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)
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)
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 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 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.
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 (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)
The critical edition of Husserl's works will, upon its completion, include three volumes of Husserl's shorter essays, reviews, and lectures. These works--only some of which were published during Husserl's lifetime--have no natural home as supplementary texts to Husserl's major works and lecture-courses, and are therefore collected in separate volumes. Nijhoff published the first of these volumes in 1979; it collects works focused largely around logical issues from the years 1890-1910. The second volume, presently under review, is a more heterogenous collection (...) than the first, and the third is still in preparation. (shrink)
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)
Husserl’s Ideen II, subtitled “Phenomenological Investigations on Constitution” and one of Husserl’s most comprehensive works, encompasses wide-ranging analyses of what Husserl calls “material nature,” “animal nahlre,” and “the spiritual world.” In this paper, I shall reflect briefly on his understanding of the interplay among the notions of person, society, and community Both personal and professional factors contribute to this reflection. Each of us belongs to several different, but interrelated and overlapping, communities. family, circle of friends, departmental colleagues, faculty, college or (...) university community, professional society, and political communities of various levels . The functionings and malfunctionings of some of these communities are themselves sufficient to motivate a reflection on the nature of a well-ordered community. In addition, however, the recent publication of the articles Husserl wrote for the Japanese journal Kaizo on the theme of renewal and his early lectures on ethics and value-theory , along with some of the previously published materials on intersubjectivity —as well as the fine commentaries on Husserl’s ethical writings by writers such as Karl Schuhmann, James Hart, and Philip Buckley —provides new reason to reflect on Husserl’s ethical thought, which is too often dismissed as marginal to his work. (shrink)
Brough's translation of Husserl's writings on time-consciousness found in volume 10 of the critical edition of Husserl's works is a welcome addition to the growing catalogue of translations of Husserl. The texts collected in Husserliana 10 are of central importance to understanding Husserl's phenomenology. They are indispensable first to understanding the "wonder" of time-consciousness, whose analysis is "an ancient burden", and the "most difficult" and "perhaps the most important" problem in phenomenology. But they are also indispensable to understanding the most (...) fundamental structures of all experience and of the ego. The irreducible and unitary form of time grounds the possibility of experiencing the duration, concreteness, and individuality of all objects, whether immanent or transcendent, whether processional or enduring; indeed, even ideal objects are experienced as timeless only against the backdrop of the temporal. The analysis of time-consciousness therefore discloses intentionalities essential to the experience of every possible object. (shrink)
This article is a review of the recently published book Max Scheler’s Acting Persons, edited by Stephen Schneck. It considers some issues regarding the relation between Scheler’s phenomenological personalism and his later metaphysics by way of a discussion of the articles contained in this volume. The review explores the various and varied discussions of the relation between Scheler’s phenomenological notions of person and spirit. It suggests that Scheler’s turn from a phenomenological anthropology to metaphysics has its roots not only in (...) this notion of spirit, which is distinguished both from Husserl’s absolute consciousness and from Heidegger’sDasein, but also in the ontology of values that is embedded in Scheler’s phenomenological axiology. (shrink)
EDMUND HUSSERL in his early writings on space distinguishes three kinds of problems surrounding the presentation of space: psychological, logical, and metaphysical. By the term "psychology" Husserl means a descriptive and genetic psychology which seeks to characterize the contents and structure of particular experiences and to investigate the genetic relations between different experiences. Included among the genetic questions concerning space is the problem of the origin of the science of space.
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 is a difficult book to review, primarily because it is, in a sense, not a book at all. This book not only does not but cannot yield clear and plain results; it is, I think, misconceived. It is simply a collection of some of Brentano's essays written, for the most part, in the years from 1914 to 1916. And while Kraus has been moderately successful in imposing an external unity of themes upon the work by juxtaposing thematically connected essays, (...) he has been less than successful in establishing the desired internal unity of a clearly argued and continuously developed position. (shrink)
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.
A POSTMODERN THINKER might very well be dismayed by the suggestions embedded in my title that the breach between modernism and postmodernism can be overcome and that Husserl is at all relevant to a discussion of postmodernism. Has not, after all, the postmodern critique revealed once and for all the poverty of the modern philosophical tradition with its epistemological and foundationalist concerns? And what better example of a philosopher working in the modern tradition than Husserl, who clearly identifies his own (...) philosophy as a form of "transcendental idealism" and who is clearly committed to the discovery of both an indubitable starting point upon which and a clear methodology by which philosophy can establish itself as a sure science of cognition? (shrink)
Evans challenges a widely held, but far from unanimous, view that Derrida's early studies of Husserl and Saussure are carefully argued, scholarly critiques of those thinkers' positions. Evans is careful to point out that in criticizing Derrida's readings and interpretations he is not importing a standard to which Derrida owes no allegiance. Rather, he is applying Derrida's own standard, namely, that a reading must "recognize and respect" all the "instruments of traditional criticism," including the canons of faithful textual interpretation and (...) logical argumentation, not in order to "protect" a text but to "open" a reading. (shrink)
Cobb-Stevens recognizes that Husserl's phenomenology and the so-called analytic tradition beginning with Frege are fundamentally similar in their rejection of modern philosophy's identification of the content of our experiences with representations in the mind. He also, however, identifies a cardinal difference between analytic and Husserlian philosophies in their characterizations of the relation between perception and predication. He develops this point by showing first that the project of the analytic tradition fails insofar as it cannot establish a sufficiently strong connection between (...) word and world. He argues that Frege sharply distinguished psychological representations from objective senses so as to free semantics from psychology and epistemology. However, classic epistemological and ontological issues about appearances and reality refused to disappear. Frege attempted to confront these problems in his account of the relation between a sense and its truth-conditions and in his characterization of sense as a mode of presentation referring to objects, but his critique of psychologism barred any appeal to our intuitions of objects and their intelligible forms. Truth and falsity, for Frege, had to be properties of propositions considered in themselves apart from our intuitive grasp of worldly states of affairs. (shrink)
“Complicating Emotions”. Husserl’s phenomenological axiology is rooted in two claims by Brentano: (1) that we apprehend what is valuable in acts of emotion (Akte der Gemütsbewegung), and (2) that these emotive acts are grounded in “presentations.” This paper first summarizes Husserl’s appropriation of Brentano’s second claim, and then sketches some ways in which Husserl’s own analyses might be corrected and extended if we are to begin to account for the complexity of the emotions. The paper concludes with some remarks about (...) the moral significance of this more complex account of emotional experiences. (shrink)