Husserl Studies

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 225–247 | Cite as

Horizonality and Defeasibility

  • Emilio VicuñaEmail author


The anticipation of the typical under the assumption of the non-occurrence of the atypical is the experiential schema governing the individuation of ordinary enduring objects and their properties. Against this background, a primitive form of “if-and-only-if” consciousness is implicit in our everyday perceptual intentions. The thematization of the fact that perception operates under this proto-tentative structure occurs at the level of reflection and is expressed by defeasible judgments of the form “if p, then q, unless r,” or “if p, then q provided that not-r”. Here I will argue that what is made thematic by judgments containing such restrictive clauses is the structure of unpredictability inherent in what Husserl calls the horizon of latency and, indirectly, the world as background of normality.



The elaboration of this work has been possible thanks to the generous financial support of my doctoral studies by CONICYT (Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica, Chilean Ministry of Education), and the Onassis Foundation. For his guidance and constant support on this project I should like to extend my gratitude to my supervisor, James Dodd. I am also thankful to Richard Bernstein, David Carr, and Dmitri Nikulin for our numerous and productive conversations on the matters I discuss here. Shorter versions of this work were presented at the Husserl Colloquium (Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago de Chile, December 2017) and the Copenhagen Summer School in Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind (University of Copenhagen, August 2018). I thank Søren Overgaard for his feedback on my paper at the Copenhagen Summer School. The anonymous referee read my manuscript with great care. His or her critical observations contributed to improving the paper in many aspects. I would like to express my special appreciation to Zachary Hugo for reading different versions of the manuscript (more than I can remember) with exceptional acuteness. In addition, the English translations of the passages from works of Husserl and Fink which are only available in German are of his authorship. Lastly, I thank the director of the Husserl Archives, Julia Jansen, for permitting me to cite from Husserl’s unpublished manuscripts.


  1. Bernet, R. (2004). Husserl’s transcendental idealism revisited. The New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy IV: 1–20.Google Scholar
  2. Bird, A. (2007). Nature’s metaphysics. Laws and properties. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brandom, R. (2015). From empiricism to expressivism. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cairns, D. (1976). Conversations with Husserl and Fink. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cartwright, N. (1983). How the laws of physics lie. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cartwright, N. (1999). The dappled world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crowell, S. (2013). Normativity and phenomenology in Husserl and Heidegger. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Doyon, M. (2018). Husserl on perceptual optimality. Husserl Studies, 24, 171–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Doyon, M., & Breyer, T. (Eds.). (2015). Normativity in Perception. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  10. Fink, E. (2006). Eugen Fink Gesamtausgabe. Band 3, Teilband 1. R. Bruzina (Ed.). Freiburg: Alber.Google Scholar
  11. Fink, E. (2008). Eugen Fink Gesamtausgabe. Band 3, Teilband 2. R. Bruzina (Ed.). Freiburg: Alber.Google Scholar
  12. Gurwitsch, A. (2009). The collected works of Aron Gurwitsch (1901–1973), volume I. J. García-Gómez (Ed.). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  13. Gurwitsch, A. (2010). The collected works of Aron Gurwitsch (1901–1973), volume III. R. Zaner and L. Embree (Eds.). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  14. Hart, H., & Honoré, A. (1959). Causation in the law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Haugeland, J. (1998). Having thought. Essays in the metaphysics of mind. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Hua IV. Husserl, E. (1952). Ideen zur einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie. Zweites Buch. Phänomenologische Untersuchungen zur Konstitution. M. Biemel (Ed.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff; Ideas pertaining to a pure phenomenology and to a phenomenological philosophy. Second book. R. Rojcewicz and A. Schuwer (Trans.). Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1989.Google Scholar
  17. Hua V. Husserl, E. (1952). Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie. Drittes Buch. Die Phänomenologie und die Fundamente der Wissenschaften. M. Biemel (Ed.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. Reprinted 1971; Ideas pertaining to a pure phenomenology and to a phenomenological philosophy. Third book. T. Klein and W. Pohl (Trans.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1980.Google Scholar
  18. Hua VI. Husserl, E. (1976). Die Krisis der europäischen Wissenschaften und die transzendentale Phänomenologie. Eine Einleitung in die phänomenologische Philosophie. W. Biemel (Ed.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff; The crisis of European sciences and transcendental phenomenology. An introduction to phenomenological philosophy. D. Carr (Trans.). Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  19. Hua VIII. Husserl, E. (1996). Erste Philosophie (192324). Zweiter Teil. Theorie der phänomenologischen Reduktion. R. Boehm (Ed.). Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  20. Hua IX. (1968). Phänomenologische Psychologie. Vorlesungen Sommersemester 1925. W. Biemel (Ed.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  21. Hua XI. Husserl, E. (1966). Analysen zur passiven Synthesis. Aus Vorlesungs- und Forschungsmanuskripten, 19181926. M. Fleischer (Ed.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff; Analyses concerning passive and active synthesis. Lectures on transcendental logic. A. Steinbock (Trans.). Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2001.Google Scholar
  22. Hua XV. Husserl, E. (1973). Zur Phänomenologie der Intersubjektivität. Texte aus dem Nachlass. Dritter Teil. 19297935. I. Kern (Ed.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  23. Hua XVI. Husserl, E. (1973). Ding und Raum. Vorlesungen 1907. U. Claesges (Ed.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  24. Hua XVII. Husserl, E. (1974). Formale und Transzendentale Logik. P. Jansen (Ed.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  25. Hua XX/1. Husserl, E. (2002). Logische Untersuchungen. Ergänzungsband. Erster Teil. Entwürfe zur Umarbeitung der VI. Untersuchung und zur Vorrede für die Neuauflage der ‘Logischen Untersuchungen’ (Sommer 1913). U. Melle (Ed.). Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  26. Hua XXXIX. Husserl, E. (2008). Die Lebenswelt. Auslegungen der vorgegebenen Welt und ihrer Konstitution. Texte aus dem Nachlass (19161937). R. Sowa (Ed.). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  27. Hua XLI. Husserl, E. (2012). Zur Lehre vom Wesen und zur Methode der eidetischen Variation. Texte aus dem Nachlass (18911935). D. Fonfara (Ed.). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  28. Hua XLII. Husserl, E. (2013). Grenzprobleme der Phänomenologie. Analysen des Unbewusstseins und der Instinkte. Metaphysik. Späte Ethik. Texte aus dem Nachlass (1908–1937). R. Sowa and Th. Vongehr (Eds.). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  29. HuaDok II/1. Husserl, E., and Fink, E. (1988). VI.  Cartesianische Meditation. Teil 1: Die Idee einer transzendentalen Methodenlehre, H. Ebeling, J. Holl, and G. van Kerckhoven (Eds.). Dordrecht: Kluwer; Sixth Cartesian meditation. The idea of a transcendental theory of method. R. Bruzina (Trans.). Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  30. HuaMat VIII. Husserl, E. (2006). Späte Texte über Zeitkonstitution (1929–1934). Die C-Manuskripte. D. Lohmar (Ed.). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  31. Husserl, E. (1999). Erfahrung und Urteil. Untersuchungen zur Genealogie der Logik. L. Landgrebe (Ed.). Hamburg: Meiner; Experience and judgment. Investigations in a genealogy of logic. J. Churchill and K. Ameriks (Trans.). London: Routledge, 1973.Google Scholar
  32. Husserl, E. (2002). Grundlegende Untersuchungen zum phänomenologischen Ursprung der Räumlichkeit der Natur. F. Kersten (Trans. Revised by L. Lawlor). In: Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Husserl at the limits of phenomenology. Including texts by Edmund Husserl. L. Lawlor and B. Bergo (Eds). Evanston: Norwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Hugo, Z. (2017a). Horizon, modality, and reason. Another look at Husserl and the normativity of perception. Études phénoménologiques, 1, 65–93.Google Scholar
  34. Hugo, Z. (2017b). The normativity of perceptual experience in Husserl’s phenomenology. Diss. Universidad Alberto Hurtado (Santiago de Chile).Google Scholar
  35. Lohmar, D. (1998). Erfahrung und kategoriales Denken. Hume, Kant und Husserl über vorprädikative Erfahrung und prädikative Erkenntnis, Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  36. Merleau-Ponty, M. (1945). Phénoménologie de la perception. Paris: Gallimard; Phenomenology of perception. D. Landes (Trans.). London: Routlege, 2012.Google Scholar
  37. Patočka, J. (1936). Přirozený svět jako filosofický problém, Prague: Ústřední nakladatelství a knihkupectví učitelstva československého, J. Rašín; The natural world as a philosophical problem. E. Abrams (Trans.). Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2016.Google Scholar
  38. Peirce, C.S. (1931–1958). Collected papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, 8 vols. Ch. Hartshorne, P. Weiss, and A. W. Burks (Eds.). Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Pollock, J. (2008). Defeasible reasoning. In J. E. Adler and L. Rips (Eds.), Reasoning. Studies of human inference and its foundations (pp. 451–470). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pylyshyn, Z. (Ed.). (1987). The robot’s dilemma. The frame problem in artificial intelligence. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.Google Scholar
  41. Rang, B. (1990). Husserls Phänomenologie der materiellen Natur. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann.Google Scholar
  42. Schurz, G. (2002). Ceteris paribus laws: Classification and deconstruction. Erkenntnis, 57, 351–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Steinbock, A. (1995). Home and beyond. Generative phenomenology after Husserl. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Tengelyi, L. (2014). Welt und Endlichkeit. Zum Problem phänomenologischer Metaphysik. Freiburg: Alber.Google Scholar
  45. Vigo, A. (2013). Juicio, experiencia y verdad. Pamplona: Ediciones Universidad de Navarra.Google Scholar
  46. Walton, R. (2004). Horizonticidad y juicio. Anuario Filosófico, 37(1), 197–240.Google Scholar
  47. Walton, R. (2009). El aparecer y lo latente. In R. Rizo-Patrón and A. Zirión (Eds.), Acta fenomenológica latinoamericana (Vol. 3, pp. 105–120). Lima/Morelia (Mexico): Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú/Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo.Google Scholar
  48. Walton, R. (2015). Intencionalidad y horizonticidad. Bogotá: Editorial Aula de Humanidades, Universidad San Buenaventura Cali.Google Scholar
  49. Wiggins, D. (2001). Sameness and substance renewed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Zahavi, D. (2001). Husserl and transcendental intersubjectivity. A response to the linguistic-pragmatic critique. Athens: Ohio University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The New SchoolNew York CityUSA

Personalised recommendations