22 Jun 2009

Drifting Melodies, para 76-78, Supplementary B1 to: On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time

by Corry Shores
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Drifting Melodies

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. 12

The Evidence of Time-Consciousness

Paragraph 76

We perceive a melody during an extent of time.

I perceive a measure, a melody. I perceive it step by sep, tone by tone. Assuming that no direct interruptions occur, I hear and perceive continuously. Accordingly, there exists an enduring, temporally extended act of perceiving. (171d)

Paragraph 77

We do not hear the notes during discrete time points. We hear one. It fades into the past. But it diminishes continuously, because we are still partially aware of it as the next one gradually takes its place.

What do I perceive? The first tone sounds. I hear this tone. But I do not merely hear its quality in a timeless point. The tone endures and in the course of its duration swells in intensity in this way or that, and so on. And then the second tone follows. I continue to hear, and I now hear it. The consciousness of the preceding tone is not erased, however, I can surely observe, “see," that I still keep my intention directed towards the first tone while the second is actually sounding," is “actually" being perceived. And so it continues. (171-172, boldface and underline is mine)

And if we have heard the melody before, we expect what is to come at each moment, just as we retain what has immediately transpired. (172b)

Paragraph 78

We hear the melody during one continuous act. So the perceptive act extends gradually and continuously. The act involves a now-point. It is always moving temporally, so it is a new point along the continuum at each moment.

The perceiving of a melody is in fact a temporally extended, gradually and continuously unfolding act, which is constantly an act of perceiving. This act posses an ever new “now”-point. (172b, emphasis mine)

During the now point, we regard as an object what we are then aware-of, in this case it is the note we hear now. In that same moment, we as well consider the previous note as an object in the past, and the forthcoming note as a future object. (172b)

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

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