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1. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 4
Dermot Moran, Hans Rainer Sepp, Preface
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2. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 4
Kristina S. Montagová, Erleben ohne Erblicken: Die vielfältigen Gestalten des Urbewussten bei Husserl
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In this text I deal with the theme of the ‘primal conscious’ (das Urbewusste) in Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology. The ‘primal conscious’ or ‘primal consciousness’ (die Ur-Bewusstheit) characterizes those ways of experience and consciousness which represent in some way an intermediate level between the non-conscious, on the one hand, and the act-intentional, objective conscious experiences, on the other,. In the first part three basic forms of the primal conscious are distinguished and illustrated with the help of concrete examples. In the second part I offer a—merely sketched—historical-phenomenological reconstruction of the development of Husserl’s analyses of primal consciousness. Nevertheless, the systematic-phenomenological point of view remains foremost also in this part of the text. In the first part I differentiate three basic forms of the primal conscious: (1.) consciousness of the immanent, retentional-primal-impressional-protentional streaming alteration of the experiences (= the immanent, retentional-protentional time-consciousness), (2.) the pre-thematically or non-thematically affective consciousness (= the pre-apperceptive consciousness and experience) and (3.) the consciousness of the execution of acts (= the „accompanying“ executive consciousness, „the internal consciousness“ or also „the consciousness along with“ especially in early Husserl). The differentiating criteria between the pre-apperceptive and apperceptive consciousness are attention, and the synthetic activities of the subject, i.e. its differing attentional activity and its execution of certain syntheses. It is common to all forms of the primal conscious experiencing that it is a non-thematic, non-act-intentional kind of (self)consciousness of the experiencing—and of that, what is being experienced, though not of that, what objectively appears—, which is indeed already fully determined—with regards to content, time, and emotional character. In the second part of the text it will be shown that Husserl wrestled with the theme of the primal conscious for over four decades and that, after several essential transformations and numerous terminological modifications, he gradually arrived at a conception whose development can be traced back through his writings. However the differentiation of the concept of the primal conscious—as undertaken above—namely, offering an extensive examination of all these phenomena under the concept of the primal conscious can be found only implicitly in Husserl’s writings.
3. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 4
Nicholas Smith, Self-Alteration and Temporality: The Radicalized and Universal Reductions in Husserl’s Late Thinking (au-dela de Derrida)
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This text argues that Husserl’s late philosophy of temporal and bodily subjectivity can only be understood by means of the interplay between different reductions. For various reasons, this decisive methodological aspect has been largely overlooked by most interpreters. As a consequence, the cooriginality of the constitution of space and time, which first enables a comprehensive grasp of the originary processes in the living streaming present, has remained virtually unknown. This also means that the proper understanding of egology and intersubjectivity has been obfuscated. It is only by bringing out the bodily and temporal foundations of the lebendige Gegenwart as presented in the C-manuscripts that Husserl’s investigations of constitutive intersubjectivity in other texts can ultimately be clarified. Notably this calls for a renewed understanding of the role of Vergegenwärtigung, showing that the community of streams, not located in my ego but precisely in a manifold of streaming living presents, are united by means of an “intersubjective association”. The problem of the individualization of the “intersubjective streaming being” that characterizes the monadic totality here finds its solution, by means of a ceaselessly ongoing and self-altering duplicity that accounts for my preidentity at the deepest genetic level.
4. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 4
Peter A. Varga, The Architectonic and History of Phenomenology:: Distinguishing between Fink’s and Husserl’s Notion of Phenomenological Philosophy
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It is the aim of my paper to explore the chances of a decidedly historical approach to Eugen Fink’s involvement in Edmund Husserl’s mature philosophy. This question has been subject to much debate recently; but I think that the recently published early notes of Fink have not been sufficiently evaluated by Husserl scholarship. I embed the investigation of Fink’s ideas in the contemporaries reactions to them, and argue that Fink’s very specific methodological ideas was already formulated in details before he has composed the Sixth Cartesian Meditation and his other much researched assistant writings. Furthermore, I argue that, although it is not possible to draw a clear dividing line between Husserl’s own position and the alleged influences by Fink, it is still possible to delineate a specifically Husserlian understanding of the methodology of phenomenological philosophy, especially in the light of Husserl’s discussions of the circularity of phenomenological philosophy, which antedate his encounter with Fink. I think that the approach and results outlined here could serve as the basis of a larger investigation of Fink’s involvement in the formation of Husserl’s notion of philosophy.
5. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 4
Susan Gottlöber, Krieg als Katharsis?: Die Phänomenanalyse Schelers im Spiegel der weilschen Ilias-Interpretation
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Traditionally the phenomenon of war and its causes have been predominantly examined by the disciplines of political science, history and political philosophy, but these disciplines seem to be unable to grasp the nature of the phenomenon of war completely. One of the few methods that actually attempts to ‘grasp the phenomenon of war’ in its totality, is the philosophical-phenomenological method. The philosophical-phenomenological approach to the phenomenon of war can be found in the works of the German philosopher and phenomenologist Max Scheler (1874-1928). In his essays on war Scheler tries to fathom the nature of war in a cultural critical way, that is, war is viewed as being able to reveal “true” structures of reality that have been covered by static perceptions. It will be shown that--though it appears counterintuitive--Scheler’s approach to war as katharsis needs to be understood within the wider concept of his value theory and philosophical anthropology: man as ens amans. The major flaw of Scheler’s argument, however, lies in his assumption that meaning and values remain untouched by the destructiveness of war. A counter point to Scheler’s view can be made by turning to the French philosopher Simon Weil. Weil argues that the all-embracing destructiveness of war changes perceived reality altogether, and instead of removing separation between individuals, new and stronger ones arise that cannot be crossed by acts of compassion or empathy. By bringing both Scheler and Weil’s approaches together, it is argued new light can be shed on the phenomenon of war and thus in turn bring about new explorations which aim to grasp the totality of the phenomenon and its causes per se.
6. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 4
Mette Lebech, Beginning to Read Stein's Finite and Eternal Being
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Stein called Finite and Eternal Being her ‘spiritual legacy’. The access to this legacy has been restricted by the difficulty of assessing exactly what it is that Stein is doing in the work. It has been regarded as a work of Thomist philosophy, but a closer reading reveals it as quite critical of St Thomas. After the publication of the appendices of the work, it has become fairly clear that it can be conceived as a critique of the early Heidegger. Stein understood her task as being that of bringing together Aristotelian and Modern philosophy, the latter represented by Phenomenology and the former by Scholasticism. We shall propose (the beginnings of ) an interpretation of the work that sees it as the culmination of Stein’s phenomenological project, as well as a work standing in the tradition of the philosophia perennis.
7. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 4
Marcus Knaup, Leiblichkeit im Angesicht des Anderen: Zur Aktualität der Leibphänomenologie Edith Steins
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Based on the early phenomenological works of Edith Stein, this essay applies to the problem of intersubjectivity. By fleshing out the issues of corporeality and personhood as being specific premises of approved otherness, it can be demonstrated that Stein certainly belongs to the founders of a philosophy of the living body, a fact that has often been disregarded so far. Her inventive conception of corporeality will be defended against a naturalistic interpretation of the person focusing on the brain, whereupon the mind can be reduced to certain brain-activity making it an epiphenomenon lacking important features of its own. By presenting a valid alternative to this problematic conception, the thought of Edith Stein is both substantial and challenging for contemporary anthropology.
8. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 4
Susanna Lindberg, Schelling’s Organism and Merleau-Ponty’s Flesh
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Merleau-Ponty’s 1956/1957 lectures on Nature show that his late philosophy of the flesh in Le visible et l’invisible was preceded by a study of Schelling’s philosophy of nature. But what is Schelling’s Naturphilosophie like, and what does Merleau-Ponty actually inherit from it? This article gives an overview of the different stages of Schelling’s philosophy of nature, that starts as a transcendental philosophy of natural sciences, develops through a metaphysics of nature’s productivity and takes finally the form of a peculiar ontology of “gravity” and “light.” Then it shows how Merleau-Ponty’s idea of “flesh” repeats Schelling’s idea of nature as “organism,” except for one thing: relying on “perceptive faith” instead of “reason,” it refuses the general overview on the organic totality of nature and rests embedded in the tissue of flesh. Finally, pointing at a critical confrontation with Schelling that is lacking in Merleau-Ponty, the article weighs the pertinence of Schelling’s ideas for us, today.
9. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 4
Tatiana Shchyttsova, Gebürtigkeit – ein zweideutiges Existenzial: Zur Aporetik der Heideggerschen Daseinsanalytik
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This essay is devoted to the existential interpretation of birth in the fundamental ontology of M. Heidegger. Author argues that Heidegger develops two different lines in conceptualisation of birth—the explicit one (based on such characteristics of the Dasein‘s being as throwness and facticity) and the implicit one (based, correspondingly, on self-projectivity and existentiality)—which can be considered as an echo of the classical metaphysical differentiation between the first (physical) birth and the second (spiritual) birth. It is shown that the discrepancy between two existential conceptions of birth is essentially connected with a remarkable aporetical character of the Dasein’s analytic. In general, the paper is aimed at the demonstration of the key-role of the birth question for the postmetaphysical clarification of the constitution of the Subject.
10. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 4
Inga Römer, Vorlaufende Entschlossenheit oder Schuld gegenüber der Vergangenheit? Überlegungen zu Heidegger und Ricoeur
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The essay confronts Heidegger’s notion of running ahead toward death in resoluteness with Ricoeur’s notion of indebtedness toward the past. A first section gives an interpretation of Heidegger’s concepts of an existential being guilty or responsible, the call of conscience and the running ahead toward death. The second section discusses Ricoeur’s critique of the Heideggerian conception of running ahead toward death and sketches Ricoeur’s own notion of death. A third section shows how Ricoeur modifies the Heideggerian notions of guilt and conscience. The essay closes with the integrative thesis that Heidegger’s understanding of death highlights the irreplacability of the individual and might, in spite of Ricoeur’s critique, very well find a place in Ricoeur’s temporal ethics.