Husserl Studies

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 1–15 | Cite as

The Metaphysical Neutrality of Husserlian Phenomenology

  • Jeff Yoshimi


I argue that Husserlian phenomenology is metaphysically neutral, in the sense of being compatible with multiple metaphysical frameworks (including frameworks Husserl argued against). For example, though Husserl dismisses the concept of an unknowable thing in itself as “material nonsense”, I argue that the concept is coherent and that the existence of such things is compatible with Husserl’s phenomenology. I defend this metaphysical neutrality approach against a number of objections and consider some of its implications for Husserl interpretation.


Conscious Experience Physical Thing Transcendental Idealism Metaphysical Commitment Husserlian Phenomenology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work originated in a commentary on Sebastian Luft’s Subjectivity and Lifeworld in Transcendental Phenomenology, which I presented at the central APA at a symposium with David Carr and Hanne Jacobs in 2012. I am grateful to Luft for the opportunity to develop these ideas, and to all three for their feedback. I went on to develop the commentary into a self-standing paper, which I presented at the Workshop for Phenomenological Philosophy at Rice University in 2014. I received valuable feedback there from, Michele Averchi, Steve Crowell, John Drummond, Burt Hopkins, Molly Flynn, Michael Shim, Charles Siewert and others. Thanks also to Walter Hopp, David Kasmier, David Woodruff Smith, and an anonymous referee for helpful feedback.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cognitive and Information SciencesUniversity of California, MercedMercedUSA

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