Man and World 5 (3):298-326 (1972)

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The collection of Edmund Husserl's sketches on time-consciousness from the years 1893-1917, edited by Rudolf Boehm and published as Volume X in the Husserliana series, affords significant new material for the study of the evolution of Husserl's thought. Specifically, the sketches suggest that in the course of analyzing the consciousness of temporal objects Husserl became convinced that a distinction must be drawn between an ultimate or absolute flow of consciousness and the immanent temporal objects or contents -- sense-data, appearances of external things, acts of wishing, judging, etc. -- constituted or known within that flow. Further, the texts indicate that the emergence of the absolute dimension was connected with the development during this period of two distinct interpretations of the constitution of time-consciousness. Husserl apparently worked out the first of these during the years 1901-1907, and only towards the end of this period did the notion of an absolute consciousness, absent in earlier texts, make its appearance. And no sooner did it emerge than Husserl undertook a critique of his first interpretation which ultimately culminated in its rejection. In the new position which then appeared, around 1909, the absolute flow of time-constituting consciousness, and its distinction from temporal objects both immanent and transcendent, was unequivocally affirmed. We propose now to discuss this evolution and the emergence and nature of the absolute flow of consciousness.
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DOI 10.1007/BF01248638
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