Husserl's Phenomenology (book review) Dan Zahavi

161217 later addition: i have to mention this book only inspires me to read some husserl, to reread some already read, and though i am reading secondary lit- rather than husserl himself, think i am coming to understand him. that he might be difficult to read must be an analytic philosophy perception. but there are so many books to read and so little time...


151217 first review: i read this after many other phenomenonology books (150) so i cannot say if it works for a first book on husserl, but it is concise, direct, focused, on this way of thought. i have read also much merleau-ponty so i can see where his ideas came through and why he was drawn to later husserl, particularly on necessity of transcendental phenomenonology and intersubjectivity. this book does require some familiarity with philosophical arguments, but as with zahavi's other books can be followed by for example analytic thinkers...


i look at the review from reading natanson and though both are five, that is from two years ago, i have read much, read a lot of Indic philosophy, progressed to further reading of bergson and deleuze, read less classic phenomenonology, so this book is kind of a return. in my readings i have not adopted the misperceptions of critics analytic and more recent continental, postmodern, logician, thinkers who have decided that this style of thought is superseded, that husserl's program and task is ultimately too wedded to cartesian certainty, to subject-object, to 'foundations' rather than generation of new ontological awareness even as husserl believes it is not metaphysical, this text makes convincing argument that such denigrated prejudice of thought is mistaken...


as any short philosophy text, it helps to have always already set some kind of 'world' as a background, and here zahavi follows the historical development of phenomenonology, moving from idealism of a kind to realism of a kind, through his published work such as 'logical investigations', 'ideas', [book:Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology|478234], as throughout his career husserl interrogates his earlier thought, moving from how he starts with something like his original arguments against 'psychologism' through to his later concepts, now widely used and appreciated in many humanities, of the 'lifeworld', which is the needed background to 'intersubjectivity', and here the arguments for the body as object and subject, that m-p will build on make their original appearance...


zahavi notes that in contrast with 'positivistic sciences' phenomenology is not concerned with substantial nature of objects, weight, rarity, chemical composition, but the way in which objects 'show themselves', the 'possibility of their being'- and so when h says 'back to the things themselves' he has a capacious definition of 'things': material object, utensil, work of art, melody, state of affairs, a number, an animal, a social relationship (pg 54), and how such things 'manifest' themselves, and phenomenology continues from description to 'transcendental idealism', where all the perspectives, all the varied moments, of the thing is seen to be one thing and not several, such as the perspective of the front of the house implies the back of the house, or when poorly lit, in rain, when driving by... all of these perspectives are unified in this sort of idealism, hs refers to various points of view and type of view as 'adumbrations'... this applies to 'intersubjectivity' as well- the way we experience the Other- in two ways of understanding any 'subjectivity' 1) the usual self 2) the broader way more concrete, encompassing both consciousness and world...


zahavi offers several pages on 'time', as required for genesis of constituted world, almost buddhist of arising and dissolving, but in h of protention, primal impression, retention, and how this is different from recollection of 'the body', how this is all now even as it is past, on 'constituting' of the world, rather than abstractions, always already as known now as past in present, and shows, often through unpublished work, that husserl remained consistent, that rather than solipsism he insists on the being of the world as not empiricism, not realism, not 'pregiven' and 'mind independent' objects, yet also not classical idealism more like kant operates in ontology in 'synthesis', such as the reductive metaphysical abstractions of natural sciences, which he critiques in his last and most readable work [book:Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology|312730], not dismissing sciences' obvious success but pointing out that science does not examine its own conditions of possibility, but remains driven to technical innovation, and h, by focusing on the immediate and intuitive, also examines the mistakes of ever prioritizing this abstraction of for example geometry over our human ambiguities...


this is a great critique but possibly it is best read after natanson's [book:Edmund Husserl: Philosopher of Infinite Tasks|1857248]...

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if you like this review, i now have website: www.michaelkamakana.com 220611: this is probably the most academically accurate of the translations I have read of this book, but still prefer commentary o

Victor H. Mair (Translator) 220322: have decided to read various translations i have of this text, not that the renderings are necessarily much different but to read accompanying texts, in this case n