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Méditations Cartésiennes. Introduction a la phénoménologie.


Paris, 1931. Lex 8vo. Original printed wrappers. Quite worn - and clearly very thorougly read. Spine taped together. Wrappers chipped at edges, just touching inscription at front wrapper. Wrappers loose. Text nice and clean. (2), VII, (1), 136 pp. + 1 f. (blank). ¶ The rare first edition of the main work of transcendental phenomenology, Husserl's highly important "Cartesian Meditations" - which came to profoundly influence French philosophy for decades to come - with a very interesting presentation-inscription for the important philosopher, who is now primarily remembered for introducing the philosophy of Husserl to the English speaking public, "Herrn Prof. Chr. V. Salmon/ mit herzlichen Grüssen/ E Husserl"; Salmon famously translated Husserl's important Encyclopedia Britannica article on Phenomenology and lectured on Husserl in English, spreading his thoughts in the English speaking world - just as Lévinas did in France.

This seminal work is based on two two-hour lectures that Husserl gave at the Sorbonne in 1929. Over the next couple of years, Husserl, together with his assistant Eugen Fink, expanded and elaborated upon the text of the lectures and had Lévinas and Gabrielle Peiffer translate them, under the supervision of Alexandre Kyré, Husserl's former student. The work was not published in German in Husserl's lifetime and only appereared in 1950. In 1960 an English translation appeared.

The "Cartesian Meditations" constitutes Husserl's introduction to transcendental phenomenology and introduces many of his most important ideas - the transcendental reduction, the epoché, static and genetic phenomenology, eidetic reduction, and eidetic phenomenology.

"Having received his M.A. in philosophy at Oxford, Christopher Verney Salmon studied with Husserl in Freiburg during the winter semester of 1922 and again during 1926-1927. In the summer of 1927 Salmon defended the doctoral dissertation that he had written under Husserl's direction, "The Central Problem of Hume's Philosophy: A Phenomenological Interpretation of the First Book of the "Treatise on Human Nature". The was published a year later in Husserl's "Jahrbuch", and Husserl refers to that forthcoming publication in his Bibliography to Draft A of the Article. A year after translating the EB article, Salmon was appointed a lecturer at the University of Belfast, and he continued to present Husserl's philosophy to the English-speaking public. On December 2, 1929 he delivered a lecture to the Aristotelian Society in London, "The Starting-Point of Husserl's Philosophy". Soon after that he helped W.R. Boyce Gibson read the page proofs of Boyce Gibson's translation of Husserl's "Ideas", and in 1932, a year after the work came out in English, Salmon published a review of it. However, contact between Salmon and Husserl fell off after that, and in the spring of 1937 Husserl noted that Professor Salmon had not written to him over the last years. Salmon published a brief article in French on Husserl in 1947. He died in 1960." (Sheehan and Palmer, the Preface to: Edmund Husserl: Psychological and Transcendental Phenomenology and the Confrontation with Heidegger (1927-1931), pp. 62-63).

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