(2020) Husserl Studies 36 (2).

The object(s) of phenomenology

Thomas Arnold

pp. 105-122

Object-hood is central to Husserl’s work, yet he employs several different notions of object-hood without clarifying the differences; his work thus offers rich and nuanced reflections on object-hood, but in a theoretically underdeveloped, at times even paradoxical, form. This paper aims to develop Husserl’s theory of objects systematically. In order to achieve this I distinguish five object-concepts operative in Husserl’s phenomenology and prove that they are not co-extensional. I also argue that they form a layer in terms of transcendental constitution, one implying the other. I conclude the paper by exploring Husserl’s paradoxical claim that the absolute is not an object. From these considerations, two meta-phenomenological lessons emerge: (a) object-hood is not total (there are not only objects); yet (b) we cannot escape objectification while engaged in phenomenological reflection.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s10743-020-09262-x

Full citation:

Arnold, T. (2020). The object(s) of phenomenology. Husserl Studies 36 (2), pp. 105-122.

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