.. ence — but in a mode that differs fundamentally from ordinary experience. According to Husserl, true positivism does not reduce phenomenon to a physical perspective, but instead places the emphasis on consciousness itself. In his original conception of phenomenology, Husserl’s idea of a presuppositionless science amounted to rejecting all antecedent commitments to theories of knowledge, both those formally developed as philosophical systems and those which pervade our ordinary thinking. Identifying any previous knowledge, ideas, or beliefs about phenomenon under investigation, allowed the examiner to be impartial.
He intended by this bracketing of scientific or cultural presuppositions to reach the things themselves. Therefore, for Husserl, logical empiricism should not be the model for all knowledge because it is ultimately self-defeating, since empirical scientific enquiry always presupposes some knowledge that is not itself empirical natural scientific knowledge. As Husserl states if by Positivism, we are to mean the absolute unbiased grounding of all science then it is we who are the guenuine positivists. (pg 78 ) 3. Husserl’s aim was to find a philosophy that can serve as an absolutely certain basis for the development of all the sciences, by searching for facts which can’t be doubted. Further, if we understand Phenomenology to be the study of the structures of consciousness that enable consciousness to refer to objects outside itself , we can see that a phenomenologist would consider only what was immediately presented to consciousness.
In other words, this study requires reflection on the content of the mind to the exclusion of everything else. Husserl called this type of reflection the phenomenological reduction. In this reduction, there is exclusion from consideration of everything which is derived via scientific or logical inference, all beliefs about the external existence of the objects of consciousness, are bracketed, and descriptions deal exclusively with subjective phenomena. This bracketing of external sources of information was meant to allow one to investigate the things themselves leaving the philosopher with nothing but the experiencing itself. Furthermore, each act of bracketing was a step in the reduction and was defined as an Epoche .
However, the fact that the external world is disregarded, that epoche is committed, does not deny this world; the external world maintains its existence. A philosopher committing epoch refuses to deal with the external world prior to its entry into consciousness. He claims we should describe experience purely as we experience it, without prejudging it by any philosophical doctrine, any scientific theory, or even by our everyday faith that there are things in the world independent of our experience. We should take what we are conscious of at face value and not twist our experience into what we believe it should have been. To accomplish this unbiased description, the epoche must, in particular, suspend any reference to the causes of our experiences.
If I experience an apple, and describe it as being red and round, the validity of this description is independent of whether the experience was caused by a real apple in a physical world, or by a neurological fabrication in my brain. How it is experienced is how it is experienced. Furthermore, the difference between the imagined and real objects is only in the mode of the phenomena; both objects are actualized within consciousness. Analogous to Descartes doubt, performing the epoche permits the philosopher to arrive at evidence that is absolutely certain. Therefore, what a phenomenologists considers important is that which can be experienced via the human senses.
After reduction and abstraction, what remains is what an individual knows, regardless of the scientific or transcendental data. This is the Phenomenological Residue of the phenomena. 4. Ordinarily, the mysteries of cognition do not affect the way people think, or form judgements. However, the problem of cognition has plagued philosophers for centuries beginning with Descartes.
How can one be sure that what one percieves, and experiences is in fact real? Husserl attempted to deal with this problem. His foundation is influenced by Brentano’s philosophy which introduces the concept of intentionality, which according to Husserl is the most important thing found in his phenomenological reductions. Consciousness is of or about an object. That is, when we experience something, it is that object itself we are conscious of, not a representative of it. All agree that objects don’t appear before consciousness magically: A process is involved that makes the presence of the object possible.
A fundamental mistake occurs, thinks Husserl, when, in theorizing about the process, we succumb to the temptation to say that it is the process we are conscious of, rather than the object. We then substitute some part of the process for the object and misunderstand consciousness as consciousness of this representative of the object, rather than of the object itself. The doctrine of intentionality is the rejection of this mistake . For example, when we visually perceive a chair, we do it by means of a retinal image and then mental images. Almost no one makes the mistake of claiming that what we are conscious of is the retinal image, but many do hold that it is some mental representative of the chair that we are really conscious of, rather than the chair itself. The most notorious offender, of course, is Descartes, who, in proposing his Theory of Ideas, claims that the mind is never in contact with anything outside of itself. The notion is also prevalent in traditional Empiricism.
Husserl insists that it is the object itself that consciousness grasps and he repudiates all . Intentionality is not, of course, a claim that there are no representations – the existence of retinal images itself would overthrow such a foolish stand. Rather it is the claim that whatsoever intermediate entities there may be in the process of grasping an object, it is not these representatives that we are conscious of, but the object itself. Husserl’s doctrine of intentionality maintains that consciousness is of the objects experienced and does not stop at intermediate events along the way, whether these are on one unified stage or dispersed throughout the brain. It’s not just that there is no big picture; there are no little pictures either. Brain events are part of the process, never the objects of experiencing. (An obvious exception, of course, is the case of a neuroscientist for whom brain events are themselves the objects of investigation.) One of the reasons for this error is an ambiguity in the notion of representation. In the philosophical tradition from Descartes to Kant, representation is a mental object, and it is in that sense of the term that Husserl attacks representations.
In recent Cognitive Science, representation is a brain structure which in one way or another tracks something in the world. While Husserl knew nothing of Cognitive Science, he was fully aware of the fact that the body is involved in perception, so I doubt he would have had any objection to the notion of a brain-representation. His attack on representativism is not a repudiation of representations in the sense of brain-representations. What he objects to is any analysis of experience which would describe us as conscious of mind-representations rather than of objects in the world. Dennett’s distinction between the representing and the represented, correct as it is, slurs the distinction between brain- and mind-representation so that it seems to make sense to ask whether a heterophenomenological report might unwittingly be about some event in the brain. But this is to treat the brain event as something represented that experience could be about.
What the speaker is reporting, however, is an experience of something which presents itself, correctly or incorrectly, as, say, a moving light in the world. If there is a brain-representation involved, it is on the side of the representing process and is not an object represented to consciousness, a mind-representation. In rejecting representativism, Husserlian intentionality rejects the possibility that a brain-representation could be the object or terminus of consciousness. I think Husserl would claim that Dennett, though he jettisons much of Descartes’ position, hasn’t gone far enough and appears to be stuck with a residual Cartesianism. It is the very notion that to be conscious is to be conscious of some intermediary, be it mental or physical, that Husserlian intentionality is opposed to. .
It was Edmund Husserl who first developed a phenomenological approach. That mean that he would look at the phenomena of consciousness, and bracket them from any question of whether they are true or not. Reflecting on the formal science of Geometry he came to the conclusion that the objectivity of ideas arose from their assent amongst a community of subjects. This was an intellectual development that closely paralleled Wittgenstein’s shift from truth tables to language Metaphysical Naturalism (MN): The thesis that all reality is physical reality. (physicalism) Epistemological Naturalism (EN): The thesis that all genuine knowledge is natural scientific knowledge. (scientism?) Epistemological Naturalism Recast (EN’): The thesis that all genuine propositional knowledge (or all genuine knowledge except know-how) is natural scientific knowledge. Explanation-Theoretic Naturalism (ETN): The thesis that all genuine explanation is natural scientific explanation.
(hempelian positivism?) Trivial Naturalism (TN): The thesis that all philosophers ought to know something about natural science. Weisberg Naturalism One (WN1): The thesis that because natural science has been successful at gaining knowledge, philosophy ought to become natural science. Cerberus Naturalism (WNk): The thesis that (a) epistemology is the study of the epistemic aspects of human cognition and of how humans can improve their epistemic performance; (b) one cannot understand the epistemic status of a state without understanding the processes that generate that state; (c) the main project of epistemology is to describe the processes that are most reliable at generating epistemically virtuous states in human beings in our world; and (d) almost nothing is knowable a priori. No epistemological principles are knowable a priori. Please submit B. What kind of naturalism is Husserl against? It is important to be clear, I think, that Husserl is not against any and every philosophical position that calls itself naturalism.
After all, labels and -isms don’t themselves matter. What is at issue is the content of the doctrines in questions. Thus for instance Husserl has no objection to TN — to take a simple case. More substantively, he can (at least in the context of the Logos Manifesto) grant MN. His quarrel with naturalism here is not a quarrel with physicalism.
Prejudice in Philosophy: Remarks, Conjectures & Confessions Intentionality concerns the phenomena at the center of consciousness, at its focus. At the periphery of consciousness is what Husserl termed the horizon, the background that provides the conditions for comprehending phenomena. In other words, what the horizon provides is pre-understanding (Vorverstndnis). For instance, we understand the meaning of words in the context of a horizon constituted from our understanding of other words and their relations. Describing the relationships between horizon and intentionality, Husserl points out: Consciousness–where the given object is led to its realization–is not like a box with data inside. A current state of consciousness is constituted so that every object shows its selfness.12 Heidegger uses a notion similar to Husserl’s horizon: readiness-to-hand (Zuhanden). The word Zuhanden–at hand–emphasizes that relevant objects are held near the focus of consciousness.
Both horizon and intentional states are constantly changing, and a phenomenon placed at the horizon, in the background, can be readily moved to the center by consciousness. Conversely, the phenomena constituted in the field of intentionality form a part of the horizon for the next intentionality field. As they move from center to periphery, they move from present to just-past; they submerge into the horizon, sink in time Bracketing Because the mind can be directed toward nonexistent as well as real objects, Husserl noted that phenomenological reflection does not presuppose that anything exists, but rather amounts to a bracketing of existence, that is, setting aside the question of the real existence of the contemplated object. An object has meaning only to ion the extent that is given by the subject. Husserl considered it a great mystery and wonder that a group of beings was aware of their existence.
In effect human consciousness is the phenomenological result of introspection. By observing that I can touch and see my being, we recognize that we exist. The ego is always present, or nothing exists for the individual. Mythology.