The Totalizing Act as Mediator of the Ideal and Real

  • Jonathan Kearns Cooper-Wiele
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 112)


Husserl effected a decisive shift in his doctrine of concepts, leading him to reject entirely the immanent object, only two or three years following his masterful accounting for it in terms of totalizing intuition.


Number Concept Collective Representation Pure Logic Constituent Concept Psychical Phenomenon 
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  1. 1.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations. (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1968), p. 194e.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    The phrase is J. N. Findlay’s with reference to another great philosopher. See his Plato: The Written and Unwritten Doctrines. (New York, Humanities Press, 1974) or its popularization, Plato and Platonism. (New York, Times Books, 1978). In Investigation II of the Logical Investigations, Husserl dwells on these topics at length, and specifically attacks the role he himself gave to “attention.” Our concern with the Investigations will be limited to their doctrine of the sensible object.Google Scholar
  3. 5a.
    Edmund Husserl, Logische Untersuchungen: Prolegomena zur reinen Logik. (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1900). Republished in Logische Untersuchungen. Google Scholar
  4. 5b.
    Erster Band. Prolegomena zur reinen Logik. Husserliana XVIII, edited by Elmar Holenstein, (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1975). Husserl published a second edition in two parts (1913 and 1921), both of which included changes reflecting his transcendental doctrine. All references here are to the first edition only (hereafter LU). The pages of the Findlay translation are given in parentheses. See pp. 169–70 (179).Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    Edmund Husserl, LU, 182f. (189f).Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Ibid., p. 171, 5(180).Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    Ibid., p. 188 (193).Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    Ibid., pp. 177–78 (185).Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    Ibid., pp. 74–75 (108–9).Google Scholar
  10. 14.
    In the forward to the Prolegomena, Husserl states that he has distanced himself from thinkers under whose sway he had been when he began to philosophize. In rejecting this doctrine he distances himself from Brentano from whom he acquired it. See, e.g., DHT, p. 77f.Google Scholar
  11. 15.
    Edmund Husserl, LU, p. 168 (78).Google Scholar
  12. 16.
    Ibid., pp. 169–70 (179).Google Scholar
  13. 17.
    Ibid., pp. 168–70 (178–79).Google Scholar
  14. 18.
    Ibid., pp. 173–177 (182–84).Google Scholar
  15. 19.
    Ibid., pp. 173–177 (182–84). cf., 244–246 (237–39) where Husserl observes that these “concepts” of the elementary connective forms have “correlative concepts” which are the “formal objective categories” of “Object, State of Affairs, Unity, Plurality, Number, Relations, Connection, etc.” The latter are “married” to the former “categories of meaning” by “ideal laws.” Predicated on categories of meaning are theories of syllogistics, on objective categories theories of pure pluralities and number. Both poles of these concepts are realized in the act of thought. The totalizing act in this scheme simultaneously realizes the idea of the determinate collection and that of itself.Google Scholar
  16. 20.
    See Chapter 2 of the Prolegomena for a complete presentation of these distinctions.Google Scholar
  17. 21.
    Ibid., p. 167 (177).Google Scholar
  18. 22.
    Ibid., pp. 50–51 (90–91).Google Scholar
  19. 24.
    Ibid., p. 78 (111).Google Scholar
  20. 25.
    During most of the period preceding LU, Husserl regarded mathematics and logic as a “technology” (Kunstlehre) guiding and regulating thought (see, e.g., the Forward to BZ). This was also Brentano’s view, and Husserl was probably first exposed to it when he attended Brentano’s lectures on logic in 1884–5.Google Scholar
  21. 26.
    Ibid., p. 108 (134); p. 187(192).Google Scholar
  22. 27.
    Ibid., pp. 182f. (189f).Google Scholar
  23. 28.
    See his article, “Husserl’s Philosophy and Contemporary Criticism” in The Phenomenology of Husserl, ed., R. O. Elveton (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1970), pp. 84ff.Google Scholar
  24. 29.
    The phrase is Mohanty’s. See his article, “Husserl’s Thesis of the Ideality of Meanings” in Readings on Edmund Husserl’s “Logical Investigations,” ed. Mohanty (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1977), p. 78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Kearns Cooper-Wiele
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Massachusetts at BostonUSA

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