What is Transcendental Phenomenology?June 26, 2021
While thinking about what the phenomenological method was at the University of Göttingen, Husserl began to study German philosophy after Kant and Kant. This process will lead him to grasp phenomenology as a transcendental philosophy.
The Ideen, published in 1913, offers such an insight. Husserl pondered at length how his invention of transcendental phenomenology differs from Kant’s transcendental philosophy. Let’s briefly point out these differences: Husserl “let’s go to the things themselves.” says. This is the motto of phenomenology. This means that Husserl rejects Kant’s distinction between the “thing-in-itself” (Ding an sich) and the phenomenon. Behind the phenomena there are no things-in-itself that do not give themselves to the experience of consciousness, so we can know the things themselves through sensory intuition and rational vision. At this point, Husserl again violates the boundaries drawn by Kant, because Kant says that we do not have the faculty of mental vision.
One of the most important differences between Husserl and Kant is that Husserl thinks of consciousness as intentionality. Kant does the work of giving unity to Husserl’s experience with intentional syntheses, with judgments. Husserl says in Ideen that transcendental ego can be reached through a transcendental reduction. All experiences in consciousness are known as experiences of this transcendent ego. Thus, the ego-cogito-cogitatum structure is revealed. It is a Kantian view that all experiences are those of a transcendent ego that gives unity to consciousness. But in Kant this ego is a principle, whereas in Husserl its existence is known a priori and necessarily, even if its essence is not known through intuition. Let us emphasize that this transcendent ego is not the empirical ego, to reach it the ego as a psychological entity with its own personal history must also be suspended.
Ideen differs from Logical Studies both in that it is written from an idealistic position of love and in the methodological innovations it brings. To the analysis made in Logical Studies, commentators correspond to the noetic analysis, because priority is given to the study of acts of consciousness. However, Husserl would later discover what he called noematic analysis in Ideen I. This analysis is based on describing the thing as it appears to me (im Wie). (Hua III/1, pp.217, 233, 303) For example, the tree in my backyard is covered with white flowers in spring, and birds nest on its branches. Its trunk shines in the midday sun, its leaves sway slowly in the wind, clouds pass over it. In this depiction, the tree is placed on a horizon. Husserl mentions that what is given to our experience has temporal and spatial horizons. When we explore these horizons, we realize how experiences are added to each other, how one foot is in other experiences. Thus a world reveals itself. Noematic analysis will lead us to the concept of “life world”.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook