in immediate givenness

THE FIRST THING we must do here is overcome the naïveté which makes the conscious life, in and through which the world is what it is for us – as the universe of actual and possible experience – into a real property of man, real in the same sense as his corporeity, i.e., according to the following schema. In the world we have things with different peculiarities, and among these there are also some that experience, rationally know, etc., what is outside them. Or, what is the same thing: The first thing we must do, and first of all in immediate reflective self-experience, is to take the conscious life, completely without prejudice, just as what it quite immediately gives itself, as itself, to be. Here, in immediate givenness, one finds anything but colour data, tone data, other “sense” data or data of feeling, will, etc.; that is, one finds none of those things which appear in traditional psychology, taken for granted to be immediately given from the start. Instead, one finds, as even Descartes did (naturally we ignore his other purposes), the cogito, intentionality, in those familiar forms which, like everything actual in the surrounding world, find their expression in language: “I see a tree which is green; I hear the rustling of its leaves, I smell its blossoms,” etc.; or, “I remember my schooldays,” “I am saddened by the sickness of a friend,” etc. Here we find nothing other than “consciousness of…” – consciousness in the broadest sense, which is still to be investigated in its whole scope and its modes.

Edmund Husserl, The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology


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