The New Husserl: A Critical Reader (review)

Journal of the History of Philosophy 43 (1):122-123 (2005)
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In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Reviewed by:The New Husserl: A Critical ReaderBob SandmeyerDonn Welton, editor. The New Husserl: A Critical Reader. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003. Pp. xxv + 334. Cloth, $75.00. Paper, $29.95.Donn Welton has put together a superb collection of twelve essays which "provide an alternative to the standard approach to Husserl by examining his method as a whole and by offering depth-probes into a number of issues, old and new, that occupied [Husserl] during his exceptionally productive later period" (xi). Although classed under five subheadings by Welton, the essays are of three types generally. These are (1) essays which provide introduction to and overview of Husserl's philosophy, especially as expressed in his later works, (2) essays of comparison between aspects of Husserl's philosophy and other non-phenomenological or psychological theories, and (3) analytic essays which treat a particular thematic within (and transcending) Husserl's phenomenological philosophy.The book begins with Klaus Held's wonderfully coherent introductions to Husserl's phenomenological method and phenomenology of the life-world. Although these two essays are not new, they remain original and current overviews of Husserl's whole philosophy [End Page 122] translated into English for the first time. More importantly, they do not lapse into an obtuse jargon so typical of Husserlian scholarship. Both essays provide an excellent introduction to the major themes of Husserl's philosophy.Three essays within the collection are primarily comparative. Dieter Lohmar delves into a notoriously thorny issue within Kant's first critique, i.e., the schematism of concepts, in order to compare this against Husserl's concept of type. But he attempts herein to articulate something that "never really interested Kant" (97), i.e., the empirical genesis of the schemata. Apart from providing a clear account of the genesis of empirical schema within Kantian philosophy, Lohmar also clarifies the Husserlian conception of type as instituted in perceptual consciousness. Rudolf Bernet examines the appearing of Unconsciousness as presented by Freud in order to "show how it is possible that consciousness can bring to present appearance something unconscious... without thereby incorporating it into or subordinating it to the conscious present" (200). Bernet achieves two ends in this fine essay. He employs Husserl's theory of phantasy in inner-time consciousness in order to intimate a solution to the seeming aporia implicit in Freud's theory of unconscious consciousness. More importantly to Husserlian scholarship, however, Bernet also provides a fine articulation of Husserl's theory of phantasy as it develops from the "apprehension of a content of apprehension" schema to that of a non-positing, intuitive-reproductive presentification. Donn Welton's essay, "World as Horizon," attacks the semantic theory of claims and descriptions espoused primarily by Robert Brandom. What is lacking in Brandom's theory of claims and, by extension, in any abstracting semantic theory, Welton argues, is the proper starting point. Speech acts must be understood from within a theory of world "as a nexus of significance that situates not only our multiple discourses about different regions but also the regions themselves" (224).The bulk of the essays in this collection, however, are analytic in nature and range over themes as diverse as intentionality, inner-time-consciousness, self-reflection, intersubjectivity and the differing styles of phenomenological analysis within Husserl's philosophy. Perhaps the best essays in this collection, given its aim, are Lanei Rodemeyer's essay "Developments in the Theory of Time-Consciousness: an Analysis of Protention" and Anthony Steinbock's "Generativity and the Scope of Generative Phenomenology." Where Rodemeyer concentrates her attention on explicating the role of protention in all of Husserl's time-analyses—but most especially in the later Bernauer and C manuscripts, Steinbock looks from within Husserl's philosophy to a style of analysis that goes beyond Husserl to become "a communal effort, not just among contemporary phenomenologists, but as a project handed down and appropriated over the generations" (317 ff.). With the exception of David Carr's essay on subjectivity in the transcendental tradition, what is common to all these analytical essays is the dominant place of Husserl's late analyses of inner-time-consciousness and temporalization. These analyses play a major role in the two essays just...



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Bob Sandmeyer
University of Kentucky

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