Husserl’s treatment of intentionality does not just account for how the mind picks out objects in the world. Rather, it accounts for how the object comes to be given for the subject, with the kind of orderliness and permanence, vis-à-vis the changeable materials of consciousness, as to invest it with objectivity and materiality in the first place. The account is developed from the first-person perspective, and it involves a methodical “bracketing” of the world and the objects in it, so as to investigate their constitution in intentional acts. Husserl’s discussions of intentionality contain a variety of more or less arcane technical terms: “constitution,” “the horizons,” “the noesis,” and “the noema,” giving rise to various issues. A discussion in the secondary literature may thus appear to focus on the topic of “constitution,” another, say, on “the horizons,” or on “the noema.” It may be no easy matter to decide whether these are mere terminological differences, or whether we are indeed dealing with important differences in perspective or subject matter.
|Key works||An important treatment, with a focus on the ideas of truth and intuitive evidence, is Tugendhat 1967. Smith & McIntyre 1984, and Beyer 2000, bridge the Husserlian discussions of intentionality with ideas current in analytic philosophy of mind and language. Ströker 1984 discusses the development of Husserl’s static account of intentional acts into a genetic account of intentional life, transforming the transcendental ego from an abstract act-pole to a concrete, embodied ego. Drummond 2003 develops a discussion covering the central aspects of (perceptual) intentional experiences, around the idea that the noema is “the perceived as perceived,” (the East Coast interpretation of the noema) and not a kind of intermediary between the act and its object (the West Coast interpretation of the noema). Mohanty 1972, Zahavi 2008|
|Introductions||Zahavi 2003, Ch. 1, Bernet et al 1993, Ch. 3, Smith 2006, Ch. 6|
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David Bourget (Western Ontario)
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