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According to Husserl, however, these processes are misunderstood when reduced to objectivist categories dependent upon external causal factors. As regards perception, for example, Husserlian phenomenology criticizes all earlier forms of representational realism. From the Logical Investigations onwards, perception is described as directly giving objects and phenomenal data that provides evidence about how the world is. Nonetheless, Husserl early on accepted that physical objects are, by their nature, given in a necessarily incomplete way.

For example, my computer is presented to me from a particular perspective. Matters are different in the case of concepts and ideas. Therefore, that I am thinking about the computer as existing is impossible to doubt. That its colored surface is presented to me simultaneously with the perception of its presence in a spatial-temporal field is another a priori feature of perception. As will be seen, these distinctions will prove essential to making sense of the difference between truth-stating propositional contents versus truth-making world-dependent factors and, from early on will inform the Husserlian account for establishing the basis of truth.

The different levels of reflection that distinguish, for example, the apprehension of something in a judgment, along with the required representational content as the possibility condition for making a judgment in the first place, is an important distinction introduced in the Logical Investigations and developed more fully by Husserl in later writings. Footnote 6. Refusing to give either internal or external factors a privileged epistemological role, therefore, the early Husserl implies that neither the extra-mental existence of a transcendent object nor the subjectively experienced sensuous contents of a concrete intuitive presentation are the most relevant factors for affirming the correlates of meaningful expressions.

To further expand his phenomenological project, however, Husserl deemed it necessary to seek nothing less than the radical reform of modern philosophy since the time of Descartes. He proceeded to undertake this goal by theoretically conjoining the innate teleological sense of rational life to nature in a new way.

How can experience as consciousness give or make contact with an object? How can experiences be mutually legitimated or corrected by means of each other, and not merely replace each other or confirm each other subjectively? How can the play of a consciousness whose logic is empirical make objectively valid statements, valid for things that are in and for themselves? Why are the playing rules, so to speak, of consciousness not irrelevant for things?

How is natural science to be comprehensible in absolutely every case, to the extent that it pretends at every step to posit and to know a nature that is in itself- in itself in opposition to the subjective flow of consciousness?

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Husserl, : 87— Embracing a transcendental approach leads Husserl to transform phenomenology into a much more ambitious undertaking, one seeking a broader account of experience than was found in his initial descriptive studies. The turn to the subject in the later Husserl is also accompanied by a subsequent method for obtaining adequate knowledge of the proper foundations for a transcendental project, that is, the transcendental phenomenological reduction. The term reduction from the Latin re-ducere : to lead back suggests the radical movement towards interiority that characterizes this direct and immediate contact with the world of experience.

Pure phenomenology, according to Husserl, will explore experience before we apply our conceptual categories and scientific theories to its lived meanings. In fact they form the only possible access point. To think otherwise is to fall prey to the objectivist bias of the natural attitude. In this respect, the factors that led Husserl to radicalize his earlier phenomenological approach can here be noted. Therefore interiority, transcendentally apprehended and revealed in phenomenologically reduced consciousness, has for Husserl a different mode of being than subjective and real mental processes.

Transcendence in immanence can be distinguished from the transcendence manifested by transcendent objects and ideal essences, even if both of the latter are now revealed only in the former. In the Ideas I , for example, consciousness is ultimately conceived of as a region unto itself. In the Ideas I , Husserl both introduces a preliminary version of the paradox of subjectivity it would more prominently resurface and also be officially named in the Crisis manuscript and gives unquestionable support to an internalist account of justifying beliefs.

In Ideas I paragraph 53, he writes:. How can these statements be reconciled? Husserl, : All empirical unities, and, therefore, also psychological mental processes, are indices pointing to concatenations of absolute mental processes having a distinctive essential formation, along with which other formations are imaginable; all are, in the same sense, transcendent, merely relative, accidental. He is also now quite adamant that no logical-abstract or empirical including psychological approach to conceptualizing interiority is sufficient for fully grasping its depths.

This turn inwards is instead viewed by Husserl as a deepening of the full sense of normal, worldly, object-taking conscious acts. Instead of taking consciousness for granted, however, we now grasp how positing acts work to give rise to the natural supposition Vermutung of an external world. Examining the implications of these experiential accomplishments reflectively is what allows the intentionality of consciousness to be viewed as a theme for exploration.

Husserl then introduces new terminology the noesis-noema correlation for thematizing the fact that doxic acts are always object-taking cf. Husserl, b : 17—22; After expanding his studies to include further analyses of temporality mostly excluded from the Ideas I , and after stressing the intersubjective nature of transcendental experience, Husserl came to hold that an even deeper but passive level of constitution exists. Footnote 10 In his later writings, he attempts to more clearly formulate this distinction between a deeper sphere of interiority and related levels of immanence contributing to the constitution of meaning.

The internal horizon complementing the external horizon of the world is thus equated to the realm of transcendental subjectivity. Husserl, : is now articulated by Husserl as incrementally allowing further and more radically dynamic perspectives on interiority. In his exploration of internal time consciousness, for example, Husserl came to believe that the flow of time opens a new dimension of transcendence for the ego. Footnote In later studies, Husserl also describes both pure and empirical acts of consciousness as revealing essential data. However, no causal or genetic laws can be turned to for determining the unfolding of these intentional acts and, in the same way, no externalist account of knowledge attainment can fully explain how knowing subjects can grasp objective facts about the world that can be both intuitively and inter-subjectively confirmed.

Fantasy or imagination, as internal thought, is, in this way, clearly separated from both acts of memory and other merely subjective forms of image consciousness. These later formulations have consequences for how the mature Husserl comes to clarify his method of eidetic variation which, in turn, influences his understanding of both adequate knowledge and apodictic or essential insights.

Henrich, The turn inward, as Husserl was also aware, marked his project as broadly Cartesian and, therefore, modern in essence. The method of eidetic variation, for example, can be distinguished from any straightforward psychological act of apprehending contents. When we reflect without performing the reduction, we focus on interior data given in imagination or internal images in consciousness that are indirectly dependent on real but subjective conditions.

Through the reduction, Husserl thinks, we can purify all empirical factors leading to a subjective focus but one that helps us to grasp essential structures. In his transcendental phenomenology, therefore, Husserl is interested in interiority as opening up a radical form of immanence different in kind from any psychological or worldly sense of interior private space. If the reduction is workable, then transcendence in immanence can be viewed as both internal and external with consequences for any exploration of epistemological questions.

Thus, while at no point in his career did Husserl subordinate the clarification of essences to real or psychologically internal conscious states, he was later puzzled about how natural consciousness as descriptively apprehended provides proper motivation for engaging in the transcendental reduction permitting access to transcendental subjectivity. If, as his genetic studies led him to believe, passive affection is the primordial foundation of perception and knowledge, and if passive genetic constitution and temporality are beyond the grasp of apodictic descriptive insights, this leads to an immediate tension regarding the determination of the essential differences between the subjective structures in concrete versus their transcendental forms that is, as apprehended from within the transcendental perspective.

According to the mature Husserl the paradox of subjectivity can be said to arise when we attempt to theoretically account for essential and objective structures, the facts grasped by thought, by relegating them the unavoidable epistemic status of conditions somehow connected to subjectivity. However, as was noted, the later Husserl held psychology to be incapable in any of its existing forms of addressing the paradox of subjectivity.

V. The Certainty and Truth of Reason

For this reason, and since it is not a properly transcendental approach to investigating experience, Husserl held that psychology shared the failure of all previous scientific attempts to distinguish between worldly and transcendental contents in consciousness. Objective science, therefore, ignores the essential being-status of the phenomena it explores.

In a similar vein, the positive sciences are said to take the natural world for granted.


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Phenomenology, by contrast, accepts the paradox of subjectivity by tracing its origin to the hidden—constituting—acts of consciousness making up the ultimate horizon of knowledge: the life-world. As a result, Husserl came to accept that subjectivity is essentially correlated to every objective content or transcendent entity precisely as the pre-condition for appearances. The paradox is resolved, Husserl thinks, once the basic tenets of transcendental idealism are accepted as central to phenomenology.

We can then accept that we are both natural beings in the world, but also necessarily dependent, in order to actualize the full dimensions of our cognitive lives, on the inter-subjectively constituted structures of transcendental consciousness. Subsequently, few epistemologists connect the internalism-externalism debate to the paradox of subjectivity.

The above examination of Husserlian phenomenology, however, has provided important clues for how an internalist might further address the philosophical question of what role thought and consciousness have in grasping truth. Subsequently, the essence of truth—if we adopt a Husserlian strategy—cannot be grounded on interiority understood in any empirical or real spatio-temporal sense.

Nonetheless, internal or immanent conditions must be present to both establish reference and do work as necessary conditions for securing belief and evidence. Footnote 13 This last fact points to a challenge facing orthodox Husserlians who must address the prominent role played by the method of the transcendental reduction as a strategy for clarifying truth claims by suspending all external relations. This renders Husserlian phenomenology relevant for addressing questions central to epistemological internalism, nonetheless its methods run into limits that will require supplementation if any ontological or deeper analysis of the internal and external as philosophical categories are to be arrived at.

Footnote 14 In his later writings, Husserl claimed that his mature transcendental idealism should not be understood as metaphysical in any traditional sense of that term. In his later years, for example, Husserl often viewed his project as a radical and pure science but also as manifesting an explicitly philosophical dimension. Footnote 15 Perhaps because of the often voiced assessment that Husserl was a Cartesian, his thought is still frequently taken to advocate a strongly immanentest form of internalism.

This assessment can be challenged on several fronts. What Husserl can contribute to the position of internalism is the following. To begin, his writings can help articulate how the focus on ultimate justification must be explored with some reference to the phenomenology of knowing. These justified insights are the only possible way to establish the most fundamental conditions for making truth-claims.

Epistemological internalism, for example, is a necessary condition for understanding truth according to Husserl. Whereas, it might be believed that phenomenology makes internal reflection on concepts an always adequately given and secure source for grasping truth as was the case for Descartes , Husserl came to view the internal horizon of experience as inadequate since conditioned by temporal aspects. Through his genetic studies of the temporal nature of pre-predicative experience, for example, Husserl tried to show how the ultimate normative basis for all knowledge whether formal-scientific or non-formal was the ecstatic self-constituting ground of the inter-subjective field of transcendental subjectivity.

Viewed as a region or space of meaning, this ground can effectively be described as a sedimented series of accomplishments in the ultimate world-horizon: the life-world. Finally, the life-world, while the true source of all experience and knowledge, is also viewed by Husserl as a field of ego-monads. Taking all the above factors into consideration we can say that, on the Husserlian framework, the process of affirming truth can be parsed as follows. First it requires a basis something that can be immediately grasped as true or false and, subsequently, our truth-claims must meet specific conditions requirements of fulfillment that can establish what-is-the-case.

The latter, truth-making conditions, of course, are what internalists and externalists largely disagree about. As we saw, Husserl, from early on, made internal conditions essential for truth-making. Furthermore, in his work we find a theory of propositional content truth-bearing conditions that can be distinguished from cognitive judgments as intentional acts constituting situations and forming beliefs that can be true or false with propositions and judgment acts both distinguished from states-of-affairs which if verified in experience become the truth-makers. How is the claim that my computer is on my desk corroborated?

The same sensual immediate access to evidence confirming a veridical perception, moreover, is also at work serving as a founding act which forms the basis that permits the achievement of higher order truths. In adopting a postulate of epistemic primacy and branding the computer a transcendent and not imagined or hallucinated object, this still leaves open the question of what the real existential status of the computer might be.

In fact, Husserl was apparently unable to complete the ultimate synthesis that his phenomenological studies required to establish a fully philosophical account of his research. Therefore, and since the ultimate transcendence of objects and essential structures are given in phenomenological immanence, Husserl cannot be called an epistemological externalist. Through his transcendental approach to phenomenology Husserl attempted to categorize different forms of immanence and analyse the role of various reflective acts in establishing truth claims. In conclusion, Husserlian phenomenology can be viewed as a sui generis kind of internalism with, as was pointed out, tensions resulting from his position especially regarding the incorporation of his essentialist framework premised on the transcendental method of reduction, to non-transcendentally conceived ontological categories.

These tensions work to mitigate against affirmations of Husserlian phenomenology as epistemologically externalist. Criticisms of its brand of essentialism, however, do not diminish the usefulness of the role that Husserlian phenomenology can have in better understanding internalism and externalism.

Kant: Philosophy of Mind

Nonetheless, any application of transcendental phenomenology to these problems must ultimately move beyond a strictly phenomenological account of the ultimate categories of transcendence or immanence. Insofar as we are interested in understanding interiority philosophically, however, few thinkers provide more resources for exploring this theme in greater detail than Husserl.

Palgrave Communications. Internalism, for example, can be regarded either as a category in meta-epistemology or as an idealist position making a stronger, ontological, case about the grounds for the justification of beliefs. In what follows I defend an epistemological reading of internalism that borrows resources developed by Husserl for exploring the justification of knowledge. Feldman and Conee, For more details on how internalist factors are related to epistemic justification as responses to Gettier cases cf. Feldman and Conee, , esp. Further accounts of internalist versus externalist arguments for justifying belief can be found in Pappas, Goldman, : 27—52 and Bonjour, : 53— Understood in this way, it is not concerned with practical intentions or pragmatic aspects of behavior and thought.

Brentano, : — The work of developing transcendental phenomenology, subsequently, would occupy Husserl for the rest of his life. His ambitions for moving phenomenology into a transcendental framework also led Husserl to publish introduction after introduction to the phenomenological method. These programmatic introductions make up most of his mature published work.

They span from Ideen I cf. Husserl, to Cartesianische Meditationen cf. Husserl, This assessment is maintained into his mature writings cf. By Husserl attributes the appeal of empiricism to uncritical acceptance of a naturalist framework as ontologically valid for explaining consciousness.

For the early Husserl, interior aspects of mental acts serves as a foundation for contributing to meaning. Intentional acts also present objects and contents and in this way can fulfill or fail to fulfill meaning intentions. Objectifying acts as treated in the Sixth Logical Investigation and held there to be the interior conditions for making possible both significative meaning-bestowing and intuitive meaning-fulfilling conditions in both sensuous and categorial intuition cf.

The transcendental reduction in Husserl, therefore, is meant to serve a dual role. First, it allows insight into the fundamental grounds of knowledge and being, that is, eliminating skeptical threats to objective knowledge by showing the grounds of that knowledge. As will be shown, the reduction is better viewed as a radical modification of reflection allowing for concrete insights and Husserl was convinced anyone could learn and practice it.

The reduction, therefore, combines practical or regulative with theoretical concerns and insights about epistemology. Through the reduction Husserl wants to elucidate how beliefs can be justified and evidence that can lead us to truth and authentic knowledge obtained. Landgrebe, : ff. Husserl, b. The study of time consciousness will open up, for Husserl, genetic phenomenological studies of constitution. In the actuality-experience we have the primal source-point and a continuity of reverberation. For all this, we have no names. See Banham, : 2—3. On transcendental philosophy see Heinrich, Nonetheless Husserl acknowledged that different types of intuition give evidence according to varying degrees of objectivity.

Regarding external transcendence towards phenomena, there can be no immediate insight into the true nature or aspects of reality, which transcend intuitive presentation. To better understand these dimensions, Husserl says, the symbolic knowledge of the positive sciences is required. These claims lead to tensions in his work regarding the proper role of phenomenology as metaphysics-elucidating what is beyond the grasp of empirical science, and as an eidetic science in its own right clarifying the basis and foundations of all knowledge claims.

Smith, The reason for this is that the editing and publication of Husserl research manuscripts many of them written in an outdated shorthand script called Gabelsberger has only recently released volumes dealing closely with philosophy and metaphysics, cf. Much of the content of these volumes still needs to be interpreted and more material is planned for publication. Bernet, More recently, following the lead of Hilary Putnam, internal data has been conceptualized to signify the semantic conditions we require to, at the very least, make sense of truth claims.

The Husserlian notion of the noema seems to have a similar role as the contents of semantic internalists, but without uncritically presupposing the same naive naturalistic ontology. The full texts of the Investigations can be found in: Husserl, , Husserl, , Husserl, and Husserl, b. Sokolowski, : The shared features and differences of Husserl approach with the methods of the earlier British empiricists have been remarked upon. For example, see Richard T. On this point, see the Second Logical Investigation Husserl, , vol. Husserl, : 71— Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

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