Time and Formal Authenticity: Husserl and Heidegger

  • Robert Welsh Jordan
Part of the Contributions to Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 41)


Husserl’s transcendental conception of the relation between time-constitution and immanent time was still very far off conceptually when he delivered the 1905 Time Lectures. The conceptual framework of his General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology 1 of 1913 maintains that the status of all mental processes (or lived experiences, Erlebnise) as occurring in the flux of immanent time is achieved through constitutive functions which cannot be authentically understood as occurring in time at all, even though they also are bound to be identified as occurring at the present moment in the constituted flux and the flux as occurring to and through the lived body and the lived body as belonging to the life-world. The flux is, therefore, necessarily intended as belonging to world-time. The flux of mental processes and immanent time itself, therefore, are constituted, and the syntheses through which they get constituted do not occur in the flux or in immanent time. Through such synthetic transcendental occurrences, the self makes itself be in time and in the world. Accordingly, the transcendental subject coincides only partially with the subject in the world, but it does so necessarily and can exist only by doing so, by “making” itself be in the world. If vast differences in nomenclature are overlooked, this later position is close in many ways to the one Martin Heidegger2 was developing when he was engaged in editing the 1905 lectures for their first publication.


Immanent Time Collect Work Subjective Process Ontic State Formal Authenticity 
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    Edmund Husserl, Ideen zu einer Reinen Phänomenologie und Phänomenologischen Philosophie, Erstes Buch, Allgemeine Einführung in die Reine Phänomenologie, ed. Walter Biemel, Husserliana III (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1950). [Cited hereafter as Hua El; where the citation is by page number, the numbers will be followed in parentheses by the marginal pagination, which corresponds to the pagination of the original 1913 publication.] See especially §§81–86. English translation: Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy. First Book, General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology, trans. Frederick I. Kersten (The Hague & Boston: M. Nijhoff, 1982). [Cited hereafter as Ideas, Book I]Google Scholar
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    It could and probably did serve as Heidegger’s point of departure though the positions probably are in the end different in several important particulars; see §§7–8 below.Google Scholar
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  4. 4.
    When the word “Object” is spelled with an initial capital here and in the remainder of this essay, it corresponds to the German “Objekt” while it will correspond to Husserl’s „Gegenstand“ when spelled with lower case initial letter. All other nouns, verbs, etc. that are clearly related to these words will be treated in the same way orthographically. The two words are probably not quite interchangeable even in Husserl’s writing before 913. In Husserliana X and XXIV with which this and the next section will be principally concerned, as in the Logical Investigations and in most of Husserl’s writings, “Objektiverung” and related terms seem usually to refer to consciousness insofar as it takes the form of belief or of its various “modalities,” i.e., to what will come to be called “doxic” consciousness. “Vergegenständlichung” and its related terms seems on the other hand to refer to something that consciousness in all its forms, whether doxic or not, does.Google Scholar
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    The passage occurs in the “Addenda and Supplements to the Analysis of Time-Consciousness from the years 1905–1910” Hua X: 296 (Collected Works 4: 307), which is a transcription made in 1917 or later after Edith Stein had begun to work on organizing and revising the manuscript. There seems to be a very good chance that the word was not in the manuscript itself which apparently is no longer extant. See the editor’s introductions to Collected Works 4 (Xïïff.) and Hua X (XIVfF.) The word also occurs quite without context and as a paragraph in its own right at 296.Google Scholar
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    The difference is implicit in Descartes’s differentiation of clear from unclear perceiving. Attentiveness is both a necessary and a sufficient condition for a perceiving that was previously unclear (was obscure) to become clear. Being attended to is both a necessary and sufficient condition for something that is intuited in an unclear (obscure) way to come to have been intuited clearly. See René Descartes, Principles of Philosophy, Part I, Principle XLV, page 237 in Volume 1 of the translation by E. S. Haldane and G. R. T. Ross (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1931).Google Scholar
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    The German is eigentlich and carries much the same meaning for Heidegger as it has here and in most other Husserlian contexts. The signification is elaborated in Husserliana IX, Appendix XI (1926), 412 n. 1; see also Chapters 3–5 of the 6th of the Logical Investigations (Hua XIX/2 596–656). The ego’s being-with-the-intentional-object [bei-dem-intentionalen-Gegenstand-sein] is ambiguous since its being-with may be either an unfulfilled anticipation or actually fulfilled. Being with in the mode of actual fulfillment is authentic being-with. Being-with in the anticipatory mode would then be inauthentic being-with. As long as any fulfillment at all is outstanding, an actus is anticipative and so is inauthentic. The passage to which this one is a marginal note explains that the ego’s being interested in objects is to be taken etymologically as interesse, i.e., to be in the midst of entities. The English Phenomenological Psychology. Lectures, Summer Semester, 1925, trans, John Scanlon, presents only the main text (234 pp.) of Husserliana IX and omits some 240 pages of important supplements and appendices not otherwise available in English, including Appendix XLGoogle Scholar
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    Misinterpretations, inauthentic explications (false statements, miscounting, invalid reasoning, etc.) would seem to generate members of the class of inauthentic, merely subject-relative objective traits. Though Jones falsely believes the night of May 29, 1984 to have been a night when black stealth helicopters hovered over his home, it still remains true of his home that it is inhabited by someone who believed it to have been subject to that sort of surveillance. Such explications generate a unity belonging not to the world but to the absolutely inclusive class, the class of all objects, which necessarily includes itself.Google Scholar
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    A number of Husserl’s texts written prior to 1913 seem to indicate commitment to such a dualism. A prime example is found in Husserliana XXIV (244–247). On the other hand, the same lecture course goes on to demonstrate—as was shown above—that pre-Objective forms of temporal and spatial extension are given with the very impressions themselves. And similar points are made in the lectures on “Thing and Space” of 1907 (Hua XVI).Google Scholar
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    Phenomenology proper would exclude in that case the corruption of Alfred Schutz’s work that seems sometimes to occur when it is rendered into English; this happens, for example, in the following passage with disastrous effect. SCHUTZ: Das erlebende Ich erlebt die Erlebnisse seiner Dauer nicht als wohlumgrenzte und daher isolierte Einheiten, wenngleich es sie as solche in den reflexiven Blick zu bringen fähig ist. [Alfred Schutz, Dersinnhafte Aufbau der sozialen Welt. Eine Einleitung in die verstehende Soziologie, second, unaltered edition (Vienna: Springer, 1960) 78f.]. TRANSLATORS: We have already exposed the fallacy that intended meaning is an isolated lived experience (Erlebnis). As long as consciousness remains a pure stream of duration, there are no discrete lived experiences. [Alfred Schutz, The Phenomenology of the Social World, trans. George Walsh and Frederick Lehnert (Northwestern University Press, 1967) 75]. The empahsis in the German text is Schutz’s.Google Scholar
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    “Reveals” is the term used by the Mcquarrie-Robinson as well as the Stambaugh translation of Being and Time to render Heidegger’s enthüllt, for which A. Hofstadter employs “unveils” in translating The Basic Problems of Phenomenology.Google Scholar
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Welsh Jordan
    • 1
  1. 1.Colorado State UniversityUSA

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