In Barry Smith & David Woodruff Smith (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Husserl (1995)
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Husserl’s philosophy, by the usual account, evolved through three stages: 1. development of an anti-psychologistic, objective foundation of logic and mathematics, rooted in Brentanian descriptive psychology; 2. development of a new discipline of "phenomenology" founded on a metaphysical position dubbed "transcendental idealism"; transformation of phenomenology from a form of methodological solipsism into a phenomenology of intersubjectivity and ultimately (in his Crisis of 1936) into an ontology of the life-world, embracing the social worlds of culture and history. We show that this story of three revolutions can provide at best a preliminary orientation, and that Husserl was constantly expanding and revising his philosophical system, integrating views in phenomenology, ontology, epistemology and logic with views on the nature and tasks of philosophy and science as well as on the nature of culture and the world in ways that reveal more common elements than violent shifts of direction. We argue further that Husserl is a seminal figure in the evolution from traditional philosophy to the characteristic philosophical concerns of the late twentieth century: concerns with representation and intentionality and with problems at the borderlines of the philosophy of mind, ontology, and cognitive science.
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