The Place of Constitution in Husserl’s Phenomenology

  • Robert Sokolowski
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 18)


The central role which constitution plays in phenomenology is shown by its relationship to the phenomenological reduction. The reduction is the starting point of phenomenology; it is supposed to make us adopt the point of view proper to it, and to see how phenomenology alone can be a rigorous, presuppositionless science. We have distinguished two patterns of thought or themes in Husserl’s argument leading to the reduction. The first of these is to find a region of experience which bears its justification within itself, a region where we can make assertions that are warranted solely and completely on the basis of what is presented to us. This region, claims Husserl, is transcendental subjectivity. It is given without profiles and consequently, he claims, apodictically and absolutely. We make no assumptions or presuppositions when we speak about subjectivity, because the way it is given to us guarantees what we say about it. The whole real world, on the other hand, is capable of warranting only presumptive assertions because of the profile continua which, in principle, characterize the way material reality is given to us. We mention in passing that Husserl admits subjectivity is only a provisional absolute, one rooted in a final and true absolute; we will return to this question.


Categorical Object Genetic Constitution Categorical Constitution Phenomenological Reduction Material Logic 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1970

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  • Robert Sokolowski

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