Why was Husserl so interested in phenomenology?

On the phenomenology of the invisible: Husserl and Heidegger




Heidegger, who after the publication of "Being and Time" (1927) used the word "phenomenology" less and less, said in his memoir "Mein Weg in die Phenomenologie" (1963) that phenomenology will be retained as a "possibility of thinking" even if it disappears "as a title" (SD, 90) 1). Ten years later in the "Zöringer Seminar" (1973) he called this "phenomenology as possibility" also "phenomenology of the inconspicuous" (VS.137) 2). It is, of course, a phenomenology understood from the late Heidegger period, i.e. the "thinking of being", which "enables what appears to appear, but does not appear itself". In my presentation I would like to take up Heidegger's idea of ​​the "phenomenology of the inconspicuous", but not follow it, but rather relate his idea to the "invisible" in Merleau-Ponty's estate "The Visible and the Invisible" 3). Furthermore, I would like to characterize the idea not as a departure from Husserl's phenomenology, but as its authentic successor, and consequently try to characterize him again as the founder of this "phenomenology of the invisible". One could see the phenomenology of the invisible as a contradiction because one assumes that phenomenology is a science of appearances. In reality it is not so, but in my opinion there lies a new possibility of phenomenology. It is the intention of this paper to show that.

The important points on which Heidegger dealt with Husserl's phenomenology in the above-mentioned "Mein Weg" and "Seminar" are represented by an assessment of the categorical view and a criticism of intentionality. However, Heidegger already referred to the two points in his Marburg lecture "Prolegomena for the History of the Concept of Time" (1925) 4). He valued the idea of ​​categorical intuition in Husserl's "Logical Investigations" as that which enabled the way into the question of being (GA.XX, 97f.), But above all criticized the thought of phenomenological reduction in "Ideas I" as Return to the modern tradition of "going back to consciousness" (147). In this sense, we can say that Heidegger's stance against Husserl's phenomenology was almost determined in this "Prolegomena" and did not fundamentally change until the "Seminar". In the "Prolegomena" Heidegger carefully followed Husserl's phenomenology, skilfully summarized the important points, but criticized and thereby allowed the thinking developed later in "Being and Time" to mature. We can therefore characterize this lecture as the one in which he manifested the departure from Husserl's phenomenology.

Let us now take a look at Husserl in the same period, who was called from Göttingen to Freiburg in 1916. In the Göttingen period he published "Ideen I" and in 1927 after his retirement "On the Phenomenology of Inner Time Consciousness", which was only published in Heidegger's name, and the next year "Formal and transcendental logic". During the 12 years in which he was on the chair at Freiburg University, however, he did not bring any books to publication. These years of silent time, however, were not a sterile time. The lectures of WS 1920/21, SS 1923 and WS 1925/26 are later compiled in "Analyzes of Passive Synthesis". That of the winter semester 1923/24 is later published as "First Philosophy" and that of the summer semester 1925 as "Phenomenological Psychology". These lectures are all very important insofar as he repeatedly showed a new stage in his step by step increasing thinking. Here I would like to concentrate on the contrast between the two lectures, on the one hand Husserl's lecture "Phenomenological Psychology" from 1925 in Freiburg and on the other hand Heidegger's lecture "Prolegomena" of the same year in Marburg5).

Although Heidegger then had the opportunity to take a look at Husserl's manuscripts for "Ideas II" and "Psychology" in newly born thinking, he said in "Prolegomena" that they "basically got stuck in the old question" (167-171 ). Although a new stage in Husserl's phenomenology was already under way in these manuscripts and Heidegger wrote: "It hardly needs to be admitted that I still take Husserl as a learner" (168), he did not seem to seriously examine these manuscripts , with his other confession: "I am not sufficiently oriented about the content of the current status of his [Husserl's, editor's note] investigations." (167) So what started in Husserl's thinking while Heidegger was giving his lecture held? And what was Heidegger overlooking?

As said above, the basic points were on the one hand the valuation of the categorical view and on the other hand the criticism of intentionality. As for the first point, while the theory of "free variation" and the idea of ​​genetic phenomenology did not abolish the theory of categorical intuition, they fundamentally changed their position. As for the second point, the theory of "horizon intentionality" completely replaced the theory of intentionality, in which "noesis-noema" was previously understood only as an "object of consciousness". The two were important points that should not be overlooked in "Psychology". Nevertheless, Heidegger in "Prolegomena" did not look at such a new movement in Husserlian phenomenology and did not touch it at all in "Mein Weg" and "Seminar" of the late period6). In my opinion, however, these were precisely Husserl's "Phenomenology of the Invisible" and I would like to take another look at them here.

In "Ideen I" Husserl described it as the "principle of all principles" that "immediate seeing" is "a legal source of knowledge" (III / 1.51) 7). Husserl's "immediate seeing" must never be understood in an empirical-sensualistically limited way, because with him the perception is used in the broadest sense to encompass the categorical perception or the essential perception. According to Husserl in "Ideen I", we always see the essence, and because of an empirical prejudice one shouldn't turn a blind eye to it. According to the empirical opinion, the essence cannot be seen directly, but can only be obtained as the general with an intellectual abstraction from what is seen or what is looked at. In contrast, according to Husserl, we always see the essence as such. This is how Husserl says in "Psychology": "Inevitably is the expansion of the talk of seeing" (IX, 85).

But already in the "Logical Investigations II / 1" Husserl wrote that the phenomenological analysis begins where we cannot be satisfied with the fact that the being is seen or given in this way or that (XIX / 1,9). This thought led Husserl to "research correlation" in "Psychology" (IX, 24). There he tries to analyze the process of perception of essence with the theory of "free variations" (IX, 72ff.). It is the essence that appears as an invariant in the free variations of facts. While the ideal was characterized as "timeless" in "Logical Investigations I", it is characterized here as the same in repetition and consequently as "all-time". This means that the ideal is not separate from and above the real, but that it appears through it. Precisely for this reason the question arises as to how the a priori arises, even if the essence is a priori. I come to the subject of Genesis later.

While the empiricist is blind to the ideal and the ideal is hidden from him, the opposite can also happen, that the experience is hidden by the ideal. This is the "idealization" to which Husserl later referred in "Krisis".

At the beginning of "Prolegomena", Heidegger counts crises in the sciences and, in order to overcome this crisis, he questions the separation of the two areas of "nature and history" and sees in the opening of reality before this separation a task of phenomenology (1ff. ). At the beginning of the systematic part of "Psychology", Husserl's problem statement follows the same path. According to her, crises stem from the separation of the two areas of "nature and spirit", since he claims the "decline to the pre-scientific world of experience" before this separation (IX, 55ff.). Heidegger's phrase "before it [the things themselves] were covered up by a certain scientific questioning" in "Prolegomena" corresponds to Husserl's phrase in "Psychology" that modern natural science only "had an artifact of the method in mind" and theoretical activities "cover up" our experience (IX, 56) 8). Although Heidegger glanced at Husserl's manuscripts for this lecture, he did not mention that Husserl dealt with a point almost similar to his.

In "Mein Weg", Heidegger remembers that in Husserl's seminar one first had to learn to "see phenomenologically" (86). Husserl himself asserts in "Psychology" the necessity "to first learn to see in the right way" (IX, 159). According to him, seeing is not something that everyone can do in the same way with open eyes, and that leaps into us from over there. Rather, our vision is contaminated with many prejudices and preconceptions. In order to clarify what is actually being seen, we need to train ourselves to distance ourselves from such prejudices and preconceptions. The catchphrase "To the things themselves!" means such a return to the things themselves which are free from contamination. The world of experience that Husserl named in "Psychology" is often hidden and not seen by the "clothing of ideas" of modern natural sciences, but in reality it is always experienced. As it will be experienced, is the theory of horizon intentionality.

In "Prolegomena" Heidegger says with Husserlian vocabulary: "The thing shadows itself in its aspects" (58). However, by intentionality he only understands the structure of the "togetherness of intentio and intentum" (58). Intentionality understood in this way is soon criticized for ultimately not being able to escape the "proposition of immanence" (297): "Beings are always only for a consciousness". Nevertheless, Husserl himself began to define intentionality as that which transcended this structure from "Ideas I". That is the idea of ​​the horizon intentionality associated with "shadowing", "perspectives" and "aspects". If we think back, he touched on this idea in the lecture "On the Phenomenology of Inner Time Consciousness" from 1905 in connection with the time problem and in the lecture "Ding und Raum" from 1907 in connection with the space problem, and developed it intentionally in "Ideen I. "9).

In "Ding und Raum", Husserl said: "When we see a house, for example, we have a more comprehensive visual background in our field of vision, which we also use to describe as seen" (XVI, 11). Or also: "It belongs to the appearance that the visible points to the invisible" (XVI, 245). Also in "First Philosophy" he said: "There is never anything that is perceived without a horizon consciousness. Each thing perceived in this way has its own background, so to speak, each is only given as being represented by a visible front with an invisible interior and an invisible back" ( VIII, 146). Husserl says something similar in "Psychology": "So part of what is perceived is an open horizon of possible and ever-continuing experiences". And further: "not only individual world realities are experienced, but the world is experienced from the start", namely "both are inseparable" (IX, 62). Such a phenomenology of the horizon does not mean limiting the observation to what is seen, but rather the appearance in a structure of togetherness of the visible and the invisible, in which the visible always has a reference to the invisible and appears in connection with it10).

In connection with this problem, Heidegger treats "distance" in "Prolegomena" and asserts: It is "crucial not to start from a spatiality that is specifically geometric" (230). This is developed in more detail in "Being and Time" as the "Spatiality of Dasein". This point, too, goes the same way as what Husserl claimed for "Ding und Raum". In this lecture Husserl said: "This is how the world is presented to the natural perception before science. And all empirical sciences then relate to this world" (XVI, 6). And in the task of “Phenomenology of Experience” (XVI, 3), which is supposed to “start from below” (XVI, 7), he distinguished between distance and distance and said: “In the real sense, distance is as this distance [between the object and the physical point of reference] thus never given and never to be given, it is not something that can actually be perceived "(XVI, 228). In this context he used the word "I-body" and said: "The only thing that matters here is that the constitution of physical thingness is interwoven in a strange correlation with the constitution of an I-body" (XVI, 162). In "Ideas II", too, Husserl said: "I see myself, my body, not how I feel myself" (IV, 148). He calls "my body", which I cannot see completely, "means of all perception" and said: "The body as a freely moving sense organ belongs to the possibility of experience" (IV, 56). Husserl discusses the same thing in "Psychology" with the words "Urleib" (IX, 107) or "Eigenleib" (IX, 157) and asserts: "The study of intentionality cannot be carried out without studying the corresponding intentionality of one's own body in its perceptual function. "(IX, 197) The" original body "also belongs to the" invisible "in this sense. Heidegger does not want to mention such a study with Husserl in "Prolegomena" either.

If we consider the intentionality already functioning in the horizon or in the body, we come to what Husserl calls genetic phenomenology. This was lively discussed during the Freiburg period, was also developed in "Psychology" and has since become the main topic of Husserlian phenomenology. But Heidegger is not at all interested in this either in "Prolegomena" or in "Mein Weg", even in "Seminar".

When we look back on the lecture "On the Phenomenology of Inner Time Consciousness", Husserl used the metaphor "stream of time", but did not believe that time simply flows and disappears. The now does not close itself off as the instantaneous now, but is understood as the present with horizons of "retention" and "protention" (X, 28, 43). The past does not simply disappear, but is reflected in the "depths" (X, 28). Husserl also says in "Psychology": "Every such momentary perception is the core phase of a continuity, a continuity of gradual momentary retentions on the one hand and a horizon of what is to come on the other: a horizon of protention" (IX, 202). Our experience has such "dimensions of depth" (IX, 30). Archeology, as the science of Arch H in the original sense (VIII, 29), has the task of bringing the initially "unseen" dimension into light and digging up what has precipitated. This is also the task of genetic phenomenology.

But it is important that Husserl conceives of genetic phenomenology as a task that comes after static phenomenology whenever he mentions it. Genetic phenomenology is treated with the guidance of character descriptions of static phenomenology and from there in the manner of "asking back". It is not supposed to explain the origin of the present structure from the origin assumed at the beginning, but rather, going backwards from what is seen in the present structure, it should ask about the unseen from the origin. The expression which Husserl expressed for the first time in the lecture "Ding und Raum", although he has not yet spoken about genetic phenomenology, is never lost here either, namely: "It is in the nature of phenomenology in general that it moves from the surface into the Penetrates deep. "(XVI, 12)

Husserl discusses the foreign experience almost everywhere. The "Psychology" lecture is no exception. In my opinion, the problem of the foreign experience also belongs to the phenomenology of the invisible.

In the "Logical Investigations II / 1" he said in connection with "communicative speech": "Common speech also gives us a perception of the psychological experiences of strangers, we 'see' their anger, pain, etc. This speech is perfectly correct. "(XIX / 1,40f.) Although he often says in the discussion about the experience of being a stranger:" We 'see' that the other is angry, sorrowful, etc. "(XIII, 64f.), he means none simple, immediate "seeing", but there is an indirectness in it. According to "Psychology", I can "interpret the foreign corporeality that I experience sensually" (IX, 108).In last year's lecture "First Philosophy" he called it "originally interpretive respect", and even "a basic form of experience of its own" (VIII, 63). With various terminologies he tries to express this immediacy, which contains an immediacy. It is precisely in order to express these relationships that he later says in the "Cartesian Meditations": The "strangeness" of the experience of strangers is based on the "accessibility of the original inaccessibility" (I, 144).

We can find almost similar thoughts in Merleau-Ponty's "The Visible and the Invisible". He writes e.g. B. referring to Husserl's "Ideas II": "The invisible world: it is originally given as unpresentable, like the other in his body originally given as absent." (234) The phrase from "original presentation of the unpresentable" (257 ) occurs repeatedly in this script. Here we are talking about the other or the experience of the alien as that which establishes the visible, but is not itself visible, and not only that which is invisible, but also the invisible that is given by the visible, i.e. that is somehow seen11) .

What Husserl thinks of above all when he says: "One must first learn to see" is the transcendental. Also in "Psychology" he says: "Our whole subjectivity remains anonymous to itself, so to speak." (IX, 147) What is meant here by subjectivity, however, includes nothing other than the various topics with which we have dealt so far. Subjectivity is correlated with "essence" and "lifeworld", and problems such as "horizon", "body", "genesis" and "other" appear in the various phases of the correlation. According to him, the transcendental can only be explained in this correlation and its phases.

With regard to the "anonymous functions" of subjectivity, Husserl in "Formal und Transcendental Logic" regards the revelation of the "hidden achievements" (XVII, 179) or the "constituent activity that remains' anonymous" "(XVII, 185) as the Task of the transcendental phenomenology. There he says: "When the intentionality has been completed and flows as the productive life, it remains, so to speak, 'unconscious'. It does indeed make something thematic, but precisely because of this it does not become thematic itself ) Reflection is revealed. "(XVII, 188) To reveal the transcendental, which is carried out anonymously in the natural attitude, consequently becomes the invisible, that is for Husserl the most important phenomenology of the invisible. What he calls transcendental phenomenology is nothing more than phenomenology of the invisible.

Due to the contrast between the two lectures by Husserl and Heidegger in 1925, we have now found that Heidegger no longer wanted to deal with the new thoughts that were just born in Husserl, but with the previous thoughts, which for Husserl already belonged to the past, summarized his phenomenology, criticized, said goodbye to them and took the step " Being and time "has done. In "Prolegomena", Heidegger defines phenomenology as "allowing what is revealed in oneself to be seen from within" (117), and as "the work of exposing letting one see in the sense of the methodically guided dismantling of concealments" (118). Everything should be revealed, only when coverings are removed. However, as soon as Heidegger noticed something that cannot be achieved with the method of phenomenology so determined by himself, he began to separate himself from phenomenology. It is with the so-called "turn" that he took this step decisively.

Here I do not want to go into the problem of the "turn" at Heidegger, which has been discussed a lot up to now. It is not a big mistake to refer to it as the shift from "from existence to being" to "from being to being". With the words in "seminar" it means: "In this new place, thinking renounces the primacy of consciousness and man as a consequence from the beginning" (125). This is also expressed with the word "serenity" (70f.). In my opinion, these turns of phrase give the impression that he suddenly jumps to the other bank, so to speak, and speaks to us from there. Ultimately it seems that we can no longer understand what he means by the word "being". If, after this turn, he is still able to find a possibility in phenomenology, it should be phenomenology of the "inconspicuous", "which enables what appears to appear, but does not appear itself" (115). This "inconspicuous" is, as I said at the beginning, the "being" of which the late Heidegger always speaks. But if the conception of phenomenology in "Prolegomena" no longer applies here, then it seems to us that even Heidegger was not always clear what one should understand by phenomenology here.

In comparison to what we have examined so far, Husserl's phenomenology of the invisible tries to go step by step through the "visible" and gradually clarify the "invisible". He tries, through corporeality, spatiality, temporality and strangeness, to elucidate the "invisible" that is based on the "visible". For him, the "invisible" was something that can gradually be made clear by means of the "visible", through the "visible" and in connection with the "visible "12). In "The Visible and the Invisible" Merleau-Ponty speaks of "being" in just such a sense. He writes: "Neither an actual invisible, like a hidden object behind another object, nor an absolutely invisible that has no contact with the visible, but the invisible of this world that is inherent in it, supports it and makes it visible, ie their inner and own possibility, the being of these beings "(198).

Here we remember that Klaus Held said earlier in a lecture that Heidegger described the dimension of openness as "being", although he should actually call it "world", and also that in Heidegger's "serenity" the moment of responsibility is underestimated13). Now I would rather express the following suspicion: When Heidegger was not interested in Husserl's "Phenomenology of the Invisible" and said goodbye to Husserl's phenomenology with the outdated understanding of his phenomenology, although he often valued the possibility of phenomenology as a "method", he did also lost sight of the meta-hodos as "way to", "access" or "guide".