This is the first of three papers that examine the relationship between the psychopathological phenomenology of Karl Jaspers, the early philosophical phenomenology of Edmund Husserl (papers 1 and 2), and the role of phenomenology in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant (paper 3).

The first paper examines the perceived debt of Jaspers's phenomenology to that of Husserl. This debt has entered the folklore of psychopathology, not least because it was assumed by Jaspers himself. Jaspers acknowledged his debt to what he saw as Husserl's "descriptive psychology" in Logical Investigations (1900 and 1901), in the papers that preceded the first edition of General Psychopathology (1913), in all editions of General Psychopathology, in his 1955 epilogue to the reissue of his Philosophy (1932), and in his Philosophical Autobiography (1957). In all of these he consistently saw the early Husserl as a descriptive psychologist. The paper examines the brief personal relations between Jaspers and Husserl.

The paper traces the development of Husserl's phenomenology from his earliest work in the philosophy of mathematics (1891) to the beginning of his transcendental phenomenology (1913), with a strong emphasis on Logical Investigations—the only work of any concern to Jaspers. Jaspers's view was that Husserl changed from an early interest in phenomenology as an empirical "descriptive psychology" to phenomenology as an "intuition of essences" (Wesensschau) and as a philosophical "rigorous science" (strenge Wissenschaft). Both were anathema to Jaspers. The paper argues that, contrary to Jaspers's understanding, Logical Investigations was committed to both of these propositions. The implication is that Husserl's phenomenology was never the phenomenology as "descriptive psychology" seen by Jaspers. Jaspers had admitted to Husserl in 1913 that he "failed to understand what phenomenology really was." The second paper examines this failure of understanding.


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pp. 117-134
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