Volume 15, Issue 1, Spring/Printemps 2011
“Looking” for Intentionality with Heidegger
Phenomenologists find themselves in the unusual position of attempting to describe non-sensuously phenomenal phenomena. Intentionality is one such oddity. It is not sensuously phenomenal, yet Husserl and Heidegger both purport to be able to “read off” its necessary features. Both were well aware that such an enterprise has its difficulties. The primary difficulty is how to make intentionality into an “object.” To do so, a method for directing our “phenomenological vision” is necessary. Heidegger, however, is unable to utilise Husserl’s methods for this purpose. Since the phenomenological method must “follow its matter,” and Heidegger’s matter is different from Husserl’s, Heidegger cannot merely adopt Husserl’s methods. Thus, Heidegger must develop a new method to investigate intentionality. In this paper, I show the ways in which Heidegger’s conception of intentionality diverged from Husserl’s while retaining its core sense, and why intentionality poses particularly difficult methodological problems. Finally, I investigate the new methods Heidegger develops (c. 1925–28) to deal with these
problems—categorial intuition, a reformulated version of the reduction, and a form of objectification—and why each of these methods fails.