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Why Did Husserl not Become the Galileo of the Science of Consciousness?

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Abstract:

It is well known that Husserl clearly recognized the importance of the introduction of idealization in physics and its contribution to the further advancement in natural sciences. The history of the successful applications of idealization in natural sciences encouraged attempts to extend the use of this sophisticated instrument of theoretical investigation and theory construction to other domains of science. Since Husserl designed his phenomenology as the rigorous science of consciousness we have to find out why he did not use the method he understood so well to study experiences, the objects located by him in the domain of consciousness. The paper offers an answer to this question. It explains why Husserl conceived of the method of idealization as a tool of objectivization of previously subjective knowledge. Since idealization is used to objectify knowledge its application to experiences, conscious acts would produce objective knowledge of consciousness. This, however, would contradict phenomenological assertion that subjectivity is an essential component of experience and that the reliable knowledge about conscious acts could not be objectified. It is the core of Husserl's argumentation that there is no place for idealization in the research on consciousness.

Document Type: Case Report

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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