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Foreword to the Second Edition (1921)

The present new edition of the final part of my Logical Investigations does not correspond, unfortunately, with the notice in the Preface added in 1913 to the first volume of the Second Edition. I was forced to a decision to publish the old text, only essentially improved in a few sections, instead of the radical revision of which a considerable portion was already in print at the time. Once again the old proverb came true: that books have their destinies. The exhaustion naturally consequent on a period of overwork first forced me to interrupt the printing. Theoretical difficulties that had made themselves felt as the printing progressed, called for revolutionary transformations of the newly planned text, for which fresher mental powers were necessary. In the war years which followed, I was unable to muster, on behalf of the phenomenology of logic, that passionate engagement without which fruitful work is impossible for me. I could only bear the war and the ensuing ‘peace’ by absorption in the most general philosophical reflections, and by again taking up my works devoted to the methodological and material elaboration of the Idea of a phenomenological philosophy, to the systematic sketch of its foundations, to the arrangement of its work-problems and the continuation of such concrete investigations as were in these connections indispensable. My new teaching activity at Freiburg favoured a direction of my interest to dominant generalities and to system. Only very recently have these systematic studies led me back into the territories where my phenomenological researches originated, and have recalled me to my old work on the foundations of pure logic which has so long awaited completion and publication. Divided as I am between intensive teaching and research, it is uncertain when I shall be in a position to adapt my old writings to the advances since made, and to recast their literary form. It is also uncertain whether I shall use the text of the Sixth Investigation for this purpose, or shall give my plans, whose content already goes far beyond the text, the form of an entirely new book.