• Herbert Spiegelberg
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 5/6)


The first decision any historiographer has to make is where to begin his story. Unless he wants this decision to be completely arbitrary, he should also be prepared to justify it by a clear conception of the unifying theme for his account. Unfortunately, this demand cannot be satisfied so easily in the case of the history of phenomenology. The difficulties of stating point-blank what phenomenology is are almost notorious.1 Even after it had established itself as a movement conscious of its own identity, it kept reinterpreting its own meaning to an extent that makes it impossible to rely on a standard definition for the purpose of historical inclusion or exclusion.


Moral Consciousness Pure Reason Essential Structure Phenomenological Method Philosophical Phenomenology 
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  1. 1.
    Among characteristic expressions of this situation see Alexander Pfänder, Logik, Einleitung 5; translated in Phenomenology of Willing and Motivation and Other Phaenomenologica. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1967, p. 66; Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phénoménologie de la perception. Paris: Gallimard, 1945, Avant-Propos; transl. New York: Humanities Press, 1962, Preface;Google Scholar
  2. 1a.
    Paul Ricoeur, “Sur la phénoménologie,” Esprit XXI (1953), 821–39.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Collected Papers, edited by Charles Hartshorne and Paul Weiss, 5.413.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See “Husserl’s and Peirce’s Phenomenologies” (1957), now with three supplements 1979, in The Context of the Phenomenological Movement. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1981, pp. 27–50.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Rechenschaft und Ausblick. Munich: Piper, 1951, p. 327 f.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Op. cit., Book X, p. 645.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    “Über das Prinzip der Vergleichung in der Physik,” republished in Populärwissenschaftliche Vorlesungen (1896). Husserl was familiar with this use, to the extent of reviewing this particular address in his “Bericht über deutsche Schriften zur Logik aus dem Jahre 1894” in the leading positivist periodical at the time, the Archiv für systematische Philosophie III (1897), 243 ff.: he even did so in terms of unqualified approval. — See also Husserl’s recognition of the “phenomenological method” practiced by Mach and Ewald Hering in his Amsterdam lectures in 1926. Husserliana IX, p. 302.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    Populäre Schriften. Leipzig: 1905, p. 219.Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    “Physics and Reality,” Journal of the Franklin Institute, vol. 221, March 1936; reprinted in Ideas and Opinions. New York: Crown Publishers, 1954, pp. 302 ff.Google Scholar
  10. 14.
    The Decline of Mechanism in Modern Physics. New York: Van Nostrand, 1939, pp. 90 f.Google Scholar
  11. 15.
    Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers. New York: Philosophical Library, 1949, p. 101 ff.Google Scholar
  12. 16.
    See, for instance, the Groningen dissertation on “Phänomenologie der Religion” by Eva Hirschmann (1940), who distinguishes as many as twelve such phenomenologies of religion.Google Scholar
  13. 17.
    Phänomenologie der Religion (1933); English transl. as Religion in Essence and Manifestation. A Study in Phenomenology (1938).Google Scholar
  14. 18.
    Eberhard Avé-Lallemant has given me access to texts by Friedrich Christoph Oetinger (1702–1782), a “Protestant theosopher and mystic” (Ziegenfuss, Philosophenlexikon), in whose writings the adjectives and adverbs “phänomenologisch” appear at least two years earlier, especially in his Philosophie der Alten (1762). What is more important is that, very different from Lambert, Oetinger contrasts the phenomenological manner of thought (die phänomenologische Denkungsart) of Hippocrates, Boerhaave and van Helmont, with the “mechanical,” and specifically with the “anatomical,” way of thinking. Further exploration of this precedent would be highly desirable, even if no clear influence from Oetinger on his successors can be established.Google Scholar
  15. 19.
    Phänomenologie des Geistes. Hamburg: Meiner, 1952, Editor’s Preface, pp. VII–XVII.Google Scholar
  16. 20.
    Phänomenologie des Geistes, pp. 26, 66 f.Google Scholar
  17. 21.
    For such traces see Husserliana VII, p. 312, note 2 (1924). — For Brentano consult Oskar Kraus, Franz Brentano, pp. 18, 158 f.Google Scholar
  18. 22.
    It also figured in a neutral footnote to a Beilage of Erste Philosophie (VII, p. 312).Google Scholar
  19. 23.
    Thus Hegel protests against the distinction between an “empty appearance” of science and science itself. Science itself is Erscheinung, “though not yet fully carried out and spread out in its truth” (ed. Hoffmeister, p. 66).Google Scholar
  20. 24.
    See also “Religionsphilosophie” in Ausgewählte Werke V, p. VI on the phenomenological attitude (Haltung) and VI, p. III ff.Google Scholar
  21. 25.
    It should also be noted that, judging from a quotation in his Discussions on Philosophy and Literature (New York, 1853, p. 636), Hamilton was familiar with Lambert’s Neues Organon, from which he even quoted passages on “Phaenomenologie.”Google Scholar
  22. 26.
    John Dewey’s brief article “Phenomenology” in Baldwin’s Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology of 1902 mentions only the phenomenologies of Hegel, Eduard von Hartmann, and Kant.Google Scholar
  23. 27.
    See my article on “Husserl’s and Peirce’s Phenomenologies” (1957), now (with three supplements, 1979) in The Context of the Phenomenological Movement, pp. 27–50.Google Scholar
  24. 28.
    Matérialisme rationnel (1953) Introduction, pp. 10–11 and Poétique de la rêverie (1961) Introduction, p. 4.Google Scholar
  25. 29.
    Le nouvel esprit scientifique (1934). — See also Jean-Claude Margolin, Bachelard. Paris: Le Seuil, 1974, pp. 57–58, 62.Google Scholar
  26. 30.
    See my “The Puzzle of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s ‘Phänomenologie’ (1929–?)” and Supplement 1978 in The Context of the Phenomenological Movement, pp. 202–228.Google Scholar
  27. 31.
    See, for instance, Michael Landmann, “Socrates as a Precursor of Phenomenology” in PPR II (1941), 15–42.Google Scholar

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

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  • Herbert Spiegelberg

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