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Husserl's Phenomenology Knowledge, Objectivity and Others by Kevin Hermberg

Husserl's Phenomenology Knowledge, Objectivity and Others

Part of the Continuum Studies in Continental Philosophy Series


Husserl's Phenomenology Knowledge, Objectivity and Others by Kevin Hermberg

Kevin Hermberg's book fills an important gap in previous Husserl scholarship by focusing on intersubjectivity and empathy (i.e., the experience of others as other subjects) and by addressing the related issues of validity, the degrees of evidence with which something can be experienced, and the different senses of 'objective' in Husserl's texts. Despite accusations by commentators that Husserl's is a solipsistic philosophy and that the epistemologies in Husserl's late and early works are contradictory, Hermberg shows that empathy, and thus other subjects, are related to one's knowledge on the view offered in each of Husserl's Introductions to Phenomenology. Empathy is significantly related to knowledge in at least two ways, and Husserl's epistemology might, consequently, be called a social epistemology: (a) empathy helps to give evidence for validity and thus to solidify one's knowledge, and (b) it helps to broaden one's knowledge by giving access to what others have known. These roles of empathy are not at odds with one another; rather, both are at play in each of the Introductions (if even only implicitly) and, given his position in the earlier work, Husserl needed to expand the role of empathy as he did. Such a reliance on empathy, however, calls into question whether Husserl's is a transcendental philosophy in the sense Husserl claimed.


'First readers of Husserl will benefit from this book's careful, clear, and very readable exposition.... All will find it a welcome contribution to Husserl scholarship from the point of view that Husserl's own published works deserve precedence in constructing the narrative of his philosophical work. Hermberg's redirecting of the conversation from the possibility to the roles of empathy in Husserl's work is an important turn in Husserlian scholarship - a turn that sheds new light on Husserl's place in the history of philosophy.'
John L. Meech, Shimer College

About the Author

Kevin Hermberg has taught at Carthage College, Wisconsin, USA and Marquette University, Milwaukee, USA.

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Book Info

Publication date

23rd November 2006


Kevin Hermberg

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Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


158 pages




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