Empty and Filled Intentions in Husserl's Early Work
Our theme in this dissertation is the theory of empty and filled intentions (leere und erfüllte Intentionen), as that theory is introduced, developed, and employed in the opening years of Husserl's career. The first major exposition and employment of the theory is provided by Husserl's Logical Investigations (Logische Untersuchungen, 1900/1). In chapter 1, we show how the introduction of empty and filled intentions in Investigation I arises from Husserl's attempt to understand the nature and function of signs. In chapter 2, we turn to Husserl's further exploration and use of the theory of empty and filled intentions in Investigations V and VI.To elucidate the background and development of the theory of empty and filled intentions, we turn to Philosophy of Arithmetic (Philosophie der Arithmetik, 1891). In chapters 3 and 4, we uncover a series of parallels between the theory of empty and filled intentions in Logical Investigations and the theory of "symbolic and authentic presentations" (symbolische und eigentliche Vorstellungen) in Philosophy of Arithmetic. This leads us to argue that the theory of empty and filled intentions is actually a more mature version of the theory of symbolic and authentic presentations. Finally, in "Psychological Studies in the Elements of Logic" ("Psychologische Studien zur elementaren Logik," 1894), Husserl (a) argues that Philosophy of Arithmetic's terminology of "presentations" should be replaced, and (b) introduces the notion that intentions can be filled (or "fulfilled"). We turn to this article in chapter 5, and show how it provides the decisive link between Philosophy of Arithmetic's theory of symbolic and authentic presentations and Logical Investigations' theory of empty and filled intentions. By clarifying the terminological and theoretical developments that occur between Philosophy of Arithmetic and Logical Investigations, chapter 5 completes the argument of chapters 3 and 4. The theory of empty and filled intentions is, in fact, a more mature version of the theory of symbolic and authentic presentations.
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