16 Dec 2008

Husserl Ideas §53 Animalia and Psychological Consciousness, summary

by Corry Shores
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Animals have conscious mental processes, hence there are consciousnesses which are also natural objects; however we said before that consciousness is absolute (124c).

Consciousness becomes a natural object only through its relation to its physical organism (125a). And it is only by means of these unions that individual beings may collectively constitute a world (125b).

Consciousness loses nothing of its essence by being embodied (125c); although, it becomes something additionally: "a component part of Nature" (125d). But in this consciousness appears something transcendent: "a sequence of conscious states of an identical real Ego-subject" (125-126).

Two attitudes are found in these transcending apperceptions: 1) the psychological attitude "in which our naturally focused regard is directed to mental processes," and 2) the phenomenological attitude which is combined with the first attitude and is turned toward absolute pure consciousness belonging to an Ego-subject (126b.d). Only when consciousness loses its "intentional form" does it become pure consciousness that is no longer an event in Nature (126-127).

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.

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