Mediation and Immediacy for Husserl

Kah Kyung Cho

Seoul National University 1957-1970
State University of New York at Buffalo 1971

HUSSERL expanded the concept of “experience” to include the “prepredicative” mode of conscious life and thereby brought the curricula of philosophical analysis down to the level of what is “immediately perceived.” Both experience and immediate perception are terms that must be weighed with care to put his ambitious program in its proper setting. Experience, for one thing, is not in the least concerned with apprehension of “eternal forms” or intellectual intuition of some transcendent reality. “Evidence of individual objects constitutes the concept of experience in the widest sense. Thus experience in the primary and most significant sense is defined as direct reference to the particular.” 1 Its object is what is factually given and as such contingent. Each object of experience must be there for the consciousness “bodily” and “originally,” in contrast to a mere representation or an empty, simply indicative idea of it.

In line with this avowedly earthbound view of experience, the whole undertaking of phenomenology is now declared to be “a function and method of this life.” Its interest lies in the “factual.” In a style reminiscent of Kant’s, who rendered the connotations of “transcendental idealism” and “empirical realism” interchangeable, 2 Husserl goes on to say that phenomenology is conceived in the service of the facts, as a “tool or method for the transcendental science of facts.” 3 Similarly, the talk of perceptual immediacy is meant to anchor the experience squarely in what can be made evident, i.e., immediately seen or “intuited.” Neither the Cartesian quest for certainty à la deus ex machina, nor the Kantian regression, to be sure, from the fact of “I think” to the “conditions” under which experience is possible—conditions that can never themselves become objects


of experience—would stand a model for Husserl. For he has ostensibly cut off the eventual passage into metaphysical argumentations by raising to a philosophical principle the primacy of the factual over against the logical or whatever is mediated by thought.

So far as the defence of the status of the “given” and, along with it, the rejection of metaphysics may be said to make up the common ground for all varieties of positivism, Husserl let it be known clearly that he was siding with the same cause. Not only did he stress verbally the need to restore the positivistic standpoint of givenness which the high style of speculative tradition has done so much to discredit, but he spelled out a practical program to “found all sciences absolutely and without prejudice on the ‘positive,’ i.e., that which can be grasped originally,” and claimed the title of “genuine positivist” for himself. 4

What assumptive and sheerly impractical goal has been staked off by this assertion can be only guessed at the outset. But the occasion to be skeptical about the feasibility of grounding the science, strictly speaking, in facts is not very far to seek. Husserl was well acquainted with the historical precedent of Hume. To him the empiricist Hume was a pathfinder of “"immanence,” a transcendental region that would have guaranteed the apodictic truth of the science of facts, and the first modern philosopher who started out with pure data of senses as the sole pregivenness of consciousness and thus gained the distinction of having attempted, though deviously and still trapped in a “prephilosophical naiveté,” to fathom the origin of objective knowledge. Had Hume been more consistent, he should have been led, argues Husserl, to a “solipsism,” or a new science of pure subjectivity. But of course he could not draw the “enormous consequence” to reduce the world into a “construct of consciousness.” Whatever the result of this adventure within the purview of Hume’s own inquiry, Husserl saw in it a “value of immeasurable significance,” marking an epoch of the “teleological process of history” in the development of empiricism. 5

A renewed attack on the problem of reconciliation between the originally given fact and the immanent sphere of consciousness had now to be launched in full awareness of the burdening consequences of Humean skepticism and, in addition to it, Kant’'s critical philosophy. Although phenomenology is “critically determined more directly from the side of Descartes and


British empiricism, especially Hume, than through Kant,” Husserl considers it necessary to orient himself to Kant, in order to gain a clarity over the “real problem of transcendental philosophy and a method of final justification.” Kant, however, was not radical enough to question the very premise on which he stood. The “meaning of being (Seinssinn) of the everyday world as well as the meaning of being of the world which is pretended to be scientifically true reality, —this puzzle was never solved.” 6 Thus there was more than a mere rhetorical purpose in his queries when he questioned the justice of falling back upon the realm of “passive pregivenness”: What good is it to refer back to the domain of doxa with its “vague experience” and “deceptive appearance”? Should not the predicative judgment remain the sole seat of knowledge, of genuine and authentic evidence? How can the essence of something superior be clarified by a reference to something inferior? 7

The oddity with the notion that the apodictic truth of science can be founded on the factually and contingently given is brought home all the more clearly when we are told, as we shall presently examine, that a new “science” of contingent facts is not only possible, but it should have a higher dignity than the existing objective sciences. Those who are wary of such promissory notes may settle for a softened interpretation by saying that Husserl in actual practice must have shifted his interest from the guiding idea of philosophy as “rigorous science” to the exploration of nonscientific facts which are forced upon us by the pressure of evidence. Indeed, when it became known that Husserl’s program of the science of what he termed the “life-world” seemed to overshadow the hitherto reigning principle of the transcendental ego, it was not uncommon to oppose the one to the other and see in his later phenomenology an irreconciled problem. Jean Wahl, for instance, spoke of two tendencies which stood in a state, even though fruitful of tension. 8 Earlier, it was the issue of idealism versus realism among the Neo-Kantians and the Humean empiricists that awakened the impression that the phenomenological trend was to fall into line with the “turning toward the object” (Wendung zum Objekt).

The real meaning of the precept “Back to the things themselves” (Zu den Sachen selbst), which was sometimes confused with the above catchphrase that epitomized the realistic ten-


dency of the older phenomenological school, including also Nicolai Hartmann, 9 was an appeal to “intuitive givenness.” That Husserl employed and could employ a whole set of terms varying freely their commonly accepted meaning, is due partly to a strongly honorific intent, sometimes at the cost of precise import. But undoubtedly it was due more to the peculiar nature of phenomenological procedure itself. To institute a radically empirical philosophy implied a certain amount of concession, if merely verbal, to its historically preceding forms. The terms positivism, empirical science, facts, givenness, perception, direct seeing and the like recur in his writings and a great stress was laid on the “normative” competence of the factual. But in all cases their use is to be critically differentiated from the “naïve” usage of prephenomenological thinking. The general characteristic of the procedure which gives them an added nuance should be brought out at once.

“Going back to the things themselves” needs not be taken contrary to what it promises at its face value from the beginning. It is meant strictly as a procedure of an exclusive thematization of an object as object. Anything and everything that does not belong to it must be excluded. If we may call this procedure of grasping the given object purely as it is “reduction,” in the simple sense that it is restored to itself by way of eliminating whatever factors accreted to it extraneously, then we may believe we have performed the necessary reduction. That, according to Husserl, is not at all the case. While we intend to validate a particular object in its particularity through sense perception, we realize the impossibility of performing a reduction that concerns the particular object solely as such. For the object under observation is not simply abstractly there, but is within a horizon, or it is given together with a horizon. To say the bare minimum, it has its various aspects to be revealed in perspective, its sides that must be perceived one at a time, and the “prospect” of further possibilities to be revealed “if”—and this is all-important—additional “subjective” conditions are met, such as change in location and distance, shift of angle, lapse of more time to watch and so on. “It is paradoxical and yet beyond any doubt that there is no experience in the serious and straight sense of a thing-experience which, in grasping the thing and knowing it at first, does not know already more than what is given to knowledge.” 10 Thus the primary meaning of experience


as an evidence of individual objects or as direct reference to the particular turns out to be “primary” indeed, —it is only provisional.

If it is true that Husserl saw in the positivist an ally who adheres to the principle of describing what is immediately given, it is also true that he at once parts company with him to dwell at greater length on those ideal and subjective conditions of experience in which, above everything else, the capacity of the knower is presupposed. True, the reference to the “subjectivity” is restricted in turn by the normative force of the factual. No free play of speculative reasoning is tolerated. But the perceived sense object and sense data lose their meaning outside the referential frame of this subjectivity. On this point, Husserl is more outspoken. The capacity of subject or ego to uncover, to explicate and to obtain the wealth of determinations of an object is the condition of experience in such a way that this object would not be what it is without ego. Against this apparently strategically intended assertion of Husserl that his interest lies in the factual, we may now thus qualify: The fact and factual has never been, and will never become, a problem for phenomenology when disengaged from the contributive, meaning-bestowing function of the subjectivity. We are at least warned in advance that in the horizon of phenomenological problematic, there is no single focal point. Even while Husserl pretends to direct our look straight to a given, positive object, our mind’s eye is reflected back to the act of looking, so to speak. And to the extent that a greater nay, almost exclusive stress is laid on the role of the subject in analyzing the structure of experience, to that extent phenomenology assumes, Husserl’s alleged alliance with positivism notwithstanding, the character of an idealism. Apart from its metaphysical implications which may be as grave as with any idealism that purports to give a final account of the nature of knowledge in terms of mind’s constitutive function, Husserl’s self-styled interest in the facts of life-world needs a further elucidation. For he spoke of his genuinely positivistic standpoint not only with a view to criticizing so-called positivism for failing to take into account the constitutive role of consciousness, but also in a gesture of acknowledgement to the empiricist tradition in which he saw definitely the historical precedent of phenomenology.


His concept of life-world contains the measure of determining the meaning, from a phenomenological point of view, of the positivistic science and empirical philosophy in general. That is to say, he finds the philosophical justification of empiricism in its orientation toward the “inductive” style of everyday life. There is in empiricism the “tendency to scientifically discover the life-world with which we are familiar in our daily life but which is unknown to the sciences themselves.” 11 The apparent ignorance of science of its relation to the life-world does not mean that it exists without any positive function to fulfill for the prescientific world. On the contrary, the very meaning of science is seen as an extension of prescientific need of life, in making possible an infinitely extended “prescience” or "forecast” (Voraussicht) about life. “On forecast, or we may say on induction instead, rests all our life.” All praxis, including “perception”' as well as “scientific praxis”, so far as it perceives or knows already more than what is immediately given, implies inductions. 12 Thus phenomenology may also claim the title of an “empirical science,” insofar as it works out explicitly the tendency toward induction which is inherent in all the praxis of life. But it does so consciously and systematically, or more fittingly, radically reflectively. Reflection is carried to its “root,” i.e., to the consciousness, from which all conceivable meaning is supposed to spring out. Nothing is to be left unvalidated within the context of natural and spontaneous life. Everything must be summoned before the bar of consciousness for the final test of its meaning, our belief in the naturally given world must be suspended (reduction), in order for this world to be critically and significantly reconstructed (constitution).

But even so, was Husserl justified in stretching the concept of' evidence beyond the competence of predicative judgment? Did he not already presuppose the validity of the life-world without any constitutive exhibition when he criticized the scientific objectivism? How could he legitimize his claim that—perhaps the scientificity, which this life-world as such and in its universality calls for, is a peculiar, if not exactly objective—logical one, and that as the finally founding scientificity it is in point of value not a lesser, but higher one?” 13 Is it not a circular argument to say that “a novel problem requires a new method,” but that “the clarification of the meaning is already an evidence of those aims, as aims, to which the evidence of possible means must


essentially belong”? The mere presence of evidence in the sense of a factually given problem, without the warranty of methods to handle or solve it, is a far cry from a secure knowledge. Facing such a difficulty, Husserl after all did not hide his perplexity as to just in what way the life-world should become “an independent, thoroughly self-contained theme” of inquiry. At times the grandeur of the task to be done seems to be matched only by an equally great but irrational faith, a persistent hope to find because one seeks, to be given because one asks. And as if to seal his own fate, Husserl scornfully called an “oracular faith” the evidences that take recourse to the authority of common sense and objective sciences, including even “formal logic and mathematics”! 14

It is perhaps due more to the circumstances in which the concept of life-world has been introduced to our contemporary discussion than to its substance and even to Husserl’s own attitude toward the problem that recent studies in phenomenology appear to thrive on this “one of the best confirmed discoveries” 15 of his later period. Husserl undoubtedly has done his share in dramatizing the significance of the concept. It may be said in all fairness that his enforced silence in his native country could little affect the voice of phenomenology that had already an international hearing. Names such as Roman Ingarden, Marvin Farber, Aron Gurwitsch (who gave impetus to Merleau-Ponty’s work), Van Breda and others will be immediately recalled. But it was with the posthumous publication of the provocative Crisis of European Sciences and the Transcendental Phenomenology 16 that the life-world issue, though bred in his mind more than a generation ago, 17 was to make its full impact.

The life-world was, strictly speaking, no new discovery. Husserl envisaged it as a correlate of the so-called “natural attitude” and gave his early attention to it in carrying out the program of reduction. What interested him about the world-knowledge of this natural attitude was of course neither the bare facts with which one is familiar, nor the factual execution through which those facts are perceived. It was solely the “phenomenon” in its essential relations and structures and corresponding essential acts of consciousness that stood in the center of his life-world problematic. But its reception on the international scene—the stage is now much widened with a flood of


publications and frequent conferences—shows that his philosophy has become something of a vogue, something of a catch phrase. Being a catch phrase, people took it not by literal meaning but rather by its resonance, much amplified by and attuned to the prevailing temperament of the age.

The ideal of a rigorous science has now become strangely equivocal. On the one hand, there is still the perceptible echo in the generally analytic vigor of the practicing phenomenologists to the call of philosophical scientificity which signaled a refreshing change for those who have become weary of the existentialists’ verbal fare. On the other, a part of some phenomnenologists’ avowed claim in seeking “objective truth higher than the scientific objectivity” blends readily with an unscientific motive which is often the negative virtue for those who may take to philosophy because their innocence is spoiled for religion. A promise, therefore, to be a science with a yet greater dignity than conventional science, with a far richer catalogue of revealing experiences, culled, however, from within the sphere of pristine life as immediately lived, must attract not a few restless souls. The paradoxical fight against science in the name of science transcendentally purified gives the book Crisis an air of novelty which, upon closer look, turns out to be an old problem taken up again. It is, as already pointed out, the problem of reconciliation between the datum of senses and the immanent region of consciousness. The way Husserl formulated the problem by opposing the evidence of judgment against the evidence of immediate seeing or intuition is new. Similarly he opposed the predicative mode of experience against the prepredicative mode of experience; objective science against the science of life-world. The same issue recurred since the days of Descartes to mark the major epochs of modern philosophy. Descartes’ attempt to prove the interaction between res extensa and res cogitans was just as futile as his ontological distinction of the two realms of being was definitive. With British empiricism, the basic Cartesian division of sensation and reflection remained unchallenged, although the Humean account of the nature of human knowledge as restricted to a series of disconnected events had in a way restored the concreteness of our sensuous experience. Kant, however, who felt that the consequences thus drawn from Hume’s epistemology were a grave enough threat to undermine science, turned the scale in favor of


the understanding, whose active, contributive function in providing essentially synthetic predicative experience had the corollary of defining the sensibility as a merely receptive, data-giving faculty.

Later, in spite of Feuerbach’s hearty defence of the senses against the tyranny of reason in what is so well remembered as an “anthropological” reaction to the excesses of speculative idealism, the status of senses and sense perception still suffered from the lack of a thoroughgoing, cohesive account which would put it back into its place in the element of lived experience. From the Husserlian perspective, the subsequent positivism of Mach and Avenarius did little to amend the situation. For the positivistic notion of the sense datum as the immediately given in experience rests on the untenable assumption that there exists between this datum as lived by a subject and the objectively measurable physical stimulus an exact correlation. Presupposed thereby was also the objective condition of human body standing among other physically definable and determinable bodies and susceptible of exact observation and description.

According to Ludwig Landgrebe, it is the “historical significance of Husserl’s phenomenology” to have resumed “the necessary process of the confrontation of thinking reason with itself by way of its relation to what is immediate in experience.” 18 The move to return to prepredicative evidence or to the evidence of “intuition” (i.e., not merely the sensuous intuition) meant the first of such decisive steps. Concerning the extent to which Husserl himself was aware of his own historical role, we are not left to fumble in the dark. The Crisis is an eloquent documentation of it. The crisis, it should be noted, is that of science, or that posed by science. To descend, as it were, to the primary and immediate in experience signifies to pass by the world of science. Husserl’s methodical radicalism makes our “disengagement” from the world of science a prerequisite for “discovering” the life-world intact, unbiased by science and purely as it exists before any scientific interpretations. It is not that he denies the constant factual interwovenness of the lifeworld with some amount of scientific interpretations. These are there, but already in a modified form, as the changes brought about by science can be now immediately perceived in the products and processes that have become self-evident or intuitive aspect of the life‑world. The “return” to this life-world, left in


abeyance while transcendental reduction was performed, was thus triggered by the unmistakable motive to produce the evidence of senses against the evidence of logic and objective, scientific thinking. But the retrieval of this vast "universe of anonymous evidences", determining the eidos of the life-world itself and the breadth of its variation, is not conceived in the spirit of defending the irrational, even mystical element at the source of our life. With the thematization of life-world occurs no basic deviation from the original intent, but it is steered according to its main course. For the technique of essential description as implied in Husserl’s original program of phenomenology must necessarily extend itself to everything that is, really or ideally, and life-world could not possibly be an exception.

Already his "thoroughgoing rationalism and faith in the boundlessness of objective reason" and his contention "that everything that is, is knowable in itself” were noted before the publication of the Crisis. 19 But he now unrolls in it a far-flung historical coulisse and restates his confidence in the reason of history in passages whose hauteurs at once revive the image of Hegel. Through its movement in history, in the medium of philosophy and science, the telos of rational humanity is to come to a final self-revelation. Phenomenology knows itself to be at the crossroads, because the current “crisis in the European way of life” can be either precipitated or overcome by its attempt to institute “rationalism” once again. Philosophy as “science” in this case is not a particular species of science within the genus science. On the contrary, the very crisis of European sciences was brought about as the result of this confusion, namely that the true spirit of philosophy or rationalism is eclipsed by their one-sided engrossment in “naturalism” and “objectivism.” Hence the present “estrangement of the sense of rationality of life.” The alternative to the final downfall of Europe is the “regeneration of Europe out of the spirit of philosophy through a heroism of reason which is to overcome the naturalism once for all.” 20 Thus for Husserl philosophy must assume a restraining responsibility over the objective sciences which indeed “secure the objectivity” but fail to “understand the objectivity.” “No science, however exact and objective, seriously explains or can explain anything.” “The only real explanation is to make transcendentally understandable,” 21 i.e. by taking into account the constitutive role of subjectivity.


Despite this strongly antiscientific emanation, it should be noted that Husserl was evoking the power of “reason” and “sense of rationality” to curb the one-sided sway of objective sciences. In contradistinction to “naïve” or “naturalistic” objectivity and scientificity, the transcendental phenomenology reserves for itself an allegedly higher objectivity and scientificity. It is called at the same time “radically empirical”, “truly positivistic” and “thoroughly rationalistic.” Such a verbal fastidiousness may convey only an impression of barrenness to those who already hold little of the reflective procedure peculiar to phenomenology. But by its detachment it gives us an enriched theory of knowledge—a pure descriptive psychology. Anyone who tries to comprehend the meaning of the special and specialized enterprise called science in its relation to the phenomenon of life in general would do so best by assuming an attitude that is committed, at least directly, to the interest of neither side. If a spatial metaphor is allowed, he would have to place himself outside of the two worlds, one that of objective science, and the other of the prescientific experience. The sphere of transcendental subjectivity is thought of as such an artificial position contrary to the natural attitude. The real question, however, is whether Husserl was sufficiently aware of the paradox that the transcendental subjectivity was itself a dependent term of what he called life-world and that the latter still had to be constituted first in the former. Has he not assumed the validity of life-world even before its origin and construction were accounted for in the constitutive realm of consciousness? In having accepted the primacy of life-world evidence, the primacy to wit of subjective-relative intuition over against the evidence of objective science prior to the constitutive validation of the experience of life-world, Husserl seems stranded in a sheerly inextricable predicament. As if to forestall this difficulty, he raises the expected question: How can a partial being of the world, the human subjectivity as a part of this world, constitute the whole world as its “intentional construct”? “The subject as partial being of the world devours so to speak the entire world and, together with it, himself. What a paradox.” But the course of its solution is as quickly suggested as the doubt is raised. For the paradox is now declared to be more apparent than real, arising as it does from the “persistent tension between the power of self-evidence of the natural


objective attitude (the power of common sense) and the attitude of ‘disinterested observer’ as opposed to the former.” 22 The tension will be resolved when, and only when, the self-evidence of the givenness of the world is persuaded of its own questionability existence of the world is “the greatest of all the riddles” and transformed into a phenomenologically validated “understandability.”

Self-evident givenness as a philosophical problem, perhaps as the virtual key issue of phenomenology which in effect has prepared the concepts of intentionality, of the constitution of the stream of consciousness and of the horizon, has in the Husserlian scheme of investigations two planes on which it can be separately articulated. The one is the givenness of the world as objective science sees it. For the objective science, the existence of the world in its unquestionable self-evidence is the “primary fact.” The reaction of phenomenology to this objectivism is that it has left its ground unexamined, taking what is inseparable (subject-object correlation) as separated, with the immediacy of experience consigned to the realm of fiction and poetry. The other level is that of prescientific experience which has not yet objectified itself and hence ranks lower in terms of the unconditionally generalized possibility of understanding. But the givenness in this life-world layer of experience has, according to Husserl, the advantage of structurally predelineating the subject-object correlation as the authentic pattern of our world-knowledge. Viewed through this prism of correlation, the world is shown to be “for us,” to be “our world in its essence and existence, deriving its meaning altogether from our intentional life.” 23 It is not true that the scientific objectivism can wholly dispense with such correlative schema. Its very drawback is seen in its naive and unquestioned assumption to do without it, or in its blindness to the “wonder of all wonders,” the achievement of transcendental subjectivity as the concealed source of all our objective knowledge.

Husserl’s strenuous effort to rewrite the geneology of our conscious experience is considered by many an exemplary exhibition of descriptive rigor. “His skill in finding great complexity where others see only simplicity” has done its service to “extend the vision of philosophy.” 24 For that matter, his painstaking inquiry into the area of prepredicative experience


appears to signify an important addition to the scope, if not the rigor already noted, of such philosophical vision. The first section of his Experience and Judgment deals minutely and extensively with the modes of prepredicative or receptive experience. Since meaningful statements in science must either affirm or deny something apprehended, predicative judgment has become the formal distinction of scientific thinking as such, whereas the prepredicative experience, lacking as it does such formal-logical structures, tends to be branded ipso facto prescientific or unscientific, however lively and convincing it may be in its personally lived immediacy. But what is the true status of givenness in this vivid and yet vague, personal and yet anonymous, subjective-relative life prior to science if it is to have a greater dignity than established sciences? That it cannot be of the same quality as the sense datum of which positivism speaks needs not be reemphasized. Nor is it anything like the disorderly, complex material of intuition, to which, according to Kant, our sensibility is passively related through affection. The given in the lowest and most immediate encounter of intentional subject with the passively preexisting world is now revealed as a microcosm in its own right, for the sensuously given data are “already product of a constitutive synthesis, which, as the lowest products, presuppose the achievement of synthesis in the internal time-consciousness.” 25 By implication, there is no such thing as a simple apprehension that cannot be shown to contain an infinity of determinations in terms of “being bodily there relatively more clearly or opaquely” for the consciousness. Hence, every perception, however pure and simple, is a composite, a synthesis, already predicated by the “objectifying acts of ego” even before the judgment in the sense of conventional logic is passed upon it.

Thus Husserl takes the liberty, though not surprisingly, of extending the meaning of judgment. The return to the prepredicative experience does not free him from applying to it the basic structure of predication. The analysis of the perceptual consciousness runs parallel to that of the spontaneous act of predicating judgment (thinking), although the receptive experience as a mere preliminary stage to the active “will to knowledge” must be duly noted for its restricted character, e.g., it has not yet become our “property” which is at our disposal and which we may impart to others. 26 Beside this characteristically


pervasive idealism that seems to leave nothing, even the passively pregiven, outside the reaches of the all-powerful constitutive ability of consciousness, Husserl’s theory of perception shows how firmly he is convinced that seeing, more than any other act, predominates in all the founding hierarchy of our intentional relationship. Herein he sharply differed from Heidegger, who also carried the concept of understanding (Verstehen) beyond the limits of its conventional meaning as “intellect” in order to embrace the subjective, prescientific modes of experience.

On a broader basis, both Husserl and Heidegger left the epistemological subject-object schema behind and replaced it by the act-character of the intentionality of consciousness or the existential category of “being-in-the-world.” But, while Heidegger places the “presence ready-to-hand” in man’s every-day dealings with utensils in the foreground to account for the  primary mode in which the world is encountered, 27 Husserl considers the “simply subjective-relative” seeing as the “really first” 28 and comes in Experience and Judgment to comment on the issue. He distinguishes between simple, straightforward experiences and those that are “founded” on the former.

Straight experience is sensuous, having as its existent sub stratum material body. The unity of all material bodies, insofar as the sensuous experience can be universalized to apply to all bodies, is called “"nature.” “Thus in the world of our expe      rience, nature is the lowest stratum on which all other strata are founded.” Our evaluations and actions, including the “interest” in the usefulness of the objects for certain purposes, all presuppose the existence of nature with its straightly experienced sensuous properties as the invariable foundation. Opposed to this straight perception is the perception of that which can be perceived solely through “understanding the expression,” such as the “understanding of an equipment or tool in its referential ‘remembrance’ of men who made it for a certain purpose or for whom it is designed.” Such a reference may seem ever so self- evident, the association of the one with the other ever so natural and inextricable, but all the same, this mode of perception is derivative and obtained as an “augmentation” (aufgestuft) and “in diversion from the straightforward direction.” 29

Heidegger, on the other hand, holds the reverse to be true. Not the sensuous properties of a corporeal being in a pure per-


ception are what is primarily discovered. Rather, it is the “assignment or reference of something to something,” or the pragmatic structure of being-ready-to-hand in which our immediate encounter with worldly things is revealed. “These things (i.e., inkstand, ink, paper, blotting pad, table, lamp, furniture, windows, doors, room, etc.) never show themselves proximally as they are for themselves.” They all refer to their uses and users. Before any “individual item” of equipment shows itself, a totality of equipment has already been discovered. “No matter how sharply we just look at the ‘outward appearance’ of things in whatever form this takes, we cannot discover anything ready-to-hand”. Thus, throwing upside down the founding order‑of intentional relationship as Husserl sees it, Heidegger claims that nature itself can be uncovered and defined simply in its presence-at-hand only “if its kind of being as ready-to-hand is disregarded.” Nor does he believe that the equipment-structure is known as such even in the using. “The hammering,” for instance, “does not simply have knowledge about the hammer’s character as equipment, but it has appropriated this equipment in a way which could not be more suitable.” Since the use of a visual metaphor seems inevitable in describing even the prepredicative and preconceptual mode of experience when we are appropriating an object pragmatically, Heidegger takes advantage of the word “circumspection” (Umsicht) which serves him in good stead in more than one respect. It means to look around to tell the assignment character as well as to have in sight the readiness of the use of the instrument, underscoring the practical attitude to which the dealings accommodate themselves. But his use of this visual metaphor is a pure coincidence, because, unlike Husserl who begins with the experience of sense perception in which the sight does play a material role, and who makes a systematic attempt to expand the visual approach by categorically equating “genuine seeing” (echte Erschauung) with the final justification of truth, 30 the actual look at outward appearance is already discredited by Heidegger as being prejudicial and diversionary. It hides rather than shows the immediacy of largely instrumentally oriented dealings of man with his environment.

In a sense, Heidegger has made a more telling point of starting from man’s immediately lived, life-world experience, though the promising concreteness was soon to give way to a saga of


“Being” not to be comprehended by any “rational” thinking. The fact that Husserl recurred to the predicative structure even in describing the expressly prepredicative experience would seem to vitiate his position, as it arouses the suspicion that his straightforward perception remains undistinguished from one that is mediated by logical reflections. There is a danger that what is constituted in consciousness or retraced in thinking may not do, after all, full justice to the subjective-relative aspect of our life-worldly encounter with things in first person. In our fleeting moment to moment “ecstatic” experience, it would appear that we more often overlook than simply directly took at the perceptual qualities of those objects around us, especially when they have the familiar equipment character. But the function of phenomenology is to demonstrate the meaning of being in constitutive analysis instead of giving a factual account, though it may be factual in existential-analytic terms only. Even when man’s life-world experience is under consideration, it is the eidos of his being in that type of world-horizon that finally matters. The perception in the sense of perceived properties and the act of perceiving in its essential structures must be presupposed as the substratum at all times regardless of whether man’s actual interest is directed to such properties or to some other pragmatic relations. Both the ostensibly primary dealings with the tools and the “deficient mode” of consciousness which “disregards” such dealings are possible on the basis of what Husserl calls the passively preconstituted unity of all perceived bodies, namely, nature. It is the invariable foundation whose perceived meaning subsists in all varieties of interested or disinterested, practical or theoretical attitude which may be brought to bear upon it.

The primary givenness for Heidegger was answered in terms of what is nearest for us. It is the cultural object, a tool or an equipment, and its use and usefulness to which he thinks man is primarily and proximally oriented. Husserl, however, by placing sensuously perceived qualities of natural objects at the basis of our intentional structure, offers us a welcome opportunity critically to examine the meaning of the constitution of the world in the transcendental subjectivity and, together with it, the measure of critical self-appraisal of phenomenology as idealism. Of course, under no circumstances should he be taken to indicate that what is first is, in contrast to Heidegger’s position for


instance, what is there simply in itself. The naive supposition of a preexisting world is ruled out, even though he seems to admit the priority of natural objects as against the cultural objects. It is always within the hierarchical order or the founding relationship of our intentional structure itself that the “primacy” of sense perception must be examined as to its true significance. Husserl never sharply clarified whether the perceptually given is already the product of synthetic achievement of consciousness whereby the unity is so to speak fitted on by the constitutive a priori, or whether the possibility of such synthetic achievement presupposes in turn the “organization” in the sensuously given elements themselves. It is a question which A. Gurwitsch has pointedly raised in his own way. He has answered the question to the effect that the unity of the given in the consciousness must be referred back to the condition of order which belongs to the immediate phenomenal givenness itself. 31 That this meant a revision of Husserl’s own standpoint and involved a justification on the basis of a renewed examination of his theory of passive synthesis and beyond that the theory of “free variation” will be generally acknowledged. Husserl himself knew that there are limits to the range of free imaginative variation and that the essential structures obtained therewith had to lead to the highest regional concepts through which the being of one particular region is thought of as distinguishable from the being of another region. But that was perhaps as far as he went. The doubt remains unresolved whether the absolute subjectivity should be interpreted in the sense of an absolute idealism which has already posited what is otherwise naively held to be given, or it should mean a critical, transcendental idealism which retraces and describes in reflection the essential relations and structures of what is unequivocally pregiven.

The scale appears to tip in favor of the first view when we are reminded by Husserl that “a real and ideal being which lies beyond the total transcendental subjectivity is nonsense and must be understood absolutely as nonsense.” 32 Or, more explicitly, that “the total spatio-temporal world.... is according to its own meaning mere intentional being” and it is “a being which the consciousness posits in its experience.... Over and beyond this, it is just nothing.” 33 Or again, he compares the act of constituting the world to the act of production or even


“creation of the world.” 34 But Husserl’s absolute idealism that at times so closely verges on the Fichtean subjectivism is not without a poised reappraisal of the veracity of the view of nature existing in itself.  He speaks of a tension between two concepts of nature; one that “stood in the beginning” and the other that “emerged for us in the connection of community.” 35 It goes without saying that in both cases nature is thought of as a correlate of consciousness, but the question is now what is the meaning of nature being “in itself” as related to what function of subjectivity. Nature in the first sense is given through “original sensibility” (Ursinnlichkeit), prior to all achievement of subjectivity that predicates, knows or produces. By original sensibility is meant the passivity of sensuous perception in which no residues of earlier active positing achievement are contained. It is only by virtue of this passively given nature that a community of subjects in mutual communication comes to life. For, the experience of other psyches is impossible without its being “appresented” in the body, a material thing to be perceived by the senses. But the nature of this passivity of pure givenness is yet without any positive determinations. It is given simply as an “empty, identical something,” or as a “rule,” according to which our consciousness becomes aware of the identity of the object in spite of the changing series of its appearances, perspectives and adumbrations. By being in itself is meant just as much, and no more, in the first case.

In the second case, nature appears as the “construct,” as the product of the active achievement of subjectivity in intersubjectivity. Here nature is no longer an empty, identical something, but is the idea of all things to which objective, scientific determinations are attributed. If we speak of an independent existence with regard to nature in the present context, it is in the sense that the given series of appearances can be determined through purely conceptual means independently of the function of any class of sense perceptions. Because this methodically secured scientific determination enables any number of repetitive attempts by any number of subjects to understand the series of appearances of the object, such common achievement in understanding can be regarded to assure “objectivity” in direct proportion to its intersubjective validity and vice versa.

In other words, the meaning of scientific objectivity and of the givenness of an “independently” existing order of the phvsical


universe is shown to consist in the possibility of describing the world in logically valid formulations for as many intelligent subjects as there may be who share the common rational language. The idea of truth in itself is no exception. It is valid only in correlation to the subjectivity which can experience truth, and experience it reflectively as founded originally in its own sphere of transcendental “ego-universe” (Ichall).

This pendular swing back to the transcendental ego invariably seems to leave life, life-world, prepredicative experience and nature—everything that there is—dependent on the “mercy” of consciousness for their being. 36 Both the constituting ego and the constituted world as its correlate are “undeclinable,” we are told by Landgrebe, because they are unique in being the a priori conditions under which one may have a world under the changing circumstances of history. This subjectivity transcends even the opposition of the “universal and particular” and lies “beyond the dialectic of the one and the many.” Such a dialectical mediation is not needed because, following Landgrebe, the transcendental subjectivity “in its uniqueness implies in itself the one world common to all and, therefore, humanity.” Subjectivity is as it were an “immediacy which mediates itself,” 37 i.e., it is the immediate being as the final source of constitutive achievement, and it mediates itself at the same time in the sense that the meaning of the constitutive achievement can and must become evident to all because each member of the community of subjects partakes in, and is mediated by, this one world of intersubjectivity or rational humanity. However, the transcendental subjectivity as the “absolute being” should not be confused with each particular subjectivity which is “discovered in the phenomenological reflection.” The former can never be exhausted in the latter, nor in its particular world-constituting achievements, since it is, as absolute being, the “universe of transcendental subjects, the transcendental ego-universe.” 38 The invariant structures of the life-world which the transcendental subjectivity has discovered are never, it will be reminded further, a priori conditions in a static and conclusive sense. The concepts of variant structures are but an “idealization” or “project,” which allows no closure, but must be “transcended while being acquired.” 39 To grasp the invariant essence of our flowing life, to arrest the “Heraclitean flux” as it were in its flux without bringing it to a standstill, that is what Husserl had in vision


when the reconciliation of the irreconcilable, the a priori of the immanence of consciousness in its relation to the a posteriori of tile positive givenness of the senses, was brought up as the fundamental philosophical problem underlying the “crisis of European sciences.” The concept of the dynamic process of self-transcendence of ego and that of the “functioning intentionality” 40 were to provide an effective leverage to cope with the itself ever flowing, dynamic process of our world-life (Weltleben).

That the consciousness constantly transcends its own horizon is readily granted, without any commitment to specific phenomenological procedures, to be sure. But what if with the self- transcendence is implied the metaphysical thesis that the ego, the absolute consciousness, in transcending its horizon, performs the material transition toward the world? It is precisely at this point that the essential correlation of the transcendental ego with the totality of being must become, once again, problematic. For, had not the correlation been possible only because the existing world in its entirety had been bracketed? Was not the absolute subjectivity that was left after the world had been “annihilated,” in reality an empty horizon, purged of any rest of spatiotemporal ties and severed from the existing, finite and mundane subjectivity itself? How else could the ego claim the totality of the world as its intentional correlate, if the world still contained the ego as a part in itself? Quite logically, then, must not the ego have its place beyond and outside of the world? So that its transcendence has as its terminus a quo and terminus ad quem the emptiness of its own horizon? Even if the transcendental ego is an “ego” only by “equivocation” and must refer more properly to the “inseparable unity of world experience and its intentional correlate” rather than to the correlated term of such unity, 41 the very question of transforming the “empty consciousness” (Leerbewusstsein) into a “comprehensive total consciousness” (umfassendes Gesamtbewusstsein) conjures at once the ghost of Schelling who attacked the impossible transition from the “absolute idea” to “nature” in Hegel’s philosophy. The pure thought as “subject,” conceived also in this case as the higher unity in which the separated aspects of so-called subject and object or “inner” and “outer” spheres of existence are overcome and preserved in a dialectical synthesis, would, according to Schelling, never be able to bring itself to it


true movement or to a living understanding of the reality, because it was, in its assumed presuppositionlessness of its movement, wholly devoid of any empirical element. Only a being that exists positively is able to step out of itself and come back to itself on its own. 42 There will be left only an existentialist solution to the problem by retaining the subjectivity but at the same time restricting its freedom of pure reflection and its constitutive omnipotence. It is a solution that among others Merleau-Ponty has adopted. The human body reveals to him the prehistory of ego over which it has no control, and through sense perception it is possible to derive a meaning from nature quite independently of any constitutive achievement. 43 The dialectic of freedom and necessity, of transcendental project and the pregiven situation never at any moment absolves man of his inner-worldly facticity. But the basically subjectivist approach, with the consciousness still as the hub of the universe, though the topography of the conscious experience may now be subjected to a far more detailed psychophysical and perceptional description, is retained. It is doubtful that Husserl would have sanctioned the total or even partial delivery of the transcendental subject to a mundane, individual subject. In all likelihood he would have surrendered anything, small or great, that is part of this world in order to save the transcendental subjectivity, since the final aim of his philosophy was to lay hold of the attitude of pure seeing, of being a disinterested spectator 44 dissociated from an interested life of praxis and engagement.

If, however, a disinterested attitude is what emerges as a practical lesson from the study of phenomenology, then a radically disinterested view which even dissociates itself from the basic presuppositions of phenomenology will hardly be considered a disservice to its own critical spirit.

A rare combination of such detached attitude and an insider’s experienced insight is the background of Marvin Farber’s criticism which centers on two major points: the limits of the subjectivist approach of phenomenology and the plea for a methodological pluralism. 45 The most fundamental, and itself reflectively unexamined, presupposition of phenomenology is seen by Farber in the correlation of the “class of knowing” with “being,” or of the sum of real and possible experience as constituted meaning on the one hand with the totality of existence oil the other. This “self-imposed limitation of one’s analysis”,


i.e., the positing of consciousness as the absolute being, must sooner or later face the problem of its own “deliverance.” Existence of the world or transcendence toward it necessarily becomes a problem once the knowing subject has bracketed it, though for purely methodical considerations it may have been in the beginning. But in having raised the claim of total reflection and of handling the totality of being through this one reflective procedure, phenomenology carries, throughout its involuted stages of searching self-reflection, the stigma of an “initial excess of the subjectivity,” which in the words of Whitehead it is the task of philosophy to “correct.” 46 Transcendence to the existing world remains an unresolved “methodogenic problem,” as Farber points out, because of the nonacceptance of the “basic fact” of the givenness of the “external world.” “To be sure,” he reminds us further, “every factual statement that supports this non-dependence principle (i.e. non-dependence of existence on human knowers) could be stated in phenomenological terms.... But there are also facts about experience that enable us to view the entire process of experience and ‘possible’ experience in its actual place in existence. It is a fact that existence is bigger and more complex than actual knowledge can ascertain, and more so than all accretions in an assumed endless process of experience.47

By forcing upon distinctive systems of knowledge a general unity, phenomenology tended to obscure the totality of things. Its lack of the reflective awareness of the very selective character of its own procedure is conspicuous. Though Farber readily acknowledges that the “merit of phenomenology is its full recognition of the dynamic and creative aspects of thought process,” he is equally quick to add that the phenomenological “frame” should always be thought of as a specialized supplement to the primary “frame” of natural knowledge and its established facts about the world and man, or existence and experience. 48 Since all scientific pursuit is a “response to a purpose” and there are purposes in our life other than the one envisaged by phenomenology, such purposes, natural or social, may call for distinctive methods—inductive, deductive, explanatory and other—different from the transcendental. Hence the unity which our philosophical reason strives after is more likely to be an unity in diversity, taking into account the relative plurality of purposes and interests of human life, in-


cluding, of course, also the disinterested attitude of seeing for the sake of seeing, which is but one way to define the purpose of philosophy. Pointing to the basic fact that the realm of existence is disclosed to us to a very small extent through experience, the author of the celebrated commentary on Husserl’s phenomenology urges “cooperative spirit and due modesty” on the part of phenomenologists and nonphenomenologists alike. If the great diversity of questions and problems is to be dealt with on all levels of their challenges, he makes it plain that philosophers should accommodate themselves to the conception of a methodological pluralism. Thus he not only sees the need of our day, but also the hope of its fulfillment: “The time may not be far when the antagonism between two fundamental approaches (objectivist and subjectivist) will be no more serious than the difference between inductive and deductive methods in logic.” 49 Those who are aware of the recent rise of the interest in the birthplace of phenomenology and among active phenomenologists at that—in the diversity of approaches and the concomitant discussions of methodologies with a view to transforming the “coexistence with mutual non-respect” among groups of philosophers and scientists into a cooperative togetherness, 50 will find both Farber’s long standing plea and his optimism amply justified.

Along with the unresolved problem of the transition from the transcendental ego to the existence of the world, another methodogenic legacy of Husserl is the irreconciled relation of the former to the mundane, individual subjectivity. Within the phenomenological perspective, the tension may be explained away simply because it has its origin in the inability of our natural and objective attitude to assume a disinterested, i.e., transcendental view of the world. It is easily said that they are just two different attitudes of which one and the same human being is capable. But this is in effect to belittle the problem and significance of the transcendental subjectivity itself, since the empirical, psychophysical ego must depend on the former for the constitution of its own being, and hence cannot possess equal validity with its transcendental namesake. Ingarden has already pointed out the mutually exclusive properties of the two egos and the resultant problem of identifying the one with the other. 51 The identity has to remain unestablished, as long as the phenomenological concept of the primary given is riveted to


the pure consciousness divested of any inner-worldly residue of natural and cultural ties. What Husserl promisingly held out under the name of the transcendental science of facts has done indeed much groundwork by clearing the “fringes” and “horizons” of facts and factual givenness. But by making the most basic of all given facts, the existence of nature which “transcends on its part all human transcendence,” 52 dependent on the “in itself primary” (fact) of subjectivity, his search for the concrete meaning of experience through the prepredicative and life-world layers of consciousness has paradoxically ended in merely marking time. In the barren emptiness of the horizon, the parallax of two images, the transcendentally primary and the naturally primary, remain unadjusted. The absolute ego may mediate itself within ever so extended a horizon of total consciousness, but it remains unmediated with the truly immediate in itself, the total plenitude of being. And nothing less than the universe itself that transcends the transcendental ego will be worthy of the name of the horizon of philosophical inquiry.


Quotations from German source materials, if not otherwise specified, are in the present  writer’s own translations.

1. Erfahrung und Urteil (to be quoted as Experience and Judgment hereafter), Hamburg 1949, p. 21. Cf. also Formale und transzendentale Logik, § 84.

2. Critique of Pure Reason, First original edition of 1781, pp. 370-371.

3. Erste Philosophie I, (1923-24), Husserliana VII, The Hague 1956, p. 258.

4. Cf. Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie, I, (to be quoted “Ideen I”), Husserliana III, The Hague 1950, p. 46.

5. Cf. Krisis der europäischen Wissenschaften und die transzendentale Phänomenologie (to be quoted Crisis), Husserliana VI, The Hague 1954, Beilage XI, XII, pp. 432ff. What compelled Hume to stay within the critical confines of factual experience was a prudence equally far removed from naive objectivism and dogmatic subjectivism. Husserl’s imputation of “prephilosophical naiveté” to him because of his failure to reduce the world into a “construct of consciousness” is arguable, to say the least, in point of naiveté, as the usual distinguishing mark of this negative virtue is the lack of deliberation rather than an excessive possession of it, while nobody would admit Hume possessed less than an average person’s share of it.

On the other hand, it may be recalled that Whitehead coincided with


Husserl in evaluating Hume’s historical significance. He not only associated Hume with Kant in advancing the doctrine of “the objective world as a construct from subjective experience,” but contrasted Hume's relatively “vague and inadequate” conception of the “act of experience as a constructive functioning” with that of Kant who had “the full sweep of the notion.” Cf. A. N. Whitehead, Process and Reality, New York 1929, p. 236.

6. Crisis, Beilage XV, p. 455.

7. Experience and Judgment, p. 22.

8. Cf. Husserl. Cahiers de Royaumont. Philosophie Nr. 111. Paris 1959, p. 429.

9. Hence Hartmann’s criticism of the phenomenologists’ concept of “phenomenon.” He charged them for failing to distinguish between what appears (to us) and what is in itself. The “determinations of a real being,” he argued, cannot be exhausted by the “determinations of a phenomenon.” See Der Aufbau der realen Welt, 2nd ed., Meisenheim 1949, pp. 210 f.

10. Husserl’s Unpublished Manuscript A VII 8, p. 2. Cf. also Gerd Brand, Welt, Ich und Zeit, The Hague 1955, p. 9.

11. Crisis, Beilage XIV, p. 449.

12. Cf. Ibid., p. 5 1.

13. Ibid., p. 127. Cf. Ibid., p. 177.

14. Ibid., p. 192.

15. John Wild, Existence and the World of Freedom, Englewood Cliffs 1963, p. 46.

16. Published by Walter Biemel in 1954. See above Note 5, for the original title.

17. Cf. Ideen II, Husserliana IV, p. 375.

18. Ludwig Landgrebe, “Von der Unmittelbarkeit der Erfahrung” in Edmund Husserl 1859-1959, Recueil commémoratif, The Hague 1959, p. 251.

19. Marvin Farber, The Foundation of Phenomenology, New York 1943, pp. 491 f.

20. Crisis, pp. 347 f.

21. Ibid., p. 193.

22. Ibid., p. 183.

23. Ibid., p. 184.

24. Farber, op. cit., p. 5 17.

25. Experience and Judgment, p. 75. A fuller consideration of this topic is now available in English, The Phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness, translated by J. S. Churchill, Indiana 1966.

26. On the structural difference between the receptive “interest of perception” and the active “interest of knowledge”, see Section II of Experience and Judgment, especially pp. 232 ff.

27. Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, English translation by J. Macquarrie and E. Robinson, New York 1962, pp. 98 ff.

28. Crisis, p. 127.

29. Experience and Judgment, p. 55.

30. “Without genuine seeing (echte Erschauung).... all striving after


knowledge is meaningless,... all talk about truth which is valid in itself loses its meaning.” “Absolute justification presupposes absolute seeing.” Cf. Erste Philosophi3 II, Husserliana VIII, Beilagen, pp. 365-367. Of course Husserl was not talking about “sensuous seeing” in the present case. By “empirical intuition” is meant the originary perception in which an individual object is given. But such “empirical or individual seeing can be transformed into ‘essential insight’ (Wesensschauung),” in which case the universal essence or eidos can be just as clearly seen as an individual object. Cf. Ideas (translated by B. Gibson), Chapter 1, 3, “Essential insight and individual intuition,” pp. 48 f.

31. Cf. Aron Gurwitsch, Théorie du champs de la conscience. Textes et études anthropologiques. Brügge 1957.

32. Erste Philosophie II, Husserliana VIII, p. 482.

33. Ideen I, p. 93. Cf. Ideas, p. 139.

34. Eugen Fink, “"Die Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls in der gegenwärtigen Kritik,” in Kantstudien XXXVIII, 1933, pp. 319-383.

35. Ideen II p. 208.

36. “Every being which is not itself consciousness assumes therefore the character of what is ‘merely’ constituted, as opposed to the absolute consciousness which constitutes.... everything is what it is for this consciousness in such a way that it has its being ‘due to the mercy’ of the latter." See Landgrebe, “Seinsregionen und regionale Ontologien in Husserls Phänomenologie, in Der Weg der Phanomenologie, Gerd Mohn 1963, p. 147.

37. Landgrebe, “Das Problem der transzendentalen Wissenschaft vom lebenswelthchen Apriori,” in Phänomenologie und Geschichte," Gerd Mohn 1968, p. 164.

38. Landgrebe, “Husserls Abschied vom Cartesianismus,”in Der Weg der Phänomenologie, p. 191.

39. Landgrebe, see op. cit., in above Note 37, pp. 164-165.

40. Fink, "Das Problem der Phanomenologie Edmund Husserls" in "Revue Internationale de Philosophie, " Brussels, lere ann6s, No. 2, janvier 1939, p. 266.

41. Landgrebe, see op. cit., in Note 36, p. 190.

42. Cf. Karl Löwith, From Hegel to Nietzsche, New York 1967, pp. 114f.

43. Cf. Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phénoménologie de la Perception, Paris, 1945.

44. Landgrebe, “Merleau-Pontys Auseinandersetzung mit Husserls Phänomenologie in Phänomenologie und Geschichte, p. 181. Against this existentialist interpretation of Merleau-Ponty, Landgrebe points to the fact that Husserl insisted on keeping the transcendental subjectivity as “freedom from the world: apart from the being-in-the-world or engagement and indicates that Husserl's separation of the two attitudes must have a “deeper right.”

45. Farber, Phenomenology and Existence, Toward a Philosophy within Nature, New York 1967. Cf. especially the Chapters I, “The Role of Reflection in Phenomenology” (p. 6), II “Descriptive Nature of Philosophy and the Nature of Human Existence” (pp. 34 f.), IV “On the


Existence of the World” (pp. 81 f.) and VI “The Life-World” (p. 148) for passages quoted.

46. Whitehead, Process and Reality, New York 1929, p. 22.

47. Farber op. cit., pp. 73-74. The emphasis in italics is by the present writer.

48. Cf. Ibid., p. 16 1.

49. Ibid., p. 148.

50. The Ninth Congress of German Philosophers 1969, for instance, chose as its general theme “Philosophy and Science,” with the presidential address by Ludwig Landgrebe on “The Philosophy and the Responsibility of the Sciences.” The detailed program worked out by A. Diemer, another noted phenomenologist and executive secretary of the congress, shows preeminent interest in methodological and epistemological issues. The existing state of incommunicado among different disciplines or schools is registered with regret and the timeworn attempt of philosophy to cope with the problem “from above” and by way of “general reflections” is rejected. Cf. Vorankündigung, Thema des Kongresses 1969, published by L. Landgrebe and A. Diemer.

51. Cartesianische Meditationen und die Pariser Vorträge, Husserliana I, Beilage, p. 213.

52. What Farber calls the “principle of non-dependence” is sustained indirectly by Gerhard Krüger, who criticizes the modern subjectivism and its “emancipation from the innerworldly ties of ‘ontic truth’”... and who pays tribute to the insight of ancient Greek philosophy into the self-sufficient order of the universe. Cf. Grundfragen der Philosophie, Frankfurt am Main, 1958. Similarly, Karl Löwith attacks the subjectivist tendency in existentialism and phenomenology and advances the metaphysical thesis that nature “transcends all human transcending” and emphasizes the significance of the “eccentric vision” of the world. By this is meant the restitution of a “natural” world outlook in which man is no longer at the hub of the “constituted” or “projected” world as “cosmological idea” (Kant), "total horizon" (Husserl), etc. Cf. “Natur und Humanität des Menschen” in Wesen und Wirklichkeit des Menschen, Göttingen 1957, especially p. 84; Gott, Mensch und Welt in der Metaphysik von Descartes bi zu Nietzsche, Göttingen 1967, pp. 43ff.


SOURCE: Cho, Kah Kyung. “Mediation and Immediacy for Husserl,” in Phenomenology and Natural Existence: Essays in Honor of Marvin Farber, edited by Dale Riepe (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1973), pp. 56-82.

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