Sunday, February 08, 2009

Philosophy 118: 26January, 2009

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 last 26 January

.:More On Husserl:.

A concatenation of concepts = a chain of concepts. When the metaphysical approach is taken, after an initial experience, there is a concatenation of concepts which are logically constructed and logically progressive, but not necessarily verified.

The scientific approach, on the other hand, is concerned with the atomic particles that make up matter. However, even these are merely models and hypothetical constructs, not necessarily reality per se. Strictly speaking, we do not experience atoms, particles, and waves. It is merely assumed because it makes sense and it works. That it enables us to anticipate the forces of nature does not mean it is truly a reflection of reality.

Nazism was the horrible result of an atomistic view of reality. Because man is merely a chemical marvel, the chemicals become more important than the dignity of the being the chemicals make up.

As such, Husserl longs to return to the things unto themselves. The things as they are experienced. Husserl believes that in every human person's consciousness is the capacity to understand reality as it truly is, not merely as a metaphysical or scientific pursuit. Phenomenology is purely descriptive.

.:The Four Stages Of Phenomenology:.

1. Pre-Phenomenological

The pre-phenomenological phase pertains to the structure of signification. Whenever we say something is something, we are signifying something. This is made up of four components: the psychological act, the sign, the meaning, and the referential object. The psychological act is involved in the act of signification when you focus on a particular thing you intend to signify (you look at the keys). It is situated in time and space. The sign is the term we use to signify something, be it a symbol or a word (k-e-y-s). This is also situated in time and space. The meaning (that this is a bunch of metal pieces that unlock doors) is not in time and space. It is in consciousness. Plato might say it is in the world of Eidos. The referential object would be the physical keys itself. Obviously, this is also (often) situated in time and space.

An animal who looks at the same referential object will not find meaning in the referential object, compared to a human. This is what sets the meaning apart from the other steps in the structure of signification.

Take for example, the number 13. If I psychologically focus on the number 13, I may think of the number 13, and perhaps my superstitious associations with the number. The sign could be “13”, “thirteen”, or “xiii”, or “1111110”. The meaning of the number is clearly not found in time and space, since any person knows that thirteen is one ten and three ones, for example. The referential object is in place as the number thirteen itself. However, it is debatable if it is indeed a referential object, insofar as it is not a material object, a purely conceptual object.

2. Phenomenology as Limited Description
3. Transcendental Ego as Absolute
4. Der Lebenswelt (The Lifeworld)

.:Quotable Quotes:.

“By a logical process, I can now conclude that this is... $4!7.”

- Dr. Reyes

“I love my wife, but there are some moments where I don't want to see her. Thus, the psychological action is set in time and space, depending on how I feel at the moment. As such, in the event I, knock on wood, break up with my wife, the meaning, given my current relationship to her would change, but the referential object would remain physically the same.”

- Dr. Reyes

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