Preliminary Remark

The task of the lectures and the passion for questioning genuinely and rightly

The lectures have a twofold task: 1. Establishing and opening up the horizon within which specific facts of the matter are to be expected. Provisional orientation of the perspective, stripping away mistaken expectations. 2. Concretely working out the facts of the matter that have, step-by-step, been made more accessible; familiarity with the objects and with the way of dealing with them theoretically.

Before anything else, the following misguided expectations need to be stripped away: 1. No journalistic information about phenomenology, no divulging of some trick for perceiving essences. 2. More dangerous, because more entrenched: no foundation, no program or system, is given here; not even philosophy should be expected. It is my conviction that philosophy is at an end. We stand before completely new tasks that have nothing to do with traditional philosophy. This view is, however, only a clue. Only facts of the matter are of significance. Definition, classification, explication, and disputation are of secondary importance.

The task of the following considerations is threefold: 1. Elucidation of the expression "phenomenology"; 2. representation of the breakthrough of phenomenological research in Husserl's Logical Investigations. 3. Representation of the development of phenomenology from this point on, to what extent it is maintained, to what extent it has taken a turn or in the end has been given up, as far as its decisive meaning is concerned.

History of the words: φαίνομενον and λόγος—two original words of Greek philosophy; from the transformation of their meanings, it becomes possible to understand how the specific meaning of phenomenology arose. Insofar as these words enunciate "existence," we move, with their clarification, within the history of Western humanity's existence and the history of its self-interpretation. From Husserl's self-interpretation of "phenomenology" immediately after the Logical Investigations, it becomes understandable how he conceives and further shapes the task of phenomenological research. As a way of showing what we are up to, we will fix on existence as our main theme; that is to say, world, dealings in it, temporality, language, one's own interpretation of existence, possibilities of interpreting existence.

No acquaintance with philosophical notions is presupposed. To the contrary, [there are only] three presuppositions: a passion for questioning genuinely and rightly. The passion does not happen at will; it has its time and its tempo. A readiness must be there, the readiness that consists in: 1. concern for an instinctively