International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Book | Chapter



What we today call science, in our pregnant sense of the word, is not science in the historically oldest sense, that of a naively straightforwardly effected work of theoretical reason. Only in a loose sense do we still refer to the philosophies of the pre-Platonic age, or similar cultural formations of other peoples and times, as sciences. Only as preliminary forms, as stages preliminary to science, do we accept them. Science in a new sense arises in the first instance from Plato's establishing of logic, as a place for exploring the essential requirements of "genuine" knowledge and "genuine" science and thus discovering norms, in conformity with which a science consciously aiming at thorough justness, a science consciously justifying its method and theory by norms, might be built. In intention this logical justification is a justification deriving entirely from pure principles. Science in the Platonic sense intends, then, to be no longer a merely naive activity prompted by a purely theoretical interest. Every step that it takes, it also demands to justify as genuine, as necessarily valid, according to principles. Thus the original sense here is that logical insight into principles, the insight drawn from the pure idea of any possible cognition and method of cognition whatever, precedes the method factually employed and the factual shaping of science, and guides them in practice; whereas the fact of a method and of a science, which have grown up somehow in naïveté, must not pass itself off as a norm for rightly shaping scientific production.

Publication details

Published in:

Husserl Edmund (1969). Formal and transcendental logic, transl. D. Cairns, Nijhoff, Den Haag.

Pages: 1-17

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-010-1111-2_1

Full citation:

Husserl Edmund (1969). Introduction, in Formal and transcendental logic, Den Haag, Nijhoff, pp. 1-17.