Husserl on Passive Synthesis

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  • Topic: Perception, Sense, Philosophy of perception
  • Pages : 3 (1043 words )
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  • Published : June 10, 2010
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In this section Husserl compares the progressive perceptual process of an immanent object with that of a transcendent (i.e. spatial object), with special interest towards the Now phase of perception. He quickly points out that immanent objects only have ". . . one possible way to be given in the original in every Now . . ." which means during the duration of an experience of an immanent object, a color for example, the object is completely determined and the distinction between appearing and what appears is collapsed(ACPAC553). The reverse is true in the case of external perceptions of transcendent objects. As Husserl states, ". . . the spatial object has infinitely many ways [to be given in the original] since it can appear in the Now, that is, in an original way from its different sides" (ACPAC553). This means a spatial object must necessarily appear from a side however, that side itself, which makes up the genuine content of the Now phase of perception, does not constitute the entire object. The sides exhibited point beyond themselves to other sides which remain as unfulfilled intentions of consciousness until in a new Now phase, in tandem with kinesthetic movements, these other intended determinations are fulfilled only to bring forth new empty intentions as part of, what Husserl calls, "empty horizons".

From these initial descriptions of how immanent and transcendent objects exist for consciousness in perception Husserl formulates the following general principle: the sense in which we speak about any kind of object ". . . stems from perceptions as lived-experiences originally constituting sense, and therefore an objectlike formation "(ACPAC557). How we talk about certain kinds of objects is informed by and derived from the kind of sense-giving and sense peculiar to each kind of object. For example, on the one hand, it is impossible to conceive of an immanent object (i.e. the color blue) with unfulfilled intentions, or being presented through...
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