Beyond the fringe: James, Gurwitsch, and the conscious horizon

Journal Of Mind And Behavior 20 (2):211-227 (1999)
Abstract
All our conscious experiences, linguistic and nonlinguistic, are bound up with and dependent on a background that is vague, unexpressed, and sometimes unconscious. The combination of William JamesÕs concept of "fringes" coupled with Aaron GurwitschÕs analysis of the field of consciousness provides a general structure in which to embed phenomenal descriptions, enabling fringe phenomena to be understood, in part, relative to other experiences. I will argue, drawing on examples from Drew LederÕs book, The Absent Body, that specific and detailed phenomena can and should be interrelated through JamesÕs and GurwitschÕs analyses. I am proposing first that phenomenological descriptions in general could benefit from explicit consideration of the context of the phenomena within the totality of the field of consciousness, and second, that establishing that context requires a general structural model of that field, similar to that provided by Gurwitsch.
Keywords Body  Consciousness  Mental  Science  Gurwitsch, A  James  Leder, D
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