Monday, April 11, 2005

Phenomenology and non-objective knowledge


Husserl's discussion on phenomenology seems to me to leave out something. Let me lay down two thought-sequences:


1.) Transcendental consciousness comes first
2.) Knowledge of the immanent comes next
3.) We generalise, by virtue of transcendental consciousness, to gain a knowledge of objective truth
4.) We can formalise the conditions for when we should believe something to be objectively true
5.) That formalisation is the scientific method, and should be trusted ahead of mere instinct
6.) There is a progression from transcendent consciousness, through near and far immanence, to pure transcendance.


1.) Transcendental consciousness comes first
2.) Knowledge of the immanent comes next
3.) We notice that some objective things can be generalised, and gain knowledge of the near transcendant
4.) There is a gap in philosophy where we should discuss what we can know about things which can't be generalised
5.) We formalise the scientific method, and believe it to be the path to knowledge of the close transcendant
6.) We look aware from those things which can't be generalised, assuming them to be incorrectly understood, or part of the transcendant

I believe we are at two . I believe there are things about the world which we can have non-scientific, but also non-arbitrary knowledge of, which are neither purely immanent nor purely transcendant.

p.s. I have substituted the terms "near and far" as adverbs to immanence and transcendence. There are technical words for these alreay, but I feel my terms are far more intuitive.



Blogger Atra-Hasis said...

Isn't the gap of which you speak the general Hermeneutic turn taken by all phenomenologists after Husserl (Heidder, Gadamer, Ricoeur, Levinas, Merleau-Ponty, etc.)? All these thinkers and others propose that some items of conscious experience cannot be reduced in some way, and thus access to Husserl's purely transcendental ego is impossible. As a result, one is forced into a position of continual reinterpretation.

Perhaps I missed the aim of your post, but this line of reasoning seems to be consonant with it.

4/12/2005 11:02:00 PM  
Blogger MelbournePhilosopher said...

You are possibly right - I am making these posts as I study the material, and so far I have only been taken on a brief tour of Husserl, without the benefit of a wider context. You've got to start someplace, but I'm pleased to hear that this issue has been taken a little further.

I don't know if that's precisely what I was trying to say - Husserl seems to be saying that all constituted reality is comprehensible as objective and consistent, whereas I'm questioning whether we can't perhaps understand objects as being objective but inconsistent.

However, I have huge swathes of material still to study in this area. Thanks for your posts btw, they are helpful and to the point.

4/12/2005 11:11:00 PM  

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