Positionality and Consciousness in Husserl’s Ideas I

in Research in Phenomenology
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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

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References

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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’.”

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See the long footnote in Stein 201022.

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