Logical Investigations (Husserl)
The Logical Investigations (German: Logische Untersuchungen) (1900–1901; second edition 1913) are a two-volume work by the philosopher Edmund Husserl, in which the author discusses the philosophy of logic and criticizes psychologism, the view that logic is based on psychology.
|Original title||Logische Untersuchungen|
|Translator||John Niemeyer Findlay|
|Subject||Philosophy of logic|
|Publisher||M. Niemeyer, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd|
|1900–1901 (first edition)|
1913 (second edition)
Published in English
|Media type||Print (Hardcover and Paperback)|
|ISBN||978-0415241892 (vol. 1)|
978-0415241908 (vol. 2)
The work has been praised by philosophers for helping to discredit psychologism, Husserl's opposition to which has been attributed to the philosopher Gottlob Frege's criticism of his Philosophy of Arithmetic (1891). The Logical Investigations influenced philosophers such as Martin Heidegger and Emil Lask, and contributed to the development of phenomenology, continental philosophy, and structuralism. The Logical Investigations has been compared to the work of the philosophers Immanuel Kant and Wilhelm Dilthey, the latter of whom praised the work. However, the work has been criticized for its obscurity, and some commentators have maintained that Husserl inconsistently advanced a form of psychologism, despite Husserl's critique of psychologism. When Husserl later published Ideas (1913), he lost support from some followers who believed the work adopted a different philosophical position from that which Husserl had endorsed in the Logical Investigations. Husserl acknowledged in his manuscripts that the work suffered from shortcomings.
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Husserl writes that the Logical Investigations arose out of problems he encountered in attempting to achieve a "philosophical clarification of pure mathematics", which revealed to him shortcomings of logic as understood in his time. Husserl's "logical researches into formal arithmetic and the theory of manifolds" moved him beyond the study of mathematics and towards "a universal theory of formal deductive systems." He acknowledges that he had previously seen psychology as providing logic with "philosophical clarification", and explains his subsequent abandonment of that assumption. According to Husserl, logic "seeks to search into what pertains to genuine, valid science as such, what constitutes the Idea of Science, so as to be able to use the latter to measure the empirically given sciences as to their agreement with their Idea, the degree to which they approach it, and where they offend against it." He critiques psychologism, a position on the nature of logic represented for example by the philosopher John Stuart Mill, according to which, the "essential theoretical foundations of logic lie in psychology". He also discusses the work of the philosophers Franz Brentano, Alexius Meinong, and Wilhelm Wundt.
The Logical Investigations was first published in two volumes in 1900 and 1901 by M. Niemeyer. Volume I of the second edition was first published in 1913, and Volume II of the second edition in 1921. In 1970, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd published an English translation by the philosopher John Niemeyer Findlay. In 2001, a new edition of Findlay's translation with a preface by the philosopher Michael Dummett and an introduction by the philosopher Dermot Moran was published by Routledge.
The Logical Investigations influenced the philosopher Martin Heidegger. According to Hugo Ott, Heidegger studied them while a student at the Collegium Borromaeum, a theological seminary in Freiburg, where they were so rarely requested from the university library that he was easily able to renew them. According to the philosopher David Farrell Krell, Heidegger was disappointed to find that the Logical Investigations did not help to clarify the multiple meanings of being, but was nevertheless impressed by them and convinced to study philosophy as a result of reading them. According to Michael Inwood, Heidegger believed that the second volume of Logical Investigations marked an apparent revival of psychologism, which puzzled him. In Being and Time (1927), Heidegger credited the Logical Investigations with making the work possible. Heidegger noted the influence of the Logical Investigations on the philosopher Emil Lask in Being and Time, crediting him with being the only person who had taken up Husserl's investigations "from outside the main stream of phenomenological research". Heidegger pointed to Lask's Die Logik der Philosophie und die Kategorienlehre (1911) and Die Lehre vom Urteil (1912).
The philosopher Jacques Derrida studied the Logical Investigations as a student in the 1950s, according to his biographer Jason Powell. Derrida offered a critique of Husserl's work in Speech and Phenomena (1967).
Discussions in academic journalsEdit
Discussions of the Logical Investigations in academic journals include those by Dieter Münch in the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, Amadeo Giorgi in the Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, Steven Cassedy in Studies in East European Thought, the philosopher Dallas Willard in The Review of Metaphysics, Juan Jesús Borobia in Tópicos. Revista de Filosofía, John Scanlon in the Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, John J. Drummond in the International Journal of Philosophical Studies, Victor Biceaga in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, Katherine Rudolph in Differences, Richard Tieszen in Philosophia Mathematica, Mariano Crespo in Revista de Filosofía, Marta Jobra in Theoria, Juan Sebastián Ballén Rodríguez in Universitas Philosophica, Witold Płotka in Coactivity / Santalka, Fotini Vassiliou in Research in Phenomenology, Manuel Gustavo Isaac in History & Philosophy of Logic, Mikhail A. Belousov in Russian Studies in Philosophy, Victor Madalosso and Yuri José in Intuitio, Lior Levy in The European Legacy, Simone Aurora in Cognitive Semiotics, Findlay in The Philosophical Forum, and Andrea Marchesi in Grazer Philosophische Studien. Sávio Passafaro Peres has discussed the work in Estudos e Pesquisas em Psicologia and Psicologia USP.
Münch described the Logical Investigations as a "highly theoretical book", finding it similar in this respect to Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (1781). He maintained that Husserl's development of a theory of "symbolic knowledge" in the Logical Investigations showed that such a theory had been a significant problem for the early Husserl. He also argued that Husserl put forward a theory of truth in the work that represented a departure from that of his early writings, and that Husserl anticipated both aspects of artificial intelligence and criticisms of artificial intelligence made by philosophers such as John Searle and Hubert Dreyfus. He rejected the view that the Logical Investigations can be understood only from the perspective of Husserl's later work, in which he developed transcendental phenomenology. Giorgi suggested that Husserl's "Prolegomena on psychologism" might have some relevance to psychology, but added that psychologists would find the work difficult. He called it "a treatise for the Husserlian specialist." Cassedy wrote that the book influenced Waldemar Conrad's work on aesthetics, and the philosopher Gustav Shpet's work on both aesthetics and the philosophy of language.
Scanlon noted that Husserl visited Dilthey in 1905, after hearing favorable comments on his seminar on the Logical Investigations, and that Dilthey had publicly stated that the book was "epoch-making in the use of description for the theory of knowledge." According to Scanlon, although Husserl's critique of psychologism was widely considered devastating, he caused confusion by using the terms "phenomenology" and "descriptive psychology" interchangeably, leading some to conclude that he was presenting a new version of psychologism. He suggested that this may have embarrassed Husserl, who later explained that phenomenology could be described as "descriptive psychology" only in a properly qualified sense; he also argued that, despite some similarities, Husserl's views as expressed in the Logical Investigations were in other respects radically different from Dilthey's. He wrote that by 1925 Husserl had developed a more satisfying perspective on the issues discussed in the work, including recognition that numbers are formed actively in counting and propositions in judging, the "kernel of truth in psychologism". He credited Husserl with introducing a "rich and insightful approach to psychic life" in the Logical Investigations.
Drummond maintained that Husserl's theory of "pure logical grammar" occupied an intermediary position between his earlier and more mature theories of meaning, and that later parts of the Logical Investigations indicated that the theory of meaning in earlier parts of the work required correction. He added that Husserl indicated, in the second edition of the work, that it required extensive revision. According to Drummond, Husserl wrote a partial and preliminary revision, including "a new distinction between signitive and significative intentions", and "the claim that all meaning-conferring acts, including nominal acts, and all meaning-fulfilling acts, including those fulfilling nominal acts, are categorially formed." He argued that the first edition of the work suffered from Husserl's "early conception of phenomenology as descriptive psychology", which resulted in "a misconception of the proper object of philosophical reflection" and a flawed account of expressive acts, and that Husserl used arguments that left him vulnerable to the charge that his views were a form of psychologism. However, he added that, in works such as Ideas, Husserl reformulated "the distinction between phenomenological and intentional contents" and developed an improved understanding of "the proper object of philosophical reflection". This change of view was also expressed in the second edition of the Logical Investigations.
Rudolph compared the Logical Investigations to Saint Augustine's Confessions, arguing that they dealt with similar questions concerning the role of language. Jobra argued that Husserl put forward a theory of intentionality that could be used to defend "the thesis that there is a specific phenomenality for some thinking experiences". Płotka argued that Husserl's program of objective investigation in the Logical Investigations could be reformulated in a way that made it possible to understand phenomenology as "therapeutic science", involving "the methodological movement of the possibility for communal formulation of transcendental investigation." Vassiliou maintained that Husserl's "theory of wholes and parts" had been misunderstood in scholarly literature. He also argued that the Logical Investigations represented an improvement over Husserl's earlier Philosophy of Arithmetic.
Belousov questioned the details of Husserl's understanding of intentionality, noting that Husserl came to different conclusions in later works such as Ideas. Madalosso and José argued that the book contained "various conceptual and terminological problems", including that of how "a psychic act, ideal meaning and real object achieves to establish a correspondence relation". Levy discussed the influence of the book on the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, in works such as The Transcendence of the Ego (1936) and Being and Nothingness (1943). According to Levy, the work influenced Sartre's approach to "basic philosophical problems such as the nature of intentionality, consciousness, and the self."
Aurora maintained that the work was "one of the fundamental sources of structuralism", and "part of a radical epistemological rupture that took place in Europe at the turn of the Twentieth century". She compared it to the philosophy of mathematics of the Nicolas Bourbaki group, and the structural linguistics of Louis Hjelmslev and Noam Chomsky, finding their theories similar to Husserl's inquiries despite their neglect of his contributions. She noted that the linguist Roman Jakobson was influenced by the work. Findlay argued that in Ideas, Husserl attempted to disguise changes that had occurred in his opinions by attributing his views as of 1913 to the earlier Logical Investigations. Marchesi argued that while it is widely accepted that "Husserl developed his most sophisticated theory of intentionality" in the Logical Investigations, it had incorrectly been interpreted as non-relational by most commentators. He maintained that a phenomenological theory of intentionality based on Husserl's insights cannot be non-relational.
In Estudos e Pesquisas em Psicologia, Peres observed that Husserl's phenomenology was "received as a form of descriptive psychology" that aimed at "conceptual preparation for the development of an empirical psychology." In Psicologia USP, he argued that Husserl understood phenomenology as a "peculiar form of descriptive psychology". He contrasted it with the classical empiricism of the 16th and 17th centuries and Kant's transcendental idealism.
Discussions in the European Journal of PhilosophyEdit
Soldati identified the book as an influence on the philosopher Ernst Tugendhat's work Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die sprachanalytische Philosophie (1976). He noted that Husserl made a "celebrated distinction between senselessness (Unsinn) and nonsense or absurdity (Widersinn)." He criticized the laws Husserl formulated concerning "the relations between dependent and independent parts of a whole", finding them "incomplete and not always easy to grasp." He also noted that interpreters of Husserl have disagreed about the precise status of formal ontology according to Husserl, some arguing that it is independent of, others that it belongs to, formal logic. Mcmullin argued that while in the Logical Investigations, Husserl's discussion of "expression" was focused exclusively on its linguistic meaning, he developed a significantly expanded notion of expression in his later work.
Zuidervaart wrote that the Logical Investigations have been variously interpreted by Anglo-American commentators, being seen as idealist by the philosopher Louis Dupré and realist by Willard, while others argue Husserl moved from realism to idealism. He added that there has been dispute over whether Husserl has "an epistemic conception of propositional truth" according to which propositional truth "depends on discursive justification to some significant degree". He concluded that Husserl suggests an alternative to "the epistemic/nonepistemic polarity in contemporary truth theory" and "a way to resituate propositional truth within a broader and more dynamic conception of truth".
Discussions in Human StudiesEdit
Tillman maintained that the "descriptive psychology of prepredicative thought" Husserl expounded in the Logical Investigations had been anticipated by both Dilthey and the theologian John Henry Newman, despite the fact that Newman, unlike Dilthey, never used the term. Noé argued that Husserl modified the views after the publication of the Logical Investigations, expressing a different perspective in his posthumous work The Origin of Geometry. He characterized these changes as "the Hermeneutic Tum" in the Husserlian phenomenology of language, suggesting that it was caused by "a change of attitude toward the constitutive function of language". He described Husserl's later view of language as "dialogical", in contrast to the "monological" view of the Logical Investigations. Tada compared Husserl's views to those of the sociologist Talcott Parsons, identifying the Logical Investigations as an influence on Parsons' The Structure of Social Action (1937), helping him to "to determine the role of the logical framework." He noted that the work was also an influence on the Prague linguistic circle, and thereby "helped to establish the French structuralism represented by Claude Lévi-Strauss." Klaskow discussed the influence of the Logical Investigations on Heidegger, noting that in Being and Time Heidegger endorsed "the ideas of truth, confirmation and evidence" Husserl advanced in them.
Discussions in InquiryEdit
Martin defended Husserl against Dummett's argument that his attempt to extend an analysis of the structure of meaningful expressions into an account of the structure of meaning in experience is a form of psychologism and idealism. He attributed to Husserl the view that, "meanings are mind-independent structures that are also structures of consciousness", finding it controversial but defensible. He maintained that Husserl's later views on noemata were not a renunciation but a further development of those in the Logical Investigations, even though Husserl introduced the term "noema" only in Ideas. Alweiss argued that, contrary to a consensus among analytic philosophers, examination of the Logical Investigations shows that Husserl was not a "methodological solipsist". However, she considered it open to debate whether Husserl adopted a position of "internalism".
Discussions in the Journal of Speculative PhilosophyEdit
Discussions of the work in the Journal of Speculative Philosophy include those by Melle Ullrich and Jason Bell and Catharina Bonnemann; the journal also published Husserl's manuscript “On the Task and Historical Position of the Logical Investigations”.
Ullrich wrote that Husserl acknowledged in his manuscripts that the Logical Investigations suffered from shortcomings, which Husserl attributed to his initial failure to fully consider the proper sense and the full implications of their method and his lack of comprehension of how the work was related to both the history of philosophy and contemporary philosophy. According to Ullrich, Husserl was forced by concerns about his career to publish the Logical Investigations despite his awareness of these problems. He had not expected that the work would receive much attention, since it was allied with neither the trend to return to Kant nor the turn toward experimental psychology, and was surprised when it aroused considerable interest, something Husserl later attributed to its alignment with trends in philosophy, including one Ullrich summarized as a drive toward "an integration or synthesis of the legitimate motives" of both empiricism and rationalism. He noted that Husserl believed that most reactions to the work involved serious misunderstandings, for which Husserl believed that his use of the misleading term "descriptive psychology", which suggested a relapse into psychologism, was partly responsible. According to Ullrich, Husserl believed that commentators had wrongly associated his idea of ontology with Meinong's theory of objects, and that Wundt had put forward an unfounded interpretation and critique of the Logical Investigations. He added that when Husserl published Ideas, he dismayed followers who saw it as abandoning Husserl's earlier commitment to realism.
Bell and Bonnemann discussed Husserl's manuscript “On the Task and Historical Position of the Logical Investigations”, in which Husserl sought to explain his use of the term "descriptive psychology". Husserl observed that while he considered the Logical Investigations a development of Brentano's ideas, Brentano himself never recognized them as such due to their "completely different method", whereas Dilthey reacted to them favorably, even though they were not indebted to his writings. According to Husserl, Dilthey saw the work as "a first concrete achievement of his (own) ideas about a descriptive and analytic psychology." Husserl emphasized differences between his "descriptive psychology" and the philosophical approaches of both Brentano and Dilthey. He maintained that despite his "imperfect" approach to consciousness, he had helped to show that consciousness is "an achievement that takes place in manifold verifiable forms and associated syntheses, overall pervasively intentional, goal-oriented, directed toward ideas of truth."
Discussions in Signos filosóficosEdit
Discussions in Studia PhaenomenologicaEdit
Discussions of the work in Studia Phaenomenologica include those by Maria Gyemant, Peter Andras Varga, Paula Lorelle, Hynek Janoušek, Faustino Fabbianelli, and Bernardo Ainbinder.
Gyemant discussed the difference between Husserl's concept of intentionality in the Logical Investigations and that of Brentano in Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint (1874). Varga discussed the philosopher Leonard Nelson's criticism of Husserl's arguments against psychologism in the Logical Investigations in Über das sogennante Erkenntnisproblem (1908), noting that Nelson charged Husserl with "mistaking deduction for proof" and thereby falsely assuming that a psychological foundation of logic would inevitably lead to a vicious circle. He argued that Nelson misunderstood and oversimplified Husserl's views and that his arguments against Husserl were flawed. He also noted that despite his criticism of Husserl, Nelson recognized some similarity between their views, suggesting that he made "a very fruitful comparison between his and Husserl’s enterprise". He suggested that Husserl also misunderstood Nelson, and that his phenomenology could benefit from Nelson's "presentation of the framework of the problem of the foundation."
Lorelle discussed the Logical Investigations in relation to the novelist Marcel Proust. Janoušek discussed Husserl's reasons for abandoning some of Brentano's ideas about judgment. Fabbianelli discussed differences between Husserl's theory of meaning in the Logical Investigations and the views of Theodor Conrad. Ainbinder discussed the influence of the Logical Investigations on Lask. Criticizing the view that Lask's interest in the work represented his departure from neo-Kantianism, he argued that Lask found insights in it that could contribute to making sense of the "Kantian transcendental project" through a "proper understanding of the Copernican Turn in objectivistic terms"; according to Ainbinder, these included the "secondary place of judgment in the constitution of the categorial" and "the idea of a formal ontology". Ainbinder further argued that the work could be seen, despite Husserl's view of it, as "a proper work of transcendental philosophy", noting that Lask, like Heidegger, believed that Husserl overlooked its "key tools for transcendental thought", and as a result was led into "subjectivistic idealism". He added that Lask beliefs about how its approach needed to be complemented anticipated Husserl's later work.
Husserl commented in Ideas that the Logical Investigations had led to phenomenology being mistakenly viewed as a branch of empirical psychology, despite his protests, in the article "Philosophy as Strict Science", that this was a misunderstanding of his work. Adorno criticized the Logical Investigations in Against Epistemology (1956). He maintained that the second volume in particular was "ambiguous". The philosopher Karl Popper commented in Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach (1972) that the Logical Investigations started a "vogue" for "anti-psychologism". He attributed Husserl's opposition to psychologism to the philosopher Gottlob Frege's criticism of Husserl's Philosophy of Arithmetic (1891). He believed that Husserl, in his discussion of science, proposed distinctions similar to Popper's three worlds, but suggested that Husserl had written in a way that had caused confusion about his views. He also criticized Husserl's view that a scientific theory is an hypothesis that has been proven correct.
The philosopher Paul Ricœur credited Husserl, along with Frege, with helping to establish the dichotomy "between Sinn or sense and Vorstellung or representation" in the linguist Sheldon Sacks's anthology On Metaphor (1979). Helmut R. Wagner described the Logical Investigations as Husserl's first major work in Phenomenology of Consciousness and Sociology of the Life-world (1983). The philosopher Roger Scruton criticized the Logical Investigations for their obscurity in Modern Philosophy: An Introduction and Survey (1994); however, in A Short History of Modern Philosophy (1995), Scruton described the Logical Investigations as being of "great interest", and noted that, alongside Ideas for a Pure Phenomenology (1913) and Cartesian Meditations (1929), they were among the writings by Husserl that had attracted the most attention.
The philosophers Barry Smith and David Woodruff Smith described the Logical Investigations as Husserl's magnum opus in The Cambridge Companion to Husserl (1995). They credited Husserl with providing a "devastating" critique of psychologism, adding that it was more influential than similar critiques from other philosophers such as Frege and Bernard Bolzano, and brought to an end the period during which psychologism was most influential. They noted that following the publication of the Logical Investigations, Husserl's interests shifted from logic and ontology to transcendental idealism and the methodology of phenomenology. According to Smith and Smith, Husserl's initial influence began at the University of Munich, where Johannes Daubert, who read the Logical Investigations in 1902, persuaded a group of students to accept the work and reject the views of their teacher Theodor Lipps. The philosopher Judith Butler compared the Logical Investigations to the early work of Ludwig Wittgenstein in the preface to the second edition of Subjects of Desire.
Donn Welton stated in his introduction to The Essential Husserl (1999) that in the Logical Investigations, Husserl introduced a novel conception of the relationships between language and experience, meaning and reference, and subject and object, and by his work on theories dealing with meaning, truth, the subject, and the object, helped create phenomenology, a new form of philosophy that went beyond psychologism, formalism, realism, idealism, objectivism and subjectivism, and made twentieth century continental philosophy possible. Thomas Mautner credited Husserl with providing a new account of logic and mathematics in The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy (2000). He suggested that Husserl's views were influenced by Frege's criticism of Husserl's Philosophy of Arithmetic. Moran wrote in his introduction to a 2001 edition of the Logical Investigations that the work had exerted an influence on 20th-century European philosophy comparable to that which Sigmund Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams (1899) had exerted on psychoanalysis. Powell described the analyses of signs and meaning in the Logical Investigations as "rigorous and abstract", "scrupulous", but also "tedious", in Jacques Derrida: A Biography (2006).
The philosopher Ray Monk described the Logical Investigations as obscurely written in the New Statesman, adding that the philosopher Bertrand Russell reported finding reading it difficult. The philosopher Robert Sokolowski credited Husserl with providing a convincing critique of psychologism in The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (2015). However, he criticized the first edition of the Logical Investigations for sharply distinguishing between "the thing as given to us" and the thing-in-itself, a standpoint he considered comparable to Kant's. He noted that between 1900 and 1910, Husserl abandoned these Kantian distinctions. According to Sokolowski, when Husserl expressed a new philosophical position in Ideas, he was misinterpreted as adopting a traditional idealism and "many thinkers who admired Husserl's earlier work distanced themselves from what he now taught."
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