Cover of New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy
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1. New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy: Volume > 11
Emiliano Trizio Husserl and the Mind–Body Problem
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The aim of this article is to situate positively Husserl’s philosophy with respect to current discussions concerning the mind–body problem and, more specifically,the so-called “hard problem” of consciousness. It will be first argued that the view according to which phenomenology can contribute to the solution of the hard problem by being naturalized and incorporated into cognitive sciences is based on a misunderstanding of the nature and aim of Husserl’s philosophy.Subsequently, it will be shown that phenomenology deals with the issue of the relation between mind and body in the framework of the transcendental foundationof the ontology of animal nature, and provides thereby a non-reductionist solution to the hard problem. This discussion will at the same time stress the sharp differences existing between phenomenology and philosophy of mind, and highlight the relation between phenomenology and ontology.
2. New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy: Volume > 11
Daniele De Santis Phenomenological Kaleidoscope: Remarks on the Husserlian Method of Eidetic Variation
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The main goal of this article is to examine Edmund Husserl’s method of “eidetic variation”—that is, to examine the way this method is supposed to work in connection with the notion of “similarity” (Ähnlichkeit). Unlike most interpretations, it will be suggested that similarity represents the leading methodologicalprinciple of eidetic variation. We will argue, therefore, that, on the one hand, this method is rooted in the sphere of association and passivity while, on the otherhand, it is constituted by the transposition of a passive synthesis into an active operation. After having introduced and discussed a twofold notion of phantasy(as “localized phantasy” and as “pure phantasy”) as well as a twofold concept of eidos (as “hen epi pollon” and as “pure eidos”), the extent to which for Husserl there cannot be any eidetic variation without a monadology will be shown.
3. New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy: Volume > 11
Maxime Doyon Husserl and McDowell on the Role of Concepts in Perception
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In his collection of essays Having the World in View (2009), John McDowell draws a distinction between empirical experience (conceived as the conceptual activity relevant to judgment) and empirical judgment (i.e., the full-fledged assertoric content itself ). McDowell’s latest proposal is that the form of empirical experience is transferable into judgment, but it is not itself a judgment. Taking back the view he advanced in Mind and World, McDowell now believes that perception does not have propositional content as such, but the content of perception can, however, always be actualized in a judgment. There is, in other words, a strict parallelism between the deliverances of sensibility and potential future judgments of experience. The early Husserl disagrees with this and recognizesexplicitly the existence of coherent forms of perceptual engagement with the world that is independent of the mastery of language and the use of concepts.Perception constitutes—together with certain other embodied practices—our primary mode of access to the world, and this occurs before and independently ofour thinking activity. However, the realization of the centrality of time for intentionality will lead Husserl after 1905 to recognize a kind of lawfulness internal tothe sensuous materials themselves, prior to any egoical achievement. The most immediate consequence of this paradigm change is that the very idea of non-conceptual content now seems unwarranted. Indeed, if time is that which keeps the process of sense formation unified even at the lowest levels of constitution, then the world-disclosing activity of the ego cannot be discontinuous with the conceptual realm. Against this background, it will be argued that the dialectic between the conceptual and non-conceptual ultimately makes no sense on a phenomenological basis. Once temporality has entered the scene, the only meaningful opposition that stands is that between the conceptual and pre-conceptual spheres.
4. New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy: Volume > 11
Timo Miettinen Edmund Husserl’s Europe: Borders, Limits and Crises
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This article examines the problem of cultural transformation—particularly the problem of modern Westernization—in the framework of Husserlian phenomenology. By focusing on the concept of limit in Husserl’s late manuscripts, the article illustrates how Husserl conceives the concept of culture with regardto a twofold liminal structure: territoriality and teleology. In the birth of Greek philosophy, Husserl detects a radical transformation in the fundamental sense ofboth of these structures, which will be described as the deconstruction and deferment of cultural limits. The article argues that while Husserl was keen to uncoverthe expansionist motive of the European–occidental tradition, his aim was by no means to simply justify it on the basis of universal reason. Instead, Husserl aimed at articulating a novel theory of universalism that would be based on the ideas of self-critique and renewal, and that would conceive cultural transformation through a reciprocal relation between home and alien. By elaborating the twofold liminal structure of culture, the article will answer some of the critiques ofHusserl’s alleged Euro-centrism.
5. New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy: Volume > 11
Andrea Zhok The Ontological Status of Essences in Husserl’s Thought
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Phenomenology has been defined by Husserl as “theory of the essences of pure phenomena,” yet the ontological status of essences in Husserlian phenomenology is far from a settled issue. The late Husserlian emphasis on genetic constitution and the historicity of the lifeworld is not immediately reconcilablewith the ‘unchangeable’ nature that is prima facie attributed to essences. However, the problem of the nature of ideality cannot be dropped from phenomenological accounts without jeopardizing the phenomenological enterprise as such. Through an immanent analysis of Husserl’s meditation on essences a positive account of their ontological status is provided. Essences are interpreted as ontological thresholds, primordially rooted in our motivated confrontation with sensuous transcendence. Essences appear as emergent ontological features, which are not reducible to their particular realizations and which exhibit a fundamental continuity between consciousness and being. They manifest themselves as prospectively a priori (a precondition for further experiences), but retrospectively a posteriori (they are founded in experience). Finally, essences manifest the ‘co-essential’ nature of consciousness and sensuous transcendence: they are the way in which we are motivated and constitutively bound to articulate being, which in turn is apt to be thus articulated.
6. New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy: Volume > 11
R. Matthew Shockey Heidegger on Understanding One’s Own Being
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One of the characteristics that define us as Dasein, according to Heidegger, is that our being is at issue for us. Most readers interpret this to mean that we each, as individuals situated in the world with others, face the questions of who, how, and whether to be within our unique situations. Yet what Heidegger identifies as Dasein’s being is a general structure—care—that is the same for all individuals. Adapting and modifying John Haugeland’s account of understanding as projecting entities upon their constitutive ontological possibilities, I argue that it is this general, ontological structure that Heidegger means to say is at issue for us, and that understanding ourselves in terms of it is a condition of possibility of understanding ourselves as particular individuals faced with the questions of who, how, and whether to be in our respective situations. I then show how this allows us to begin to address Heidegger’s view of the role philosophy plays in an individual’sexistence as it makes explicit the ontological structure which she normally only tacitly understands.
7. New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy: Volume > 11
Eva Brann Jacob Klein’s Two Prescient Discoveries
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I present two of Jacob Klein’s chief discoveries from a perspective of peculiar fascination to me: the enchanting (to me) contemporaneous significance, the astounding prescience, and hence longevity, of his insights. The first insight takes off from an understanding of the lowest segment of the so-called DividedLine in Plato’s Republic. In this lowest segment are located the deficient beings called reflections, shadows, and images, and a type of apprehension associatedwith them called by Klein “image-recognition” (εἰκασία). The second discovery involves a great complex of notions from which I will extract one main element:the analysis of what it means to be a number and what makes possible this kind of being, and, it turns out, all Being.
8. New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy: Volume > 11
Joseph Cosgrove On the Mathematical Representation of Spacetime: A Case Study in Historical–Phenomenological Desedimentation
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This essay is a contribution to the historical phenomenology of science, taking as its point of departure Husserl’s later philosophy of science and Jacob Klein’s seminal work on the emergence of the symbolic conception of number in European mathematics during the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Sinceneither Husserl nor Klein applied their ideas to actual theories of modern mathematical physics, this essay attempts to do so through a case study of the conceptof “spacetime.” In §1, I sketch Klein’s account of the emergence of the symbolic conception of number, beginning with Vieta in the late sixteenth century. In §2,through a series of historical illustrations, I show how the principal impediment to assimilating the new symbolic algebra to mathematical physics, namely, thedimensionless character of symbolic number, is overcome via the translation of the traditional language of ratio and proportion into the symbolic language of equations. In §§3–4, I critically examine the concept of “Minkowski spacetime,” specifically, the purported analogy between the Pythagorean distance formula and the Minkowski “spacetime interval.” Finally, in §5, I address the question of whether the concept of Minkowski spacetime is, as generally assumed, indispensable to Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
9. New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy: Volume > 11
Claudio Majolino Splitting the Μονάς: Jacob Klein’s Math Book reconsidered (Part I)
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This paper assesses the philosophical heritage of Jacob Klein’s thought through an analysis of the key tenets of his Greek Mathematical Thought and theOrigin of Algebra. Threads of Klein’s thought are distinguished and subsequently singled out (phenomenological, epistemological, and anti-ontological; historical, ontological, and critical), and the peculiar way in which Klein’s project brings together ontology and history of mathematics is investigated. Plato’s theoretical logistic and Klein’s understanding thereof are questioned—especially the claim that the Platonic distinction between practical and theoretical logistic is historically neglected because of Plato’s understanding of the manner of being of mathematical objects—in order to advance the claim that Klein ontologically overdetermines the history of mathematics in a manner that ends up limiting some of his most brilliant analyses of the Greek conception of “numbers” and the philosophical meaning of the notion of “multiplicity.”
10. New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy: Volume > 11
Richard F. Hassing History of Physics and the Thought of Jacob Klein
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Aristotelian, classical, and quantum physics are compared and contrasted in light of Jacob Klein’s account of the algebraicization of thought and the resultingdetachment of mind from world, even as human problem-solving power is greatly increased. Two fundamental features of classical physics are brought out: species-neutrality, which concerns the relation between the intelligible and the sensible, and physico-mathematical secularism, which concerns the question of the difference between mathematical objects and physical objects, and whether any differences matter. In contrast to Aristotelian physics, which is species-specific, classical physics is species-neutral. In contrast to both Aristotelian and quantum physics, classical physics assumes that any differences between mathematical objects and physical objects make no difference for the conduct of physics. Aristotle’s act and potency, and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle are discussed as counterexamples to the physico-mathematical secularism of classical physics. The algebraicization of thought in conjunction with the disposition and program for the mastery of nature leads to the homogenization of heterogeneities in both mathematics and physics, and, therewith, to confusion concerning the meaning of human being and our place in the whole.
11. New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy: Volume > 11
Andrew Romiti Jacob Klein on the Dispute Between Plato and Aristotle Regarding Number
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By examining Klein’s discussion of the difference between Plato and Aristotle regarding the ontology of number, this article aims to spells out the significanceof that debate both in itself and for the development of the later mathematical sciences. This is accomplished by explicating and expanding Klein’s account of the differences that exist in the understanding of number presented by these two thinkers. It is ultimately argued that Klein’s analysis can be used to show that the transition from the ancient to the modern number concept has some roots in this disagreement between Plato and Aristotle regarding number. This, in turn, sets up that dispute as an essential part of the background to the more general break between ancient and modern conceptuality, the uncovering of whichis Klein’s main concern.
12. New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy: Volume > 11
Edward C. Halper Klein on Aristotle on Number
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Jacob Klein raises two important questions about Aristotle’s account of number: (1) How does the intellect come to grasp a sensible as an intelligible unit? (2) What makes a collection of these intelligible units into one number? His answer to both questions is “abstraction.” First, we abstract (or, better, disregard) a thing’s sensible characteristics to grasp it as a noetic unit. Second, after counting like things, we again disregard their other characteristics and grasp the group as a noetic entity composed of “pure” units. As Klein explains them, Aristotle’s numbers are each “heaps” of counted units; in contrast, each of Plato’s numbers is one. This paper argues that Klein is right to understand a noetic unit existing in the sensible entity, but that his answer to the second question is not consonant with Aristotle’s insistence that Plato cannot account for the unity of a number, whereas he can. Slightly modifying Klein’s analysis, I show that Aristotle’s numbers are each one.
13. New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy: Volume > 11
Burt Hopkins The Philosophical Achievement of Jacob Klein
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Jacob Klein’s account of the original phenomenon of formalization accomplished by the innovators of modern mathematics, when they transformed the Greek arithmos into the modern concept of number, and his suggestion that the essential structure of this historically located formalization has become paradigmaticfor the concept formation of non-mathematical concepts (and therefore the most salient characteristic of the “modern consciousness”), is situated within the context of Husserl’s and Heidegger’s understanding of formalization. I show that from the perspective of Klein’s account of formalization the questions thatinform Husserl’s and Heidegger’s phenomenological responses to the problem of formalization are derivative, insofar as both phenomenologists presuppose that the essence of formalization is something that is knowable independent of its historicity. I then show that Klein’s philosophical achievement consists in his account of formalization and the formality of the concepts that it generates as being ungraspable so long as thinking approaches them as something is knowable, independent of its historicity.
in review
14. New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy: Volume > 11
Steven Crowell Retrieving Husserl’s Phenomenology: Hopkins on Philosophy’s Last Stand
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Burt Hopkins provides a reading of the development of Husserl’s phenomenology, framing it with an account of its relation to Platonic and Aristotelian theories of unity-in-multiplicity, on the one hand, and the criticisms of Husserl found in Heidegger and Derrida, on the other. Here I introduce a further approach to the problem of unity-in-multiplicity – one based on normative ideality, drawing on Plato’s Idea of the Good -- and investigate three crucial aspects of phenomenological philosophy as Hopkins presents it: the method of reflection, the nature of absolute consciousness, and the status of the ego. I take issue with Husserl’s idea that consciousness can be the sufficient ground of that “meaning” which, for both Hopkins and for me, is the specific topic of phenomenology.