Edmund Husserl

Edmund Husserl ( born April 8, 1859 in Proßnitz, Austria - Hungary, † April 27, 1938 in Freiburg im Breisgau, German Empire ) was a philosopher and mathematician. Husserl considered the founder of phenomenology, with whose help he sought to establish philosophy as a rigorous science ( title of a programmatic font from 1910 /11). He is one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century.

Husserl called from philosophy to abstain hasty interpretations of the world and to comply with the analytical consideration of things of what the consciousness directly ( phenomenal ) appears. He broke with the prevailing around 1900 psychologism, who saw the laws of logic as an expression of mere mental conditions, which objectivity is unattainable in principle. From about 1907 he joined his phenomenology with the transcendental philosophy, phrase, who did not follow some of his students.

Husserl was extremely productive. The estate comprises approximately 40,000 pages; Since 1950, the work is published as part of the Husserliana ( Collected Works ). The greatest influence exercised Husserl on the livelihoods philosopher Maurice Merleau -Ponty, Jean -Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger. But Theodor W. Adorno was based on his work. For the sociology made ​​especially Alfred Schutz and Niklas Luhmann the Husserlian approach fruitful.

By birth Austrian, Husserl 1896 acquired the Prussian nationality.

  • 5.1 fonts
  • 5.2 expenditure
  • 7.1 Husserl - Archives
  • 7.2 works online
  • 7.3 Husserl pages

Life and work

As the second son of a Jewish cloth merchant family in Proßnitz put Husserl 1876 in Olomouc near his school leaving examination. Then he took in Leipzig on the study of astronomy, mathematics, physics and philosophy, inter alia, with Wilhelm Wundt, which he continued in Berlin at the famous mathematicians Karl Weierstrass and Leopold Kronecker 1878. In Leipzig Husserl Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk met. In 1882 he received his doctorate in Vienna with the Weierstrass student Leo Königsberg with the work on the theory of variational calculus. After philosophical studies with Franz Brentano, of which he was decisively stimulated, he went in 1886 to Halle to Brentano 's pupil Carl Stumpf. In this he was in 1887 with a psychological / mathematical work habilitieren About the concept of number. In Hall Husserl was then fourteen years working as a lecturer. Here he wrote his early masterpiece Logical Investigations, which made him known. In 1887 - shortly before the marriage - he was baptized a Protestant in Vienna together with his equally derived from Proßnitz fiance Malvine Charlotte Steinschneider.

With the Philosophy of Arithmetic (1891 ) Husserl attracted the critical attention of the logician Gottlob Frege. With regard to its Psychologismuskritik he presented to the turn of the century to extensive Logical Investigations, which grew into his first major work and the Zweiundvierzigjährigen 1901 a call to Göttingen brought in (ordinary, first as an associate, from 1906 professor ). Personally known he was in of the fifteen years of Gottingen, among others, David Hilbert, Leonard Nelson, Wilhelm Dilthey, Max Scheler, Alexandre Koyré and Karl Jaspers and the poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

1916 - middle of the First World War, where his son fell victim to - Husserl joined Freiburg in the footsteps of Heinrich Rickert Neukantianers. Recommended he had for this vocation with the ideas to a Pure Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy (1913). In the circle of the early students the idealistic turn of this second major work, however, came to some misunderstanding. In 1918 he founded the "Freiburger phenomenological society." His first assistant was the Jewish and later Catholic nun Edith Stein; it was replaced in 1919 by Martin Heidegger, who at the beginning of his magnum opus Being and Time (1927 ) paid tribute to his most important teachers with the words:

" When the following investigation, some steps going forward in the development of the, things themselves ', so thanks which the author primarily Edmund Husserl, who the author during his Freiburg years of apprenticeship by haunting personal line and freest provision of unpublished studies with a variety of areas phenomenological research became familiar. "

Heidegger it was he who took Husserl's successor in 1928 in Freiburg. Other Husserl students were Günther Anders (then: Günther Stern ), Eugen Fink, Dietrich von Hildebrand, Ludwig Landgrebe, Adolf Reinach, Ludwig Ferdinand Clauss and Roman Ingarden.

Husserl took in his last decade a number of lecture tours. They led him to Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Halle ( Saale ), Vienna and Prague. His third major work, The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology arose. In this late phase of the life-world concept stood in the center, with whom he once again is planning a new approach. Now he sees the radical objectivist view of science the reason for the sense of crisis of modernity, as it has lost the respect for life.

Period from 1933

The revered Husserl (universities of Paris, Prague, London, Boston) felt the inhumanity of Nazism in the last years of his life. After university, the university still honored him on January 25, 1933 on the occasion of his golden jubilee doctor with a ceremony, he descent was " non-Aryan " a few weeks later on April 14, 1933 Baden adoption under Rector sour because of his leave of absence. Husserl later said that this was the worst insult of his life.

During the short time of his rectorship student Martin Heidegger at Freiburg University, the adoption of Husserl's leave of absence on July 20, 1933, canceled. In the same year, Husserl was appointed to a chair of philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, but which he refused. 1936 had the seventy-seven but still the withdrawal of his teaching license and experience more harassment; so the couple Husserl was distributed in the summer of 1937 from the Freiburg apartment in the Loretto Road 40. The stored there stenographic original version Husserliana to safety, succeeded in 1939 in an adventurous action the Belgian Franciscan Father Herman Leo Van Breda, who then founded the Husserl Archives in Leuven. Husserl died on April 27, 1938; his ashes were buried in the graveyard in Freiburg - Günterstal. On April 22, 2013, came to a stumbling block transfers for Edmund Husserl and Malvine front of the apartment building in Freiburg Loretto Road and Edmund Husserl in front of the main entrance of the University Building I, University of Freiburg.

Central ideas and concepts

"Knowledge" is indeed tied to psychological and physiological processes, but it is not identical with them. From an empirical psychological sentence can never be derived a logical norm. Empirical propositions are merely probable and can be falsified. Logic, however, is not subject to such empiricism of causality. Philosophy as a science can not bind to the naturalism therefore. Philosophy, epistemology, logic and pure mathematics are ideal Sciences, express their laws ideal truths a priori.

Phenomenology as " essential intuition of the given " should be the unconditional basis of all knowledge.

" Intentionality of consciousness ": intentionality is the directedness of consciousness to an object ( facts ). There is no pure subject and not a pure object ( noema ), but both are always connected through the act of awareness ( Noesis ), in which the objects are constituted. All acts of consciousness are meaningful and constitute the first place their items. A bewusstseinstranszendentes " real in-itself " of things (as yet in Kant ) thus does not exist. This view took Husserl by Franz Brentano.

" Phenomenological reduction": In order to recognize the true essence of an object, we need to change our attitude towards him. We must refrain from any (pre) judgment against him. In order to approach an object accordingly, one must by any theory, also refrain from science. The world appears only through the elimination of all settlements in their actual structures. This called self- back - take Husserl Epoché or bracketing.

The act in which an object is given immediately, the " categorial intuition ". The given object as the subject of supposed contains the purely sensory perception addition, an excess of intentionality, as he "is" in words like " this " or "he" is expressed that lie beyond the sensible.

" Eidetic variation ": The individual subject is fraught with randomness. If I want to penetrate to its essence, I need to capture what is necessary in him. Essential laws make the meaning of an object. By varying the properties of the article you will find out what is the essence Required.

" Truth" is the full agreement of what is meant and what is given. The experience of the match is the evidence or intuition. Evidence in this sense is not a certainty experience, but the immediate experience. Evidence in Husserl's sense can be corrected when shows in retrospect, that the former experience was not applicable.

" Eidetic reduction": From the gained by abstaining neutrality out, it is now possible to the essence of a thing, or " to the things themselves " to penetrate. Now the acts of consciousness are only itself the object of contemplation. The existence of the object is " transcended ". What remains is the "absolute existence region of consciousness " itself with this eidetic reduction manages a nature show, which shows us how the world is constituted in consciousness.

For further details see: phenomenology.

Philosophy as a rigorous science

Husserl responded to Dilthey 1911, published ideological philosophy in the same year with the essay " Philosophy as a Strict Science " Husserl has there first naturalism back because it can not give itself over its epistemological presuppositions clarity. This can only afford a "scientific knowledge of essence of consciousness " and this is the phenomenology. It determines what is common to all individual consciousness acts, namely awareness of ... to be, ie they mean something objective. In disregard of the in -intentioned of ... there is the essence of the acts of consciousness, it can be described as "objective unit fix ".

The finding of objectively valid facts is possible because, even if they are historically become, they can be absolutely valid yet - The Genesis does not affect the validity. As an example of a system of necessary records Husserl calls the mathematics, which for assessing the truth of their theories can not be oriented to the history. "The ' idea ' of science [ ... ] is a timeless [... ] limited by no relation to the spirit of an age. " Husserl therefore proclaimed against the ideological philosophy of the " will of [n ] into a rigorous science ."

The late work: crisis of Sciences

In his later works, Husserl criticized the fact that modern science, with its claim to grasp the world objectivist stop answering people's questions about the meaning of life. He therefore called on the sciences, to reflect the fact that they owe their self- emergence of human life world. The life-world, as a central concept is, for Husserl, the pre-theoretical and yet unquestioned world of natural setting: the world in which we live, think, act and create. Husserl's transcendental phenomenology attempts to reduce the resulting alienation between people and the world.



  • About the concept of number. Psychological analyzes. Heyne man, Halle 1887.
  • Philosophy of Arithmetic. Psychological and Logical Investigations. Pepper, Halle 1891.
  • Logical Investigations: Volume 1, Prolegomena to Pure Logic. 2 umgearb. Ed, Niemeyer, Halle 1913 (1st edition 1900).
  • Logical Investigations. Part Two: Investigations into the phenomenology and theory of knowledge. Niemeyer, Halle 1901.
  • Philosophy as a rigorous science. , 1911.
  • Ideas on a Pure Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy. First book: General introduction to pure phenomenology. Max Niemeyer Verlag, Halle ( Saale) in 1913.
  • Lectures on the Phenomenology of internal time- consciousness. Edited by Martin Heidegger, Niemeyer, Halle 1928.
  • Formal and Transcendental Logic. Attempt a critique of logical reason, Niemeyer, Halle 1929
  • Epilogue to my " ideas to a pure phenomenology and to a phenomenological philosophy." Niemeyer, Halle 1930.
  • Cartesian meditations and the Paris lectures. Edited and introduced by S. Strasser, Nijhoff, The Hague 1950.
  • The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. An Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy. In 1936.
  • Experience and judgment. Studies on the genealogy of logic. Prepared and ed. by Ludwig Landgrebe, Academia, Prague, 1939.


  • Contributions to the theory of variational calculus. Vienna, Univ., Diss, 1882, e-book of the Vienna University Library (eBooks on Demand).
  • Husserliana: Edmund Husserl Collected Works ( Critical edition). On the basis of the estate published by the Husserl - Archives Leuven. Nijhoff, The Hague 1950 et seq now: Springer, Berlin, 2008: 42 volumes
  • Experience and judgment. Edited by Ludwig Landgrebe, 7th edition Meiner, Hamburg 1999. ISBN 978-3-7873-1352-5
  • V. Logical investigation. Edited by Elisabeth Ströker, 2nd ed Meiner, Hamburg 1988. ISBN 978-3-7873-0786-9
  • Cartesian meditations. Edited by Elisabeth Ströker, 3rd ed Meiner, Hamburg 1995. ISBN 978-3-7873-1241-2 ( Online )
  • The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. Edited by Elisabeth Ströker, 3rd ed Meiner, Hamburg 1996. ISBN 978-3-7873-1297-9 or 2012 edition, my, ISBN 978-3-7873-2259-6
  • Basic Problems of Phenomenology. Edited by Iso Kern, 2nd ed Meiner, Hamburg 1992. ISBN 978-3-7873-1102-6
  • Texts to the Phenomenology of Inner Time -consciousness ( 1893-1917 ). Edited by Rudolf Bernet. Meiner, Hamburg 1985. ISBN 978-3-7873-0597-1
  • The constitution of the spiritual world. Edited by Manfred Sommer. Meiner, Hamburg 1984. ISBN 978-3-7873-0618-3
  • The idea of phenomenology. Edited by Paul Janssen. Meiner, Hamburg 1986. ISBN 978-3-7873-0685-5
  • Phenomenology and the foundations of science. Edited by Karl -Heinz Lembeck. Meiner, Hamburg 1986. ISBN 978-3-7873-0686-2
  • Ding and space. Edited by Karl -Heinz Hahnengreß and Smail Rapic. Meiner, Hamburg 1991. ISBN 978-3-7873-1013-5
  • Phenomenological psychology. Edited by Dieter Lohmar. Meiner, Hamburg, 2003. ISBN 978-3-7873-1603-8
  • Philosophy as Rigorous Science, ed. by Wilhelm Szilasi, Frankfurt am Main 1996 ( 5), ISBN 978-3-465-02888-8

Secondary literature

  • Edmund Husserl and the phenomenological movement. Evidence in text and image. On behalf of the Husserl - Archives Freiburg im Breisgau edited by Hans Rainer Sepp. Alber, Freiburg / Munich 1988, ISBN 3-495-47636-9
  • Christian Beyer: Entry In: Edward N. Zalta (ed.) Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyVorlage SEP / Maintenance / Parameter 1 and Parameter 2 3 and not
  • Ulrich Claesges: Husserl, Edmund. In: New German Biography ( NDB ). Volume 10, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1974, ISBN 3-428-00191-5, pp. 87-89 ( digitized ).
  • Alwin Diemer: Edmund Husserl. Attempt at a systematic exposition of his philosophy. 2nd revised edition. Grove, Meisenheim am Glan 1965
  • Hans- Helmuth Gander ( ed.) Husserl lexicon. University Press, Darmstadt 2009, ISBN 3-534-16493-8
  • Klaus Held (ed.): Edmund Husserl. Selected texts 1 The phenomenological method, ISBN 3-15-008084-3
  • 2 phenomenology of the lifeworld, ISBN 3-15-008085-1