Mod-01 Lec-33 Phenomenological reduction, eidetic reduction and transcendental reduction;

Welcome to this, lecture series on Aspects of Western Philosophy, module 33. In continuation with what we were discussing in the precious lecture, phenomenology of Edmund Husserl, this lecture we will focus on the problem of reduction. The 3 types of reduction, we have already mentioned about the 3 types of reduction in the previous lecture itself. So, we will elaborate a little bit on this and again we will concentrate we will focus more on the concept of transcendental subjectivity, because its normally stated that though phenomenology is often associated with particularly Husserlian phenomenology is associated with a method, this is what I was trying to highlight in the previous lecture, that in Husserl phenomenology is both a philosophy and a methodology. Quite often historians of philosophy associate it I mean phenomenology is predominantly treated as a kind of method, but again that is a very important aspect of it, because ultimately there is a ultimate objective of phenomenology is to arrive at the pure ego, the pure subject, the transcendental subject and method different types of methods ultimately foster this the arriving at the pure subjectivity.

So, we will try to see these issues in this lecture. The method of reduction is as we have already mentioned it in the previous lecture, but I will just try to a little bit elaborate on this topic, in this lecture. It is a method to build a science of essences because phenomenology is primarily treated as a science which deals with 2 things. Number one consciousness, number 2 essences and essences have to be found in the consciousness. So, in that sense it is a method of science a science of essences. And again it tries to exclude what does not lie in the mental act itself, there are several when an object is given to us or when we try to understand an object or when we perceive an object. There are many things which we know about the object. All these things are not actually given in the mental act of knowing that object. So, what is it that knowing a particular object consist of that is a concern of phenomenology? So, in this process the method of prediction aims at excluding what does not lie in the mental act itself of intending or understanding it.

To find the essence of consciousness which I have already mentioned and by excluding what is non essence. So, there are actually 2 aspects of it a positive, as well as a negative. So, the methodology adopted begins with a negative by excluding bracketing you know put it in bracket and then gradually moves on to what is positive. A method that helps us overcome the natural attitude which considers consciousness as a thing among other things in this world, we have already mentioned about this thing called natural attitude, the kind of attitude which we all have when we live in this world the kind of taken for granted attitude which we move around in this world. So, this attitude needs to be suspended according to phenomenologist the immanent, that which is immanent to the consciousness. So, the adequately self given pure phenomena when you experience, when any object you consider when you experience any object there is something which is given to the consciousness.

So, that is so immanent to the consciousness in the very knowing process, in the very process of becoming conscious about an object, there is something which is there in consciousness which is a mental phenomena. That immanent phenomena need to be captured and which is an indubitable absolute data according to phenomenologist and it does not point to anything outside of itself. So, which is self contained in that sense you know it is there in consciousness and a phenomenologist is concerned about a study of consciousness not something which the object which is there in the outside world, that is the business of a scientist.

Phenomenologist would be dealing with objects which are there inside the consciousness which are immanent to the consciousness. What is intended is adequately given in itself and this immanent is beyond all epistemological questions, we have already discussed all these things in a brief manner in the previous lecture, when I introduced Husserlian phenomenology. Now, we do not have to go to the details here, we will straight away try to understand the immanent is beyond all epistemological questions. Now let us see what happens in the process of reduction. Already mentioned this, that it involves a kind of bracketing and when you bracket something say for example, you know many things about an object for instance I have taken the example of a pen in the previous lecture, this pen is made up of plastic is an information which I already have about it, it is black in color and many other things, my intention is to understand a ball point pen, I am telling you that this is a ball point pen and in your consciousness the pen as such is given. And there are many things about this pen, which are already known by you which is not really important to understand what a ball point pen is.

So, just want all of us to bracket it. So, by bracketing empirical data away from consideration by refraining from making judgment about putting them aside keeping them aside and you are not going to deal with them, these information which I will know about the pen, made up of plastic, the length of the pen, color of the pen all those things are unimportant and I am not going to mention about it at all, in my phenomenological intervals. Now, what I will do is that, I am trying to capture the pure phenomena and the pure ego which understands it. So, which is understanding the pen to which the pen is given are the residue of phenomenological reduction. So, in the process of reduction the process of bracketing finally, you reach a stage where further bracketing would become impossible that is the essence of the object which is given and you find that essence in consciousness.

So, this is the process what phenomenologist intense to perceive. Then again it concentrates only on the inner content of our conscious acts and distinguishes the immanent object of the act from the actual object the actual object sort of thing what is there in front of me, actually it is given to me, to my consciousness. And since I understand it in one sense is immanent to my consciousness. So, there is a mental phenomena which is presented to my consciousness and this is presented by the object which is their outside. So, that is why the intentionality principle was discussed in the previous lecture. The immanent object of act has to be distinguished from the actual object which has got several qualities and it is also it has got a history. So, all those things are unimportant. And now, let us see another very important I have already mentioned about him martin Heidegger we are going to discuss his philosophy in the next lecture.

Heidegger was a disciple of adman Husserl and also a phenomenologist of a different kind of course. So, what he says about phenomenology is that phenomenology is let a thing show itself from itself, the way in which it shows itself from itself its. So, it is a very interesting quote, it says that I repeat phenomenology is to let a thing show itself. It is the thing which shows itself to us from itself the way in which it shows itself from itself all other considerations are unimportant. Now, again the method of prediction which we are been talking about which is the phenomenological method, what is it, what kind of a method it is. Here Husserl clarifies that it is not an empirical or a deductive method, empirical method which is adopted by the scientist and deductive method is a largely adopted by mathematicians.

This method is different it is pointing to what is given and elucidating it and it fixes gaze directly upon whatever is presented to consciousness. So, it is a kind of gazing it is a kind of looking into consciousness and identifying locating or isolating that data, which is the immanent that is a kind of positive aspect concentrating on that essence, which is given and on the negative side you exclude all that is not genuinely immanent or adequately self given I have already discussed this. Now, again a phenomenological reduction was introduced in Husserl 1906-07 lectures on logic and theory of knowledge. And the purpose was to found a radically presupposition less science which we already seen in the previous lecture. There are 3 different stages of reduction, which Husserl mentions in his works, actually when you talk about these three stages it is not that at one stage one stage of his career he was mentioning about the phenomenological psychological reduction and at the next stage he talks about eidetic, and finally he talks about transcendentalist, actually does not come in that way, in one sense we can say that phenomenological reduction actually is constitutive of all the three stages they are all important, because all of them employ reduction the process of reduction the process of a bracketing the only difference is that you are going to illustrate the differences between the three.

The different stages are not clearly articulated in Husserl work, Husserl never says that there is a heading under which he is going to discuss phenomenological or psychological reduction and another heading under which nothing of that sort we would find in Husserl work. These are all scholars, after reading Husserl work they have come across different stages of reduction and they finally, articulated it as three phenomenological eidetic and transcendental. The process of bracketing is employed in all the stages and the ultimate aim whatever it is the ultimate aim of philosophy and phenomenology according to Husserl is to expose the transcendental structures of consciousness. So, the phenomenological method involves a process of bracketing and a process of bracketing is the process of suspension which we have already mentioned a suspension of belief a suspension of judgments.

So, it suspends the spatio-temporal world and the focus is on pure mental processes. This is a first stage of reduction, where the suspension begins of the spatio-temporal world and the focus is on pure mental processes this is called a phenomenological reduction, where the process of bracketing is employed and with the aim is to see the origin of our knowledge which has been lost sight of. So, due to various reasons we have lost sight of the origins of our knowledge, this is actually the major complaint which Husserl rises against philosophers, there are several factors and emphasis on epistemology for example, results in what you called forget fullness a term which is been widely used by phenomenologist’s they say that there is a kind of forgetfulness about the reality the essences.

In fact, this is a term which Heidegger uses in a difference sense. What happens is that the origin of our knowledge we have lost sight of and phenomenology tries to recapture it. So, what happens in bracketing for example, let us take a very concrete example we bracket we see a beautiful painting with all colors and textures and other things and we appreciate it as a beautiful painting.

So, in spite of being a beautiful painting a painting which has got some esthetic value, it is an object in the world. I am perceiving this object, but my perception is not just perceiving an object like a perceiving a chair or something else, but I am perceiving, I am understanding a painting which is beautiful, which I can appreciate as a beautiful object. Now, all those characteristics which it was appearing in our perception remain the same. Just because, I am bracketing many aspects about the painting does not mean that the painting will lose all its characteristic features like for example, I am not bracketing that it is no longer beautiful for me it is no longer converse for me it no longer deficits a particular seen or you know its original characteristic features. Everything is retained even after bracketing or even in the process of bracketing, all remains the same as beautiful and attractive even after reduction then what is the major difference here. He says that in the phenomenological reduction nothing is lost none of the characteristics we take the object has are lost, then the only difference is nothing happens to the world the world remains the same they are trying to see the world and experiencing it remains the same no we are bracketing many things in this world, reduced objects are still taken to be out there we are not taking them inside our consciousness and viewing them, but they are still out there I recognize that the beautiful painting is there hanging on a hall.

Now, what is their major difference what happens in bracketing this is what happens in bracketing, our attitude towards the world is changed. So, we are changing our attitude the way we perceive the world is changed instead of naively positing the world around us. We focus on how the things are given to us, how they are given to us directly to our consciousness, what are those aspects which we need to emphasize when we try to look at the world when we apply the process of bracketing. Here again there is a difference there is a kind of distinction maintained between appearances and appearances of every appearance is an appearance of something.

So, this ofness this aboutness, which we have mentioned in the previous lecture is an integral part of consciousness the intentionality of consciousness. So, the perceived object appears in several modes to us. So, we can actually perceive the object from several angles and it appears to us differently from different angles and different perspectives, but at the same time fluctuating multiplicities of modes of appearances that is true like where I can see one object from different angles the and different perspectives. Each mode of appearance, but is an appearance of say for instance I take this water bottle.

So, this water bottle can be can be seen from this angle it can be seen from this angle this angle various angles and it presents it selves from different angles as I look at it from different perspectives. Now, there are multiplicities of modes of appearance of this water bottle, but what is important is that, each mode of an appearance of this bottle is an appearance of this object the object as such completely is given to me, it is not that a or a an aspect of the object is given to me or one mode I mean in each mode of appearance the entire object is given to me.

So, that is something which I will find inside my consciousness, if I look into it that is essence of the object. So, appearances are there I know I am quite aware of that, but these appearances depend on the object of which they are appearances of each appearance synthetically produces the consciousness of one and the same thing same bottle is being the all appearances are of the same bottle which remains there out there in the world. Again, its description of mental acts free of theories and presuppositions, so that is another very important aspect, I have already indicated this suspension of natural attitude. Natural attitude does not only a commonsensical of an attitude towards the world, but also our scientific understanding is part of natural attitudes. So, all these approaches or all these environments of what you call the object is given to us need to be suspended.

Refrain from taking any natural objective position and it focuses our attention on consciousness and its experiences. So, looking into your consciousness rather than looking by spending you know focusing more and more the consciousness and how the object is given to the consciousness, rather than that process what you do is that you bracket, you suspend all other information you have about the object. Refrain attention from the various external objects with which consciousness is normally occupied. Every objectives given in a context there are several other things to which is related.

So, all those things are bracketed and natural attitude is bracketed, nature is the universe of spatiotemporal objectivity given to us constantly, we are always seeing it that is always there in our background. And the purpose or rather the task of phenomenologist is to isolate the object from these context from nature, from universe focus only on that object, every object is given in a context in the world it presents itself in the world so, but now you have to isolate it from that context and try to focus on it.

In bracketing this nature is put out of action suspended and we cease to take part in it and all presuppositions about the world must be suspended or set aside and bracket the assumption of a real natural world to which our intensions relate we do not know. We are not actually bothered about that, whether there is a world or not, for us what is important is to concentrate on the object to focus on how the object is given to us in consciousness. Beliefs about particular objects and all the theories of natural sciences are bracketed search for evidences centers not on the objects that we ordinarily intend, but on the intension themselves and the ego who undergoes them. That is why it is normally stated that phenomenology is a science or it is a science of consciousness it deals with consciousness.

Consciousness primary object, the object as it is given to the consciousness is studied not object as such out there, now we have now moving to the next stage this is the first stage of reduction where you adopt actually bracket you actually suspend what is called the natural attitude and this is a little negatives. So, we are trying to exclude everything that is unimportant, which you already know which you take for granted which is the context in which an object is given to you. Now, there are certain limitations of this. So, called phenomenological reduction which needs to be overcome by a phenomenologist, first of all it achieves only the broad rudimentary from of phenomenology one which is not yet distinguished from psychology.

So, it is a kind of psychological endeavor we can see that all these exercises which we were performing isolating the object which is there in front of me from all other things this is the mental mechanism the mind does it. How is it different from psychology? So, that is the reason why the first stage of reduction is called psychological reduction or phenomenological psychological reduction it takes place within the natural attitude. So, it is not actually free from natural attitude though it is trying to bracket and suspend naturality to it takes still it is within that natural attitude is bracketed only as it applies to the objects of our everyday intensions. So, objects of our everyday intensions are concerned all the objects, which I perceive and experience are concerned, I have successfully bracketed or suspended so called natural attitude. But there is a serious problem what about me not bracketed this attitude as it applies to ourselves and our experiences we ourselves our own understanding about ourselves, when you understand ourselves we understand ourselves as an object or as a subject in this world, someone who lives in this world as a part of this world, there are So, many other things about us then in our self understandings.

The kind of bracketing the kind of suspension of belief is incomplete we still consider ourselves as part of nature and situate ourselves in a natural context. So, this needs to be overcome. Now, again we continue to affirm our belief in the existence of ourselves as natural persons, we all understand ourselves our self understanding as human beings as so and so. I mean, when I say I am not just an abstract I, I am a concrete I who belongs to a particular place who has got a definite identity. So, this is always there in the back of my mind, when I live as psychologically functioning conscious egos, we are all we understand ourselves as psychologically functioning egos we continue to treat our intensions as natural events making up this egos psychological reality. So, all our intensions are part of our natural make up my ego psychological reality. Now in this context, Husserl prepossess another form of a slightly higher form of reduction, which is called eidetic reduction, I have already mentioned it in the previous lecture, where idos means essences, we are trying to be a little more positive about phenomenological reduction and trying to isolate the essence of the object.

So, our gaze is on the essences now. So, it is a positive endeavor where we try to isolate the essences. Moving from fact to essence in the positivistic sense, where elevates the idos or essences. So, that is what I mentioned we are focusing on the essences and trying to elevate it is not just isolating essences by removing all those or by suspending all those other aspects which are non essential, but concentrating and focusing more on essences.

When we perceive an object the object is perceived from a perspective, but the whole object is given to our consciousness, I have already a discussed this explain this with help of this water bottle, when it is given when I perceive it from a perspective. But the whole water bottle the whole object is given to me to my consciousness and now eidetic reduction would try to see that capture it they the unity of the object is maintained the different views of the object are given to consciousness as continuous as views of one thing.

I can actually go around this water bottle or go around this computer and try to see, what it is different profiles will be unraveled to me if I see it from different angles, but at the same time they are all views of one thing the computer or the bottle one thing is there. Now, give themselves essences we are talking about which the eidetic reduction is interested to capture are given to consciousness all at once something which is given to consciousness directly given to consciousness they actually themselves give to consciousness and again all individual feature are eliminated in order to grasp the essence.

So, as I mentioned, this example of the pen, water bottle anything any object for that matter you can see that all these objects have some individual characteristic features which is. So, common to that call it a bottle, but its violet in color it as say particular shape it contains water it has got certain other features all these are individual characteristic features of this bottle which may not be shared by other water bottles. When I say water bottle try to understand a water bottle.

So, all these individual features have to be eliminated, if I am trying to capture the essence of water bottle from this actual concrete water bottle, which is given in front of me, what I have to do is that I have to eliminate all those individual factors which makes its unique different from other water bottles. So, every say for example, if there are ten water bottles here, each one of them is called a water bottle, but at the same time each one of them, would be different in the sense that the color would be different the size, would be different the shape, would be different there are many factors that might make them unique and different from each other.

But at the same time there is some factor which makes all of them a water bottle the essential factor that makes all of them a water bottle. So, capturing essence means that I have to capture that object that essence. Phenomenology places itself in the presence of pure essence and ignores all other sources of information. So, everything else all these individual characteristic features all those factors which might contribute or simultaneously given to me, when I see an object are unimportant as far as my understanding of that particular object is concerned what we intuit is not limited to perceivable individuals, but includes forms the invariables structures, that reveal themselves in the process of intuiting. So, I will invite you to this bullet what we intuit is not limited to perceivable individuals, but includes forms. What is the perceivable individual here this particular bottle with a certain color and shape and other very individualistic characteristic features, but this is not what is being intuited by us what we intuit is the form the structure the invariable structure of that object, that is the essence.

Now, locating essences there is when we intuit a group of things, we can intuit necessary similarities between them and that is what when necessary similarities between say for instance several bottles, which are kept in front of me, what is that necessary similarities between them though in spite of the fact that they are all different from each other. Through free variation of the individuals in our imagination, we should find out what characteristics these things have in common. So, indentify that common element among all these individuals and locate the invariant forms which are essences. Now, this is eidetic phenomenology a method for turning the focus of any study from the concrete to the general from individuals to the essences, I emphasize these terms from concrete to general from individuals to their essences that is what eidetic phenomenology does essences or eidos are properties kinds or types their ideal species that entities may exemplify and again properties of the individual, that cannot be varied belong to the essence.

Every object might be having a set of properties, but there are certain properties which might change, for instance if I pour some hot water into this bottle, it will change it shape because it is made up of plastic all of us know that. So, the shape is not something which is invariable, the shape is something which can change, even the color of this object can be changed, but there is something which makes it a water bottle in spite of the color shape and other things which are varied. Properties of the individual that cannot be, so varied belong to the essence of the object turn our attention to the type or essence itself and to what is necessarily true of all individual entities.

So, this is what eidetic reduction does. And now what you are going to see is that though we can see that we observe a kind of advancement from the phenomenological reduction to the level of eidetic reduction it is become more positive and also it there is a look for essences and the conceiving phenomenology as a science of essences the eidetic reduction stage seems to be a little more matured stage than the psychological phenomenological reduction stage, but still there are certain.

Eidetic phenomenology has got certain limitations for example, it only describes what is given to us, again the problem is that what is the fundamental objective of phenomenology the fundamental objective is to understand pure ego, transcendental ego or transcendental subjectivity. So, there is no reference to pure ego or transcendental ego even at the eidetic stage, your focus is only on essences of course, for that you have to focus on consciousness, you have to actually into consciousness and see how is it is given, but still consciousness itself or ego itself is never been subjected for your analysis.

It only describes what is given to us phenomenology is not just the study of essences its more than that phenomenology is the study of pure ego, transcendental ego. The ultimate goal of reduction is reaching the transcendental ego. Here is a quote from Spielberg about the ultimate goal of reduction I quote, transcendental subjectivity is the goal, it indicates that reduction has the purpose to inhibit and take back as it were all references to the transcendent as the intentional correlate of our acts and to trace them back to the immanent or transcendental acts in which they have their source unquote. Immanent or transcendental acts in which they have their source, so that is the foundation that is the source, we have to actually reach that stage. So, in this context the third type of reduction is being initiated or being discussed about the transcendental reduction. The only means to uncover hidden intentional acts which project transcendent objects; to have a better understanding about cognitive process; to realize the absolute existence of consciousness which is not akin to the existence of things in nature. So, this is very important considering the foundation at the fundamental objective of phenomenology as a study of consciousness as something which aims at understanding pure transcendental subjectivity.

Here the absolute existence of consciousness needs to be understood, which is what does it mean the absolute existence of consciousness means that, it is not akin to the existence of things in nature consciousness is not another thing. Like other things in nature, find here in this world it is actually not a part of the world Husserl even would say that it is consciousness which makes the world possible I am coming to that. As Husserl says without consciousness there would not be a world at all even the world depends on the availability of consciousness, again phenomenology has to study the realm of pure consciousness and the essential formations found there.

That is the actual purpose of phenomenology to study the realm of pure consciousness and the essential formations found there. So, here comes the real ego the transcendental ego, but when we talk about ego for that matter it is actually there are several misconceptions about ego, what is an ego? For instance our usual talks of ego brings the natural attitude into picture, when you usually talk about ego, what we mean is that we mean the empirical ego, when I say I, want to go there I want some water.

So, these are all usual ways in which I am mentioning about my own ego, but there the reference is not to the transcendental subjectivity which is my foundational which is my ultimate nature, but I refer to an empirical ego lives in this world, lives part of this world. When I say I have a class after this or I am engaging a lecture now. This I is essentially a part of this world it is an empirical I. So, our usual talk about ego brings the natural attitude into picture, because you know I am conceiving myself as part of this world. So, this world is presupposed when I say I have a class after this lecture, all these things you know there is a world, there is an institute, there is a class room, there are student coming to the class room all these things are assumed in that.

So, the natural attitude I am still within that I am unable to get out of it. The ego and its acts are conceived in naturalistic terms and as an essentially nonphysical entity causally interacting with the physical world. Here again when I say I am a little concerned about myself and thinking about who am I the mind I would normally say that I have a mind or my mind according to me, when all these statements are made what I do is that I am conceiving myself as a non physical entity, but his causally interacting with the physical world, in several ways talk of the ego and its experiences presuppose the general thesis of natural attitude and the method of bracketing should be extended to the ego and to its intentions. So, this is the next stage of reduction or rather the giant step, which Husserl make in his phenomenology is to apply the method of reduction to one self to one own ego bracket, the ego and then see what happens. So, far you were bracketing the world and trying to isolate the essences of objects now you are applying the same method to yourself.

The transcendental reduction consist of bracketing the ego and its intentions, not to affirm the ego as an empirical or psychological reality to get access to the transcendental subjectivity or transcendental ego, through a transcendental experience. So, ultimately we can see that though it has been presented as a method, the method of reduction is being presented as a method by Husserl; gradually he seems to be asserting that it is not just a method it is actually a form of experiencing the world. As I mentioned sometime back nothing in the world changes, the world remains the same, a beautiful paint still remains as a beautiful picture, a beautiful paint I mean a picture which is hanging on the hall it still remains as a beautiful picture even after or even when I bracket it and try to understand, even when I perform the phenomenological exercise it remains the same. Then what is the difference is my approach my attitude towards the world to get access to the transcendental subjectivity of transcendental ego, through a transcendental experience.

So, Husserl says that actually the method is employed or rather the method accounts to amounts to a kind of transcendental experience, where the pure ego is being understood. Epoche or bracketing: a form of transcendental experience. Now, transcendental reduction again bracketing the empirical elements in consciousness, to access to transcendental ego and it is pure acts. So, this kind of a transcendental reduction or a transcendental experience, I am now going to use the word transcendental experience it consist in accessing or reaching out to the transcendental ego and its pure acts. So, describing consciousness independently of naturalistic affirmations the inner life of consciousness will be revealed and again the reflection on the transcendental elements of consciousness is a transcendental reflection.

So, it consists a transcendental reflection and a transcendental experience which takes us to the ego the pure ego the pure subjectivity which is not part of this world which is actually a condition of this world which is actually a condition of all our experiences about this world transcendental reflection describes intentions of the transcendental ego this intensions are the pure content of the ego, which phenomenologist tries to understand. Here it is very interesting in this context to mention about Descartes because Descartes also we have seen, is one philosopher who employed some sort of a method of bracketing suspension of beliefs he also started doubting everything that can be doubted and suspended the existence of material world to some extent, unless you are certain about it you suspend them.

So, Descartes ultimately reached the cogito, the famous cogito ergo sum and this according to Husserl is a actually a very significance in a phenomenology he was very close to the phenomenological reduction terribly close we can say to the kind of phenomenological reduction which Husserl was initiating. But what happens is that what remains after the transcendental reduction which is free from all assumptions about what the ego is. In fact, like natural and empirical reality learning from Descartes mistakes. So, he says that Descartes actually commits a mistake here he misconstrued the cogito as the thinking substance instead of going a little further a little deeper than cogito and discovered that it is not just the thinking substance, but the transcendental subject.

What is the egos role? I have already briefly mention the egos role here it is primarily synthesizing or uniting our mental experiences into a single life. That is what primarily the ego does synthesizing or uniting our mental experiences into a single life its mind it is given to me and pure ego remains absolutely self identical in all possible changes of experience, everything around me changes my conceptions of things may change my perception of the world may change, my ideology, may change everything will change, because natural world is subjected to change, but the pure ego remains absolutely self identical without any changes. Not a real part or phase of experiences it is actually the condition of experience, this is what Dermot Moran says in his introduction to phenomenology page 138, I quote ordinary acts of perception, has a temporal structure of retentions and anticipations and the unity of the egos psychic life suggest that there is a unifying factor underlying the temporal spread of consciousness.

So, somewhere you know this emphasis on that unifying factor the ego unites the world, as it is exhibited is the result of the egos synthesizing abilities. You have experiences belong to the ego and ego belongs to experiences. So, there is a kind of mutual way experiences belong to the ego and ego belongs to the experiences all of them as belonging to one single stream of experience that is transcendental subjectivity.

Experiences of an object we can have different types of experiences being directed towards an object for instance being occupied with an object adopting an attitude towards something, undergoing something all these are you know connected with our experiencing an object and all these acts are something from the ego. They all presuppose the ego they are all something if what happens to the ego experience necessarily involves the ego, the pure ego is the necessary prerequisite for experience to occur. So, that is what Husserl said you know the world itself comes to being because of the ego because of the transcendental subjectivity, not one more thing in the world, but the agent of intentional life. Now, being said all these you know I will once again come back to the kind of a comparison, a very brief before I wind up this lecture very brief comparison between the empirical and transcendental egos.

So, the empirical ego is thing in the words occupies space endures through time and has physical and psychic features. So, it is a thing in the word it is the spatio-temporal entity it occupies a space and it exist at a particular time on the other hand the transcendental ego is the center of disclosure, it is to which everything is given. So, it is at a center of disclosure to whom the world and everything in it manifest themselves. So, without that the world does not exist it is a precondition of the world agent of truth responsible for judgments and verifications. Everything is because of this ego and it constitutes the world for me. So, that is the precondition of the world in that sense not part the world empirical ego is being projected as a subject, against the world which is in object, it is part of the world, it is empirical.

But here this is transcendental. So, pure ego is the absolute being which natural worlds being presupposes, the absolute being is the natural worlds being presupposes is pure ego and again it is the source of all meaning, because it is the source of all intending all intending is done by the pure ego since all intending is done by the pure ego, it is a source of all meaning. Phenomenology is essentially an egology it talks about the ego study of ego and its self experiences and the true focus of philosophy is the region of self experience the transcendental ego.

So, phenomenology is fundamentally ultimately a science of transcendental ego. Now, this is from Husserl from his Cartesian meditation an introduction to phenomenology, what he says is I quote this world with all its objects derives its whole sense and its existential status, which it has for me from me myself as the transcendental ego, the ego who comes to the fore only with transcendental phenomenological epoche. I just unquote, I just repeat the first sentence the world with all its objects derives its whole sense, sense means meaning and its existential status, which it has for me from me myself from me as the transcendental ego, this is from Husserl.

Again another quote from Husserl, which talks about the absolute status of pure ego, the previous one actually deals with something else, here it deals with the absolute status of pure ego, I quote we can undertake the thought experiment of imagining the very destruction of the world, the entire world we can imagine is totally destroyed becoming nonexistent, the world annihilation we can call it, we can see that consciousness survives as pure absolute being. Because consciousness is not part of the world, it would survive that is from ideas and it is in realm of necessary existence, because existence of the world and its objects are contingent everything will change, everything might perish. But consciousness is absolute it will remain it will never perish it constitute the world as a world of meanings and as a world of objects and here is again, what Dermot Moran says probably a very interesting aspect of phenomenology a very interesting dimension of phenomenology. But unfortunately where no not much of literature is available on this and Husserl himself has not written anything about this aspect because by the time probably he would have died, this is what Dermot Moran says Alfred Schutz recalls that Husserl in his last conversations together as Husserl lay dying, he was on his dead bet talked about the fact that we would die, but his transcendental ego would live on Something which is eternal something which can be comparable to Indian atman I would say something which never dies, something which never perish.

So, he talks about you know the body will die, famous distinction which Bhagvath Gita makes about Deha and Dehi the Deha will perish body and die, but soul will remain. So, something like that the transcendental ego will never die, because it is essence. And we will conclude this lecture, with just a very brief outline of what we have discussed today. I mean and also a kind of summary of Husserl philosophy, we have seen the most important concept in his phenomenology from where he begins with and ends with is a notion of consciousness and when he talks about consciousness, there is one important feature of consciousness he highlights that is the intentionality aspect of consciousness, consciousness is intentional and then we have discuss the natural attitude which Husserl was trying to overcome through his psychological or phenomenological bracketing reduction.

Then the concept of essences and the immediately given the concept of something which is immediately given to the consciousness directly given to the consciousness immanent to the consciousness, all these things are important themes in Husserlian phenomenology and then the various reductions. I will just to remind you that you know reductions does not mean that they are entirely different from each other, that is a process it is a process of reduction which ultimately culminates in transcendental reduction. So, basically talks about Husserl talks about an attitude, one should have towards the world and towards oneself, realize that the world is not the world of perishable objects, but it is basically a world of essences and the world of essences exist there, because the world can be intended in such a fashion by a subject by an ego. Now, the understanding now the there is a need to understand, what is this ego.

So, here a distinction between empirical and transcendental ego are made and finally, Husserl comes to the conclusion that the transcendental ego which is the absolute being to which everything is given and it is because of this being which is the condition of our experience which is the condition of all reality and the world, the world exist. We will wind up our lecture on Husserl phenomenology.

And a very important philosopher no doubt and very unique kind of a thinker, because there is hardly anyone who actually talked about something like a transcendental ego and subjectivity like Husserl in western philosophy, and now we will see what happens after Husserl, because as I already mentioned Heidegger is was Husserl most celebrated disciple and himself a phenomenologist, but at some point of time Heidegger deviates from Husserl and adopts a entirely different project and that is which he calls phenomenological hermeneutics. We will discuss this in the next couple of lectures, right now we will wind up. Thank you..

As found on Youtube