I've been looking into Husserl for a while now, and am going to condense some thoughts here about his philosophy. His phenomenology I believe is a good starting point for moving into a more powerful and comprehensive method of conception and applied logic, applied to whatever object or situation or idea we want to understand. But his philosophy is also seems to be a simplistic and underdeveloped phenomenology. He makes some mistakes that render phenomenology to seem somewhat stupid and unnecessary, but I think this is only because of these mistakes he makes.
First mistake I notice, he separates the object of an expression(a written or speech act) from that expression's "meaning". For him the object is whatever is referred to, the meaning is "what we mean by" that referring-to; however I do not think we can or should distinguish like this. I'll use an example from a book I have:
"The victor of Jena" and "the defeated of Waterloo" are two different expressions that according to Husserl have the same object referred to (Napoleon) but have different meanings. From this he concludes that objects of expressions are different from the meaning of the expression. This is accurate within the confines of the system that he is using to parse the operation, but I think is only a simplified view: my view is that the object of the expression cannot be divorced from the meaning of the expression, because the object in each case can only be considered "the same" if we ignore the meaning associated to the object that is being expressed in the expression, which we should not do. Namely, Napoleon is not the same Napoleon-as-object-referred-to in both expressions, and only becomes and is an object-referred-to in so far as it comes with a particular place in space and time, particular attributes and aspects, and particular contexts of meaning and significance associated to it. The Napoleon has gathered around it a kind of "cloud" of contexts, significances, factors and attributes and it makes no sense to divorce Napoleon from these as if we could see a "pure object" Napoleon that is somehow the "proper" object of the expressions. Husserl thinks that objects can only be objects because of the existence of meaning; therefore I take it a step further and affirm that it makes no sense to imagine that speech or written expressions have a "pure object" that would be divorced from the meaning behind the expression and, as Husserl also noticed, from which meaning the object comes into existence as object anyway. In fact I think that the meaning itself is the true object of the expression, and the "object" such as in this case "Napoleon himself" (supposedly divorced of associated meanings) in really only an image that analysis (improperly) extracts from the meaning for the sake of convenience.
I think it is impossible for any expression to simply refer to an object "only", there is always a larger context and meaning; and further I think that the expression is always referring to that meaning, or to be more precise, I think that the expression itself is only a derivative outcome and consequence of the existence of the meaning. Expressions do not come out of nowhere, they appear as secondary byproducts of meanings, as meaning-become-actualized within some linguistic sphere. So to be accurate and philosophical, we must state that both the expression and its supposed object are secondary functions of the primary existence of a meaning.
Another point I disagree with Husserl is in the eidetic reduction he proposes. This is a way of applying phenomenology as method: 1) one brackets (pretends for the moment that it doesn't matter if it exists or not) the issue of a phenomenon's real or imagined existence, namely we take an experience or object perceived (physically outside ourselves or mentally inside our minds) and deliberately do not ask after the real status or reality of this experience or object beyond its appearance to us, then 2) we attempt to reduce this appeared object to its necessary constituent parts, removing anything that is unnecessary or incidental (example: eidetic phenomenological reduction of a cup on my desk here, I bracket the question of "is there really a cup there beyond my subjective experience of it; what is really there "in reality" beyond my subjective conscious interpretation?" and focus on the phenomenon of the cup as it appears to me at all conscious levels of perception, thought and meaning. Then I go about listing all the attributes of the cup and categorizing these into necessary or unnecessary (for instance, the cup-ness or the fact that it can hold liquids would perhaps be a necessary aspect, the color or size of the cup would be an unnecessary aspect). After exhausting all aspects of the phenomenon we should then have a true reduction of the phenomenon to its necessary being.
But my issue with this approach is that it is simply establishing a bare definition of something, and that's it. Sure, this is important to do, we want to get an idea of what the objects of our experiences are really conceptually and logically defined as at the basis level, but that's not really very interesting either; what is more interesting is to actually use an opposite kind of method, an anti-reductive one:
1) Phenomenologically bracket the object same as before *
2) Look at the relations of the object to other objects; find the boundary-points at which the object ceases and another object collides with it
3) Elevate these boundary-regions phenomenologically by examining both the physical-material and the mental/emotional-immaterial meaning of those relations between the objects.
4) Categorically separate relations into hierarchies of more and less important, significant and substantive-causal.
The simpler approach of Husserl's reduction can be a support for step 1 by helping us delimit the primary object. But beyond that we are actually moving non-reductively; we are expanding "up" through the object and its relations rather than "down" into just the object itself. So this is a way of reifying that wants to align itself to the actual reality which in fact exists of, for, as and to the objects in question and so avoid any mistaken and false (imagined) reifications.
This method is profound because it takes a thought and expands it while deepening it, exploding the conceptual space toward the universal. Accurately doing this over time means that one's thought is becoming more universal and less error-ridden, which is what philosophy is really about.
What I like about phenomenology and Husserl is the direct focus on meaning as such, on the "ideal" component of things and a deliberate refusal to collapse thought and analysis into the realm of the material or linear. Most people are always de facto mentally collapsed in this way, acting as if the reality-standard for things is a thing's "physical-ness", when in fact I see the immaterial (so called) aspect of things is far more significant and even can be a direct reality standard as such, replacing the unstated assumption that whatever is real is whatever is "more physically existing". People assume a physical chair they are sitting on is more real than the idea of a chair they have in their minds, when in fact I think it is the opposite and that idea is literally more real than is that chair they're sitting on. This is also one of the tenants of Tectonics.
* Notice also that this bracketing is overcome in later points of analysis, as examining relations and boundary-points of objects necessarily become also about the physical material makeup of the objects as well as their ideal or meaningful and factual aspects; completing the analysis would remove even the need for "bracketing" at all, because would lead to a complete understanding of whatever was being examined.
“Be clever, Ariadne! ...
You have little ears; you have my ears:
Put a clever word in them! —
Must one not first hate oneself, in order to love oneself? ...
I am your labyrinth ...”. -N
“A man is not great if he is not small, and he is not small if he is not great. Concepts flirt with the loss of their significance in the oscillation between ambiguous states, and this is in part the function and purpose of concepts.” -Primer on Meaning