About this topic

Husserl’s account of time-consciousness closely interconnects with his account of the givenness of sensuous objectivity. It centers on the idea of an extended or “living” present, which involves not only the momentary now but also retentions and protentions, extending it into the past and into the future. Retentions and protentions are not intentional acts in their own right; that distinguishes them from acts of recollection and expectation, of which they are conditions of possibility. When I sensuously experience an object, the appearance it presents now is not sufficient for me to experience an object. Instead, roughly, I must always have retained some of the previous appearances and have some tacit anticipations (or protentions) in regard to the appearances to come. Husserl discusses time consciousness at three levels. First, at the level of intentional experiences (or their non-intentional contents). Second, at the level of the experienced objects (or the intentional contents). Third, at the level of the absolute flow of time-constituting consciousness, the most fundamental stratum of experience discoverable by phenomenological investigation.

Key works

Held 1966 discusses the transcendental I with a focus on its temporality: the “living present” is the original mode of subjective life. Brough 1972 traces the development of Husserl’s views of time-consciousness, distinguishing an earlier and a later phase. In the earlier phase, Husserl regards time-consciousness in terms of the schema ‘apprehension—content of apprehension’. In the later phase, this schema is dropped, and the idea of an absolute time-constituting flow of consciousness first emerges. Miller 1984 discusses Husserl’s views of time-consciousness and perception, from the viewpoint of the “West Coast interpretation” (See Husserl: Noesis and Noema). Bernet 2002 focuses on Husserl’s views of time-consciousness in the Bernau manuscripts, written in 1917 and 1918. Rinofner-Kreidl 2000, Kortooms 2002, Nicolas 2009, and Mensch 2010, are monographs exploring the relations between time-consciousness and a variety of other Husserlian topics, as well as discussing Husserl’s views in relation to other philosophers’. Rodemeyer 2006 argues that intersubjectivity is rightly understood through time-consciousness. We are aware of fellow subjects, not by analogical reasoning based on their bodily presence, but thanks to “protentions”, or anticipatory openness to the Others. Lohmar & Yamaguchi 2010 is a recent collection of papers, with contributions from many leading scholars.

Introductions Zahavi 2003, Ch. 3, David 2006, Ch. 5, Bernet et al 1993, Ch. 3
Related categories

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  1. Husserls Theorie des Zeitbewusstseins in der Ästhetik improvisierter Musik.Dragan Ahmedovic - 2012 - GRIN.
    Edmund Husserl, Begründer der Phänomenologie als Wesensforschung, hielt in der Zeit von 1904 bis 1910 eine Reihe von Vorlesungen die sein Schüler Martin Heidegger 1928 unter dem Titel Vorlesungen zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins veröffentlicht hat. Das zentrale Thema der Schriftensammlung war die Untersuchung zeitlicher Konstitution subjektiven Empfindungsmoments und diesem Moment zugrunde liegende Selbstkonstitution des Zeitbewusstseins.Selbstkonstitution des Zeitbewusstseins basiert vor allem auf Urimpression, Retention und Protention, und diese Prozesse bilden eine Mannigfaltigkeit möglichen Konfigurationen der phänomenologischen Zeit . Alle diese Termini (...)
  2. An Absence That Counts in the World: Merleau-Ponty’s Later Philosophy of Time in Light of Bernet’s 'Einleitung'.Alia Al-Saji - 2009 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 40 (2):207-227.
    This paper examines Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s later philosophy of time in light of his critique and reconceptualization of Edmund Husserl’s early time-analyses. Drawing on The Visible and the Invisible and lecture courses, I elaborate Merleau-Ponty’s re-reading of Husserl’s time-analyses through the lens of Rudolf Bernet’s “Einleitung” to this work. My question is twofold: what becomes of the central Husserlian concepts of present and retention in Merleau-Ponty’s later work, and how do Husserl’s elisions, especially of the problem of forgetting, become generative moments (...)
  3. Brentano, Meinong and Husserl on Internal Time.Liliana Albertazzi - 1993 - Brentano Studien 3:89-110.
    Brentano's Descriptive Psychology marks a breakthrough into clarification of internal time, made possible by using his doctrine of intentionality (and modality) of consciousness. Husserl's version of descriptive psychology, a pure phenomenological psychology, according to its author tries to overcome Brentano's (naturalistic) description of internal experience by explicitly considering the intentional content of mental events, and the different categories of objects as objects of a possible consciousness. Husserl's investigations on internal time are an example of a quite specific sort of genetic (...)
  4. Presence and Deferral: Derrida's Critique of Husserlian Internal Time-Consciousness.Natalie Alexander - 1989 - Dissertation, Northwestern University
    Coupling the method of close textual analysis with a sensitivity to historical development and context, I explore "Speech and Phenomena," an important early essay in which Jacques Derrida confronts the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl. After giving background exegesis on the methods, key concepts, and theories of language of each writer, I explore what Derrida has said about the strategy and techniques of deconstruction. From his remarks, I generate four approaches to reading deconstructive texts, each richer than the last, and each (...)
  5. Estructuras trinitarias en la constitución y conciencia del tiempo en Agustín y Husserl.Alexandra Alván - 2013 - Estudios de Filosofía 10:11-38.
    El presente artículo busca establecer paralelos entre las propuestas de Edmund Husserl y de San Agustín en torno a la constitución del tiempo por parte de la conciencia. En ese marco, proponemos que ambos autores basan la constitución del tiempo en estructuras trinitarias de la conciencia. Dichas estructuras, a pesar de sus diferencias, coinciden en constar de tres elementos: uno retencional, uno protencional y uno impresional. Además, coinciden ambas propuestas en que lo fundamental de la estructura trinitaria de la conciencia (...)
  6. Objective Time and the Experience of Time: Husserl's Theory of Time in Light of Some Theses of A. Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity.Pedro M. S. Alves - 2008 - Husserl Studies 24 (3):205-229.
    In this paper, I start with the opposition between the Husserlian project of a phenomenology of the experience of time, started in 1905, and the mathematical and physical theory of time as it comes out of Einstein’s special theory of relativity in the same year. Although the contrast between the two approaches is apparent, my aim is to show that the original program of Husserl’s time theory is the constitution of an objective time and a time of the world, starting (...)
  7. The Presence of Husserl.Lilian Alweiss - 1999 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 30:59-75.
  8. Izchak Miller: Husserl, Perception, and Temporal Awareness. [REVIEW]Karl Ameriks - 1985 - Philosophical Review 94 (3):414.
  9. Intentionality, Time, and Self-Identity: Husserl's Theory of Time and the Problem of Personal Identity.Se-Gweon An - 1990 - Dissertation, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
    In this dissertation I raise three questions: What is Husserl's theory of time?; Can we develop a particular thesis of self-identity and, if so, what would it look like?; How does the thesis work in relation to the problems that are to be solved? ;In chapter II, I give an exposition of Husserl's view on time with the purpose of establishing a framework that will play a decisive role in the formation of a thesis of self-identity. Husserl defines time as (...)
  10. Aporetic Approach to Husserl's Reflections on Time.John Anders - 2010 - In Pol Vandevelde & Sebastian Luft (eds.), Epistemology, Archaeology, Ethics: Current Investigations of Husserl's Corpus. Continuum.
    This chapter will examine two puzzles that percolate Husserl’s On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time (PITC). They concern: (1) whether or not memory is pictorial and (2) whether or not the temporal determinations (past, now, future, etc.) are categories. Considering these aporetic discussions helps us to understand the time diagrams Husserl uses, as well as some of the motivation behind Husserl’s talk of the two intentionalities of retention and his talk of the time-constituting flow. Moreover, this approach (...)
  11. The Representation of Time in Agency.Holly Andersen - 2013 - In Adrian Bardon & Heather Dyke (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Philosophy of Time. Wiley-Blackwell.
    This paper outlines some key issues that arise when agency and temporality are considered jointly, from the perspective of psychology, cognitive neuroscience, phenomenology, and action theory. I address the difference between time simpliciter and time as represented as it figures in phenomena like intentional binding, goal-oriented action plans, emulation systems, and ‘temporal agency’. An examination of Husserl’s account of time consciousness highlights difficulties in generalizing his account to include a substantive notion of agency, a weakness inherited by explanatory projects like (...)
  12. A Brief History of Time-Consciousness: Historical Precursors to James and Husserl.Holly Andersen & Rick Grush - 2009 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (2):277-307.
    William James’ Principles of Psychology, in which he made famous the ‘specious present’ doctrine of temporal experience, and Edmund Husserl’s Zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins, were giant strides in the philosophical investigation of the temporality of experience. However, an important set of precursors to these works has not been adequately investigated. In this article, we undertake this investigation. Beginning with Reid’s essay ‘Memory’ in Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, we trace out a line of development of ideas about (...)
  13. Memory and Temporality: A Phenomenological Alternative.Jose M. Arcaya - 1989 - Philosophical Psychology 2 (1):101-110.
    The notion of memory storage, central to most contemporary theories of remembering, is challenged from a philosophical perspective as being contradictory and untenable. It criticizes this storage hypothesis as relying upon a linear explanation of time, an assumption which results in infinite regression, solipsism, and a failure to contact the real past. A model based on the phenomenological viewpoints of Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty is offered as an alternative paradigm. Finally, a research method suggested by this descriptive approach to (...)
  14. Epoché delle epoche (con in appendice una lettera di E. Husserl a E. Rádl).Luigi Azzariti-Fumaroli - 2009 - Archivio di Storia Della Cultura 22:251-266.
    Through a commentary of the letter sent by Husserl to the 8th International Congress of Philosophy in 1934, the essay intends to clarify the concept of “responsibility” as a “universal form” thanks to which the rational human being orients his acts according to a consciously ethical direction. By focusing on the dynamics that characterize the relationship between Logos and Ethos, is then pointed up Husserl’s aim to build a gnoseology that can’t be solved in an abstract intellectualism as it embodies (...)
  15. Husserl’s Diagrams and Models of Immanent Temporality.Horacio M. R. Banega - 2016 - Quaestiones Disputatae 7 (1):47-73.
    The aim of this article is to clarify how Husserl applies his formal ontology to the constitution of immanent temporality. By doing so, my objective is to unravel the relationships between the phases of this temporality that make up a unit—that is, the relationship between protentions and retentions and a proto-impression that gives rise to the temporal moment “now” in an experience of the immanent consciousness. In connection with this reconstruction, I will attempt to clarify Husserl’s definition of time as (...)
  16. A Metaphysical Experience of the Absolute: A Study of a Theistic Experience in the Light of Edmund Husserl's Phenomenological Method.John Bruno Barasinski - 1992 - Dissertation, DePaul University
    The Absolute in Husserl's phenomenology. In this first part I review Husserl's phenomenology and his concept of Absolute as well as the role this concept played in his philosophical thought. I also present the rationale for my choice of Husserl's phenomenological method as a tool for this research. ;The Absolute as experienced through natural knowledge. Having evaluated Husserl's stand on the notion of the Absolute as well as its importance in his thought, I distance myself from his philosophical thought retaining (...)
  17. A descrição do agora em Husserl.Aron Pilotto Barco - 2012 - Revista Inquietude 3 (1):30-51.
    What is the sense of saying “now”? We are used to the established temporal relations by their points of reference (like “yesterday”), distinguished one from the other by measurement and the counting of time (which uses yardsticks, like “day”). So, is the now only another one of these points? Husserl tells us that is not only looking at the constituted time and already shared in common by the world that we will comprehend what is the sense of the now. In (...)
  18. The Ego-Body Subject and the Stream of Experience in Husserl.Evelyn M. Barker - 1983 - Analecta Husserliana 16:183.
  19. Dauer im Wechsel. Husserls Begriff der 'Allzeitlichkeit' als Krisenphänomen.Ralf Becker - 2002 - Phänomenologische Forschungen:205-229.
  20. Husserl’s Forschungsmanuskripte and the Open Horizon of Phenomenological Practice.Elizabeth A. Behnke - 2014 - Studia Phaenomenologica 14:285-306.
    Husserl’s legacy of research manuscripts has been revered as a resource containing the deepest insights of his later work and criticized because such manuscripts present work in progress rather than completed “results.” I suggest that these materials are far more than fragments calling for careful interpretation; instead, they belong to a different genre and should be taken up in an attitude of research directed toward working out unsolved problems rather than in an attitude focused on interpreting pregiven texts. After sketching (...)
  21. Bodily Protentionality.Elizabeth A. Behnke - 2009 - Husserl Studies 25 (3):185-217.
    This investigation explores the methodological implications of choosing an unusual example for phenomenological description (here, a bodily awareness practice allowing spontaneous bodily shifts to occur at the leading edge of the living present); for example, the matters themselves are not pregiven, but must first be brought into view. Only after preliminary clarifications not only of the practice concerned, but also of the very notions of the “body” and of “protentionality” is it possible to provide both static and genetic descriptions of (...)
  22. M. Steinhoff, Zeitbewusstsein und Selbsterfahrung. Studien zum Verhältnis von Subjektivität und Zeitlichkeit im vorkantischen Empirismus und in den Transzendentalphilosophien Kants und Husserls. [REVIEW]K. B. Beils - 1988 - Société Française de Philosophie, Bulletin 79 (3):358.
  23. M. Steinhoff, Zeitbewusstsein Und Selbsterfahrung. Studien Zum Verhältnis von Subjektivität Und Zeitlichkeit Im Vorkantischen Empirismus Und in den Transzendentalphilosophien Kants Und Husserls. [REVIEW]K. B. Beils - 1988 - Kant-Studien 79 (3):358.
  24. "Présence" de Husserl.Jean-Marie Benoist - 1969 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 4:525.
  25. Modes temporels de la conscience et réalité du temps: Husserl et Brentano sur le temps.Jocelyn Benoist - 2008 - In La conscience du temps. Vrin. pp. 11-28.
  26. Phenomenalism, Phenomenology, and the Question of Time: A Comparative Study of the Theories of Mach, Husserl, and Boltzmann.Adam Berg - 2015 - Lexington Books.
    Phenomenalism, Phenomenology and the Question of Time: A Comparative Study of the Theories of Mach, Husserl, and Boltzmann explores comparative analysis of the concept of phenomenology in relation to Mach’s, Boltzmann’s and Husserl’s works on time. It also explores whether or not phenomenology can be naturalized and the scope of its relation to the question of time, experience, physical processes, and irreversibility.
  27. The Other as Future and Present-Interpreting the Experience of Another Personality in Temporal Concepts According to Levinas and Husserl.W. Bergmann & G. Hoffmann - 1989 - Husserl Studies 6 (2):155-175.
  28. Selbstreferenz und Zeit: Die dynamische Stabilität des Bewusstseins.Werner Bergmann & Gisbert Hoffmann - 1989 - Husserl Studies 6 (2):155-175.
    Dieser Beitrag stellt die Zeitlichkeit des Bewusstseins und ihre Folgeprobleme in einer neuen Perspektive vor, die sich aus der Verknüpfung der empirischen Theorie selbstreferentieller Systeme mit der transzendentalen Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls ergibt. -/- .
  29. Husserl's Early Time-Analysis in Historical Context.Rudolf Bernet - 2009 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 40 (2):117-154.
  30. Wirkliche Zeit und Phantasiezeit. Zu Husserls Begriff der zeitlichen Individuation.Rudolf Bernet - 2004 - Phänomenologische Forschungen:37-56.
  31. Die neue Phänomenologie des Zeitbewusstseins in Husserls Bernauer Manuskripten.Rudolf Bernet - 2002 - In H. Hüni & P. Trawny (eds.), Die erscheinende Welt. Festschrift für Klaus Held. Duncker Und Humblot.
  32. Real Time And Imaginary Times. On The Husserlian Conception Of Temporal Individuation / Le Temps Reel Et Les Temps Imaginaires. Sur La Conception Husserlienne De L’individuation Temporelle.Rudolf Bernet - 2002 - Studia Philosophica 2.
    Après avoir donné une idée générale du processus d’individuation chez Husserl, l’étude analyse minutieusement la manière dont la temporalité propre aux actes de la perception interne et externe, du ressouvenir et de la phantasia constitue, d’après les Manuscrits de Bernau, l’individualité de l’objet intentionnel. Une attention toute particulière est accordée à ce qui distingue les objets fictifs des objets idéaux et qui permet de leur attribuer une forme spécifique d’individuation . L’étude apporte également des éclaircissements en ce qui concerne la (...)
  33. Die Frage nach dem Ursprung der Zeit bei Husserl und Heidegger.Rudolf Bernet - 1987 - Heidegger Studies 3:89-104.
  34. Origine du Temps Et Temps Originaire Chez Husserl Et Heidegger.Rudolf Bernet - 1987 - Revue Philosophique De Louvain 85 (4):499-521.
  35. Zeit Und Zeitlichkeit Bei Husserl Und Heidegger. Band 14 von Phänomenologische Forschungen.Rudolf Bernet (ed.) - 1983 - Karl Alber.
  36. La présentification du passé et la question d'une métaphysique de la présence. Notes sur la temporalité chez Husserl.Rudolf Bernet - 1982 - Cahiers du Centre D’Études Phénoménologiques 2:9-32.
  37. Is the Present Ever Present? Phenomenology and the Metaphysics of Presence.Rudolf Bernet & Wilson Brown - 1982 - Research in Phenomenology 12 (1):85-112.
  38. La experiencia del tiempo en Funes el memorioso a la luz de las Lecciones de fenomenología de la conciencia interna del tiempo de Edmund Husserl.Bárbara Bettocchi - 2013 - Estudios de Filosofía 10:39-51.
    El artículo busca presentar las reflexiones acerca de la conciencia interna del tiempo de Edmund Husserl, compiladas en las Lecciones de fenomenología de la conciencia del tiempo de 1928, a la luz del retrato que hace Borges del personaje del cuento Funes el memorioso. Intenta mostrar cómo es que en ambos casos están presentes los mismos cuestionamientos acerca de nuestra experiencia del tiempo y de la persistencia de nuestra identidad en la memoria, y cómo ambas concepciones implican una crítica al (...)
  39. Husserls Bewusstseinskonzeption im Lichte der neueren Diskussion.Christian Beyer - 2010 - In Manfred Frank Niels Weidtmann (ed.), Husserl und die Philosophie des Geistes.
  40. Temporality and Boredom.Victor Biceaga - 2006 - Continental Philosophy Review 39 (2):135-153.
    In this paper, I argue that Heidegger’s phenomenological investigation of boredom offers important clues for better understanding the notoriously difficult notion of non-objectifying intentionality (Längsintentionalität). I begin by examining Husserl’s account of the aporetic nature of self-temporalization and I claim that a discussion of moods can further clarify the relation between Längsintentionalität and the absolute time-constituting consciousness. Although Husserl himself broached the problem of the intentionality of moods, it was Heidegger who gave us a full-blown account of it. I point (...)
  41. Husserl, E., "Zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins". [REVIEW]A. Biral - 1968 - Giornale di Metafisica 23:64-66.
  42. The Musical Present: A Polyphonic Philosophical Investigation.Sven Bjerstedt, Hanne Fossum, Susanna Leijonhufvud & Lia Lonnert - 2017 - Nordisk Musikkpedagogisk Forskning: Årbok 17:9-39.
    How can music education be enriched by the concept of time? This article is based on the assumption that the present moment, the musical ‘now’, is of the utmost importance not only to the musical performer or listener but to the musical learner and teacher as well. It aims at a philosophical discussion and conceptual clarification of a number of issues of time that are considered to be crucial to music education through a presentation and discussion of thoughts and concepts (...)
  43. On Husserl's Concept of Inner Time Consciousness.F. Blascak - 2005 - Filozofia 60 (3):170-175.
    The paper deals with one of the most fundamental elements of phenomenological theory of knowledge – the constitution of inner time consciousness. It provides a basic introduction into certain parts of Husserl’s research, as we can find it in his lectures Phenomenology of internal time-consciousness edited by M. Heidegger and E. Stein and published in 1928. Using concrete examples of some perceiving acts the author demonstrates an intentional analysis of perceiving acts in general. The author comes to the conclusion, that (...)
  44. Lebenszeit Und Weltzeit.Hans Blumenberg - 1987 - Journal of Philosophy 84 (9):516-519.
  45. Zijn en tijd in de filosofie van Husserl.Rudolf Boehm - 1959 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 21 (2):243-276.
    Nicht willkürlich oder gar mutwillig wurde für die vorliegende Studie über die Philosophie Husserls ein Thema gewählt, das mit dem Titel von Heideggers Hauptwerk zu formulieren ist : Sein und Zeit. Verbreitet ist die Meinung, Husserl habe jederlei « Seinsfrage » durch sein Verfahren der « phänomenologischen Reduktion » eigens methodisch « ausgeschaltet » — und wenn es ein Beispiel für seine rein analytische Denk-und Arbeitsweise gebe, so seine deskriptive Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewußtseins. In Wirklichkeit ist die « Phänomenologische Fundamentalbetrachtung (...)
  46. Hume and Husserl on Time and Time-Consciousness.P. Bossert - 1976 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 7 (1):44-52.
  47. The Instant and the Living Present: Ricoeur and Derrida Reading Husserl.Patrick Bourgeois - 1993 - Philosophy Today 37 (1):31-37.
  48. Welt, Ich und Zeit nach unveröffentlichten Manuskripten Edmund Husserls.Gerd Brand - 1955 - M. Nijhoff.
  49. A Phenomenological Analysis of Time.Paul Taylor Brockelman - 1968 - Dissertation, Northwestern University
  50. Husserls Lehre von der Zeit.Walter Bröcker - 1957 - Philosophia Naturalis 4:374.
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