22 Jun 2009

Passing Away Into Present Representations, para 51-52, Supplementary B1 to: On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time

by Corry Shores
[Search Blog Here. Index-tags are found on the bottom of the left column.]

[Central Entry Directory]
[Husserl Entry Directory]
[The following is summary.]

Passing Away Into Present Representations

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. 7

Intuition, Evidence of Being-Past – Mere Represenation of Being-Past.

Apparent Necessity of Assuming a Change of Content in Primary Memory

Paragraphs 51-52

Paragraph 51

[A bell rings. Slowly its sound fades away. Listening carefully, we perceive the flow of its passing.]

When something flows away, it has one foot already in the past, so to speak. So to be conscious of a flow means to also intuit past things. And in order for something to flow away, it must continuously be itself as it extends into the past.

In the perception of flow, I simultaneously have an intuition of the past. We speak of the perception of an event, of a change, of a process of becoming in those cases in which being-past is experienced in a certain way along with a present being; specifically, in such a way that what is experienced and given is wholly embraced by the unity of what pertains to the object, that is, by the unity of the object extending [throughout] the entire alteration. (162-136)

Our minds represent the phases of the event running-off. These representations are pictorial. We distinguish the phases, but they are a parts of a greater unity. The event might just have passed, but its unity remains “present” to us.

In each moment, the unity of what is just now present and perceived, together with what is given in the continuity of memory, is a present unity of experience. (163a)

Because our present experience is unified with the past, we may “grasp the ‘being’ of the past.” (163b)

[So we right now hear note A. Previously note B was playing. We intuit A, and represent B. This representation of B has characteristics that tell us it represents the actual intuition of B which we just had. In fact, it tells us that the temporal event of B’s passing has just occurred.]

The representation belonging to each phase has the character of an intuition of what has just been, or, more precisely, the character of an intuition that the event has just been. (163b)

Our representation indicates the temporal connectedness of the past event with the present.

In this interconnection, the temporal character is experienced and an object is represented. (163bc)

Paragraph 51

Husserl’s distinctions:

1) If the representation is inadequate, we might be misled to think it accurately represents a real event in the past.

2) But if it is adequate, then “the being-past” is actual. Our representations of just-passing events are always adequate and are hence indubitable.


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.

No comments:

Post a Comment