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E. Levinas, Theory of Intuition in Husserl's Phenomenology, trans. Andre Orianne , Northwestern University Press,; 2nd edition,
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Seeing an essence is also precisely intuition, just as an eidetic object is precisely an object. I regret being misunderstood by the distinguished scholar. Following up such interconnections, with insight we seize upon the conceptual essences which correspond to these terms and will be firmly attached to them from now on; and thus all the semi-mystical thoughts clinging particularly to the concepts Eidos idea and essence will remain cleanly separated from them.

The Phenomenological Ego.

Noesis is the concretely complete intentive mental process responsible for giving sense, for constituting the meaning, of what it grasps. Noema, on the other hand, regards the referents of cogitations, their intentional objects. Every noesis has its correlative noema.

Husserl & the Adventure of Phenomenology - In 12 Minutes

The two are always correlated: the way the same object is given the noema differs according to the type of act the noesis. On the other hand, the same object can be intended in the same kind of act with different senses. For instance, a piece of fruit may now be perceived as something desirable, later as something repulsive perhaps because I am feeling off-colour ; and yet it remains the same object. Husserl clarifies with ever-increasing precision after the publication of Logical Investigations that the same object can be given with differing interpretations.

In all our perceptions, thoughts and feelings there is a transcendental ego, the unobserved observer, a transcendental subjectivity, completely unaffected by the transcendental reduction.

The individual, as transcendental ego, apprehends himself as ego. It is through the transcendental reduction, Husserl teaches, that the phenomenological ego can become the transcendental ego, an observer of itself, aware of itself, being self-conscious. This ego is a component of the complex phenomenon of intentional experience. The pure ego in this sense is the immutable form of temporalization which is the engine-room of all experience and hence the most basic function of constituting consciousness.

As the ground of all experience, thought and action, this ego is the absolute. Thus is the only conception of the ego provided by Husserl which comes close to fulfilling the traditional description of the pure or transcendental ego as an invariant and subsisting identity throughout all permutations of experience.

But what he is describing is emphatically not a substance, and in this he echoes the empiricist and Kantian critiques of Descartes. For Husserl Lebenswelt or Life-World refers to the world encompassing our immediate experience, the world which constitutes the entire edifice of our conscious life. In that sense, it can never be willed away by us, and all our experience takes place within its horizon. It is essentially correlated with the natural attitude, and as such is invisible, but it becomes visible in transcendental reflection. This world flows along with an extraordinary layering of horizons.

It should be noted that, even though Husserl constantly makes use of the Brentano-inspired theme of subject-object intentionality and doing so he goes against the excesses of absolute idealism , nevertheless, his intentionality is immanentist- inspired. It is not directed at external reality, to the beings of the extra-mental world that really exist, which is the case with the moderate realism of Aristotle and Aquinas, but rather towards objects found within the sphere of consciousness.

Such an immanentist methodology can be described as a sort of mathematically inspired non-metaphysical Platonism operating within the sphere of immanentist idealism. MORAN, op. One must rather think of the object as constituted out of activities and structures of consciousness, according to predetermined essential laws. The transcendental ego constitutes the world as a world of meanings and as a world of objects. Every imaginable sense, every imaginable being, whether the latter is called immanent or transcendent, falls within the domain of transcendental subjectivity, as the subjectivity that constitutes sense and being.

In a mode somewhat similar to Cartesian doubt, one suspends every judgment on the existence or reality of phenomena of the consciousness…and finally one arrives at the constitutive principle of every phenomenical appearance — that is, at the consciousness where the phenomenon appears.

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Hence the use of analogy, of rational discourse which phenomenology does not utilize , and the use of concepts such as act-potency, substance- 31 Cf. As if the object perceived were not the thing itself insofar as intelligibly perceived! The thing itself carried to the very heart of the intelligence in order to become one with its vital act! Henceforth, the intellect, violating the very law of its life, is supposed to stop short at an object-phenomenon, which severs it from itself as well as from what is in the real world.


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Thus one sees emerge the absurdity inherent in the first principle — let us call it the Husserlian Parenthesis, which cuts knowledge in two, or the Husserlian Refusal — on which the whole of contemporary phenomenology depends. Leonardo da Vinci, Rome, , pp. As a result, the whole of thought is delivered in its interpretations to the rule of the Verisimilar and the Arbitrary, and the ideosophy is brought, come what may, to the state of Grand Sophistry.

But that is just another way of supressing the thing in the authentic meaning of the word, the extramental or meta-logical thing. Philosophical reflection has neither to reconstitute the thing starting with the object as a necessary hypothesis, nor to supress the thing as a superfluous thesis. Such a thesis is even self-contradictory. If such an object is not an aspect of a known thing, of a transobjective subject,44 then it will have to become an aspect of the knowing thing: great idealistic doctrines have done everything to escape this alternative, and they have ended in failure.

It could be shown that when that phenomenology claims through an ill-conducted abstraction that acts like a separation to dispense with any extramental metalogical subject, it gives the lie to what it says by what it does. But, from the very outset, too, the whole thing went astray because reflexivity though clearly recognized as such was used as though it were primary.

Emmanuel Levinas

So 51 Cfr. Biemel, Nijhoff, Haag, , I Kap. Related Papers. By Jenske Sampson.

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Phenomenology by Husserl. By Nadine Hasan. Transcendental Phenomenology? By Rudolf Bernet. Husserlian phenomenology may be understood as the precursor to the triumph of subjectivity. By Celestino Epalanga. Download pdf. To conclude: Husserl , p. Yet even if one grants that such a description can adequately express an experience, how do we ensure that the experience is generalizable and not idiosyncratic to a particular individual's consciousness?

In order to show how Husserl's method overcomes this obstacle, the concept of intentionality and the act of imagining need to be introduced. While the noema always lacks intuitive givenness of all its features, it is nonetheless entirely introspectively accessible and discernible see Husserl, , pp. For instance, I can easily notice and introspectively describe what I assume David to be like.

While the result may sound like a description of a transcendent object, it is nonetheless a description of the way we are conscious of David. The reason the noema is fully accessible to introspective inquiry is that it is a strict correlate of a conscious act , which is also introspectively accessible. Therefore, leaving out the transcendent object, when we perceive there are three elements involved: 1 the immanent object 2 the act or noesis 3 the noema as the result and correlate of this act.

In fact, our experience of the world as such rests on countless conscious acts.


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  4. These noetic acts also have a result or effect, namely the noema. These acts are carried out by you. Therefore, you can say that you intend that red thing on the kitchen table as an apple. But upon closer inspection, it may turn out that it is actually a tomato. This would show that you can be aware of the way you intend a noema, though the transcendent object might call for a different way to intend it This also explains why, when you are searching for something, in a sense you already experience what you search—namely the noema as a way to intend that particular thing.

    Yet you only find what you search for when the thing that you intend also presents itself in an actual perception cf. Brandl, , pp. That red thing motivates you to intend it as an apple; it does not cause you to intend it as an apple. In everyday life, most motivations and their respective intentions occur passively see Husserl, If you do, most of the time the intention will not be appropriate, so the freedom is not to see the world as you please.

    The word motivation is employed because there are not just two factors involved, like cause and effect in mechanical causality, but also a subject. The immanent object thus motivates you to intend it as this rather than that noema, but you are free to try out a different one. This freedom underlying our experience of the world, the related possibility to err and the involvement of a subject, are the reason why it is appropriate to speak about your intention to see it this rather than that way.

    Noticing the noesis means to become aware of a constituting activity that constantly underlies the experience of the world as we know it.