By Rudolf Bernet
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Extra resources for An introduction to Husserlian phenomenology
If I want to let my neighbor know that a wasp has gotten in by the window, there is no need for a long speech. ”—a word is enough, a gesture—as soon as he sees it, everything is clear. Imagine a phonograph record reproducing for us, without comment, the everyday conversations of a household in Provins or Angoulême—we wouldn’t understand a thing; the context would be lacking, that is, memories and perceptions in common, the situation and the enterprises of the couple; in short, the world such as each of the speakers knows it to appear to the other.
We would readily reconcile that “rational intuition” which Kant reserved to divine Reason with this absolute production of qualities, which, to the extent that they emanate from our subjectivity, congeal before our eyes into impermeable objectivities. Since the creation can find its fulfillment only in reading, since the artist must entrust to another the job of carrying out what he has begun, since it is only through the consciousness of the reader that he can regard himself as essential to his work, all literary work is an appeal.
The finality of the thing is to send man back to himself by blocking the route. Moreover, it is not a matter of arbitrarily introducing defeat and ruin into the course of the world, but rather of having no eyes for anything but that. Human enterprise has two aspects: it is both success and failure. The dialectical scheme is inadequate for reflecting upon it. We must make our vocabulary and the frames of our reason more supple. Some day I am going to try to describe that strange reality, History, which is neither objective, nor ever quite subjective, in which the dialectic is contested, penetrated, and corroded by a kind of antidialectic, but which is still a dialectic.
An introduction to Husserlian phenomenology by Rudolf Bernet