Ricoeur on Husserl’s Ideas II

In Ricoeur’s volume of essays on Husserl, I just discovered a piece on Ideas II. Apparently in this work, Husserl rather surprisingly introduced a notion of “spirit” related to the German notion of Geisteswissenschaft (i.e., social or human science). However, it still seems thinner than that of even a deflationary Hegel.

Ricoeur writes, “In reintroducing the dimension of the person and that of community Husserl completes the ego-psyche polarity with a new schema where spirit (Geist) is not the empirical counterpart of the pure subject of phenomenology but is rather a sort of cultural equivalent much more awkward to situate in the phenomenological structure” (Husserl: An Analysis of His Phenomenology, pp. 68-69). Further on, he adds that for Husserl, “Spirit ‘works’… in the world only so far as people understand and approve it” (p. 76). He concludes that Husserl’s “Geist is nothing other than the ego of phenomenology, but without the light of the phenomenological reduction” (p. 80).