User Review - Flag as inappropriate
The one star is in regard to the translation, not the actual work. This is of course one of the most important texts in the history of philosophy and the most complete presentation of the so-called "transcendental" phase of Husserl's phenomenology. As such it cannot be rated any more than the Bible or Shakespeare can be rated.
But, if you can, get a hold of the now out of print Gibson translation of Ideas I. It's outdated, to be sure, and sometimes anachronistic, but Gibson actually knew German. Fred Kersten's translation, on the other hand, is no better than one a machine might produce. He often confuses adverbs for adjectives, overlooks the subjunctive mood, mistranslates active verbs as passive, and sometimes neglects to translate entire clauses. To make matters worse, he has chosen to render Husserl's already plodding and difficult prose into an awkard and forced technical terminology, one which attempts to interpret the meaning of Husserl's terms and their systematic force beforehand. To be sure, some interpretation is necessary in all translation, but Kersten goes too far, giving senses to words that are in fact a matter of scholarly investigation, not simple translation. And for all of that, he is INCONSISTENT in his technical rendering (for example, "aktuell" is alternatively "actional" and "actual", for no apparent reason).
I don't believe that texts need always be read in their original in order to be sufficiently understood. There are masterpieces of translation. This is rubbish.