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Phenomenology 2010

Volume 4, 2011

Selected Essays from Northern Europe

Nicholas Smith
Pages 51-86

Self-Alteration and Temporality
The Radicalized and Universal Reductions in Husserl’s Late Thinking (au-dela de Derrida)

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.

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