Evidence and Being: The Metaphysics of Husserl's first four Cartesian Meditations
This thesis examines the metaphysics of Edmund Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology. Specifically, I focus on Husserl’s ‘Cartesian way’ to phenomenology as it is presented in the first four Cartesian Meditations. In the first part of the thesis, I provide an account of Husserl’s concept of evidence, and detail how considerations of evidence lead Husserl to the methodological procedures known as the epoché and the transcendental reduction. These methodological procedures limit inquiry to the field of evidence-experience. I then provide an account of the method of phenomenological description, with a particular focus on the manner in which Husserl seeks to explain the ‘transcendence’ of the world from within the bounds of evidence-experience. In the second part of the thesis, I discuss how Husserl’s phenomenological methodology interacts with metaphysics, and argue that it cannot be understood as metaphysically neutral. It is also incompatible with both realism and correlationism. Finally, I argue that Husserlian phenomenology is most accurately categorised as a form of idealism.