Phenomenology in a New Century: What Still Needs to be Done
My paper proposes to do two things. First I wish to sketch out some fundamental characteristics in what phenomenology actually was as an investigative program as its first 30 years, that is, as Husserl’s work came to a culmination. Then I shall argue for the way these pivotal issues had been in principle radi-cally reframed in phenomenology’s achievements, even if this reframing was little recognized (with some exceptions) in the subsequent philosophic interpretation of Edmund Husserl’s writings. These issues are, then, the ones I shall suggest have to be recognized and taken up in their full scope if phenomenology is to continue at the depth and with the richness that it had developed by the time Husserl was facing his own death.
the radical sui generis status of sense (Sinn) in the investigation of phenomena;
the need for an uncompromising questioning and overcoming of the nature-spiritdichotomy;
careful assessment and realization of the lessons of the genetic analysis that lies in the phenomenology of ultimate temporalization (Zeitigung), for it is only with the reintegration of the results of this analysis in all previous studies that the full meaning of those studies and their findings can be realized; and finally
careful theoretical critique of the limits in phenomenology’s investigative program and adherence to the way that critique affects the comprehensive philosophical interpretations of phenomenology’s findings; for without realizing what phenomenological principles are in principle capable of reaching validly and adequately, one cannot deal philosophically with the ultimate understanding of phenomenology’s achievements.
The investigation and interpretation of none of these has been fully carried out, either by Husserl or by those who came after him. It is still left to be done.