Newsletter of Phenomenology

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Jean Hering, La phénoménologie d'Edmund Husserl il y a trente ans"

Aron Gurwitsch

pp. 481-482

Hering tells, in a simple and consequently all the more powerful manner, how profoundly impressed he was by Husserl's teaching, when, as a young student deeply disappointed by what he had been taught elsewhere, he came to Göttingen. His narrative revives the atmosphere of the philosophical seminar in Göttingen about 1909. The best fellows of a whole generation of students in philosophy were overwhelmed and fascinated by the sincere intellectual probity of Husserl's teaching and research. They were captivated by his successful attempts to convince them that "personal opinions" are not what counts in philosophy, but that there is a wide field for positive research work and a method which obtains firm and universally valid results. Further, he showed that the traditional endless discussions founded on unclarified concepts had to be dismissed and to be replaced by clearing up the sense of the concepts themselves, in such a way that every result thus obtained might serve as a point of departure for further fruitful researches. Gaining a foothold on solid ground, these students felt released from the narrowness of the positivistic doctrine and from the paralogisms implied in the psychologistic epistemology of the period. What attracted them above all was the idea of eidetics. Material ontology a priori was for them the body of philosophy. However, Husserl, who had just opened up this field of research, did not confine himself to this discovery; he pushed forward. We are at the period during which the first ideas of what was later to become transcendental phenomenology were ripening in his mind, a development which somewhat surprised his students of that generation and which they had difficulty in following.

Publication details

Review of: Hering Jean, La phénoménologie d'Edmund Husserl il y a trente ans souvenirs et reflexions d'un étudiant de 1909, , , 1939.

DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-2831-0_19

Full citation:

Gurwitsch, A. (2010). Review of La phénoménologie d'Edmund Husserl il y a trente ans souvenirs et reflexions d'un étudiant de 1909 by Jean Hering. , pp. 481-482.

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