Intersubjectivity

So far we have been concerned with the constitution of the mere sense of another ego. The question of the actual existence of such egos - or, equivalently for Husserl, the question of the confirmation of this sense in experience - has not yet been broached. And Husserl recognizes that there may well be felt to be a difficulty here. After all, since I am in principle denied any immediate, original access to the conscious life of another, why must not any alien apperceptions I may engage in 'be...

Conclusion

Husserl's Cartesian Meditations ends with the Delphic motto, 'Know thyself ', and with a quotation from St Augustine 'Do not go outside. Return into yourself. Truth dwells in the inner man.' In case the reader has been wondering where we now stand in relation to the epistemological concerns with which we began - and, in particular, how transcendental phenomenology stands in relation to the philosophic ideal of universal knowledge produced through insight - these quotations may serve to return...

Notes

1_ See the Note on Translations and Citations above (pp. xiv-xvi). 2_ Indeed, as we saw in Chapter 3, Husserl sees reason at work in the play of our instinctive drives that are in operation at a deeper, more 'primal' level even than simple sense-perception. 3_ I have defended and expanded this view with reference to Husserl at some length in Smith 2001. 4 That there is one and only one total physical description of the world compatible with such an experiential totality is, of course, not...

Timeconsciousness And Hyle

One manifest aspect of all the (non-abstract) objects of which we can be aware is their temporal character. Events occur at times processes unfold in time and material objects persist for some time, however briefly. All have their positions in time, and are related to one another in terms of 'before', 'after' and 'at the same time as'. We are aware of them as having such a temporal character. Such a character, as pertaining to constituted objects, is itself, of course, an accomplishment of...

Intentionality

Although pure consciousness is to be our true field of enquiry, such enquiry would not be particularly interesting were not consciousness essentially possessed of a certain feature that will guide all our subsequent research. That feature is intentionality consciousness is, essentially, a consciousness of things. The term 'intentionality' is a relatively late arrival in the vocabulary of analytical philosophers, and it has been used in a variety of senses. Some use it to stand for the ability...

Empathy The Wider Picture

Although the principal topic of this final meditation is objectivity, most critical attention has been directed specifically to Husserl's account of empathy. In fact, it is widely held that this is one of the least satisfactory elements in his whole philosophy. Although I have, perforce, generally abstained from detailed assessment of Husserl's views in this work, since empathy is the one concrete problem to which he devotes extended discussion in the Cartesian Meditations, and also because...

The Body

We become aware of other subjects by perceiving their bodies. Indeed, as we shall soon see, the fundamental recognition of another subject just is the recognition of something as a body. In this connection Husserl employs the handy distinction that exists in German between 'Leib' and Korpef. The former, which I shall render simply as 'body', refers to an animate, living (or, as it is often put, 'lived') body. It is usually rendered as 'organism' by Cairns. The latter, by contrast, refers to any...

The Concept Of Horizon

In order to express the interplay of presence and absence at the heart of intentionality, Husserl introduces a term that has remained central to all later developments of phenomenology 'horizon'. Husserl standardly makes a distinction between an object's inner horizon and its outer horizon. Its inner horizon comprises what we have recently been considering as 'absent' in a perception of an object the further parts and aspects of the object itself that are not exhibited in a particular...

Chapter

'eine Gef hlseinheit, die allem Erscheinenden eine Farbe verleiht' (M III 3 II 1, 29 p. 74). 'Jedes unserer hyletischen Daten schon ein Entwicklungsprodukt ist, also eine verborgene Intentionalit t hat, die zur ckweist auf eine Synthesis' (F I 24, 41a p. 86). 'absolutes Entstehen von Bewu tsein aus Unbewu tsein ist Unsinn' (B II 2, 4b p. 95). 'Freilich sagen wir, ein hyletisches Datum sei ichfremd, aber dieses Ichfremde hat das eigene, da es nur eignem einzigen Subjekte zu eignen kann Das hat...

Eidetic Phenomenology And The Nature Of Thought

In 34, in the middle of his discussion of genetic considerations, Husserl finally makes explicit something that he has been tacitly assuming all through these Meditations, and that has already been hinted at in some of his remarks to date namely, that transcendental phenomenology is to be an eidetic discipline. It is, in other words, to be a study of essences, rather than of individuals or of concrete facts. Although the meditating philosopher perforce takes himself and his concrete life of...

Fifth Meditation

A cursory glance at this last, and by far the longest, of the Cartesian Meditations indicates that Husserl is much preoccupied in these pages with subjects of experience other than himself, the 'solitary, meditating philosopher'. It does not take much attention, however, to discern that this is not yet another essay concerning the 'Problem of Other Minds' as that has been traditionally conceived. One reason for this is that this traditional problem typically takes it for granted that we at...

Founding

At a number of points in the exposition so far I have had recourse to use of the term 'found'. It was said, for example, that an act of categorial intuition is founded on an act of judgement. Since Husserl's concept of founding is not only one of his most important and widely employed phenomenological concepts, but also the cause of a historically important controversy, it deserves a section to itself. The notion of founding is relevant to us in so far as it concerns the necessity of one type...

Husserl and the Cartesian Meditations

First published 2003 by Routledge 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group 2003 A. D. Smith Typeset in Aldus by RefineCatch Limited, Bungay, Suffolk Printed and bound in Great Britain by TJ International Ltd, Padstow, Cornwall All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic,...

Info

The Third Meditation is by far the shortest of the five, occupying a scant eight pages in the German edition. Moreover, some of the ground covered in it amounts to but a development of material already dealt with earlier in the work. Nevertheless, its importance is out of all proportion to its size, since it is here that Husserl takes the one major step towards showing that transcendental phenomenology leads us inexorably to idealism. However, although the groundwork is laid here, Husserl does...

Intentional Analysis

Phenomenology as intentional, or constitutional, analysis proceeds in a number of directions. First, and most obviously, it involves correlational investigations concerning the noetic and noematic sides of consciousness. Any noema, any object just as it is intended, is to be investigated by analysing the complex mental performance in which the object is constituted. This will lead to the unearthing of the 'really inherent' components of conscious life (both noetic and hyletic). One aspect of...

Most Of The Fourth Meditation

Because the short Third Meditation paves the way to important metaphysical conclusions that are explicitly drawn only in the last two sections of the Fourth, I propose to treat them together in a single chapter. Because, furthermore, those conclusions are intimately related to the topic of the fifth and final meditation, whereas the bulk of the intervening Fourth Meditation continues to display the variegated character of phenomenological research that we are in the course of exploring, I shall...

Transcendental Instincts And Driveintentionality

Throughout all conscious life, right down to its most basic substructure, Husserl discerns the play of drives and instincts. 'In the beginning', he writes, there is 'instinctive striving' (C 13 I, 6a). Indeed, 'All life is a continuous striving' (A VI 26, 42a). More particularly, instincts and drives inform and condition all of our intentional life, so that Husserl can come to speak of 'drive-intentionality' (Triebintentionalitat) and 'instinct-intentionality' (Instinktintentionalitat) (e.g., A...

World

What we have just been exploring is, in fact, but a further aspect of Husserl's rich notion of world. In Chapter 3 we saw the importance of habitualities for the constitution of a world. A world, at least with respect to its basic features, must have some degree of familiarity to it. Now, although such habitualities do indeed go towards the constitution of a world, it is the present account of reality that gives us the essential, pared-down core of the Husserlian notion of world. For although...

Empathy

Assuming that you have managed to appreciate your own body as having a material, spatial nature like 'external' material things generally, it is possible that such an external thing should appear like your own body, materially conceived, in a way that goes beyond merely sharing a material nature. It is possible, in other words, that you should perceive a specific material likeness between some external thing and your own body. It is such a perceived similarity, according to Husserl, which...

Husserl And Descartes

The foregoing exposition of Husserl's views - featuring as it does an origin of true philosophical thinking among the ancient Greeks, one which has become sedimented and Unauthentic' in our tradition, one which, therefore, we must revitalize by attempting to think it through originally - may remind some readers of Martin Heidegger. Some, indeed, have suggested that Husserl derived such a perspective from Heidegger himself, importing it, unacknowledged, into (only) his late work the Crisis,...

The Sphere Of Ownness

One reason for the difficulty that Husserl finds in giving an account of the constitution of other subjects arises from the radicality with which he pursues his philosophical analysis. For it is one that must be given without employing any notion of objectivity at all (since the analysis is itself to be used to explicate this). In particular, Husserl wishes to trace the constitution of others back to what he calls a sphere of Eigenheit -of 'ownness' (or of what is 'peculiar' to an ego, as...

Husserls Metaphysics

Husserl's metaphysics is a topic seldom broached by commentators. This is not surprising. Husserl's main claim on our attention is as the creator of phenomenology, and phenomenology is, as such, constitutional and genetic analysis, not metaphysics. Nevertheless, that Husserl had a metaphysical picture of the world, one, moreover, that he believed followed from the method of transcendental phenomenology, is unignorable. (The heading of 60 of the Cartesian Meditations speaks of the 'metaphysical...

Second Meditation

We have, according to Husserl, discovered 'an infinite realm of being of a new kind' (66). This is the realm of 'transcendental experience', which is that of my 'pure' conscious life and all of its ingredients, together with all the 'pure' types of object that could possibly be given to - i.e., constituted in - it. This entire domain has, thanks to the epoche, been 'purified' of any positing of worldly realities, even the 'subjective' ones that psychology deals with. To describe this domain as...

Reality And Reason

The topic of reality may initially appear a surprising one to emerge in the course of transcendental reflection, since the latter is made possible precisely by disconnecting any concern with the reality of objects - indeed, with that of the world as a whole. So it is important for us, before looking at what Husserl has specifically to say, to understand how this issue can even so much as arise after the transcendental reduction. The justification for Husserl's conviction that it can - that the...

Ego Person Monad

In our radical philosophical turn from naive dedication to the world towards an exploration of pure consciousness, the first thing that has attracted our attention has been intentionality the way in which, through synthesis, the flux of experience gets polarized into unities of sense, in virtue of which we are conscious of identifiable and reidentifiable objects. So what has principally attracted our attention on the subjective side of things has been the flowing, changing character of the...

The Epoche And The Transcendental Reduction

I wish, however, briefly to postpone discussion of Husserl's account of evidence, because it is very easy, when reading through this First Meditation, to think that its overall argument is really very simple, and that Husserl's disquisition on evidence just slows the proceedings down somewhat. For at the end of that discussion he seems simply to say that apodicticity is demanded by the scientist, so that we, as beginning philosophers in search of true science, should settle for nothing less....

Static And Genetic Phenomenology

Husserl has described habitualities as 'acquisitions'. They presuppose, therefore, an 'establishment' or 'institution' Stiftung in the past. We encountered this notion briefly in the Introduction, but it is now time to give it its full recognition as a central concept of phenomenology. In virtue of such a reference back in time, habitualities are but a special case of a feature of transcendental life the importance of which Husserl came increasingly to appreciate, and which increasingly...

Note On Translations And Citations

I quote from Dorion Cairns's English translation of the Cartesian Meditations, though the references I give follow the pagination of the standard German edition, which is given in the margins of the Cairns translation. Indeed, I follow the pagination of the German editions whenever reference is made to any of Husserl's works, although I quote from their English translations where these exist. In almost all cases such pagination is indicated in the translations. In cases where it is not, I give...