EVIDENCE OF COGITO: DESCARTES AND HUSSERL
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:
THE EVIDENCE OF EGO COGITO
DISTINCTION BETWEEN DESCARTES AND HUSSERL
M. Verónica Arís Zlatar
General aspects to consider
1. Both have the purpose to leave the naïve evidence of everyday life in order to begin from a radical ground of evidence.
2. The hyperbolic epoché of Descartes by which he adds an evil genius for neutralizing the rational evidence of mathematics, and in Husserl the epoché as the neutralization of the certain thesis of the natural attitude of our everyday life, putting into brackets every level of our beliefs.
3. The historical scientific context of both. Descartes is founding the science as we know it today and Husserl is in presence of a deep cultural crisis of the rationality and its achievements. The thing in Husserl is to establish not merely the constrictive structure of deductive sciences (for instance in Logical Investigations, 1901), but also an authentic ground for the existent sciences for the human life (for instance in Die Krisis, 1936). In this way the quality of the purpose is different.
4. Descartes find the realm of transcendental subjectivity in order to legitimate the objective existence of the world by different kinds of inferences. Husserl opens the realm of transcendental subjectivity in order to know how this radical field of being is, as the condition of meaning of the constitution of the living world experience.
5. The consciousness-of the world in Descartes becomes clear in attention to the self as res cogitans. The consciousness-of the world in Husserl becomes clear by the reflective turn to the giver transcendental source of meaning/sense.
6. The exclusion of the worldly content of thoughts in Descartes reveals the metaphysical structure of consciousness, through the innate ideas and the adventitial ideas from them. The epoché of Husserl lets appear the world in view of its meaning/sense.
7. The Cartesian epoché wants to get a valid metaphysical starting point. The husserlian epoché tries to explain and unveil the intentional character of consciousness. In this way Descartes develops a lineal program of argumentation, while Husserl develops a circular or spiral explanation regarding his constant radicallity.
8. The return to the world in its validity is made by Descartes through the mediation of inferences from the cogito and the God. The “return” to the world (because he never left the world) in Husserl consists in the open and extended structure of intersubjectivity by a very renew monadology, overcoming at the same time any solipsismus.
9. In Descartes and in Brentano as well we can identify evidence, adequatio and apodicticity. In Husserl since 1929 evidence, adequatio and apodicticity are independent characters of what is given as how is given. On the other hand, the givenness of cogito that is an entire immediate givenness in Descartes, has in Husserl of 1929 its own gradient of appearing. That is why phenomenological evidence must be studied in its critical limits to overcome the phenomenological naïveté implicit in it.
M. Verónica Arís Zlatar
 Some aspects considered here are taken from the classes of Roberto Walton in a study group that we conformed with some friends in UBA, Buenos Aires, 2006-2008. Organizing my studies here, I cannot resist the enormous greeting feeling for his philosophical generosity.