26 Nov 2008

Husserl Ideas §50 The Phenomenological Attitude; Pure Consciousness as the Field of Phenomenology, summary

by Corry Shores
[Search Blog Here. Index-tags are found on the bottom of the left column.]

[Central Entry Directory]
[Husserl Entry Directory]

[Husserl's Ideas, Entry Directory]

By considering the spatio-temporal world as merely an intentional being, Husserl has inverted the normal way of speaking about being: instead of considering beings as primarily unto themselves, they are firstly for us and secondly in themselves; and they are only what they are in relation to us. But the order and connection of things is not rigidly connected to the order and connection of ideas (Husserl here citing Spinoza's Ethics II.7: ordo et connexio idearum idem est ac ordo et connexio rerum. The order and connection of ideas is the same as the order and connection of things.] The essence of the physical world's reality is not self-sufficient enough to be in a relation of correspondence.

Reality is not in itself something absolute which becomes tied secondarily to something else; rather, in the absolute sense, it is nothing at all; it has no "absolute essence" whatever; it has the essentiality of something which, of necessity, is only an object of consciousness.

In contrast to the natural attitude, whose correlate is the natural world, there must also be a new attitude that still produces the whole field of absolute consciousness even after excluding the psychophysical universe of Nature. We thus conduct the "phenomoenological reduction:"

instead of naively effecting the acts pertaining to our Nature -- constituting consciousness with their positings of something transcendent, and letting ourselves be induced, by motives implicit in them, to effect ever new positings of something transcendent -- instead of that, we put all those positings "out of action," we do not "participate in them;" we direct our seizing and theoretically inquiring regard to pure consciuosness in its own absolute being. That, then, is what is left as the sought-for "phenomenological residuum," though we have "excluded" [-- or better, parentesized --] the whole world with all physical things, living beings, and humans, ourselves included.

Thus we have not really lost anything so much as have we gained "the whole of absolute being which, rightly understood, contains within itself, 'constitutes' within itself, all worldly transcendencies" (113d).

In the natural attitude, we "effect" those acts responsible for the world being there for us. We carry on under the naive belief that these posited unified physical things given "on hand" are in fact "actual." However, in the phenomenological attitude, we

prevent the effecting of all such cognitative positings, i.e., we "parenthesize" the postings effected; for our new inquireies we do not "participate in these positings." Instead of livining in them; instead of effecting them, we effect acts of reflection directed to them; and we seize upon them themselves as the absolute being which they are.

We now live in acts that are of a higher degree whose "datum" is "the infinite field of absolute mental processes -- the fundamental field of phenomenology" (114c).

Husserl, Edmund. Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy, First Book. General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology. Transl. Fred Kersten. The Hague: Nijhoff, 1982.

No comments:

Post a Comment