International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

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In the investigations of this meditation and already in those of the two preceding meditations, we have been moving within the realm of transcendental experience, of self-experience proper and experience of someone else. We have trusted transcendental experience because of its originarily lived-through evidence; and similarly we have trusted the evidence of predicative description and 1 all the other modes of evidence belonging to transcendental science. Meanwhile we have lost sight of the demand, so seriously made at the beginning — namely that an apodictic knowledge, as the only "genuinely scientific" knowledge,2 be achieved; but we have by no means dropped it. Only we preferred / to sketch in outline the tremendous wealth of problems belonging to the first stage of phenomenology — a stage which in its own manner is itself still infected with a certain naïveté (the naïveté of apodicticity) but contains the great and most characteristic accomplishment of phenomenology, as a refashioning of science on a higher level — instead of entering into the further and ultimate problems of phenomenology: those pertaining to its self-criticism, which aims at determining not only the range and limits but also the modes of apodicticity. At least a preliminary idea of the kind of criticism of transcendental-phenomenological knowledge required here is given by our earlier indications of how, for example, a criticism of transcendental recollection discovers in it an apodictic content. All transcendental-philosophical theory of knowledge, as "criticism of knowledge", leads back ultimately to criticism of transcendental-phenomenological knowledge (in the first place, criticism of transcendental experience); and, owing to the essential reflexive relation of phenomenology to itself, this criticism also demands a criticism. In this connexion, however, there exist no endless regresses that are infected with difficulties of any kind (to say nothing of absurdities), despite the evident possibility of reiterable transcendental reflections and criticisms.

Publication details

Published in:

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

Pages: 151-157

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-4952-7_7

Full citation:

Husserl Edmund (1960). Conclusion, in Cartesian meditations, Den Haag, Nijhoff, pp. 151-157.