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Zahavi 1994- Husserl's Phenomenology of the Body

Zahavi 1994- Husserl's Phenomenology of the Body

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i
HUS~)ERL'SPHENOMENOLOGYOFTHEBODY
It
isoftenassumedthataphenomenological
i
analysisofthebodyandtheembodiedsubjectivitywasonlyundertakenrelati-velylate,'namelyinSartre's
L'etreetIeneant
(1943)andinMerleau-Ponty's
Phenomenologiedelaperception
(1945),where-asthefouhderofphenomenologyEdmundHusserI(1859-1938)remainedoblivioustotheseproblemsduetohisquasi-Cartesianbackground,Thisarticlepurportstoshowtheinadequacyofthisview,andwillindirectlytrytodemonstratethatthereisfarmore
continui-ty
betweenHusserIandthelaterphenomenologiststhanisnor-mallyassumed
1.
IwillfirstgiveapresentationofHusserI'sconsiderationsconcerningthefunctionofthebodywhenitcomestoourbasicexperienceofobjectsandspace.ThenIwillturntoHusserI'sreflectionspertainingtotherelationbetweenbodyand(inter)-subjectivity,andfinallyIwilladdressthequestionofwhethertheembodimentofthetranscendentalsubjectcanbesaidtoexpressatranscendentalnecessity.-ThispresentationmoreorlessreflectsthedevelopmentinHusserI'sphenomenologyofthebody,startingasamere(butnecessary)supplementtohistheo-ryofperceptionandeventuallyimplyingadecisiverethinkingofaseriesof.transcendental-philosophicalgroundcategories.Husserl'sanalysisofthebodyisasystematicallyintegratedpartofhistranscendentalphenomenology.
It
presupposes,inotherwords,theeffectuationoftheepoche,andthefollowingpresentationwillalsopresupposeabasicacquaintancewith
I'
1~
Ii
1.See
Z1
HA
VI
1993foranattempttodisclosesomefurtherparallelsbetweenHusserl'sandrespectivelyHeidegger'sandMerleau-Ponty'sviewofthe-relationbetweensubjectivityandworld.
I
ETUDESPHENpMENOLOGIQUES,
19,1994
 
64DanZAHAVI
Husserl'sconceptofconstitutionandtranscendentalreduction.Asapreliminaryremark,however,itshouldbeemphasizedthatthefollowingconsiderationsdonotexpressempirical-mun-dane(nottospeakofanthropological)statements.Quitetothecontrary,theanalysisofthebody'sfunctionasaconditionofpossibilityfortheexperienceofobjectsisaswellananalysisofthebody'sfunctionasaconditionofpossibilityforobjectsofexperience-infullagreementwiththetranscendental-philo-sophicaldictum
2
***
It
iswellknownthatHusserIundertookasystematicandcomprehensiveanalysisoftheintentionalstructureofconscious-ness,andthatinhissurveyofthehierarchyoffoundationexis-tingbetweenthedifferenttypesofintentionalactsheascribedaprivileged'statustoperception.Lessknown,however,isthefactthatHusserlalsoaddressedtheproblemoftheconstitutivefunctionofthebodyasearlyasthelectures
DingundRaum
from1907,preciselyinconnectionwith,anextensiveanalysisofperception.ApredominantfeatureinHusserI'sanalysisofperceptionishisreflectionsconcerningtheadumbrationalgivennessoftheperceptual(spatio-temporal)object.Whenperceivinga(trans-
2.Thisstatementmust
not
be
misunderstood,however,
asiftherewereno.decisiveandfundamentaldifferencesbetweenaclassical
Kan-
tiantranscendental-philosophyandaHusserliantranscendentalpheno-
menology.i
Onthe
contrary.
NQt
only
aretheredivergenceswhenitcomesto.theareasthatareregardedasbeing
of
transcendentalrele-vance(aproposananalysisofthebody),Therearealso.decisivediffe-rencesintheirrespectiveunderstandingsoftheconceptofphenome-non,andinthemethodologyatplay(aregressivedeductionoftheconditionsofpossibilityforknowledgecontraaphenomenologicalin-vestigatiQn:oftheworld'sbeing-sensefor(inter)subjectivity).
PHENOMENOLOGYOFTHEBODY
65
cendent)objectitisnecessarytodistinguishthatwhichappearsfromthe'appearance(theintuitivelygiven),sincetheobjectisnever
given-in
itstotalitybutalwaysinacertainrestrictedpro-file(cf.
Ideen
I
§
42)3,
Acarefulconsiderationofthisapparent-lybanaltactrevealsseveralimplications,whichareofdirectrelevance'foranunderstandingoftheimportanceattributedbyHusserI
tp
thebody.Every',perspectivalappearancepresupposesnotonlyso-methingtpatappears,italsopresupposessomeonethatitap-pearsfor]Inotherwords,anappearanceisalwaysanappea-ranceof~omethingforsomeone.Whenitisrealizedthatwhatappears~Jwaysappearsatacertaindistanceandfromacertainangle,th~pointshould.beobvious.Everyperspectivalappea-rancepre~tipposesthattheexperiencingSUbjectishimselfgiveninspace.';Howt:fver,sincethesubjectonlypossessesaspatiallocation4U((tohisembodiment
(3/116,
4133,
13/239)4,
HusserIclaimsth~tSpatialobjectscanonlyappearforandbeconstitu-tedby
embodiedsubjects
5,6.
Thusthebodyischaracterizedby
j
3.Formoreextensiveanalysesofrespectivelyperceptualandhori-zontalintentionalityseeZAHAWI1992a,1992b,1994.4.Page~e(erencesto.the
Husserliana
editionaregiveninthefollo-wingmanner:thefirstnumberrefersto.thevolume,thesecondto.thepage.,5.ThusHusserlseemsto.anticipatethereflectionsin
L'etreetIe
neant
whereSartrewritesthatourbeing-in-the-worldisliterallyabodi-lybeing-in-the-midst-of-the-world.Onecanonlyconstitutetheworldbyenteringit,andasSartresays,the
expressions
"to.enterinto.theworld","t6cometotheworld"and"to.haveabody"areequivalent(SARTRE1'943p.366).WithaformulationthatunambiguouslypointstowardsMaRLEAU-PONTY(1964p.152-3),
Sartre
alsocallsattentionto.the
factjthat
thestructuresofthe
world
implythat
onecannot
seewithouton~selfbeingvisible(SARTRE1943p.365).SeealsoAPEL1963for
furtherjconsiderationsconcerning
theseaspects.6.
It
istruethatthehorizontalappearanceofmyperceptualobject(andthein)plieddifferentiationbetweenpresentandabsentprofiles)is
5
 
66
DanZAHAVIPHENOMENOLOGYOFTHEBODY
67
beingpresentinanyexperienceasthezeropoint,theabsolute"here",inrelationtowhicheveryexperiencedobjectisorien-ted.Inourimmediateexperienceofspace(priortotheconstitu-tionofobjectivespace)ourbodypossessesauniqueposition,asthecenteraroundwhichandinrelationtowhichspaceunfoldsitself
(111298).
Everyspatialorientationandeveryexperienceofobjects:inspacethusreferstotheindexical"here"connectedwithourembodiment
(4/159,9/392).
Husserlthereforeclaimsthatthebodyistheconditionofpossibilityforotherobjects
(14/540),
andthateveryworldlyexperienceismediatedandmadepossiblebyourembodiment
(6/220,4/56,5/124).
Thesereflectionsconcerningthebody'sfunctionasacondi-tionof,possibilityforperceptualintentionalityareradicalizedthemomentHusserlnolongersimplyanalysesthebodyinitsmerefunctionasacenteroforientation,butalsostartstoexa-minebodilymobilityanditscontributiontotheconstitutionofperceptualreality
7
AtfirstHusserljustcallsattentiontothecorrelatedwithmybeingsituatedinacentral"here"(4/158);anditisalsotruethattheobjectisonlygivenhorizontallybecauseitisinprin-cipleimpossibleforanyperceivingsubjecttobesituated"here"and"there"simultaneously.Thisobservationdoesnotwarranttheconclu-sion,however,thatthehorizontalgivennessoftheobjectmerelymani-feststhefinitenessoftheobserver-andHusserlisknownforhisrejec-tionofanyanthropologicalinterpretationofthehorizontalstructure.Ultimately,itistheontologicalstructureoftheobject(itstranscen-denceandworldliness)whichnecessitatesthatitcanonlybegivenforasubjectsituatedina"here".AsHusserIdeclaresin
Ideen
I,evenGodwouldhavetoperceivetheobjectthroughitsadumbrations(3/351).7.Theseanalysesoftheimportanceof
kinesthesis
fortheconstitutionofspatialobjectscanbefoundseveralplacesinHusserl's-works,butmainlyinPart4.of
DingundRaum
(withthesubtitle"DieBedeutungderkinasthetischenSystemefiirdieKonstruktiondesWahrnehmungs-gegenstandes")andinPart
1.
Chapter3.of
IdeenII
(withthesubtitle"DieAisthetainbezugaufdenaisthetischenLeib).Thefollowingpre-sentation'cannotdofulljusticetothecomplexityoftheseanalyses;aimportanceofbodilymovements(themovementoftheeye,thetouchofthehand,thestepofthebodyetc.)fortheexperienceofspaceiandspatialobjects
(111299),
butultimatelyheclaimsthatthe-perceptionofspatialobjectspresupposesanddependsuponourkinestheticexperience-thatis,ourexperienceofthemovements,positionsandmuscle-tensionsofthebodilyparts.AllperJeptualappearancesareaccompaniedbyaco-functio-ningbutunthematizedkinestheticexperience
(11114),
whichac-cording~oHusserlispresupposediftheappearancesaretohaveanobject-reference,thatis,aretobeappearancesofsomething
II;
(4/66,16!1~9,6/109).
Letu~,turntowardsaperceptualobjectinordertoillustrateHusserl'sargument.Ashasjustbeenpointedout,theobjectalwaystranscendsitsactualappearance,sinceitisnevergiveninitstot~lity,butalwaysinacertainrestrictedprofile.Husserl'spointisthatmyconstitutiveexperienceofthetranscendenceoftheobjeft(inrelationtoitsindividualappearances)andtheidentity9ftheobject(inthemanifoldofappearances)canonlybeestablishedthemomentIhavetheopportunitytoseetheobjectftoQtseveralperspectives.Thischangeofperspectivepresupposesamovement-ourown,orthatoftheobject.Inboth
cases,
however,fortwodifferentadumbrationstobeadumbrationsofoneandthesameobjecttheremustbeasortofcontinuitybetweenthetwo;theymust,sotospeak,beabletomergeintoeachother;andtheexperienceofthiscontinuityismadepossiblepreciselybykinesthesis.-Tophraseitdiffe-rently:Itdoesnotmakesensetospeakaboutanappearance(asdifferentfromthatwhichappears)unlesstherearemorethanoneappearance.Thispluralityofappearances(ofoneandthesame)
can-only
beexperiencedthroughacontinuouschangeofperspective-madepossiblebythebody'skinesthesis.Thuskines-moreext~,~dedexaminationcanbefoundinCLAESGES
964.
Foracontempo*~ryuseofkinesthesisasthekeytoourcategorisationofreality,se~
LAKOFF1987
Chapter
17.
,

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