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New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy

Volume 11, 2011

Daniele De Santis
Pages 16-41

Phenomenological Kaleidoscope
Remarks on the Husserlian Method of Eidetic Variation

The main goal of this article is to examine Edmund Husserl’s method of “eidetic variation”—that is, to examine the way this method is supposed to work in connection with the notion of “similarity” (Ähnlichkeit). Unlike most interpretations, it will be suggested that similarity represents the leading methodological principle of eidetic variation. We will argue, therefore, that, on the one hand, this method is rooted in the sphere of association and passivity while, on the other hand, it is constituted by the transposition of a passive synthesis into an active operation. After having introduced and discussed a twofold notion of phantasy (as “localized phantasy” and as “pure phantasy”) as well as a twofold concept of eidos (as “hen epi pollon” and as “pure eidos”), the extent to which for Husserl there cannot be any eidetic variation without a monadology will be shown.