In this paper I explore the issue of how our personal life is given to us in experience as a whole to be actively shaped and determined. I examine in detail Husserl’s analysis of the kind of experience responsible for this achievement, which he terms Überschau and which thus far has never been addressed by scholars of phenomenology. First, I locate Überschau in the context of self-determination and highlight the difference between the unthematic pre-givenness of life in the phenomenon of (...) self-awareness and the actual, i.e. thematic givenness of life in acts of Überschau. Second, I contextualize Husserl’s discovery of Überschau in his analyses of ethical life and the possibility of a universal epoché. I argue that for Husserl the very possibility of ethical life and of phenomenology itself rest on the totalizing apprehension of one’s life rendered possible by Überschau. In the third section I spell out the essential characteristics of Überschau by contrasting this peculiar kind of consciousness with reproductive forms of consciousness such as recollection and expectation, which otherwise might be easily conflated with Überschau. In section four I reply to a possible objection to the very possibility of Überschau based on the consideration of the infinitely open stream of time-consciousness. I argue that the possibility of Überschau is tightly connected with the egological nature of consciousness as understood by Husserl. The ego does not coincide with its own conscious acts and thus enjoys a special vantage point on the totality of its own life. To conclude, I advance a speculative suggestion about the phenomenological origin of Überschau in the structure of self-awareness. This opens up a variety of possible lines of research that would connect Husserl with philosophers such as Augustine or Heidegger who are more immediately associated with the issue of personal life and its unity or lack thereof. (shrink)
Dieter Lohmar, Phänomenologie der schwachen Phantasie. Untersuchungen der Psychologie, Cognitive Science, Neurologie und Phänomenologie zur Funktion der Phantasie in der Wahrnehmung Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10743-010-9069-3 Authors Andrea Staiti, Boston College Department of Philosophy Chestnut Hill MA USA Journal Husserl Studies Online ISSN 1572-8501 Print ISSN 0167-9848 Journal Volume Volume 26 Journal Issue Volume 26, Number 2.
In this paper I sketch a systematic reconstruction of Husserl’s fundamental concept of “attitude”. I first explore Husserl’s account with respect to the three faculties of intellect, will, and emotivity [Gemüt], which also define the three basic kinds of attitude. The attitude assumed by the subject plays at this level the important role of articulating and unifying, according to an overall direction, various underlying moments of a complex act. I then focus on the specific intellectual, viz. cognitive attitudes and highlight (...) the difference between the naturalistic attitude (which characterizes the natural sciences) and the personalistic attitude (which characterizes the human sciences). I then consider the notion of the natural attitude and argue that the personalistic attitude represents the systematic core of it. The natural attitude may be defined as the human attitude, i.e., as the attitude in which subjects posit themselves exclusively as human subjects belonging to the world , which is itself unceasingly posited as being. In the final part of the paper I explore the function of the phenomenological reduction insofar as it opens up a possibility of self-understanding that breaks with the natural, human self-apprehension and discloses subjectivity in its transcendental dimension. This opens up a radically new attitude, the phenomenological, which should not be confused with a first-person perspective within the framework of the natural attitude. (shrink)