This article addresses a basic question: what elements in Husserl’s phenomenology can account for the variety of post-Husserlian phenomenologies? The answer, I suggest, is that Husserl’s idea of reality, particularly his notion of givenness vis-à-vis self-givenness, facilitated the work of his followers by offering them at once a firm ground and a point of departure for their inquiries. However, adopting Husserl’s phenomenology as their starting point did not prevent his followers from developing their own independent phenomenological theory. Moreover, despite the elusive particulars that shape one’s individual experience of the world, so it transpires, Husserl’s thinking which was different and beyond their own observations and actual experiences, namely, transcendent, appears to have been a genuine guide along their path to achieve meaning. This interpretation thus gives precedence to a metaphysical point of departure, that is, to Husserl’s idea of reality as ‘givenness’, in launching phenomenological investigation—over any specific aspect of his work—as that which continues to sustain phenomenological discourse.
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© 2016 International Society for the Study of European Ideas.
- Edmund Husserl
- philosophical debt
- post-Husserlian phenomenologies