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Journal: Horizon. Studies in Phenomenology (Vol.6, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 100-120

Keywords : Husserl; Bolzano; Brentano; Erdmann; proposition in itself; judgment; state of affairs; psychologism.;

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Even today, much of the development of Husserl's interpretation of Bolzano's philosophy prior to the Logical Investigations remains in the dark. However, recently published manuscripts from Husserl's early period make it easier to understand Husserl's original approach to Bolzano's ideas. This article aims at describing one aspect of Husserl's reception of Bolzano, namely his reception of the latter's concept of propositions in themselves. It also corrects some errors concerning the traditional interpretation of Lotze's and Frege's influence on Husserl's turn against psychologism. Whereas Husserl's 1896 “Logic Lectures” employ a number of Bolzano's terms and ideas, there is no trace of Lotze and almost no trace of Frege when the objectivity of logic is discussed. It is rather the integration of Bolzano's famous concept of propositions in themselves that forms the core of Bolzano's logical realism, into Husserl's early phenomenology which drives Husserl's move against the alleged psychologism of his Philosophy of Arithmetic. The article reconstructs Husserl's early unsuccessful attempt to avoid the pitfall of psychologism by using a Brentanian theory of abstraction. This failure opened the way for a more positive appreciation of Bolzano's concept of propositions in themselves. Such a concept posed problems for Husserl's theory of judgment as inspired by Brentano, Stumpf, and Erdmann. Describing the twists and turns of the integration of Bolzano's proposition in itself into Husserl's work should contribute to a better understanding of the development of Husserl's phenomenology, philosophy of logic, and, generally speaking, of the history of philosophy of the 19th and 20th century.

Last modified: 2018-06-20 17:45:52