Research Repository

Husserl's Relapse? Concerning a Fregean Challenge to Phenomenology

Martin, W (1999) 'Husserl's Relapse? Concerning a Fregean Challenge to Phenomenology.' Inquiry, 42 (3-4). pp. 343-369. ISSN 0020-174X

Full text not available from this repository.


An influential interpretation of phenomenology construes Husserl's project as an attempt to generalize the Fregean notion of sense- an attempt to extend Frege's analysis of the structure of meaningful expressions to a more general account of the structure of meaning in experience . Michael Dummett has articulated a broadly Fregean critique of this Husserlian program, arguing that the project is misguided and retrograde-a relapse into the psychologism and idealism that Frege sought to avoid. A defense of Husserl is offered, based in part on key elements of the theory of meaning articulated in his Logical Investigations . But the main aim is neither to acquit nor to convict Husserl of Dummett's charges; rather it is to use the exchange to investigate some of the philosophical commitments of a broadly Husserlian phenomenology. If we are to understand how Husserl avoids psychologism then we must come to terms with the paradoxical idea of an anti-psychologistic investigation of consciousness (an anti-psychologistic psychology). If we are to understand his complex stance toward idealism then we must not only understand the grounds for his rejection of subjective idealism but also be attuned to the other forms of idealism to which his project is committed. In the course of investigating these matters the author considers how Husserl can reply to the charge of explanatory vacuity, and shows that Frege himself recognizes the legitimacy of something like the Husserlian project.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > Philosophy and Art History, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2017 13:49
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:26

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item