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In recent years Chris Walker has challenged the long-accepted interpretation of Karl Jaspers' phenomenological psychopathology as influenced by Edmund Husserl's Logical Investigations. Walker argues that Jaspers' phenomenology was decisively shaped by Immanuel Kant instead of Husserl.
In this paper we critically respond to Walker's position. We maintain that Walker's interpretation is not based on textual evidence and that any interpretation that is so based will find the influence of Husserl throughout Jaspers' phenomenology. It is true that Jaspers' method is empirical while Husserl's was always eidetic, but beyond this difference Jaspers accepted core components of Husserl's approach.
Our critical arguments take the following forms. (1) We contend that Walker's attempts to find fundamental differences between Husserl and Jaspers are based on mistaken readings of Husserl. (2) The similarities that Walker seeks to establish between Kant and Jaspers do not withstand careful examination. (3) Jaspers adopted Husserl's conception of intentionality and employed it in his descriptions of psychopathological experiences. Walker's attempt to view Jaspers' notion of intentionality as influenced by Kant is unfounded. And (4) Jaspers' methodology is far more empiricist than it is Kantian.
Jaspers' phenomenology was shaped by E. Husserl, W. Dilthey, G. Simmel, and M. Weber and not at all by Kant.