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9. The “Biology” to Come? Encounter between Husserl, Nietzsche, and Some Contemporaries

ELODIE BOUBLIL Indiana University Press ePub

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The “Biology” to Come?

Encounter between Husserl, Nietzsche, and Some Contemporaries

Bettina Bergo

THIS ESSAY ADDRESSES two problems whose outcome indicates the site where a dialogue between phenomenology and Nietzsche might begin. The first problem can be posed as a question: What is the “biology” to which Husserl refers in Appendix 23 of the Crisis (published in 1936) and which is set forth as the “universal ontology”? The second problem concerns embodied consciousness and its life-world. If phenomenology was to serve as the foundation for all scientific endeavors, how then could biology be equated with ontology, and what relationship other than derivative could biology have to phenomenology?

Let us recall the spirit of the Crisis of European Sciences in light of Husserl’s overarching project. By the time he published the Crisis, transcendental psychology was to lead back to the fundamental science of phenomenology. Not that Husserl had made a psychologistic turn; on the contrary, he was simply asserting the primacy of embodied, constituting consciousness as the foundation from which to derive what he called “regional ontologies.” A number of access routes thus opened to transcendental phenomenology, including the critical-historical, that of a fundamental psychology, and perhaps that of the biology to come, grounded in the Lebenswelt. Transcendental phenomenology remained the formal foundation of all other inquiries, subjective or objective. Phenomenological consciousness, as meaning-conferral, remained the dynamic correlation of noetic aiming and noematic donation, out of which other domains of positive knowledge implicitly arose. Yet by the 1930s Husserl’s investigation into intersubjective intropathy (Einfühlung), passive syntheses, and association had clearly shown the conundrums of phenomenological consciousness. Thus consciousness was invariably embodied and tied to bodily movements (kinestheses). However, the essential ground of consciousness, as spontaneous self-constitution and as the flow of time, proceeded on the basis of now-moments and their retentions, rooted in neurological processes unavailable to phenomenological description. Thus the brief arguments for biology, presented in Appendix 23 (left out of the English translation), had to do with Husserl’s efforts to situate life, understood as physiological processes in lived bodies, in relation to the consciousness brought to light by transcendental psychology. Nevertheless if biology was to be universal ontology, that meant that the relationship between life and consciousness had come center stage, with life and consciousness, consciousness and the life-world constituting each other dynamically.

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10. Review of Fraser’s Locke

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF

10

Review of

Fraser’s Locke

25 September 1890

The Nation

Locke. By Alexander Campbell Fraser. [Philosophical Classics for English Readers.] Edinburgh: Wm. Blackwood & Sons; Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co. 1890.

Mr. Galton’s researches have set us to asking of every distinguished personality, what were the traits of his family; although in respect, not to Mr. Galton’s eminent persons, but to the truly great—those men who, in their various directions of action, thought, and feeling, make such an impression of power that we cannot name from all history more than three hundred such—in respect to these men it has not been shown that talented families are more likely than dull families to produce them. The gifts of fortune, however, are of importance even to these. It is not true that they rise above other men as a man above a race of intelligent dogs. In the judgment of Palissy the potter (and what better witness could be asked?), the majority of geniuses are crushed under adverse circumstances. John Locke, whose biography by Berkeleyan

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3. On Nietzsche’s Genealogy and Husserl’s Genetic Phenomenology: The Case of Suffering

ELODIE BOUBLIL Indiana University Press ePub

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On Nietzsche’s Genealogy and Husserl’s Genetic Phenomenology

The Case of Suffering

Saulius Geniusas

THE QUESTION OF suffering played a prominent part in philosophical reflections until the end of the nineteenth century. In contemporary philosophy, this question is almost entirely forgotten. Of course, one could object to such a claim and suggest that nowadays philosophers address suffering indirectly when they turn to the question of pain—an issue by no means uncommon in contemporary philosophical discussions. And yet in these analyses pain is addressed as a phenomenon that falls into the larger class of sensations known as bodily sensations, such as itches, tingles, and tickles.1 It is highly doubtful whether such a framework can do full justice to our experience of pain.2 In the present context, suffice it to stress that the reduction of the problematic of pain to the level of bodily sensations cannot tell us what suffering is, if only because, in the words of Gary Madison, suffering is not a neurological but an existential phenomenon.3 Or as Eric Cassell has put it, “Bodies do not suffer, persons suffer.”4

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54. Review of Ridgeway’s The Origin of Metallic Currency

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF

54

Review of Ridgeway’s

The Origin of Metallic Currency

23 June 1892

Houghton Library

The Origin of Metallic Currency and Weight Standards. By William Ridgeway, Professor of Greek in Queen’s College, Cork.

Cambridge (Eng.) University Press: New York: Macmillan. 1892.

Compound arithmetic can certainly make itself very disagreeable.

From the urchin writhing in the agonies of a long sum in long measure, up to Belshazzar, watching the hand write upon the wall those distressful words, “Pounds, pounds, ounces, drams,” that suggested there was an account to settle with God, mortals have doubtless undergone more misery, first and last, from this branch of mathematics than from any other. On the other hand, to accompany a learned and ingenious essayist in his explorations of ancient metrology, to cut the rope that ties us to the here and now, to mount the heights of speculation, borne up by a beautiful and globular theory, to cleave the thin air of ancient texts, and trust to our guide to get us back to terra firma, this is a most delightful and entertaining pastime. Alas! we have blown our last parting kiss to the theorists of our boyhood, Boeckh, Queipo, Hultsch, and the rest.

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6. Fink, Reading Nietzsche: On Overcoming Metaphysics

ELODIE BOUBLIL Indiana University Press ePub

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Fink, Reading Nietzsche

On Overcoming Metaphysics

Françoise Dastur

NIETZSCHE’S ROLE IN European thought has been preponderant for at least fifty years. First relegated to literary studies, then, with Hitler’s rise to power, to the domain of ideology (by Alfred Baümler, in particular),1 his work only begins to be considered as philosophy with the publication of Jaspers’s monograph in 19362 and the lectures Heidegger gave from 1936 to 1940 but did not publish until 1961. The following decade saw the flowering of what may be called “French Nietzscheism” with the publication in 1962 of Deleuze’s Nietzsche et la philosophie, which, in some sense, had set the pattern. This period is also marked by the decline of phenomenology, which, after the passing of its most eminent representative, Merleau-Ponty, in 1961, was crushed in the structuralist tidal wave that swept through French academe in the 1960s and 1970s. One might have had the impression that the Husserlian maxim of going back to the things themselves, as it was presented in 1901 (that is, tracing the “merely symbolic understanding of words”3 back to the expressive acts on which they are founded), had given way to the idea expressed by Foucault in a now landmark lecture, that “everything is already interpretation” and that, consequently, “there is nothing absolutely primary to interpret.”4 Foucault was taking up Nietzsche’s famous statement, “There is no fact in itself. What happens is a group phenomenon—chosen and collected by the being who interprets them.”5

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