Research Seminar of Philosophy
Husserl’s Transcendentalization of Mathematical Naturalism: Maddy and Husserl in Comparison
This paper aims to explicate how Husserl’s philosophy of mathematics is reliant on certain kind of naturalism about mathematics, but - importantly - not reducible to any kind of naturalism of mathematics nor of anything else for that matter. I will elaborate on the similarities between Husserl’s views, especially as expressed in Formal and Transcendental Logic (1929) and Penelope Maddy’s naturalized methodology (as developed in Naturalism in Mathematics, 1997) and the consequent “second-philosophical thin realism” (Maddy 2007, 2011). Husserl’s view is not reducible to naturalism in mathematics thanks to the transcendental dimension exploited in phenomenology. By means of the transcendental dimension, the phenomenologist is able to sharpen the intrinsic criticism of the examined practices and examine sources of normativity in the way that is not available to the straightforward naturalists. Transcendental phenomenology thus draws from naturalism, but as a different point of view, it is itself not naturalizable.