When I see an object, its givenness is always somewhat “empty” and indeterminate: not all of it is in plain view like the front side, and even what is in plain view is not given in complete detail. However, it is always part of my visual experience of the object that I am implicitly or explicitly aware of ways in which I could bring further aspects of it into plain view, and avail myself of further aspects and details. This more or less tacit awareness is the horizonality of visual experience. Husserl distinguishes inner and outer horizons of the perceptual object: the inner horizons are the anticipated perspectival changes of the object relative to the perceiver, the latter are its anticipated ways of interacting with other objects. The notion of horizonality can be extrapolated from the case of visual experience, to discuss other, relevantly analogous kinds of experiences. Husserl uses the notion broadly, for various levels and kinds of experience.
|Key works||Welton 2003 offers a kind of Heideggerian reading of Husserlian phenomenology, according to which Husserl’s main contribution consists in the characterization of the world, viz., as a horizon, a background of sense, correlative with our ways of engaging with our environments. Walton 2003 examines the various senses of horizonedness in Husserl and Gurwitsch, centering on the Husserlian notion of “latency” as the origin of horizonedness, the functioning of the world-horizon, and the interrelatedness of horizons, forming a cumulative totality. Based mainly on Husserl’s late manuscripts on time consciousness, Walton 2010 gives an account how, in the stratified build-up of objects and the world, “horizonality appears as an undifferentiated totality, a relief of noticeability, an articulated background, and an ontological style.” Held 1998|
|Introductions||Zahavi 2003, Ch. 3, Smith 2006, Ch. 6|
Graduate studies at Western
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David Bourget (Western Ontario)
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