Last semester I took an independent study/readings course on formal ontology and phenomenology. I read some of the work of Edmund Husserl, Adolf Reinach, and Barry Smith. There is, I think, a lot to like about phenomenology, realist phenomenology at least.
In attempting to clarify my own objections to Husserl’s transcendental turn, the notorious transcendental reduction, I ran across this fantastic gem by Karl Schuhmann and Barry Smith entitled “Against Idealism: Johannes Daubert vs. Husserl’s Ideas I.” I had trouble understanding Husserl and, especially, formulating objections to him because of his penchant for using terms in ways completely different from how I and many others of his time were used to.
In reading Schuhmann and Smith’s paper on Daubert, I was struck by apparent parallels between his thought and that of Ayn Rand. Unfortunately, I don’t know how deep the parallel’s run because none of Daubert’s work is published in English, much less any language. The translated quotations, mainly on the subjects of metaphysics (ontology) and epistemology, cited in a few articles by Schuhmann and Smith are about all there is.
I did, however, attempt tentatively to trace some of the parallels between Rand and Daubert in these areas in my final paper for the course. Here is the result of my efforts: “Against Idealism: Rand and Daubert vs. Husserl’s Ideas I.” If Rand was familiar with Husserl or his Ideas, I am not aware of it. Daubert, however, was intimately familiar with Husserl’s work and had a chance to react to it in his own work. In my paper, I attempt to show how Ayn Rand might have objected to Husserl as well and how her work is similar to Daubert’s in this regard.