Husserl’s Legacy in the Postmodern World

  • Calvin O. Schrag
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 36)


Postmodern thought has not been particularly kind to the philosophical contribution of Edmund Husserl. The most generous attitude toward Husserl within postmodernity is that his phenomenological program is a project that may have had its day but has now outworn its usefulness. It is something that one has moved beyond. Husserl’s legacy thus stands in danger of losing its significance in the parade of twentieth century continental currents of thought, displaying a serial succession from transcendental phenomenology (Husserl) to phenomenological ontology (Heidegger) to existential phenomenology (Merleau-Ponty) to linguistic phenomenology (Austin) to hermeneutical phenomenology (Gadamer and Ricoeur) to deconstructionism (Derrida) to postmodernism (Foucault, Deleuze, and Lyotard). In the aftermath of this succession, which is by no means an apostolic one, not much of phenomenology, and indeed very little of Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology, remains.


Communicative Praxis Serial Succession Transcendental Phenomenology Hermeneutic Phenomenology Epistemic Requirement 
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  1. 1.
    Die Krisis der Europäischen Wissenschaften und die transzendentale Phänomenologie, Walter Biemel, ed. (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1954), p. 127.Google Scholar
  2. 2a.
    See particularly Jacques Derrida, Speech and Phenomena, David Allison and Newton Garver, transl. (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1973)Google Scholar
  3. 2b.
    Gilles Deleuze, “Antilogos, or the Literary Machine,” Ch. VIII in Proust and Signs, Richard Howard, transl. (New York: George Braziller, 1972);Google Scholar
  4. 2c.
    Jean François Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi, transl. (Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1954).Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    For an extended discussion of the notion of communicative praxis as providing the proper context for a refiguration of the concept of intentionality, see Calvin O. Schrag, Communicative Praxis and the Space of Subjectivity (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1986).Google Scholar
  6. 4.
    E. Husserl, Die Krisis, op. cit., Beilage III (“Vom Ursprung der Geometrie”).Google Scholar
  7. 5.
    S. Kierkegaard, Repetition: An Essay in Experimental Psychology, Walter Lowrie, transl. (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1946); see particularly pages 3–4 and 33–34.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Calvin O. Schrag
    • 1
  1. 1.Purdue UniversityUSA

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