William James and Edmund Husserl on the Horizontality of Experience

  • Saulius GeniusasEmail author
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 108)


The central task of the following analysis is that of answering the question, in which sense is the horizon a philosophical notion and a philosophical theme? With this in mind, the paper undertakes an investigation into how Husserl’s notion of the horizon derives from James’s analysis of the fringe of consciousness. The paper argues that Husserl is to be considered the founder of the horizon-problematic in philosophy, but not because he was the first to have thematized the phenomenon of the horizon. James had already done this at a great depth. The significance of Husserl’s analyses consists in having depsychologized this problematic and in having disclosed its transcendental dimensions. Thus, as a philosophical theme, the horizon is irreducibly transcendental. The single most significant philosophical upshot of such a transformation consists in eliminating the dimension of arbitrariness that is inscribed in James’s notion of the fringe. Far from compromising the phenomenon’s objective sense, the subject-relativity of the horizon is what allows one to identify and secure the phenomenon’s objective significance.


Intentional Objectivity Philosophical Theme Traditional Empiricist Transcendental Dimension Transitive Part 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Religion, MSC 8006James Madison UniversityHarrisonburgUSA

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