The notions of noesis and noema need to be understood as part of Husserl’s account of constitution (See the summary for Husserl: Constitution.). The noetic resources function to constitute the noema—the account of constitution is two-sided. Husserl also uses the term “noesis” in a narrower sense, viz., for the interpreting part among the constitutive resources, as opposed to the part that undergoes interpretation. Thus, in Husserl’s account of the constitution of spatially extended objects, the kinesthetic sensations, in their “animating” functioning towards the visual sensations, can be regarded as the noesis. Disagreements over the nature of the perceptual noema have sparked a notable debate. According to the West Coast interpretation (Føllesdal, and Smith and McIntyre), the noema is an abstract object, akin to Fregean sense. According to the East Coast interpretation (Sokolowski and Drummond), the noema is the object we perceive, as experienced by us.
|Key works||The West Coast interpretation of the noema was first proposed in Føllesdal 1969, and was also defended in Smith & McIntyre 1984. It has been criticized in Sokolowski 1984, Sokolowski 1992, and Drummond 1990, while defending the East Coast interpretation. Bernet 1989 distinguishes two strands in Husserl’s use of the notion of the noema, motivating the West and East Coast interpretations. Another, phenomenalist interpretation is developed in Gurwitsch 1964. Drummond & Embree 1992 is a collection of papers devoted to the topic of the noema. Two further monographs are Süssbauer 1995 and Vongehr 1995.|
|Introductions||Smith 2006, Ch. 6|
Graduate studies at Western
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David Bourget (Western Ontario)
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