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Husserl's spatialization of perceptual consciousness

Michael K Shim

pp. 37-56

In this paper I show that, in Husserl's phenomenology of perception, the consciousness of any perceiving subject can take up space. What Husserl calls "noema" just is some intentional object. Thus any noema of perception just is the object of some perceptual experience. According to Husserl, since the noema of perception is immanent to the consciousness of the perceiving subject, the object of perception must also be in some sense immanent. In order to avoid confrontation with Husserl's anti-Brentanian claim that no intentional object can be immanent to any intentional act, I show that there are two different senses of immanence in Husserl: the "genuine"-sense and what Steven Crowell calls the "phenomenological"-sense. On this disambiguation, any perceptual object can be genuinely transcendent while remaining phenomenologically immanent. What is required for the second sense of immanence is a holistic conception of consciousness. However, Husserl is also a realist about the objects of perception: the object of perception is the actual object itself rather than some mental representation of anything like the Kantian thing in-itself. The objects of perception are spatial. Therefore, if any perceptual object is immanent to some consciousness then that consciousness must also be spatial; hence, my spatialist interpretation of Husserl's phenomenology of perception.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-55340-5_3

Full citation:

Shim, (2017)., Husserl's spatialization of perceptual consciousness, in R. Walton, S. Taguchi & R. Rubio (eds.), Perception, affectivity, and volition in Husserl's phenomenology, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 37-56.

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