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Phenomenology 2010

Volume 3, 2011

Selected Essays from the Euro-Mediterranean Area

José Ruiz Fernández
Pages 368-385

La crítica de Natorp a Husserl y la asunción de un uso conceptual fenomenológico indicativo en las primeras lecciones de Heidegger

This paper begins by summarizing the critique that Natorp directed towards Husserl’s conception of phenomenology. It can be considered that this critique has two major moments. First, it is a critique against the assumption that immediate life can be treated as an immanent “fi eld” or “region” that can be known in reflection. Second, it is a critique against the assumption that the logos that gives an accurate account of immediate life, that is, the original phenomenological logos, has to take the form of a conceptual description: since every concept seems to operates an abstraction of concrete life, it seems problematic how an eidetic categorical analysis could safeguard the original reality of immediate life; in other words, it seems problematic that such an operative logos could be considered the original accomplishment of phenomenology. Heidegger acknowledged the depth of Natorp’s critical remarks and understood that they involved a real methodological problem for an accurate understanding of the phenomenological endeavour. This paper tries to clarify how the assumption of an indicative character of meaningful distinctions can overcome Natorp’s critique. To assume the indicative character of a meaningful distinction means, here, to operate with distinctions in such a way that their original dependence on concrete factual life is acknowledged, in other words, to use distinctions assuming that they are carried out for the sake of that which does not involve the categorical form of the meaningful distinction and, therefore, to use distinctions, not for their own sake, but in order to remit or indicate that concrete reality which precedes them. This paper defends also that the consequent assumption of the indicative character of meaningful distinctions is to lead to a new and more genuine understanding of phenomenology and how the phenomenological endeavour is to be carried out. Finally, this paper tries to show that this important motive is really present in Heidegger’s first lessons in Freiburg. Nevertheless, the paper also points out that the original understanding of phenomenology that this motive had to open, was soon miscarried. In Heidegger’s thought, the indicative character of philosophical concepts is not fully assumed. That motive is entangled with other irreconcilable elements that end up ruining the original possibilities that it should have contributed to unveil. These distorting elements, which ultimately prevail in Heidegger’s philosophy, are what make up for Heidegger’s theory of formal indications and for his hermeneutical transformation of phenomenology.

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