This paper examines the evolution of Edmund Husserl’s theory of perceptual occlusion. This task is accomplished in two stages. First, I elucidate Husserl’s conclusion, from his 1901 Logical Investigations, that the occluded parts of perceptual objects are intended by partial signitive acts. I focus on two doctrines of that account. I examine Husserl’s insight that signitive intentions are composed of Gehalt and I discuss his conclusion that signitive intentions sit on the continuum of fullness. Second, the paper discloses how Husserl (...) transforms his 1901 philosophy in his 1913 revisions to the Sixth Logical Investigation, affirming that the occluded parts of perceptual objects are intended by empty contiguity acts. I demonstrate how he overturns the two core doctrines of his theory from the Investigations in these revisions, claiming that empty intentions are not composed of Gehalt and asserting that those acts break with the continuum of fullness. Husserl implements these changes to solve problems that arise from his recognition of two new kinds of intentions; darker and completely dark acts. Finally, in the conclusion, I cash out this analysis, by indicating that, in 1913, Husserl transforms his theory of fulfillment on the basis of his new insights about empty acts. (shrink)
This paper examines the evolution of Husserl’s philosophy of nonintuitive intentions. The analysis has two stages. First, I expose a mistake in Husserl’s account of non-intuitive acts from his 1901 Logical Investigations. I demonstrate that Husserl employs the term “signitive” too broadly, as he concludes that all non-intuitive acts are signitive. He states that not only meaning acts, but also the contiguity intentions of perception are signitive acts. Second, I show how Husserl, in his 1913/14 Revisions to the Sixth Logical (...) Investigation, amends his 1901 theory of non-intuitive acts, which he now calls “empty” intentions. He there accurately distinguishes empty meaning acts from the empty intentions of perception. In the conclusion, I reveal how Husserl’s alterations to his theory of non-intuitive intentions can inform our understanding of a larger shift in his philosophy. (shrink)
This paper accomplishes two tasks. First, I examine in detail Edmund Husserl’s earliest philosophy of surrogates, as it is found in his 1890 “On the Logic of Signs ”. I analyze his psychological and logical investigations of surrogates, where the former is concerned with explaining how these signs function and the latter with how they do so reliably. His differentiation of surrogates on the basis of their genetic origins and degrees of necessity is discussed. Second, the historical importance of this (...) text is disclosed by showing how Semiotic serves as both the inspiration for, and the foil to, Husserl’s 1901 First Logical Investigation. Husserl not only adopts the idea that linguistic signs can function via association, but also maintains that such signs can motivate me to execute one of two experiences. The key difference between the texts is that Husserl abandons his theory of surrogates in 1901, instead holding that I can experience absent objects by means of empty intentions. The reasons why Husserl found it necessary to transform this tenet of his philosophy are discussed at length. (shrink)
Husserl’s early picture of explanation in the sciences has never been completely provided. This lack represents an oversight, which we here redress. In contrast to currently accepted interpretations, we demonstrate that Husserl does not adhere to the much maligned deductive-nomological (DN) model of scientific explanation. Instead, via a close reading of early Husserlian texts, we reveal that he presents a unificationist account of scientific explanation. By doing so, we disclose that Husserl’s philosophy of scientific explanation is no mere anachronism. It (...) is, instead, tenable and relevant. We discuss how Husserl and other contemporary thinkers draw theoretical inspiration from the same source—namely, Bernard Bolzano. Husserl’s theory of scientific explanation shares a common language and discusses the same themes as, for example, Phillip Kitcher and Kit Fine. To advance our novel reading, we discuss Husserl’s investigations of grounding, inter-lawful explanation, intra-mathematical explanation, and scientific unification. (shrink)
This essay examines how Husserl stretches the bounds of his philosophy of meaning, according to which all propositions are categorical, to account for existential propositions, which seem to lack predicates. I examine Husserl’s counterintuitive conclusion that an existential proposition does possess a predicate and I explore his endeavor to pinpoint what that predicate is. This goal is accomplished in three stages. First, I examine Husserl’s standard theory of predication and categorial intuition from his 1901 Logical Investigations. Second, I show how (...) Husserl imposes those 1901 insights to uncover the predicate of the existential proposition in unpublished manuscripts and lectures. He determines that the existential proposition predicates of the subject, that it corresponds to an actual object. This analysis reveals that Husserl’s descriptions of existential propositions from the late 1890s employed both static and genetic methodologies. In those texts, he carefully untangles and clarifies the co-enmeshed passive and active moments of consciousness and shows that the passive givenness of certain circumstances is the condition of possibility for our active verifying of propositions. Finally, I execute a critical assessment of Husserl’s thought to reveal that, while his insights about existential propositions are largely correct, they are augmented by re-construing them within the context of his mature philosophy. Only by renouncing his metaphysical neutrality and by accounting for intersubjectivity, can Husserl properly clarify existential propositions. (shrink)
This paper accomplishes three goals. First, the essay demonstrates that Edmund Husserl’s theory of meaning consciousness from his 1901 Logical Investigations is internally inconsistent and falls apart upon closer inspection. I show that Husserl, in 1901, describes non-intuitive meaning consciousness as a direct parallel or as a ‘mirror’ of intuitive consciousness. He claims that non-intuitive meaning acts, like intuitions, have substance and represent their objects. I reveal that, by defining meaning acts in this way, Husserl cannot account for our experiences (...) of countersensical, absurd, or impossible meanings. Second, I examine how Husserl came to recognize this 1901 mistake in his 1913/14 Revisions to the Sixth Logical Investigation. I discuss how he accordingly reformulates his understanding of non-intuitive meaning acts from the ground up in those Revisions, where this also allows for him to properly account for the experience of impossible meanings. Instead of describing them as mirrors of intuitions, Husserl takes non-intuitive meaning acts to be modifications of intuitions, where they have no substance and do not represent their objects. Finally, in the conclusion to this essay, I demonstrate how this fundamental change to his understanding of meaning consciousness forced Husserl to revise other central tenets of his philosophy, such that the trajectory of his thought can only be properly understood in light of these revisions to his theory of non-intuitive meaning consciousness. (shrink)
The young Edmund Husserl stressed that the success of his philosophy hinged upon his ability to determine the subject and the predicate of impersonal propositions and their expressions, such as ‘It is raining’. This essay accordingly investigates the tenability of Husserl’s early thought, by executing the first study of his analysis of impersonal propositions from the late 1890s. This examination reshapes our understanding of the inception of phenomenology in two ways. First, Husserl pinpoints the subject by outlining why impersonal expressions (...) are employed during communication. This contravenes interpretations of the early Husserl as uninterested in intersubjectivity. Second, by studying how Husserl determines the predicate by investigating existential propositions, I show that Husserl, in the late 1890s, came to his final view on the concept of being. (shrink)
This paper accomplishes two goals. First, I present a distinct interpretation of the inception of the phenomenology of feelings. I show that Husserl’s first substantial discussion of intentional and non-intentional feelings is not from his 1901 Logical Investigations, but rather his 1893 manuscript, “Notes towards a Theory of Attention and Interest”. Husserl there describes intentional feelings as active and non-intentional feelings as passive. Second, I show that Husserl presents a somewhat unique account of feelings in “Notes”, which is partly different (...) from his later theories of feelings found in Lectures on Ethics and Value Theory and Studies Concerning the Structures of Consciousness. In contrast to those mature writings, in “Notes”, Husserl describes intentional feelings while avoiding cognitivism and he analyses non-intentional feelings without employing the content-apprehension schema. On this basis, I argue that “Notes” is an important untapped resource for constructing original phenomenologies of feelings. (shrink)
I consider cases where you increase the risk that, e.g., someone will die, without increasing the risk that you will kill them: in particular, cases in which that increasing of risk is accompanied by a decreasing of risk of the same degree such that the risk imposition has been offset. I defend the moral legitimacy of such offsetting, including carbon-offsetting.
This paper accomplishes two goals. First, the essay elucidates Husserl’s descriptions of meaning consciousness from the 1901 Logical Investigations. I examine Husserl’s observations about the three ways we can experience meaning and I discuss his conclusions about the structure of meaning intentions. Second, the paper explores how Husserl reworked that 1901 theory in his 1913/14 Revisions to the Sixth Investigation. I explore how Husserl transformed his descriptions of the three intentions involved in meaningful experience. By doing so, Husserl not only (...) recognized intersubjective communication as the condition of possibility of linguistic meaning acts, but also transformed his account of the structure of both signitive and intuitive acts. In the conclusion, I cash out this analysis, by showing how, on the basis of these new insights, Husserl reconstructs his theory of fulfillment. (shrink)
We can cause windows to break and we can break windows; we can cause villages to flood and we can flood villages; and we can cause chocolate to melt and we can melt chocolate. Each time these can come apart: if, for example, A merely instructs B to break the window, then A causes the window to break without breaking it herself. Each instance of A breaking/flooding/melting/burning/killing/etc. something, is an instance of what I call making. I argue that making is (...) an independent, theoretically important notion—akin but irreducible to causing—and metaphysicians should pay attention to it. (shrink)
I propose a new formalist account of legal (/proximate) causation – one that holds legal causation to be a matter of amoral, descriptive fact. The account starts with a metaphysical relation, akin to but distinct from common-sense causation, and it argues that legal causation aligns exactly with that relation; it is unified and principled.
This paper accomplishes two goals. First, I elucidate Edmund Husserl’s theory of inauthentic judgments from his 1890 “On the Logic of Signs.” It will be shown how inauthentic judgments are distinct from other signitive experiences, in such a manner that when Husserl seeks to account for them, he is forced to revise the general structure of his philosophy of meaning and in doing so, is also able to realize novel insights concerning the nature of signification. Second, these conclusions are revealed (...) to be the foundation of Husserl’s pure logical grammar, found in the 1901 “Fourth Logical Investigation.” In his analysis of inauthentic judgments, Husserl already recognized, albeit in a problematic way and for entirely different reasons, many of the central tenets of the 1901 work concerning categoremata and syncategoremata, matter and form, and the isomorphism between them. (shrink)
This essay critically assesses Roman Ingarden’s 1915 review of the second edition of Edmund Husserl’s Logical Investigations. I elucidate and critique Ingarden’s analysis of the differences between the 1901 first edition and the 1913 second edition. I specifically examine three tenets of Ingarden’s interpretation. First, I demonstrate that Ingarden correctly denounces Husserl’s claim that he only engages in an eidetic study of consciousness in 1913, as Husserl was already performing eidetic analyses in 1901. Second, I show that Ingarden is misguided, (...) when he asserts that Husserl had fully transformed his philosophy into a transcendental idealism in the second edition. While Husserl does appear to adopt a transcendental phenomenology by asserting–in his programmatic claims–that the intentional content and object are now included in his domain of research, he does not alter his actual descriptions of the intentional relationship in any pertinent manner. Third, I show Ingarden correctly predicts many of the insights Husserl would arrive at about logic in his late philosophy. This analysis augments current readings of the evolution of Ingarden’s philosophy, by more closely examining the development of his largely neglected early thought. I execute this critical assessment by drawing both from Husserl’s later writings and from recent literature on the Investigations. By doing so, I hope to additionally demonstrate how research on the Investigations has matured in the one hundred years since the release of that text, while also presenting my own views concerning these difficult interpretative issues. (shrink)
This paper demonstrates that Edmund Husserl’s frequently overlooked 1890 manuscript, “On the Logic of Signs,” when closely investigated, reveals itself to be the hermeneutical touchstone for his seminal 1891 Philosophy of Arithmetic. As the former comprises Husserl’s earliest attempt to account for all of the different kinds of signitive experience, his conclusions there can be directly applied to the latter, which is focused on one particular type of sign; namely, number signs. Husserl’s 1890 descriptions of motivating and replacing signs will (...) be respectively employed to clarify his 1891 understanding of the authentic and inauthentic presentations of numbers via number signs. Moreover, his schematic classification of replacement-signs in Semiotic will illuminate the reasons why he believed the number system to be necessary for the operation of replacing number signs. (shrink)
This paper offers a more comprehensive and accurate picture of Edmund Husserl’s semiotics. I not only clarify, as many have already done, Husserl’s theory of signs from the 1901 Logical Investigations, but also examine how he transforms that element of his philosophy in the 1913/14 Revisions to the Sixth Logical Investigation. Specifically, the paper examines the evolution of two central tenets of Husserl’s semiotics. I first look at how he modifies his classification of signs. I disclose why he revised his (...) 1901 distinction between indicators and expressions, instead claiming in 1913/14 that the divisions should be drawn between indicators, signals, and categorial signs. Second, I elucidate why Husserl overturned his conclusion from the Investigations, that signs execute their signitive operations in three steps, because he recognizes that categorial signs and their meant object are experienced all at once. By exploring the transformation of these two tenets of Husserl’s semiotics, we will see that he conceived of the First Investigation only as a starting or jumping off point for future analyses of signitive experience, rather than as his final account. This analysis will further reveal novel insights about Husserl’s understanding of intersubjectivity, passivity, and temporality. (shrink)
This article accomplishes two goals. First, the paper clarifies Edmund Husserl’s investigation of the historical inception of the number system from his early works, Philosophy of Arithmetic and, “On the Logic of Signs (Semiotic)”. The article explores Husserl’s analysis of five historical developmental stages, which culminated in our ancestor’s ability to employ and enumerate with number signs. Second, the article reveals how Husserl’s conclusions about the history of the number system from his early works opens up a fusion point with (...) his investigations from his mature texts, The Crisis of the European Sciences and “The Origin of Geometry”. On the one hand, the essay shows that Husserl’s methodology was similar, as he sought in both his early and late writings to uncover the essence of the history of the formal sciences and was not executing mere intellectual history. On the other hand, the article discloses that Husserl’s insights from both time periods are strikingly analogous. Already in his early texts, Husserl saw that the sciences emerged from pre-theoretical experiences of the world and that the sciences are the result of a historical process, which involves the psychic activities of past individuals and the maintaining of discoveries over time by intersubjective communities. I conclude by showing how, in light of the analysis of this paper, we can rethink the evolution of Husserl’s philosophy. (shrink)
G.E. Moore said that rightness was obviously a matter of maximising plain goodness. Peter Geach and Judith Thomson disagree. They have both argued that ‘good’ is not a predicative adjective, but only ever an attributive adjective: just like ‘big.’ And just as there is no such thing as plain bigness but only ever big for or as a so-and-so, there is also no such thing as plain goodness. They conclude that Moore’s goodness is thus a nonsense. However attention has been (...) drawn to a weakness in their arguments. Mahrad Almotahari and Adam Hosein have sought to plug that weakness. If their plug holds, then there is no goodness. Doing most of their work is the following premise: adjective φ is predicative only if it can be used predicatively in ‘x is a φ K’ otherwise it is attributive. In this paper I argue that this premise is false, that their plug does not hold and that if one is to reject plain goodness it will have to be for other reasons. (shrink)
This paper accomplishes two goals. First, I elucidate Edmund Husserl’s theory of inauthentic judgments from his 1890 “On the Logic of Signs (Semiotic).” It will be shown how inauthentic judgments are distinct from other signitive experiences, in such a manner that when Husserl seeks to account for them, he is forced to revise the general structure of his philosophy of meaning and in doing so, is also able to realize novel insights concerning the nature of signification. Second, these conclusions are (...) revealed to be the foundation of Husserl’s pure logical grammar, found in the 1901 “Fourth Logical Investigation.” In his analysis of inauthentic judgments, Husserl already recognized, albeit in a problematic way and for entirely different reasons, many of the central tenets of the 1901 work concerning categoremata and syncategoremata, matter and form, and the isomorphism between them. (shrink)
This paper accomplishes two tasks. First, I unpack Husserl’s analysis of interest from his 1893 manuscript, “Notes Towards a Theory of Attention and Interest” to demonstrate that it comprises his first rigorous genetic analysis of attention. Specifically, I explore Husserl’s observations about how attentive interest is passively guided by affections, moods, habits, and cognitive tensions. In doing so, I reveal that the early Husserl described attention as always pulled forward to new discoveries via the rhythmic recurrence of tension and pleasure. (...) Second, I demonstrate that “Notes” is the germ of Husserl’s mature genetic phenomenology of attention. The 1893 analysis provides Husserl with all of the philosophical reasons and tools for the construction of his genetic account of attention in his late works. I then discuss how the disclosure of this novel subterranean link can prompt a rethinking of the development of phenomenology. (shrink)
This essay is motivated by the contention that an incomplete picture of Edmund Husserl’s philosophy of feelings persists. While his standard account of feelings, as it is presented in his major works, has been extensively studied, there is another branch of his theory of feelings, which has received little attention. This other branch is Husserl’s rigorous and distinct investigations of the feeling of approval. Simply stated, the goal of this essay is to outline the evolution of this secondary branch of (...) Husserl’s philosophy of feelings from 1896 to 1911. I highlight how Husserl’s examinations of approval – as an intention that performs both an axiological and a seemingly cognitive function – lead him to extraordinary observations about the execution of feelings and the truth of judgments. (shrink)
This essay accomplishes two goals. First, I explore Husserl’s study of “tension” from his 1893 manuscript, “Notes Towards a Theory of Attention and Interest,” to reveal that it comprises his de facto first analysis of instinct. Husserl there describes tension as the innate pull to execute ever new objectifications. He clarifies this pull of objectification by contrasting it to affective and volitional experiences. This analysis surprisingly prefigures a theory of drive-feelings and anticipates the idea that consciousness is both teleological and (...) autotelic. Second, I show how Husserl’s de facto account of instincts from 1893 inspires his robust philosophy of instincts from Studies concerning the Structures of Consciousness and other late manuscripts. While Husserl maintains many 1893 insights, he now claims that the instinct towards objectification comprises affective and volitional moments. Finally, I demonstrate that Husserl’s analyses of instincts throughout his life are united by the idea that consciousness possesses an essential structural lack. (shrink)
By examining the evolution of Husserl’s philosophy from 1901 to 1914, this essay reveals that he possessed a more robust philosophy of gestures than has been accounted for. This study is executed in two stages. First, I explore how Husserl analyzed gestures through the lens of his semiotics in the 1901 Logical Investigations. Although he there presents a simple account of gestures as kinds of indicative signs, he does uncover rich insights about the role that gestures play in communication. Second, (...) I examine how Husserl augmented his theory of gestures in his 1914 Revisions to the Sixth Logical Investigation. Husserl describes some gestures as signals, which are experienced as intersubjective communication, as having a temporally diachronic structure, and as possessing an obliging tendency. Husserl also contrasts gestures to language by showing how language habitually leaves traces on us. (shrink)
A window broke and Annie was involved. What’s of moral importance in a situation like this? Not whether Annie caused the window to break and not whether the window wouldn’t have broken if it weren’t for Annie. What’s morally important is whether Annie broke the window. In this thesis, I first generalise and argue for that claim; afterwards, I put it to work in ethics, applied ethics, and legal theory.