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Phenomenology was born of Edmund Husserl’s epistemological project to found philosophical knowledge upon an indubitable basis. Wishing to overcome the pitfalls of any form of relativism (historical, sociological, psychological), Husserl looked to consciousness itself as the source and matrix of all knowledge. In his Logical Investigations (1900/1970), he issued forth the “battle cry” of phenomenology: Zu den Sachen selbst!  -- often translated as “to the 'things' themselves”, but more accurately understood as a challenge to philosophy to return to the ‘matters’ at hand, to the ‘affairs’ of consciousness: that is, a return to the intimate and participative relationships of consciousness within the world of everyday experience.

Husserl would spend almost four decades producing intricate analyses of consciousness in all of its transcendental manifestations (perceiving, remembering, fantasizing, empathizing, and so on) while serving as inspiration for the work