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Symbolizing: Prosthesis of the Totalizing Act

  • Jonathan Kearns Cooper-Wiele
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Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 112)

Abstract

Up to this point the totalizing psyche is preeminent and apparently omnipotent. Yet a challenge to this preeminence is sounded in BZ itself when Husserl states that all objects agree only in that they are “contents of representations,” or are “represented by means of contents of representations in our consciousness.” There are entities which are not immediate contents of representing consciousness, which are not “in” it as such.

Up to this point the totalizing psyche is preeminent and apparently omnipotent. Yet a challenge to this preeminence is sounded in BZ itself when Husserl states that all objects agree only in that they are “contents of representations,” or are “represented by means of contents of representations in our consciousness.” There are entities which are not immediate contents of representing consciousness, which are not “in” it as such.

Keywords

Number Concept Actual Concept Absolute Content Universal Concept Chapter XIII 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    PA 287, 5–12.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ibid., pp. 74, 20–75, 16. In the original BZ form of the passage just cited, (PA 74, 14–19/BZ 333, 35–334, 3), the “einem” was emphasized by Husserl.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ibid., pp. 90–91.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ibid., pp. 54, 39–55, 4 (BZ 323, 14–18). See also PA pp. 42, 6–8, where Husserl indirectly corroborates this point. There he observes that the concept of the “connection” is not to be found in the contents, but only in the acts — and, as a result of this, it is found only in reflection on the acts.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    A few lines earlier, Husserl uses the term, “mediation” with reference to “psychical acts.” These are now specified as “acts of the first order.” Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ibid., pp. 69, 35–70, 1. See Appendix III.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    The expansion is found between PA 77, 28, and 80, 6. The passage considered here is located at PA 78, 1–30.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    PA 193, n.1.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ibid., 136, 30–138, 26.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ibid., 137, 4–5; 138, 15. cf., also, 82, 26–9.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    The similarity in structure of this and later accounts, where Husserl recurs to constituting acts on the basis of objects qua “transcendental clues,” does not entail the conclusion Biemel believes it does (see discussion in Appendix II.)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ibid., 82, 9–29.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ibid., 181,11–183,8.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ibid., 182, 18–29. Husserl does not speak explicitly of “concepts” here, but rather of “numbers.” It seems that he has number concepts in mind, however.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    PA 192,8–18.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ibid., 191, 24–35.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ibid., 190, 18–30.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ibid., 192, 2–30.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    BZ 336,6–10/PA 80, 19–23.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    In a footnote on the same page, Husserl refers to concepts which we “do not actually (eigentlich) have.” He uses these terms interchangeably. See Appendix IV.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    PA 263, 7–18.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ibid., 260, 1–5.Google Scholar
  23. 24.
    PA 237, 8–30.Google Scholar
  24. 25.
    PA 228, 30–7. A similar point is made at PA 259, 15–34.Google Scholar
  25. 26.
    Ibid., 237, 18–28. cf., also, PA 238, 8 f.Google Scholar
  26. 27.
    Ibid., 234, 6–10.Google Scholar
  27. 28.
    Ibid., 239, 8–16.Google Scholar
  28. 29.
    Ibid., 267, 29–31; 240, 12–14.Google Scholar
  29. 30.
    Ibid., 172, 17–18.Google Scholar
  30. 31.
    Ibid., 237, 30–38.Google Scholar
  31. 32.
    Ibid., 258, 29–259, 13.Google Scholar
  32. 33.
    Ibid., 177, 12–28. Husserl, by the time of the writing of Chapter XIII of PA undoubtedly regarded the abstract algebra of universal arithmetic as definitive of numerical arithmetic and not derivative from it. If so, “clarifying” the numerical signs of the latter by indicating their conceptual bases would not clarify arithmetic. The latter could be done only by a similar founding and rendering intelligible of the algorithmic procedures of calculation. The impulse in both instances is similar, if not identical. The only question is if Husserl, at the point of writing Chapter XIII, regarded the “art of arithmetical knowledge” to pertain to calculation or to the variables involved in it. In either case it would seem to be a clarification of signs. See Willards discussion of Husserls manuscript of 1890, “On the Logic of Signs (Semiotic),” (LOK, pp. 112–14), and of Husserls position at the time of his writing Chapter XIII of PA. Willard concedes that nowhere, in that chapter or in any other of PA, does Husserl actually state that the key to such “arithmetical knowledge” is not to be found in concepts, whether “genuine” or “symbolic.” The basic point is sustained by references other than to Chapter XIII (LOK, p. 115).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Kearns Cooper-Wiele
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Massachusetts at BostonUSA

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