Subjects & Nature: Husserl or Heidegger


Unlike Husserl, Heidegger wants to get back to the elemental originality of mere thingness of sensation without the theoretical mediating force of the imagination. This means that the subject disappears into the object, i.e. into the world, into time, into Being, phusis, Beyng, etc. This becomes crystal clear in the Beitrage, about which I’ll post a thing or two in a couple of days. For Husserl, on the other hand, Being is not pre-given. Being is posited, “an actively performed positing of being in which the [transcendental] Ego lives and grasps what is objective, seizes and posits as a being” (Ideas II, p.13). With Husserl, the interconnections are flowing, relative, and, as posited, subject-dependent. “Subjects cannot be dissolved into nature, for in that case what gives nature its sense would be missing. Nature is a field of relativities throughout, and can be so because these always in fact relative to an absolute, the spirit, which consequently is what sustains all the relativities” (Ideas II, p.311).

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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5 Responses to Subjects & Nature: Husserl or Heidegger

  1. dmf says:

    how does this play out in Husserl insisting that he isn’t doing psychology?

  2. jethrobravo says:

    dmf, Phenomenology is not Psychology inasmuch as it disconnects (schaltet aus) the belief in the existence of the particular thing the psychologysts call the mind: the experience of a subject pre-given in space and time. Phenomenology asks for the posibilite of such pregiveness that Pscyhology has as a science constructed in the soil of the natural attitude. In other words, Psychology supposes (posits) its objetc of study, while Phenomenology doesn’t use any posting as a hidden epistemological premise for the study of mind (hence it becomes trascendental and not psychological). Psychology for Husserl is a positve science that dwells in the realm of the already posited -it works with a basic existence assumption. It makes and abstraction of nature, when it is not psycho – physic or physiological directed, but departs from the pre-giveness of the psychological subject, whose are the experiences or subjective acts (Erlebnisse). Psychology has not a trascendental concern, which defines Phenomenology, and that trascendental concern (which comes from the epistemological tradition of modernity) is a subject matter of Philosophy, not of a posit-ive science.
    To Zachary: thanks again for sharing your insights into Husserl. I fully agree with you regarding Heidegger. His negation of subjectivity comes as he is trying to turn upsidedown philosophical thinking. This is dangerous, as it implys the renounce to epistemological responsability, at least in the context of heideggerian thought.
    I think you will not celebrate the non jewish new year, but I will, so, the best for you all in our next year. 🙂

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