Husserl and Heidegger

The Question of a Phenomenological Beginning

By Timothy J. Stapleton

Subjects: Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Philosophy
Paperback : 9780873957458, 160 pages, June 1984
Hardcover : 9780873957441, 160 pages, June 1984

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Table of contents


Introduction: The Nature of the Problem


1. Absolute Consciousness in Ideas I

The Prephilosophical and Philosophical Attitudes

The Problem of the Reduction

The Way to the Reduction in Ideas I

The Absolute of Consciousness

2. Philosophical Science and the Idea of Evidence

That Which Makes a Beginning Possible

The Question of the Beginning

The Beginning of Philosophy

3. Toward a Logic of the Transcendental Reduction

The Concept of Foundation

Transcendental Subjectivity as Absolute Concretum

Thing, World, and Transcendental Subjectivity

Motives for the Transcendental Turn

4. Transcendental Subjectivity and Being-in-the-World


The "Subjective" Turn in Husserl and Heidegger

Posing the Question of Being

Transcendence and World

5. Phenomenological Beginnings

A Summary

A Transcendental or Hermeneutic Beginning?


Selected Bibliography



The phenomenology of Edmund Husserl has decisively influenced much of contemporary philosophy. Yet Husserl's philosophy has come under such criticism that today it is viewed as little more than a historical relic. One of the most important and influential critiques of Husserl's transcendental phenomenology was launched by Martin Heidegger in Being and Time, which radically reinterpreted phenomenology.

Timothy Stapleton returns to the origin of phenomenology to provide a clear, concise perspective on where it has been and on where it ought to be heading. This book is a careful reexamination of the internal development of Husserl's thought as well as of the ways in which Heidegger used and transformed the phenomenological method. It begins with an interpretation of the "transcendental" dimension of Husserl's philosophy, stressing the importance of the ontological rather than the epistemological problematic in determining the unfolding of Husserlian thought. The work progresses to an account of Heidegger's early works, viewed as a radicalization of Husserl's phenomenology both in name and substance. Stapleton concludes by contrasting a transcendental origin with a hermeneutic beginning point in terms of their respective ideals of intelligibility, meaning, and being; and then looks at some of the consequences of the idea of a hermeneutic philosophy.

Timothy J. Stapleton is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Loyola College in Maryland.