The paper aims at reconstructing the conception of descriptive analysis shared by Brentano and the early Husserl. According to this shared conception, the descriptive analysis consists in the articulation of the multi-layered part-whole structure of consciousness. Focusing on the problem of intentional reference, the paper shows how they make different distinctions among parts of consciousness to carry out the descriptive analyses thus defined. Further, it shows how such a difference is closely connected to the two philosophers’ views on the nature of intentional reference.
How should Scheler’s critique of Kant’s ethics be interpreted? This paper focuses on two aspects of Scheler’s critique of Kant’s ethics: 1) the problem of “formalism” in Kant’s ethics, and 2) the problem of the “ethics of autonomy” and “ethics of heteronomy.” Generally speaking, Scheler’s project has a “modern” starting point; that is to say, his work starts with the rejection or critique of Kant and Aristotle. Most essentially, Scheler’s “material ethics of values” (ethics of person) must stay autonomous. Following Kant, Scheler takes Aristotle’s theory as an “ethics of heteronomy,” and then competes with Kant within the “ethics of autonomy” and further develops his own “ethics of personal autonomy.”
There are two critical, but opposite interpretations of Heidegger’s understanding of being as a social ontology. One charges Heidegger with adhering to an anti-social “private irony,” while the other charges him with promoting a “self-canceling” totality. The current essay replies to these two charges with a discussion of Heidegger’s understanding of being as “communal being,” which is implicated both in the early Heidegger’s concept of “being-in-the-world-with-others” and in the later Heidegger’s keyword of Ereignis. It argues that Heidegger’s understanding of being as communal being is neither identical with totalitizing publicness nor the same as voluntaristic egotism. According to Heidegger, both the publicness of das Man and voluntaristic egotism are the real threats to humanity at present. Because of them, we human beings are in danger of being uprooted from the earth upon which we—as communal beings—have already and always dwelled and lived with others from the very beginning of human history.
With insight from the methodology of phenomenology, Jan Patočka draws multiple meanings from the special front-line experience, including new understanding of the fringe of death, absolute freedom, universal responsibility, and solidarity with enemies. The front-line experience is in sharp contrast with daily life experience, and is regarded by Patočka as a continuous consciousness of problematization toward history. This consciousness, which the front-line experience gives rise to, can be maintained through true care for reality and history. Patočka names this “care for the soul” and regards it as the core of the European spirit. The potential philosophical and historical value of the front-line experience urges Patočka to maintain an eternal fight, and he eventually concludes that it is this eternal fight that brings forth eternal peace.
I begin this paper by outlining two senses of “phenomenology.” First, the “what it is like” or “analytic tradition” sense: the verbalization of qualitative states of consciousness of which we are aware. Second, the “Continental” sense: the rigorous study of the structures of consciousness. I outline the ways in which these two senses diverge. First, Continental phenomenology involves a diversified account of consciousness, states of awareness, and the human person. The phenomenologist articulates this account not by introspection but via acts of phenomenological reflection concerning eidetic intuitions about essential structural features. Second, via the method of “sense explication,” the phenomenologist can articulate an account of passive and subconscious states which we are not strictly “aware” of. The conclusion shows these divergences of senses are sometimes overlooked, leading to equivocation. Zahavi and Gallagher must be employing the “what it is like” sense when they make certain “phenomenological” arguments concerning social cognition, yet Spaulding’s ensuing critique of phenomenology is directed at Continental phenomenology. Also, it is only phenomenology in the “what it is like” sense which cannot contribute to subpersonal psychology. Genetic Continental phenomenology describes the lawful relations amongst the precursors and preconditions which give rise to conscious experience, constituting a type of (non-causal) subpersonal explanation.
This paper reinterprets the relation between Derridian deconstruction and Husserlian phenomenology on the basis of their respective methodological commitments. According to the proposed view, epoché, reduction, and eidetic variation are the fundamental methodological principles of Husserlian phenomenology. This paper interprets Derrida’s reading of Husserl as presenting a type of semiological reductionism, which is marked by the absorption of the fundamental phenomenological principles within a semiological framework. Conceiving of meaning as a sign that refers to other signs, Derrida contends that neither epoché, nor reduction, nor eidetic variation can be carried through successfully; their validity is thereby indefinitely deferred. This paper also addresses the relationship between indication and expression, the Principle of all Principles, the living present, and their alleged deconstruction in Derrida’s writings. I conclude with some suggestions concerning how, apart from deconstructing phenomenology, one could also phenomenologize deconstruction. According to my suggestion, this would require problematizing evidence that underlies the central claims and commitments of deconstruction.
The essence of Husserl’s intentionality does not lie in any object, but in the marginal horizon presupposed by intentional acts. This characteristic can be seen whether on the level of intensional act or that of noema (intentional object). The reason is that all intentional act and noema come from the stream of internal time consciousness, and thus have Zeithof (time halo or time aureole), while the original meaning constituted by such a halo is prior to the object they are concretized into, and the noema that contains the possibility of meaning will also be intuited together with the perceived adumbration. Using Husserl’s idea that the meaning of non-objectification is prior to the object, Scheler breaks through Husserl’s dogma that the presentation of an object must precede the giving of value to the object, and thus puts forward the new train of thought that the feeling of value is not later than the objectification, or even prior to it. Heidegger deepens and expands the sense of the marginal horizon, revealing in all human behaviors and world presentation such an ontological structure, that is, halo-like meaning or the act of Being itself precedes objects and beings created by the separation of subject and object. Maurice Merleau-Ponty states that the body field is prior to the separation of body and mind, and the body’s perception of external phenomena is first carried out in the manner of field rather than definite objects, therefore, it must have the original ambiguity and be realized in the form of body schema instead of a causal chain. So, the philosophical vitality of phenomenology does not significantly lie in the explanation of the levels and functions of intentional objects, but in the construction premise of such objects, namely, the spatio-temporal halo manifested as marginal horizon, time stream, and the displaying of existential vista.
There are at least three foundational relationships between the three conscious acts of intellect, emotion, and willing. Section 2 covers the structural foundational relationship (Brentano and Husserl in his early period): all conscious acts are intentional and can be divided into objectifying (intuition and representation) and non-objectifying acts (emotion and willing). Because a non-objectifying act cannot constitute an object, things must be based on objectifying acts and the object constituted by the latter; in this sense, a non-objectifying act is rooted in an objectifying one. Section 3 explains the genetic foundational issue with consciousness (Husserl in his later period, Scheler, and Heidegger): the stream of consciousness has its earliest origins and follows a process where it gradually unfolds. The earliest origin is the intentional willing, followed by nonintentional feelings, and, finally, the representation and thinking of willing. Intentional activity taking place afterward must be based on the conscious activity that has come already. Section 4 points out that, apart from the two aforementioned kinds of foundational relationships (i.e. structural and genetic), a third foundational relationship (i.e. dynamic) can also be found between the conscious acts of intellect, emotion, and willing in the Consciousness-only school (a Buddhist tradition in the East). In a continuous activity, the foundational relationship between the three aspects of intellect, emotion, and willing always remains encased in dynamic changes, and the change of primary and secondary roles (i.e. a change in the foundational relationship) could happen at any time. From this perspective, one can explain and resolve the confrontation and conflicts between the two former foundational relationships.
In the Kaizo articles, written between 1922 and 1924, Husserl touched on the intercultural relationship between “the European” and “the non-European.” Husserl addressed Japan as he dealt with ethical and cultural renewal in his Kaizo articles. Husserl wished to spread the European spiritual gestalt, which he comprehended as a universal theoretical rationality to remote cultures. At that time, Husserl imagined China as unfamiliar and remote. He even used China as a typical example of alienworld when he dealt with the problem of cultural difference. This paper reappraises Husserl’s thesis by exploring Eurocentrism as a factor that might impede the willingness for non-Western or non-European cultures to accept the idea of European spiritual gestalt. This paper suggests that the non-Western or non-European cultures should take delight in learning from Europe and carry out what Husserl had in mind about the meaning of “renewal.”