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

Husserl Studies 24 (3):205-229 (2008)
Authors
Pedro Alves
Universidade de Lisboa
Abstract
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 from the intuitive giveness of time, i.e., from time as it appears. To show this, I stress the structural similarity between Husserl’s original question of time and the problem of a phenomenology of space constitution as it was first developed in the his manuscripts from the nineteenth century, in which we find the threefold question of the origin of our representation of space, of the geometrization of intuitive space, and of the constitution of transcendent world space. Finally, I reconsider some of Husserl’s main theses about the phenomenological constitution of objective time in light of the main results of special relativity time-theory, introducing several corrections to central assumptions that underlie Husserl’s theory of time.
Keywords Philosophy
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DOI 10.1007/s10743-008-9039-1
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Sein Und Zeit.Martin Heidegger (ed.) - 1927 - M. Niemeyer.

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