§8. The presuppositions of Husserl’s critique

the empirical nature of the physical and mental, which were taken as if they were one. We can understand this confusion in terms of the destiny of philosophy toward the end of the nineteenth century. Every philosophy and science has its destiny, and it would be small-minded and bourgeois to think that we could exempt ourselves from these conditions imposed on questioning and seeing.

§8. The presuppositions of Husserl’s critique:
a specific concept of truth as the guiding idea

Every genuine critique has to speak from a positive position. In the present case, that means that Husserl could point out the error of psychologism and demonstrate it to be absurd, only insofar as he had already beforehand gotten a firm grip [54] on the basic distinction of being as empirical and as ideal. The content of the whole critique is basically nothing but the strict and relentless enforcement of this distinction with regard to thinking. The distinction is between thinking as an act of thinking and thinking as what-is-thought, the “thought.”

The lawfulness of thinking, which has to be the subject matter of logic, is not the lawfulness of the act of thinking, but of what-is-thought.The legitimacy and correctness—the truth of thinking, the truth that originates from the adequation of things to laws—is also a feature of what-is-thought. With that we have a general direction for understanding the concept of truth that underlies the critique of psychologism and that is then explicitly carried through from the Logical Investigations onward—namely, validity.

Thus truth is not some kind of empirical property of a mental occurrence, like weariness or inhibition. Rather, it is a mark of the “content of thought.” What is true in the primary instance is not the act of proposing or the connections of the proposing but what is proposed as such, the proposition. Truth has its home in the proposition in itself. The proposition itself , as such, and precisely as truth, is called a truth in itself: 2 × 2 = 4.

To exemplify this in terms of λόγος: In this view, what is true is not the λέγειν, the speaking and discussing, but the λεγόμενον, that which is said as such, that which is sayable and posited in each case and always in the same way: the λεκτόν [what can be expressed; the meaning].

οἱ μὲν ἐν τῷ σημαινομένῳ, τουτέστιν ἀσωμάτῷ λεκτῷ, τὸ ἀληθὲς καὶ Τὸ ψεῦδος ὑποτίθενται, οἱ δ̉ ἐν τῇ φωνῇ, οἱ δ̉ ἐν τῷ κινήματι τῆς διανοίας. (Sextus Empiricus, Adversus Mathematicos VIII, 69)28

28.[See SE, vol. 2, pp. 270, 272.]

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