Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 13, 1987/1988

Allen S. Hance
Pages 189-215

Husserl’s Phenomenological Theory of Logic and the Overcoming of Psychologism

By tracing the general evolution of HusserI’s theory of logic and mathematics, this essay explores Husserl’s identification and strategic overcoming of the two forms of psychologism--Iogical psychologism and transcendental psychologism--that bar the way to rigorous phenomenological inquiry. In the early works “On the Concept of Number” and the Philosophie der Arithmetik Husserl himself falls victim to a particular form of logical psychologism. By the time of the Logical Investigations this problem has been dealt with: the method of eidetic intuition enables an account of the “origins” of logical and mathematical concepts without reducing such concepts to mere predicates of mental acts. The task of Formal and Transcendental Logic is to disclose the more pervasive problem of transcendental psychologism, one that taints even the theory of pure logic articulated in the Logical Investigations. A radical solution is provided through the development of an “ultimate logic” of transcendental subjectivity.