17 Mar 2009

Husserl, On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time, Supplementary B1, paragraph 1

by Corry Shores
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Edmund Husserl

On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time

B: Supplementary Texts

I "On the Introduction of the Essential Distinction between 'Fresh' Memory and 'Full' Recollection and about the Change in Content and Differences in Apprehension in the Consciousness of Time"

No. 1 "How Does the Unity of a Process of Change that Continues for an Extended Period of Time Come to Be Represented?
Intuition and Re-presentation"

Paragraph 1

Consider a melody. As we hear it, new notes are added. And its character changes with each successive addition. This change-process continues through an extent of time. During these continuous changes, however, the melody maintains a unified identity. Husserl wonders, how do we come to represent its unity?

Husserl now turns to the notion of "moment." [A moment can be considered in two ways. If it is a small piece of the extension of a time continuum, then it is extensive. If it is a pure instant of the sort that physics deals-with when they are determining instantaneous velocity, then it is intensive and discrete from any continuum if there would be one. For, it would not extend in time. Rather, it would be an intensive magnitude. We will see that Husserl understands the now moment extensionally and not intensionally. In other words, intentionality is not intense.]

Husserl writes that

Only quite small parts of temporal successions and extensions can be surveyed in one glance, in one momentary act of intuiting. (141 boldface mine)

Hence in a moment we can only intuit very small parts of a melody.

Husserl, Edmund. On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time (1893-1917). Vol 4 of Edmund Husserl: Collected Works. Ed. Rudolf Bernet. Trans. John Barnett Brough. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991.

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