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  • 4/4/2004
Edmund Husserl
( 4/8/1859- 4/27/1938)

 Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), originator of the phenomenological movement. Pupil of Franz Brentano. Husserl Influenced MartinHeidegger,Jean-Paul Sartre, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, among others. Husserl is best known for his extesive use of the the notion that that the main characteristic of consciousness is that it is alwaysintentional, i.e. directed at some kind of content ("Inhalt"): consciousness is always "consciousness of something." He borrowed the concept of the intentional from Brentano, as can be seen from the latter'sPsychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt (Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint). Further, he asserted that studying the flow of consciousness as directed (the act ofnoesis) at the perceived phenomena (thenoemata) yields knowledge of essential structures in reality. In the last period of his life, Husserl shifted to a more explicitly idealist position, which is best expressed in his Cartesian Meditations (1931). His main work, however, remains Logische Untersuchungen (Logical Investigations; first edition, 1900-1901). Husserl, who was born into a Jewish familly in Prossnitz in Moravia was eventualy denied the use of the university library at Freiburgformer, because of the racial cleansing laws issued by the Nazi party, and carried out at the university byMartin Heidegger, Husserl's most famous pupil. MoreoverHeidegger removed the dedication to his most widely known workBeing and Time when it was reissued in 1941.

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