Phenomenology is a philosophical movement that emphasizes the study of conscious experience from the subjective point of view. It was founded by Edmund Husserl, a German philosopher who lived from 1859 to 1938.
But when did Husserl actually develop phenomenology? Let’s take a closer look.
The Early Years
Edmund Husserl was born in Prossnitz, Moravia, which is now part of the Czech Republic. He studied mathematics, physics, and astronomy at the University of Leipzig before switching to philosophy. He completed his doctoral degree at the University of Vienna in 1883 with a dissertation on calculus.
Husserl spent several years teaching at various universities before settling at the University of Freiburg in 1916. It was during this time that he began developing phenomenology.
The Development of Phenomenology
Phenomenology emerged as a movement in philosophy in the early 20th century. It was a response to what many philosophers saw as the limitations of traditional metaphysics and epistemology. Husserl’s work was particularly influential in this regard.
In his early writings, Husserl developed the idea that consciousness is intentional – that is, it always has an object or content that it is directed towards. He argued that this intentional structure could be analyzed through descriptive methods and that this analysis could reveal fundamental truths about human experience.
Husserl’s most famous work, “Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology,” was published in 1913. This book outlined his method for analyzing consciousness and provided a framework for understanding the structure of human experience.
The Legacy of Phenomenology
Phenomenology had a significant impact on philosophy and other fields such as psychology and sociology. It influenced existentialism, hermeneutics, and other philosophical movements.
Husserl’s ideas also had a profound influence on the work of other philosophers, including Martin Heidegger and Jean-Paul Sartre. Heidegger, in particular, developed his own version of phenomenology that emphasized the importance of being-in-the-world.
Edmund Husserl was a key figure in the development of phenomenology. His work on consciousness and human experience has had a lasting impact on philosophy and other fields.
While he began developing phenomenology during his time at the University of Freiburg, it took several years for his ideas to fully develop and gain widespread recognition. Today, Husserl is considered one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century.