Transcendence and Sensibility from Husserl to Merleau-Ponty

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Transcendence and Sensibility from Husserl to Merleau-Ponty
The Master Class in Phenomenology for Asian Scholars,

Chinese University of Hong Kong

19 July – 4 August 2010

Course Outline
Part One
Professor Dermot Moran

(University College Dublin)

These four seminars focus primarily on the German tradition of phenomenology -- Husserl, Scheler, Stein and Heidegger -- with some reference to the French tradition of Merleau-Ponty. Husserl speaks of sensibility in Ideas II and of transcendence especially in The Idea of Phenomenology (1907). Heidegger, of course, discusses transcendence in Vom Wesen des Grundes and elsewhere. I was going to cover these texts and possibly also something on Edith Stein Zum Problem der Einfühlung.

Seminar One: Husserl’s Phenomenology: Transcendence in Immanence. ‘The Riddle of Transcendence’

In our first seminar we will introduce the concepts of sensibility and transcendence, particulalty as they occur in the phenomenology of Husserl. We will begin with a brief overview of the traditional discussion of ‘transcendence’ and the ‘transcendental’ in Kant, and also discuss briefly Kant’s account of sensibility. We shall then outline Husserl’s relationship with the tradition of transcendental philosophy and his phenomenology as an attempt to understand the ‘transcendence-in-immanence’. Husserl’s phenomenology of perception as developed in Ideas I (perception of something transcendent and immanent perception) and elsewhere will be discussed in order to understand the relations between sensibility and transcendence.


Kant, The Critique of Pure Reason. Introduction.

Kant Letter to Markus Herz 21 February 1772, in Kant, Correspondence (Cambridge U. P. 1999), pp. 132-38.

Husserl,Edmund. Idea of Phenomenology (1907), especially Lectures I to III, pp. 15-40.

Husserl, Edmund. Ideas I §§ 38-46 and §§ 51, §§ 54-55, §§ 58-59.

Husserl, Edmund. ‘Kant and the Idea of Transcendental Philosophy’. Trans. Ted E. Klein and William E. Pohl. Southwestern Journal of Philosophy Vol. 5 Fall 1974, pp. 9-56.

Seminar Two: Husserl on Embodiment and Personhood

In our second seminar we shall explore Husserl’s conception of ‘embodiment’ (Leiblichkeit) and ‘sensibility’ (Sinnlichkeit) as well as his layered account of the structure of the self in its full personhood (the monad) especially as found in Ideas II. In particular we will look at Husserl’s claim that, in the constitution of spatiality including the spatiality of one’s own body there is a priority of touch over sight. We will examine Husserl’s discussion of the ‘Double Sensation’ (one hand touching the other) and also its subsequent use by Merleau-Ponty in his Phénoménologie de al perception and Le visible et l’invisible.


Husserl, Thing and Space §§ 46-47

Husserl Ideas II § 18; §§ 36-37

Merleau-Ponty Phenomenology of Perception, pp. 315 ff

Merleau-Ponty ‘The Intertwining—the Chiasm’, The Visible and Invisible, pp. 130-162.

Seminar Three: Transcendence and the Other in Scheler and Stein

In this seminar we will continue our exploration of the concepts of sensibility (especially embodied perception and perception of others in empathy) and transcendence in the work of two phenomenologists close to Husserl: Max Scheler and Edith Stein. We will examine their attempts to develop a personalistic phenomenology and look in some detail at the phenomenological concept of empathy (Einfühlung; Sympathie) in relation to intersubjectivity.


Husserl, Cartesian Meditations, Fifth Meditation

Max Scheler The Nature of Sympathy

Edith Stein On the Problem of Empathy

Schutz ‘The Problem of Transcendental Intersubjectivity in Husserl’, Schutz, Collected Papers III.

Seminar Four: Heidegger’s Concept of Transcendence; Overcoming Subjectivity

In this seminar we will examine Heidegger’s efforts to move beyond Husserl’s phenomenology of subjectivity through the concept of the ek-sistence and ‘thrownness’ of Dasein. Heidegger also wants to rethink the concept of transcendence to overcome the legacy of Cartesian subjectivism. Dasein has the character of ‘fallenness’ (Verfallensein) and the capacity for authenticity (Eigentlichkeit) and inauthenticity. Heidegger’s discussion the concept of transcendence in various places, including On the Essence of Reasons (Vom Wesen des Grundes), will be examined.

Heidegger, M. Being and Time §§ 26-27 on das Man, Mitsein

Heidegger, M. The Essence of Reasons. Translated by Terrence Malick. Evanston, Northwestern University Press, 1969.

Heidegger, ‘Phenomenology and Theology,’ trans. James G. Hart and John C. Maraldo, in Pathmarks, ed. William McNeill (Cambridge: Cambridge U. P., 1998).

M. Heidegger, ‘Letter on Humanism,’ in Martin Heidegger, Basic Writings, ed. and trans. David Farrell Krell (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978),

M. Heidegger, ‘“Only a God Can Save Us”: Der Spiegel’s Interview with Martin Heidegger (1966),’ trans. Maria Alter and John D. Caputo, in Richard Wolin, ed. The Heidegger Controversy. A Critical Reader (Cambridge, MA: MIT Pr., 1993), pp. 91-116.

Marion, Jean-Luc ‘The Saturated Phenomenon’, in The Visible and the Revealed, trans. Christina M. Gschwandtner (New York: Fordham, 2008), pp. 18-48.

Recommended Further Reading
E. Husserl, Die Idee der Phänomenologie. Fünf Vorlesungen. Nachdruck der 2. erg. Auflage, hrsg. W. Biemel, Husserliana II (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1973), trans. Lee Hardy, The Idea of Phenomenology. Collected Works VIII (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1999).
Husserl, Edmund. Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy. First Book: General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology (Collected Works, vol. 2), trans. F. Kersten. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1982.
Edmund Husserl, Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy. Second Book. trans. by Richard Rojcewicz and André Schuwer, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1989.
Edmund Husserl, The Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, trans. by David Carr, Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970.
Edmund Husserl, Thing and Space: Lectures of 1907, trans. by R. Rojcewicz. Husserl Collected Works VII (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1997).
E. Husserl, Kant und die Idee der Transzendentalphilosophie, in Erste Philosophie (1923/24). Erster Teil: Kritische Ideengeschichte, hrsg. R. Boehm, Hua VII (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1965), pp. 230-287; trans. by Ted E. Klein and William E. Pohl as “Kant and the Idea of Transcendental Philosophy,” Southwestern Journal of Philosophy Vol. 5 Fall 1974, pp. 9-56.
M. Heidegger, Ontologie (Hermeneutik der Faktizität), ed. Käte Bröcker-Oltmanns, GA 63 (Frankfurt: Klostermann, 1988), p. 32; trans. by John van Buren as Ontology—The Hermeneutics of Facticity (Bloomington: Indiana U. P., 1999).
M. Heidegger, Phänomenologie des religiösen Lebens, GA 60 (Frankfurt: Klostermann, 1995), trans. Matthias Fritsch and Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei, The Phenomenology of Religious Life (Bloomington: Indiana U. P., 2004).
M. Heidegger, “Nur noch ein Gott kann uns retten,” Spiegel-Gespräch mit Martin Heidegger am 23 September 1966, Der Spiegel 31 Mai 1976; ‘“Only a God Can Save Us”: Der Spiegel’s Interview with Martin Heidegger (1966),’ trans. Maria Alter and John D. Caputo, in Richard Wolin, ed. The Heidegger Controversy. A Critical Reader (Cambridge, MA: MIT Pr., 1993), pp. 91-116.
Heidegger, M. The Essence of Reasons. Translated by Terrence Malick. Evanston, Northwestern University Press, 1969.

Roman Ingarden, On the Motives Which Led Husserl to Transcendental Idealism, trans. Arnór Hannibalsson, Phaenomenologica 64 (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1975).

Kant, Immanuel, tr. Ted Humphrey as What Real Progress Has Metaphysics Made in Germany since the Time of Leibniz and Wolff? (New York: Abaris Books, 1983). Also In Kant’s Theoretical Philosophy After 1781 (Cambridge: Cambridge U. P., 2002).
Marion, Jean-Luc. Reduction and Givenness. Trans. Thomas Carlson. Northwestern U. P.
Rudolf Otto, Das Heilige: Über das Irrationale in der Idee des Göttlichen und sein Verhältnis zum Rationalen (1917, reprinted München: C. H. Beck, 1963), translated by John W.Harvey as The Idea of the Holy (Oxford: Oxford U. P., 1923, reprinted 1950).
Scheler, Max. The Nature of Sympathy. Trans. Peter Heath. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1954. Revised edition with new Introduction by Graham McAleer. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2008
Dermot Moran, “Husserl and Sartre on Embodiment and the ‘Double Sensation’,” in Katherine J. Morris, ed. Sartre on the Body, Philosophers in Depth Series. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010, pp. 41-66.
Dermot Moran, “Husserl’s Transcendental Philosophy and the Critique of Naturalism,” Continental Philosophy Review, Volume 41 No. 4 (December 2008), pp. 401-425.
Dermot Moran, “Edmund Husserl’s Letter to Lucien Lévy-Bruhl, 11 March 1935: Introduction,” with the assistance of Lukas Steinacher, New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy, Vol. VIII (2008), pp. 325-347.
Dermot Moran, “Immanence, Self-Experience, and Transcendence in Edmund Husserl, Edith Stein and Karl Jaspers,” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly vol. 82, no. 2 (Spring 2008), pp. 265-291.
Dermot Moran, “Fink’s Speculative Phenomenology: Between Constitution and Transcendence,” Research in Phenomenology, Vol. 37 No. 1 (2007), pp. 3-31.
Dermot Moran, “Heidegger’s Transcendental Phenomenology in the Light of Husserl’s Project of First Philosophy,” in Steven Crowell and Jeff Malpas, eds, Transcendental Heidegger (Stanford: Stanford U. P., 2007), pp. 135-150 and pp. 261-264.
Dermot Moran, Edmund Husserl. Founder of Phenomenology. Key Contemporary Thinkers Series. Cambridge, UK & Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2005.
Dermot Moran, “The Problem of Empathy: Lipps, Scheler, Husserl and Stein,” in Amor Amicitiae: On the Love that is Friendship. Essays in Medieval Thought and Beyond in Honor of the Rev. Professor James McEvoy, ed. Thomas A. Kelly and Phillip W. Rosemann (Leuven/Paris/ Dudley, MA: Peeters, 2004), pp. 269-312.
Dermot Moran, “Making Sense: Husserl’s Phenomenology as Transcendental Idealism,” in J. Malpas, ed., From Kant to Davidson: Philosophy and the Idea of the Transcendental, Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Philosophy. (London: Routledge, 2003), pp. 48-74. Reprinted in Phenomenology. Critical Concepts in Philosophy. Ed. Dermot Moran and Lester E. Embree (London & New York: Routledge, 2004), Vol. 1, pp. 84-113.
Dermot Moran, Introduction to Phenomenology. London & New York: Routledge, 2000.
Max Scheler, Formalism in Ethics and Non-Formal Ethics of Values. A New Attempt Toward a Foundation of An Ethical Personalism. Trans Manfred S. Frings and Roger L. Funk. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1973.
Max Scheler, Zur Idee des Menschen, Vom Umsturz der Werte, Abhandlungen und Aufsätze, Gesammlte Werke, Vol. 3, Ed. Maria Scheler (Bern: Francke. 4., 1955), pp. 171-195.

Robert Bernasconi (1984). Transcendence and the Overcoming of Values: Heidegger's Critique of Scheler. Research in Phenomenology 14 (1):259-267.
Martin Buber (1945). The Philosophical Anthropology of Max Scheler. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 6 (2):307-321.
Marvin Farber (1954). Max Scheler on the Place of Man in the Cosmos. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 14 (3):393-399.
Seminar Four: Heidegger. Facticity and Transcendence
Heidegger on Transcendence. Heidegger Being and Time.

Transcendence as ‘Surpassing’ (Überstieg) in On the Essence of Reasons (Vom Wesen des Grundes, 1928).

Martin Heidegger, Ontologie (Hermeneutik der Faktizität), Frühe Freiburger Vorlesung Sommersemester 1923, Gesamtausgabe II, Vorlesungen, Vol. 65, (Frankfurt am Main, 2nd Edition, 1995, Chapter “Die Idee der Faktizität under der Begriff ‘Mensche,’“ (Martin Heidegger, Ontologie, pp. 21-29).
Martin Heidegger, The Basic Problems of Phenomenology, trans. Albert Hofstadter (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982).

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