Cover of Phenomenology 2010

Phenomenology 2010

Selected Essays from the Euro-Mediterranean Area
The Horizons of Freedom
2011, ISBN 978-973-1997-68-1
Editors: Lester Embree, Ion Copoeru, Pavlos Kontos, Augustin Serrano de Haro

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1. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3

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2. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Andrea Altobrando

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In this paper I try to understand the relationship between nature and subjectivity from a phenomenological (mainly Husserlian) perspective and to bring into focus the consequences of this relationship to the problem of human freedom. Husserl did not deeply explore the concept of freedom in almost any of his works and manuscripts, i.e. he never really gave a definition and a thorough analysis of freedom. Nevertheless it is quite clear that freedom plays a peculiar role in many strategic points of his philosophy. We can say even more: the entire phenomenological enterprise is funded on freedom, since the so called “phenomenological reduction” is, according to Husserl himself, the result of an absolutely free act. But if freedom is necessary in order to have a genuine philosophical and phenomenological enquiry, shouldn’t this “condition of possibility” be queried and eventually elucidated? Or is freedom something which remains outside the boundaries of phenomenological investigation? I think that by following Husserl’s inquiries into the different levels of constitution of subjectivity it is possible to produce evidence in support of the claim that freedom is an apodictic fact, but a fact which, if correctly understood, has conditions as well as consequences which should not be neglected if we don’t want to miss freedom itself in our “human existence”.

3. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Pedro M. S. Alves

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In this paper I intend to understand from a phenomenological point of view the relationship between figurative consciousness and other non-original presentations, such as expectations, remembrances or fantasies. My analysis is focused on the difference between figurative consciousness, on the one hand, and a modality of fantasy that I call “reverie” (or daydream consciousness), on the other hand. I stress that figurative consciousness implies a pure observational ego, whereas reverie is a free construction of the ego’s own personal story. The freedom of reverie has, nevertheless, some important constraints. I emphasize the constraints that come from the passive and affective life of the ego. Finally, I propose new criteria for the phenomenological differentiation between several kinds of acts of non-original presentations (Vergegenwärtigungen).

4. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Iris Aravot

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The paper suggests that architectural-making, a process of research in practice, and itself bridging between the space of experience and the horizon of expectations, corresponds to phenomenology as a method of inquiry. This includes architectural phases parallel to epoché, phenomenological reduction, free variations, transcendental intuition of the essence, and description. The paper describes the in-between, its two edges, experience and expectations, and their mutual influences through the process of architectural making. Examples from the design studio and professional literature illustrate the argumentation. The in-between is presented as structured, notably having a depth—the ineffable origin of creativity. In conclusion, the paper suggests that the edges and the in-between are temporary configurations in a flux, wherein the architect makes use of his / her most inner resources, as a contribution to the meta mor phosis and revitalization of his / her culture.

5. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
John David Barrientos Rodríguez

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Michel Henry’s Philosophy and Phenomenology of the Body shows some primal and the most important resolutions which are the parting points for his thought and phenomenology. Philosophy and Phenomenology of the Body was written from 1948 to 1949 as a chapter for The Essence of Manifestation, focusing on the ego and the subjectivity. In these works, Maine de Biran is Henry’s traveling companion. Henry tries to respond to an intuition about the problem of the knowledge through the body and the subjectivity shared with Maine de Biran. Henry’s interpretation of Maine de Biran in Philosophy and Phenomenology of the Body mainly affirms that the achievement of Maine de Biran is to locate phenomenology as the foundation of ontology. It is clear that Henry tries to revise an ontological base supported by phenomenology of the body which has been showed by Maine de Biran. Henry aims to exclude himself and Maine de Biran from dualism, monism, idealism and empiricism. In this sense Henry improves two theses, and these are the base of his phenomenology: the ontological unity manifests itself and is anticipated by the subjectivity, and the originary passivity shows the basis of ontology. By improving these two points, it is possible to see a clue to phenomenology of the body which indicates the basis of ontology. This article deals with the passivity in Philosophy and Phenomenology of the Body concerning its relation with the category (faculty) of substance. It indicates one possible substantialization of the body and that of the world.

6. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Francisco Conde Soto

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Without developing Husserl’s notion of intentionality, this paper tries to explain Jacques Lacan’s analysis of anguish (Séminaire X, L’angoisse, 1962-63) and regard (Séminaire, XI, Les quatre concepts fondamentaux de la psychanalyse, 1964), which is based on his notion of a peculiar object (object-cause of desire, object small a), that lies always outside the field of representation. We find it is interesting for phenomenology to pay attention to a different possible approach to consciousness, even if psychoanalysis follows a slightly different orientation.

7. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Xavier Escribano

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Th e aim of this paper is to provide an interpretation of the statement of Merleau-Ponty that holds that the human body is “a general symbolism of the world”. Through the author’s text, it will be shown that this formula can refer to at least three complementary meanings: the body as a synergic system; the body as a capacity of sympathy or identification with the perceived world and, finally, the body as an endless capacity of meaning.

8. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Christian Ferencz-Flatz

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Eugen Fink and Husserl are often considered to share a similar conception on dreams. Indeed, they both assert a firm distinction between a dreaming and a dreamt I, by grounding it on the striking observation that one of them is actually sleeping while the other is necessarily wakeful. Moreover, Husserl and Fink both consider that, from the perspective of the sleeping I, dream is an extreme form of presentiation (Vergegenwärtigung). In spite of these similarities, however, the article wishes to address certain aspects in Husserl’s interpretation of phantasy during the early 1920’s that seem to offer grounds for a quite different approach to dreams.

9. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Miguel García-Baró

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Michel Henry’s philosophical, literary, theological, and aesthetical proposal is a rare event which clearly marks the difficult time from the late 20th century to the early 21st century. It may be said that he went against the tide with all his efforts, to the point of death to remember the tradition which he really valued. It is obvious from the title of his apocalyptic story about the end of the world written in 1976, La Barbarie. I totally agree with the essential part of Henry’s thesis which evoked the reality and truth of many things in me from the start. However, it lacks something decisive to follow his teaching without any doubt. There are many things to learn from the discussion of Henry’s thought. Therefore, in this article I would like to discuss my identifying points and my disagreements with him. It seems to be contrary to the usual method, but, instead of starting with his first work, I prefer to take up his last one, Paroles du Christ. This is an exceptional book in terms of its rare beauty and extraordinary depth.

10. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Dmitri Ginev

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Ethnomethodological studies of science proved to be a particular stage in the development of ethnomethodology. In the same vein, hermeneutics of scientific research belongs to the scope of contemporary hermeneutic phenomenology. The present paper tries to reveal deficiencies in the ethnomethodological description of everyday practices taking place in the “life-worlds” of scientific communities. On the author’s main claim, these deficiencies can be overcome by both revising and supplementing the ethnomethodological description. The outcome of this revision/supplementation is a sort of “double hermeneutics”—interpretative studies of science’s interpretative practices.

11. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Jad Hatem

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Even if life is, above all, a reality which feels itself and therefore does not need to exteriorize itself, it cannot explain itself otherwise than by objectifying itself. Understanding itself is radically different from affecting itself. And when life cannot reside in exteriority, it is ectopical (outside its place) through the image. In the Middle Age, imagining meant “giving form to a matter”. It is natural that to the psychic matter correspond a psychic form, which in the end builds a mental image. When we think an image whose matter alone is psychic (the form being enclosed in the extension), the result will be an exoplasma—that is to be found in fantastic literature.

12. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Domenico Jervolino

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The encounter with Freud stands at the core of Ricoeur’s philosophical itinerary. This paper intends to bring about what is at stake in this encounter not only through a second reading of the famous essay on Freud from 1965, but also by taking into account the Ricoeur’s work. Special attention is paid to his continuous effort to build an ethics of life as a free gift, to which we have to answer with gratitude and generosity, always being aware of the fact that the human being implies both activity and passivity and that any human capacity is accompanied and menaced by a form of incapacity. The key to the existence is then finitude, vulnerability, and unaccomplishment. The work of mourning, as taught by Freud, has to liberate us from the illusions of omnipotence and bring us back to the authentic awareness of the human condition. However, this final wisdom does not lead to an ascetic Stoical conception of living. On the contrary, it is the premise for attending joy, against both the enigma and the challenge of evil, by persevering in the fight against the evil spread throughout the world. It is a fight against what is painful or degrading to the humane character of humankind.

13. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Dean Komel

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The question of the contemporaneity of Europe appears in the context of dialogue on the common European future, which, on the one hand is an achievement of the encounter of diverse cultural languages and, on the other, dictated through reflection on what is re-establishing the Europe of today as a world view. Views on “opening the future” and “enabling development” cannot be mutually harmonized, since there is a lack of experience of contemporaneity in the jointing of horizons. From this experience also comes the common interest in European dialogue. The diversity of European languages does not prove to be an obstacle to re-establishing this dialogue, but its vital condition. It is, namely, the historically mediated possibility that brings the essential diff erence into the uniform process of the expansion of power without difference.

14. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Daniel Marcelle

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The Noema has enjoyed a tremendous debate in the history of phenomenology from the time of the 1960s to the present. The poles of this debate generally are Aron Gurwitsch and his “perceptual noema,” on the one side, and Dagfinn Follesdal’s noema as a sense, on the other. While Gurwitsch and Follesdal never directly debated, named, or impugned one another, these activities were eagerly taken care of by many others taking one side or another. First, I explore this debate and then in the end show that Gurwitsch’s position has been rendered into a kind of straw man. I then show how Gurwitsch’s understanding of the noema meets several of Follesdal’s challenging theses. Thus, I make a defense of Gurwitsch by show ing that his noema is very robust because not only is the perceptual noema amenable to gestalt organization, but that it is also conceptualizable. I finish by exploring these dimensions and describing the manner and importance of the conceptualization of the perceptual noema.

15. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Paul Marinescu

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The present article deals with the problem of the universality of hermeneutics as it is addressed in Hans-Georg Gadamer’s work. After a brief genealogical discussion of the notion of universality, this paper will attempt to identify, by analyzing the « figure » of temporal distance (which is, according to Gadamer, a transcendental structure of the hermeneutical experience) a new and profound meaning of universality related to temporality. By considering it as « universalisation », the question of the universality of hermeneutics will be put not only in terms of a finitude constitutive for the human comprehension, but also associating it with time’s capacity to separate between understanding and misunderstanding, and thus to reveal « the thing itself ».

16. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
María-Luz Pintos

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The current ecological crisis should be confronted by phenomenology. In accordance with this conviction, this essay pursues a threefold aim: 1) To recapture Husserl´s attitude and methodology with regard to the crisis of his time as a model for us to face our current crisis. In this essay, we try to pick up Husserl´s attitude as a very valid model for us today when seeking to found the need for an environmentalist reason. 2) We analize the way as Aron Gurwitsch assumes and reproduces in himself this Husserlian attitude when he decides to unmask the causes of the Nazism, which he interprets as another consequence from the objetivism denounced by Husserl and from a nihilism grafted on to the Western thought. The Husserlian attitude and methodology were as well a model for Gurwitsch to face in a direct way the grave ideological-historical circumstances of his time. 3) Both examples of Husserl and Gurwitsch can be good for us to dare to confront the current ecological crisis from phenomenology and to found the necessity that we humans accept the great moral responsibility that is implicit in being rational.

17. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
José Ruiz Fernández

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This paper begins by summarizing the critique that Natorp directed towards Husserl’s conception of phenomenology. It can be considered that this critique has two major moments. First, it is a critique against the assumption that immediate life can be treated as an immanent “fi eld” or “region” that can be known in reflection. Second, it is a critique against the assumption that the logos that gives an accurate account of immediate life, that is, the original phenomenological logos, has to take the form of a conceptual description: since every concept seems to operates an abstraction of concrete life, it seems problematic how an eidetic categorical analysis could safeguard the original reality of immediate life; in other words, it seems problematic that such an operative logos could be considered the original accomplishment of phenomenology. Heidegger acknowledged the depth of Natorp’s critical remarks and understood that they involved a real methodological problem for an accurate understanding of the phenomenological endeavour. This paper tries to clarify how the assumption of an indicative character of meaningful distinctions can overcome Natorp’s critique. To assume the indicative character of a meaningful distinction means, here, to operate with distinctions in such a way that their original dependence on concrete factual life is acknowledged, in other words, to use distinctions assuming that they are carried out for the sake of that which does not involve the categorical form of the meaningful distinction and, therefore, to use distinctions, not for their own sake, but in order to remit or indicate that concrete reality which precedes them. This paper defends also that the consequent assumption of the indicative character of meaningful distinctions is to lead to a new and more genuine understanding of phenomenology and how the phenomenological endeavour is to be carried out. Finally, this paper tries to show that this important motive is really present in Heidegger’s first lessons in Freiburg. Nevertheless, the paper also points out that the original understanding of phenomenology that this motive had to open, was soon miscarried. In Heidegger’s thought, the indicative character of philosophical concepts is not fully assumed. That motive is entangled with other irreconcilable elements that end up ruining the original possibilities that it should have contributed to unveil. These distorting elements, which ultimately prevail in Heidegger’s philosophy, are what make up for Heidegger’s theory of formal indications and for his hermeneutical transformation of phenomenology.

18. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Agustín Serrano de Haro

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My paper focuses on the main categories that phenomenology has employed to describe physical pain. I try to show that the early assumption of Stumpf`s concept of “affective sensations” (Gefühlempfindungen) faced strong descriptive difficulties, that seem to point to a sort of noematic character of pain: pain in its bodily location is the pole of a central attention, or at least of a conscious co-attention. But at the same time it is impossible to avoid the evidence that pain consciousness is not a perceptive grasp of one’s body, but a feeling of instantaneous or continuous hurting. The provisional thesis may be that the three main categories of Husserlian analysis of intentionality: hyletic layer, noetic intention, and noematic kern are needed in the basic description of pain experience, but they are required without any internal division—and this is the very core of the problem.

19. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Urbano Mestre Sidoncha

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Bridging the gap between phenomenology, namely, husserlian’s phenomenology, and concrete and everyday issues such as the mind/body problem comes now to light as the chief driving force in this paper. Showing that this called for connection was to be written within, and not beyond, the field of transcendental phenomenology, worked for us as the guideline that shaped all further steps and decisions. To accomplish this, we attended to some of the mains thesis developed by Edmund Husserl in the second book of his Ideen, in an attempt to trace the signs that bears witness to a plan where not only phenomenology has the required expertise for dealing the problem, but a plan which is also responsible for the production of this new and distinctive evaluation which, by it self, should put together a better version of a less puzzling problem.

20. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Nicoleta Szabo

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The problem of the action’s meaning for the agent that executes it constitutes a complicated matter in terms of a phenomenology of action. Our task in this paper is to analyze the acts of consciousness that contribute to the constitution of this meaning, underlying two shortcomings with which Alfred Schütz struggled: the teleocratic character of the action’s project and, respectively, the “radical or vulgar” pragmatism, which represents the ordinary frame of reference for a pragmatic theory of action. The solutions proposed by Schütz—the “praxial” aspect of the ongoing deed, the importance of imposed relevances and a different understanding of pragmatism—will be scrutinized using a short case study occasioned by some interesting remarks of the film director Wong Kar-wai regarding his way of making films without a proper project.