Reconstruction and Reduction: Natorp and Husserl on Method and the Question of Subjectivity


In this article, I argue that Husserl received important cues from Natorp and his project of a transcendental psychology.  I also trace the entire relationship both thinkers had over the course of their lifetime and show how there were important cross-fertilizations on both sides.  In particular, Natorp’s project of a reconstructive psychology proved crucial, I argue, for Husserl’s development of genetic phenomenology. Allowing for a reconstruction of subjective-intentional processes makes Husserl see the possibility of breaking with the paradigm of direct intuition as the sole method of phenomenology.  However, Natorp’s psychology was also seriously flawed, to Husserl.  While exploiting the fruitful elements of Natorp’s reconstructive psychology, Husserl maintained that they could only come to actual fruition in a transcendental phenomenology.

Keywords: phenomenology, transcendental philosophy, Marburg School, psychology, Husserl, Natorp

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