Radical Besinnung as a method for phenomenological critique

In Andreea Smaranda Aldea, David Carr & Sara Heinämaa (eds.), Method Matters: Phenomenology as Critique (2022)
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Abstract
The paper discusses Husserl’s method of historical reflection, radical Besinnung, as defined and used in Formale und transzendentale Logik (1929). Whereas Formal and Transcendental Logic introduces and displays Husserl’s usage of Besinnung in the context of the exact sciences, the paper seeks to develop it as a more general critical method with which to approach any rational goal-directed activity. Husserl defines Besinnung as a method that enables understanding agents and their actions by explicating agents’ typically implicit goals. It leads to the inclusion of historical-teleological activities as part of Husserl’s natural understanding of the world. The transcendental reflection radicalizes Besinnung by clarifying the kinds of evidence sought for in activities and then suggesting revisions to the concepts and principles used. The result is inner critique, which means that the activities are criticized against the norms that arise from reflection on these activities themselves, and not from a comparison with external standards or measures.
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