Complete 10 page APA formatted essay: Edmund Husserl’s Cartesian Meditations (topic upon your own decision).
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Edmund Husserl’s is one such philosopher who lived in the more modern world. His work was concerned about phenomena and how the human mind interacts with it. In his book titled Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology, Edmund Husserl (1960) introduces a number of significant philosophical thoughts. One of the most prominent of these is transcendental phenomenology in which the author gives a new way of analysing phenomena. This kind of thinking looks at phenomena from a different point of view. Although Edmund’s views can be seen as having been inspired by Rene Descartes, a French philosopher and mathematician in the 17th century, Edmund’s theories on phenomena seen to be developed in contrast to what Descartes developed. This can be particularly seen in his transcendental phenomenology which tries to see phenomena in a very different way. Unlike Descartes, Edmund and his school of thought argued that phenomenal can be seen in different dimensions (Husserl, 1960). In fact, Edmund argued that it is possible to take a phenomenal and strip it down to its very essence. In other words, transcendental phenomenology as developed by Edmund postulates that with regard to phenomena, there are those elements which are essential for that phenomenon to exist and there are those which are merely conceptual as conceived by human beings. To be able to separate the essential from the conceptual, Edmund used eidetic reduction. Eidetic Reduction Eidetic reduction is a process by which phenomena can be stripped to its basic essential aspects, without changing it. Eidetic reduction is a conceptual tool that can be used to understand Edmund’s transcendental phenomenology as a way to understand phenomena. Eidetic reduction can be traced back to Descartes. Descartes used a block of wax phenomena as a way to explain the layers of phenomena. For example, the wax can be experienced by the five senses in regard to its shape and the space it occupies, the smell it exudes, the texture, its opaqueness etc. However, by heating up the block of wax, these properties of the wax can be changed without changing it into another object. In other words, once the wax has been heated up, it will lose its texture, its shape, space and its opaqueness will be changed to transparency. Yet, even after all these characteristics have been changed, the wax will continue to be wax. This means that the block of wax is perceived in two particular ways. The first is one the essential properties of the wax and the second one are the perceived or non essential properties of the wax. Edmund argued that the same can be applied with regard to people’s thoughts. In other words, people’s thoughts can be seen to have both the essential aspects of phenomena and other aspects of phenomena which are more conceptual or perceptual. Using eidetic reduction however, Edmund argues that these thoughts can be stripped down to their basic or essential details. The importance of this kind of stripping is that it leads to a more practical reality, as opposed to when phenomena is understood while it is still shrouded in non-essential properties. Edmund was an essentialist in that he believed that phenomena should be understood in its very essence without being affected by the other factors.
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