, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 361-391
Date: 23 Feb 2007

Essential clarifications of ‘self-affection’ and Husserl’s ‘sphere of ownness’: First steps toward a pure phenomenology of (human) nature

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Abstract

This article begins with a critical discussion of the commonly used phenomenological term “self-affection,” showing how the term is problematic. It proceeds to clarify obscurities and other impediments in current usage of the term through initial analyses of experience and to single out a transcendental clue found in Husserl’s descriptive remarks on wakeful world-consciousness, a clue leading to a basic phenomenological truth of wakeful human life. The truth centers on temporality and movement, and on animation. The three detailed investigations that follow – of sensations and dynamics with respect to affectivity and movement, of the experiential connection between affectivity and movement, and of the defining features that Husserl identifies as “the sphere of ownness” – show specifically how temporality and movement are linked and how animation is at the heart of what is called ‘self-affection’. They show further that Nature in the form of the felt dynamics of life itself warrants substantive and assiduous phenomenological elucidation.