Belief and Its Neutralization

Husserl's System of Phenomenology in Ideas I

By Marcus Brainard

Subjects: Phenomenology
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791452202, 349 pages, February 2002
Hardcover : 9780791452196, 349 pages, February 2002

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Table of contents


I. Introduction: The Task of Thinking

1. The Idea of Phenomenology


1.1 The Crises, its Source and Dimensions
1.2 Natural Order and Critique
1.3 Systems and Norms
1.4 Ethos, Ought, Teleology


2. The System of Husserlian Phenomenology: Ideas I


2.1 Polarities
2.2 The Order of Critique
2.3 The Whole and its Parts


II. Phenomenological Propaedeutics

1. Logical Considerations: Facts and Essence


1.1 The Realm of the Natural
1.2 Individual and Essence, Possibility and Necessity
1.3 Factual and Eidetic Sciences


2. Between Scylla and Charybdis: The Principle of All Principles


2.1 Phenomenology and Philosophy
2.2 Empiricism, Naturalism, Skepticism
2.3 Idealism
2.4 The Blindness of Theory
2.5 The First Principle
2.6 Dogmatism


3. The Epoché and the Phenomenological Reductions


3.1 The Attitudes of Consciousness
3.2 The General Thesis
3.3 The Instrumentalization of Cartesian Doubt
3.4 The Attitudinal Leap
3.5 The Family of Reductions
3.6 The Primacy of the Universal Epoché


4. The Field of Phenomenological Research: Pure Consciousness


4.1 The Phenomenological Residuum
4.2 The Modifiability of Consciousness I: Actionality and Inactionality
4.3 The Modifiability of Consciousness II: Intentionality
4.4 Immanent and Transcendent Perception
4.5 Consciousness and the Natural World
4.6 Merely Phenomenal and Absolute Being
4.7 The Destruction of Transcendence
4.8 The Annihilation of the World
4.9 From the Natural to the Phenomenological Sphere


III. The Disclosure of the System's Lowermost Limit: Subjectivity

1. The Science of Phenomenology


1.1 The FIrst Negative Account: Phenomenological Method and its Dissenters
1.2 The First Positive Account: The Aim and Method of Phenomenology
1.3 The Second Negative and Positive Accounts: Intuition and First Science


2. First Categories: The Archimedean Point and its Other


2.1 Phenomenology as Rigorous Science
2.2 The Pure Ego and its Lived Experience
2.3 Intentionality and Constitution


3. The Noetic-Noematic Correlation: Towards the Basis of Conscious Life


3.1 The Functionality of Intentional Reference
3.2 The Discovery of the Noema
3.3 The Modifiability of Consciousness
3.4 Belief-and Being-Characteristics


4. The Doctrine of the Neutrality Modification


4.1 The Epoché and the Neutrality Modification
4.2 Neutrality and Reason
4.3 Supposing and Neutrality
4.4 Fantasy and the Neutrality Modification
4.5 Fantasy, Aesthetic Consciousness, and the Neutrality Modification
4.6 The Abyss between Positional and Neutral Consciousness
4.7 The Levels of Consciousness
4.8 Detours and Direct Routes: The Universality of the Neutrality Modification
4.9 The Transition to the Logical and its Obstruction


5. The Realm of Logos


5.1 Higher Level Features of Consciousness: Synthetic Consciousness
5.2 Positional and Neutral Syntheses
5.3 The Expression of Syntheses
5.4 The Directions of Synthesis
5.5 The Logical Strata
5.6 Expression, Judgment, Belief


IV. Towards the System's Uppermost Limit: Reason

1. The Referentiality of the Noema

2. The Verdict of Reason


2.1 The Nature of Reason
2.2 Forms of Rational Consciousness and Evidence
2.3 Hierarchies of Belief, Reason, Evidence, and Truth
2.4 The Animating Force of the Originary, Immediate, Direct
2.5 Being and Thinking
2.6 The Prescriptive Function of Essence
2.7 Belief and Normality
2.8 Phenomenology and the Acquisition of the World


3. Towards Absolute Reason

V. Conclusion: The Phenomenological Movement




Index of Names

The definitive commentary on Husserl's Ideas I.


Presenting the first step-by-step commentary on Husserl's Ideas I, Marcus Brainard's Belief and Its Neutralization provides an introduction not only to this central work, but also to the whole of transcendental phenomenology. Brainard offers a clear and lively account of each key element in Ideas I, along with a novel reading of Husserl, one which may well cause scholars to reconsider many long-standing views on his thought, especially on the role of belief, the effect and scope of the epoché, and the significance of the universal neutrality modification.

Marcus Brainard is Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundation in Munich. He edited, translated, and provided the introduction to Heribert Boeder's Seditions: Heidegger and the Limit of Modernity, also published by SUNY Press.


"This book articulates Husserl's phenomenological system within the context of its guiding intentions. The result is an overpowering work of scholarship, allowing it to be unquestionably ranked as the best discussion on Husserl's Ideas I, now or in the foreseeable future. " — Burt C. Hopkins, editor of Husserl in Contemporary Context: Prospects and Projects for Phenomenology

"Brainard's achievement is not to have merely written about Husserl, but instead to have let Husserl speak for himself. The author has worked his way into the philosopher's thought so well that he has been able to grasp and discuss the various steps of Husserl's thought from within. To grasp a thinker in this way, the interpreter must himself be animated by a philosophical eros, and Brainard most certainly is. " — Walter Biemel, editor of several volumes of Husserl's collected works (Husserliana)