Commentary on Husserl's Logical Investigations

By Jeremy Hausotter

This Commentary on the Logical Investigations is the fruit of my rereading of Edmund Husserl's Logical Investigations and discussing it with a friend of mine. My desire in writing this is to codify my notes and place them somewhere accessible. This series makes no pretensions at being academic. In fact, academic resources will be rarely cited, if at all. 

The Commentary follows the J.N. Findlay translation, Humanity Books, 2000. All citations come from this edition. 

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Prolegomena: Introduction

This part of the commentary covers the Introduction to the Prolegomena.

Prolegomena: Chapter 1

This part of the commentary covers the Prolegomena, Chapter 1. Chapter 1 introduces the notion of logic as the theory of science and a normative discipline.

Prolegomena: Chapter 2

In this essay we examine Chapter 2 of the Prolegomena. In this chapter Husserl investigates the meaning of normativity, the forms of normative propositions, and how normative disciplines and practical disciplines require a theoretical discipline for its essential foundation.

Prolegomena: Chapter 3

In chapter 3 Husserl outlines the historical debate between the psychologistic interpretation of logic and its opponents. Husserl concludes from this discussion that psychology cannot bring us to the essence of logic, and so it cannot serve as the theoretical foundation for logic.

Prolegomena: Chapter 4

In this chapter Husserl analyzes several consequences of the psychologistic view, arguing that psychologism destroys the very possibility of knowledge itself.

Prolegomena: Chapter 5

In chapter 5 Husserl analyzes the consequences of applying the psychologistic interpretation of logic to the law of noncontradiction, arguing that this interpretation does not lead us to the reality of the law itself.

Prolegomena: Chapter 6

In this installment of our commentary on Husserl's Logical Investigations we explore two distinctions Husserl makes. He distinguishes between psychological and ideal incompatibility, and also between felt and real irrefragability.

Prolegomena: Chapter 7

Chapter 7 argues against psychologism as a relativistic and skeptical theory.

Prolegomena: Chapter 10

In chapter 10 Husserl provides us with some historical context of his views, his sources of inspiration and differences with various emminent logicians.

Prolegomena: Chapter 11

In the final chapter of the Prolegomena Husserl outlines his conception of pure logic as the theory of theories and the program for investigating it.

Volume II: Introduction

In his introduction to Volume II, Husserl gives us an outline of his methodology for the remainder of the book and provides us with a description of the phenomenological method. In this section we find the famous phrase "back to the things themselves".

Twilight in the Wilderness by Frederic Edwin Church