The Philosophy of Husserl

The Philosophy of Husserl

The Philosophy of Husserl

The Philosophy of Husserl

Synopsis

Edmund Husserl has been hugely influential in the development of contemporary continental philosophy. This introduction examines chronologically the whole of Husserl's phenomenology as it is presented in the published corpus.

Excerpt

A precise exposition of Plato’s account of the eidē requires that its dialogical mode of presentation be respected and therefore its origin in logos be acknowledged. Respecting the former yields the extremely important discovery of two discernibly different accounts of the eidē in the dialogues, accounts that nevertheless compose a unified whole. Acknowledging the latter reveals a whole that is unified neither theoretically nor practically, but in a manner that then, as now, can only be termed “dialectically”, through (dia) logos.

Plato’s first, and most obvious, account of the eidē is discernible in the Socratic elenchi (refutations) of interlocutors who claim to know some commonly acknowledged standard of virtue (aretē), such as piety, justice, wisdom, courage, or even virtue itself, or the criteria responsible for something they claim to know about, such as education, love, the soul’s nature, or even knowledge itself. In this account the ignorance of the nonphilosopher, such as Euthyphro, Meno and Meletus, is manifest in his claim to know what he in truth does not know, and the wisdom of the philosopher Socrates is manifest in his refusal to claim that he knows what he in truth does not. Likewise made manifest is the irony of the philosopher Socrates’ wisdom, because what he claims not to know are the eidē that no mortal is capable of knowing directly: that is, through perception or thought (dianoia). Thus, despite the fact that the logos of all mortals cannot help but appeal to the eidē when it recognizes the intelligibility of that which is and when it distinguishes that which truly is (such as piety, justice, beauty, knowledge) from its opposite, that which is not (such as impiety, injustice, ugliness, ignorance), Plato’s Socratic dialogues make manifest the impossibility of the direct apprehension of the eidē by exhibiting the folly of those who claim to be able to do so. Thus, for instance, in the case of . . .

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