Husserl’s Phenomenology of Willing

  • Ullrich Melle
Part of the Contributions to Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 28)


A large part of Husserl’s philosophical work bears on the investigation, description and analysis of the life of consciousness, of its various forms and contexts. Hence, it is a non-experimental, reflective investigation of consciousness. As Husserl says, consciousness is an autonomous field of being, a field of investigation and work; he even speaks of it metaphorically as a land, and because of the immense complexity of the structures of consciousness, he speaks of it as a jungle. One is in need of great effort and thousands of points of reference in order to clearly distinguish the phenomena in this jungle and to grasp them in their essential determinations and their manifold and tangled connections. Husserl sees this with a truly impressive acuity. He recorded the results of his investigative journey into the innermost reaches of consciousness in thousands of manuscript pages.


Logical Investigation Emotive Consciousness Objective Correlate Psychic Phenomenon Manuscript Page 
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  1. 2.
    Landgrebe’s typescript is to be found in the Husserl-Archives in Leuven under the signature M III 3 I-III.Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    See Edmund Husserl, Erfahrung und Urteil, Untersuchungen zuer Genealogie der Logik, edited and published by Ludwig Landgrebe (Hamburg: Claassen Verlag, 1964 ); Experience and Judgment, ed. Ludwig Landgrebe, trans., by James Churchill and Karl Ameriks ( Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1973 ).Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    Ms F I 40, 113a. Here I would like to expreess my thanks to the Director of the Husserl Archives in Louvain, Professor Samuel IJsseling for permission to quote from the unpublished manuscripts.Google Scholar
  4. 1.
    Edmund Husserl, Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie, Zweites Buch, ed. Marly Biemel, Hua IV ( The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1952 ), p. 27.Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    See Edmund Husserl, Vorlesungen über Ethik und Wertlehre (1908–1914), ed. Ullrich Melle, Hua XXVIII (Dordrecht, 1988 ).Google Scholar
  6. 1.
    Hua XXVIII, p. 205.Google Scholar
  7. 2.
    Hua XXVIII, pp. 102–125.Google Scholar
  8. 48.
    Needless to say with regard to my presentation of Husserl’s analyses of emotional consciousness I have not been in any way exhaustive. For more detail cf. my “Objektivierende und nichtobjektivierende Akte,” in Husserl-Ausgabe und Husserl-Forschung, ed. Samuel Usseling, Phaenomenologica 115 ( Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1990 ), pp. 25–49.Google Scholar
  9. 47.
    At the top of the margin of the title sheet (Ms. A VI 7, 2a) there is to be found in blue pencil the Husserlian signature “Ph.” The Ph-sheets were later paginated consecutively by Landgrebe. At. present time we have been able to retrieve about about one-hundred Ph-sheets. Nevertheless the proper place of several sheets is not clear. Originally there may have been well over one-hundred manuscript sheets. Most of the Ph-sheets are to be found in Mss. A VI 7 and A VI 12 I I.Google Scholar
  10. 46.
    This research manuscript bears the Husserl signature Q II. It encompasses exclusively appendix sheets and one sheet with a partial table of contents for thirty-six sheets. With the exception of the last and of the appended sheets all the sheets are to be found in Mss. A VI 7 and A VI 30.Google Scholar
  11. 45.
    ZAlexander Pfänder, “Motive and Motivation,” in Münchener Philosophische Abhandlung: Theodor Lipps zu seinem sechzigsten Geburtstag gewidmet (Leipzig: 1911); for the English, see Alexander Pfänder, Phenomenology of Willing and Motivation, trans. by Herbert Spiegelberg ( Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1967 ), pp. 3–40.Google Scholar
  12. 25.
    Of this Pfänder-Folder, which encompassed probably about sixty sheets, only forty sheets could be retrieved. As a result, of course, the proper ordering of some pages is questionable. The pages are to be found in the three Mss. A VI 3, A VI 30 and A VI 12 L With regard to the PPdnder Folder, see Karl Schuhmann, Die Dialektik der Phänomenologie 1: Husserl über Pfänder, Phaenomenologica 56 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973), pp. 94 ff.Google Scholar
  13. Of the estimated fifty sheets of this collection (Konvoluts) at the present only about half of them have been retrieved in Ms. A VI 12 I.Google Scholar
  14. For the classification of psychic phenomena see the rich explications in Franz Brentano, Vorn Ursprung sittlicher Erkenntnis, ed. Oskar Kraus ( Hamburg: Meiner, 1969 ), pp. 17–19.Google Scholar
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    See Edmund Husserl, Logische Untersuchungen, Vol. II., Part I, ed. Ursula Panzer, Hua XIX/1 (The Hague: Martins Nijhoff, pp. 513 ff.Google Scholar
  16. 25.
    This last point is often overlooked. See for this Edmund Husserl, Logische Untersuchungen, Vol. II, Part II, ed. Ursula Panzer, Hua XIX/2 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1984), p. 737 and 781. 19Hua XXVIII, p. 347.Google Scholar
  17. 20.
    William James, Principles of Psychology in two volumes (London, 1890 ). In Husserl’s library there can be found also the German translation of Principles of Psychology: William James, Psychologie, trans. Marie Darr (Leipzig, 1909). The translation has no traces of having been read. Husserl had read carefully the comprehensive review of Anton Marty in Zeitschrift far Psychologie and Physiologie der Sinnesorgane, Vol. III, No. 4, 1892, pp. 297–333. In Husserl’s library there is an annotated offprint of this review. In Husserl’s copy of Principles of Psychology one minds numerous references to the review by Marty.Google Scholar
  18. 24.
    Christian von Ehrenfels, Über Fühlen und Wollen: Eine psychologische Studie (Vienna, 1887). ‘DIbid. p. 75.Google Scholar
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    For a discussion of the impossibility of willing the ideal, see the nuanced analyses in Hua XXVIII, p. 106.Google Scholar
  20. 12.
    The will is the will’s certainty of the creating of the future.“ See the Pfänder Folder, A VI, 3, 19a.Google Scholar
  21. 22.
    Hua XXVIII, p. 103.Google Scholar
  22. 34.
    In the PPander folder we find in one place the following determination of desire: “Desiring is a longing, a yearning, for something futural, indeed a wish that I have something, that something pleasant or good might occur for me.” (A VI 3, 31a)Google Scholar
  23. 39.
    Mit dem fiat setzt die Handlung ein und in seinem Sinn läuft sie ab, immerfort von dem sich forterstreckenden und erfüllenden Willen getragen.“ (A VI 12 II, 159a)Google Scholar
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    For an analysis of the will-action (Handlungswillens) see Hua XXVIII, p. 109–112. 41See A VI 12 II, 199b. See also Hua XXVIII, p. 110.Google Scholar
  25. 42.
    Das Wollen ist in jedem Moment des Tuns Willensintention: Dasselbe sagt das Wort Streben. Das Streben ist die leere Willensintention; das kreative Wollen, das praktisch-schöpferisch setzende, ist das volle -Wollen-, der blossen Intention im stetig vorangeneden Moment and der stetig vorangehenden voluntären Form überhaupt. Die Willensintention erhält sich stetig (sofern sie (continuedchwr(133))Google Scholar
  26. 15.
    From the Folder, “Tendenz,” A VI 12 I, p. 230a.Google Scholar
  27. 14.
    In each act-achievement there lies an achievement, a tendency is released.“ (”Tendenz“ Folder, A VI 12 I, p. 208a)Google Scholar
  28. 24.
    We have therefore intention as position-taking and intention as tendency, a tension to be released [Spannung zu scheiden]. (“Tendenz”-Folder, A VI 12 1, p. 29b.)Google Scholar
  29. 14.
    Pfldnder-Folder, A VI 12 I, 152b.Google Scholar
  30. 15.
    Tendenz“ Folder, A VI 12 I, 206b.Google Scholar
  31. 67.
    Edmund Husserl, Erfahrung und Urtiel, p. 235; trans., Experience and Judgment, 200–201.Google Scholar
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    Edmund Husserl, Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologishcen Philosophie, Erstes Buch, new ed. Karl Schuhman, Hua III.1 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1976), 281 ffGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ullrich Melle
    • 1
  1. 1.Husserl-Archivesthe Catholic University of LeuvenBelgium

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