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121. Symposium: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Neb Kujundzic The Power of Abstraction: Brentano, Husserl and the Göttingen Students
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A quick look into the index of Brentano’s Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint reveals that all references to “abstract terms” occur only in the appendix (taken from Brentano’s “Nachlass” essays). What should we make of this? Was it the case that the inquiry into abstract, as well as non-existent, objects came as an afterthought to Brentano? Or was he all too aware of the consequences of such investigations? Furthermore, was it largely the absence of such inquirythat prompted Husserl and his early students in Göttingen, such as Daubert and Reinach, to develop a deep ontological commitment to entities he refers to as “abstract” or “ideal”?
122. Symposium: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Winthrop Pickard Bell Canadian Problems and Possibilities
123. Symposium: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Antonio Calcagno Gerda Walther: On the Possibility of a Passive Sense of Community and the Inner Time Consciousness of Community
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If community is determined primarily in consciousness as a mental state of oneness, can community exist when there is no accompanying mental state or collective intentionality that makes us realise that we are one community? Walther would respond affirmatively, arguing that there is a deep psychological structure of habit that allows us to continue to experience ourselves as a community. The habit of community works on all levels of our person, including our bodies, psyches and spirits (Geist). It allows us to continue to be in community even though we are not always conscious of it. Husserl would describe this as part of the passive synthesis of Vergemeinschaftung. Walther’s analysis of the passive structure of habit opens up important possibilities for the inner consciousness of time. Drawing from Husserl’s and Walther’s analyses, I argue for the possibility of a communal inner time consciousness, or an inner awareness of timeconsciousness of the community, which gives rise to three constitutive moments: communal retention or communal memory, a sense of the communal present or a communal “now,” and communal protentions or anticipations. Ultimately, I will show how Walther’s treatment of habit demonstrates that time conditions the lived experience of community. One can, therefore, speak of a time of the community—its past, present and future—even though Walther herself does not explicitly develop this possibility.
124. Symposium: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
John K. O’Connor Category Mistakes and Logical Grammar: Ryle’s Husserlian Tutelage
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Gilbert Ryle never pursued research under Edmund Husserl. However, Ryle was indeed Husserl’s student in a broader sense, as much of his own work was deeply influenced by his studies of Husserl’s pre-World War I writings. While Ryle is the thinker whose name typically comes to mind in connection with the concern over category mistakes I argue that (1) Husserl deserves to be known for precisely this concern as well, and (2) the similarity between them is no accident. Developing this reading of Ryle’s Husserlian pedigree forces a broader reevaluation of each of their roles in twentieth-century thought.
125. Symposium: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Timothy Martell Edith Stein’s Political Ontology
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What is a society? What is political power? John Searle claims that previous political philosophers not only neglected these fundamental questions but also lacked the means to effectively address them. Good answers, he thinks, depend on theories of speech acts, intentionality, and constitutive rules first developed by analytic philosophers. But Searle is mistaken. Early phenomenologists had already developed the requisite theories. Reinach’s philosophy of law includes a theory of speech acts. This theory is based on Husserl’s account of intentionality. Edith Stein extended that account by offering a detailed description of collective intentionality. And it was Stein who brought these strands of early phenomenological research together to address the very questions of political philosophy Searle regards as both fundamental and neglected. In this paper, I recount Stein’s answers to these questions and argue that they compare favourably withthose of Searle.
126. Symposium: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Winthrop Pickard Bell, Ian Angus The Idea of a Nation
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Winthrop Pickard Bell (1884–1965), a Canadian who studied with Husserl in Göttingen from 1911 to 1914, was arrested after the outbreak of World War I and interred at Ruhleben Prison Camp for the duration of the war. In 1915 or 1916 he presented a lecture titled “Canadian Problems and Possibilities” to other internees at the prison camp. This is the first time Bell’s lecture has appeared in print. Even though the lecture was given to a general audience and thusmakes no explicit reference to Husserl or phenomenology, it is a systematic phenomenological analysis of the national form of group belonging and, as such, makes a substantial contribution to phenomenological sociology and political science, grounding that contribution in phenomenological philosophy. Bell describes the essence of the nation as an organic spiritual unity that grows or develops, and is thus not a product of will, and which becomes a unity by surmounting its parts. This unity is instantiated in a given nation by tradition. The particular character of a nation’s tradition gives it a tendency to act in one way rather than another.
127. Symposium: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Eric J. Mohr Phenomenological Intuition and the Problem of Philosophy as Method and Science: Scheler and Husserl
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Scheler subjects Husserl’s categorial intuition to a critique, which calls into question the very methodological procedure of phenomenology. Scheler’s divergence from Husserl with respect to whether sensory or categorial contents furnish the foundation of the act of intuition leads into a more significant divergence with respect to whether phenomenology should, primarily, be considered a form of science to which a specific methodology applies. Philosophical methods, according to Scheler, must presuppose, and not distract from, important preconditions of knowledge that pertain more to the philosopher than to logical procedure. Accordingly, the phenomenological attitude serves as a foundation for, and is not the result of, the phenomenological method.
128. Symposium: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Saulius Geniusas Indexicality as a Phenomenological Problem
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The following investigation raises the question of indexicality’s phenomenological sense by tracing the development of this problem in Husserl’s phenomenology, starting with its emergence in the first of the Logical Investigations. In contrast to the standard approach, which confines the problem of indexicality to its treatment in the Logical Investigations, I argue against Husserl’s early solution, claiming that, from a specifically phenomenological perspective, the so-called “replaceability thesis” is unwarranted. I further show that Husserl himself unequivocally rejected his early solution in his revisions of the Logical Investigations, although, admittedly, he never replaced his old conception with a new one. Thus, my central task here is that of reconstructing the main contours of Husserl’s new approach to indexicality. Following Husserl’s suggestion that the discovery of the horizon puts phenomenology in the position to actually solve the problem of indexicals, I trace the development of the horizon-intentionality in Husserl’s writings and show how the dynamic structure of the horizon invites the question of the genesis of expressibility. At the beginning of this reconstructive story lies Husserl’s discovery of the noema in Ideas I: this notion, whose discovery goes hand-in-hand with that of the horizon, recasts the problem of indexicals in a new light and brings the realisation that both subjective and objective expressions have the same subjective origins of sense. Yet for Husserl, the horizon is not only the horizon of objects, but also the horizon of the world. In the final analysis, the presence of indexicals in scientific discourse proves to be a faint echo of the life-world from which scientific discourse springs.
129. Symposium: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Horacio Banega Formal Ontology as an Operative Tool in the Theories of the Objects of the Life-World: Stumpf, Husserl and Ingarden
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It is accepted that certain mereological concepts and phenomenological conceptualisations presented in Carl Stumpf’s Über den psychologischen Ursprung der Raumvorstellung and Tonpsychologie played an important role in the development of the Husserlian formal ontology. In the third Logical Investigation, which displays the formal relations between part and whole and among parts that make out a whole, one of the main concepts of contemporary formal ontology and metaphysics is settled: ontological dependence or foundation (Fundierung). My main objective is to display Stumpf’s concepts of partial content, independent content, spatial wholes, sound wholes, and the different kinds of connection among parts, in particular, fusion (Verschmelzung). Second, I will show how Husserl improved this background, in particular with regards to the exact nature of the theory of manifolds (Mannigfaltigkeitslehre), in discussion with Georg Cantor, the father of set theory. Third, I will focus on Ingarden’s use of formal ontology and on the different modes of being that can be justified by appealing to the concept of ontological dependence in its Ingardenian variations. If my interpretation is adequate, it should be inferred that formal ontology is the operative theory of phenomenological philosophy, and this must be acknowledged in its full significance with respect to the supposed independence of the phenomenological method since 1913. A further consequence, not developed in this essay, is that formal ontology can be mathematised.
130. Symposium: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Zachary Davis The Values of War and Peace: Max Scheler’s Political Transformations
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Max Scheler’s contribution to the early development of phenomenology is second to only Edmund Husserl’s. What perhaps distinguishes Scheler’s early contribution is his willingness to examine phenomenologically social and political phenomena. Not only did this early trajectory lead him to develop a non-formal value theory, but it also enabled him to engage directly in the political problems of his time. Like many of his contemporary intellectuals, Scheler was an adamantsupporter of German aggression during the onset of World War I, and he wrote many works during this time demonstrating the value and justification of the war. In only a few years’ time, Scheler’s position on the value of war shifted dramatically and he began to defend a position of peace and pacifism. The aim of this paper is twofold: (1) to clarify the early themes and influences in phenomenology that prepared Scheler for his analysis of war and peace; and (2) to illustratehow Scheler’s analysis offers the possibility of concretising the present experience of war and the possibility of peace.
131. Symposium: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Christoph Menke Hegel’s Theory of Liberation: Law, Freedom, History, Society
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The freedom of spirit, Hegel claims, consists in “the emancipation of spirit from all those forms of being that do not conform to its concepts.” That is, freedom must be understood as “liberation [Befreiung].” The paper explores this claim by starting with Hegel’s critique of the (Kantian) understanding of freedom as autonomy. In this critique Hegel shows that norms or “laws” have to be thought of as “being”—not as “posited.” This is convincing, but it leaves open the question of the relation between law and freedom (i.e., the very question that the concept of autonomy was meant to solve). In its second part the paper claims that Hegel’s solution to this problem consists in the analysis of freedom as the “historical” process of “social” transformation. While social norms ordinarily or habitually exist in the form of a second nature—according to Hegel, this is the form they necessarily take on in their social reality—, the act of liberation radically changes their mode of being: liberation is the momentary and transitory act of the ontological transformation of social norms from nature into freedom.
132. Symposium: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
James Mensch The Question of Naturalizing Phenomenology
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The attempt to use the results of phenomenology in cognitive and neural science has in the past decade become increasingly widespread. It is, however, open to the objection that phenomenology does not concern itself with the embodied, empirical subject, but rather with the non-causally determined “transcendental” subject. If this is true, then the attempt to employ its results is bound to come to grief on the opposition of two different accounts of consciousness: the non-causal, transcendental paradigm put forward by phenomenology and the causal paradigm assumed by cognitive and neural science. In what follows, I shall analyze this objection in terms of the conception of subjectivity the objection presupposes. By employing a different conception, I shall then show how it can be met. My aim will be to explain how we can empirically use the insights of phenomenology without denaturing the consciousness it studies.
133. Symposium: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Iain MacDonald Between Normativity and Freedom
134. Symposium: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Francesca Raimondi The Presumption of Political Freedom: Deconstructing the Origins of Democracy
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This paper first presents two prominent and antagonistic accounts of political freedom that identify the latter either with the expression of a collective, sovereign will, or with an open process of mutual recognition and consent-based association in action. In the paradigmatic formulations that Carl Schmitt and Hannah Arendt give of these two models of freedom, one can detect, however a common methodological assumption. In both cases political freedom is conceived as actualizing itself in some original or founding act or acts. Challenging this assumption by means of a deconstructive perspective on the suppose origin of modern political freedom and democracy, the paper then goes on to formulate an alternative conception of political freedom in this way shows that democratic freedom, though it may already be in place, has constantly to actualize itself in a self-determining process.
135. Symposium: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Sophie Bourgault Friedrich Nietzsche’s Musical Aesthetics: A Reassessment
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It is well known that Friedrich Nietzsche loved to refer to himself as the “last disciple of Dionysus.” On the basis of this famous self-characterization, it would seem warranted to describe Nietzsche’s ideal as Dionysian—as Tracy Strong, Bruce Detwiler, and Daniel Conway have done. This paper seeks to reassess the extent of Nietzsche’s Dionysianism via an examination of what the philosopher had to say about music—in particular, Richard Wagner’s music. What the paper argues is that Nietzsche’s musical aesthetics is remarkably Apollonian (or classical), and that elements of this aesthetics can be detected in every period of Nietzsche’s intellectual life. While some scholars have acknowledged the classicism in Nietzsche’s middle-period, I go further and argue that Nietzsche’s earlyworks already indicate that the philosopher was not an entirely loyal disciple of Dionysus.
136. Symposium: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Juliane Rebentisch The Morality of Irony: Hegel and Modernity
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This essay reconsiders the role of irony in the Hegelian project of developing a theory of modern ethical life. It recognizes in Socratic irony the traces of an alternative concept of morality that leads both to an acknowledgement of Hegel’s convincing critique of the Kantian moral principle and to a rejection of Hegel’s misconception of Socratic and Romantic irony. Arguing against Hegel that irony cannot be reduced to a form of alienation from the normative dimension of ethical life as a whole, but should instead be understood as a necessary component of a dynamic mediation between subjective freedom and ethical universality, the author further claims that irony, thus conceived, takes on the productive function that it should actually have had within the Hegelian system. That is, ironyis a phenomenon that, from the standpoint of morality, refers us to a form of ethical life in which subjective freedom and difference are respected.
137. Symposium: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Christoph Menke Hegel’s Theory of Second Nature: The “Lapse” of Spirit
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While in neo-Aristotelian conceptions of virtue and Bildung the concept of “second nature” describes the successful completion of human education, Hegel uses this term in order to analyze the irresolvably ambiguous, even conflictive nature of spirit. Spirit can only realize itself, in creating (1) a second nature as an order of freedom, by losing itself, in creating (2) a second nature—an order of externality, ruled by the unconscious automatisms of habit. In the second meaning of the term, “second nature” refers to spirit’s inversion of itself: the free enactment of spirit produces an objective, uncontrollable order; "second nature" is here a critical term. On the other hand, the very same inversion of free positing into objective existence is the moment of the success of ("absolute") spirit. The paper exposes this undecidable ambiguity of second nature and claims that its acceptance and development are the conditions of an adequate understanding of the constitution and forms of second nature.
138. Symposium: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Dirk Quadflieg On the Dialectics of Reification and Freedom: From Lukács to Honneth—and Back to Hegel
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This paper addresses the quesion of the extent to which the process of reification is identical with domination and thus opposed to freedom. While this is clearly the case in Lukács's famous essay "Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat," the first generation of the Frankfurt School, especially Adorno, rejects such a criticism of reification as still too closely tied to a false understanding of subjective freedom. Rather, as Adorno suggests in his later works, one has to take into account that any relation to oneself is fundamentally dependent upon a relation to the object. Unfortunately, this insight into the dialectic of subject and object, freedom and reification, is overlooked in Habermas and Honneth's redefinition of reification in terms of intersubjectivity. To bring out the importance of Adorno's thesis, I refer to the notion of "making oneself into a thing" (Sich-zum-Ding-Machen), as developed in Hegel's early Jena Writings, and argue that a fundamental form of reification is a condition for a specific kind of social freedom.
139. Symposium: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Carlos Prado Vision-Centred Religion
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The contemporary inclination is to interpret religion in personal terms. This inclination may be legitimate, but raises two troubling questions: one about the content of such interpretations and one about the conduct such interpretation sanction. In the 20th century, interaction between ideology and politics was dominant; in the 21st century, the interaction between religion and politics dominates. Personal interpretation of religion makes this interaction hazardous. In this paper I consider personally interpreted religion with the help of an unlikely pair: Ludwig Wittgenstein and Michel Foucault.
140. Symposium: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Thomas Khurana Paradoxes of Autonomy: On the Dialectics of Freedom and Normativity
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This paper revisits the concept of autonomy and tries to elucidate the fundamental insight that freedom and law cannot be understood through their opposition, but rather have to be conceived of as conditions of one another. The paper investigates the paradigmatic Kantian formulation of this insight and discusses the diagnosis that the Kantian idea might give rise to a paradox in which autonomy reverts to arbitrariness or heteronomy. The paper argues that the fatal version of the paradox can be defused if we avoid the legalistic model of autonomy and rather turn to the model of participation in a practice. This leads to a dialectical understanding of the idea of autonomy that preserves the insight that freedom and law are mutually conditioning and simultaneously reveals that they remain in irresolvable tension with one another.