Positionality and Consciousness in Husserl’s Ideas I

in Research in Phenomenology
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


In this paper I argue that in Husserl’s Ideas I (1913) there is a seeming contradiction between the characterization of pure consciousness as the residue of the performance of the phenomenological reduction and the claim that in the natural attitude consciousness is taken to be an entity is the world. This creates a puzzle regarding the positional status of consciousness in the natural attitude. After reviewing some possible options to solve this puzzle in the existing literature, I claim that the positional status of conscious experiences in the natural attitude is best characterized as unsettled. The act that settles the positional status of conscious experiences (i.e. our manifold Erlebnisse) is reflection. In reflection, experiences are posited as beings, either in a psychological or in a phenomenological key. I conclude by arguing that the problem of positing is of paramount importance to understand correctly Husserl’s claim that phenomenology is voraussetzungslos.

Positionality and Consciousness in Husserl’s Ideas I

in Research in Phenomenology



BrentanoFranz Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint 1995 New York/London Routledge

CrowellSteven Husserl Heidegger and the Space of Meaning: Paths toward Transcendental Phenomenology 2001 Evanston IL Northwestern University Press

CrowellSteven “The Cartesianism of phenomenology” (Review-essay of Welton 2000) Continental Philosophy Review 2002 35 433 454

De PalmaVittorio “Die Fakta leiten alle Eidetik. Zu Husserls Begriff des materialen Apriori.” Husserl Studies 2014 30 195 223

DrummondJohn StaitiAndrea “‘Who’d ’a thunk it?’ Celebrating the centennial of Husserl’s Ideas I” Commentary on Husserl’s “Ideas I” 2015 Berlin/New York De Gruyter 13 32

HusserlEdmund Aufsätze und Vorträge (1922–1937) 1989a Husserliana XXVII Dordrecht Kluwer

HusserlEdmund Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie. Erstes Buch: Allgemeine Einführung in die reine Phänomenologie 1976 Husserliana III 1 The Hague Nijhoff

HusserlEdmund Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy: Second Book – Studies in the Phenomenology of Constitution 1989b Collected Works III Dordrecht et al. Kluwer

HusserlEdmund Phantasy Image-Consciousness and Memory (1898–1925) 2005 Collected Works XII Springer Kluwer

HusserlEdmund Die Lebenswelt. Auslegungen der vorgegebenen Welt und ihrer Konstitution. Texte aus dem Nachlass (1916–1937) 2008 Husserliana XXXIX Dordrecht Springer

HusserlEdmund Ideas for a Pure Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy 2014 Indianapolis Hackett

LavigneJean-François Accéder au transcendantal? Réduction et Idéalisme transcendantal das les Idées I de Husserl 2009 Paris Vrin

LiangkangNi “Urbewusstsein und Reflexion bei Husserl.” Husserl Studies 1998 15 77 99

MesserAugust “Husserls Phänomenologie in ihrem Verhältnis zur Psychologie.” Archiv für die gesamte Psychologie 1912 XXII 117 129

SartreJean-Paul Being and Nothingness 1992 New York Washington Square Press

SartreJean-Paul The Transcendence of the Ego: an Existentialist Theory of Consciousness 1993 New York Hill and Wang

SteinEdith Beiträge zur philosophischen Begründung der Psychologie und der Geisteswissenschaften 2010 Gesamtausgabe 6 Freiburg et. al. Herder

WeltonDonn The Other Husserl: The Horizons of Transcendental Phenomenology 2000 Bloomington Indiana University Press

ZahaviDan WeltonDonn “Inner Time-Consciousness and Pre-Reflective Self-Awareness” The New Husserl 2003 Bloomington Indiana University Press 157 180


See for instance Husserl 2005369 (translation modified): “Every act is consciousness of something. But there is also consciousness of every act. Every experience is ‘felt’ is immanently perceived (internal consciousness) although naturally not posited not meant”; Husserl 2005 373–374: “The ‘objectivating act of meaning’ in the specific sense the theoretical act of meaning can have 1) the characteristic of ‘perception of the internal’ of ‘internal reflection’ understood as ‘positing act of meaning of what is internally intended.’ The act of meaning can become immersed in the consciousness can take the internal consciousness as its substrate. Then to the extent possible all the objectivities implicitly on hand in the internal consciousness as consciousness of the internal become given; they become ‘objects’.”


See the long footnote in Stein 201022.

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 5 5 4
Full Text Views 15 15 15
PDF Downloads 2 2 2
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0