Cartesian meditations / Paris lectures
Husserliana Volume 1
From documents written in 1929
Published in 1973
German Title: Cartesianische Meditationen und Pariser Vorträge
English title: Cartesian meditations and the Paris lectures
Editor: S. Strasser
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Related texts:
On-line text:Paris Lectures / German.
English translation of Paris Lectures: English translation / Paris Lectures.
 

Subject: History of the Cartesian Meditations
The Cartesian Meditations originate in two two-hour lectures delivered at the Sorbonne in 1929, under the title "Introduction to Transcendental Phenomenology." These have been published in English as the "Paris Lectures." The lectures comprise a nice 40 page introduction to Husserl's late thought. In the two years following the Paris Lectures, Husserl (with his assistant, Fink's help) expanded and revised them into the Cartesian Meditations, which were published in French in 1931. The relevant philology (tracing one text to the other with the help of marginalia and page-drafts) is contained in the (untranslated) introduction to Husserliana 1. Husserl, however, was not happy with this text, and withheld publication in German as he began work on yet a third version of the Paris Lectures, which he informally called the "German Meditations." As Don Welton points out: "the result was the Cartesian Meditations were never released in German, which means that what we now have bearing the title Cartesianische Meditationen is precisely the text Husserl decided not to publish" (7). Fink had been charged with revising the French meditations into the German Meditations, resulting in the "Sixth Cartesian Meditation" (available in translation under Fink's name). However this was not Husserl's work, and by 1932 Husserl had, as Dorion Cairns reports, "given up the idea of a short introduction to phenomenology." From this point to his death in 1939, Husserl turned his attention to a larger systematic overview of his phenomenology--efforts that would result in his final work, the Crisis. So the meditations represent Husserl's penultimate effort at an overview of his thought, and his final effort at a concise overview.
--Jeffrey Yoshimi