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Husserl’s Logical Investigations – Summary

Phenomenology and Existentialism

Edmund Husserl’s Logical Investigations, published in two volumes in 1900 and 1901, presents for the first time his ideas about transcendental phenomenology. In it Husserl presents a sharp critique of psychologism and develops some concepts such as intentionality which will occupy a central place in phenomenology. Intentionality is described there as the property of experiences as referring to something.  Consciousness for Husserl is necessarily intentional, that is, all experiences necessarily refer to objects. 


Phenomenology appears in Logical Investigations as a science of essences that must proceed according to a strict scientific method. One of the methods Husserl offers is the eidetic variation, which consists of comparing several intentional objects to highlight a common essence and to study it as a mere possibility. Another methodical element is called a mereology, or theory of wholes and parts, from which it is necessary to distinguish between independent and non-independent parts of the essences of intentional objects. 

Finally, the method advanced by Husserl in Logical Investigations also assumes a theory of intentional experiences. .According to this theory, the question about the intentional meaning is answered from the perceptual experiences in which real or ideal objects are captured.  Husserl distinguishes between experiences that present their objects and experiences that are "empty". For him it is possible to think of the experiences in which ideas are grasped or intuited as experiences analogous to those in which a real object is perceived. From this point of view, objects are inconceivable without their reference to the experiences in which they are shown: the postulate of a thing in itself, independent of the life of consciousness, is absurd.


Thus, in summary, Husserl’s Logical Investigations conceives phenomenology as a science that studies the essential structures of experiences and intentional objects, as well as essential relationships between types of experiences and intentional objects. On the other hand, the purpose of phenomenology as proposed in this work would consist of the epistemological clarification of pure logic, which would also include mathematics, based on the fulfillment of the intentional experiences of logical objectivities. Husserl’s later work on phenomenology would take a different direction, not to mention other future phenomenologists. 


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