16 Dec 2008

Husserl Ideas §54 Continuation: Accidental and Relative, and Necessary and Absolute Consciousnesses

by Corry Shores
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Nature is annihilated when there are "no harmonious concatenations in which experienced unities might become constituted," and thus no such animate organisms as humans (127b). And yet even no longer a human, one's consciousness remains "a stream of absolute mental processes with its own essence" (127bc). Hence "identical personal psychological properties" would no longer manifest (127d). We really can imagine such a bodyless and psyche-less consciousness when we consider the circumstances when "the intentional unities of experience, organism, psyche, and empirical Ego-subject" do not become constituted (127-128).

All empirical unities, and therefore also psychological mental processes, are indices pointing to concatenations of absolute mental processes having a distinctive essential formation; . . . all are, in the same sense, transcendent, merely relative, accidental. (128a.b)

In contrast to empirical mental processes is its underlying absolute mental process, which is not a "metaphysical construction" but is rather is an absoluteness indubitably demonstrable by means of attitude change. Hence all empirical unities are merely intentional and hence "relative" (128c).

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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