19 Jun 2009

Successive Satisfaction, Husserl, para 11, Supplementary B1 to: On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time

[The following is summary.]

Successive Satisfaction

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 11

Previously we discussed the way that full intuitions come about. First we have a series of partial intuitions. We see green wavy bunches against an ethereal blue background. A brown column supports the green glimmers. During each moment of our sensing this thing, we had smaller partial intuitions. Finally we see enough of it and we intuit the whole thing as one tree.

The object was unified in our minds. We only see one part at a time. But the whole tree is a unification of many of its parts. So when we unify the object in our mind, we do so using mostly retained mental impressions rather than actual sensations occurring at that moment. For this reason, Husserl calls this synthesis an “ideal unification.” At that time, all the tree’s constituent parts come together as the contents of one constituted entity, the whole tree itself. Before we reach this point when we fully constitute the object, we underwent a succession of partial intuitions leading up to the full intuition of the whole object itself.

To bring any object or objective unity to intuition, therefore, means to bring to intuition successively, in a totality satisfying to our interest, components (parts or features) from the ideal unification of components to whose mental synthesis the object owes its unity. (146c)

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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