The Analytic Reception of Husserlian Phenomenology in the United States: History, Problems, and Prospects

  • Paul M. Livingston
Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 100)


This paper considers the historical and current reception of Husserl’s phenomenological project within the tradition of analytic philosophy, especially in the United States. Despite the fact that both Husserlian phenomenology and the analytic tradition have centrally undertaken systematic analysis and clarification of structures of meaning or sense, the project of phenomenological analysis and reflection has never been centrally or comprehensively integrated into the most characteristic projects of the analytic tradition. This resistance owes in part to the strong elements of naturalism, conventionalism, reductionism, and realism characteristic of the projects of the analytic tradition. I argue that there remains little hope for a comprehensive rapprochement between Husserlian phenomenology and analytic philosophy that retains without significant distortion the most characteristic methods of both. Nevertheless, it is possible to envision a contemporary development of a phenomenologically informed “post-analytic” philosophy that would integrate phenomenological methods and ideas (such as the ideas of world, reflective awareness, consciousness, givenness, presence, and the “first person” perspective) to supplement the analytic project just where some of its constitutive limitations are, today, becoming most evident.


Husserl Analytic philosophy Carnap Sellars Quine 


  1. Bell, J. 2011. Husserl Among the Realists. New APPS Blog. 2 December 2011. Accessed 27 July 2015.
  2. Bell, J., A. Cutrofello, and P.M. Livingston. 2015. Introduction: Contemporary Philosophy as Synthetic Philosophy. In Beyond the Analytic-Continental Divide: Pluralistic Philosophy in the Twenty-First Century, ed. J. Bell, A. Cutrofello, and P.M. Livingston. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cairns, D. 1930. Mr. Hook’s Impression of Phenomenology. Journal of Philosophy 27 (15): 393–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. ———. 1969. My Own Life (Remembrance Recorded by Dr. Lester Embree). The New School History Project. Accessed 27 July 2015.
  5. Carnap, R. [1928] 1967. The Logical Structure of the World. Trans. Rolf A. George. Berkely: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  6. ———. [1932] 1959. The Elimination of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language. In Logical Positivism, ed. A.J. Ayer, New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  7. Chalmers, D. 1996. The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. De Laguna, G.A. 1951. Main Trends in Recent Philosophy: Speculative Philosophy. Philosophical Review 60 (1): 3–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dennett, D.C. 1991. Consciousness Explained. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  10. Dreyfus, H.L. 1982. Introduction to Husserl, Intentionality, and Cognitive Science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  11. Dummett, M. 1993. Origins of Analytical Philosophy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Farber, M. 1940. Edmund Husserl and the Background of His Philosophy. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 1 (1): 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. ———. 1959. Naturalism and Subjectivism. Albany: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  14. ———. 1967. The Foundation of Phenomenology: Edmund Husserl and the Quest for a Rigorous Science of Philosophy. 3rd ed. Albany: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  15. Føllesdal, D. 1969. Husserl’s Notion of Noema. Journal of Philosophy 66 (20): 680–687.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. ———. 1990. Noema and Meaning in Husserl. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50: 263–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Frege, G. 1894 [1972]. Review of Dr. E. Husserl’s Philosophy of Arithmetic. E. W. Klugge (trans.) Mind (new series) 81(323): 321–337. Originally published in German in Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Philosophische Kritik, 103: 313–332 (1894).Google Scholar
  18. Hook, S. 1930. A Personal Impression of Contemporary German Philosophy. Journal of Philosophy 27 (6): 141–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Husserl, E. 1891 [2003]. Philosophy of Arithmetic: Psychological and Logical Investigations. Trans. D. Willard. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Originally published in German as Philosophie der Arithmetik. (1891).Google Scholar
  20. ———. 1911. Philosophy as a Rigorous Science. Logos. Internationale Zeitschrift für Philosophie der Kultur, 1(1910–11), 289–341. Trans. Marcus Brainard in The New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy II (2002): 249–95.Google Scholar
  21. ———. 1913a [1970]. Logical Investigations. Trans. J.N. Findlay. London: Routledge. Originally published in German as Logische Untersuchungen (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1900–01 and 1913).Google Scholar
  22. ———. 1913b [1983]. Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy: First Book. Trans. F. Kersten. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Originally published in German as Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologishen Philosophie, I. Buch: Allgemeine Einführung in die reine Phänomenologie. (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1913).Google Scholar
  23. Livingston, P.M. 2002. Husserl and Schlick on the Logical Form of Experience. Synthese 132: 239–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. ———. 2004. Philosophical History and the Problem of Consciousness. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. ———. 2005. Functionalism and Logical Analysis. In Smith and Thomasson, ed., 2005.Google Scholar
  26. ———. 2012. The Politics of Logic: Badiou, Wittgenstein, and the Consequences of Formalism. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Petitot, J., F.J. Varela, B. Pachoud, J.-M. Roy, (eds.). 1999. Naturalizing Phenomenology: Issues in Contemporary Phenomenology and Cognitive Science. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Quine, W.V.O. 1951. Main Trends in Recent Philosophy: Two Dogmas of Empiricism. Philosophical Review 60 (1): 20–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. ———. 1960. Word and Object. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  30. Russell, B. 1914. Our Knowledge of the External World as a Field for Scientific Method in Philosophy. Chicago: Open Court.Google Scholar
  31. ———. 1924 Philosophy in the Twentieth Century. Reprinted in Russell, Sceptical Essays. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1935.Google Scholar
  32. Ryckman, T. 2007. Carnap and Husserl. In The Cambridge Companion to Carnap, ed. M. Friedman and R. Creath. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Sachs, C.B. 2012. Phenomenology and the Myth of the Given: Sellars, Merleau-Ponty, and some myths about the given. Presentation to Wilfrid Sellars Society, Eastern Division APA, December 2012. Accessed 27 July 2015.
  34. Schlick, M. 1913. Is There Intuitive Knowledge? In Moritz Schlick: Philosophical Papers, ed. Henk L. Mulder and Barbara F.B. Van de Velde-Schick, vol. 1, 141–152. Dordrecht: D. Riedel 1979.Google Scholar
  35. ———. 1930. Is There a Factual a Priori? In Moritz Schlick: Philosophical Papers, ed. Henk L. Mulder and Barbara F.B. Van de Velde-Schick, vol. 2, 161–175. Dordrecht: D. Riedel 1979.Google Scholar
  36. Sellars, W. 1948. Realism and the New Way of Words. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 8 (4): 601–634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. ———. 1956. Empiricism and the philosophy of mind. In Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. 1, ed. Herbert Feigl and Michael Scriven. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Reprinted as Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.Google Scholar
  38. ———. 1975. Autobiographical Reflections. In Action, Knowledge, and Reality: Critical Studies in Honor of Wilfrid Sellars, ed. Hector-Neri Castañeda. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1975. Reprinted online at Accessed 27 July 2015.
  39. Smith, D.W. 2013a. Husserl. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. ———. 2013b. The Role of Phenomenology in Analytic Philosophy. In The Oxford Handbook of the History of Analytic Philosophy, ed. Michael Beaney. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Smith, D.W., and A.L. Thomasson, eds. 2005. Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  42. Soffer, G. 2003. Revisiting the Myth: Husserl and Sellars on the Given. The Review of Metaphysics 57 (2): 301–337.Google Scholar
  43. Thomasson, A. L. 2005. First-Person Knowledge in Phenomenology. In Smith and Thomasson, ed., 2005.Google Scholar
  44. Thompson, E., and D. Zahavi. 2007. Philosophical Issues: Phenomenology. In The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness, ed. Philip David Zelazo, Morris Moscovitch, and Evan Thompson. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul M. Livingston
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

Personalised recommendations