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HUSSERL ON MEMORY

Author(s): John B. Brough


Source: The Monist, Vol. 59, No. 1, The Philosophy of Husserl (JANUARY, 1975), pp. 40-62
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27902403
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HUSSERL ON MEMORY
"Time

is, time was, time is past." Memory recaptures time past. Edmund
devoted some of his most interesting and challenging, as well as
of memory. Husserl
neglected, analyses to the phenomenon
argued that
every act of consciousness is intentional, that is, directed towards an object,
no
to this
and memory?the
consciousness of what is past?is
exception
rule. Our main concern in this essay will be with Husserl's
understanding
of memory's "constitution":
the way in which memory
specifically, with
intends its object and with the manner in which its object appears. Husserl
devoted no single work to memory. The
fundamental elements of his
1
are found scattered
X in the Husserliana
Volume
series
theory
throughout
and to a lesser extent in Volume XI,2 although brief references to memory
on the two
occur in most of his
writings. Our study will be based mainly
mentioned
texts, especially on Volume X.3

Husserl

I. Memory

and

Its Object:

Preliminary Considerations
heart
of
the
Husserl's
theory of memory is his account of
Although
the constitution or structure of memory's
intentionality, the understanding
of that account presupposes some
appreciation of the way in which memory
and its object are situated with respect to time. We
therefore briefly trace
in this section, first, the main outlines of Husserl's
description of the
of
determinations
and
memory
memory's
object and second,
temporal
as
status
act.
memory's
present experienced
A.

Memory,

Its Object,

and Temporal

Determinations

The obvious feature of the


a
temporality of memory and its object is
difference in time-determination. The memory I am now
is
living through
. . In
in the
memory we stand in the Now,
present; its object is past. ".
. ." 4
we
of
stand
in
the
Now.
The
memory
object
past
memory I
(202).
now have of an
train
into
the
station
is
express
thundering
actually present,
as much so as the
I now enjoy of the paper in front of me.
perception
But the train thundering up is not yet another inhabitant of that
present.
It stands forth as past. Here memory and
perception differ fundamentally.
too is a present act, but its
Perception
object is present, not past: "Percep

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HUSSERL

ON MEMORY

41

t?on gives theNow, memory the past. . ."


In terms of simultaneity,
(185).
are
and
its
simultaneous
while
object
perception
"memory and what is
remembered appear as not simultaneous. . ." (288). Even in those passages
a "Now"
in which Husserl may
or
in memory,
speak of
"present" given
this present, as we shall see, is an earlier Now, not an actual Now
as the
of
is.
present
perception
then, is a present act whose object appears as past. But what
Memory,
to
Husserl
is the sense of this
Its most elementary in
according
"past"?
a
is
certain
with
means evidently, it
conflict
the
"A
Now.
is
gredient
past
is not now, it is not
Yet
while
present" (403).
present and past evidently
a
exclude one another, they just as clearly are bound
together tightly in
two
of
interconnected aspects. To begin with, the
relationship possessed
object of memory appears not simply as past but as having been present
not an actual Now,
it
(59). Although what I remember?the
past?is
"was a Now"
cannot
be past which has not been
(367).
Something
is past, therefore, carries the sense of what is "no
present. What
longer
an earlier Now"
the sense of being
"in
present" (408),
(182).
represented
But in relation to what is this remembered Now
an earlier one? With
this
we meet the second
of
the
of
and
question
relativity
aspect
past
present.
The point of reference is the actual
present and what is remembered appears
as earlier or as shoved back in relation to it
In my memory the blast
(180).
of the train's horn, once
a more or less definite
is
perceptually present,
given
to
"with
the
actual
Now
the
and
position
respect
sphere of the original
temporal field, to which the recollection itself belongs"
(51). Another
dimension of the sense of the remembered
is
its
then,
past,
being situated
or sunk back in relation to the actual
present.

Husserl observes that the reference of what is remembered to the actual


has its analogue in the reference of what is
an actual
Now
perceived to
here (105).
Just as the external object is always perceived from the "zero"
some "here" or another, so the remembered
point of
object is viewed from
the perspective of my actual present. While Husserl himself does not ex
seem that memory and
the point, it would
as
plicitly make
perception
oriented forms of consciousness differ in that memory's point of orientation
or may not vary. The reason
ceaselessly changes while perception's may

is that the actually present time "is continually in flux" and thus is
"always
from a new Now"
is Now
becomes past in the
(108). What
next moment, and what
is already past becomes further
re
past. The
membered past, which necessarily appears as something sunk back in rela
"
tion to the Now, also reveals itself as something which
'sinks further and
oriented

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42

JOHN

. BROUGH

"

relative to the always new Now. The modes


(313)
the remembered object appears will therefore change
continuously, although the object itself, apart from the changing mode of
will remain the same (25). I may enjoy many memories
temporal orientation,
at many different times of the conductor, watch in hand, shouting "All
the same object will be given
and in each of those memories
aboard!,"
in a different mode of the past relative to the protean Now.5

further into the past'


of the past in which

That past and present, the remembered object and the actual Now,
are related in the ways described accounts for one of the
presuppositions
of memory, which may be summarized under the term "distance." The
in memory, Husserl writes, "has a distance
elapsed present which appears
If that distance were absent,
from the present of the actual Now"
(58).
cease
as
is
and memory would
would
be
remembered
what
Now,
given
if
Put
to be itself and
another
relation
way,
collapse into perception (316).
if
between past and present vanished for my remembering consciousness,
I
the
to
that
the
with
I gave myself
such abandon
present
forgot
past
argues, "this would no longer be memory, rather
entirely, then, Husserl
an
is past, but not as
The
(hallucinatory) perception of what
past!" (182).
if
would
become
would
its
and
sense,
memory
impossible,
past
relinquish
the tension between past and present were relaxed or if their relational
bonds were
snapped.
contentions that memory is present and
We
have discussed Husserl's
its object past, that the object appears in memory as having been present,
of these claims
and that it is past in relation to the actual Now. None
same
not
sense
if
its
did
would make
memory and
object
belong to the
one
is
what
how
take
could
remembered
case,
appear as
unity of time. To
set in relation to the actual Now
if the two were not equally citizens of a
common
if Husserl
and past ex
world? And
claims that Now
temporal
a
one
would
clude
another, the exclusiveness
single temporal frame
imply
work in which the two could not occupy the same position and still be
that
themselves. Accordingly, Husserl writes, "there is no reproduced Now
could be posited and would not have actuality in the unity of time to which

theactualNow belongs" (302).

the theme of the reproduced and actual Nows'


With
occupation of
the same unity of time, we uncover still another condition of
memory's
is remembered was once present in the same unity of
possibility. What
time in which the memory is now actual.6 To cast the matter in egological
form, what is remembered is an elapsed position of my own life, recaptured
through its actually present portion.

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HUSSERL

ON MEMORY

43

remains to be said about the way in which memory's object


how its mode of givenness differs from that of the perceived
and
appears,
The
object.
express train, after all, is not given to me in the same way
these matters
in memory and in
perception. But the further discussion of
is better postponed until more has been said about memory's intentionality
in later sections.
Much

B. Memoras

Status

as Present

Experienced Act
as
we are conscious of
Through memory,
something
past.
present act,
But through what are we conscious of the memory as actually
present?
Surely not through another memory or through external perception. The
answer rests in Husserl's
contention that memory is an immanent temporal
object, a unity constituted in immanent time through what he calls "the
absolute time-constituting flow of consciousness"
(73). We will examine
that contention briefly in this section.
insists, is
Every experience {Erlebnis) or act of consciousness, Husserl
consciousness of something, "but every
is
itself experienced
experience
(erlebt), and thus also 'known' (betvusst)"
(291). Husserl's point is that
an
consciousness
is always implicitly self-consciousness: while
perceiving
event we are aware of our
we
are
while
and
remembering
perceiving it,
conscious that we are remembering. To be sure, in ordinary non-reflective
we are not conscious of the act and of its
same
experience,
object in the
on
car
The
the
remembered
is
the
intended
train,
way.
object, e.g.,
dining
sense of the term
in the
that is, "posited"
(289),
"pregnant"
(gesetzt)
intended thematically. By comparison, the awareness we enjoy of
(126),
the act is implicit and marginal, but nonetheless there.
The acts which we experience, including memory, are obviously not
cars and
express trains.
empirical objects inhabiting the world of dining
are rather immanent to consciousness and
calls
They
accordingly Husserl
them "immanent" objects (96) or "unities of inner consciousness"
(51)
or "'immanent'
(292).
They are legitimately termed
temporal unities"
the appropriate characteristics: they have
"temporal" because they possess
a duration and
in time, and run off in a succession of
position
phases. "Every
Husserl writes, "is given as something enduring, flowing,
experience,"
(127). Time, then, is the "irreducible form" of
changing in various ways"
both immanent and transcendent realities (274), but the time in which the
act of memory is experienced as present is inner or "immanent time" (292),
the train rushing into the station
not the time of transcendant objects. While
was an event in the world's objective time, the memory of it is a
unity in
a

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44

JOHN

. BROUGH

The two times and their objects are


in the world's
however.
time are brought to
Events
related,
intentionally
the
intentional
which
unfold
in inner time.7
presence through
experiences
as
account
To
the
of
status
memory's
complete
present experienced
act we must
inquire into the consciousness?the
experiencing?through
which memory as immanent unity is constituted. Insofar as memory makes
us aware of the
a
past, it may be called
time-constituting consciousness
as
as
But
insofar
is
itself
memory
(51).
present in inner time, it
experienced
too will be the correlate of a
consciousness.
This conscious
time-constituting
even with
ness?immanent
to
the
immanent
time
and objects it
respect
the immanent time of consciousness.

the "absolute time-constituting flow of consciousness"


(73).
exception, Husserl writes, the events of conscious life?sensations,
to "the layer of imma
wishes, perceptions, memories, and so on?belong
nent 'contents', whose constitution is the achievement of the absolute flow
as
of consciousness"
(83).9 That the act of memory is experienced
present
we owe to this ultimate stratum of time-consciousness.
constitutes8?is

Without

a
con
Although
thorough discussion of the way in which the absolute
sciousness constitutes immanent unities cannot be undertaken here, certain
will be mentioned,
important features
especially those which will be in
volved in the later discussion of memory's intentionality.
The ultimate time-constituting consciousness may be viewed as a flowing
succession of interrelated phases or segments, one of which will be actual
while others will have elapsed or not yet arrived. Each momentary
phase
will have a threefold intentional structure through which an extended por
tion of the immanent object, in our case, of thememory, will be experienced
or constituted. The way in which this constitution is
accomplished may be
illustrated as follows. Assume an act of memory has begun to run off for
inner consciousness and has already partially
elapsed. The memory will be
to consciousness in a continuum of
with the "fundamental
presented
phases
one
distinctions:
Now,
(211).
past (future)"
temporal
Specifically,
phase
of the memory will be experienced as actually Now,10 others as just past,
still others as future or as yet to come. Correlated with the
phase of the
as
an
will
Now
be
actual
of
the absolute
memory experienced
actually
phase
an
moment
will
That
intentional
consciousness.
possess
ordinarily
phase
or
termed by Husserl
sensation,"
impression"
through
"primal
"primal
which the actual Now
of the memory is constituted. The same phase will
a second intentional moment,
or "retention,"
possess
"primary memory"
are held in
act
which
of
and
the
grasp
through
elapsed phases
experienced
as just
to the actual Now. Finally, the actual
past with respect
phase of the
ultimate flow will possess the moment of
is conscious
"protention" which

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HUSSERL

ON MEMORY

45

in an open way of future phases of the act. "In each primal phase, which
we have retentions of
preceding
originally constitutes the immanent content,
and protentions of coming phases of precisely this content . .
(84).
runs
next moment the
Finally, since memory
of in immanent time, in the
whole process will repeat itself : through a new actual phase of the absolute
flow a new phase of the memory will be experienced as Now while the
will be experienced as just past, and so on.
prior phase
The act of memory, then, is a unity constituted in inner time through
the phases of the absolute time-constituting flow with their impressionai,
retentional, and protentional moments.
1. Retention and Secondary Memory
This essay is focused on what Husserl calls "secondary memory"
(sekun
In
or more
d?re Erinnerung)
(Erinnerung).
frequently simply "memory"
the last section, however, we met "primary memory"
(prim?re Erinnerung)
to Husserl,
or "retention"
secondary memory and
(Retention). According
retention are absolutely distinct modes of consciousness
though also
(35),
inseparable.
refers to secondary memory as "memory in
On some occasions, Husserl
the usual sense" and implies that it intends "something further past" (179)
retention is conscious of the immediate past, usually of the just
while
of an act presently running off for consciousness. Although
elapsed phases
the
this difference ordinarily holds, Husserl
possibility
frequently speaks of
in which case
of actualizing a memory of what is still retained (367),
what is retained and what is remembered would coincide and enjoy the

same distance from the actual Now. Difference in temporal position, then,
not by itself define the distinction between memory and retention.
Instead, the two are essentially distinct because they belong to different
dimensions of consciousness. Retention is a moment of the absolute time
is a unity
secondary memory
constituting flow of consciousness, while
from
Retention
differs
flow.
absolute
the
constituted by
memory as what
is
constituted.
what
is constituting differs from
Furthermore, memory is an
can
stand forth as a relatively
therefore
act in immanent time and
enduring
on
from having the status
far
the other hand,
independent unit. Retention,
an
even
to
individual phase of the
of an independent act, is not
equivalent
ultimate flow, since the latter also has impressionai and protentional

would

moments.

their objects in fundamentally different


Memory and retention also give
of the past" (417),
is
Retention
ways.
"originary (origin?r) consciousness
in the sense that "only in primary memory do we see what is past, only in

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46

JOHN

. BROUGH

it does

the past constitute itself, namely not


representatively but presenta
no
what
Of
has
course,
tively (pr?sentativ)"
(41).
longer pre
elapsed is
sented as Now
as
in retention, but it is "still
just past"
(212):
present
"its being past is a Now,
is something present itself . . ." (213).
But
as
we
see
shall
not
does
the
but
later, precisely
memory,
present
only
past
represents it. Furthermore, retention, as presentation of the past, is conscious
one way
of a past
only: as just past, as elapsing. Memory, on the
phase in
other hand, as a form of
intends the whole
^-presentation,
elapsed object
as if it were
once
off
for
consciousness, and so represents a
running
again
retention can only
past phase as "Now"
(62), and then as just past. What
intend as just past, memory can represent as Now
and let run off again in
the mode of
representation.11
Although the discussion to this point has stressed the differences between
memory and retention, it is obvious from what has been said that retention
is a necessary condition of memory in several
respects. To begin with, in
the absence of retention there would
be nothing to remember because

nothing would be originally constituted. In addition, without retention the


act of memory itself could not be
an intentional
experienced. Retention is
moment of the absolute flow
which
all
immanent
objects, including
through
not exist without
memory, are constituted. Bluntly put, memory would
retention, for "to be and to be consciously constituted coincide in the case
of immanent objects." 12 Finally, retention constitutes our
sense of
original
are the
the past: "Retention and
the
forms
first
of the
protention
primitive,
we must
establishment of past and future" (326).
Husserl,
Following
now examine how secondary memory assumes and elaborates the sense
of the past it inherits from retention.
II.

Memory's

Constitution

shares with all other intentional


Memory
experiences the condition of
in
inner
constituted
time-consciousness.
is nothing unique
There
being
about memory in this respect. Turning from this common ground, however,
see that
as such has its own
we
"memory
quickly
intentionality, namely
that of representation"
(96). The distinctive character of memory's inten
tionality is that it represents the past. If we ask about the manner in which
we raise the issue of
the
is
memory's constitu
representation
accomplished,
tion, which we will explore in the remainder of the essay.
A.

Memory

as Direct

Consciousness

of What

Is Past

tradition have
Interpretations of memory in the philosophical
frequently
some variation of what
be
called
the "image theory".
might
represented

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HUSSERL

ON MEMORY

47

According to this point of view, what is immediately and directly experienced


in memory is a present image or replica of what is past, not what is past
itself. The theory rests on the assumption that the object of memory, pre
cisely because it is past, is not available for direct apprehension. Access
an
to it would have to be indirect?through
intermediary which, in and
to consciousness, could function as an image of the past. Accordingly,
present
what is directly known in memory would be a present image. Memory's
or event?would
be known always and only
proper object?the
past object
indirection.
by

We

shall see shortlythatHusserl explicitlyrejected the image theory

of memory. But did he perhaps embrace the theory himself early in his
career? In the following section we review evidence that suggests he did.
1. Husserl's
stitution
. Evidence

Implicit Adherence
That Husserl

Held

to an

an

Image Theory

of Memory's

Con

Image Theory

language Husserl employed in early analyses of memory, especially


those written prior to 1905, intimates that he may have interpreted memory
as a form of
In a sketch dating from about 1901,
pictorial consciousness.
for example, Husserl appears to understand memory in terms of a series of
a
past
(Vorstellungen) which "depict" (abbilden)
present "representations"
event (152).
In other texts from the period the terms "image"
(Bild) and
occur with considerable
"memorial
frequency.
(Erinnerungsbild)
image"
room
Thus Husserl will speak of the "memorial
images" of his living
which emerge, endure for awhile, perhaps change, all in the present (162).
an
In another early text,Husserl claims that in memory I "grasp"
(fassen)
an
the
have
what
I
of
has
been.
"as
in
E.g.,
image
object given
phantasy
as the
it ...
melody which my little
emerging tonal image and grasp
are also
on the
(165). There
piano"
daughter played 'a short time ago'
a few direct statements which appear to leave little doubt that at the time
The

Husserl

accepted

some kind of image theory: "Ordinary memory

is pictorial

apperception (bildlicheApperzeption), just like expectation" (173).13

evidence may be derived from the language Husserl used in


and perception or primary memory. In mem
comparing secondary memory
me
as the object hovers
"the
he
writes,
just
ory,
'image' hovers before
that
what is directly ex
me
in perception"
before
suggesting
(164-165),
not
the
And
in a sketch
in memory is the image,
past object.
perienced
"
.
.
. conscious
as
a
'direct*
from 1904, Husserl refers to primary memory
ness of having been present," implying that by comparison "a memorial
Additional

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48

JOHN

. BROUGH

...

in the usual sense, a


innerun g)
pictorial memory {Bild-Er
some
in
indirect consciousness
early texts
(191). Moreover,
as
of
and
is
giving its
comparing memory
perception, perception
spoken
as
"there
itself"
Husserl
introduced
such lan
object
{selbst da).
probably
as
a
to
in
order
conviction
that
convey
guage specifically
memory,
opposed
on
no more
to
images and is
capable of presenting its
perception, is built
as "there itself" than a
a
object
living Napoleon.
painting is of presenting
The designation of primary memory as "immediate memory"
(165) would
seem to carry the same
in
"the
past object
primary memory
implication:
as such is
given itself" (173) while in ordinary memory it is presumably
given indirectly, through intermediaries.
presentation
. . ." is an

Textual Ambiguities
the hint of an image theory in certain early texts is undeniably
While
strong, ambiguities remain. Significantly, Husserl never offers a developed
version of the theory and does not argue for it explicitly. Furthermore, the
term "image" and its derivatives are often
placed in quotation marks when
occur
in
But
of
of greater importance are indi
discussions
memory.14
they
cations in a few early texts thatHusserl became aware of difficulties associated
with the theory even while he may have remained its adherent.
Husserl's
earlier and later reservations about the image theory are
on his
in
grounded
rejection of what might be called the thesis of the
part
that
what we take as past is really present. Husserl
i.e.,
"pseudo-past":
. . . bestow the
or
argues on the contrary that "where we
predicate past,
as
is
there
the
This
is
another
past
past,
really past"
(152).
apprehend
of the rule that memory and its object have different time
expression
determinations. Yet the image theorymay violate this rule. In a text dating
from around 1901,15 Husserl appears to single out just such a
transgression.
His argument, which we will examine briefly, is of interest because it very
likely paved the way for his later rejection of the image theory.
to the theory, the
According
present memorial
image represents the past
or
content.
It
to do this with absolute
be
that
if
it
is
object
might
argued
b.

fidelity,then the present image,which by hypothesisis the only thing

immediately experienced inmemory, would have to contain or be the remem


bered content. Yet if the remembered content were resident in or identical
with the present image, itwould itself be present. Indeed, the content would
be past and present, and as identical with the
representing present image it
as Husserl
would
But
itself.
"the same content which
observes,
represent
as
is now cannot at the same time cease and
repr?sentant of
persist, namely

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HUSSERL

ON MEMORY

49

itself (159). This view effectively reduces the past to a pseudo-past and
cancels the difference in temporal determination between memory and
remembered object: "the remembered content and the past Now would at
the same time be present, specifically in the sense of the actual Now"
(159,
note 2).
not surrender the image theory at this
Yet Husserl
apparently does
for he writes after outlining the objection we have described: "The
point,
remembered content is 'the same' as the perceived, but it is its image" ( 160).
some version of the image
For a time, then, Husserl probably
accepted
a
after
traditional
in the atmosphere at the
It
view
and
was,
all,
theory.
time. But already in the earliest texts seeds of discontent are detectable, and
so it is not
comes to reject
surprising that Husserl
explicitly the image
theory of memory's

constitution.

2. Husserl's ExplicitRejection of the Image Theory


Memory is not pictorial consciousness (?ildbew?sstsein)
totally different (316).

but something

We know that the 'past' inmemory's case does not mean that in the present
act of remembering we make ourselves an image of what existed earlier
. . .

(309).

or 1905,16 Husserl has


By 1904
clearly and explicitly rejected the inter
as
of
consciousness.
But what are the ingredients
memory
pretation
pictorial
of the theory he rejects, and what are the arguments he musters? 17
The following contentions appear to comprise the theory which Husserl
criticizes. (1) Something must be immediately and directly experienced in
is directly experienced functions
memory, and appear as present. (2) What
as an image of something else, the past which is never
directly experienced
and which never appears as present. (3) What
is present in the memory
functions as an image because it is similar to or in some way an analogue
of what it depicts. (4) The person remembering is aware that what he
as an
image of something else. The
immediately experiences functions
as different.
the
and
image
imaged appear
Our discussion of Husserl's critique of the image theorywill be developed
of these characteristics.
against the background
variant of which
A possible subordinate expression of the theory?a
we met in the last section and which Husserl
criticizes implicitly?would
on the
root itself chiefly in the first contention. Grounded
assumption that
what is past, because it is past, is absolutely inaccessible, the interpretation

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50

JOHN

. BROUGH

in question would hold that the object of memory is the


present image.
This claim, however, contravenes the very sense of the remembered object,
which is "by all means not given as Now"
If it were asserted in
(316).
a real
as
that
the
of
the memory is indeed
although
reply
image
component
as
it
is
nonetheless
HusserTs
actually Now,
rejoinder would
experienced
past,
as
we
we
as
have
that
what
is
seen,
be,
really past (152)
past
apprehend
. . ."
cannot stand forth as not Now
and that "the Now
(322). Memory's
sense
precludes the identification of remembered object and present image.
The defender of the image theory who yields to the argument that
the proper object of memory cannot be the present image will
probably
turn to the more
complicated position embracing all the contentions men
tioned above. But while this position may escape the obvious failings of
its predecessor, it has its own?and
equally fatal?difficulties.
The

of Husserl's
critique of the image theory is that it cannot
a
as
direct
consciousness
of what is past. The theory is
explain memory
constructed on themodel of the sort of
pictorial representation accomplished
or historical
or statues
in photographs
In such
(180),
paintings
(183).
cases, something is perceived as present which also serves as an image or
repr?sentant of something which is not present. The representative function
is realized insofar as what is perceived is similar or analogous to what is
A painting of the storming of the Bastile, although a
(184).
depicted
different object from the historical event of 1789, functions and is known
to function as an image of that event
a certain relation of
through
similarity.
occur
does
indeed
through pictorial objects of this sort, but
Representation
?and
this is the telling point?"not
with the consciousness of the
object
is given "itself" in these cases is the
itself (Selbst)99 ( 183). What
present
not what it
pictorial object, the image, and
depicts.
in memory, Husserl
Now
insists, "this is not the case"
(184). And
the moment
the image theory attempts to
this
model
of pictorial
import
runs afoul of what we
representation into memory's domain, it
actually
in memory. Suppose, for
a
experience
example, instead of looking at
print
backbone

on the page of a historybook, I recall the brightlyilluminatedtheaterI

last night. The


lighted theater which I immediately experience
"does not pretend to be a more or less
analogous
image"
intended in the memory "is not something similar to what
(184);
appears
there, intended is what appears itself, the appearing theater . .
(184).
Furthermore, what thus appears, because it is the past object itself and not
a
now
it is^presented"
present image, is "not
present...
(vergegenw?rtigt)
an
of
Excision
between
(184).
intermediary
present memory and past object
attended

in the memory

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HUSSERL

ON MEMORY

51

does not suppress the temporal distance between the two. In memory, then,
we do not
as
taken as
directly experience something
present which is then
an
on the basis of a
of
between
image
something past
supposed similarity
the two. If thatwere the case, memory would never be more than an indirect

consciousness of the past, and what appears immediately in memory would


never be its
of
proper object. A reflective scrutiny of the phenomenon
not
that
which
discloses
"it
the
theater
itself
hovers
before
is
me,
memory
a mere
a different
image, that is, at bottom
object, only similar to the object
to
the
theater"
itself,
(184).
The sort of consciousness achieved in memory is therefore representation
mere
"through identity" and not "through
pictorial similarity (Bildahnlich
The
of
memory and what immediately appears in
object
(184).
keit)"
the act of memory are identical. The lighted theater, given immediately to
the remembering subject, is the past object and not an image or replica of it.
The arguments discussed to this point have been descriptive in character:
reflection reveals that the act of memory is not experienced as an instance
of pictorial consciousness. There are also certain logical difficulties in which
an
image theory of memory (or of perception, for that matter) may find
itself, and Husserl was aware of these.
The cardinal objection from this perspective is that the image theory,
far from explaining memory's consciousness of the past, would preclude
on the
our
at all. The
theory rests
assumption
having any idea of the past
that we have no direct access to the past. It asserts that the direct and
immediate "object" of experience in memory is always and only a. present
never the
past, is directly experi
image in consciousness. Only the present,
enced. If this is the case, then the question Husserl addresses to Brentano's
an instance of
theory of primary memory as
pictorial consciousness applies
to secondary memory: ". . .How do we know, then, that an A has
equally
been earlier, even before the existence of this present A [i.e., an image]?
in brackets
do we have the idea of the past?"
Whence
(18)?[material
no sense of the
not
that
is
could
The
appear
past
difficulty
added].
simply
that no sense of the past could
that would be true?but
directly?though
us to possess the
past
appear at all. In the moment the image theory forbids
access to it altogether. And in so doing, it
our
it
destroys
directly,
collapses
of its own illogical weight.
If, however, we assumed for a moment the theory's general validity,
we would
still be faced with difficulties, specifically those associated with
to a past object. The theory implies that in
the
relating
particular image
order to determine whether the present memorial
image really does recall

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52

JOHN

. BROUGH

something past, or does so accurately, I must compare it with what it sup


what is past is no longer and can be
posedly depicts. But by hypothesis
known only through the present image. It is therefore not available for
no way to determine whether
or
matching, and there would be
comparison
the present image truly does represent something past.
Husserl

developing the above objection, that it would be


to argue this way?not
because the argument is
the
image theory (it does) but because the
against
a
is
of memory. "A comparing of what is
image theory
misinterpretation
no
longer perceived and merely remembered with something outside itself
makes no sense"
opaque
(316). No
image stands between the present
no
memory and the past object and
impossible comparison is demanded,
for memory is a direct consciousness of what is past (316). This, incident
ally, makes possible the comparisons which do occur in legitimate cases of
or lead me to
pictorial representation. A present melody may pictorialize
a
think of
past melody. "But this already presupposes another presentation
of the past. The intuition of the past cannot itself be a pic
(Vorstellung)
I can compare past and present objects only because
torialization"
(311).
I have an independent consciousness of the past.
claims, while
absurd"
"fundamentally
anemic or has no force

Husserl rejects the image theory because it does not account for memory
as we
us off from the
past.
experience it and because it effectively seals
is a direct
Husserl's
claim is rather that memory, properly understood,
consciousness of the past in which "the appearing object itself is meant,
just as it appears"
(184).18
3. The Remembered

Object's Mode
of Givenness
The image theory is based on the
implicit assumption that only what is
a sense, it assumes that every form of
can be
In
known.
directly
present
consciousness must be, or be built upon, a perception, and that any getting
beyond what is given perceptually must be by indirection. Husserl snaps the
a direct
spine of the image theory by denying the assumption. Perception is
consciousness of its object, but so too ismemory, and its object is past. Per
does present the object itself, but "in memory the object also appears
ception
itself" (185).19 The
that memory, providing direct access to the
point is
a
past, is mode of consciousness sui generis and is irreducible to any other
kind of experience. "Reproduction," Husserl writes, "is not, as Hume
and
the sensualistic
on
Hume
since
the
order
think,
something
psychologists
a
of a poor imitation of perception or a weaker echo of it, but
precisely
. . ." 20
new
mode
of
consciousness.
fundamentally

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HUSSERL

ON MEMORY

53

Although perception and memory both give their objects directly, they
do so in essentially different ways. Only in
the object given as
perception is
itself"
The
remembered
(Selbst gegenw?rtig)
object, whose
(185).
"present
sense
as
its
is
instead
(vergegen
present,
being given
precludes
"represented"
w?rtigt), though still given itself. Reproductions, Husserl writes, "have the
character of itself-representation" (Selbstvergegenw?rtigung)
and "memory
sense of the
is
the
in
itself-representation
past" (59).
means a re
as
memory's mode of givenness literally
Representation
a
or a crime
sense
not
in
the
that
be
restaged
presentation, though
play might
reenacted. Rather the same event, given perceptually in an earlier Now,
runs off once
as
is remembered is
again for consciousness, but
past?1 What
thus not there to be touched or smelled or actually seen; it is given in a unique
modification which, Husserl
is ultimately indefinable. He
does
implies,
sense of this modifica
attempt, however, to communicate something of the
tion, and his endeavors throw light on the difference between the presenta
tional and representational modes of givenness. For example, a temporal
in memory "as something that
object "hovers before me"
(vorschwebt)
has been and at the same time is quasi-running off . . ." (298). The term
"vorschweben" means to "have a recollection," but also to "float or hover
before," and Husserl seems to play on both meanings. The object of memory,
while not exactly ghostlike in its apparition, lacks the "bodily" presence
characteristic of the object of perception.22 In the same vein, Husserl claims
that the represented object appears as "quasi-running off" and elsewhere
writes that the object stands forth in memory "not as present itself, rather
a for
as
quasi-present"
(290). Husserl's point is that memory regenerates
were
us
it
that
if"
it
stands
"as
such
before
gotten object
(gleichsam)
anew
run off, of course,
not
It
does
itself
engendering
actually
(360).
because it is past. Thus in the memory of the lighted theater, "the theater
comes to givenness 'as if now'
(gleichsam jetzt)'* (59).
The memorial modification should not be confused with the retentional
to which every temporal object, whether remembered or not,
modification
is subject. In being constituted originally, the object undergoes a modifica

tion from the full clarityof theNow to the justpast, graduallygrowing

more

obscure, contracting, and finally disappearing


(26). This universal
alteration is present in originary (origin?r) consciousness and then given
in memory, "which represents the earlier originary
again
appearing and
.
.
a mel
same
at
the
."
time
back
the
therewith
originary sinking
(368). As
runs off for memory, therefore, not only the past and
Now
ody
passing
as well
are recalled but the past "just
(51). But the
past" phases
phases

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54

JOHN

. BROUGH

into the
vivid Now
modification which is there remembered?the
slipping
not
to
the
memorial
and
obscure?is
modification,
becoming
past
equivalent
which has its own obscurity to contribute: ". . . still other 'obscurities' con
front us there, that is, what is 'clear' in the first sense stands already as if
a veil ...
seen
to be sure, more or less obscurely" (48). The veil
through
which memory drops between present and past is not opaque ?the
past
remains visible through it?but it does cast its shadow unfailingly.
B.

as

of Earlier Perception
stresses that memory is a direct consciousness of the past which
Husserl
a
manner
irreducible to pictorial or perceptual
gives its object in
unique
modes. But he also argues thatmemory and perception are intimately related.
And the relation involves more than the truism that ifwe perceived nothing
we would have nothing to remember, for Husserl
claims that "memory
. . .
a
earlier
of
actually implies
(58).
reproduction
perception"
It will be recalled from the first section of this paper that what is re
is the act
membered
appears as having been present. Since perception
to appear as having been present means
which constitutes the present (182),
to
to appear as
"it belongs
having been perceived. Accordingly,
primarily
the nature of memory that it is consciousness of having-been-perceived
e sen-s
if memory intends its object
(57). Now
ein)"
(Wahrgenommen getv
an
as
act of
will
it
been
carry
having
implicit reference to the
perceived,
was
the
The
which
object
originally presented.
present
perception through
which is given again in memory, re-presented, is therefore "constituted in
. . .a
(58). If the lighted theater,
'representation of earlier perception' ..."
this occurs because the
for example, appears inmemory "as ifNow,"
elapsed
act through which the theater was originally given as Now
is
perceptual
Memory

Representation

the memory (58).23


represented in
then, has a double
Memory,
intentionality. Unlike
perception, which
intends only the present external object, memory intends both a past act and
the object of that act. Furthermore, the two intentionalities are
inseparably
united. To remember an elapsed object is to remember the act through which
it was earlier given; to remember an elapsed act is to remember the object
offers a formula to express this
originally correlated with it.24 Husserl
=
:
R (P0)
"essential law" (128)
is the reproduction
R0, where "R (P0)"

(R) of the perception (P) of an externalobject (o) and "R0" is the


representation(R) of the externalobject (o).
never claims that the
It should be stressed that Husserl
past object,
are intended in the same way. The
the theater, e.g., and the past
perception

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HUSSERL

ON MEMORY

55

while necessarily recalled, is known only implicitly: "the per


perception,
not meant
in the memory,
is
and posited
(gemeint)
(gesetzt)
ception
..."
reflective
A
rather its object is meant and posited
memory
(58).
could be brought to bear on the act, of course, and then itwould be thema

tizedand itsobject only implicitlyintended.

already pointed to the basic reason why memory is always


of this
memory of earlier perception. Husserl
develops his explanation
in
feature of memory's constitution
other interesting and significant ways.
a remembered external process such as a
For
performance occurring
example,
on the stage of a theater "is given in a determinate mode of
appearance"
to me as seen from a certain per
(57). That is, the stage I recall is given
from the back row of the second tier, and under certain
spective, perhaps
conditions, as bathed in pink light, for example. This means that "an ex
ternal appearing must be reproduced" (57) because it is only through such
an
that something is given in a definite
(an act of perceiving)
"appearing"
mode of appearance. I can recall the object clothed with the unique deter
minations it possessed when I originally experienced it only by representing
the original experience itself. This formulation suggests still another ap
to the issue, one which takes us to the heart of what memory
proach
We

have

accomplishes.
The past object is remembered as having been perceived, "but not just
. . ."
anywhere and at any time and not by just anyone
(191). Memory
intends an object which I perceived at a certain place and time. The object
is remembered in terms of the way it entered into my life, became involved
with me as the object of my experience. To remember something is essen
an
in my own history. Memory, then, as memory
tially to remember
episode
of earlier perception, recaptures an elapsed portion of my own stream of
consciousness. In the "present representation of the past consciousness, spe
as my consciousness" I am aware that "at that time I had the
cifically
per
as "a
part of present
ception" (195). Husserl accordingly describes memory
a concrete part from the stream of the
past experience
experience in which
25 It
to the very nature of an
of the same subject is represented."
pertains
act of consciousness that, once past, it can never again be given originally.
Without memory the elapsed experience would be irretrievably lost and so
too its object, and I would be trapped forever in the immediate present.
The sense of the self and of objectivity would never fully
develop.26 But
can reach back to the I which
I
memories
my
through
present
perceived the
theater last night, which enjoyed the sights and sounds of the railroad
station years ago, which cheered at a football game last fall. And this I,

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56

JOHN

. BROUGH

Husserl

writes, "is continuously identical throughout all these reproductions,


identically my I, and in its past reality known to me in the present memory
with a steady certainty." 27
s claim
We must now examine certain further
implications of Husserl*
thatmemory is always
representation of earlier perception.
C.

Remembered

Horizon

and Memory's

Fulfillment
some occasions,
distinguishes two inseparable aspects of
are related to memory as
of
both
which
memory's intentionality,
representa
tion of earlier
perception.
one of these intentional moments
the object is remembered
Through
with respect to its enduring content (53). Thus I recall the freight train
passing slowly through the station. If the memory represents the object
or
inten
unintuitively, perhaps merely verbally
symbolically, the memorial
tion is described as empty. The fulfillment of the intention would consist in
the intuitive representation of the object. If the past event is in fact to
stand before me in intuitive "full dress," fulfilling the empty intention,
I must explicitly actualize "the
reproduction of the consciousness in which
or in
the past enduring object was given, that is,
general originally
perceived
the object was originally
constituted. . ." (54). When
given in a perception,
it was given intuitively; if the object is to be given
once again
intuitively
in the memorial mode, that
must be recalled.
perception
second intentional moment, always present with the first, is
Memory's
directed towards the temporal context or location of the enduring content
indicated earlier that it is part of the sense of the remembered
( 302 ). We
to
set in relation to the Now,
be
object
specifically, to be apprehended "as
. . ."
to
in
the
actual
relation
some
back
present
lying
(58). Reproducing
more or less
it
entails
to
with
the
thing
locating
definitely
respect
living
Now. This aspect of memory's
intentionality also has its own manner of
fulfillment, which consists in the "production of fulfilled interconnections
up to the actual present" (54). Husserl means that the intention is fulfilled
insofar as we actualize memories which carry us "along the chain of time"
Husserl,

on

(437) from the past event to the livingpresent: "The only possible ful
...

is in a chain or continuity of actual


representations up to the
that is, right into the present temporal field" (437).
own admission,
By Husserl's
understanding the possibility of this mode
of fulfillment is no easy task (196). A consideration of what makes
it
our
will
of
what
considerably deepen
possible, however,
comprehension
memory achieves.
fillment

Now,

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HUSSERL

ON MEMORY

57

The assumption underlying HusserTs


claim is that the fulfilling repre
sentations only make explicit or thematize what was there all along. And
what was there from the beginning in memory was a consciousness, empty
to be sure, of the
temporal interval stretching between the present memory
and its object: ". . .The whole is reproduced, not only the then conscious
*
present with its flow, rather impli cite* the whole stream of consciousness
up to the living present" (54). This contention, at first glance surprising,
is quite in keeping with Husserl's understanding of the sense of the remem
bered past. If we experience the past object as no longer present, as more
some awareness of that distance itself
or less distant from the actual Now,

is implied, awareness which


simply would be the implicit reproduction of
the segment of the stream of consciousness bridging past and present.
But this observation does not by itself
explain the possibility, in principle,
of a fulfillment which "requires series of memories which empty into the
on
once
actual Now"
(105). That explanation turns
again
memory's nature
as
of
earlier
representation
perception.
Husserl
claims that memory's
intuitive intention directed
specifically
towards the enduring object is accompanied by other intentions, unintuitive,
which refer back to what precedes the remembered event and refer forward
on the forward-directed intentional
to the living Now
Focusing
(305).
asserts that recollection "has a horizon directed towards
moment, Husserl

the future, specifically towards the future of what is recollected"


(53).
fulfillment of these expectational intentions leads to the present (52).
some
is endowed with this intentional horizon not
Memory
through
of
the
but
because
memory itself,
inexplicable property
elapsed perception
which it represents was originally constituted with a
temporal halo. "Fore
The
ground," Husserl writes, "is nothing without background"
(304).
act and its object occupy the
In
addition
perceptual
temporal foreground.
"every perception has its retentional and protentional halo" (105) comprised
of intentions which, radiating from the perception, implicitly intend its
the acts and objects which are past and future with
temporal background:
or
to
the
intuitive
present. Since memory is always modification
respect
of earlier perception, and since perception is never without
representation
its halo, "the modification of perception must also?in modified fashion?
contain this double halo . . ." (105). Memory possesses intentions directed
towards the past and future of what it recalls only because these intentions
are already embedded in the remembered act.
The

incidentally, explains why memory intends its object as occupying


relative to the actual present. The reproduced past already bears
position
This,

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58

JOHN

. BROUGH

"an indefinite intention towards a certain


temporal location with respect
to the Now"
a location to its
not
does
arbitrarily assign
(54). Memory
own
to
rather
the
its
thanks
itself. And
locates
intention,
object;
object,
someone
it
is
the
location
that
be
may
although
fairly indefinite,
unlikely
its
his
will
it
situate
recalling
wedding
temporal horizon,
reception, given
further from the actual Now
than the day he entered grammar school.
are now in a
We
to
position
explain the possibility of the fulfillment
the
of
have
memorial
intention directed towards the temporal location. We
established
that when
the elapsed act is recalled, its intention directed
towards the future is also renewed memorially. The object of this intention
is "the objective temporal series of events," which is given emptily or un

intuitively in the original memory and is therefore described by Husserl


as "the dark
of what is actually remembered"
surroundings (Umgebung)
an
we ordinarily recall the
Now
(54).
although
perception's horizon in
of
its
halo"
"the
exists
manner,
by
unfolding
empty
temporal
possibility
a
us assume that
making each point into the object of memory (436). Let
we actualize an
of what is implicitly intended as future in
explicit memory
the remembered perceptual act. If we are successful, we will be intuitively
conscious of a determinate act and its object, intentionally related to what
was
to the actual Now.28 The new object of
originally recalled but closer
course
own halo of intentions,
an
its
will
of
memory
possess
including
intention directed towards future acts and objects, which may also be ex
so on. As the
recollecting process advances along
plicitly remembered, and
the chain of interlocking intentions, the temporal horizon of what is re
membered "is continually opened anew and becomes richer and more vital"
a
(53). The unfolding activity of memory constitutes
progressive fulfilling
of the emptily intended horizons, ultimately culminating in the living present.
the advancing recollection I realize "the objective
Through
possibility of
at that time that was, then came that, up to the
succession:
the
establishing
29
of following, for example, "what I have perceived step
Now"
(301),
" 30
. . .
to
the
Now
( 197)
by-step, up
If the process of fulfillment advances harmoniously, then the
temporal

locationof the object is confirmed(437). The possibilityalways remains

open, of course, that what I have located in the past does not belong there,
or belongs in a different
Memorial
renewal of the
course of
position.
elapsed
will reveal whether this is the case. It may be discovered, for
experience
that of two conflicting memories only one will fit into the context
example,
of the past stream of consciousness. Such a determination is always available
in
for "a person now has a past, a determinate one" and "there
principle,

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HUSSERL

ON MEMORY

59

fore a context of non-conflicting memory certainly exists, as possible"


(437).
We have only to actualize that context memorially tomake the determination.
D.

Memory

and the Absolute

Flow

of Consciousness

our sketch of memory's constitution we must raise one more


complete
discussed
We
earlier Husserl's
claim that memory is an immanent
question.
in
inner
constituted
time-consciousness.
We have also traced Husserl's
unity
an
that
of
memory
argument
elapsed object implies representation of the
was
which
the
the
through
object
perception
originally intended. Now
an immanent
or
is
also
elapsed perception
object originally constituted
experienced in inner time-consciousness. A reasonable question would then
be: must memory, in recalling the past perception, also
reproduce the elapsed
was
the
of
the
absolute
flow
in
which
time-constituting
portion
perception
answer
the
in
If
is
the
then
affirmative,
memory
originally experienced?
a thema
would have a triple intentionality, recalling at once
(though not in
a
in
each
of
the
ultimate
time-consciousness,
way
tizing
case)
past segment
in that segment, and the
the act once experienced as Now
object originally
the
act.
in
perceived
Husserl's
texts, however, are not clear on the issue. For example, in dis
"inner
the
cussing
reproduction of external perception," Husserl
speaks
of the inner consciousness"
of "representation
(128),
suggesting that
memory of the ultimate flow is indeed involved in memory of earlier per
same passage the manner in which he
symbolizes the
ception. But in the
omits
of
the
to
the
reference
any
representation
perception
past experiencing.
The act when originally experienced as present may be symbolized as Ii (P0)>
"
where
/' is the impressionai inner consciousness of the perception of an
external object "P0." The reproduction of the perception is symbolized as
Ri (P0), where Ri is the "inner reproduction" of the elapsed perception.
if the representation also intended the elapsed inner consciousness,
However,
we would
which Husserl
does not in
expect the formula: Ri[Ii(P0)],
fact supply.
Other texts, however, intimate that past inner consciousness is
reproduced
inmemory. Thus Husserl appears to distinguish between the
representational
"
...
consciousness of a past immanent object and the
of
'reproduction'
sensation"
a
the earlier primal
(79)
synonym for
("primal sensation" is
the moment of the ultimate flow
a
"primal impression,"
through which
of the immanent object is experienced as Now).
Elsewhere
he
refers
phase
to "the
consciousness of the immanent tone (which in an
representational
To

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60

JOHN

. BROUGH

sense is
appropriately modified
representational consciousness of the inner
consciousness of the tone) . . ." (96).
But if the textual evidence is ambiguous, the logic of Husserl's
position
seem to be decisive.
would
Just as we cannot recall a past external event
without representing the perception through which itwas originally given,
so we cannot recall the
past perception without representing the elapsed
inner consciousness through which it was originally
I
experienced. When
remember a past transcendent object, I remember it as having been perceived.
as
I recall a past act, I recall it as having been
When
experienced, that is,
am to return
to
in
I
been
constituted
inner
If
time.
the
having
memorially
same act I once
as Now,
then I must implicitly represent that
experienced
segment of the ultimate time-consciousness in which the act was first con
stituted. Furthermore, the past act will be recalled as located at a certain
Since it is the
(307).
position "in the elapsing series of my experiences"
absolute flow with its retentions and protentions which originally orders
the act in inner time, recalling the act's location would entail
representing
the inner consciousness which first located it. Finally, I recall an
elapsed
act as having been
as
experienced by me, specifically,
having been constituted
in the same stream of consciousness to which my
present act of memory
to
act
But
the
recall
without
belongs.
elapsed
representing the flow through
which I first experienced it,would be tantamount to recalling an act which
no one.
belonged to
The claim that in remembering an elapsed act we also recall the absolute
mean that we ever
time-constituting flow does not
represent the flow by
itself. The ultimate flow simply is the experiencing of immanent
temporal
objects. The inner consciousness of the act is inseparable (though distinct)
from what it constitutes. That relationship is not severed when the act
a
it is renewed when the act is remembered.
Recalling
elapses, and
past
act always
the
of
the
ultimate
time-constitut
implies recalling
elapsed portion
was
originally experienced, and remembering a
ing flow in which the act
past segment of the flow always entails remembering the immanent object
it constituted.
we
constitution is now
sketch of memory's
Our
complete. Although
we have
have been able to catch only the broad outlines of Husserl's
theory,
at least
the fundamental role memory plays in conscious life.
glimpsed
is
can be
in time and none of its flowing
Consciousness
steeped
phases
arrested and kept in living actuality. From the perspective of the living
our
has receded into the
present, the main portion of
experience
past

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on

husserl

memory

61

and into forgetfulness. Without memory we would have no access to what


has been the length and breadth of our lives. That time's flow does not
in a present without windows to the past, we owe tomemory.
imprison the self
B. Brough

John

University

Georgetown

NOTES
1. Edmund Husserl, Zur Ph?nomenologie des Inneren Zeitbewusstseins (1893
1917), ed. Rudolf Boehm, Husserliana, Band X (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff,
1966).
2.

Edmund

Husserl,

serliana, Band XI
3.

of our

most

Since

zur Passiven

Analysen

Synthesis,

(The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966).


be

will

references

to Husserliana,

ed. Margot

Hus

Fleischer,
X

Volume

(Zeitbewusst

sein), page numbers of texts cited or directly quoted from this volume will be given
in parentheses
immediately
following
4.
I capitalize
the term "Now"

the reference

the English
lower case
"now"
use of the term.
technical

because

Husserl's

is only

5. Memory

one

among

it

whenever
may

several

with

to

respect

the Now.

forms

is also

There

quotation.
is a translation

to draw

fail

gung) which have a relation to the actual Now.


future

or

of

the

for

reader's

representation

"das
Jetzt"
to
attention

(Vergegenw?rti

Expectation intends its object as


of

representation

con

something

temporaneouswith theNow but not perceived (60). And "mere phantasy" is disting
uished frommemory because the formerhas no reference to the actual Now (105).
6.

Husserl

sciousness

and

ever, in that
for example,

does
the

distinguish,
transcendent

as we

will

time of

the latter

see,

an

between

external

immanent
two

The

objects.
the fomer. The

of

time

are

con

how
related,
of perception,

is given
immanent
act
through
is simultaneous
with
the perceived
transcendent
object.
7. The
"world's
time" here
is not "clock
time" but simply
the appearing
time
or remembered
of perceived
transcendent
objects.
8. Husserl
two dimensions
therefore distinguishes
two dimensions
of immanence,

within

consciousness

is constituted.
present
Writings
9.

Husserl

itself,

and

claims

to

that within

advance

this

one

the consciousness

distinction

in

about

of

the other

the
See
of an Absolute
Consciousness
in Husserl's
Emergence
Early
on Time
Man
and World,
5, no. 3 (August
307fT.
Consciousness,"
1972):
. .
even
the most
is
immanent
Representation,
primitive
representation,

writer's

begins

1907.

"The

already secondary consciousness presupposing primary consciousness in which it is


know impressionally" (90).
"The
is itself an event of inner consciousness:
representation
its actual Now,
etc. . . ." (316).
its running-off modes,
11. Husserl
that there are limits
to what
we
can
observes

10.

it has

// it ensues,

retain

(193).

then
But

even if everything could be retained,memory would remain vitally important. For

enables us to relive our experiences


memory
representationally,
"watches"
them recede. Further,
if we could not remember

while

as well

retention passively
as retain we could

not reflect,that is, attentively run through an experience again, and


phenomenology
itselfwould be impossible.

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62
12.

Passiven

Husserl,

. BROUGH

JOHN
. 292.

Synthesis,

13. Robert Sokolowski cites this statement in support of his contention that
once

Husserl

an

held

image

theory. Robert

Meditations

Husserlian

Sokolowski,

(Evans

ton:Northwestern University Press, 1974), p. 147, note 12. Sokolowski would appear
to be

correct

siderable,

in his

14. See, e.g., (62),


15. Nr.

Textual

contention.

as we

however,

will

point

(164),

The

158-160.

7, pp.

out

(166).
text

is probably

concerned

are

the matter

ambiguities
concerning
in the next
section.
with

primary

con

memory,

but the implied criticism of an image theorywould apply to the case of secondary
as well.

memory

16. Explicit critcism first appears inNr. 18, which Boehm, the editor of Hus
serliana X, dates around 1901. But both the language and the content of the sketch

that it was
written
somewhat
later. On Nr.
Husserlian
18, see Sokolowski,
suggest
Meditations,
p. 147, note 12 and p. 149, note 14.
17. Some
of the arguments
in later texts, especially
in Nr.
Nr.
18, others
appear

47, which probably dates from 1907-1909.


18. We

relied

chiefly

on

Zeithbewusstsein

for Husserl's

arguments

against

the

image theory.A strong and clear (but brief) rejection is found in Passiven Synthesis,
p.

305.

does
however,
"Memory,
a second
is consciously
Ibid., p. 325.
are not two
". . . There

19.
in which
20.
21.

remembered

perceived.
22. Husserl,

contain

in

analogized."
kinds

(289).

The

itself

Husserl,

the perception
of one object
Passiven
p. 305.
Synthesis,

of houses,
houses
perceived
same
house
is represented

or
imagined
as was
earlier

and

Passiven

p. 96.
Synthesis,
remembered
perception
that "every
Husserl
claims

Because

23.

houses

not

the

manent

object,
is immanent"
(96).
24.
"...
A
representational

an

of

memory

modification
of
. . ."
of the perceived
representation
object
(89).
25. Husserl,
Passiven
p. 353.
Synthesis,

is itself an
external
im
object
is . . . also memory
of what
is at

perception

the

same

time

26. According to Husserl, it pertains to the sense of the fully constituted object
that it can be repeated as the same in diverse acts, and this requires memory. See

Passiven

pp. 326-27.
Synthesis,
Passiven
Husserl,
Synthesis,
an act is
28. When
originally
27.

p.

310.

experienced,

intentions

or

directed

protentions

to

wards the future are empty and open. But the elapsed protentionswhich we recall
"have been fulfilled,and we are aware of this in the recollection" (52). In recalling
the past protentions I recall what originally fulfilled them.
29. We

intentions

have

forward movement
memory's
the Now.
Husserl
that
suggests

stressed

towards

the trail of
along
one
can also move

interlocking
backwards

from the horizon of what is actually present towards what is remembered (70). In
either case we move across overlapping temporal fieldswhich are united into a
single
field through their intentional horizons (70).
30.

Husserl

acknowledges

that

there

are

limitations

to what

we

can

remember

and that a completely fulfilledmemory is an ideal limit case. Husserl, Passiven


Synthesis,

p.

82.

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