Husserl’s Thesis that Consciousness is World-Constitutive and its Demonstration

  • William R. McKenna
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 89)

Abstract

The thesis that consciousness constitutes the world is the thesis that the being there (Dasein) for us of the world and of anything that is in it is an achievement (Leistung) of consciousness. This thesis is not the seemingly obvious one that I must “be conscious,” that is, be awake, for the world to be given to me.1 Such a thesis would consider consciousness to be a state or condition which I must be in so that what is there all along and on its own can become manifest to me Becoming conscious in this sense is like experiencing the lighting of a dark room, and like the phenomenon of light, consciousness can be thought to be a transparent and homogeneous medium which allows the existence as well as the true structures and qualities of objects to be revealed to me — but precisely by being itself unstructured and without qualities.

Keywords

Coherence Posit Lution Terion 

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Notes

  1. 5.
    See, for instance, David Carr, Phenomenology and the Problem of History (Evanston: Northwestern University Press 1974), p. 15; J.N. Mohanty, The Concept of Intentionality (St. Louis: W.H. Green, 1972), pp. 115-16; and Robert Sokolowski, The Formation of Husserl’s Concept of Constitution (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1964), pp. 136-39, 159.Google Scholar
  2. See, for instance, David Carr, Phenomenology and the Problem of History (Evanston: Northwestern University Press 1974), p. 15; J.N. Mohanty, The Concept of Intentionality (St. Louis: W.H. Green, 1972), pp. 115–16; and Robert Sokolowski, The Formation of Husserl of Husserl’s Concept of Constitutios Concept of Constitution (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1964), pp. 136-39, 159.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    See, for instance, David Carr, Phenomenology and the Problem of History (Evanston: Northwestern University Press 1974), p. 15; J.N. Mohanty, The Concept of Intentionality (St. Louis: W.H. Green, 1972), pp. 115-16; and Robert Sokolowski, The Formation of Husserl’s Concept of Constitution (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1964), pp. 136-39, 159.Google Scholar
  4. 11.
    See Eugen Fink, “Das Problem der Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls,” Revue internationale de Philosophie 1 (1938-39, 246–47.Google Scholar
  5. 20.
    Edmund Husserl, Die Idee der Phänomenologie, Husserliana II, ed. Walter Biemel (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973), p. 35-translation mine (English text, IP, p. 27).Google Scholar
  6. 21.
    Following Dorion Cairns, I have translated “Wirklichkeit” and “wirklich” as “actuality” and “actual” respectively. See Dorion Cairns, Guide for Translating Husserl (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973), pp. 139–40.Google Scholar
  7. 24.
    See Aron Gurwitsch, “Husserl’s Theory of the Intentionality of Consciousness in Historical Perspective,” in this Phenomenology and the Theory of Science (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1974), pp. 210–40. See also Gurwitsch’s article “Towards a Theory of Intentionality,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 30 (1970): 354–67.Google Scholar
  8. See, for instance, Descartes’ Meditations, especially the first meditation and the last paragraph of the sixth meditation. See also Leibnitz, New Essays concerning the Human Understanding, trans. A. Langley (Chicago: Open Court, 1916), pp. 421–22, 512–13.Google Scholar
  9. 34.
    Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Norman Kemp Smith (London: Macmillan, 1929), p. 12 (Axvi).Google Scholar
  10. 35.
    H.J. Paton, Kant’s Metaphysics of Experience, 2 vols. (London: Allen & Unwin, 1936), 1: 352, 529; Norman Kemp Smith, A Commentary to Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” (New York: Humanities Press, 1962), pp. 234–36.Google Scholar
  11. 35.
    H.J. Paton, Kant’s Metaphysics of Experience, 2 vols. (London: Allen & Unwin, 1936), 1: 352, 529; Norman Kemp Smith, A Commentary to Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” (New York: Humanities Press, 1962), pp. 234–36.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague 1982

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  • William R. McKenna

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