21 Jun 2009

The Melody of Time, Husserl, para 26, Supplementary B1 to: On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time

by Corry Shores
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The Melody of Time

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. 2

Evidence Pertaining to the Perception of Time, to Memory, etc

Paragraph 26

We can feel time passing.

We are aware of something now. Call it A. But A entered our awareness. Before that we were aware of B. But just now as we become aware of A, we are also at the same time aware of B which is currently fading-away – or “running-off” – into the past. Moreover, we are aware of the passing B as being something that is also continuously connected to C, which B replaced in the previous instant.

To perceive a temporal flow means to perceive a present existent A together with a just past B objectively connected with A and a C belonging to the further past, etc.; it means to perceive A and, in the process of being pushed back, to experience B as next past, and so on. And this whole succession is perceived; it is a present process, since we are looking at the objective unity and perceiving it. (156a)

So consider when we hear a melody. In its middle we hear note A, then note B. We are aware of two things at once: the note happening now, and the transition of the previous note into the past as the now-note comes into presence.

We perceive the melody. This involves a succession of perceptions:

1) relating to the individual tones in the moment in which they are present (these are perceptions of present tones);

2) relating to the temporal relations also “experienced” along with the sequentially given tones. These relations are experienced because altered contents, which originate in the past tones, are apprehended in the mode of the past; and this apprehension belongs intuitively to these alterations in content. Where we bestow the predicate past here, or apprehend as past, there what is past is indeed actually past. [ft 5: Husserl later added at this point in the manuscript: “(= original consciousness of the temporal, of what endures, of what changes, of duration itself, change, process, succession).”] (156b)

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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