Consciousness and the world are given at one stroke

Husserl persistently affirmed that one cannot dissolve things in consciousness. You see this tree, to be sure. But you see it just where it is: at the side of the road, in the midst of the dust, alone and writhing in the heat, eight miles from the Mediterranean coast. It could not enter into your consciousness, for it is not of the same nature as consciousness. One is perhaps reminded of Bergson and the first chapter of Matter and Memory. But Husserl is not a realist: this tree on its bit of parched earth is not an absolute which would subsequently enter into communication with us. Consciousness and the world are given at one stroke: essentially external to consciousness, the world is nevertheless essentially relative to consciousness. Husserl sees consciousness as an irreducible fact which no physical image can account for.

Jean-Paul Sartre, »Intentionality: A Fundamental Idea of Husserl’s Phenomenology«, övers. Joseph P. Fell, Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 1, nr 2 (1970): 4–5, .


Stefan Björk

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