Transcendental Consciousness: Subject, Object, or Neither?

In Iulian Apostolescu (ed.), The Subject(s) of Phenomenology. Rereading Husserl. Springer. pp. 45-56 (2019)
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Although the term ‘transcendental consciousness’ seems like a rather basic notion in Husserl’s philosophy, its precise meaning is in fact one of the principle dividing points among scholars. In this paper I first outline three different views on transcendental consciousness and identify reasons for maintaining them. The most interesting opposition this exposition yields is between the latter two positions. The rest of the paper is then devoted to developing a solution to this interpretative problem which should satisfy intuitions underlying both camps. Particularly novel about this solution is that it understands Husserl’s notion of transcendental consciousness as involving a kind of metaphysical commitment, and takes it not as any kind of object or regional ontology, but as encompassing the totality of being considered from a unique transcendental-phenomenological perspective.



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Corijn van Mazijk
University of Groningen

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