Noema in the light of contradiction, conflict, and nonsense: The noema as possibly thinkable content [Book Review]

Husserl Studies 24 (3):243-259 (2008)
Abstract
The present paper is guided by the belief that Edmund Husserl’s concept of noema can be significantly enriched when considered in light of extreme epistemological instances. These include the phenomena of the absurd and nonsense, but also intentional conflict and cases of consciousness directed to contradictory objects. The paper shows that the noema, when experienced in such a context, exhibits interesting characteristics that are rather difficult to note in other circumstances. The paper consists of five sections. The first interprets and relates concepts from Logical Investigations to those from Ideas I. The second section discloses the noematic ability to assemble senses for which there is no corresponding object. The third section stresses that the noema must, in some instances, be able to comprise two separate structures of senses through which two different objects are meant. In the fourth section, all of these characteristics are shown to be restricted by the concept of nonsense and the laws of meaning-compounding. In this way, the noema is clarified as “possibly thinkable content.” Finally, in Sect. 5, this idea is brought into dialogue with the most significant interpretations of the noema.
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