Advertisement

Continental Philosophy Review

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 349–369 | Cite as

Phenomenology as a way of life? Husserl on phenomenological reflection and self-transformation

  • Hanne Jacobs
Article

Abstract

In this article I consider whether and how Husserl’s transcendental phenomenological method can initiate a phenomenological way of life. The impetus for this investigation originates in a set of manuscripts written in 1926 (published in Zur phänomenologischen Reduktion) where Husserl suggests that the consistent commitment to and performance of phenomenological reflection can change one’s life to the point where a simple return to the life lived before this reflection is no longer possible. Husserl identifies this point of no return with becoming a transcendental idealist. I propose a way of understanding Husserl’s claim that transcendental idealism makes a simple return to life before phenomenological reflection impossible. I then suggest that a phenomenological way of life is characterized by an epistemic modesty that follows from Husserl’s transcendental idealism and consider whether and how such a phenomenological way of life is a life worth living.

Keywords

Husserl Phenomenology Phenomenological reflection Epoché Reduction Transcendental idealism Transformation Praxis 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Steven Crowell for his insightful comments to an earlier draft of this paper that was presented at the fiftieth annual meeting of The Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP).

References

  1. Buckley, Philip R. 1992. Husserl, Heidegger, and the crisis of philosophical responsibility. Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brainard, Marcus. 2001. As fate would have it: Husserl on the vocation of philosophy. New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy 1: 111–160.Google Scholar
  3. Brainard, Marcus. 2007. For a new world: On the practical impulse of Husserlian theory. Husserl Studies 23: 17–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dodd, James. 2005. Crisis and reflection: An essay on Husserl’s crisis of the European sciences. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  5. Fink, Eugen. 1966. Studien zur Phänomenologie. 1930–1939. Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  6. Fink, Eugen. 1988. VI. Cartesianische Meditation. Teil 1: Die Idee einer transzendentalen Methodenlehre. Edited by Hans Ebeling, Jann Holl, and Guy van Kerckhoven. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  7. Foucault, Michel. 2005. The Hermeneutics of the Subject: Lectures at the Collège de France 19811982. Edited by Frédéric Gros and translated by Graham Burchell. New York: Picador.Google Scholar
  8. Hadot, Pierre. 1995. Philosophy as a Way of Life. Edited by Arnold I. Davidson and translated by Michael Chase. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  9. Heinämaa, Sara. 2007. Selfhood, consciousness, and embodiment: A Husserlian approach. In Consciousness: From perception to reflection in the history of philosophy, ed. Sara Heinämaa, Vili Lähteenmäki, and Pauliina Remes, 311–328. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  10. Husserl, Edmund. 1950. Cartesianische Meditationen und Pariser Vorträge. Edited by S. Strasser. Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  11. Husserl, Edmund. 1954. Die Krisis der europäischen Wissenschaften und die transzendentale Phänomenologie. Eine Einleitung in die phänomenologische Philosophie. Edited by W. Biemel. Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  12. Husserl, Edmund. 1959. Erste Philosophie (1923/24). Zweiter Teil: Theorie der phänomenologischen Reduktion. Edited by R. Boehm. Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  13. Husserl, Edmund. 1973. Zur Phänomenologie der Intersubjektivität. Erster Teil: 1905-1920. Edited by Iso Kern. Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  14. Husserl, Edmund. 1976. Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie. Erstes Buch: Allgemeine Einführung in die reine Phänomenologie. Edited by Karl Schuhmann. Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  15. Husserl, Edmund. 1989. Aufsätze und Vorträge (1922-1937). Edited by Thomas Nenon and Hans Rainer Sepp. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  16. Husserl, Edmund. 2002. Zur phänomenologischen Reduktion. Texte aus dem Nachlass (1926-1935). Edited by Sebastian Luft. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  17. Husserl, Edmund. 2003. Transzendentaler Idealismus. Texte aus dem Nachlass (19081921). Edited by Robin Rollinger and Rochus Sowa. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  18. Husserl, Edmund. 2008. Die Lebenswelt. Auslegungen der vorgegebenen Welt und ihrer Konstitution. Texte aus dem Nachlass (1916-1937). Edited by Rochus Sowa. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  19. Husserl, Edmund. 2012. Einleitung in die Philosophie. Vorlesungen 19161920. Edited by Hanne Jacobs. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  20. Jacobs, Hanne. 2010a. I Am Awake: Husserlian reflections on wakefulness and attention. Alter. Revue de Phénoménologie 18: 183–201.Google Scholar
  21. Jacobs, Hanne. 2010b. “Towards a Phenomenology of Personal Identity.” In Philosophy, Phenomenology, Sciences: Essays in Commemoration of Edmund Husserl. Edited by Carlo Ierna, Hanne Jacobs, and Filip Mattens, 333–361. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  22. Luft, Sebastian. 2011. Subjectivity and lifeworld in transcendental phenomenology. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Nehamas, Alexander. 2000. The art of living: Socratic reflections from Plato to Foucault. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  24. Siles i Borràs, Joaquim. 2010. The ethics of Husserl’s phenomenology: Responsibility and ethical life. London: Continuum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyLoyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations