Husserl's Phenomenology: Knowledge, Objectivity And Others by
Kevin Hermberg (Continuum Studies in
Continental Philosophy: Continuum International Publishing Group)
fills a gap in previous Husserl scholarship by offering a treatment
of the problems of intersubjectivity and empathy that goes beyond
their mere possibility to explore the questions of whether and how
empathy contributes to the attainment of knowledge. Hermberg focuses
his investigation on Husserl's introductions to phenomenology
(Ideas, Cartesian Meditations, and The Crisis of the European
Sciences) and offers a new look at both Husserl's epistemology and
his position in the Western philosophical tradition.
Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) was one of the most important and influential philosophers of the twentieth century. One would be justified in calling Husserl both the last great representative of classical modern philosophy and the transition by which a new philosophical world came into being. The list of thinkers who claim Husserl as influential to their work is impressive and includes leading figures from every "school" of contemporary Continental philosophy as well as many "analytical" philosophers. Husserl achieved this influence in spite of his texts, which are notoriously difficult and with which he was rarely completely satisfied. So dissatisfied was he that he offered three separate texts labeled "introduction" to phenomenology. In this book Hermberg offers an examination of the interplay between empathy and knowledge as presented in the introductions published by Husserl. Those three introductions are: Ideas: A General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology (Springer) which first appeared in German in the 1913 inaugural issue of Jahrbuch fur Philosophie and Phenomenologische Forschung; Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology (Springer) which is an outgrowth of a set of lectures which was given in Paris in 1929 and published in French in 1931; and The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy (Northwestern University Press) which was written between 1934 and 1937 but of which only the first two parts were published during his lifetime.
In the Western philosophical tradition, knowledge and knowers have been viewed primarily in atomistic terms and the predominant focus of epistemologists has been on individual epistemic agents.' This individualistic approach to thinking about knowledge was re-solidified in the seventeenth century by Rene Descartes and the hyperbolic doubt he introduced as part of his quest for a certain starting point of all knowledge and foundation for all science. The first thing Descartes's doubt uncovered with certainty was the doubting subject itself—doubting/knowing/thinking. From this solipsistic starting point, Descartes hoped to found all knowledge and science. Despite their vast differences, the starting point of the theories of knowledge since Descartes has been almost unanimously atomistic.
The attempt to limit the scope of epistemology to isolated knowers without demonstrating that we are, in fact, isolated individual epistemic agents not only relies on a significant presupposition but also appears to make it impossible to provide a complete account of the nature of human knowledge. After all, one reason—perhaps the main reason—solipsism is such a dissatisfying view is that we don't appear to be isolated beings, and thus isolated knowers. Any system of thought suggesting we are such agents without providing a convincing demonstration of that point doesn't seem to accurately portray our existence.
In recent decades, several philosophers have recognized this shortcoming and taken seriously the notion that we may not be atomistic knowers by investigating the role of social relations in knowledge. The central question of these thinkers is whether knowledge is best understood socially or atomistically. Those who argue for the former view have come to be called "social epistemologists." However, it appears that any view that incorporates the relevance of social relations and contexts risks becoming a form of relativism or being limited to finding only contingent truths rather than the necessary truths for which scientists and philosophers are searching. After all, such a view holds that knowledge is relative to, and thus contingent upon, particular social relations and their contexts. Consequently, it seems that non-atomistic epistemologies have the burden of establishing the possibility of the universal validity or objectivity of knowledge.
On the one hand, then, if our theory of knowledge is atomistic, we are in danger of solipsism. On the other hand, if we take the social dimensions of knowledge seriously, certainty appears to be lost and truths attained look only contingently true, and the charge of relativism lies in waiting.
Edmund Husserl, the father of phenomenology, was firmly rooted in his philosophical tradition. Like Descartes, Husserl aimed at the establishment of a rigorous science with universally valid results. He hoped his phenomenology would give new life to the ancient hope for philosophy as the all-embracing science, providing genuine knowledge and insight into the conditions for the possibility of our everyday lives. In order to arrive at such insight, Husserl took note of the natural standpoint from which we usually go about our lives, recognized that such a standpoint incorporates a multitude of unsubstantiated presuppositions, and advocated the suspension of judgment regarding the things about which such assumptions are routinely made. This excluding of the affirmation, denial, or even doubting of empirical facts about things in the world (including oneself as a part of the world) from his interrogation, along with the radical change in attitude that accompanies such a bracketing, comprises the methodological core of Husserl's philosophy. What is left after the reduction seems to be merely the subject and its experience, that is consciousness. Everything else seems to have been excluded from the interrogation. With his phenomenology, then, Husserl found presuppositionless certainty but seemingly at the expense of being able to say that anything or anybody exists—that is, at the expense of the world. It is easy to see, then, why Husserl has often been read as having held the sort of individualistic approach mentioned above and why he would be accused of falling into solipsism's trap.
Husserl was aware of the possibility of his work being interpreted solipsistically, and he expended quite a lot of energy trying to resolve the apparent problem, aiming to make science and knowledge of the world possible without abandoning his phenomenological method. The key to Husserl's solution is his notion of empathy. Most commentators who have discussed empathy have done so in relation to solipsism and with particular attention to Husserl's discussion of intersubjectivity, his solution to the solipsistic dilemma. Unfortunately, commentators have paid little attention to empathy in relation to the other side of the problem: the universal validity or objectivity of knowledge. It is this aspect of Husserl's notion of empathy, i.e., its relationship to knowledge, that is the topic of this book.
In the literature on the problems of solipsism and the possibility of intersubjectivity in Husserl's texts, the main focus has been on one particular work: the Cartesian Meditations. Many of these commentaries focus on empathy as it contributes to the establishment of intersubjectivity in response to the problem of solipsism. The limitation of such a treatment, however, is that it focuses on the establishment of the possibility of other subjects, and not on empathy's relationship to knowledge (although the two are not unrelated) . That is, most of the work done on Husserl's notion of empathy focuses only on the one aspect of our problem (the issue of solipsism) while all but ignoring the other side of the problem (the possibility of non-solipsistic objective knowledge). To date, despite the vast amounts of insightful and revelatory commentary on Husserl, there has been no in-depth investigation of the relationship between empathy and knowledge in the work Edmund Husserl published (and what little work that has been done on this topic is limited in its scope).
This book will begin to fill the gap. We will see that empathy,
and thus Others, are related to one's knowledge on the view offered
in each of Husserl's introductions to phenomenology. Empathy is
significantly related to knowledge in at least two ways and
Husserl's epistemology might, consequently, be called a social
epistemology: empathy not only helps one build evidence for validity
and thus solidify one's knowledge but also helps to broaden one's
knowledge by affording access to what others have constituted and
known. These roles of empathy are not at odds with one another;
rather, both are at play, at some level, in each of the
introductions. Such a reliance on empathy, however, might give us
cause to consider the degree to which Husserl's is a transcendental
philosophy in the sense Husserl claimed it was. Perhaps it was his
refusal (or inability?) to abandon his commitment to such
transcendentiality that kept Husserl from fully stepping on to the
non-atomistic path he cleared for his successors.
In investigating the empathy-knowledge link, Hermberg is looking into whether, on Husserl's view, the knowing agent is an individual subject in isolation from Others, that is whether, and the extent to which, Others are a condition of the possibility of knowledge. Husserl is usually read as holding, as did many of his modern predecessors, that we are isolated individual knowers in fact, he has even been accused of being a solipsist (in Ideas and the Cartesian Meditations) who later changed his mind (in The Crisis). What will surface in the course of this investigation is a reading of Husserl that suggests that the theme of other subjects being involved in one's knowledge emerges in his early phenomenological writings and receives its most dramatic and innovative statement in his last published text. We will also see that there is some continuity in Husserl's texts on this point. Although this is not yet the standard reading of Husserl's corpus, it is a reading that emerges organically out of an investigation of the texts as we examine the links between empathy and knowledge.
Husserl was concerned with consciousness, its structure and acts, but this concern was primarily with the validity, the being-true of objects on the basis of the way they are given to or constituted in conscious experience. That is to say, at the core of his quest to establish philosophy as a rigorous science and the ground for all rigorous science, Husserl was concerned with accounting for the Objective validity of experience. Three senses of objective are prominent in Husserl's thought: being an object of consciousness; being there for everyone; and being there for everyone in such a way that, given the evidence, one cannot reasonably imagine it otherwise—Objectively valid, with the universality of the second sense of objective in combination with the certainty of apodicticity. The first two senses are prerequisites for the third and Husserl's main focus in his first introduction to phenomenology was on the first sense of objective. According to the doctrine of Ideas, it looks as though one can truly attain this sort of objectivity in isolation and that one's experience of other subjects empathy) has no epistemological role—or, at best, its role is to confirm one's knowledge. However, implicit in what is articulated in Ideas are the seeds of a second role for empathy as a prerequisite for furthering one's knowledge.2
Ideas was the first work Husserl published as an introduction to phenomenology, but it wasn't his first influential work. By 1913, when Ideas was published in the inaugural issue of Jahrbuch far Philosophie and Phanomenologische Forschung, Husserl's Logical Investigations vol. 1 (Routledge) originally published in 1900; Logical Investigations vol. 2 (Routledge) originally published 1901 had already generated both a following and critics. On the view Husserl articulated in the Logical Investigations, validity is obtained via fulfillment. Fulfillment occurs when a subject's presumptive grasp of something meets with the object in a moment of clarity or knowledge (Erkennen). This meeting of the subject and the object changes the subject's presumptive grasp into a moment of genuine insight. On this view, a person can think of something and thus have an intentional object, but that is just to have a subjective or presumptive grasp. It is neither objectivity nor knowledge of the object. At this stage, when the object is a subjective one, the grasp of it is without the clarity of knowledge—it is, to use Husserl's term, empty. Such an intention can be filled, partially filled, or not filled. An empty intention is filled by the subjective or presumptive grasp of something meeting with that something in a moment of intuitive clarity.
Fulfillment—that which moves one from an empty, uncertain, subjective or presumptive grasp of something to a full-blooded understanding or knowledge of it—is the ground of truth and knowledge. In the Logical Investigations, Husserl had set up a sort of correspondence theory of knowledge: the intended meaning must meet with (i.e., coincide with or correspond to its object in a moment of perfect adequacy. The moment of fulfillment is the moment in which evidence is given—the moment of knowledge. As Adorno put it: in the Logical Investigations, Husserl "defines evidence as fulfillment, and it functions for him as the criterion of truth." Many of the objects we hope to know about are perceptual objects and the fulfillment regarding perceptual objects depends on perceptual experience. But the fact that one can never have a complete "view" of external objects in perception presents some difficulties for the doctrine of fulfillment. Since perceptual experiences of objects are perspectival, one can never meet an external, perceptual object with the adequacy required for complete fulfillment. Thus, one can't really reach the truth about such matters—at best, one can reach an incomplete, subjective, or presumptive grasp of the thing experienced.
So, the Logical Investigations' doctrine of empirical fulfillment is problematic when it comes to perceptual objects, but the difficulties of the doctrine are more pervasive than that. Husserl began with the subject's mental act (the presumptive grasp), and the criterion by which presumption and knowledge are distinguished from one another is also a mental act (the subject's experience of "meeting the object"). Thus there is no way to move from what the subject judges and presumes to be fact to what is actually fact, from what seems to be the case to what one knows to be the case. That is to say, as Gunther Patzig suggests, "the daring bridge called evidence, which was intended to connect judgment with fact, had the drawback, rather unfortunate in a bridge, that it ended up on the same side of the river from which it began." Since Husserl began with what seems to the subject to be the case (i.e., a subjective or presumptive grasp) and he grounded knowledge on the evidence of fulfillment (i.e., on the intuition had by the subject), his doctrine of fulfillment doesn't take us where it promises—it is a bridge that merely does a u-turn and comes back to the bank on which it began. Husserl's heavy reliance on the subject empirically meeting the object in question in the Logical Investigations' account of understanding and knowledge sabotages that very account and makes truly objective knowledge an impossible dream.
Written a little more than a decade later, Ideas offers, among other things, an alteration of the Logical Investigations' doctrine of fulfillment. In this move beyond the Logical Investigations, Husserl abandoned the notion of the actual perceptual meeting of the object in a moment of clarity as the definitive-yet impossible source of evidence and knowledge. Instead, Husserl adopted the view of fulfillment as a regulative idea which motivates further investigation and offers a goal. Movement toward that goal brings stronger evidence.9 The next sections of this chapter will briefly sketch the doctrine of the noematic fulfillment put forth in Ideas and glance at the notion of evidence involved in that doctrine as well as the different levels of certainty to be found in Ideas. Shortcomings of the doctrine will surface, but it will also become clear that empathy has a place in Ideas: explicitly, empathy helps to solidify evidence and confirm what one can know in isolation; implicitly, empathy is a condition of the possibility of knowledge.
Remember: Husserl was concerned with consciousness, its structure and acts, but this concern was primarily with the validity, the truth of objects on the basis of the way they are experienced. In Ideas, validity is the result of harmony (both the harmony of the expectations involved in a noematic complex with subsequent experiences and harmony with other subjects). There is an implicit notion of empathy left unexplored in that text. The Cartesian Meditations offers the most celebrated (and maligned) part of Husserl's explicit treatment of empathy and intersubjectivity—his theory of empathy by which Husserl sought to uncover a path from the isolated ego to intersubjectivity. The theory of empathy is, in part, an attempt to get out of the apparent predicament of solipsism that is faced by a move to the transcendental ego (a move Husserl made in both Ideas and the Cartesian Meditations).
By "empathy," Husserl still meant, in the Cartesian Meditations, one's experience of Others—that is one's experience of others as other subjects. Empathy is not the experience of feeling what the Other feels and it is not the thinking of what the other person thinks. For, as Merleau-Ponty reminds us, "I shall never in all strictness be able to think the other person's thought. I can think that he thinks ... [through empathy] I know unquestionably that that man over there sees, that my sensible world is also his, because I am present at his seeing."2 As it did in Ideas, in the Cartesian Meditations, intersubjective harmony serves as the guarantee of validity. As the path to intersubjectivity, the theory of empathy presented in the Cartesian Meditations plays a vital role in the attainment of Objectively valid knowledge.
Husserl saw the job of the Cartesian Meditations, especially the Fifth Meditation, to remedy a deficiency in Ideas. In the preface to the English edition of Ideas (1931), Husserl suggested that phenomenology is to be distinguished from subjective idealism because its doctrine of intersubjectivity provides grounding for the "real" world. Although some people read Ideas as presenting a subjective idealism, Husserl claimed that such an interpretation is only appropriate to the extent that Ideas" suffers ... from a lack of completeness." What is lacking in Ideas is the proper consideration of transcendental solipsism or transcendental intersubjectivity" (Ideas 18). Husserl used the preface to inform his English-reading audience that the works more recent than Ideas, including and especially the Cartesian Meditations, "contain an essential supplement in the detailed treatment of the fundamental problem of transcendental intersubjectivity, wherewith the solipsistic objection completely collapses"
Intersubjectivity is a requirement for Objectivity (i.e., an object's being accessible to everyone). After all, if objects can be experienced by Others, they cannot be reduced to being only my intentional correlates. Thus, the development of a transcendental intersubjectivity and the establishment of access to Others helps Husserl in his quest for both Objectivity and validity. That is to say, as Dan Zahavi summarizes:
the intersubjective experienceability of an object guarantees its real transcendence . . . [and] only insofar as I experience that Others experience the same objects as myself, do I really experience these objects as objective and real. Only then do the objects appear with a validity.
The experience of others as other subjects is not merely a way out of the methodological problem of solipsism to which the phenomenological reduction seems to lead; since it is a requirement for intersubjectivity, empathy a condition of the possibility of any knowledge of external, transcendent objects or the world whatsoever. Consequently, contrary to what some early commentators suggested, Husserl did not introduce the theme of inter. subjectivity into his philosophy merely as a response to the question of solipsism. The role of intersubjectivity is much more significant than that. For Husserl, especially in his writings after Ideas, the theory of intersubjectivity serves as a guarantee for actuality, for the world of transcendent objects Without intersubjectivity, there would be no bridge between consciousness and the world.
Ideas, with its dual paths to apodicticity, and its bold assertions about intersubjectivity and harmony, opened a legitimate space for discussing and investigating the possibility of multiple subjects having harmonious evidence regarding the same object. That sort of project is furthered in the Cartesian Meditations with the establishment of the possibility of intersubjectivity and a description or theory of how empathy is possible. Because of its importance to the doctrine of intersubjectivity, empathy plays a significant role in
the establishment of Objectivity in addition to helping to solidify one's knowledge. Once in the intersubjective sphere, my intentions include a horizon of co-intentions with Others. Continued harmony within this sphere is what affords Objectivity as well as a condition of the possibility for validity. The importance of the role of empathy accounts for the disproportionate amount of space dedicated to this issue in the Meditations, for the Fifth Meditation is nearly as long as the first four combined.
Although empathy plays a role in the establishment of Objectivity, Husserl's conceptualization and use of empathy in the Cartesian Meditations still seems to prioritize the original ego. Despite the fact that inter-subjectivity can afford harmony to one's knowledge, and even make validity possible, the intersubjectivity is still rooted in (i.e., constituted by) the transcendental ego. In a sense, then, the stance taken in the Cartesian Meditations is like that stance offered in Ideas except that in the former Husserl went through the trouble of explicating how empathy and intersubjectivity are possible.
Husserl was concerned with consciousness, its structure and acts, but this concern was primarily with the validity of Objects based on how they are experienced. On the view articulated in Ideas, validity is attained via harmony (either the harmony that moves one's experience toward adequacy, the harmony involved in noematic fulfillment, or harmony between multiple subjects). On the view articulated in the Cartesian Meditations, validity still comes to fruition via harmony, but the world, its objects and knowledge are all presented as intersubjective. Ideas placed the emphasis on the transcendent thing as a guide for, and the goal of, its analysis. The phenomenological method, however, seems to put into question the very possibility of the existence of such a transcendent thing and of the other subjects involved in solidifying one's own knowledge of things. The Cartesian Meditations uncovered the conditions of the possibility of such transcendent things and the experience of Others. The discussion in the Meditations, however, relies on an awareness and understanding of other subjects preceding the establishment of the possibility of experiencing them through the theory of empathy. Ideas took empathy for granted. The Cartesian Meditations offered a theory of empathy, thus explicating the possibility of objectivity and Objectivity.
Despite its advancement over Ideas regarding the Objectivity that science requires, there is a tension in the Cartesian Meditations: the apperception and pairing at the heart of the Fifth Meditation's theory of empathy make sense in a world where one is already aware of and familiar with Others and common concepts, but the sphere of ownness from which Others are explicated seems to preclude such awareness and familiarity. In the Cartesian Meditations, Husserl didn't adequately address the issue of the communication required for the evidence needed to attain apodicticity and Objective validity in an intersubjective world. Yet, even with these shortcomings, Husserl was right to note that a consequence of his analysis of intersubjectivity in the Cartesian Meditations is that there is no longer a phenomenological problem of the existence of a shared, communal world. That is, intersubjectivity and a shared world are truly correlative such that an analysis of the one is at the same time an analysis of the other.
In The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, Husserl offered an investigation of the pre-awareness of Others and the world as well as the possibility of attainting apodicticity through communication. He did this without really asking the question of the possibility of the experience of Others which had been a major focus of the Meditations, yet this text begins to explicate that which was presupposed by but left unsaid in the Cartesian Meditations. Since our concern is with knowledge, Objectivity, and Others, and since knowledge and Objectivity rely on evidence, a brief reminder of evidence as it appears in The Crisis is in order. From there, we shall take a look at intersubjectivity and the life-world on which that evidence is built and how it is possible for intellectual objects to be Objectively valid across time. Much of Husserl's treatment of evidence in this last text echoes what he said in earlier texts, but the emphasis of The Crisis is such that one can no longer take seriously the notion of an isolated, atomistic knower. There is a sense, then, in which Husserl's treatment of evidence in The Crisis is "one long last look backward before looking forward forever."
Focusing on a small group of related concepts, the previous chapters have offered an introduction to Husserl's epistemology as presented in his published introductions to phenomenology. Having done the archeology of working through the treatment of evidence, empathy, intersubjectivity, and validity in those three texts, we can now piece things together: we can see that the texts rely on two roles of empathy in the attainment and solidification of knowledge, sketch the relationships between Husserl's introductions to phenomenology, and consider the effect of the roles of empathy on the conception of Husserl's phenomenology as a transcendental philosophy.Hermberg opened this book with the suggestion that, like the protagonist of Matthew Arnold's poem, Husserl was wandering between two worlds. Husserl's continual return to an atomistic transcendental ego, even after he put that sort of epistemology into its grave by establishing the role of Others in the attainment and validation of knowledge, is another instance of this wandering. Despite his reluctance to leave the more traditional, atomistic, approach behind and wholeheartedly embrace the intersubjective path, the introductions to phenomenology published by Edmund Husserl open the door to a new, more social approach to epistemology. Consequently, we should consider whether Schmitt and Corlett have been mistaken in identifying social epistemology as a field that opened up in the 1980s and 1990s. Husserl's epistemology was clearly social in the sense that Schmitt and Corlett use the term. Even if it was not seen as such for fifty years or so, Husserl's work brought into view a new world in which knowledge relies upon a social dimension. With this new world comes a host of questions Husserl did not bring himself to answer—opening the door to a new realm for his successors to explore and which demonstrates that the phenomenological project continues to march along with social science.
Husserl and Transcendental Intersubjectivity: A Response to the Linguistic-Pragmatic Critique by Dan Zahavi, translated by Elizabeth A. Behnke (Series in Continental Thought, Vol 29: Ohio University Press) argues that an intersubjective transformation of transcendental philosophy can already be found in phenomenology, especially in Husserl. Husserl eventually carne to believe that an analysis of transcendental intersubjectivity was a conditio sine qua non for phenomenological philosophy.
Drawing on both published and unpublished manuscripts, Dan Zahavi examines Husserl's reasons for this conviction and delivers a detailed analysis of his ideas. He compares Husserl's view with the approaches to intersubjectivity found in Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau‑Ponty; and he then attempts to establish to what extent the phenomenological approach can contribute to the current discussion of intersubjectivity. This is achieved through a systematic confrontation with the Language‑pragmatical positions of Apel and Habermas.
Excerpt: The critique mounted by linguistic philosophy against a philosophy of the subject‑a critique that has been so predominant in 20thcentury thought‑is often interpreted as the manifestation of a far‑reaching philosophical paradigm shift namely, as a shift from a philosophy of subjectivity to a philosophy of intersubjectivity.
Although the critics of a philosophy of the subject have readily been able to agree that it has to be replaced by an intersubjective alternative, the very concept of "intersubjectivity" has remained conspicuously unthematized. It has often simply sufficed to assert that language was intersubjective for it to be taken as the point of departure for philosophical analyses.
However, there are exceptions to the latter procedure as well, i.e., there are philosophers who have also subjected intersubjectivity itself to a thematic treatment. Apel and Habermas belong among these exceptions, and where German is spoken, the view that an intersubjective transformation of philosophy is a real necessity has been principally spread through their works. Both of them have criticized the classical monological or methodologically solipsistic mode of thought in detail from a linguistic‑pragmatic perspective, and indeed have done so with exceptional thoroughness and singleness of purpose.
Their critique presents a decisive challenge for phenomenology, for both Apel and Habermas understand their position as explicitly overthrowing the phenomenological account, which in their opinion is encumbered with a number of grave aporias. Thus both have reproached the phenomenological theory of intentionality (and the Husserlian version in particular) for having ignored the intersubjective, linguistic, sociocultural, and historical conditions of constitution, as well as for implying a misleading understanding of truth and meaning.
Moreover, both Apel and Habermas deny the possibility of anyone privately following a rule; they accordingly claim that meaning is linked with communication, not with intentional experiences. Hence speakers cannot have any prelinguistic intentions, for intentionality is conditioned and made possible a priori by the deep grammatical structure and the formal pragmatics of language itself psychic states are only transformed into intentional contents when these psychic states are inserted into the structures of linguistic intersubjectivity. Thus both thinkers want to replace the primacy of intentionality with the priority of linguistic communication.
Against this background, both Habermas and Apel also find it necessary to emphasize the sharp distinction between a subjective "experience of certainty," on the one hand, and intersubjective, linguistically expressed "validity claims" on the other. In other words, truth is not to be sought in the private evidence available to consciousness, but rather in the linguistic and argumentative grounding of a criticizable validity claim. The truth of an assertion lies in the fact that everyone can justifiably be prevailed upon to recognize the validity claim of the assertion as legitimate. Hence truth can only be demonstrated in the successful argumentation through which the validity claim is cashed in.
Insofar as the meaning of truth is measured by the requirement of achieving a consensus, and insofar as the condition of the truth of assertions is the potential agreement of all others, the character of the philosophical paradigm shift we have alluded to is already clear. That is to say, the transformation in question is the one that Apel proposes in his Towards a Transformation of Philosophy, where he defends the thesis that a critical reconstruction of the idea of transcendental philosophy from the vantage point of linguistic theory is necessary. It is by no means a matter of abandoning the transcendental mode of inquiry, but of renewing it‑indeed, by taking the contemporary insight into the transcendental status of language and of the linguistic community as the starting point. If language is to be taken as the condition of possibility for truth and validity, the earlier paradigm of an epistemology based on the analysis of consciousness will have to be replaced by an epistemology based on the analysis of language. It is no longer possible to proceed on the basis of the transcendental I or ego as the guarantee of the validity of knowledge; rather, as intersubjectively valid, knowledge, experience, and constitution themselves are always already linguistic, and to this extent they are mediated by the synthesis of public communication. Thus instead of speaking any longer of the conditions of the possibility and validity of representations, instead of attempting to ground knowledge in a prelinguistic and pre‑communicative synthetic accomplishment of the individual, what is at stake is reviving the Kantian question as a question regarding the possibility of argumentation, and of intersubjective understanding concerning the meaning and truth of propositions and systems of propositions. Accordingly, the "highest point" of transcendental reflection would no longer be the "unity of the consciousness of the object and of self‑consciousness," but the intersubjective unity of interpretation ‑a unity that has to be attained. The transcendental synthesis of apperception is thus replaced by an intersubjective process of forming a consensus, and the transcendental subject is transformed into a linguistic community.
In the following work, we shall take up the question of the transcendental relevance of intersubjectivity. Hence we wish to analyze transcendental intersubfectivity. However, our point of departure will not lie in linguistic pragmatics; on the contrary, we will be arguing for an alternative approach: even within phenomenology‑and within Husserlian phenomenology in particular‑it is possible to find an intersubjective transformation of classic transcendental philosophy (and this in spite of all the current accusations leveled against phenomenology's "solipsism").
Although the chief task of the present work will consist of providing a systematic presentation of Husserl's phenomenology of intersubjectivity (which at the same time will cast new light on a number of his basic phenomenological concepts), at bottom our interest lies in investigating what a phenomenological treatment of intersubjectivity as such is capable of accomplishing. Ultimately, we wish to establish to what extent phenomenology is affected by the linguistic‑pragmatic critique; to what extent it can reply to this critique; and to what extent it can contribute to the present discussion of intersubjectivity on the whole. And for this very reason, we shall not limit ourselves to Husserl's work (although we definitely do consider his analyses to be of fundamental significance), but shall also incorporate reflections on intersubjectivity by Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau‑Ponty. And this will allow us to conclude by explicitly confronting the phenomenological account with the linguistic pragmatics developed by Apel and Habermas under the influence of Peirce and Wittgenstein.
However, the fact that our critical confrontation with linguistic pragmatics comes only at the end of the volume does not at all mean that it is only introduced in passing, for as we shall see, the linguistic pragmatic account, and the critique stemming from it, was decisive for the structure of our interpretation of Husserl. It is not that we simply accept the linguistic‑pragmatic critique without further ado‑quite the reverse. But in order to make the confrontation and comparison possible at all it was necessary to allow our presentation and analysis to be structured by the questions raised by linguistic pragmatics.Finally, however, it must also be pointed out that the following interpretation of Husserl is systematically oriented. If there is any mention of the course of development of Husserl's thinking on intersubjectivity, it is only by way of exception,' and our interpretation will attempt on the contrary to present the philosophical culmination of his reflections. The use of research manuscripts is therefore also justified for precisely this reason, provided that such use brings analyses to light that surpass the observations on intersubjectivity that were actually published by Husserl himself.
of Time: Edmund Husserl's Analysis of
Time-Consciousness by Toine Kortooms (Phaenomenologica, 161: Kluwer Academic
Publishers) Edmund Husserl occupied himself with the analysis of
time-consciousness throughout his life. In this book, the three stages that may
be distinguished in Husserl's occupation with this theme are discussed in their
interrelationship. The first stage consists of a lecture manuscript from 1905;
the second stage consists of the so-called Bernau manuscripts, research
manuscripts that were written in 1917 and 1918; and the final stage consists of
the so-called C-manuscripts, research manuscripts that were written in the late
1920s and the early 1930s.
Central themes in the discussion of Husserl's phenomenology of time in this book are: the connection between the analysis of time-consciousness and the analysis of phantasy-consciousness and image-consciousness; Husserl's position in the debate between A. Meinong and W. Stern concerning the possibility of the perception of time; the self-constitution of absolute time-consciousness; the influence of Husserl's development of genetic phenomenology on his analysis of time-consciousness; and the question of the intentional character of time-consciousness.
Author summary: The first book of Edmund Husserl's Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy consists, as the subtitle indicates, of a general introduction to a pure phenomenology. In this introduction, Husserl very briefly addresses time‑consciousness. Ini 81,1 he points out that, in his quest for an absolute foundation of a pure phenomenology, he has hitherto remained silent about an entire dimension. The absolute foundation he had found, pure or transcendental consciousness, turns out not to be the ultimate and truly absolute foundation. The dimension that has remained unmentioned, which does provide such a foundation, is time‑consciousness. However, because time‑consciousness is a completely delimited sphere of problems, he did not need to take the enigma of timeconsciousness into account in the preliminary analysis that is constituted by the general introduction to phenomenology. In a footnote to this passage from Hua IIII1, Husserl reports that, with respect to what is essential, his involvement with this enigma was brought to a conclusion in 1905, and that he presented the results in his lectures. The lecture course Husserl refers to is the course he gave in the winter semester of 1904/1905.2 The fourth part of this lecture course is entitled "On the Phenomenology of Time."
In the introduction to the lecture course from WS '04/'05, Husserl also emphasizes the fundamental character of the analysis of timeconsciousness. He points out that, in Logical Investigations, he has remained silent about an entire dimension, namely the dimension of the phenomenology of the original intuition of time. He assesses the difficulties associated with the development of a phenomenology of the original intuition of time as being probably the greatest in the whole of phenomenology. In this introduction, Husserl is more modest than in the footnote from Hua III/1 mentioned above. In this footnote he points out that his involvement with the enigma of time‑consciousness has come to an end with respect to what is essential, but in the introduction to his lecture course from WS '041'05, he argues that, as a teacher, he prefers to speak about issues that have not yet come to a conclusion and about which he remains silent as an author for that very reason. The attitude to which this remark in the introduction bears witness is better suited to the actual course of events of Husserl's thinking in general, and certainly to his actual involvement with the analysis of time‑consciousness in particular. His involvement with the enigma he faces in this analysis is not at all brought to a conclusion in the fourth part of the lecture course from WS '041'.
On the fundamental importance of the problem of time‑consciousness for Husserl's phenomenology in general, one may refer to what Martin Heidegger has to say on this issue, in his foreword to the 1928 edition of Edmund Husserls Vorlesungen our Phanomenologie des inneren Zeitbewufltseins. According to Heidegger, the exposition of the intentional character of time‑consciousness in particular, and the fundamental elucidation of the notion of intentionality in general, is of decisive importance in Husserl's analysis. He points out that the term "intentionality" must also today, that is, in 1928, be understood as the title for a central problem, rather than as a slogan.5 The extent to which Heidegger's last remark is correct, in particular concerning the development in Husserl's analysis of timeconsciousness, may appear from Husserl's texts discussed in the inquiry at hand. In these texts, Husserl continues to struggle with the meaning of the concept of intentionality, and with the question whether, and if so, how, this term applies to what takes place in timeconsciousness.
Many texts bear witness to the fact that during the whole of his philosophical career; Husserl concerned himself again and again with the analysis of time‑consciousness. This is especially demonstrated by two collections of manuscripts, the so‑called L‑manuscripts and the so‑called Cmanuscripts. The L‑manuscripts, also known as the Bernau manuscripts, named after the place in which they were written, originate in the years 1917 and 1918.6 These manuscripts are almost exclusively dedicated to the analysis of time‑consciousness. The C‑manuscripts come from the period lasting from the late 1920s to the early 1930s. In these manuscripts, Husserl also extensively addresses the enigma of time‑consciousness, but not as exclusively as in the L‑manuscripts. Both collections of manuscripts bear witness to the fact that Husserl by no means concluded his analysis of time‑consciousness in the fourth part of his lecture course from WS '04/'05.
I consider the texts mentioned here to be three stages in the development of Husserl's thinking about timeconsciousness. They provide the material on which my inquiry is mainly based. In the first part, the fourth part of Husserl's lecture course from WS '04/'05 is at the center; in the second part, the L‑manuscripts are discussed; the third part deals with the C‑manuscripts. Both the L‑ and the C‑manuscripts are so‑called research manuscripts. As is well known, Husserl developed his thoughts in writing. The research manuscripts are the direct expression of this thought process.? What Husserl says about his lecture manuscripts in the introduction to his lecture course from WS '04/'05 applies a fortiori to research manuscripts. What is portrayed in these manuscripts is not so much the result of a thought process, but rather the process itself, in all its versatility and restlessness. Because my inquiry is largely based on research manuscripts, it offers a good insight into the workroom of the philosopher Edmund Husserl.
Introducing the discussion of the first stage, the first chapter of this inquiry begins with a consideration of two parts of the lecture course from WS '04/'05 that precede the fourth part. In these two parts, Husserl discusses the structure of perception and the distinction between perception and phantasy. Especially in the discussion of this distinction, two issues are raised that also play a part in Husserl's analysis of timeconsciousness. These issues concern the modifying character of phantasy and the discontinuous transition from perception to phantasy. Perception and phantasy cannot form a continuous unity with respect to the object that is presented (vorgestellt). The point of departure of the first stage of Husserl's analysis of time‑consciousness consists of a formulation of the tasks of this analysis and of a discussion of Franz Brentano's view of time‑consciousness. The first task is to submit the subjective consciousness of time to phenomenological analysis. The second task is to answer the question how temporal objectivity is constituted in the subjective consciousness of time. The consideration of Husserl's discussion of Brentano's view shows how his criticism of Brentano is partly founded on the results of his analysis of phantasy. Husserl can use these results because Brentano considers phantasy to be the origin of the presentation of time.
The second chapter consists of a consideration of Husserl's analysis of time‑consciousness in the lecture course form WS '04/'05. By way of an outline of the problems involved, I discuss the positions taken by several other authors concerning the perception of time. In my choice of these authors, I follow Husserl. He discusses the position of several authors in his analysis. I select two themes from the debate among these authors. The first theme concerns the question whether consciousness of time is itself of a temporal nature. The second theme concerns the structure of
so‑called primary memory. How should this primary memory be distinguished from memory in the everyday sense of the word, that is, from recollection? With regard to the first theme, Husserl takes sides against A. Meinong. He strongly believes in the temporal nature of time‑consciousness. The assumption of a consciousness of time that takes place in one indivisible moment cannot be justified phenomenologically. With regard to the second theme, Husserl points to a double meaning of what is called perception. If the notion of perception is taken in the abstract and ideal sense of a perceptual consciousness of something that is present at this moment in time, then perception can be opposed to primary memory. If the notion of perception is taken in the concrete sense of an original consciousness of an object, then primary memory is an essential part of perception. In this regard, Husserl joins the position taken by W. James in this matter. Primary memory, contrary to recollection, cannot be considered to be a mode of consciousness that represents (vergegenwdrtigt) something. Finally, Husserl briefly examines the second task of an analysis of time‑consciousness: answering the question how objective time is constituted in the consciousness of time. He does not elaborate on this question in his lecture course from WS '04/'05. He only points out that, in his analysis thus far, in which the temporal determinations "present" and "past" play an important role, he has paid no attention to the objective determinations of time. These last determinations refer to the absolute position an object occupies in objective time.
In the third chapter, two developments are sketched that occurred in the years following Husserl's analysis from 1905. The first development concerns the discovery of so‑called absolute time‑consciousness. In this absolute consciousness, the temporal unity is constituted of those things Husserl used to consider to be really immanent components of consciousness. Husserl no longer looks at sensation as being equal to merely having a content of sensation. Sensing presupposes an underlying intentional constitution of this content. The second development concerns Husserl's new interpretation of the modifying character of both primary memory and representing consciousness, such as phantasy and recollection. In this new interpretation, Husserl no longer adheres to the hypothesis of a content of consciousness that is now present, which serves as an apprehension‑content of a special apprehension that results in the presentation of an object that is not present itself. His new interpretation is expressed in what he calls the through and through modifying character of recollection and phantasy as well as primary memory.
The second stage in Husserl's analysis of time‑consciousness is discussed in the second part of this inquiry. This stage is reflected in the Lmanuscripts dating from the years 1917 and 1918. Since these manuscripts are research manuscripts, a clear structure, sometimes within but especially between these manuscripts, is lacking. In order to give some structure to Husserl's analysis, I distinguish three models designed by Husserl according to which he tries to describe the structure of time‑consciousness. In chapter four, I discuss these models.
In the first model, Husserl considers the possibility of interpreting primary memory or retentional consciousness by analogy with imageconsciousness. His reason for doing so is that it enables him to do justice to the continuous character of the transition from an abstract perception of a present moment to retention. The problem that confronts Husserl in this model is that it cannot explain properly why a retentional apprehension will attach itself to the initial primal presentation of a content that is fading away. Because of this problem, he is forced to return to his view of retention as being a modifying consciousness through and through, analogous to phantasy. This implies the return of the problem that caused the consideration of the first model. Besides, Husserl now points to a new problem, namely the danger of an infinite regress of levels of consciousness.
Husserl designs two strategies in the L‑manuscripts to parry the danger of infinite regress. The first of these is the core of the second model. In this model, Husserl considers the possibility that the constitution of the temporal unity of experiences in immanent time only takes place if attention is directed toward these experiences in a reflective turning of regard. Prior to the grasping attention, the only thing that takes place is a mere running‑off of data without any intentional constitution whatsoever. The merit of this model is that it pays attention to the specific characteristics of a grasping, attentive aiming at something. It does not consider this aiming to be a mere attentional modification of an intentional process of constitution that takes place anyhow. In the end, however, this second model is not tenable according to Husserl. A mere running‑off of data does not offer enough hold for the constitution of temporal unities in the reflective turning of regard.
This state of affairs leads Husserl to consider another strategy to parry the danger of infinite regress. This strategy takes shape in the third model. The notions of absolute time‑consciousness and of self‑constitution of this consciousness are essential to this model. The notion of selfconstitution enables Husserl to parry the danger of infinite regress. Not only does the constitution of experiences as temporal unities in immanent time take place in absolute consciousness, but the constitution of the temporal unity of absolute consciousness itself also occurs in absolute consciousness. Characteristic of the third model is the attention Husserl pays to the role of protention in time‑consciousness. Previously, he hardly considered protention, the temporally forwardly oriented consciousness, worthy of treatment in its own right. Together with the attention paid to protention, the theme of fulfillment (Erfullung) comes to the fore. Protentional consciousness is fulfilled by primally presenting consciousness. Husserl distinguishes two kinds of fulfillment in the third model. General fulfillment is involved in the self‑constitution of absolute time‑consciousness. Particular fulfillment is involved in the constitution of the temporal unity of experiences.
In chapter five, some developments are addressed that can be demonstrated in Husserl's analysis of timeconsciousness in the L‑manuscripts. The point of view in the consideration of all these developments is the genetic phenomenological perspective. The period in which Husserl began to develop his so‑called genetic phenomenology coincides with the period in which the L‑manuscripts were written. This perspective may do justice to the renewing character of a number of developments in his analysis of time‑consciousness in the L‑manuscripts. This renewal manifests itself in the attention Husserl pays to dynamic aspects of timeconsciousness. A first development concerns the attention Husserl pays to the role of protention in time‑consciousness in the third model. That Husserl takes a genetic phenomenological point of view in his analysis of protention in the L‑manuscripts is shown by comparing this analysis with what he says about protention in a lecture course dating from 1920. A second development concerns the structure of primally presenting consciousness in the successive models in the L‑manuscripts. The structure he ascribes to primally presenting consciousness in the third model shows that Husserl distances himself from the scheme apprehension ‑ apprehension‑content. The structure of primally presenting consciousness in the third model also offers an answer to the question that is central to his consideration of the first model. This question concerns the required continuous transition from protentional to primally presenting consciousness and from primally presenting to retentional consciousness. Husserl's analysis of recollection in the L‑manuscripts is also carried out from a genetic phenomenological point of view. This becomes apparent in the attention he pays to the specific anticipatory tendency in recollection and in a new function he ascribes to what is retained. The retentional horizon functions as a secondary sensuousness. In his analysis of phantasy in the L‑manuscripts, Husserl pays attention to time as the principle of individuation. This analysis is also more oriented toward the intentional correlates of consciousness. In this sense, this analysis, contrary to most analyses in the L‑manuscripts, has a noematic perspective. The final development concerns the role of the ego in time‑consciousness. In some Lmanuscripts, Husserl points out that, in his analysis so far, he has neglected an entire domain, namely the domain of the ego. If this domain is taken 'into account, new aspects of time‑consciousness emerge. Finally, an unclarity is pointed out which Husserl runs into in his analysis of these new aspects.
The final stage in Husserl's analysis of time‑consciousness is discussed in the third part of this inquiry. This stage is reflected in the so‑called Cmanuscripts, dating from the late 1920s to the early 1930s. His analysis of timeconsciousness in the C‑manuscripts links up with the last development described in chapter five. On the basis of the new meaning Husserl gives to the concept of hyle, I discuss a consequence of his distinction between the domain of sensuality and the domain of the ego. The distinction between form and matter can no longer be interpreted as a distinction between apprehension and apprehension‑content. Now, it has to be interpreted as a distinction between an egoic stratum and a nonegoic one. Another new element in Husserl's analysis in the C‑manuscripts concerns the specific temporal process belonging to the affections and actions of the ego. Husserl distinguishes between a specific egoic temporalization and a specific egoic retentionality belonging to affections and actions of the ego on the one hand, and material temporalization and material retentionality belonging to the mere stream of experiences on the other hand.
A central question in Husserl's analysis of time‑consciousness in the C‑manuscripts is whether a passive intentionality is operative in the primal stream, prior to the active intentionality that originates from the ego. Husserl calls into question two of his earlier attempts to answer this question affirmatively. This results in the conclusion that no passive intentionality is operative in the primal stream on the basis of which one could speak of a passive intentional constitution of the hyletic unities and of the affections and actions insofar as they are unities in the primal stream of consciousness. The fact that Husserl drops the notion of a passive intentionality that would operate in the constitution of temporal unities in the primal stream is linked with a change that occurs in his view of the structure of consciousness. The primal stream is no longer considered to be the most original phenomenon. The new point of departure is the distinction between ego and nonego. This implies that Husserl no longer assumes a vertical, foundational structure of consciousness. In such a vertical structure, three levels of consciousness are distinguished: absolute, immanent, and transcendent consciousness. These levels are piled up, so to speak. The upper level is founded on the lower level because the lower level constitutes the temporal unity of the upper level. Instead of this vertical structure, Husserl employs a horizontal structure of consciousness in the C‑manuscripts.
The conclusion Husserl draws regarding the notion of a passive intentionality, however, does not alter the fact that an active temporal constitution by the ego presupposes something. A certain formation of unity has to take place in order for the ego to be able to perform its active constitution. Husserl deals with this formation of unity under the heading of the primally associative fusion (urassoziative Verschmelzung). While this notion of fusion does indicate that Husserl wants to underline the passive character of what happens in the primal stream preceding the active involvement of the ego, it does not seem appropriate to characterize what happens in the pre‑consciousness of hyletic unities as prebeings in a pre‑time. Maurice Merleau‑Ponty's concept of operative intentionality may be a useful addition here.
To conclude the discussion of the C‑manuscripts and to illustrate the difference between the views of timeconsciousness developed in the Land C‑manuscripts, the theme of infinite regress is dealt with. In the C-manuscripts, Husserl uses the argument of the danger of infinite regress to reject the notion of a passive intentionality that would function in the primal stream. The notion of self‑constitution, developed in the third model of the L‑manuscripts to parry the danger of infinite regress, is considered by Husserl in the C‑manuscripts to belong to the domain of the ego. It does not play a role anymore in parrying the danger of infinite regress.
Contents. Acknowledgements. Introduction. Part 1: Husserl's Analysis of Time-Consciousness in the Lecture Course from WS '04/'05. 1. The Context of Husserl's First Analysis of Time-Consciousness. 2. The First Analysis of Time-Consciousness. 3. Developments in the Years Following the Lecture Course from WS '04/'05. Part 2: Husserl's Analysis of Time-Consciousness in the L-Manuscripts. 4. Three Models for the Description of the Structure of Time-Consciousness. 5. The Perspective of Genetic Phenomenology. Part 3: Husserl's Analysis of Time-Consciousness in the C-Manuscripts. 6. The Last Analysis of Time-Consciousness. Abbreviations. Bibliography. Index of Names.
ISSUES IN HUSSERLS IDEAS II
edited by Thomas Nenon and Lester Embree
Contributions to Phenomenology
Kluwer Academic Publishers
$143.00, hardcover, 263 pages, notes, bibliography, indexes
"There is almost an inverse proportion between the influence that Husserl's Ideas II exercised on important philosophical developments in this century and the attention it has received in secondary literature. Part of the explanation for this disproportion lies in the history of its publication. Although most of the manuscripts which formed the basis for this study were composed between 1912 and 1915, a handwritten shorter draft of the book was undertaken by Edith Stein around 1916, and a second longer version was composed by her two years later (which was typed up by Landgrebe in 1924/25), Book Two of Husserl's Ideen zu einer reinen Phanomenologie und phanomenologischen philosophic was not published until 1952 as Volume IV of the Husserliana series.
"It was not until 1989 that it was translated into English by Richard Rojcewicz and Andre Schower and thus made available to a wider audience. Moreover, even today Husserl's failure to carry through his project of a series of concrete phenomenological analyses of various important ontological regions that would serve as concrete illustrations of phenomenological method described in Book One of the Ideas II, presents the reader with difficult textual problems, since it is apparent that the text presented here is anything but a seamless whole. Most of these text-historical questions will never be resolved or will be so only after someone has undertaken the arduous task reconstructing, if possible, the original stenographic manuscripts that were available to Stein and later Landgrebe in their editorial efforts.
"In spite of these impediments, however, the Ideas II proved to be a decisive text in the history of phenomenology even before it appeared. Anyone vaguely familiar with Heidegger's analyses of the worldhood of the world and the contrast between Vorhandenheit and Zuhandenheit, between the concrete, everyday surrounding world (Umwelt) and the abstract world of theoretical science, cannot help but be struck by the parallels to Section Three of the Ideas II. This is certainly no accident. During Heidegger's early Privatdozent years in Freiburg, and as a young professor in Marburg years, he had access to various unpublished manuscripts by Husserl, These would have included above all those prepared by Edith Stein, of which the Ideas II and the lectures on internal time consciousness were the most extensive and important examples. Of course, there are other influences at work in these sections of Being and Time, such as Dilthey who was also a source of many of Husserl's own ideas, the backdrop of the NeoKantian (Rickert and Windelband) distinction between natural and cultural sciences, with which Husserl and Heidegger were both familiar, as well as Heidegger's reading of Aristotle from a practical as opposed to a theoretical perspective. Nonetheless, it is clear that Husserl's analyses of the personalistic attitude in the Ideas II was a direct and immediate influence upon Heidegger. At the very least, the Ideas II puts to rest the opinion, common for a time, that Husserl owed his concept of the life-world to Heidegger. The Ideas II shows that the concept of Umwelt, which would be replaced by that of the life-world during the 20's and 30's for Husserl, was fully developed already by 1915 at the latesti.e. before he had ever met or read anything by the young Heidegger.
Similarly, in the introduction to the English edition of the Ideas II, the translators recall Merleau-Ponty's high estimation of that text, which he had studied closely at the Husserl-Archives in Leuven prior to the composition of his Phenomenologie de la perception. Both Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty will part ways with Husserl over questions of philosophical methodology and the notions of a pure ego that figure into the Ideas I in such a central way. Thus, it has been common to speak of Heidegger's and Merleau-Ponty's rejection or at least overcoming of Husserlian phenomenology. The Ideas II, however, documents some of their ongoing debt and the continuity between Husserl and some of his more critical successors in phenomenology.
The text of the Ideas II is divided into three main sections, Section One dealing with the constitution of material nature, Section Two with the constitution of animal nature, and Section Three with the constitution of the spiritual (geistige) world of persons and cultural objects. The essays in this volume will deal with various aspects of all three of these sections. What unites the three sections, and is thus also a recurrent theme in the following studies, is the notion of "constitution," which serves as a bridge between the earlier Husserl's static phenomenology, which analyses the structures of various kinds of objects and the essential relationships between them, and his later genetic phenomenology, which shows how various kinds of objects are constituted from the most basic temporal structures of consciousness.
In the Ideas I, Husserl had described the necessary correlation between noesis and noema in a general way. In the Ideas II, we find concrete examples of such correlation, expressed now in terms of the correlation between different attitudes (Einstellungen) and different kinds or regions of objects. Moreover, the emphasis on the priority of the nonphysical realm over the physical which one finds expressed in terms of the priority of the transcendental ego over the objects constituted for consciousness in the Ideas I takes on a new dimension when it is linked to the priority of the personalistic over the naturalistic attitude, the surrounding world of concrete experience over the abstract world of science in the Ideas II. Even later phenomenologists reject the notion of a transcendental ego from the Ideas I, still continue to build on the Husserl's insights into the priority of the attitudes guiding our concrete daily existence as they are outlined in the Ideas II.
The essays in this volume concern the issues raised in the Ideas II. The starting point is often a passage from the Husserlian text, yet each of them goes beyond the text in some way by addressing one or more of the problems raised by Husserl's analyses of the constitution of these various realms. It will become apparent that the contributors do not restrict themselves just to what Husserl has said, and that questions concerning the status of the text as a philological question have not been addressed. However, each of them demonstrates that there is much to be learned from the complex and rich phenomenological descriptions presented by Husserl in the Ideas II. We hope that this volume will further the project of phenomenology by encouraging others also to return to the Ideas II and the issues raised there, and to learn from Husserl and likewise to go beyond him in an orientation zu den Sachen selbst."
adapted from Thomas Nenon
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHENOMENOLOGY presents phenomenological thought and the phenomenological movement within philosophy and within more than a score of other disciplines on a level accessible to professional colleagues of other orientations as well as to advanced undergraduate and graduate students.
SIXTH CARTESIAN MEDITATION: The Idea of a Transcendental Theory of Method
by Eugen Fink and Edmund Husserl
Translated by Ronald Bruzina
(Studies in Continental Thought)
Indiana University Press
$35.00, Hardcover, notes, index
Eugen Fink's SIXTH CARTESIAN MEDITATION, is accompanied by Edmund Husserl's detailed and extensive notations. This makes it a pivotal document in the development of phenomenology, one of the dominant philosophical directions of the twentieth century, Husserlian transcendental phenomenology. Meant to follow a systematic revision of Husserl's first five Cartesian Meditations, the Sixth Meditation, written in 1932, constituted a dialogue between Husserl and Fink on the basic principles of phenomenology and on its theoretical limits. The resulting text provides a framework for a radical reinterpretation of phenomenology. Ronald Bruzina's painstaking translation and useful introduction, detailing the history and importance of the text, make this first English-language edition of Sixth Cartesian Meditation essential reading for students of phenomenology twentieth-century thought.
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