Thinking Time

Journal of Philosophical Research 27:281-299 (2002)
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Abstract

Paul Ricoeur holds that the “principal ambition” characterising Husserl’s phenomenology of internal time-consciousness is that of “making time itself appear.” Ricoeur thinks that ambition is doomed to run up against an unbridgeable gulf between Husserl’s approach and that of Kant. I raise a number of doubts about Ricoeur’s reading of Husserl. After a preliminary section introducing Husserl’s understanding of his phenomenological project in relation to the work of Kant, I sketch the main lines of his analysis of time-consciousness, and then go on to evaluate Ricoeur’s interpretation of it. Having shown Husserl’s work on this matter to be more subtle than Ricoeur supposes, I explain how Ricoeur’s own inquiry into the consciousness of time lacks an adequate account of the time of consciousness. The way in which Husserl’s analysis might resolve this difficulty is indicated in the closing remarks.

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