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Phenomenology 2005

Volume 4, Issue Part 2, 2007

Selected Essays from Northern Europe Part 2

Andrzej Leder
Pages 467-489

Borders of Consciousness in Husserl’s Logical Investigations
Can Husserl’s Concept of Consciousness Serve as a Starting Point for the Development of a Th eory of Not-Conscious?

We intend to prove that the concept of consciousness is impossible without assuming the existence of what is not conscious. And that the need of such assumption stems from a rigorous analysis of intuitive data. We wish to put phenomenology to its own test and to demonstrate that in its essence Husserl’s analysis radically goes beyond the sphere of what is understood as “conscious”. Our argument is that in his studies on the structure of the object of consciousness Husserl developed highly creative and important ideas which may be used as a starting point for the reformulation of the concept of the unconscious which has so dominated contemporary thinking, and the relation between conscious and what is not conscious. By viewing an intentional act, or even its ideal object, as a certain phenomenon of consciousness, we entirely change its nature and its ontological status. It ceases to be an act by which an object was constituted and it turns to be an object constituted by another act. We shall demonstrate that Husserl was, at least partly, aware of that. We wish to demonstrate that the metaphor of the absence, an empty space in which an object of consciousness is constituted corresponds with Husserl’s notion of the intention which he developed in his “Logical Investigations”. It is also a metaphor which makes one recognise some intentional space, the space where an intuitive object of consciousness constitutes itself, the space which is a prerequisite for the object to be constituted, the space which is itself not intuitive and not conscious.

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