141 Husserl's Neo-Cartesianism W. SOFFER SUNY, College at Geneseo In Cartesian Meditations Husserl describes the relation between transcendental phenomenology and Cartesianism as follows: one might almost call transcendental phenomenology a neo- Cartesianism, even though it is obliged-and precisely by its radical development of Cartesian motifs-to reject nearly all the well-known doctrinal content of the Cartesian philosophy.1 The radicalizations constituting the Cartesian way to phenomenology which I shall discuss involve the replacement of Cartesian doubt by phenomenological epoche since the problem of the world is a clarification of sense rather than a criterion for existence, and the replacement of the Cartesian empirical ego by the transcendental ego to escape the circle involved in grounding the sense of mundaneity upon a likewise mundane existent2 In this way Husserl can call transcendental phenomenology a neo-Cartesianism. Commentators have been divided concerning Husserl's appraisal. Ricoeur argues that since Husserl does not recognize the essential grounding polarity of the cogito and god in Descartes' philosophy he produces a non-Cartesian rather than a radicalized Cartesian philosophy.3 3 Thdvanez claims that the Husserlian transcendental reduction and Cartesian doubt are radically opposed due to Husserl's failure to see the metaphysical thrust of Descartes' procedure. Husserl is wrong
Research in Phenomenology – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1981
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