23 Jun 2009

Lines of Times, Husserl, para 188, Supplementary B1 to: On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time

by Corry Shores
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Lines of Times

Edmund Husserl

On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time

B: Supplementary Texts


The Suspension of Objective Time, The Temporal Object, The Phenomenology of Objectivation and its Aporiae

No. 26

On the Hypothesis: That Perceptions Include the “Temporal Determination” Actually Now, Which, However, Continually Changes, and That Primary Memory Has the Significance of the Abiding of These Perceptions

Paragraph 188

We perceive something, call it a. We perceive it at a particular time point, called t. But a carries on through time. New time-moments add to it. That modifies it. But we note here that these time-points are not best thought-of discretely. Husserl will then uses a line to symbolize their continuity rather than discretion:

In the at, the t belongs directly to the a. Now what is peculiar to this situation is that a new t attaches itself, in an appropriate manner, to each moment of consciousness. The at ­remains (“for a time”) in consciousness, but consciousness is always a new consciousness, a consciousness that continually undergoes temporal change – that is, a consciousness that continuously confers a new now, a new t. But the new t is not conferred in such a way that it would sever the t from the at. Rather at continuously takes on ever new “t”s, and each new t is related to the preceding formation just as the original t is related to a. Accordingly:

at(at)t1 ((at) ­t1)t2 . . .

But the symbolism is poor, since this is a process of continuous modification. Something on this order might be better, then:

at_____t1 ,

where, however, each ideal step between t and t­1 represents a t that is the t of the whole preceding process. (215a.b)

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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