Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty on The World of Experience

In Dan Zahavi (ed.), Oxford Handbook of the History of Phenomenology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 650-675 (2018)
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This chapter focuses on a number of respects in which Husserl’s, Heidegger’s, and Merleau-Ponty’s accounts of the world differ, despite other significant commonalities. Specifically, I discuss how both Heidegger’s and Merleau-Ponty’s accounts of our experience of the world challenge Husserl’s assertion of the possibility of a worldless consciousness; how Heidegger’s discussion of the world entails a rejection of Husserl’s claim that the world is at bottom nature; and how Merleau-Ponty puts pressure on Husserl’s account of the necessary structure of the world. In concluding, and as a propaedeutic to adjudicating these disputes, I aim to show why Husserl makes these contested claims. Specifically, I suggest that it is Husserl’s phenomenological conception of reason and his commitment to (this conception of) reason that motivate him to make the claims about our experience and world with which the later phenomenologists take issue.

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Hanne Jacobs
Tilburg University


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