International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Book | Chapter


The field of transcendental experience laid open in respect of its universal structures

Edmund Husserl(Humboldt University of Berlin)

pp. 27-55


Our meditations now require a further development, without which what has already been discovered cannot yield the right profit. As one who is meditating in the Cartesian manner, what can I do with the transcendental ego philosophically? Certainly his being is, for me, prior in the order of knowledge to all Objective being: In a certain sense he is the underlying basis on which all Objective cognition takes place. But can this priority rightly signify that the transcendental ego is, in the usual sense, the knowledge-basis on which all Objective knowledge is grounded? Not that we intend to abandon the great Cartesian thought of attempting to find in transcendental subjectivity the deepest grounding of all sciences and even of the being of an Objective world. If we were to abandon that thought, we should not be following Cartesian paths of meditation at all; our divergencies would be more than modifications prompted by criticism. But perhaps, with the Cartesian discovery of the transcendental ego, a new idea of the grounding of knowledge also becomes disclosed: the idea of it as a transcendental grounding. And indeed, instead of attempting to use ego cogito as an apodictically evident premise for arguments supposedly implying a transcendent subjectivity, we shall direct our attention to the fact that phenomenological epoché lays open (to me, the meditating philosopher) an infinite realm of being of a new kind, as the sphere of a new kind of experience: transcendental experience.1

Publication details

Published in:

Husserl Edmund (1960). Cartesian meditations: An introduction to phenomenology, transl. D. Cairns, Nijhoff, Den Haag.

Pages: 27-55

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-4952-7_3

Full citation:

Husserl Edmund (1960). The field of transcendental experience laid open in respect of its universal structures, in Cartesian meditations, Den Haag, Nijhoff, pp. 27-55.