Husserl on Reason, Reflection, and Attention

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This paper spells out Husserl’s account of the exercise of rationality and shows how it is tied to the capacity for critical reflection. I first discuss Husserl’s views on what rationally constrains our intentionality (section 1). Then I localize the exercise of rationality in the positing that characterizes attentive forms of intentionality and argue that, on Husserl’s account, when we are attentive to something we are also pre-reflectively aware of what speaks for and against our taking something to be a certain way (section 2). After discussing the conditions under which this pre-reflective awareness gives way to reflective deliberation (section 3), I contrast this account to a compelling Kantian-inspired account of the activity of reason that has recently been developed by Matthew Boyle (section 4). In particular, I argue that Husserl delimits the scope of the exercise of rationality differently than Boyle, and I show how this implies different accounts of the self.</jats:p>
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in Phenomenology
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


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