I wanted to learn about Husserl's Phenomenology and was wondering on what a good place to start would be? I have in front of me The Essential Husserl, Basic Writings in Transcendental Phenomenology and the Cartesian Meditations. I don't mind digging through something that's somewhat technical, with that in mind any suggestions and comments on the two books mentioned above?


1 Answer 1


Of the three texts you have,

I think the easiest place to start will be with the Cartesian Meditations.

Husserl studies is a messy business with subtle differences in the nature of the epoche and bracketing between texts, but the CM is a good starting point because you know (or should know what to compare it with): Descartes.

Bring to it the basic task of abstracting away from the modern obsession with knowledge deeply linked to metaphysics and moving towards what we can learn through impressions as they occur for our conscience and you've got a good start to reading a thoroughly challenging text.

I don't know which texts are captured in The Essential Husserl, but I would guess it contains key excerpts and is designed for classroom use. It may have a very helpful introduction you may want to read even before CM.

Basic Writings in Transcendental Phenomenology is anything but "basic" under the meaning "easy or simple" but rather is about what is fundamental to transcendental phenomenology for Husserl.

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