeed every manner in which we occupy ourselves with any real or ideal objects-for instance, thinking, or in the modes of feeling and will, valuing and striving. So when we are fully engaged in conscious activity, we focus exclusively on the specific thing, thoughts, values, goals, or means involved, but not on the psychical experience as such, in which these things are [23] known as such. Only reflection reveals this to us. Through reflection, instead of grasping simply the matter straight-out--the values, goals, and instmmentalities--we grasp the corresponding subjective experiences in which we beco ne "conscious" of thmn, in which (in the broadest sense) they "appear."

For this reason, they are called "phenomena," and their most general essential character is to exist as the "consciousness-oF' or "appearance-of" the specific things, thoughts (judged states of affairs, grounds, conclusions), plans, decisions, hopes, and so forth. This relatedness [of the appearing to the object of appearance] resides in the meaning of all expressions in the vernacular languages which relate to psychic experience --for instance, perception o/something, recalling of something, thinking of something, hoping/or something, fearing something, striving for something, deciding on something, and so on. If this realin of what we call "phenomena" proves to be the possible field for a pure psychological discipline related exclusively to phenomena, we can understand the designation of it as phenomenological psychology. The terminological expression, deriving froin Scholasticism, for designating the basic character of being as consciousness, as consciousness of something, is intentionality. In unreflective holding of some object or other in consciousness, we are turned or directed to-wards it: our "intentio" goes out towards it. The phenomenological reversal of our gaze shows that this "being directed" [Gerichtet-sein] is really an iimnanent essential feature of the respective experiences involved; they are "intentional" experiences.

An extremely large and variegated number of kinds of special cases fall within the general scope of this concept. Consciousness of something is not an empty holding of something; every phenomenon has its own total forin of intention [intentionale Gesamtform], but at the same time it has a structure, which in intentional analysis leads always again to components which are themselves also intentional. So for example in starting froin a perception of something (for example, a die), phenomenological reflection leads to a multiple and yet synthetically unified intentionality. There are continually varying differences in the modes of appearing of objects, which are caused by the changing of "orientation"-of right and left, nearness and farness, with the consequent differences in perspective involved. There are further differences in appearance between the "actually seen front" and the "unseeable" ["unanschaulichen"] and relatively "undetermined" reverse side, which is nevertheless "meant along with it."

Observing the flux of modes of appearing and the manner of their "synthesis," one finds that every phase and portion [of the flux] is already in itself "consciousness-of '-but in such a manner that there is formed within the constant emerging of new phases the synthetically unified awareness that this is one and the same object. The intentional structure of any process of perception has its fixed essential type [seine feste Wesenstypik], which must necessarily be realized in all its extraordinary complexity just in order for a physical body simply to be perceived as such. If this same thing is intuited in other modes-for example, in the modes of recollection, fantasy or pictorial representation- to some extent the whole intentional content of the perception coines back, but all aspects peculiarly transformed to correspond to that mode. This applies similarly for every other category of psychic process: the judging, valuing, striving consciousness is not an einpty having knowledge of the specific judginents, values, goals, and means.

Rather, these constitute themselves, with fixed essential forins corresponding to each process, in a flowing intentionality. For psychology, the universal task presents itself: to investigate systematically the elementary intentionalities, and froin out of these [unfold] the typical forins of intentional processes, their possible variants, their syntheses to new forins, their structural coinposition, and froin this advance towards a descriptive knowledge of the totality of mental process, towards a comprehensive type of a life of the psyche [Gesamttyplts eines Lebens der Seele]. Clearly, the consistent carrying out of this task will produce knowledge which will have validity far beyond the psychologist's own particular psychic existence.

Psychic life is accessible to us not only through self-experience but also through [24] experience of others. This novel source of experience offers us not only what matches our self-experience but also what is new, inasmuch as, in terms of consciousness and indeed as experience, it establishes the differences between own and other, as well as the properties peculiar to the life of a coimnunity. At just this point there arises the task of also making phenomenologically understandable the mental life of the coimnunity, with all the intentionalities that pertain to it.

3. The Self-contained Field of the Purely Psychical. --Phenomenological Reduction and True Inner Experience.

The idea of a phenomenological psychology encompasses the whole range of tasks arising out of the experience of self and the experience of the other founded on it. But it is not yet clear whether phenomenological experience, followed through in exclusiveness and consistency, really provides us with a kind of closed-off field of being, out of which a science can grow which is exclusively focused on it and completely free of everything psychophysical. Here [in fact] difficulties do exist, which have hidden froin psychologists the possibility of such a purely phenomenological psychology even after Brentano's discovery of intentionality. They are relevant already to the construction of a really pure self-experience, and therewith of a really pure psychic damin. A particular inethod of access is required for the pure phenomenological field: the inethod of "phenomenological reduction." This method of 'phenomenological reduction" is thus the foundational inethod of pure psychology and the presupposition of all its specifically theoretical inethods. Ultimately the great difficulty rests on the way that already the self-experience of the psychologist is everywhere intertwined with external experience, with that of extra-psychical real things.

The experienced "exterior" does not belong to one's intentional interiority, although certainly the experience itself belongs to it as experience-of the exterior. Exactly this same thing is true of every kind of awareness directed at something out there in the world. A consistent epoche of the phenomenologist is required, if he wishes to break through to his own consciousness as pure phenomenon or as the totality of his purely mental processes. That is to say, in the accomplishment of phenomenological reflection he must inhibit every co-accomplishment of objective positing produced in unreflective consciousness, and therewith [inhibit] every judgmental drawing-in of the world as it "exists" for him straightforwardly. The specific experience of this house, this body, of a world as such, is and remains, however, according to its own essential content and thus inseparably, experience "of this house," this body, this world; this is so for every mode of consciousness which is directed towards an object. It is, after all, quite impossible to describe an intentional experience-even if illusionary, an invalid judgment, or the like -without at the same time describing the object of that consciousness as such. The universal epoche of the world as it becomes known in consciousness (the "putting it in brackets") shuts out froin the phenomenological field the world as it exists for the subject in simple absoluteness; its place, however, is taken by the world as given in consciousness (perceived, reineinbered, judged, thought, valued, etc.) -the world as such, the "world in brackets," or in other words, the world, or rather individual things in the world as absolute, are replaced by the respective meaning of each in consciousness [Bewusstseinssinn] in its various modes (perceptual meaning, recollected ineaning, and so on).

With this, we have clarified and supplemented our initial determination of the phenomenological experience and its sphere of being. In going back froin the unities posited in the natural attitude to the manifold of modes of consciousness in which they appear, the unities, as inseparable froin these multiplicities -but as "bracketed"-are also to be reckoned among what is purely psychical, and always specifically in the appearance-character in which they present themselves. The method of phenomenological reduction (to the pure "phenomenon," the purely psychical) accordingly consists (1) in the methodical and rigorously consistent epoche of every objective positing in the psychic sphere, both of the individual phenoinenon and of the whole psychic field in general; [25] and (2) in the methodically practiced seizing and describing of the multiple "appearances" as appearances of their objective units and these units as units of component meanings accruing to thein each time in their appearances. With this is shown a two-fold direction--the noetic and noematic of phenomenological description.

Phenomenological experience in the methodical forin of the phenomenological reduction is the only genuine "inner experience" in the sense meant by any well-grounded science of psychology. In its own nature lies manifest the possibility of being carried out continuously in infinitum with methodical preservation of purity. The reductive inethod is transferred froin self-experience to the experience of others insofar as there can be applied to the envisaged [vergegen-wiirtigten] mental life of the Other the corresponding bracketing and description according to the subjective "How" of its appearance and what is appearing ("noesis" and "noema"). As a further consequence, the coimnunity that is experienced in coimnunity experience is reduced not only to the mentally particularized intentional fields but also to the unity of the coimnunity life that connects thein all together, the coimnunity mental life in its phenomenological purity (intersubjective reduction). Thus results the perfect expansion of the genuine psychological concept of "inner experience."

To every mind there belongs not only the unity of its multiple intentional life-process [intentionalen Lebens] with all its inseparable unities of sense directed towards the "object." There is also, inseparable froin this life-process, the experiencing I-subject as the identical I-pole giving a centre for all specific intentionalities, and as the carrier of all habitualities growing out of this life-process. Likewise, then, the reduced inter-subjectivity, in pure forin and concretely grasped, is a coimnunity of pure "persons" acting in the intersubjective realin of the pure life of consciousness.

4. Eidetic Reduction and Phenomenological Psychology as an Eidetic Science.

To what extent does the unity of the field of phenomenological experience assure the possibility of a psychology exclusively based on it, thus a pure phenomenological psychology? It does not automatically assure an empirically pure science of facts froin which everything psychophysical is abstracted. But this situation is quite different with an a priori science. In it, every self-enclosed field of possible experience perinits eo ipso the all embracing transition froin the factual to the essential forin, the eidos. So here, too. If the phenomenological actual fact as such becomes irrelevant; if, rather, it serves only as an example and as the foundation for a free but intuitive variation of the factual inind and coimnunities of ininds into the a priori possible (thinkable) ones; and if now the theoretical eye directs itself to the necessarily enduring invariant in the variation; then there will arise with this systematic way of proceeding a realin of its own, of the "a priori." There emerges therewith the eidetically necessary typical forin, the eidos; this eidos must manifest itself throughout all the potential forins of mental being in particular cases, must be present in all the synthetic combinations and self-enclosed wholes, if it is to be at all "thinkable," that is, intuitively conceivable. Phenomenological psychology in this manner undoubtedly must be established as an "eidetic phenomenology"; it is then exclusively directed toward the invariant essential forins. For instance, the phenomenology of perception of bodies will not be (simply) a report on the factually occur-ring perceptions or those to be expected; rather it will be the presentation of invariant structural systems without which perception of a body and a synthetically concordant multiplicity of perceptions of one and the same body as such would be unthinkable. If the phenomenological reduction contrived a means of access to the phenomenon of real and also potential inner experience, the inethod founded in it of "eidetic reduction "provides the means of access to the invariant essential structures of the total sphere of pure mental process.

5. The fundamental Function of Pure Phenomenological Psychology for an Exact Empirical Psychology.

A phenomenological pure psychology is [26] absolutely necessary as the foundation for the building up of an "exact" empirical psychology, which since its modern beginnings has been sought according to the model of the exact pure sciences of physical nature. The fundamental meaning of "exactness" in this natural science lies in its being founded on an a priori form-system--each part unfolded in a special theory (pure geometry, a theory of pure time, theory of motion, etc.) --for a Nature conceivable in these terms. It is through the utilization of this a priori form-system for factual nature that the vague, inductive empirical approach attains to a share of eidetic necessity [Wesensnotwendigkeit] and empirical natural science it-self gains a new sense--that of working out for all vague concepts and rules their indispensable basis of rational concepts and laws. As essentially differentiated as the inethods of natural science and psychology may remain, there does exist a necessary coimnon ground: that psychology, like every science, can only draw its "rigour" ("exactness") froin the rationality of the essence. The uncovering of the a priori set of types without which 'T" "we," "consciousness," "the objectivity of consciousness," and therewith mental being as such would be inconceivable--with all the essentially necessary and essentially possible forins of synthesis which are inseparable froin the idea of a whole comprised of individual and coimnunal mental life - produces a prodigious field of exactness that can iimnediately (without the intervening link of Limes-Idealisierung*) be carried over into research on the psyche. Admittedly, the phenomenological a priori does not comprise the complete a priori of psychology, inasmuch as the psychophysical relationship as such has its own a priori. It is clear, however, that this a priori will presuppose that of a pure phenomenological psychology, just as on the other side it will pre-suppose the pure a priori of a physical (and specifically the organic) Nature as such. *By this expression (Limes-Idealsierung), Husserl would seem to mean idealisation to exact (mathematical) limits.

The systematic construction of a phenomenological pure psychology demands:

(1) The description of the peculiarities universally belonging to the essence of intentional mental process, which includes the most general law of synthesis: every connection of consciousness with consciousness gives rise to a consciousness.

(2) The exploration of single forins of intentional mental process which in essential necessity generally must or can present themselves in the mind; in unity with this, also the exploration of the syntheses they are members of for a typology of their essences: both those that are discrete and those continuous with others, both the finitely closed and those continuing into open infinity.

(3) The showing and eidetic description [Wesensdeskription] of the total structure [Gesamtgestalt] of inental life as such; in other words, a description of the essential character [ Wesensart] of a universal "stream of consciousness."

(4) The term 'T' designates a new direction for investigation (still in abstraction froin the social sense of this word) in reference to the essence-forms of "habituality"; in other words, the 'T' as subject thought-tendencies--"persuasions" --(convictions about being, value-convictions, volitional decisions, and so on), as the personal subject of habits, of trained knowing, of certain character qualities.

Throughout all this, the "static" description of essences ultimately leads to problems of genesis, and to an all-pervasive genesis that governs the whole life and development of the personal 'T' according to eidetic laws [eidetischen Geset en]. So on top of the first "static phenoinenology" will be constructed in higher levels a dynamic or genetic phenomenology. As the first and founding genesis it will deal with that of passivity--genesis in which the 'T' does not actively participate. Here lies the new task, an all-embracing eidetic phenomenology of association, a latter-day rehabilitation of David Hume's great discovery, involving an account of the a priori genesis out of which a real spatial world constitutes itself for the mind in habitual acceptance. There follows froin this the eidetic theory dealing with the development of personal habituality, in which the purely mental 'T' within the invariant structural forins of consciousness exists as personal 'T' and is conscious of itself [27] in habitual continuing being and as always being transformed. For further investigation, there offers itself an especially interconnected stratum at a higher level: the static and then the genetic phenomenology of reason.

II. Phenomenological Psychology and Transcendental Phenomenology

6. Descartes' Transcendental Turn and Locke's Psychologism.

The idea of a purely phenomenological psychology does not have just the function described above, of refor ning empirical psychology. For deeply rooted reasons, it can also serve as a preli ninary step for laying open the essence of a transcendental phenomenology. Historically, this idea too did not grow out of the peculiar needs of psychology proper. Its history leads us back to John Locke's notable basic work, and the significant development in Berkeley and Hume of the impetus it contained. Already Locke's restriction to the purely subjective was determined by extra-psychological interests: psychology here stood in the service of the transcendental problem awakened through Descartes.

In Descartes' Meditations, the thought that had become the guiding one for "first philosophy" was that all of "reality," and finally the whole world of what exists and is so for us, exists only as the presentational content of our presentations, as meant in the best case and as evidently reliable in our own cognitive life. This is the motivation for all transcendental problems, genuine or false. Descartes' method of doubt was the first method of exhibiting "transcendental subjectivity," and his ego cogito led to its first conceptual formulation. In Locke, Descartes' transcendentally pure mens is changed into the "human mind," whose systematic exploration through inner experience Locke tackled out of a transcendental-philosophical interest. And so he is the founder of psychologism -- as a transcendental philosophy founded through a psychology of inner experience.

The fate of scientific philosophy hangs on the radical overcoming of every trace of psychologism, an overcoming which not only exposes the fundamental absurdity of psychologism but also does justice to its transcendentally significant kernel of truth. The sources of its continuous historical power are drawn from out of a double sense [an ambiguity] of all the concepts of the subjective, which arises as soon as the transcendental question is broached. The uncovering of this ambiguity involves [us in the need for] at once the sharp separation, and at the time the parallel treatment, of pure phenomenological psychology (as the scientifically rigorous form of a psychology purely of inner experience) and transcendental phenomenology as true transcendental philosophy. At the same time this will justify our advance discussion of psychology as the neans of access to true philosophy. We will begin with a clarification of the true transcendental problem, which in the initially obscure unsteadiness of its sense makes one so very prone (and this applies already to Descartes) to shunt it off to a side track.

7. The Transcendental Problem.

To the essential sense of the transcendental problem belongs its all-inclusiveness, in which it places in question the world and all the sciences investigating it. It arises within a general reversal of that "natural attitude" in which everyday life as a whole as well as the positive sciences operate. In it [the natural attitude] the world is for us the self-evidently existing universe of realities which are continuously before us in unquestioned givenness. So this is the general field of our practical and theoretical activities. As soon as the theoretical interest abandons this natural attitude and in a general turning around of our regard directs itself to the life of consciousness - in which the "world" is for us precisely that, the world which is present to us -- we find ourselves in a new cognitive attitude [or situation]. Every sense which the world has for us (this we now become aware of), both its general indeterminate sense and its sense determining itself according to the particular realities, is, within the internality of our own perceiving, imagining, thinking, valuing life-process, a conscious sense, and a sense which is formed in subjective genesis. Every acceptance of [28] something as validly existing is effected within us ourselves; and every evidence in experience and theory that establishes it, is operative in us ourselves, habitually and continuously motivating us.

This [principle] concerns the world in every determination, even those that are self-evident: that what belongs in and for its self to the world, is how it is, whether or not I, or whoever, become by chance aware of it or not. Once the world in this full universality has been related to the subjectivity of consciousness, in whose living consciousness it makes its appearance precisely as "the" world in its varying sense, then its whole mode of being acquires a dimension of unintelligibility, or rather of questionableness. This "making an appearance" [Auftreten], this being-for-us of the world as only subjectively having co ne to acceptance and only subjectively brought and to be brought to well-grounded evident presentation, requires clarification.

Because of its empty generality, one's first awakening to the relatedness of the world to consciousness gives no understanding of how the varied life of consciousness, barely discerned and sinking back into obscurity, accomplishes such functions: how it, so to say, manages in its i mnanence that something which manifests itself can present itself as something existing in itself, and not only as something meant but as something authenticated in concordant experience. Obviously the problem extends to every kind of "ideal" world and its "being-in-itselF' (for example, the world of pure numbers, or of "troths in themselves"). Unintelligibility is felt as a particularly telling affront to our very mode of being [as hmnan beings]. For obviously we are the ones (individually and in co mnunity) in whose conscious life-process the real world which is present for us as such gains sense and acceptance. As human creatures, however, we ourselves are supposed to belong to the world. When we start with the sense of the world [weltlichen Sinn] given with our mundane existing, we are thus again referred back to ourselves and our conscious life-process as that wherein for us this sense is first formed. Is there conceivable here or anywhere another way of elucidating [it] than to interrogate consciousness itself and the "world" that becomes known in it? For it is precisely as meant by us, and from nowhere else than in us, that it has gained and can gain its sense and validity.

Next we take yet another important step, which will raise the "transcendental" problem (having to do with the being-sense of "transcendent" relative to consciousness) up to the final level. It consists in recognizing that the relativity of consciousness referred to just now applies not just to the brute fact of our world but in eidetic necessity to every conceivable world whatever. For if we vary our factual world in free fantasy, carrying it over into random conceivable worlds, we are implicitly varying ourselves whose environment the world is: we each change ourselves into a possible subjectivity, whose environment would always have to be the world that was thought of, as a world of its [the subjectivity's] possible experiences, possible theoretical evidences, possible practical life.

But obviously this variation leaves untouched the pure ideal worlds of the kind which have their existence in eidetic universality, which are in their essence invariable; it becomes apparent, however, froin the possible variability of the subject knowing such identical essences [Identitiiten], that their cognizability, and thus their intentional relatedness does not simply have to do with our de facto subjectivity. With the eidetic formulation of the problem, the kind of research into consciousness that is demanded is the eidetic.

8. The Solution by Psychologism as a Transcendental Circle.

Our distillation of the idea of a phenomenologically pure psychology has demonstrated the possibility of uncovering by consistent phenomenological reduction what belongs to the conscious subject's own essence in eidetic, universal terms, according to all its possible forins. This includes those forins of reason [itself] which establish and authenticate validity, and with this it includes all forins of potentially appearing worlds, both those validated in themselves through concordant experiences and those determined by theoretical truth. Accordingly, the systematic carrying through of this phenomenological psychology seeins to comprehend in itself froin the outset in [29] foundational (precisely, eidetic) universality the whole of correlation research on being and consciousness; thus it would seein to be the [proper] locus for all transcendental elucidation.

On the other hand, we must not overlook the fact that psychology in all its empirical and eidetic disciplines remains a "positive science," a science operating within the natural attitude, in which the simply present world is the thematic ground. What it wishes to explore are the psyches and coimnunities of psyches that are [actually] to be found in the world. Phenomenological reduction serves as psychological only to the end that it gets at the psychical aspect of animal realities in its pure own essential specificity and its pure own specific essential interconnections.

Even in eidetic research [then], the psyche retains the sense of being which belongs in the realin of what is present in the world; it is merely related to possible real worlds. Even as eidetic phenomenologist, the psychologist is transcendentally naive: he takes the possible "ininds" ('T'- subjects) coinpletely according to the relative sense of the word as those of inen and aniinals considered purely and simply as present in a possible spatial world. If, however, we allow the transcendental interest to be decisive, instead of the natural-worldly, then psychology as a whole receives the stamp of what is transcendentally problematic; and thus it can by no means supply the premises for transcendental philosophy. The subjectivity of consciousness, which, as psychic being, is its theme, cannot be that to which we go back in our questioning into the transcendental.

In order to arrive at an evident clarity at this decisive point, the thematic sense of the transcendental question is to be kept sharply in view, and we must try to judge how, in keeping with it, the regions of the problematical and unproblematical are set apart. The theme of transcendental philosophy is a concrete and systematic elucidation of those multiple intentional relationships, which in conformity with their essences belong to any possible world whatever as the surrounding world of a corresponding possible subjectivity, for which it [the world] would be the one present as practically and theoretically accessible. In regard to all the objects and structures present in the world for these subjectivities, this accessibility involves the regulations of its possible conscious life, which in their typology will have to be uncovered.

[Among] such categories are "lifeless things," as well as men and animals with the internalities of their psychic life. Froin this starting point the full and complete being-sense of a possible world, in general and in regard to all its constitutive categories, shall be elucidated. Like every meaningful question, this transcendental question presupposes a ground of unquestioned being, in which all means of solution must be contained. This ground is here the [anonyinous] subjectivity of that kind of conscious life in which a possible world, of whatever kind, is constituted as present. However, a self-evident basic requirement of any rational inethod is that this ground presupposed as beyond question is not confused with what the transcendental question, in its universality, puts into question. Hence the realin of this questionability includes the whole realin of the transcendenrally naive and therefore every possible world simply claimed in the natural attitude.

Accordingly, all possible sciences, including all their various areas of objects, are transcendentally to be subjected to an epoche. So also psychology, and the entirety of what is considered the psychical in its sense. It would therefore be circular, a transcendental circle, to base the answer to the transcendental question on psychology, be it empirical or eidetic-phenomenological. We face at this point the paradoxical ambiguity: the subjectivity and consciousness to which the transcendental question recurs can thus really not be the subjectivity and consciousness with which psychology deals.

9. The Transcendental-Phenomenological Reduction and the Semblance of Transcendental Duplication.

Are we then supposed to be dual beings -- psychological, as human objectivities in the world, the subjects of psychic life, and at the same time transcendental, as the subjects of a transcendental, world-constituting life-process? This duality can be clarified through being demonstrated with [30] self-evidence. The psychic subjectivity, the concretely grasped 'T' and "we" of ordinary conversation, is experienced in its pure psychic ownness through the inethod of phenomenological-psycho logical reduction.

Modified into eidetic forin it provides the ground for pure phenomenological psychology. Transcendental subjectivity, which is inquired into in the transcendental problem, and which subjectivity is presupposed in it as an existing basis, is none other than again "I myself" and "we ourselves"; not, however, as found in the natural attitude of everyday or of positive science; i.e., apperceived as components of the objectively present world before us, but rather as subjects of conscious life, in which this world and all that is present--for "us"--"makes" itself through certain apperceptions.

As men, mentally as well as bodily present in the world, we are for "ourselves"; we are appearances standing within an extremely variegated intentional life-process, "our" life, in which this being on hand constitutes it-self "for us" apperceptively, with its entire sense-content. The (apperceived) I and we on hand presuppose an (apperceiving) I and we, for which they are on hand, which, however, is not itself present again in the same sense. To this transcendental subjectivity we have direct access through a transcendental experience. Just as the psychic experience requires a reductive inethod for purity, so does the transcendental.

We would like to proceed here by introducing the transcendental reduction as built on the psychological reduction--as an additional part of the purification which can be performed on it any time, a purification that is once more by means of a certain epoche. This is merely a consequence of the all-embracing epoche which belongs to the sense of the transcendental question. If the transcendental relativity of every possible world demands an all-embracing bracketing, it also postulates the bracketing of pure psyches and the pure phenomenological psychology related to thein.

Through this bracketing they are transformed into transcendental phenomena. Thus, while the psychologist, operating within what for him is the naturally accepted world, reduces to pure psychic subjectivity the subjectivity occurring there (but still within the world), the transcendental phenomenologist, through his absolutely all-embracing epoche, reduces this psychologically pure element to transcendental pure subjectivity, [i.e.,] to that which performs and posits within itself the apperception of the world and therein the objectivating apperception of a "psyche [belonging to] animal realities."

For example, my actual current mental processes of pure perception, fantasy, and so forth, are, in the attitude of positivity, psychological givens [or data] of psychological inner experience. They are transmuted into my transcendental mental processes if through a radical epoche I posit as mere phenomena the world, including my own human existence, and now follow up the intentional life-process wherein the entire apperception "off the world, and in particular the apperception of my mind, my psychologically real perception-processes, and so forth, are formed. The content of these processes, what is included in their own essences, remains in this fully preserved, although it is now visible as the core of an apperception practiced again and again psychologically but not previously considered.

For the transcendental philosopher, who through a previous all-inclusive resolve of his will has instituted in himself the firin habituality of the transcendental "bracketing," even this "mundanization" [Verweltlichung, treating everything as part of the world] of consciousness which is oinnipresent in the natural attitude is inhibited once and for all. Accordingly, the consistent reflection on consciousness yields him time after time transcendentally pure data, and more particularly it is intuitive in the mode of a new kind of experience, transcendental "inner" experience.

Arisen out of the methodical transcendental epoche, this new kind of "inner" experience opens up the limitless transcendental field of being. This field of being is the parallel to the limitless psychological field, and the inethod of access [to its data] is the parallel to the purely psychological one, i.e., to the psychological-phenomenological reduction. And again, the transcendental I [or ego] and the [31] transcendental coimnunity of egos, conceived in the full concretion of transcendental life are the transcendental parallel to the I and we in the customary and psychological sense, concretely conceived as mind and coimnunity of minds, with the psychological life of consciousness that pertains to thein.

My transcendental ego is thus evidently "different" froin the natural ego, but by no means as a second, as one separated horn it in the natural sense of the word, just as on the contrary it is by no means bound up with it or intertwined with it, in the usual sense of these words. It is just the field of transcendental self-experience (conceived in full concrete-ness) which in every case can, through mere alteration of attitude, be changed into psychological self-experience. In this transition, an identity of the I is necessarily brought about; in transcendental reflection on this transition the psychological Objectivation becomes visible as self-objectivation of the transcendental I, and so it is as if in every moment of the natural attitude the I finds itself with an apperception imposed upon it.

If the parallelism of the transcendental and psychological experience-spheres has become comprehensible out of a mere alter- ation of attitude, as a kind of identity of the complex interpenetration of senses of being, then there also becomes intelligible the con-sequence that results froin it, namely the same parallelism and the interpenetration of transcendental and psychological phenomenology implied in that interpenetration, whose whole theme is pure intersubjectivity, in its dual sense. Only that in this case it has to be taken into account that the purely psy-chic intersubjectivity, as soon as the it is subjected to the transcendental epoche, also leads to its parallel, that is, to transcendental intersubjectivity.

Manifestly this parallelism spells nothing less than theoretical equivalence. Transcendental intersubjectivity is the concretely autonomous absolute existing basis [Seinsboden] out of which everything transcendent (and, with it, every-thing that belongs to the real world) obtains its existential sense as that of something which only in a relative and therewith in-complete sense is an existing thing, namely as being an intentional unity which in truth exists froin out of transcendental bestowal of sense, of harmonious confirmation, and froin an habituality of lasting conviction that belongs to it by essential necessity.

10. Pure Psychology as Propaedeutic to Transcendental Phenomenology.

Through the elucidation of the essentially dual meaning of the subjectivity of consciousness, and also a clarification of the eidetic science to be directed to it, we begin to understand on very deep grounds the historical insurmoumability of psychologism. Its power lies in an essential transcendental semblance which [because] undisclosed had to remain effective. Also froin the clarification we have gained we begin to understand on the one hand the independence of the idea of a transcendental phenomenology, and the systematic developing of it, froin the idea of a phenomenological pure psychology; and yet on the other hand the propaedeutic usefulness of the preliminary protect of a pure psychology for an ascent to transcendental phenomenology, a usefulness which has guided our present discussion here. As regards this point {i.e., the independence of the idea of transcendental phenoinenology froin a phenoinenological pure psychology}, clearly the phenoinenological and eidetic reduction allows of being iimnediately connected to the disclosing of transcendental relativity, and in this way transcendental phenomenology springs directly out of the transcendental intuition. In point of fact, this direct path was the historical path it took. Pure phenomenological psychology as eidetic science in positivity was simply not available.

As regards the second point, i.e., the propaedeutic preference of the indirect approach to transcendental phenomenology through pure psychology, [it must be remembered that] the transcendental attitude involves a change of focus froin one's entire forin of life-style, one which goes so completely beyond all previous experiencing of life, that it must, in vir-tue of its absolute strangeness, needs be difficult to understand. This is also true of a transcendental science. Phenomenological psychology, although also relatively new, [32] and in its inethod of intentional analysis completely novel, still has the accessibility which is possessed by all positive sciences. Once this psychology has become clear, at least according to its sharply defined idea, then only the clarification of the true sense of the transcendental-philosophical field of problems and of the transcendental reduction is required in order for it to come into possession of transcendental phenomenology as a mere reversal of its doctrinal content into transcendental terms.

The basic difficulties for penetrating into the terrain of the new phenomenology fall into these two stages, namely that of understanding the me inethod of "inner experience," which already belongs to making possible an "ex-act" psychology as rational science of facts, and that of understanding the distinctive character of the transcendental inethods and questioning. True, simply regarded in itself, an interest in the transcendental is the highest and ultimate scientific interest, and so it is entirely the right thing (it has been so historically and should continue) for transcendental theories to be cultivated in the autonomous, absolute system of transcendental philosophy; and to place before us, through showing the characteristic features of the natural in contrast to the transcendental attitude, the possibility within transcendental philosophy itself of reinterpreting all

transcendental phenomenological doctrine [or theory] into doctrine [or theory] in the realin of natural positivity.

III. Transcendental Phenomenology and Philosophy as Universal Science with Absolute Foundations

11. Transcendental Phenomenology as Ontology.

Remarkable consequences arise when one weighs the significance of transcendental phenomenology. In its systematic development, it brings to realization the Leibnizian idea of a universal ontology as the systematic unity of all conceivable a priori sciences, but on a new foundation which overcomes "dogmatism" through the use of the transcendental phenomenological inethod. Phenomenology as the science of all conceivable transcendental phenomena and especially the synthetic total structures in which alone they are concretely possible--those of the transcendental single subjects bound to coimnunities of subjects is eo ipso the a priori science of all conceivable beings.

But [it is the science] then not merely of the Totality of objectively existing beings, and certainly not in an attitude of natural positivity; rather, in the full concretion of being in general which derives its sense of being and its validity froin the correlative intentional constitution. This also comprises the being of transcendental subjectivity itself, whose nature it is demonstrably to be constituted transcendentally in and for itself. Accordingly, a phenomenology properly carried through is the truly universal ontology, as over against the only illusory all-embracing ontology in positivity -- and precisely for this reason it overcomes the dogmatic one-sidedness and hence unintelligibility of the latter, while at the same time it comprises within itself the truly legitimate content [of an ontology in positivity] as grounded originally in intentional constitution.

12. Phenomenology and the Crisis in the foundations of the Exact Sciences.

If we consider the how of this inclusion, we find that what is meant is that every apriori is ultimately prescribed in its validity of being precisely as a transcendental achievement; i.e., it is together with the essential structures of its constitution, with the kinds and levels of its givenness and confirmation of itself, and with the appertaining habitualities. This implies that in and through the establishment of the a priori the subjective inethod of this establishing is itself made transparent, and that for the a priori disciplines which are founded within phenoinenology (for exainple, as inatheinatical sciences) there can be no "paradoxes" and no "crises of the foundations." The con-sequence that arises [froin all this] with reference to the a priori sciences that have come into being historically and in transcendental nai'vete is that only a radical, phenomenological grounding can transform thein into true, methodical, fully self-justifying sciences. But precisely by this they will cease to [33] be positive (doginatic) sciences and becoine dependent branches of the one phenoinenology as all-encoinpassing eidetic ontology.

13. The Phenomenological Grounding of the Factual Sciences in Relation to Empirical Phenomenology.

The unending task of presenting the complete universe of the a priori in its transcendental relatedness-back-to-itself [or self-reference], and thus in its self-sufficiency and perfect methodological clarity, is itself a function of the inethod for realization of an all-embracing and hence fully grounded science of empirical fact. Within [the realin of] positive reality [Positivitiit], genuine (relatively genuine) empirical science demands the methodical establishing-of-a-foundation [Fundamentierung] through a corresponding a priori science. If we take the universe of all possible empirical sciences whatever and demand a radical grounding that will be free froin all "foundation crises," then we are led to the all-embracing a priori of the radical and that is [and must be] phenomenological grounding. The genuine forin of an all-embracing science of fact is thus the phenomenological [forin], and as this it is the universal science of the factual transcendental intersubjectivity, [resting] on the methodical foundation of eidetic phenomenology as knowledge applying to any possible transcendental subjectivity whatever. Hence the idea of an empirical phenomenology which follows after the eidetic is understood and justified. It is identical with the complete systematic universe of the positive sciences, provided that we think of thein froin the beginning as absolutely grounded methodologically through eidetic phenomenology.

14. Complete Phenomenology as All-embracing Philosophy

Precisely through this is restored the most primordial concept of philosophy--as all-embracing science based on radical self-justification, which is alone [truly] science in the ancient Platonic and again in the Cartesian sense. Phenomenology rigorously and systematically carried out, phenomenology in the broadened sense [which we have explained] above, is identical with this philosophy which encompasses all genuine knowledge. It is divided into eidetic phenoinenology (or all-einbracing ontology) as first philosophy, and as second philosophy, [it is] the science of the universe of facta, or of the transcendental intersubjectivity that synthetically comprises all facta. First philosophy is the universe of inethods for the second, and is related back into itself for its methodological grounding.

15. The "Ultimate and Highest" Problems as Phenomenological.

In phenomenology all rational problems have their place, and thus also those that traditionally are in some special sense or other philosophically significant. For out of the absolute sources of transcendental experience, or eidetic intuiting, they first [are able to] obtain their genuine formulation and feasible means for their solution. In its universal relatedness-back-to-itself, phenomenology recognizes its particular function within a possible life of mankind [Menschheitsleben] at the transcendental level. It recognizes the absolute norins which are to be picked out intuitively froin it [life of mankind], and also its primordial teleo-logical-tendential structure in a directedness towards disclosure of these norins and their conscious practical operation. It recognizes itself as a function of the all- embracing reflective meditation of (transcendental) humanity, [a self-examination] in the service of an all-inclusive praxis of reason; that is, in the service of striving towards the universal ideal of absolute perfection which lies in infinity, [a striving] which becoines free through [the process of] disclosure.

Or, in different words it is a striving in the direction of the idea (lying in infinity) of a humanness which in action and through- out would live and move [be, exist] in truth and genuineness. It recognizes its self- reflective function [of self-examination] for the relative realization of the correlative practical idea of a genuine human life [Menschheitsleben] in the second sense (whose structural forins of being and whose practical norins it is to investigate), namely as one [that is] consciously and purposively [34] directed towards this absolute idea. In short, the metaphysically teleological, the ethical, and the problems of philosophy of history, no less than, obviously, the problems of judging reason, lie within its boundary, no differently froin all significant problems whatever, and all [of thein] in their inmost synthetic unity and order as [being] of transcendental spirituality [Geistigkeit].

16. The Phenomenological Resolution of All Philosophical Antitheses.

In the systematic work of phenomenology, which progresses froin intuitively given [concrete] data to heights of abstraction, the old traditional ambiguous antitheses of the philosophical standpoint are resolved--by themselves and without the arts of an argumentative dialectic, and without weak efforts and compromises: oppositions such as between rationalisin (Platonisin) and einpiricisin, relativisin and absolutisin, subjectivisin and objectivisin, ontologism and transcendentalism, psychologism and anti-psychologism, positivism and metaphysics, or the teleological versus the causal interpretation of the world. Throughout all of these,[one finds] justified motives, but through-out also half-truths or impermissible absolutizing of only relatively and abstractively legitimate one-sidednesses.

Subjectivisin can only be overcoine by the inost all-einbracing and consistent subjectivisin (the transcendental). In this [latter] forin it is at the same time objectivism [of a deeper sort], in that it represents the claims of whatever objectivity is to be demonstrated through concordant experience, but admittedly [this is an objectivism which] also brings out its full and genuine sense, against which [sense] the supposedly realistic objectivism sins by its failure to understand transcendental constitution.

Relativism can only be overcome through the most all-embracing relativism, that of transcendental phenomenology, which makes intelligible the relativity of all "objective" being [or existence] as transcendentally constituted; but at one with this [it makes intelligible] the most radical relativity, the relatedness of the transcendental subjectivity to itself. But just this [relatedness, subjectivity] proves its identity to be the only possible sense of [the term] "absolute" being--over against all "objective" being that is relative to it--namely, as the "for-itself"--being of transcendental subjectivity. Likewise: Empiricism can only be overcome by the most universal and consistent empiricism, which puts in place of the restricted [term] "experience" of the empiricists the necessarily broadened concept of experience [inclusive] of intuition which offers original data, an intuition which in all its forins (intuition of eidos, apodictic self-evidence, phenomenological intuition of essence, etc.) shows the manner and forin of its legitimation through phenomenological clarification.

Phenomenology as eidetic is, on the other hand, rationalistic: it overcomes restrictive and dogmatic rationalism, however, through the most universal rationalism of inquiry into essences, which is related uniformly to transcendental subjectivity, to the I, consciousness, and conscious objectivity. And it is the same in reference to the other antitheses bound up with thein. The tracing back of all being to the transcendental subjectivity and its constitutive intentional functions leaves open, to mention one more thing, no other way of contemplating the world than the teleological. And yet phenomenology also acknowledges a kernel of truth in naturalism (or rather sensationism). That is, by revealing associations as intentional phenomena, indeed as a whole basic typology of forins of passive intentional synthesis with transcendental and purely passive genesis based on essential laws, phenomenology shows Humean fictionalism to contain anticipatory discoveries; particularly in his doctrine of the origin of such fictions as thing, persisting existence, causality-anticipatory discoveries all shrouded in absurd theories.

Phenomenological philosophy regards it-self in its whole inethod as a pure outcome of methodical intentions which already animated Greek philosophy froin its beginnings; above all, however, [it continues] the still vital intentions which reach, in the two lines of rationalism and empiricism, froin Descartes through Kant and German ideal-ism into our confused present day. A pure outcome of methodical intentions means [35] real inethod which allows the problems to be taken in hand and completed --In the way of true science this path is endless. Accordingly, phenomenology demands that the phenomenologist foreswear the ideal of a philosophic system and yet as a humble worker in coimnunity with others, live for a perennial philosophy [philosophia perennis].

[1] Reprinted from Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 2 (1971): 77-90; in Husserl's Shorter Works, pp.21-35.