Death and Time in Husserl’s C-Manuscripts

  • James DoddEmail author
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 197)


This paper outlines a reading of Husserl’s late writings on time and temporality (above all in the C-manuscripts) that aims to fix how Husserl formulates the problem of death from a phenomenological perspective. The guiding question to this end is: what can death tell us about time? The paper explores the possibility of approaching this question by considering first what life has to tell us about time, with the working thesis being that the problem of death bears precisely on how egoic life is conscious of itself as a “whole,” or how the whole of a personal “life” is a given unity of sense for an ego. This approach also promises to illuminate why the theme of death is pursued by Husserl in conjunction not only with the question of birth, but with that of sleep and sedimentation as well, since all of these themes form the basic parameters of Husserl’s conception of egoic life. This paper is meant to be a preliminary exploration of possible ways to approach Husserl’s late writings on time, and concludes with the suggestion that Husserl takes a very different course than other phenomenological philosophers, such as Sartre and Heidegger, who lay much more emphasis on the “ekstatic” character of lived time.


Intentional Objectivity Subjective Life Temporal Unity Phenomenological Philosopher Music Student 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Benoist, Jocelyn. Autour De Husserl: L’Ego Et La Raison. Bibliothéque d’Histoire De La Philosophie. Paris: J. Vrin, 1994.Google Scholar
  2. Heidegger, Martin. Sein Und Zeit. 8. unveränderte Aufl. ed. Tübingen: M. Niemeyer, 1957.Google Scholar
  3. Husserl, Edmund. Manuscript D 14: “Die Bedeutung der Scheidung von Wach- und Schlafperioden für die Lehre von der lebendigen Gegenwart. Das Rätsel des Unbewussten […]” Vor 1930, 1934. Unpublished.Google Scholar
  4. Husserl, Edmund. Erfahrung und Urteil. Untersuchungen zur Genealogie der Logik. Philosophische Bibliothek. 7. Aufl. ed. Vol. 280. Hamburg: Meiner, 1999.Google Scholar
  5. Husserl, Edmund and Rudolf Böhm. Zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins (1893–1917). Husserliana Vol. 10. Haag, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966.Google Scholar
  6. Husserl, Edmund, ed. by Walter Biemel. Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und Phänomenologischen Philosophie. Husserliana Vol. III. Neue, auf Grund der handschriftlichen Zusätze des Verfassers erweiterte Auflage ed. Vol. 3. Haag, Netherlands: M. Nijhoff, 1950.Google Scholar
  7. Husserl, Edmund, ed. by Dieter Lohmar. Späte Texte über Zeitkonstitution (1929–1934): Die C-Manuskripte. Husserliana Materialien Vol. VIII. Dordrecht: Springer, 2006.Google Scholar
  8. Husserl, Edmund, ed. by Dieter Lohmar and Rudolf Bernet. Die “Bernauer Manuskripte” über das Zeitbewusstsein (1917/1918). Husserliana Vol. XXXIII. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001.Google Scholar
  9. Husserl, Edmund, ed. by Margot Fleischer. Analysen zur passiven Synthesis : aus Vorlesungs- und Forschungsmanuskripten 1918–1926. Husserliana Vol. XI. Haag, Netherlands: M. Nijhoff, 1966.Google Scholar
  10. Kortooms, Toine. Phenomenology of Time: Edmund Husserl’s Analysis of Time-Consciousness. Phaenomenologica. Vol. 161. Dordrecht, Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002.Google Scholar
  11. Montavont, Anne. De la passivité dans la phénoménologie de Husserl. Epiméthée. 1 éd. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1999.Google Scholar
  12. Sartre, Jean-Paul. L’Être et le Néant, Essai d’Ontologie Phénoménologique. Bibliothèque Des idées. Paris: Gallimard, 1943.Google Scholar
  13. Sartre, Jean-Paul, Hazel Estella Barnes, Mary Warnock, and Richard M. Eyre. Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology. Routledge Classics. [Etre et le néant.]. London; New York: Routledge, 2003.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New School for Social ResearchNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations