Thursday, October 11, 2007

Presentationally Immanent

Two passages from Patočka's discussion of the phenomenon according to Husserl (Introduction, Chapter 4). First passage:

[I]ntentionality proves to be at the root of appearance, of the manifestation of the object. It becomes possible to trace its "genesis," its "constitution," because the object is not merely intentionally given but constructed in the intentional activity. This is an unexpected relust, opening up an entirely new perspective. Intentionality appears to us as an active process of which we have no inkling in ordinary experience because there we rest content with bare results, always already in some sense complete and fixated. Since intentionality aims essentially at the object and does not normally pause at lived experience, there follows from this quite logically the tendency of our lived experience to overlook itself, not to see itself in how and often even that it is at all. If we are to live in things and with things, we must not live in ourselves and in our comprehension of ourselves–an aspect of the activity of lived experience from which Heidegger and Sartre will later deduce an insurmountable "existential" tendency of life to avoid its most authentic tasks, to avoid itself in its preoccupation with things which are in their entire nature different from the human mode of being, the tendency of lived experience to be rid of itself, to alienate, externalize and reify itself–an experiential approach to the phenomenon of alienation.

(p. 65, Patočka's emphases)

Can we recover something of our selves in our relations to things? How about our relations to others? Would the tendency towards alienation be comparable in both cases?

Second passage:

[T]he world is not merely an object, an objectival synthesis, but, thanks to the object, a perceptual field. This open perceptual field is contemporaneous with our actual lived experiences, immanent in the same present, yet not subjective! Thus further distinctions are needed besides those which Husserl offers. Apart from subjective immanence we need to distinguish a presentational immanence which is not coextensive with the subjective. Not all that is immanent in the present is subjectively immanent, though all that is presentationally immanent is guaranteed in the sense that its givenness at present is at the same time a guarantee of existence; for it is here, in person, so that we cannot imagine any greater accessibility or presence. Thus any attempt to declare something an illusion is applicable only to constituted meaning outside presence, not to the phenomenon of objectival givenness as such.

(p. 70, Patočka's emphases)

Would it make sense to speak of copresentational immanence? What would the difference be between copresence and coevality. Is copresence necessarily metaphysical (what would that mean?) while coevality is not? Could we fairly declare illusional a phenomenon of intersubjective givenness? Is alientation subjectively immanent, or is that an alienated view? Because it would be a paradox to say that we are alienated from our lived experience, we might hesitate to say that an immanent, open perceptual field can be shared. We shouldn't hesitate as long as we can find evidence of such a field. Instead we should question what alienation means. After all, what is the full meaning of openness?

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posted by Fido the Yak at 8:03 AM.


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