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The phenomenological reductions in Husserl's phenomenology

Panos Theodorou

pp. 17-66

The evolution of Husserl's thought did not follow a linear route. Time and again, crucial changes were taking place in its course. The content of fundamental concepts was shifting; successive discoveries of new thematics were happening; incessant expansions of the ever-under-rework teachings to new fields of application were being developed. The evaluation of Husserl's work in its entirety becomes, thus, an extremely difficult task. The huge bulk of the writings, the multifariousness of their thematics, and the successive reforms and shifts in it make the understanding of even the overall plan wherein the intermediate findings fall very difficult. One thing, though, is certain. In order to overcome all these obstacles to approaching Husserl's work, we must first deepen our understanding of his method, the phenomenological method of philosophizing. Whatever is said in Husserl's Phenomenology makes sense and has its value only to the extent that it is a result of "the' phenomenological reduction.The idea that phenomenological philosophy is possible only on the basis of a phenomenological reduction occurs for the first time in 1905, in the so-called "Seefelder Blätter," and publicly in 1907 with the Idea of Phenomenology. According to Husserl's own personal estimation of the situation, from 1913, his understanding of the reduction did not become clear until 1908. Until the end of his life, however, Husserl was in fact talking about a multitude of reductions, which, since they are used in Phenomenology, can all be considered "phenomenological." Moreover, even though Husserl does not explicitly talk in all cases about this or that reduction, he in fact constantly presupposes one. What makes things even harder is that even before 1905, when he was not yet using the term "reduction," he had already silently put into play some version of phenomenological reduction.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-16622-3_2

Full citation:

Theodorou, P. (2015). The phenomenological reductions in Husserl's phenomenology, in Husserl and Heidegger on reduction, primordiality, and the categorial, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 17-66.

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