PHENOMENOLOGICAL METHOD: THEORY AND PRACTICE

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1 PHENOMENOLOGICAL METHOD: THEORY AND PRACTICE

2 CONTRIBUTIONS TO PHENOMENOLOGY IN COOPERATION WITH THE CENTER FOR ADVANCED RESEARCH IN PHENOMENOLOGY Editorial Board: William R. McKenna, Miami University (Chairman) Edward G. Ballard, Tulane University David Carr, University of Ottawa Lester Embree, Duquesne University Jose Huertas-Jourda, Wilfred Laurier University Joseph J. Kockelmans, The Pennsylvania State University Algis Mickunas, Ohio University J. N. Mohanty, Temple University Thomas M. Seebohm, Johannes Gutenberg-Universital, Mainz Richard M. Zaner, Vanderbilt University Scope The purpose of this series is to foster the development of phenomenological philosophy through reactive research. Contemporary issues in philosophy, other disciplines and in culture generally, offer opportunities for the application of phenomenological methods that call for creative responses. Although the work of several generations of thinkers has provided phenomenology with many results with which to approach these challenges, a truly succesful response to them will require building on this work with new analysis and methodological innovations.

3 PHENOMENOLOGICAL METHOD: THEORY AND PRACTICE FRED KERSTEN University of Winsconsin-Green Bay, U.S.A. KLUWER ACADEMIC PUBLISHERS DORDRECHT / BOSTON / LONDON

4 Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Kersten, F. (Frederick) Phenomenolog1cal ~ethod theory and practice! F. Kersten. p. cm. -- (Contribut1ons to phenomenology) Bibl iography: p. Includes index. 1. Phenomenology. 2. Methodology. 3. Space and time. II. Series. B829.5.K '. 78--dc 19 I. Tit 1 e ISBN-13: DOl: / e-isbn-13: Published by Kluwer Academic Publishers, P.O. Box 17,3300 AA Dordrecht, The Netherlands. Kluwer Academic Publishers incorporates the publishing programmes of D. Reidel, Martinus Nijhoff, Dr W. Junk and MTP Press. Sold and distributed in the U.S.A. and Canada by Kluwer Academic Publishers, 101 Philip Drive, Norwell, MA 02061, U.S.A. In all other countries, sold and distributed by Kluwer Academic Publishers Group, P.O. Box 322, 3300 AH Dordrecht, The Netherlands. prillled Oil acid/in' Ihl/)('r All Rights Reserved 1989 by Kluwer Academic Publishers Softcover reprint of the hardcover 1 st edition 1989 No part of the material protected by this copyright notice may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the copyright owner.

5 CONTENTS PREFACE VB PART ONE THE METHOD OF PHENOMENOLOGICAL REDUCTIONS INTRODUCTION. "Wir wollen auf den 'Sachen selbst' zuruckgehen" 3 1. The Transcendental Phenomenological Reductions Specific Transcendental Phenomenological Procedures Further Transcendental Procedures The Order of Transcendental Phenomenological inquiry That Wills to Return to the "Things Themselve~" 87 PART TWO TRANSCENDENTAL PHENOMENOLOGY OF SPACE, TIME, OTHER INTRODUCTION. The Problem, Plan and Historical Setting of the Constitution of Space and Time Transcendental Phenomenological Unbuilding to the Tactually, Visually, and Auditorily Presented in Prespace Transcendental Phenomenological Building-up of Quasi-Objective Space In Primary Passivity The Transcendental Phenomenological Building-up of Phantom Quasi-objective Space. The Transcendental Phenomenological 'Deduction' of Space The Transcendental Phenomenological Building-up of primordial Quasi-objective Space. The Transcendental Phenomenological "Deduction" of Time Time, Space, Other 286 ~~ 36 List of Works Cited 409 Index 423

6 PREFACE This book has two parts. The first part is chiefly concerned with critically establishing the universally necessary order of the various steps of transcendental phenomenological method; the second part provides specific cases of phenomenological analysis that illustrate and test the method established in the first part. More than this, and perhaps even more important in the long run, the phenomenological analyses reported in the second part purport a foundation for drawing phenomenological-philosophical conclusions about problems of space perception, "other minds," and time perception. The non-analytical, that is, the literary, sources of this book are many. Principal among them are the writings of Husserl (which will be accorded a special methodological function) as well as the writings of his students of the Gottingen and Freiburg years. Of the latter especially important are the writings and, when memory serves, the lectures of Dorion Cairns and Aron Gurwitsch. Of the former especially significant are the writings of Heinrich Hofmann, Wilhelm Schapp, and Hedwig COlilrad-Martius. There have been and still an~ many (often profound) disagreements about phenomenological method and the epistemic and axiological foundations it ostensibly produces. If this book helps focus the disagreements, and if it contributes even in the most modest way to resolving them, then it will have served its purpose. But such purpose, after all, traditionally has been a chapter in the perennial will to philosophical theory. Indeed, what I find most appealing and significant of Husserl's phenomenology is that he himself anchors it, both historically and analytically, in the will to philosophical theory. To be sure" the will to philosophical theory is much more than the will to settle disagreements, to resolve controversies; it is rather the very prospect and promise of phenomenology. What makes the prospect interesting is that frequently it outruns the promise, and a will to criticism is required to restore balance and sight to theory. At other times the promise proves to be more than expected, and a will to explore largely uncharted VII

7 viii PREFACE territory is needed. Both situations seem to me characteristic of phenomenology from its inceptions and its inceptional slogan of the "will to return to the 'things themselves'." It is therefore appropriate to begin the book with an Introduction that examines the will to philosophical theory from which Husserl's phenomenology emerges. The remainder of the first part of the book is devoted to the somewhat archeological task of ferreting out a method of phenomenological reductions. Chapter One assembles some of Husserl's chief insights into his phenomenology, defines it so that the spirit if not always the letter of Husserl's thought is preserved, and spells out what I believe is entailed by transcendental phenomenological epoche. Chapter Two examines the specific procedures for exercising transcendental phenomenological epoche with respect to the general positing in which the naturalness of the natural attitude consists; critical revisions of Husserl allow, here, for taking the necessary first step in uncovering the "primordial quasi-objective 'world'" of space and time. In Chapter Three further revisions of Husserl make possible the necessary second step in the exercise of transcendental phenomenological epoche whereby still other "quasiobjectivities" are uncovered and the outward boundaries of transcendental phenomenological epoche are reached. Chapter Four concludes the first part with a reflection on the right order of phenomenological inquiry (which is by no means the order of the transcendental phenomenological reductions) and on the promise of phenomenology to provide a basis for a critical-epistemological understanding of space, time and other as an example of the "will to return to the 'things themselves'." The name given to this basis, in the second part of the book, is "transcendental aesthetics." The second part of the book begins with a survey of some ideas about space and time in modern philosophy that will serve both as point of reference for the phenomenological analyses to follow and to set the nature of the problems of space, time and other. Chapter Five responds to these problems by carrying out what we shall call with Husserl a phenomenological "unbuilding" to the constitution of foundational spatialities ("prespaces," we shall call them) that pertain to the tactually, visually and auditorily presented, while Chapter Six examines the corresponding "building up" of certain aspects of space included in our perception of the real, objective world. Chapter Seven considers still other aspects of space percep-

8 PREFACE IX tion SO as to formulate a "transcendental deduction" of space, and Chapter Eight seeks to do the same for the perception of time. The concluding chapter, Nine, seizes upon some of the phenomenological results of the previous chapteis concerning the perception of space, time and other in order to consider the relationship and difference of phenomenology and philosophy to which those results lead. In writing this book I have not tried to consider every polemic about phenomenology; nor has it been possible to review all the discussions about perception of space, time and other that legitimately claim attention. There an~ several reasons for this. The first is that I have limited myself to considering those discussions that have been of most immediate help in formulating a systematically feasible view of at least one, if not other, version of transcendental phenomenological method. The second reason is that to deal with many of the current discussions about phenomenology requires that the phenomenological analyses reported here be carried into areas of the perception of space, time and other that lie outside the problems on which this book focuses. To be sure, every attempt has been made to sufficiently ground the phenomenological analyses so that further investigation and further discussion is possible with respect to a broad range of questions. The third and final reason is that it is my belief that not every problem that arises in connection with the phenomenological analysis of the percep tion of space, time and other is amenable to phenomenological resolution. Some problems, such as metaphysical ones of the meaning of life, death and fate, may be purely philosophical in nature and not have an analogue in phenomenology (which need not imply that phenomenological analysis is irrelevant to them). In other words, there may well be limits to the promise and prospect of Husserl's and of Husserlian phenomenology, no matter how defined. Of course, in making these and other statements of that sort in the book that follows it may seem and perhaps it is true--that, as Hume says, I have forgotten "our scepticism, but even our modesty too; and make use of such terms as these, 'tis evident, 'tis certain, 'tis undeniable; which a due deference to the public ought, perhaps, to prevent." And with Hume, at the end of the first book of A Treatise of Human Nature, I wish to add here that "I may have fallen into this fault after the example of others; but I here enter a caveat against any objections, which may be offer'd on that head; and declare that such expressions were extorted from me by the present

9 x PREFACE view of the object, and imply no dogmatical spirit, nor conceited idea of my own judgment, which are sentiments that I am sensible can become no body, and a sceptic still less than any other." I take pleasure in acknowledging my indebtedness to my colleague, Professor James Clifton, for his truly collegial generosity in making available to me the means for producing the text of this book. I am also indebted to Mr. David Griggs for his hard work and patience in producing a difficult text. Thanks are due to an anonymous reviewer whose comments were of inestimable value in improving various and difficult parts of the text. My gratitude is also extended to Professor William McKenna and Barbara Johnson at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio without whose generous, intelligent and skillful help this book would not have been published. Finally, I wish to thank the Frankenthal Foundation for financial support in producing this book, and Martinus Nijhoff, Publishers, for permission to quote extensively from their publications by and about Edmund Husserl, both in the original German and in English translation. This book is dedicated to the memory of my wife, Raquel Kersten ( ). Fred Kersten July, 1987

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