Husserl’s Psychological Phenomenology: Inverting the Transcendental

Husserl’s Psychological Phenomenology:

Inverting the Transcendental

 Julian von Will, Ph.D.


I will summarize Husserl’s phenomenological psychology within the framework of the philosophy of mind and epistemology. Husserl uses psychology dialectically to bring the logical subject of idealism to the empirical ego in one blow intuitionism. Phenomenology works across Kant’s subject-object schematic to build a foundational ontology, prima philosophia and rigorous science by collective demonstration of the psychological ego as transcendent Being. Psychology manifest transcendental logic in the empirical ego, according to the jargon, and provides a blueprint based on teaching how to reflect on oneself. Unlike the idealists, Husserl affirms psychology and all the baggage of individuality juxtaposed to a Victorian foundationalism: It was an odd mix. Husserl notes that psychology and transcendental philosophy are allied through phenomenology. Cartesian duality is brought to an intuitive unity in the individual, for a duration, held by reflection that goes to a pre-reflective ego in protentional projecting to square the circle. The transcendental ego is a Frankenstein bridge away from the theodicy of idealism irreducible in nature. Husserl tries to secure a model of consciousness on its own terms. Psychological reduction makes the transcendental real, provides content for the logical subject and completes Kant’s theory of judgments by redefining critical reason. Husserl readjusts Kant’s block to reason venturing psychology and the individual as relational pivot for an ontological whole. Husserl argues that egological acts demonstrated from a psychological phenomenological reduction of transcendental subjectivity unifies the subjective manifold and this in turn secure the world from the inside out. Husserl inverts abstract philosophies of reflection with the appearance of mind, self and identity capable of intuition and then enacts a phenomenological psychological reduction to prefigure and prescinding that fact with transcendental apriori (a priori). At the end of his career, Husserl unhesitatingly affirms idealism and a transcendental psychology to complete the unity of the Kantian subject and world within the here and now beyond antimony and paradox. He offers a proof for the external world by injecting the transcendental subject into the ego. He uses psychology and ontology directly against Kant’s critique of metaphysics and “Copernican Revolution,” spinning it to break free from the epistemological circle of Cartesianism. Husserl exhibits the objective manifestations of transcendental forms through psychological acts. Eidetic phenomenology reengineers Kantian deduced apriori forms and categories of the analytic subject into “synthesis-nexus” of essential Being. He then reverses the reduction through a psychological phenomenological reduction to identify this individual as a universal. Husserl’s new theory  of conscious intentionality advances a new subject of the transcendental ego; first among objects. The psychological ego embodies the transcendental through its acts securing a knowledge of “things themselves” by being one and awareness of the whole by reflection trying to be perception. Logic, intuition of time and pre-reflective ego form his foundationalism devoid of critical reason. Self-conscious does not find its objectivity in the ego any more than the ego in natural reduction. I will focus on Husserl’s subtle weave of philosophical self-consciousness into transcendent Being. He claims to have resolved Kant’s dilemma of transcendence through psychology. But the breakout or transcendence from the transcendental (immanent) is into a finite Being with immortal thoughts. Back into the thing-in-itself. I will attempt to outline using the jargon of traditional German idealism and logical empiricism that Husserl profoundly confuses.



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Main Text

“We live in a time of great reversals. Rational ontology and rational psychology – how long will it last, and also rational cosmology and theology – the much maligned and apparently permanently abolished disciplines of past epochs, seem to be awakening again to life.” [HI3-60]


Logical Absolutism and Transcendental Logic

Throughout his career, Husserl thought psychology was a “truly decisive field…I.e., decisive for the struggle between subjectivism and objectivism. For by beginning as objective science and then becoming transcendental, it bridges the gap.” [HC-208] But, he notes that “the history of psychology is actually only a history of crises” in grounding psychical processes to physical necessity, causality and objectivity. [HC-203] The circumspective Crisis  notes: “If psychology had not failed, it would have performed a necessary meditating work for a concrete, working transcendental philosophy, freed from all paradoxes.” [HC-203] Psychology would have performed the extraordinary mediation of the ancient dialectic and ontological difference and secured the modern epistemological  problem of subject-object schema with unified individual without forced sublation, deduction or inductive polarizations. Unlike the idealists, Husserl’s ontological turn struggles for the individual against both conceptual fetish and natural reduction. The psychological reduction of phenomenology puts the diamond of philosophical self-reflecting reason within the here and now of the ego individual as the first principle for truth and Being. He renews subjectivism and grounds it in carful reductions of empirical ego acts through phenomenological analysis.

During Husserl time, psychology surfaced as the last remaining sub-discipline of philosophy left and popular vehicle for science to deal with philosophical problems turning them into psychological and ultimately  natural origin. Psychology was used to reduce consciousness to an object and thought to a neuron. Husserl advances a new transcendental logic against scientific realism, representationalism and nominalism. He aims at the “back to Kant “ movement advancing a decapitated logical empiricism and scientific naturalism. Husserl argues against grounding reason in nature, and shows the mutated genesis of science forgetting the logic of self-consciousness behind causality. Husserl returns psychology to philosophical reflection in order to provide it with a firm subject, and does so by rejecting natural scientific method.


“Psychology failed, however because, even in its primal establishment as a new kind of [science] alongside the new natural science, it failed to inquire after what was essentially the only genuine sense of its task as the universal science of psychic being. Rather, it let its task and method be set according to the model of natural science or according to the guiding idea of modern philosophy as objective and thus concrete universal science – a task which, of course, considering the given historical motivation, appeared to be quite obvious.” [HC-203]


Husserl laments here in the Crises of the misunderstanding of psychology. Psychology as a science demonstrates the causality of consciousness and he seeks to unify philosophy and science here. He wages an attack on naturalism that fiddles away cognition by subtracting the ego and subject from objectivity. He attacks the mechanism of psychologism founded upon a disjointed psychophysical parallel bridged by mindless associations in a stimulus-response feedback logic. Consciousness was anti-nature. Husserls speaks about how “psychology was burdened in advance with the task of being a science parallel to physics and with the conception that the soul – its subject matter – was something real in a sense similar to corporeal nature, the subject matter of natural science.” [HC-212] Husserl affirms dualism to attack scientific positivism and neo-Kantianism. He separates reason from nature to rethink the relation. The end long flight into the cosmos was leaving causality behind and shutting off access to appearance Psychology becomes the battlefield for melding philosophy and science by reworking this reduction. Husserl is focuses on the ontological difference and the use of the metaphysical gulf between thought and Being, possible and actual experience define in final form existence in-itself. Intentionality becomes the mutation of transcendental logic and makes the synthesis or unity of manifold real through psychological intuitions of philosophical concepts appearing before our eyes. Reason becomes the object for which we are consciousness.

Husserl joked he was not the first to have discovered the “object”. His quest to make philosophy a rigorous science begins with the clarification of science philosophically grounded.  That is how he operates. The Kantian twofold distinction, logic itself is take for a primal object. The object is subjectively constructed as the secrete source for the sensible; not by deduction, by psychological reduction to the intuition of a pure ego. Husserl opens the discussion on the nature of phenomena by showing how thoughts are objective, real and embodied in the individual. The irreal of inner experience manifesting consciousness is reflected through egological acts. The psychological provides a unity. The miserable Kantian schematic, which forbid psychological mediation, is transgressed, the individual asserts the lens of traditional subjectivism, the monadic Cartesian-Kantian subject, as its own. Husserl engineers a new subject of the transcendental ego but his one great contribution comes by showing new methods of interpretation and description within scientific praxis. Ones that advance science by conscious intentionality. He muscles reflection into objectivity through finally sublating logical empiricism through a unified  psychological person, not simply a psychophysical stimulus-response automaton.

Husserl attacks the recourse out of Cartesian dualism clarified on psychological grounds tied to natural scientific explanation. He argues that logical universal validity is not contingent on the genesis of entity and their relation. The contents of conscious are not reducible to functions, processes of empirical relation. In the Logical Investigations, Husserl fights tooth and nail over the reduction of logic to psychology and later the reduction of psychology to nature and sensibility. He denounces the induction of logic and “supposed laws of nature, which operate in isolation as causes of rational thought.” [HLU-101] Moreover, this “never permits of rational justification, only of psychological explanation.” [HLU-117] Explanation fell on the empirical, and logic, the language of consciousness, was tied to a facticity and sensibility of the impossible. It deferred ownership to a duplicated without distinction. Psychologism was a tautology and a mass confusion. “As a genuine psychologism, it tends always to confuse the psychological origin of certain general judgments in experience, on account of some supposed ‘naturalness’, with a justification of the same judgments.” [HLU-117] It never penetrated the subject of its own self-posting nature as something real. Husserl undermines the empirical notion of the “human being as a psychophysical Object,” along with the lopsided mythical concept constructions of idealism. He breaks the “presupposed naturalness”  and finds a way preempt a disjointed psychophysical parallelism [Animalität].

The most important point is keeping this ego real and built on experiential or empirical grounds. He pays tribute to Locke’s non-psychophysical psychology capturing the cue of unity as  “nothing less than the first attempt at a phenomenological transcendental philosophy.” [DFTB] These types of subversions of traditional philosophy aids Husserl in setting up his own mythical concepts of Methexis. His reduction of the transcendental to the ego-individual is unique by using universals through pre-reflective intuitive acts to bring epistemic unity to Kant’s subject. He seeks a pre-cognitive intuitive unity of the ego, here and now, that precedes cosmological regress, teleological totality and ontological tautology. He seeks to close off the inward and outward infinitudes within the finite here and now of self-consciousness as an object-correlate of ego. Intelligible Being. Psychology unfolds the field for this realization under no delusion about metaphysical presuppositions. Husserl undercuts the empirical given with the “pre-given” prime mover of primordial dator intuitions to get the job done. His empiricism, his realism is built on transcendental grounds of non-contradiction intersected or vectored within immediate states of human consciousness. The dialectic of Self and Other, the mechanism of identity through nonidentity is played out within phenomenological psychology as an egological unity claiming philosophical status while taking control over the sciences under a dialectical distinction of the impossible. He links thought and Being by melding logical relations with object appearance through identity and noncontradiction, of no two object in the same place etc. Ideality and entity are vectored into existence as whole found in self-conscious reason located in psychological mediations of the individual.

Husserl’s psychological reduction of the transcendental subject preempts dialectics by positing a schema of transcendental possibility to ontological actuality within the totality of self-consciousness Being, once the method is taught. Phenomenology makes consciousness an object in the world. Husserl inverts the transcendental deduction to phenomenological reduction and intuits the conceptual unity of mind from egological acts. Psychological reduction not only advances transcendental logic by giving it content to mutate experience, it also gives everyone access to transcendental reasoning from their own individuality and experimentation. Husserl blends psychology into phenomenology to help manifest a unitary subject-object.  Psychology takes transcendental subject for transcendent Being. He deconstructs the idealism and scientific realism through self-consciousness. The existence of universals is intuitable and irreducible to nature from within individuated acts of self-conscious reason. They are seen in psychological acts of self-reflection that make their way into scientific method controlling causality. Human individual acts form a unique resolution of the epistemological circle transcending the transcendental problem of duplicity and contradiction within the subject that keeps it from objective Being. Husserl proves the external world within Kant’s own schematic using Hegel’s advanced method of the “inverted-world’ [Verkehrte Welt] to mutate logic into experience through a phenomenology of mind thematically showing, as did Hegel, the universal existing in the individual. But, as Adorno notes, no one can live up to this insight.

Husserl embraces psychology as tool to secure phenomenology as a first philosophy by self-contained egological correlations of universal principles with immediate data. Reduced noema. From above subject-object dialectics, and before simple common sense, Husserl draws upon the knowledge of the impossible to secure this subject beyond analytic understanding. Beyond reactionary mechanical presuppositions. He uses psychology to enact an eidetic science of transcendentalism within the empirical here and now by converting logical difference and temporal succession into egological acts. Having checked logic from psychologism and naturalism, he systematically reworks psychologism through rational psychology and ontology to project the transcendental ego as the real. He effectively counter-spins Kant’s Copernican Revolution by reworking psychology into a science of inner experience of consciousness, having objectified status to the point of grounding the sciences in eidetic psychology. “In this way, one may say, the enigma of the “Copernican Revolution” is completely solved.”[DFTB] Egological acts turn into objects, or phenomena, for Husserl, and this allows him to objectify the transcendental subject in the here and now from the beyond. A pure moment of existence, pure presence of self, inner sense is durated between spatiotemporal reality to perceive the continuum of primordial dator intuition projecting the subject’s objectivity in architectonic intuitions of the whole within the part to embrace a psychological and ontological follow-through of transcendental law.

Psychology makes the transcendental real by bridging self-consciousness with object relation through psychological acts of universal repetition coming together in a manifold unity of the transcendental ego. Husserl uses psychology to help phenomenology get a subject and a realm to relate data of primordial intuitions within an ontology of logical axioms, identity and intramental objects to convey intentional objects as correlations of sense and meaning from the individual out. The ego becomes the fixed point for Husserl to unlock consciousness and nature freely from immediate experience. But he also uses it epistemologically to secure scientific judgments of intersubjective agreement through the ego’s own difficult unity of Self as the measure and medium of internal chaos, isolation and death. Husserl’s many conceptions for the ego attempts to reduce an invariant premeditative form of ego, a pre-given and pre-reflected neutrality in order to work a first certainty principle, a prima philosophia into his constitutional phenomenology. Husserl secures the transcendental subject in the world through psychological reduction of the ego from duplicity of intentional consciousness and ontological difference of life and death to effect reality with the truth of its presence.

Under phenomenology, Husserl binds the subject’s phenomenal machinery of consciousness, its “transcendental problem” of duplicity, complexity  and paradox into a specimen, a psychological subject whose content fills the transcendental with manifestations of Being. This is describable and demonstrable within common sense experience. The psychological reduction exhibits transcendental logic at work but does so from forms of  consciousness constructing a reality already agreed upon. Controversial by the standards of traditional idealism, Husserl brings reflection into the empirical ego to unveil within its repetitious acts and immediate data, the view of immutable forms, invariant patterns and intramental objects of consciousness inverting Kant’s Copernican Revolution simply by completing the theory of judgments. Psychology is then purified of the object world to view the synthetic unity of time and space, logic and time, under the ego of essential Being. The intentional object of correlation. Husserl first certainty principle comes in the simple self-reflection of common-sense finding itself immersed in metaphysics by mere extension. To get to things themselves, he questions the nature of an object and this leads to a philosophy of reflection. But reflection becomes intuitive and spontaneous. Acts of reflection become perception not conception. Modes of consciousness exhibit Being in the framework of appearance. Husserl reworks the transcendental subject of German idealism into object awareness. The logic of consciousness is self-conscious and its singularity, individuality and objective Being is formed through a pre-Kantian theory of mind in Leibniz rational psychology and Descartes ontology. His anti-epistemology relates rational and empirical schools through psychology that intuits unity without having to deduce or induce it.

Psychology provides the objective pole of ego to perceive ideation within immediate experience. Psychological ego transmits the continuum of space and time within the here and now as the first object of experience. This is an ontological return of the transcendental deduction in full circle. At the same time of this end to dialectics in the subject, unifying the logical shape of self-consciousness, this unity of psychological ego is accessible to everyone and becomes the intersubjective relation and understanding agreeable to everyone.  Psychology mediates the universal in the particular by connecting transcendental rules to nature through the individual showing limited  transcendental unity in the human Being’s self-reflective reasoning.  Through the phenomenological lens, the empirical ego exists in transcendental acts forming appearance . The metaphysics of logic, the essence of consciousness down to its anti-nature or contradiction to nature its located.  Husserl reworks the logical machinery into psychological acts to pre-give the universal template of objectivity. He does this by sublating intuition to a devise of logic manipulating space and time with constitution of the object which fixes there meaning.


Rational Psychology Embodied Transcendental Ego

Husserl’s critique of psychologism renews transcendental logic as the language of consciousness. Intentionality drives the transcendental ego unity of two types of acts denoting categorial intuition and retention-protentional consciousness. Combined with eidetic reduction and epoché, Husserl collapses the transcendental apriori into an ontology of psychical acts as objects of primary relations between identity and entity without in turn reducing one to the other. An egological pluralism of eidetic psychology opens up the object by articulating the subject’s self-posited modes of Being to get a neutral view. Husserl wages a dialectic with science and German idealism through psychology, taking ownership over causality mediating between inner and outer sense. He breaks the spell cast by the neo-Kantians, with the twofold schematic and clumsy psychophysical parallel.

Husserl stress on an intuitive approach maintains empiricism but his foundationalism reduces its to an ideal hybrid notion of pre-givenness to introject categories. Through ontological possibility and pure ego of self-consciousness, Husserl’s transcendental ego taps into transcendental idealism first by defending the empirical given in the ego as a founded unity of logic and experience through the conscious psyche. The consciousness of objects makes a transcendental point about the real acts of pure consciousness connecting universal law with particular object from individual psyche. Husserl corrects the subtracted subjectivity within science by showing how the criteria of causality is built form the correlating thoughts of noncontradiction as the fundamental rule behind all possible experience. Modes of givenness is tied to validity of logical rules of combination. What is not possible, impossible, projects the arena or field of perception, a constant repetition and continuum of Being rather than non-Being. Husserl’s early period of logical absolutism sublates experience under logic by the principle of noncontradiction. He links this, as did Kant, to a schematic of time to show how logic correlates object appearance in succession of the fixed Self. He shows through the ontological difference the impossibility of science without this fixed universal subject that Kant backs away in hope of better worlds. He links logic to causality correlating the subject-object in space and time. He builds this with a new psychologism of the finite caught in a task of bring infinitudes to the here and now of immediate sense experience. The possible-actual distinction of truth and Being comes together in an analytic of pure ego defining his psychology that grounds the science. German idealism fixes on the notion of contradiction attempting to differ and identify ideal laws with object appearance here and beyond. The line between contradiction and spatiotemporal sense forms the subject working both ends of mind and objective individual Being. The mind perceives itself as a unity in the world and as an object like any other for the first time in the history of philosophy. Phenomenology uses psychology to bind space and time to the here and now of a self-conscious totality. A unique bubble of existence and paradox that Husserl embraces through intentionality. Husserl collapses metaphysic poles in one blow, demonstrating the massive investment the subject has in the object, in the world of appearance as a universal life and death matter.  Insight into a Self indicates an awkward logic of the mind that Husserl weaves into a totality of consciousness, the horizon, as a regress but not before a good glimpse of the individual who bears it.

Husserl reworks transcendental logic back through the ontological difference. He begins with self-reflection found in the individual located in the world. The reversal takes place on behalf of a firm realism beginning with  one’s own experience and the narrative of its nature and processes that differentiates itself from everything. In traditional terms, Husserl’s subjectivism is a contradiction that upholds the law of contradiction as object in order to change the rules of perception.  He freezes the frame to achieve an analytic that exists. He breaks out of logic’s tautological self-saming dilemma into the thinking patterns of the man on the street. Husserl gets to the subject by questioning the scientific object and sublates science to a philosophical paradigm of self-consciousness while turning philosophy into a rigorous science empirically given. The power of Husserl lies in his weird attempt  to formulate a transcendental realism as pure science. His Victorian no-nonsense approach to the things themselves, to intuitive based analysis quickly becomes a colossal discursive reasoning, full of axillary concepts bridging a contradiction found in emphasizing the individual as ground for scientific agreement. His phenomenology of mind exhibits a contradiction in the ontological difference used against epistemology down the line by admixing and projecting a foundational ontology with a transcendental psychology. He bulldozes ego-consciousness into experience through a  psychology leaving little to nature what is anticipated by reason. He attempts to undermine Kant’s critique of temporalized ego as copies of self in succession of time forgotten in memory.

Husserl works a complicated duplicity between ego and subject into a synthetic-nexus. The transcendental ego is a dialectical construct in suspension. He claims to have a pre-given unified object in psychological acts of pure ego correlating the whole. This object speaks and reveals the subject. His philosophy of mind constructs an egology to mediate the modern school debate in epistemology through an ontology of acts forming a self-sufficient essential Being. The individual is universalized, the secrete source for the sensible lies in its acts and especially self-conscious intentions where sense and meaning are unified. The essential self-giving object of appearance and subjective continuum of succession come together in the immediate individual whose “synthesis-nexus” can be seen as an object of space and time once, paradoxically, a transcendental fractal is positioned beyond sense experience to bring consciousness to Being without temporalization and conceptual speculation.

Husserl captures the Kantian thing-in-itself by breaking the block on reason from betting the individual as the whole. Husserl does not care about soliloquy and intersubjectivity because the facture lies in the subject alone. The problem of transcendence from immanent consciousness. Husserl introjects the transcendental subject empowered in empirical ego with transcendency. Husserl empowers subjectivity with causality, with essence, meanings and intentions under full empirical right by dictating possible realities, knowing impossible realities to the actual through from the individual, against scientific realism. The transcendental subject of logic, mathematics, time theory, space theory and causality is finally given existence and Being, in the here and now. The ego unifies these forms as its matrix of being the first object of space and time. As an intentional object without a past or a future. The pure in-itself of entity that locks space and time to mind by measure of the here and now immediate self-consciousness. The atomic core of the dialectic between logic and time. The transcendental ego is the real before any sense of empirical ego arrives with a distinction. Inverting the instrument on itself to illustrates the Other to scientific objectivity opens a Pandora box. The ego shows the truth of the transcendental subject in the here and now and rests the violent antinomies of subjectivism to the realities of daily life. But it will have a problem in agreeing on these acts and upon find new ones that are not merely repetitive,  analytical and closed.

Psychological phenomenological reduction performs a unique deconstruction of the empirical ego into self-consciousness, into critical reflection of immediate sense experience. It shows, from basic perception out, this unitary center of ego bridging two worlds, of life and death, immanent and transcendent modalities of Being. Husserl points out that the ontological difference is lived. It pre-gives us or thinks us in the shape of the ego having to mediate possible experience and actual experience. How this forms scientific causality. Husserl uses actual experience, everyday lived experience, to reduce a special genus of knowledge in the “pure ego” hierarchically bent.

Husserl corrects Cartesian dualism reduced through Kantian twofold conceptualism or representationalism into intuitive structures. He brings the truth of idealism to ordinary reality. Husserl tries to make reflection an intuitive act and object not learnt behavior reduced to nature. Psychological acts reveal not only a pure ego but the transcendental in the real through categorical intuitions projecting space and time. The degree of their objectification from the fixed subject is their measure of Being that denotes the whole. Psychological descriptions of transcendental logic, intentionality and intuition of concepts as objects like any other is a realism and empiricism, a positivism as Husserl admits, in a noematic sea of ontological intentionalities. It must link to the natural sciences to get substance, to claim through psychology an “object” of traditional subjectivism that outdoes the sciences with their own notion of something just given devoid of consciousness. “Phenomenological psychology is the unconditionally necessary foundation for the construction of a rigorously scientific psychology which would be the genuine and actual analogue of exact natural science.”[AML-§8]

Reflection dictates to appearance and this opens science to a proper delimited nature that can absorb all metaphysics of Self. Immediate consciousness of objects is self-conscious perceiving. The object is not without its subject. All points are fixed by a superclass monad. A space and time vehicle shaped kinetically and imagined infinitely. Husserl puts the ghost into the machine. Denounces the Deists. The psychophysical parallel, is a cosmology of a logical whole by default to psychological objectifications  to its own demise. One can intuit, in a sense, the acts of consciousness having invariant forms that repeat and remain constant. These are noticeable in temporized fields presencing successive alteration, changing mutation (Genetics) with categorical projected continuity. Husserl must unify reflection and intuition in one act of consciousness to bring the pure ego and foundational first principle to light. He uses psychology by default of  transcendental antinomies to erecting a secular humanism and Hypokeimenon of the modern world.

A pre- reflective (concept) and pre-given (object) forms the transcendental ego. A pre-logical, pre-dialectical unity in Being across temporal succession and spatial extension of appearance. Husserl reduces the Kantian subject to ego through acts of perceptive understanding and/or categorial intuition, retentional-protentional time consciousness, that were considered admixtures and paralogisms in Kant’s time. He then, through the psychological reduction, shows this as objective acts of pure mind. He makes them appear transcendent as intuited. Assuming from the start the metaphysics of logic (Hegel), he tries to invert Kant’s attack on rational psychology as paralogism and amphiboly to a new synthetic apriori judgment. Husserl manifests the Kantian Transcendental Object, thing-in-itself, from the inside out, erecting a transcendental realism that Kant banned, and was unacknowledged by anyone at the time other than by Fichte’s and Schelling’s self-reverting ego. In a professional environment of neo-Kantianism, Husserl invest the ego as object correlate to traditional subjectivism and trumps the mechanism of objectivity from a more literal sense of what is real. Unlike the German idealists, Husserl uses psychology and psychic life to try to intuit Kantian synthesis of re-presentation in the true light of their anticipatory functions. The nexus of intuitive and psychological intentional objects restores a fixed position before Kantian antinomies.

Psychological phenomenology is a specific reduction beginning with the natural attitude of everyday human consciousness. Through reflection, Husserl takes this state of consciousness as the source for objectivity without parallel. Separating logic from psychology, he finds the transcendental subject objectified through psychology and the egological functions and acts of empirical ego demonstrating transcendental functions. Psychology correlates logic and object by anticipating and regulating the object through relations projected by protention and retentional ego acts of categorical repetition. Ego perception holds memory and universal law in connection to the possibility for object awareness preceding over what does and does not exist. Under Husserl this because wonderfully chaotic. Husserl and Heidegger enter what Kant calls a “material idealism”, attempting to fix the logical subject of temporal regression in space as vectored point or object-correlate from which the subject of time has immediate and essential Being without any reproductive activity. A type of transcendental realism enters their foundational ontology against Kant’s own jargon, resting on the possibility of being a transcendental idealist and empirical realist casting the divided subject as Absolute Kant explores the idea of material idealism as the one and only proof of the external world using the object of succession “dialectically” to grasp the identity and truth of time and subject’s temporalized self-consciousness. He uses this to rule over science and then he goes on to sublate Being finite by the reduction of time to a category of subjective delimited intention Psychology provides an intuitive base for understanding the unity of the subject with object without metaphysical antinomy. He asserts a transcendental unity over this by discovering a pre-reflective ego unity overcoming idealism and naive realism resolving Kant’s dilemma of transcendence through psychology.

Psychology makes logic real. He notes rather late in his career of the propaedeutic value it holds for phenomenology. It helps teach how to see ideas as objects, universals as entities and the mind and self as object Being.  Husserl exhibits self-consciousness as an object like any other. He brings self-consciousness into an object for which we are conscious. Psychological analogue injects consciousness into all judgments as the only thing consistently there to hinge a predicate of existence upon. Psychology points the way to essentialism without a metaphysical leap.  He works this through an egological and eidetic analysis describing pure states of consciousness framing appearance, turning representationalism into presentationalism (apprehension to apperception) and clumsy conceptualism is given a body.


Phenomenological Psychological Nexus: Egology

In Husserl’s Cartesian Mediations says the following: “The difference between empirical and transcendental subjectivity remained unavoidable; yet just as unavoidable, but also incomprehensible, was their identity.” [CM-84] This “identity” is gold for Husserl’s analytics to take up a passive synthesis of relations forming around the individual ego counterbalancing the ontological difference conceived by science. Husserl finds an equalizer in the psychological ego of self-consciousness. “It is so everywhere that a “unity of consciousness” is related to a transcendent unity of an object within a grasping of something given.” [HI2-237]  The synthesis proceeds all analytics and dialectics of determinate negation, as the thing itself, ahead of all labor and negation as the positive ego-entity. The analytic subject becomes synthetic by changing the rules of the game. This comes down to idealism in affirm the subject.


“On the contrary, we have here a transcendental idealism that is nothing more than a consequentially executed self-explication in the form of a systematic egological science, an explication of my ego as subject of every possible cognition, and indeed with respect to every sense of what exists, wherewith the latter might be able to have a sense for me, the ego.” [CM-86]


Husserl turns philosophical reflection into scientific method through phenomenology. He makes this accessible by using psychology to objectify the logic of subjective thought. The formal syllogism of identity puts consciousness into the ego to ground the empirical mirroring apriori constructs of possible experience. Pure psychology “furnishes the necessary a priori foundation for empirical psychology with regard to the pure psychic.” [DFTB] Husserl’s inverts the natural reduction of logic by psychological spin. The ego is the pre-givenness by subtracting “thinking” from the subject as did Kant through time. He thinks he gets to a firm subject that is original rather than what Kant thought was a copy fading in succession to memory and forgetfulness. He works this through a formalized intuition to achieve  sense of ego and then brackets this natural attitude to arrive at the pure ego as correlate of transcendental subject.  A living logical entity. His subject to individual ego forms a monad or soul-thing that combines a unitary self-conscious Being, suspended in temporal succession bracketing past and future tense, to objectify the subject without regress or natural reification. He stops the metaphysical retrogress of the Kantian subject in the depths of time and the empirical ego to the “thing-in-itself” of natural regress and eternity of space. Husserl uses psychology to find a solution for what he call the transcendental problem in duplication of the analytic or the predictive and synthetic unity of one’s own ego the source for the Other. The pre-reflective ego is a first principle of unity and indeed a pre-given entity of Being. The mind finds itself as Being-in-itself, securing the Kantian problem of transcendence from immanent thought (transcendental faculties) to transcendent Being within self-consciousness.

Husserl egology is the “working out of the idea of an a priori psychological phenomenology has demonstrated to us the possibility that one can, through a consistently carried out phenomenological reduction, disclose in eidetic generality the essence proper to mental subjectivity.”[AML-§12] This is “within empirical certainty, namely, distinctions of act.” [HPS-88] Psychology provides the sense and ontology the meaning to effect a phenomenal unity of the soul-thing beyond Descartes and before Kantian infinite regress. The transcendental is given a vessel in the ego that undercuts the empirical given with a pre-given Self and bends ideality into intramental objects, into Being, by their relational and durational presence of consciousness. This is the first “appearance”, the primordial intuition. From the first person out, by proxy of personal individuality he springboards to ontological wholeness. Concerning scientific reason and judgments, the goal to secure a relation between thought and Being, embraces egological acts for objects and then forms an ontology to secure their identity across experience by sublating difference and multiplicity to a self-saming constant of logical noncontradiction forming his first principle of possible experience in general. The transcendental is always in the empirical and Husserl minds this shaft. There is cosmology in the uses of psychology to manifest gods out form furniture (Rilke). The transcendental sphere rests on the law of contradiction and how it projects appearance through intuitive succession of object and temporal self-consciousness.  In its psychological composition, intentional acts of meaning become intuitive of their transcendent objectness. Intentionality bridges dualism in one go. Husserl uses psychology to get to consciousness and science depends on this “clarifying disclosure of the consciousness that, as such, constitutes all objectivity.”[AML-13] Husserl states: “Admittedly> this looks like a restoration of psychologism.”[AML-§9]  But it’s the Queen of psychology for sure defined as pure psychology giving an ontological way out from transcendental tautology.

Husserl’s phenomenology takes Kant’s notion of synthetic apriori judgment and Hegel dialectical movement of phenomenology into living presence. By covert dialectic, Husserl claims to intuit the apriori. He inverts deduction and subverts induction by bridging through rational psychology under Leibniz, holding Descartes’ first philosophy to a level of ontological relations of pure possibility from the individual psyche out. The transcendental ego is the unity of the continuum of spatiotemporal appearance, by relating to itself as an object

In the Ideas 1, Husserl talks about learning to see ideas in positive constructive form in psychological acts. Not of association but of intention grounded on unified principles (identity and difference).  Psychology presented a unified subject by taking the “naturalistic into the personalistic”, taking association of ideas to intentional meaning structures and teleological wholes. This comes down to the individual subject, human psyche and psychological ego of intention and motivation. Husserl says: “No causal research, no matter how far-reaching, can improve the understanding which is ours when we have understood the motivation of a person.” [HI2-241] Motivation is brought to meaning conferring acts pushed forward as the sense of the ego. The psychophysical subject  by necessity of nature to reflect on meanings that have no sense as much, in regards to the ontological difference, sensibility is meaningless devoid of the individual. He ties epistemology in a knot of immediate self-consciousness open to interpretation and ultimately free imaginative variation. What is found is subjective projections that contrary to delusion have managed to get to the thing itself and know it without skepticism and without using limited sensibility to define its horizon. Husserl fixes the flux  and captures that moment of the one and the many in one act-given essential Being. He sees in acts a route to primordial dator intuition archetypical objects or act as Being. Husserl’s panlogism becomes a techno pagan through psychology. Two types of acts; categorial intuition and retentional-protentional time consciousness perform reduction of ego to both entity and validity in one go. Association becomes intended by apriori “facts” of consciousness projecting its own appearance as transcendental ego.

This first phenomenological reduction is the egological one denoting the self-contained continuum of sense in the individual ego. Egology pinpoints the connection between consciousness and sense through acts of Being that remain constant through the flus and alteration of objects. Intentional consciousness exhibits the “ultimate subject, the phenomenological one, which can never be bracketed and is the very subject doing all eidetic phenomenological research, is the pure Ego.” [HI2-183] The pure ego becomes fixed and final in a syllogism predicating existence from psychological acts performing synthetic apriori judgments by extemporized intuitions. The pure ego becomes the transcendental ego, the irreducible first principle: “that nothing exists for me otherwise than by virtue of the actual and potential performance of my own consciousness.”[FTL-234]

Through the epoché of the natural attitude and bracketing conceptualism, Husserl works the last reduction by subtracting the ”I” from the activity of “thinking” to arrive at a pure subject or ego holding the continuum between two worlds. The systematic first principle of truth and Being must separate itself from its thoughts and objects to be this consciousness of something. He says: “We have to go back to the consciousness in which things are given to us originarily and so perfectly that we can be lacking nothing for grasping the universal essential form which prescribes the apriori rule for such objects.” [HI2-37] Ego-acts form the consistency principle of a new dynamic theory of consciousness as ever-present irreducible suspending the flow of representations for a temporal I, das Ichheit, of pure presence of Self in the moment (Anwesenheit) of immediate consciousness. In the realm of the unreflective life of immediate sense to find a unitary point for all to agree. Through intentionality, he takes over the ego acts of immediate perceptions into the machinery of epoché, description, retentional-protentional internal time consciousness, eidetic reduction and categorial intuition (Wesenshau). They comprise the essential correlating forms of logic, maths, time theory, space theory and causality. The five known transcendental logics forming the framework for consciousness begins to take shape as Intelligible Being, by which and through which everything may be (Kant).

The “I think” is replaced by the intentional “I perceive something” introjecting psychological content into the subject of consciousness from the start. The pure ego, which turns into the transcendental subject is self-sustained ontology with a varieties of egos within the frozen succession of a temporalized immediate self-consciousness. But this is still a psychological field in ignorance of the gulf separating the ideal and the real of its own intrasubjective nature. Its own self-posited objectivity turns the phenomenological gaze on a dialectic that uses non-Being of its limitation to set the field for the positive sciences. Mirroring their subtracted subject from the death of their object. Lacking all sight.

But here within the everyday, Husserl warns against “confounding of the ego with the reality of the I as human psyche”  [FTL-230] He divides psychology from the natural attitude and defines the ego from  immanent and transcendent objects to secure his subjective universal individual from critique by all camps. Psychology is taken into the teleology of pure meaning, to the eidetic ideal possibilities of pure ego devoid of thinking but not devoid of body sensation and essential insight. Husserl asserts here the identity principle I=I to self-saming ego functions and the self-reverting ego, as Being in space through the copula of essential relation. The thing perceived lies in the perceiving act as such, that shapes appearance from within to enact validity without dispute. This insight into “a living intentionality” forms a pure ego and the beginning of a transcendental turn. [FTL-279] Here the pure ego is experienced “in-itself” without the copy instruments of conceptualism and signification, image and sign. The ego is real. He says that the:


Cartesian reduction to my ego as the subject of my pure consciousness, a new sort of possibility of cognition and being become the problem – namely the transcendental possibility of something existing in itself. As something exiting with this sense of me, exclusively by virtue of the possibilities of my pure consciousness.”[FTL-230]


Husserl’s reductions are meant to find symmetry of Selfhood over and beyond the subject who bears it in the world that made it. The reduction goes back to dualism and hierarchy, but it does define the individual uniquely from the bastion collective point. ”I, the “transcendental ego,” am the ego who “precedes” everything worldly…Therefore I, the constituting Ego, am not identical with myself as a psychophysical reality; and my psychic life… is not identical with my transcendental ego…” [FTL-238] Husserl subtracts thinking from the Ego and winds up in a pre-reflective non-consciousness, a state non-unawareness. Time figures into his universal constant, but it’s logic that takes intention and then retention into a circle of self-saming propositions of rational psychology because: “Consciousness has its own essence” and “Objective thinghood …is determined as a this only in relation to consciousness and the conscious subject” the reduction becomes too literally and this is Husserl’s platonic realism.  [HI2-315]  By division of the “I” as pure ego from its “thinking,” through a long line of intentional polarities he secures Being-in-itself and then commences journey back to these primordial prime movers of intuition to describe a primal first of infinite reduction.


“The crucial question here is this: is the personal Ego constituted on the basis of pure self-perception and lived-experience?”[HI2-264]




“Is it necessary that I, in reflective experience, run through my modes of comportment in order for the personal Ego to be able to come to consciousness as the unity of these modes, or can it already be “conscious” in pre-givenness, before it was given originally through such series of identifying and realizing experiences, which, as reflections on the cogitationes, focus on the comportment in relation to circumstances?”[HI2-264]


This is the Being that cannot not be. Irreducible and full of apriori content, of primordial dator intuitions of Self to posited world it become everything and nothing. This “being is essentially incapable of being crossed out.” [HPS-155] What is left in this state of pure Being as undetermined. According to Kant this sinks into a  standpoint of individual existence expressed in a the wrong form of total knowledge. The pre-reflective “I” gets lost in possibilities devoid of distinction and without knowledge of death. It becomes uncritical. This reduction loses the precious cargo of the individual in the archetype of purity and idol of permanence. He loses the object as well in the apriori bound tight to an analytic of rational psychological categories of scholasticism. Husserl’s attempt to turn evidence into entity and validity to Being turns either into a colossal tautological and empirical hologram or it drifts into the empty subject. Description is cut short by transcendental reduction. The ontic lost in the ontological. The intuitive admixture with logic confounds the critical ontological difference of immanent and transcendent to psychological subterfuge.


Internal Time-Consciousness

Logical reduction of ego turns pre-reflective intuition of time to explain the here and now university of the individual. His theory of internal time consciousness stops time to fix the in-itself of essential archetypes. Husserl takes control over the epistemological impurity of alteration, mutation and decay. The succession of its flow is relative to a fixed point as its existence. Husserl bring the sense of the subject through time to a form outside of time. He does this by noting that objective time is a delusion. “The image of a stream plays a trick on us. Intentional analysis of immanent temporality actually destroys this image and at the same time places its legitimate sense before us.” [AML-§4]   Eidetic reduction and epoché begins to form a pure ego around  “primordial now-consciousness”. [HI-219] Husserl sublates time under logic reducing succession to a “kind of ongoing synthesis”. [AML] He finds an anomaly in the duration of the ego behind each object and each act. “For not every synthesis in consciousness exists as this type of continuous synthesis.”[AML-§8]

He crosses-out temporizing succession from mitigating the act’s own essence of mediation for a quick fix of given objectivity in the raw. There is no past or future in this moment, no memory or projection.  Husserl fixes the ego’s transcendental beachhead, reflective acts as intuitions, by making time an object of logic. He syllogizes the temporal flow to now-time. From analog to digital presentation, the succession of time and object movement in space is unified in consciousness.  Husserl says the manifold rests on the “whole problem of the temporalization of the sphere of immanent time” [HI2-409] He works out Kant’s unity of the subject through time and advances immediate temporal awareness of self without successive selves, copies or representations of self in time, by dividing the moment into the this digit of presence, of now-time, dividing past-present and futural nows, temporalizing the temporal of reflection, to secure the objectification of the subject. Fixing the flux of time he then connects possible and actual realities to judgment by having manipulated sense, squaring the circle. Logical acts durate the in-itself of pure ego because they fix a point from which space and time meet. Intentionality secures an irreducible subject or pure ego by controlling the flow of time into an intentional object of the “now”. Self-consciousness through time, as the tradition maps out into Kant, is reduced to the pure I without successive copies fading in memory or deluded by history and generative evolution.

The transcendental ego is a Victorian time machine blueprinting singularity. Husserl attaches the ego to the transcendental here through Leibniz’s law of continuity to unify and hold the pure ego above the movement of change. An intentional web of pure presence, Anwesenheit, brings eidetic reduction to hypostatic union within the transcendental, with intramental objects of the irreal. The ego is now-Time. Husserl talks of genesis and sedimentation of history in the subject but this is transcendental logic talking about a passive synthesis contradicting a purely analytic starting point. Pre-reflected pure ego behind each act of object awareness posits the intentional correlation, the noema of appearance from the start and form between past and future.  Essence is caught within appearance, in the blink of an eye, without mediation. This sense holds over time the fix finitude made absolute. Husserl exhibits this paradox and objectifies it as the transcendental ego in space, existing by suspending a past or a future that would conflict with its presence.

Retentional-protentional consciousness enclose egological acts into ontology.  Psychological acts make the subject objective, grasped in the pure moment of space. Subjective form and multiples selves of succession are overcome. Intentionality distills the temporalization of the temporal to formulate an admixture. This begins with insisting on purifying reflection of temporal elements. Husserl freezes the moment to attach ideality and intuition together as one act under Ego. This can be seen and described free from distortion and open to interpretation by, however, a genetic intuition to learn to see ideas in the object. Kant’s apriori intuition of space and time are taken ownership by Husserl, however awkwardly, by the reduction of time to a category held long enough to give the transcendental ego. Time produces the reduction of intentionality to retain and project reality in the original intuitive setting that is usually lost in the act of reflection. Time is the logic of self-consciousness and this is the source for a unified subject that degrees transcendental law.


Phenomenological Transcendental Reduction

Like all German idealists, both Husserl and Heidegger refuse to surrender psychology to the natural sciences. But unlike idealism, they see psychology as a bridge between inner thought and outer sense as recourse from the empty logical subject. They reset the subject on the continuum of the finite made whole from the psychological intention. They firm the science of psychology as “a priori typical forms without which it is not possible to think the I (or the we), consciousness, the objects of consciousness, and hence any psychic life at all, along with all the distinctions and essentially possible forms of syntheses that are inseparable from the idea of an individual and communal psychic whole.”[DFTB] In Husserl’s and Heidegger’s second Draft B of the Encyclopaedia Britannica article “Phenomenology“, the pure ego runs into space or time and the danger of becoming cosmogony and theological. Having founded the subject for psychology, the constitution turns ontological on the insistence on what Kant would call a mystical understanding of intuition and so on.  As soon as the pure ego surfaces Husserl turns the psychological phenomenological reduction to its self-regulating unities by bracketing-out past and future non-existent variables and given entities relative to the ego. “In a word, the psychological-phenomenological reduction is transformed into the transcendental-phenomenological <reduction>…” [AML-§9] The transcendental question of disclosing essential Being cannot be “psychological subjectivity, not even that psychological subjectivity which eidetically and in phenomenological purity is the topic of psychological phenomenology.”[AML-13]  However, “we will proceed stepwise from the psychological <phenomenological> reduction, and treat the transcendental reduction as a further reduction which grows out of and fulfills the psychological reduction.[AML-13]

The transcendental reduction gets to the first principle of entity or idea of an absolute subjectivity, that “functions everywhere in hiddenness” reduced to an objectivity of the “whole transcendental life, in whose intentional syntheses all real and ideal objects, with their positive existential validity, are constituted. The transcendental reduction yields the thematic field of an absolute phenomenological science.”[DFTB] But, the medium of phenomenology is limited to the subject seeing itself as object, as a function, taking itself for an analogue of nature anyway by intentional unity. Husserl argues that pure psychology completes a self-contained relational model by the “possibility of disclosing, via a systematic phenomenological reduction, the proper essential character of psychic subjects in eidetic universality and in all their possible forms… Although this phenomenological-eidetic psychology is not an empirical psychology of the factical human being, nonetheless it now seems called upon to clarify concretely, and down to the last detail, the ontological sense of world as such.” [DFTB]

Psychologism turns into ontological difference erecting and limiting reality. The subject of self-consciousness found in the reflection on possible realities, of immortality within a mortal body is the only real thing. This logic “which puts up an unbridgeable gulf between ideal and real, is there by lost and the notion of normality which is substituted for it, confuses the basic concepts of logic.” [HLU-217]  Losing this difference, science loses all perception. Phenomenology takes the ego and matches it to pure possibility and everything gets lost here.  Ontology takes over and idealism secures the subject through knowing the ontological difference. Like Kant, Husserl embraces the old ontological doctrine…“that the knowledge of ‘possibilities’ must precede that of actualities“ (Wirklichkeiten) is, in my opinion, in so far as it is rightly understood and properly utilized, a really great truth.” [HI-213] He says that: “The distinction in question is prior to all metaphysics…”. [HLU-569] It forms his dialectical act of psychological-ontological nexus that “turns psychology the psychic being of facticity to the universal subjectivity, which in its actualities and possibilities is one.” [HC-208] The unifying synthetic function of form and content propelling the Kantian theory of judgments is enveloped. Husserl calls this the epistemological circle that he seeks to overcome. He works this difference to defined his transcendental ego as an immortal being. Early on, Husserl’s blames “psychologistic logicians” ignoring the “never-to-be-bridged gulf between ideal and real laws, between normative and causal regulation, between logical and real necessity, between logical and real grounds. No conceivable gradation could mediate between the ideal and the real.” [HLU-104] Husserl uses this against psychologism and then places the transcendental ego right in it as a type of unity of the here and now. Husserl injects universals in-through the ontological difference to then somehow look back to validate the projection.  But the origin does not really matter because it’s the synthetic unity of data that identifies an absolute. This is what Husserl seeks to bring out in the everyday reduction of consciousness that falls into regress by instance on originality.

In Husserl’s Amsterdam lecture: “The task that now arises is how to make this correlation between constituting subjectivity and constituted objectivity intelligible, not just to prattle about it in empty generality but to clarify it in terms of all the categorial forms of worldliness <Weltlichkeit>, in accordance with the universal structures of the world itself.”[AML-11] The reduced product is a paralleled transcendental ego locked into an infinite analytic of existence. Husserl advances consciousness as an object and intentionality becomes the reason why we exist. From knowing and being the ontological difference the subject enters the metaphysics of totality. In “the transcendental sphere,… infinity of cognitions that precede all deduction… has nothing to do with deduction and, being thoroughly intuitive, resists any sort of methodic or constructive symbolization.”[HI2-410]

Transcendental intuitive understanding returns to a kind of parallel of pure ego against a total consciousness. Pure subjectivism.  A number of fields reflect here the continued division of the subject.  Husserl attacks the psychophysical but he too in his psychologism takes part in dividing up the subject. But his conception fall below the standard of idealism in double dealing from the psychological. Here, traditional dualism is force into the alliance and “wondrous parallelism of the psychological and the transcendental, which extends to all descriptive and genetic determinations that can be worked out on either side in the respective systematically maintained attitude.”[DFTB] But ego essence shows the history of man as a failed god and the individual defeated by death. The horror of the Kantian island of cognition being completely navigated shines through Husserl reduction. Claustrophobic soliloquy and tautology threatens Husserl stubbornness to find a fixed position drowns the ego acts into the status quo. Husserl’s Wesensschau forces the Kantian subjective manifold to hierarchy of self-preservation in the here and now. But here and now is no resting place for consciousness and phenomenology forces the individual to be something in the world, to intend an object, complete a judgment and be the real in one act without any mediation. It is a spontaneous knowledge of Being, a totality in pure consciousness, without letting actuality impair the intuition with tautology or bad memory. This is the Hegelian bacchanalian Being-in-itself, in which no member is not drunk with its presence repeating the same as the eternal never changing status quo. Kant is not overcome here in Husserl’s model but then again Kant is ignored for good reason. Dasein and its ontological difference presences death and Husserl prefigures the void of empty subjectivity as the fulfillment of human possible all the same. The drive for a totality became frozen to place and then turns in a circle.

Transcendental reduction of psychology provides the relational pivot upon the Self of individual ego. It then gives the world, foundational ontology, as its correlate of predication. The self-contained reality, in which  “all pure psychic phenomena have the ontological sense of worldly real facts” becomes shear empirical admixture, what Husserl calls a methexis. [DFTB] Logical noncontradiction and spatiotemporal object succession form the totality of Being. Oscillating the best of both worlds in the here and now, Husserl and Heidegger try to describe in Draft B a foundational ontology that would be apriori of the whole by knowing the par t and being the relational medium. A phenomenological correlation research shows this part unifying the whole, transmitting the one without contradiction.

A fact and essence and ontic-ontological dyad and duplicity of form surfaces in the transcendental reduction of intentionality. The colossal siege machinery of Husserl discourse reason finally subverts the Kantian “schematic” splitting the ego into a type of force field of consciousness of horizons, and modalities of noetic-noematic-noema successions of data or acts in the present. He further empower the schema with  the imagination, phantasie Vorstellung  of possible varieties of thought and Being to arrest the thing in-itself to an invariant concept.  Imagination exhausts all possible modes of appearance, in the blink of an eye of presence, to secure the totality of givenness. Ego acts  also have modes of conscious invariant processes correlating sense and meaning outlining the thing perceived and filling the subject with Being.


we obtain with progressive evidence when we uncover to intuition our own concrete subjectivity and then, with the aid of free changing of its actuality into other possibilities of any concrete subjectivity as such direct our regard to the invariable that can be seen throughout – that is to say: the essentially necessary.”[FTL-26]


Husserl warrants free imaginative variation to help fix the invariant form of sense of thing and Being of matter at this point. This is eidetic variation in possibility and apriori conceivability alone, “creates the basis for pure phenomenological psychology.”[AML-§13] Husserl says that “by means of a series of fantasy variations which offer a multiplicity of possible new perceptions projected as possible: <that is,> a synthetically annexed and joined set of fantasy variations” the disclosure of invariant transcendental ego in the act of “anticipatory sketching out of new moments which belongs to the way of being of the perceived” prefigures the moment.”[AML-§8] But this is desperate reconstruction anyway. The transcendental ego projects transcendent Being as nature by a knowledge of the whole from imagining all possible modes of appearance. This is the pre-ontological pre-given world of subjective forms act of immediacy that logical production. “Consequently, phenomenological psychology, systematically carried out, would seem to encompass within itself in radical generality the totality of research on correlations between objective being and consciousness. It gives the appearance of being the proper place for all transcendental clarifications.”[AML-§10]

Husserl must not let the transcendental reduction of intentionality, the reflection on self-consciousness merely repeat the data expressed in Being of descriptive accounts. Nor must he go to conceptualism by having to reproduce the object in subjective forms, words, images, and common mediations of intersubjectivity to get to the real. He must mediate here with intuition this  subject caught between the original and the copy trying to explain the difference and cannot do so other than by soliloquy. A static momentary universal holds the movement in a status quo to secure a standpoint. He captures the totality of succession  from this moment  but this is no double negation.

Husserl’s insistence on both intuition and eidetic reduction forces psychology to take on a metaphysical role and yet at the same time teach how to understand phenomenology. Husserl discovers late the propaedeutic value of psychology for phenomenology. He argues that a psychological phenomenological reduction masters the method by proxy of ego to learn how to see ideas in objects as their correlative unity of being both.  In his Amsterdam lectures he notes that the “building of a transcendental philosophy must perform a Copernican revolution, a transcendental revolution in psychological phenomenology. This indirect path through the positivity of empirical and eidetic psychology has great propaedeutic advantages…”[AML-§16] A psychological reduction of the transcendental realizes Psychology intuits the transcendent subject rather than thinks it. It  is a pedagogical devise for intuiting transcendental phenomenology philosophical reflection to the empirical ego. Psychological phenomenology offers a solution to the incomprehensibility of transcendental system.


“Only very late did one come to see that in the return (which is possible at any time) from the transcendental attitude to the natural attitude, the whole of transcendental cognition within the transcendental field of intuition changes into pure psychological (eidetic) cognition within the field of psychic positivity, both individual and interpersonal. That very insight led to a pedagogical idea about how to introduce people to phenomenology given all the difficulties related to its unaccustomed transcendental attitude. Essentially every philosophy has to start with the attitude of positivity and only [subsequently], by motivations far removed from natural life, clarify the meaning and necessity of the transcendental attitude and research; therefore, the systematic development of pure psychology as a positive science can serve in the first instance as a pedagogical propaedeutic.” [DFTB]


Transcendent-Transcendental Duplicity: Psychophysical Parallel

For Husserl, Being is not a predict of existence, it cannot be seen. He uses the term essential Being to denote epistemological judgment. Husserl’s transcendental ego conjures a contradiction to prove its point and this is its failure. But its stubborn terminology and “two-sidedness of consciousness” which attempts to contain dualism and contradiction within intentional poles, is a unique picture of scientific self-consciousness and the agreement about reality that needs to be performed in each act of consciousness as the “all-embracing conscious life which, reaching beyond the individual ego, links each ego to every other in real and possible communication…”[AML-§8] Know thyself first and the Other becomes intuitively conjoined in agreement by analogue of intentional polarities and the eidetics of phenomenological correlation.

Husserl guns for a stronger subject to unify the intersubjective; “the apriori of a pure subjectivity, both as single subjectivity within an intersubjectivity as well as a single subjectivity in itself.”[AML-§8] The difficulty comes with the intuitive totality that turns to the machinery of essentialism to hold its appearance to an image of the same as the “invariant which preserves itself necessarily through all the variations.”[AML-§8] Husserl ties invariants in one’s own ego validity to the analogue of the Other by trying to secure the transmission of the whole within intentional consciousness. Analytically determined, the synthesis or unity from the ontological definition of consciousness and psychological objectivism of immanent subjectivity establishes the world from an absolute with anti-metaphysical standing. Here “destiny of scientific philosophy hinged, and still hinges, on establishing it as genuine transcendental philosophy, or what goes with this, on a radical overcoming of every form of psychologism…”[AML-§10] Subjective possibility is determined by a psychology of “time and place constitutes for itself the meaning and legitimacy of a world existing in objective truth.”[AML-§10]This gives a portal for the transcendental to embodied ego, the matrix of Being of Both. Singularity of intention erodes into a dialectic of duplicity, of the I=I, to secure the identity of the ego without doubt. The only way to secure this primordial ego and to know it or be it is to be eternally divided. The transcendental reduction depends on the psychological its objectification. Here a “ double meaning… arises as soon as the genuine transcendental question is posed. The disclosure of this double sense which links psychological and transcendental subjectivity together, and indeed not accidentally unites them, is brought about when the divorce is accomplished between phenomenological psychology and transcendental phenomenology…”[AML-§10] The epoché of intention, reenacting Cartesian reduction embraces the duality as its nature and sense of a “remarkable parallelism, indeed, to a certain extent an overlap of phenomenological psychology and transcendental phenomenology, both understood as eidetic disciplines.”[HML-14] The psychological reduction mirrors the transcendental forming the presence of existence in-itself without regressive surplus. But to affirm this takes a transcendental unity by stopping the reduction of intentionality on the second reflection from the duplicity of self flowing into non-Being of an infinitude of copies. Husserl limits temporal succession and memory to a dialectic to stop the regress and the progress to achieve his hard won moment of the Absolute. But an intuitive unity fades in this model of logical differentiation that asserts the identity as well. “My transcendental ego is, as the ego of transcendental experience of self, clearly “different” from my natural human ego, and yet it is anything but some kind of second something separate from it; it is anything but a doubleness in the natural sense of one being outside the another.” [AML-§13] He asks the question: “But how do we overcome the paradox of our doubling <Verdoppelung> and that of all possible subjects? We are fated as human beings to be the psychophysical subjects of a mental life in the real world and, at the same time, transcendentally to be subjects of a transcendental, world-constituting life-process.”[AML-13] The answer is yes, the subject is a paradox that he is trying to double negate. He stops methodological reflection from regress by limiting and constricting its attention back to immediate sense data of the ego as the resolution to the this problem of transcendence. The psychological phenomenological reduction is used to stop the transcendental from repeated itself.

Husserl’s ego-acts are preserved “if-then” syllogisms of the “I think” to self-intuit ego-unities through projection. Intuition finally admits to being conception. Upholding the transcendental reduction at the cost of soliloquy, spoke on behalf of the individual’s object perponderment and bewitched subjectivity compressed into another logical empiricism. The reduced pure ego of identity and positivity in act and meaning is a psychologism and empty subjectivity in one. Nonetheless, the psychological phenomenological reduction as praxis, engaged in analysis, mapping the wonderment of consciousness is another issue. Phenomenological psychology is powerful psychotherapy based on a philosophy of mind.

The intuition of universals is a brilliant bootstrap philosophy grinding away on the finite made absolute.  Pure psychology is the apriori parallel between immanent self-consciousness and transcendental immutable entities balancing the transcendental ego between man and God. An egological reduction of intrasubjective agreement that never ends.























Husserl, Edmund                  [ HLU ]                   Logical Investigations (vol. 1)

[ HLU ]              Logical Investigations (vol. 2)

[ HITC ]             The Phenomenology of Internal Time – Consciousness

[ HRS ]               Philosophy  as Rigorous Science

[ HI ]                  Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology

[ FTL ]               Formal and Transcendental Logic

[ EJ ]                  Experience & Judgment: Investigations in a Genealogy of  Logic

[ PP]                   Phenomenological Psychology

[ HI2 ]                Ideas: Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy

[ HI3 ]                Ideas: Phenomenology and the Foundations of the Sciences

[ DFTA ]            “Phenomenology” The Encyclopaedia Britannica Article (Draft A)

[ DFTB ]            “Phenomenology” The Encyclopaedia Britannica Article (Draft B)

[ AML ]             The Amsterdam Lectures: Phenomenological Psychology

[ CM ]                Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology

[ HC ]                 The Crisis of European Sciences & Transcendental Phenomenology

[ HPAS ]            Analyses Concerning Passive and Active Synthesis: Lectures on Transcendental Logic

[ PICM ]             Phantasy, Image Consciousness, and Memory


The following principle works by Husserl are English translations and are listed in approximate chronological order of the production or publication of the German original texts, manuscripts, lectures and Nachlass of his theorizing. This is not a complete or ordered list of Husserl’s works.

  • 1900, Logical Investigations (vol. 1), trans. J.N. Findlay, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1970. 1901, Logical Investigations (vol. 2), trans. J.N. Findlay, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1970.
  • 1910, Philosophy as Rigorous Science, trans. in Q. Lauer in: Phenomenology and the Crisis of Philosophy (ed.)New York, Harper & Row Publishers, 1965.
  • 1913, Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy—First Book: General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology, trans. W.R. Boyce Gibson, New York: Collier Macmillan Publishers 1962.
  • 1928, The Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time (1905–1910), Editor: Martin Heidegger, trans. James S. Churchill, Indiana University Press (2nd print) 1966 .
  • 1929, Formal and Transcendental Logic, trans. D. Cairns. The Hague: Nijhoff 1969.
  • 1931, Cartesian Meditations, trans. D. Cairns, Dordrecht: Kluwer 1988.
  • 1936, The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, trans. D. Carr. Evanston: Northwestern University Press 1970.
  • 1939, Experience and Judgement, trans. J. S. Churchill and K. Ameriks, London: Routledge 1973.
  • 1952, Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy—Third Book: Phenomenology and the Foundations of the Sciences, trans. T. E. Klein and W. E. Pohl, Dordrecht: Kluwer 1980.
  • 1952, Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy—Second Book: Studies in the Phenomenology of Constitution, trans. R. Rojcewicz and A. Schuwer, Dordrecht: Kluwer 1989.
  • 1977 Phenomenological Psychology, Lecture Summer Semester 1925, Martinus Nijhoff  1977 Netherlands.
  •  (1920-1926), Analyses Concerning Passive and Active Synthesis: Lectures on Transcendental Logic, Editor Rudolf Bernet, trans. Anthony J. Steinbock, Dordrecht: Kluwer 2001.
  • (1927–1931), Psychological and Transcendental Phenomenology and the Confrontation with Heidegger, trans. T. Sheehan and R. Palmer, Dordrecht: Kluwer  1997.
  • (1898-1925), Phantasy, Image Consciousness, and Memory, Editor Rudolf Bernet,  trans. John Barnett Brough, Dordrecht: Kluwer 2005.