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Edmund Husserl’s account of the horizonal character of simple, sensuous perception provides a sophisticated account of perceptual intentional content which enables plausible responses to key issues in the philosophy of perception and in Heidegger interpretation. Section 2 outlines Husserl’s account of intentionality in its application to such perceptual experience. Section 3 then elaborates the notion of perceptual horizon in order to draw out, in Section 4, its implications for four issues: firstly, the relation between the object perceived and perceptual appearance (qua item “in consciousness”); secondly, the relation between the subject perceiving and perceptual appearance; thirdly, what sense of the body is inherent to perceptual experience of the horizonal kind; and fourthly, what John McDowell is getting at when he claims that traditional conceptions fail to capture how perception puts us in cognitive contact with the world. The paper concludes by using the interpretation developed to show how Husserl’s account of perceptual experience as horizonal enables one to draw out the sense and worth of what Heidegger means by worldliness and the “Da” of Dasein.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

Husserl introduces a phenomenological concept called “motivation” early in the First Investigation of his magnum opus, the Logical Investigations. The importance of this concept has been overlooked since Husserl passes over it rather quickly on his way to an analysis of the meaningful nature of expression. I argue, however, that motivation is essential to Husserl’s overall project, even if it is not essential for defining expression in the First Investigation. For Husserl, motivation is a relation between mental acts whereby the content of one act make some further meaningful content probable. I explicate the nature of this relation in terms of “evidentiary weight” and differentiate it from Husserl’s notion of Evidenz, often translated as “self-evidence”. I elucidate the importance of motivation in Husserl’s overall phenomenological project by focusing on his analyses of thing-perception and empathy. Through these examples, we can better understand the continuity between the Logical Investigations and Husserl’s later work.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

Husserl’s transcendental reduction admits of two motivations: the general methodological ban on begging the question, and the principle that a typology of objects ought to be based on a typology of my ways of cognizing them. As Husserl’s ‘transcendental phenomenology’ agrees with the ‘linguistic phenomenology’ of many analytic philosophers in being at bottom an effort to understand what precisely we mean to say by asserting that there ‘exists’ a ‘consciousness-independent’ or ‘transcendent’ world, the ‘residue’ of transcendental reduction is my subjective consciousness (my being aware of the world). My cognitive approaches to the latter and to that of somebody else are not only entirely different but ‘complementary’ in the sense of Bohr’s. In the course of searching for an identity criterion for temporal entities lacking a spatial localisation in the world, we can show that the allegedly noetic phenomenon of, say, my now seeing a cat is a noema, to wit, the cat-as-now-beingseen-by-me-in-such-and-such-a-manner. There is no sound base for postulating, over and above the noematic nature of my consciousness, a second, noetic, aspect thereof.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

This paper approaches the intentional structure of the emotions by considering three claims about that structure. The paper departs from the Brentanian and Husserlian ‘priority of presentation claim’ (PPC). The PPC comprises two theses: (1) intentional feelings and emotions are founded on presenting acts and (2) intentional feelings and emotions are directed specifically to the value-attributes of the presented objects. The paper then considers two challenges to this claim: the equiprimordial claim (EC) and the priority of feeling claim (PFC). The EC asserts that the presentational and affective dimensions of intentional feelings and emotions are equiprimordial. I respond to this challenge to the PPC by revising it, claiming instead that the founding relations exist between the presentational and affective senses (rather than the acts) in an experience whose presenting and affective aspects are equiprimordial. The PFC grants priority to the affective, a grant which presupposes the independence of the affective from the presentational. I argue that the PFC is mistaken, and that the revision of the PPC can handle the examples on which the PFC is based.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

Recent work by Eliot Sober regarding the logical structure of the design argument challenges widely held views on how the history of this argument should be understood. This novel “likelihood interpretation” denies that the design argument is an analogical argument. Instead, Sober suggests that all references to artifacts serve an exclusively heuristic function, and do not play an evidential role in the design argument. In contrast, I contend that philosophical considerations as well as historical analysis of the works of David Hume and William Paley establish that the design argument should be understood as a sophisticated analogical argument, albeit one susceptible to Philo’s most refined skeptical arguments.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

The problem of ‘collective unity’ in the transcendental philosophies of Kant and Husserl is investigated on the basis of number’s exemplary ‘collective unity’. To this end, the investigation reconstructs the historical context of the conceptuality of the mathematics that informs Kant’s and Husserl’s accounts of manifold, intuition, and synthesis. On the basis of this reconstruction, the argument is advanced that the unity of number – not the unity of the ‘concept’ of number – is presupposed by each transcendental philosopher in their accounts of the transcendental foundation of manifold, intuition, and synthesis. This presupposition is ultimately traced to Kant’s and Husserl’s responses to Hume’s philosophy of human understanding and the critical limits of what Kant calls the ‘qualitative’ unity of transcendental consciousness. These critical limits are exposed in both philosophers’ attempts to account for that ‘qualitative’ unity on the basis of the ‘quantitative’ unity of number.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis