Ortega's dissatisfaction with this psychological understanding of the Ideas anticipated, in part, statements made by Husserl in In his Crisis for European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology , Husserl remarked in passing that several of the paragraphs and locutions of transcendental phenomenology may have misled several readers to understand his thesis in a psychological sense.
This becomes as much the case of consciousness as what remains after all transcendence has been bracketed, as of the thesis of noesis-noema correlation. According to Ortega, Husserl presented phenomenology as a descriptive manner in which one philosophizes without presuppositions and without empirical statements. Thus, for Ortega, Husserl's position reduces phenomena as entities in the natural posture of our world:.
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That natural manner is characterized by the executive value which those acts have. Thus, all the acts of consciousness and all the objects of those acts can be placed in parentheses. And here, a phenomenon does not mean what it does in Kant, for example, something that suggests another substantial something beyond it. Phenomenon here is simply the virtual character that every thing acquires when from its natural executive value one passes to contemplate it in a spectacular and descriptive posture, without giving it a definite character.
This sympathetic discussion of Husserl's Ideas inspired Ortega to pursue the new science of phenomenology as a method of inquiry. This method of inquiry became crucial especially in view of his expressed objective to make a distinction between descriptive and explanatory psychology and, thereby, to clarify the concept of the mental status of consciousness.
Ortega expanded these lectures into a manuscript entitled Psychological Investigations , which has been published posthumously. These psychological investigations constituted for him a philosophical basis upon which to define mental phenomena, very much in the manner Husserl had set out to perform in his Logical Investigations.
Husserl's early work on presupposition-less descriptive psychology was also concerned with Brentano's concept of presentation and the intentional inexistence of an object. Following Brentano and Carl Stumpf, he regarded the essential nature of psychic acts as having content and, normally, an object. At the turn of the twentieth century, the emergence of psychology as an independent discipline, liberated from the traditional tutelage of philosophy, led to intense investigations of human behavior which soon revealed the need for subtler methods of analysis than those provided by the physical sciences.
Gradually, a new conception of the individual emerged, different from the traditional conceptions as new mathematical physics was different from its mechanistic predecessor.
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For certain authorities, knowledge attains legitimacy when it has been invested with the power of tradition. The need to make an appeal to tradition represents one of the characteristics that grants authority to classical authors. In his quest for a scientific methodology with the objective of tackling new problems, Ortega asked whether philosophical legitimacy was attainable without appealing to traditional authority.
The formal principles for discursive justification provide the procedural basis for distinguishing new science from the classical. For, he writes,. Obras , XII: Scientific research, as a way of expanding knowledge, obliges us to overcome classicism. The very process of apprenticeship carries within itself the requirement that it come to an end and yield to independent creation.
To study or to learn from a classic ultimately impels us to emulate what its author did: to surpass the previous classical stance, to transform, to extend, and to renew science itself. Obras , XII: — From this stance, Ortega maintained that classical or traditional science possessed an aura of privilege, distance and permanence about it, but the new science, in challenging this privilege and claims of permanence with an alternative perception of reality, disintegrated that aura and allowed the inquirer to encounter reality in terms of his or her own time and place.
In view of this characterization, Ortega formulated his philosophical objective within the context of the early twentieth century. My purpose is to study the fundamental problems of psychology with the purpose of making systematic psychology possible.
These problems … do not allow for vague treatment; in fact, they demand a most detailed and, if possible, exhaustive inquiry. Since , Ortega remarked in his work The Idea of Principle in Leibnitz and the Evolution of Deductive Theory , which was published posthumously in , a.
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Obras , VIII: , n. The discrepancy between science and experience, though extreme for some of his contemporaries, became one of his central concerns during this period. Modern physics, while leaving mechanistic explanations of certain natural phenomena intact, shattered the overall mechanistic conception of nature.
It demolished the notion of an objective reality with all that it implied: the unity of nature, both human and physical, the universality of natural laws, the determination of physical processes, and the ability of science to solve all problems of the natural world. The findings of modern physics, therefore, were bound to have had an enormous impact on general culture, even greater than that, according to Ortega, of biology in the mid-nineteenth century. Albert Einstein, he argued, struck the first telling blow against the concept of an objective reality—a concept that assumes the existence of universal time and space into which nature fits, independently of the observer.
Einstein demonstrated that there is no single spatial and chronological frame of reference. Every observer is confined to a specific and relative time-space system. To establish distance between ourselves and reality as a manner of understanding these lived experiences—which are by no means absolute—we have to project ourselves into the place of another person and situation.
In doing so, we may come to distinguish among persons, things and situations and thereby come to observe reality more closely Obras , III: , , Instead of withdrawing from consciousness, as has been done since Descartes, we become firm in the radical reality which is for every one his [or her] life. Obras , VIII: In this manner, by , Ortega's ambivalence towards adopting a phenomenological method became apparent in his search for a coherent method of analysis. Through this connection, the phenomenological method of analysis, and the analysis of human life experiences, performed interchangeable functions for Ortega in the systematic apprehension of the traditional problem of being.
This explains the positive side of the ambivalence which prompted him to approach and accept phenomenology. However, on the other side of the ambivalence, he avoided phenomenology where the emphasis appears to be more abstract and in the tradition of idealism.
His response to Husserl's Formal and Transcendental Logic  points to his criticism of this tendency in phenomenology. Several European thinkers who were influenced in one way or another by concepts of the phenomenological movement, but were not necessarily members of the movement, became dissatisfied with the alleged solipsistic standpoint of Husserl's transcendental phenomenology in the Formal and Transcendental Logic.
Ortega was one of these thinkers, although he did not explicitly express any dissatisfaction with what he perceived as the solipsistic implications of the transcendental idealism in the latter work until twelve years later.
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In two lectures delivered at the Sorbonne in , Husserl introduced ideas which transformed his earlier position on transcendental phenomenology from a world of isolated ideas into a world community of intersubjective individuals. The observations and insights made in the lectures were amplified later in his Cartesian Meditations and Crisis. In these later writings, Descartes' ego lost its abstract, absolute status as it became correlative to the world of experience [ 1—8, ]; [ —55, , —63].
He opposed this tendency toward transcendental idealism in Formal and Transcendental Logic but refused to completely reject phenomenology Obras , V: Our discussion thus far makes manifest Ortega's ambivalence toward phenomenology. Indeed, in a long footnote at the conclusion of Notes on Thinking , Ortega invited a comparison between himself and Husserl.
At the time of his Cartesian Meditations and Crisis of European Sciences , Husserl proclaimed that scientific knowledge can be understood only to the extent that we first understand the notion, Lebenswelt.
follow url The Crisis became famous for its thematic treatment of the concept, life-world. Truth has been defined here as lived experience of truth—that is, evidence. Evidence is revealed exclusively in present experience, and thereby truth is always and exclusively tested in present experience as one cannot relive the flux of experience. There is no absolute truth, as postulated by either dogmatism or skepticism. Rather, truth defines itself in process, as revision, correction, and self-surpassing. This dynamic process occurs at the heart of the living present. Also, in regard to the life-world, the innovative contribution of Crisis lies in Husserl's attempt to provide a thematic account of history, the historicity of the life-world and subjectivity within the overall framework of transcendental phenomenology.
Furthermore, the concepts of history, the historicity of the life-world, are made possible by the inner historicity of every human being living in it. History becomes mastered not by an a-historical apriorism, but by a transcendental stance which demonstrates that the process of constitution developed in history may be, in its essential structure, deciphered in reflective thinking by the reflecting ego, like the constitution of modern science. Thus, the truths of science are founded neither in Divine Providence, as Descartes thought, nor on the a priori conditions of possibility, as Kant thought.
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Rather, they are grounded in lived experiences on which the truth of the theoretical consciousness is based Husserl [ —51, —78, —95]. Upon insisting that he arrived at this position independently of Husserl, Ortega made clear his favorable response to the innovative contribution made by Husserl in the Crisis. Obras , V: —7, n. Therefore, Husserl's later works, particularly Cartesian Meditations and the Crisis , which were attempts to resolve the difficulties inherent in transcendental phenomenology and representative of his phenomenological philosophy, were not diametrically opposed to the themes of human life.
Nor did they neglect the importance of postulating the epistemological and ontological functions of the experience of human life. Clearly, Husserl's idea of Lebenswelt was the kind of notion that Ortega discussed in his own philosophy of human life. But this affinity in thought does not negate minor differences between the two thinkers. Husserl's development of the problem is, in my opinion, much less successful than his definition of it, although there are many admirable discoveries in his development.
Obras , VII: — Man and People feature essays which Ortega developed and presented in several lectures and courses over a period of approximately twenty years. In a Prologue to his Ideas and Beliefs , Ortega announced in the forthcoming appearance of two major works: a philosophical exposition, Dawn of Historical Reason , and the corpus of his social doctrine, Man and People. These variegated expositions were compiled and published posthumously from — The foregoing discussion should not suggest an absence of shared viewpoints between Ortega and Husserl, and Husserl's intellectual influence on Ortega.