Vol 5 No 9 (2019): EPH - International Journal of Humanities and Social Science (ISSN: 2208-2174)

Husserl, Heidegger and Phenomenological Method

Martin Okwu Onwuegbusi, Ph.D.
Olabisi Onabanjo University
Published September 11, 2019
How to Cite
Martin Okwu Onwuegbusi, Ph.D. (2019). Husserl, Heidegger and Phenomenological Method. EPH - International Journal of Humanities and Social Science (ISSN: 2208-2174), 5(9), 10-33. Retrieved from https://ephjournal.com/index.php/hss/article/view/1533


This paper is on Husserl’s phenomenological method; it is an attempt to show how Husserl in pursuit for a philosophy without presuppositions, established phenomenology to serve as a rigorous science of the world. Husserl in developing phenomenology insists that its procedure has to deal only with description of its objects rather than explanations. Phenomenology only begins after the phenomenologist has carried out transcendental phenomenological reductions, starting first with eidetic reduction through which all existentialand natural attitudes are brack-eted and put out of action to yield only essences before consciousness. This is followed by phen- omenological reduction proper, which involves a complex of reductive phases Husserl, refers to as ‘epoche’ – which involves bracketing of all historical and existential judgments regarding what is ‘given’ and even the experiencer himself. What is left after the reduction is the transcendental ego with its transcendental life. It is then possible for consciousness to begin an entirely new task of interpreting the world at this level, as a coherent system constituted by itself alone. Husserl’s Phenomenological method is contrastedwith Heidegger’s phenomenological method. Heidegger strongly rejected Husserl’s bracketing of the actual world and his transcendental ego.


Download data is not yet available.


  1. Kockelmans, J. (1967), Husserl’s Phenomenological Philosophy in the light of Contemporary Criticism, taken from: Phenomenology: The Philosophy of Edmund Husserl and Its Interpretation, [Anchor Books, Doubleday and Company, INC; Garden City, New York], 221. Cited hereafter as Kockelmans, J. (1967).
  2. Ibid., 226.
  3. Ibid., 223. By ‘all-encompassing rational knowledge of all that is’, Husserl understands a kind of philosophy that has the same aspirations and characteristic intention of philosophy since the time of the ancient Greeks.
  4. Schmitt, Richard (1960), Husserl’s Transcendental-Phenomenological Reduction, First Published in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 20 (1959-1960), 238-245. Reprinted with permission of the author and editors in Kockelmans, J. (1967), in Phenomenology: The Philosophy of Edmund Husserl and Its Interpretations Hereafter cited as Schmitt Richard, in Kockelmans, (1967), ed.
  5. Schmitt, Richard, in Kockelmans, (1967), ed.
  6. Ibid, 58.
  7. Husserl, (1962), Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology, Collier Macmillan; 40.
  8. Ibid, 47.
  9. Cooper, E. David, (1990), Existentialism: A Reconstruction; Basil Blackwell; 40.
  10. Husserl, (1962), Ideas, 51.
  11. Cooper, (1990), 40.
  12. Husserl, (1962), 75.
  13. Solomon, Robert, (1972), From Rationalism to Existentialism, Harper and Row, New York, 155.
  14. Ibid, 156.
  15. Ibid, 156.
  16. Kockelmans, (1967), 27.
  17. Ibid, 27.
  18. Becker, Oscar, (1970), The Philosophy of Edmund Husserl, in The Phenomenology of Husserl, edited, translated, with an introduction by R.O. Elveton; Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 59.
  19. Cf. Kockelmans, (1967), 32.
  20. Ibid., 32.
  21. Quentin, Lauer (1965), “Introduction: Structure of the Ideal”, in Edmund Husserl, Phenomenology and Crisis of Philosophy, trans. By Quentin Lauer, (New York), Harper and Row Publishers; Reprinted in J.J. Kockelmans, (1967), with the title: “On Evidence” – 150 – 151. All references to this work hereafter will be from: Kockelmans, (1967) edition.
  22. Ibid., 151.
  23. Kockelmans, (1967) ed. “Intentional and Constitutive Analysis”, 138.
  24. Quentin, Lauer, in Kockelmans (1967) ed., 151.
  25. Ibid., 151.
  26. Cf. Kockelmans, (1967), 138..
  27. Ibid., 138.
  28. Ibid., 139.
  29. Husserl often uses such technical terms like “noetic” and “noematic” in his analysis of intentional consciousness. The term “noetic” indicates the intentional acts of consciousness, that is, acts which are constitutive for their objects; but he later reverted to use the term “noesis” [meaning: nous or intellect] to make the same reference. He also uses the term “noema” in correlation to “noesis” to refer to the intentional object, e.g. this chair, insofar as it is intentionally present in a noetic experience. The noema is thus the meaning or sense [essence] of the intentional object insofar as it is constituted by consciousness and not the transcendent object as such. (Cf. Richard Schmitt, in Kockelmans, 1967) ed., 67.
  30. Kockelmans, (1967), ed., 139.
  31. Ibid., 29.
  32. Ibid., 29-30.
  33. Ibid., 30.
  34. The term ‘radical’ here is one of the popular terms in Phenomenology; negatively it means freedom from any assumptions or beliefs of any kind; but positively it means the insightful establishment of all elements of knowledge. (Cf. Marvin Farber, in Kockelmans (1967), 49.
  35. Kockelmans, (1967), ed., 30.
  36. Marvin, Farber (1940), “The Ideal of Presuppositionless Philosophy”, in Marvin Farber, ed., Philosophical Essays in Memory of Edmund Husserl [Cambridge]; Reprinted with permission in J.J. Kockelmans, (1967), ed., 50.
  37. Kockelmans, (1967), ed., 30-31.
  38. Husserl, Ideen, 72 (Gibson, 113) quoted in “The Philosophy of Edmund Husserl” written by Oskar Becker, and published in The Phenomenology of Husserl, Selected Critical Readings, edited by R.O. Elveton, (1970) 63.
  39. Husserl often in connection with transcendental phenomenological reduction uses the term ‘epoche’; at first this may sound like a ‘reduction’, but he made a distinction between the two terms: the change of attitude, i.e. the suspension of all natural attitude towards the objects of experience is called epoche, this is a precondition for reducing the natural world to a world of phenomena. Transcendental phenomenological reduction, however, encompasses both the epoche and the reduction in a narrower sense. [Cf., Kockelmans, (1967), 61].
  40. Cf. Kockelmans, (1967), ed., 222.
  41. Ibid, 223.
  42. Ibid, 223.
  43. Husserl, Ideen I, 135; as quoted in Kockelmans (1967) ed., 223.
  44. Gaston Berger, (1941), Le Cogito Dans la Philosophie de Husserl (Paris: Aubier) 94-95; as quoted in Kockelmans (1967), edited, 223.
  45. Cf. Kockelmans, (1967), 224.
  46. Ibid, 224.
  47. Husserl, Ideas, 241
  48. Husserl, Ideas, 346.
  49. Cooper, D. (1990), 45.
  50. Husserl, Ideas, 345.
  51. Cooper, D. (1990), 45.
  52. Ibid, 46.
  53. Ibid, 46.
  54. Cf. also: Schrag, O. Calvin, in Kockelmans (1967) ed., 277; hereafter, references to this work will be cited as Schrag, O. Calvin, in Kockelmans (1967) ed., followed by the reference page.
  55. Ibid, 277.
  56. Cf. Kockelmans, (1967), ed., 223-224.
  57. Ibid, 229.
  58. Ibid, 227.
  59. Schrag, O. Calvin, in Kockelmans, (1967), ed., 278.
  60. Ibid, 278.
  61. Ibid, 278.
  62. Ibid, 279.
  63. The word ‘logos’ apart from being translated as ‘discourse’, has other interpretations which include ‘reason’, ‘judgment’, ‘concept’, ‘definition’, ‘ground’, ‘science’, etc; [Cf. footnote, BT:47].
  64. King, Magda (1964), Heidegger’s Philosophy: A Guide to his Basic Thought, [Basil Blackwell, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts], 40.
  65. Cf. Schrag, O. Calvin, in Kockelmans (1967) ed., 280.
  66. Ibid, 281.
  67. Heidegger, M. (1983), The Basic Problems of Phenomenology, [Indiana University Press], 64.
  68. “Ontology” is the study of existence; It is the most general branch of metaphysics concerned with the nature of being; or a particular theory of being. While “ontic” pertains to things of real existence.
  69. Cf. Kockelmans, (1967), ed., 226.
  70. Landgrebe, Luwig (1952), Philosophie der Gegenwart, [Bonn]; Athenaum Verlag; 87-94, as quoted in Husserl’s Phenomenological Philosophy in the Light of Contemporary Criticism, by J.J. Kockelmans in (1967) edition; 229.
  71. Ibid, 229.
  72. Ibid, 229.
  73. Landgrebe, Luwig (1952), 99-100; quoted in J.J. Kockelmans (1967),ed., 229.
  74. Cf. Schrag, O. Calvin in Kockelmans, (1967), ed., 281.
  75. Ibid, 281.
  76. Ibid, 281.
  77. Ibid, 289
  78. Ibid, 289
  79. Crowell, Steven (2009) in A Companion to Phenomenology and Existentialism, edited by Hubert Dreyfus and Mark A. Wrathall, Wiley Black, 20-21.