The Noema as Nash Equilibrium. Husserlian Phenomenology and Game Theory

Philosophia 48 (3):1147-1170 (2020)
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Abstract

The noema is one of the most daring and controversial concept of the Husserlian theory of intentionality. It was first introduced by Husserl in 1912, within some research manuscripts, but was only fully developed in Ideen. In this paper I claim that the noema is an ambiguous notion, the result of a theoretical operation, the epoché, whose aim is contradictory. In an effort to keep open the epoché, and therefore maintain distance with respect to every transcendent object, Husserl is forced to multiply intentional objects and complicate the notions of sense and noema. Given that, I propose to overcome the paradoxes of noema through the language of game theory. Game theory offers a very fruitful descriptive model that allows us to save the original Husserlian approach without the contradictions of the epoché. For this reason, I propose to re-interpret intentionality as social game, and the noema as Nash equilibrium. By replying to possible objections, I will show that this approach gives us many theoretical advantages. The general aim of the paper is a global reformulation of the phenomenalogical method.

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