Edmund Husserl’s Understanding of Philosophy

Edmund Husserl’s Understanding of Philosophy

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

Husserl agrees that philosophy is “science”.

In this respect, we can state that he is a follower of Descartes. His Beijing Philosophy as a Science is a good resource for understanding how Husserl conceived philosophy as a science. In the natural sciences, certainty is associated with measurability, whereas in philosophy there is no such certainty. But this does not show that philosophy is a fallacy and cannot be a science. On the contrary, there is a greater certainty in philosophy, which must be understood not as measurability but as certainty, that is, firm grounding. According to Husserl, the deprivation of this grounding of the positive sciences first drags the sciences and then the culture into crisis.

Husserl distinguishes between phenomenology as a basic science and regional ontologies. The more essentially different entities there can be, the more regional ontologies there can be. A regional ontology that studies psychic existence (philosophy of psychology), a regional ontology that studies physical existence (philosophy of physics), and a regional ontology that studies the existence of mathematical things (philosophy of mathematics) can be made. On the basis of all these ontologies should be the ontology of consciousness, which makes it possible for us to relate to these beings. This is transandal phenomenology.

According to Husserl, philosophy is the “science of the sciences” because it is philosophy’s task to ground all the sciences, whether empirical or not. Both mathematics and experimental sciences continue to operate and solve problems without attempting to explain ontologically what their objects are. They establish relationships, follow regularities, and seek certainty by measuring and calculating them. Philosophy can examine and illuminate the specific object of each science within the framework of a regional ontology. For example, the essence of the phenomena that physics measures will be explained in a regional ontology in which the material physical thing is studied.

Thus, the practice of sciences is ontologically grounded. Husserl argues that all regional ontologies should also be grounded in phenomenology. This is because phenomenology deals with consciousness. Since it is consciousness that enables us to relate to various beings, there must be a critique of knowledge that will illuminate the foundations of this relationship. This critique of knowledge is phenomenology. Husserl tries to explain in various ways throughout his philosophical career that this does not mean justifying existence in psychology.

Husserl’s interest in philosophy started in the years he continued his studies in the field of mathematics. However, this beginning does not mean that philosophy originates from mathematics, but that philosophy deals with a field of existence independent of other sciences. The important thing for Husserl was to turn philosophy into an original research system without committing to one of the previous philosophical epochs, without putting philosophy under the command of another science. The first act of the thinker, who set out with this understanding, was to argue that philosophy includes an independent field of existence, with a new method he tried to develop himself.

According to him, philosophy has its own field consisting of objects (Sachen). However, the entities described by concepts such as Sachen or Phainomenon, which make up this field, have a special meaning beyond the ordinary. What philosophy needs to do is to enter the field of existence described with these concepts, to return to phenomena (phenomena) (zürück zu den Sachen).

This process will make him find the field of existence to deal with, and will give the necessary solution method for the problems he will deal with. This method requires an attitude (Einstellung) that stems from the way of thinking about phenomena and is directed to the essence (Essentia) of the being, not its natural qualities. This attitude, on the other hand, is not related to the being in the middle, what is given to the person in nature, what is perceived by the senses, it is about searching for what needs to be found and seen.


1) Turkish and World Famous Encyclopedia; Anadolu Publishing
2) Encyclopedia of Philosophers; Cemil Sena
3) Contemporary Philosophy; prof. Dr. Bedia Stream