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Introduction to logic and theory of knowledge : lectures 1906/07
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Given the preeminent role that philosophy of logic and mathematics played in shaping philosophy in English speaking countries in the twentieth century, this volume also supplies material essential for the building of any possible bridge between phenomenology and analytic philosophy. Husserl himself considered that with the lecture courses on logic and theory of knowledge that 1 Edmund Husserl, Einleitung in die Logik und Erkenntnistheorie, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, , Husserliana vol.
In the letter of to Gomperz just cited, Husserl expressed his firm conviction that the phenomenological method was the true method of critique of knowledge. Dordrecht: Kluwer, , remarks cited p. The proper determination of the relationship between theory of knowledge and psychology, Melle explains, is decisive for reaching or failing to reach epistemological goals.
Shortly after the publication of the Logical Investigations, it had already become clear to Husserl that he had not succeeded in proving that the alleged contradiction between the refutation of psychologism in the Prolegomena to Pure Logic, the first volume of the Logical Investigations, and the epistemological elucidation of pure logic by recourse to subjective acts in the six Logical Investigations was only apparent. He had also come to see the misunderstandings about a blatant contradiction existing between the two parts of his work as having been additionally fostered by the unfortunate decision on his part to speak of phenomenology as descriptive psychology.
He drew their attention to the ties that he saw linking the theory of knowledge to its complement, pure, formal, analytic logic and introduced them to his own very Bolzanian alternative. Pure logic, he told students, was the science of concepts and relations of concepts, of propositions and relations of propositions, of the possible forms grounded in these concepts and propositions.
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It defines the form concepts to which the objective content of all logical and all scientific thinking in general is subject and on whose basis they develop the laws of validity grounded in these form concepts. Science, in the objective sense, is a web of theories, and so of proofs, propositions, inferences, concepts, meanings, not of experiences.
The whole of arithmetic, Husserl taught, belonged within the scope of a sufficiently broadly understood logic. No epistemological reflection is required. That pure logic does not merely consist of trivialities is already shown by pure mathematics. These were years that found Husserl pursuing his interest in axiomatization and the theory of the manifolds. On the basis of the axioms of pure arithmetic, he taught, the theorems of the discipline were derived by pure deduction following systematic, simple procedures.
The field then branched out into more and more theories and partial disciplines, ever new problems surfaced and were finally solved by expending the greatest mathematical acumen and following the most rigorous methods. He even detailed his axioms, notation, rules of inference for so doing.
In the second layer, it was no longer a question of objects as such about which one might predicate something, but of investigating what was valid for higher order objects dealt with in an indeterminate, general way, not as empirical or material entities, but determined in purely formal terms, removed from acts, subjects, or empirical persons of actual reality.
It was a matter of an expanded, completely developed analytics where one reasoned deductively with concepts and propositions in a purely formal manner since each concept was analytic and each procedure purely logical. According to this theory, the third and highest layer of formal logic was that of the science of deductive systems in general, the theory of manifolds, theory forms, logical molds totally undetermined as to their content and not bound to any possible concrete interpretation.
There it was a matter of theorizing about possible fields of knowledge conceived of in a general, undetermined way, simply determined by the fact that the objects stand in certain relations that are themselves subject to certain fundamental laws of such and such determined form, are exclusively determined by the form of the interconnections assigned to them that are themselves just as little determined in terms of content as are the objects.
This science of forms of possible theories was a field of free, creative investigation made possible once form was emancipated from content. Once it had been discovered that deductions and sequences of deductions continued to be meaningful and remained valid when another meaning was assigned to the symbols, people were freed to reason completely on the level of pure forms. They could vary systems in different ways. Ways of constructing an infinite variety of forms of possible disciplines could be found.
Husserl considered the detection of these three levels of formal logic to be of the greatest importance for the understanding of logic and philosophy. What is more, Husserl now stressed that the investigation of these subjective sources of justification concerned all sciences in a similar manner, for even the formal and mathematical disciplines appeal to subjective experience and apodictic evidentness for justification. Theory of knowledge with and on the basis of psychology is impossible. It leads to the abandonment of all ideal validity and to absurd skepticism. If it draws subjectivity and subjective acts into the investigation, theory of knowledge must be psychology.
In Appendix BV dated by Melle of the present volume, we find Husserl writing of the development of a transcendental phenomenology as the genuine realization of what had only been realized in fragmentary form in the Logical Investigations. He regrets that in that work phenomenology had passed as descriptive psychology.
He explains that he had since come to realize that descriptive psychology, understood as empirical phenomenology, had to be seen as distinct from transcendental phenomenology. Since descriptive natural science is description of concrete natural objects, natural processes, and so on, descriptive psychology is, therefore, not limited merely to psychological experiences, and their content to the content of kinds of actual consciousness-processes of experiencing human beings and animals, but also includes a descriptive, experiential description of associating types, of temperaments, characters, etc.
What he had called descriptive psychological phenomenology in the Logical Investigations, however, concerned just the sphere of experiences in terms of their real reellen content.
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Inasmuch as empirically related to natural objectivities, the experiences were experiences of an experiencing I. For epistemological phenomenology, for an essence-theory of knowledge a priori , the empirical relationship had, however, to be eliminated. All philosophical writing has its special terminology and philosophers are always obliged to accustom themselves to the terminology and style adopted in philosophical works if they are ever to enter into the ideas expressed there.
It always helps to keep in mind that these words contain the little 23 Ibid. All sciences have truth as their goal; but logic is also concerned with it in a quite different way from this…. To discover truths is the task of all sciences; it falls to logic to discern the laws of truth. When we speak of laws of morals or the state we mean regulations which ought to be obeyed but with which actual happenings are not always in conformity.
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Laws of nature are the generalization of natural occurrences with which the occurrence are always in accordance. It is rather in this sense that I speak of laws of truth. That is, to be sure, not a matter of what happens so much as of what is. Google Scholar. Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions.
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