The rift which has long divided the philosophical world into opposed schools-the "Continental" school owing its origins to the phenomenology of Husserl and the "analytic" school derived from Frege-is finally closing.
This paper distinguishes between two senses of the term “ phenomenology ”: a narrow sense and a broader sense. It claims, with particular reference to the moral sphere, that the narrow meaning of moral phenomenology cannot stand alone, that is, that moral phenomenology in the narrow sense entails moral intentionality. The paper proceeds by examining different examples of the axiological and volitional experiences of both virtuous and dutiful agents, and it notes the correlation between the phenomenal and intentional differences belonging (...) to these experiences. The paper concludes with some reflections on how the focus on the broader sense of “ phenomenology ” serves to provide a more precise sense of what we might mean by “ moral phenomenology.”. (shrink)
When a young boy playing in a wooded area, I tripped over exposed roots extending from the trunk of a tree. I threw my arms out in front of me to break my fall and disturbed a nest of bees. As I lay on the ground, I was repeatedly stung by bees until I could regain my feet and run away. Frightened and in a great deal of pain - that is what I remember most vividly - I walked home. (...) My mother took me to the doctor, who undoubtedly gave me some sort of treatment and medication, but this has been lost to memory. The part of the visit to the doctor's office that I remember is his removing any stingers remaining in me; this too I remember for its pain. The doctor counted more than seventy stings. Although the exact number escapes memory, I believe it was seventy-one. In brief, the descriptive details of the day's experiences elude memory, but the affective dimension - the pain and fear - does not. (shrink)
Dennett’s contrast between auto- and hetero-phenomenology is badly drawn, primarily because Dennett identifies phenomenologists as introspective psychologists. The contrast I draw between phenomenology and hetero-phenomenology is not in terms of the difference between a first-person, introspective perspective and a third-person perspective but rather in terms of the difference between two third-person accounts – a descriptive phenomenology and an explanatory psychology – both of which take the first-person perspective into account.
This paper explores two perspectives in Husserl's recently published writings on ethics and axiology in order to sketch anew a phenomenological account of practical reason. The paper aims a) to show that a phenomenological account of moral intentionality i) transcends the disputes between intellectualist-emotivist and intellectualist-voluntarist disputes and ii) points toward a position in which practical reason has an emotive content or, conversely, the emotions have a cognitive content, and the paper aims b) to show that a phenomenological ethics identifies (...) universal human goods that are, nevertheless, specified differently in varying cultural contexts. (shrink)
This chapter addresses the issues that motivate representationalist accounts, and it describes the different versions of representationalism as responses to these issues. It argues that the representationalist views do not adequately respond to the epistemological problems that motivate them and that they engender some ontological problems. The chapter presents an alternative ‘presentationalist’ account that preserves the straightforward sense of the mind's openness to the world. While representationalism and presentationalism agree that the relation between mental events or states is direct but (...) mediated, they radically differ in their views of the nature of the mediation involved in the mind's intentional directedness to the world. This difference and the preferability of the presentationalist account are explored. (shrink)
In reworking his Logical Investigations Husserl adopts two positions that were not actually incorporated into later editions of the Investigations but do appear in other writings: a new distinction between signitive and significative intentions, and the claim that even naming and perceiving acts are categorially formed. This paper investigates Husserl's notion of noematic sense and the pure grammatical ' categories ' intimated therein in order to shed light on these new positions. The paper argues that the development of the theories (...) of the noema and of pure grammar allows us to recognize how even merely perceived or named things have a certain categoriality belonging to them, but that this development also requires us to distinguish between an anticipatory categoriality and an articulated categoriality. (shrink)
This paper explores the emergence of the distinctions between the transcendental and the psychological and, correlatively, between phenomenology and psychology that emerge in The Idea of Phenomenology. It is argued that this first attempt to draw these distinctions reveals that the conception of transcendental phenomenology remains infected by elements of the earlier conception of descriptive psychology and that only later does Husserl move to a more adequate—but perhaps not yet fully purified—conception of the transcendental.
This paper attempts to clarify how one might understand philosophy as necessarily involving both third-person and first-person perspectives. It argues, first, that philosophy must incorporate the first-person perspective in order to provide an adequate account of consciousness and the prereflective awareness of the self and, second, in opposition to Dennett’s hetero-phenomenology that this incorporation is possible only within a transcendental perspective. The paper also attempts to meet the challenge of those who claim that the notion of the self—and along with (...) it, the idea of first-person perspective—is dependent upon a second-person perspecive. It argues that the second-person challenge depends upon a sense of “self ” different from that at stake in the first-person perspective operative in prereflective self-awareness. (shrink)
This paper (1) questions the manner in which James Mensch's <I>Ethics and Selfhood: Alterity and the Phenomenology of Obligation<D> characterizes the alternatives among moral theories provided, for example, by Kant and Aristotle; (2) considers and criticizes the notion of "inherent alterity" that Mensch uses to articulate a middle ground in moral theory; and (3) offers an alternative phenomenology of obligation. The notion of "inherent alterity," standing on apparently opposed Husserlian and Levinasian legs, is, it is charged, ambiguous. I argue that (...) the notion of obligation is properly grounded in nonmanifest goods to be realized in the pursuit of manifest goods. (shrink)
This paper argues that frege did not significantly influence husserl's departure from psychologism by (1) examining husserl's early logical reflections, Especially those concerning the meaning of the term ""vorstellung"," and (2) determining which parts of husserl's "philosophy of arithmetic", Criticized for its psychologism by frege, Were psychologistic and when husserl rejected them. It concludes that the logical writings show an independent movement toward a non-Psychologistic position and that the psychologism of "philosophy of arithmetic" was abandoned by 1891 apart from any (...) fregean influence. (shrink)
This book seems to us potentially as important as any work that has appeared in the last few decades for the purpose of understanding Hussefl's thought in its relation to other recent philosophical traditions, especially certain aspects of the analytical tradition. Yet there is a distinct danger that it will not receive the attention it amply merits. One reason for this danger is the unfortunate tendency we all have of dismissing ideas by pidgeonholing them.
This very ambitious and remarkably detailed book examines some of the most fundamental themes in Husserl's philosophy. As is evident from the title, the book has two parts, the first of which (pp. 1-101) discusses Husserl's methodology, esp. the phenomenological reduction, and the second of which (pp. 103-347) investigates the themes of space, time, and other. These themes are selected because they are central to our mundane and embodied experience of an objective, physical and animate world.
Can we have objective knowledge of the world? Can we understand what is morally right or wrong? Yes, to some extent. This is the answer given by Adam Smith and Edmund Husserl. Both rejected David Hume’s skeptical account of what we can hope to understand. But they held his empirical method in high regard, inquiring into the way we perceive and emotionally experience the world, into the nature and function of human empathy and sympathy and the role of the imagination (...) in processes of intersubjective understanding. The challenge is to overcome the natural constraints of perceptual and emotional experience and reach an agreement that is informed by the facts in the world and the nature of morality. This collection of philosophical essays addresses an audience of Smith- and Husserl scholars as well as everybody interested in theories of objective knowledge and proper morality which are informed by the way we perceive and think and communicate. (shrink)