Edmund Husserl: (1859-1938)
by Ava Bowen
Edmund Husserl was born in the Czech Republic in 1859. Husserl is known for his creation of the philosophical thought of phenomenology. Phenomenology is the study and exploration of phenomena in our lived experiences. In this way, phenomenology has also been compared with existentialism as they both question one's presence in the world. Phenomenology can also be described as the philosophy of intentionality in experience often from the first person view. However, sources have argued to separate phenomenology from philosophy. Husserl’s creation of phenomenology sprung from his various academic backgrounds and interests in mathematics, physics, philosophy, psychology, and astronomy. He was mentored by many distinguished mathematicians, psychologists, philosophers and others such as Wllhelm Wundt, Thomas Masaryl, Leopold Kronecker, Karl Weierstrass, Franz Brentano, and Carl Stumpf. After earning his PhD in mathematics, Husserl became more involved in philosophy at the University of Vienna and then moved to the University of Halle where he started to work on achieving his professorship. Husserl continued to teach at the University of Halle for 24 years where he published his work, Die Philosophie der Arithmetik (Philosophy of Arithmetic), combining his concentrations in philosophy, mathematics, and psychology. In 1901, Husserl published his work Logische Untersuchungen (Logical Investigations) relating to phenomenology. Husserl developed his work through his traveling from the University of Gottingen to the University of Freiburg and his lectures throughout Europe. Towards the end of Husserl’s life, tragedy was brought to his family with his son dying in War War I and his mother passing away shortly after. As World War II approaches and the Nazi party spreads, Husserl’s audience is lessened in fear of being caught with the opposition. In 1938, Husserl died in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany at the age of 79. What is most remarkable about Husserl was his ability to combine his education in many sections of academia and, as it seems, his own experiences into the study of phenomenology.
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