The Giants and Forerunners of Phenomenology: Husserl, Heidegger, and their Predecessors

Cheryl Marie Patton 1 * , Joshua Broward 1

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp. 79-94

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Scholars trace phenomenology as a philosophical movement back to the early twentieth century. The origins of the phenomenological movement are mostly credited to two German philosophers: the “founding father” of phenomenology, Edmund Husserl, and his successor, Martin Heidegger. The pair were instrumental in creating the framework for today’s inductive qualitative phenomenological research designs. However, the roots of phenomenology spread further than these two German philosophers. This article describes the thoughts of the two phenomenological giants as well as the earlier influences on the emergence of phenomenology, stemming back to ancient Greece. Though not all-encompassing, this historical overview offers a richer and deeper look into the emergence of phenomenology as a philosophical tradition.

Keywords: phenomenology, history, early influences, Husserl, Heidegger, philosophy