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As may be seen from the original programme printed in Erdmann’s 
History of Philosophy under the date 1890, the Library of Philo- 
sophy was designed as a contribution to the History of Modern 
Philosophy under the heads: first of different Schools of Thought 
— Sensationalist, Realist, Idealist, Intuitivist; secondly of dif- 
ferent Subjects — ^Psychology, Ethics, Esthetics, Political Philo- 
sophy, Theology. While much had been done in England in 
tracing the course of evolution in nature, history, economics, 
morals, and religion, little had been done in tracing the develop- 
ment of thought on these subjects. Yet “the evolution of opinion 
is part of the whole evolution”. 

By the co-operation of different writers in carrying out this 
plan it was hoped that a thoroughness and completeness of treat- 
ment, otherwise unattainable, might be secured. It was believed 
also that from writers -mainly British and American fuller con- 
sideration of English Philosophy than it had hitherto received 
might be looked for. In the earlier series of books containing, 
among others, Bosanquet’s History of Msthetics, Pfleiderer’s 
Rational Theology since Kant, Albee’s History of English Utili- 
tarianism, Bonar’s Philosophy and Political Economy, Brett’s 
History of Psychology, Ritchie’s Natural Rights, these objects were 
to a large extent effected. 

In the meantime original work of a high order was being 
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Co-operation which* is one of the most significant objects of the 
League of Nations and kindred organizations. 





ANALYTIC PSYCHOLOGY By Prof. G. F. Stout. Ttm Vols. 5th 

ATTENTION By Prof. W. B. Pillsbury. znd Impression, 

HISTORY OF ^ESTHETIC By B. Bosanquet. Impression, 4th 


Vol. I. Ancient and Medijeval. 5 /A Impression, 

Vol. 11 . Modern. 6tA Impression, 

Vol. III. Since Hegel, ^th Impression, 


Vol. I. Ancient and Patristic. 


Vol. III. Modern Psychology. 

MATTER AND MEMORY By Henri Bergson. Translated hy 
N, M, Paul and W, S. Palmer, 4th Impression, 

NATURAL RIGHTS By D. G. Ritchie, zrd Edition. 



THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF MIND By G. W. F. Hegel. Translated 
hy Prof. J. B. Baillie, 

TIME AND FREE WILL By Prof. Henri Bergson. Translated hy F, L, 
Pogson, $th Impression, 


Stratton, znd Edition, 

THE GREAT PROBLEMS By Bernardino Varisco. TroMlated by Prof, 
R. C, Lodge, 

KNOW THYSELF By Bernardino Varisco. Translated hv Dr, 
GugUelmo Salvadori. 

Prof. Edward L. Schaub, 3yd Impression, 

Mackenzie, znd Impression, • 


SOCIAL PURPOSE By Principal H. J. W. Hetherington and Prof, 
J. H. Muirhead, 2.nd Impression* 

Bertrand Russell, F.R.S. 3rd Impression* 

GOD AND PERSONALITY (Gifford Lectures) By Prof, Clement 
C. J. Webb. (Part I). 2nd Impression, 

By Prof, Clement C. J, Webb. (Part II.) 2nd Impression, 

MODERN PHILOSOPHY By Guido de Ruggiero. Translated by 
A, Howard Hannay and R, G* Collingwood. 

THE ANALYSIS OF MIND By Bertrand Russell, F.R.S. 3rd Impress 

DIALOGUES ON METAPHYSICS By Nicolas Malebranche. Trans- 
lated by Morris Ginsberg, 

INDIAN PHILOSOPHY By Prof. S. Radhakrishnan. 2nd Edition, Two 

Muirhead. Two Vols, 

THE WAYS OF KNOWING: or, The Methods of Philosophy By 
Prof. W. P. Montague. 2nd Impression, 

A THEORY OF DIRECT REALISM; and the Relation of Realism 
TO Idealism By J. E. Turner. 

GOODNESS ByH. J. Paton. 


By Prof. W. M. Urban. 

George P. Adams and Prof. Wm. Pepperell Montague. Two Vols, 

HEGEL’S SCIENCE OF LOGIC Translated by W* H, Johnston and 
L, G, Struthers, Two Vols, 

IDENTITY AND REALITY By Emile Meyerson. Translated by Kate 
Loewenberg, . 


MORAL SENSE By James Bonar. 

SOPHY By Prof. J. H. Muirhead. 

Xibrar^ of ipbilosopb^ 








W. R. BOYCE GIBSON, M.A., D.Sc. (Oxon) 



The German original, ”Ideen zu einer reinen Ph&nomenologie und phanomeno- 
logischen Philosophie,” was published in Halle in 1913 . 


All fights fes&rved 



May the author of this work, which first appeared in the year 
1913, be permitted to contribute to the English Edition certain 
explanations that may prove of use to the reader, both before 
and as he reads ? 

Under the title “ A Pure or Transcendental Phenomenology ”, the 
work here presented s eeks to found a new science — though, indeed. 
t he whole course of philosophical development since Descarte s 
h as been preparing the wav for it — & science covering a new field 
of experience, exclusively its own, that of “Transc endental Si^. 
jectivity”. Thus T ranscendental Subjectivity does not signify 
the outcome of ^y, speculative syntEeiisThut with its tra nscen- 
dental exper ie nces, capacities, doings, is an absolutely independent 
tealm of direct expei^nce. although for reasons of an essential 
kind it has so far remained inaccessible. Transcendental experience 
in its theoretical and, at first, descriptive bearing, becomes 
available only through a radical alteration of that same dispen- 
sation under which an experience of the natural world nms its 
course, a readjustment of viewpoint which, as the method of 
approach to the sphere of transcendental phenomenology, is called 
. “phenomenological reduction”. 

In the work before us transcendental phenomenology is not 
founded as the empirical science of the empirical facts of this 
field of experience. Whatever facts present themselves serve only 
as examples similar in their most general aspect to the empirical 
illustrations used by mathematici^s ; much, in fact, as the actual 
intuitable dispositions of numbers on the abacus assist us, in 
their merely exemplary capacity, to grasp with insight, and in 
their pure generality the series 2, 3, 4 ... as such, pure numbers 
as such, and the propositions of pure mathematics relative to 
these, the essential generalities of a mathematical kind. In this 
book, then, we treat of an a priori science (“eidetic”, directed 
updn the universal in its original intuitabilify), which appro- 
priates, though as pure possibility only, the empi rical fiel d o f 
fact of transcendental subjectivity with its factual (Jaktischen) 
exfferiences, equating these with pure intuitable possibilities that 



can be modified at will, and sets out as its a priori the indissoluble 
essential structures of transcendental siibjectMty, which persist 
in and through all imaginable modifications. Since the reduction 
to the transcendental and, with it, this further reduction to the 
Eidos is the method of approach to the field of work of the new 
science, it follows (and we stress the point in advance) that the 
proper starting-point for the systematic unravelling of this science 
lies in the chapters which treat of the reductions we have indicated. 
Only from this position can the reader, who follows with inner 
sympathy the indications proffered step by step, judge whether 
something characteristically new has really been worked out here 
—worked out, we say, and not constructed, drawn from real, 
graerd intuition of essential Being, and described accordingly. 

Eidetic phenomenology is restricted in this book to the realm 
of pure eidetic •‘description” , t hatls to the realnT f^esserntiaT 
struc^res of trans cendental subjectivity immediately transparent 
to the mind. F or this constitutes in itself already a.systematically 
self-contained infinitude of essential characteristics. Thus no 
a ttempt is made to carry out systematically the transcendenTal 
knowledge that can be obtained through logical deduction. Here 
we have one diff^ence (though not the only one) between the 
whole maimer of this new a priori science and that of the imthe- 
rnaticd disciplines. These are “deductive” sciences, and that 
means that in their scientifically theoretical mode of development 

plays an incomparably greater, part 
than the immediate axiomatic l^owledge upon which all the 
deduction are ba^d. An infinitude of deductions rests on a very 
few axioms. 

But in the transcendental sphere we have an infinitude of 
S?- knowledge whose mediated 
connexions (those of intention^ implication) have nothing to do 
with deduction, and being entirely intuitive prove refractory to 
every methodically devised scheme of constructive symbolism. 

A note of warning may be uttered here against a misunder- 
smding that has frequently arisen. When, in an anticipatory 
vein, it is stated right from the start that, according to the author’s 
views (to be established in those further portions of the whole 


work which are still to be published), all radically scientific 
philosophy rests on the basis of phenomenology, that in a further 
sense it is phenomenological philosophy right through, this does 
not mean to say that philosophy itself is an a priori science 
throughout. The task which this book was planned to carry out, 
that of establishing a science of the eidetic essence of a tran- 
scendental subjectivity, is as far as it can be from carrying the 
conviction with it that philosophy ^ itself js entirely a. science 
q priqri. A glance at the mathematical sciences, these great logical 
instruments for corresponding sciences of fact, would already lead 
us to anticipate the contrary. The science of fact in the strict 
sense, the genuinely rational science of nature, has first become 
possible through the independent elaboration of a ‘‘pure** mathe- 
matics of nature. The science of pure possibilities must every- 
where precede the science of real facts, and give it the guidance 
oi its concrete logic. So is it also in the case of transcendental 
philosophy, even though the dignity of the service rendered here 
by a system of the transcendental a priori is far more exalted. 

The understanding, or at any rate the sure grasp, of the dis- 
tinction between transcendental phenomenology and descriptive*\ 
or, as it is often called nowadays, ^^phenomenologicaV^ psychology y ) 
is a problem that as a rule brings great difficulties with it, which 
indeed are grounded in the very nature of the case. It has led 
to misunderstandings, to which even thinkers who subscribe to 
the phenomenological line of thought are subject. Some attempt 
to clarify the situation should prove useful. 

The change of standpoi nt which inj h is work bears the name. 
p henomenological reduction (tra n scendental-phenomenological 
we now say, to be more definite) is effected by m e, as the a ctually 
philosophizing subject, from the natural standpoint as a basis, 
am 1 experience Inj^eif here in the first instance as ‘T** in the 
ordinary" sense oTthe term, aTthis huma n person living ampng 
offiers in the world.'^ s a ps^hologiit 7 1 take as my theme this 
I-type of being and life, in its general aspect, the human being 
‘ as “psychical**. Turning inwards in pure reflexion, following 
" exclusively “inner experience** (self-experience and “empathy**, 
to be more precise), and setting aside all the psychophysical 


j^ uestions which relate to man as a co rporeal b eing, I obtain an 
wiginal and pure descriptive knowledge of the psychical life as 
it is in itself, the most original information being obtained from 
myself, because here alone is perception the medium. If, as is 
often done, descriptions of all sorts, which attach themselves 
purely and truly to the data of intuition, are referred to as pheno- 
menological, there here grows up, on the pure basis of in ner _ 
i ntuition, of the intuition of the soul’s o wn essenc e , a ph eno- 
^^menological psychobgy. A right form of method (on this point 
we shall have something further to say) gives us in point of 
fact not only scanty, superficially classificatory descriptions, but 
a great self-supporting science; the latter, however, properly 
speaking, only when, as is possible also here, one first sets before 
oneself as goal a science which deals not with the factual data 
of this inner sphere of intuition, but with the essence, inquiring, 
that is, after the invariant, essentially characteristic structures of 
a soul, of a psychical life in general. 

(jJfwe now perform this transcendental-phenomenolo^al 
reduction, t hi s transformation of the natural anct~ps^hologi cally 
inward standpoint whereby it i s transcendentalized, the psyc ho-*^ 
logical subjectivit y loses justthat w hic h makes it something rea l 
in the world that Hes before us; It loses the meaning of the soul 
aslbelonging to a body that exists In an objective, spatio-temporal 
Nature. This transformation of meaning concerns myself, above 
all, the “I” of the psychological and subsequently transcendental 
inquirer for the time being. Posited as real {wirklicK), I am now 
no longer a human Ego in the universal, existentially posited 
world, but exclusively a subject for which this world has being, 
and purely, indeed, as that which appears to me, is presented 
to me, and of which I am conscious in some way or other, so 
that the real being of the world thereby remains unconsidered, 
unquestioned, and its validity left out of account. Now if tran- 
scendental description passes no judgment whatsoever upon the 
world, and upon my human Ego as belonging to the world, and 
if, in this description, the transcendental Ego exists (ist) absolutely 
in and for itself prior to all cosmic being (which first wins in 
and through it existential validity), it is still at the same time 


evident that, at every conversion of meaning which concerns the 
phenomenological-psychological content of the soul as a whole, 
this very content by simply putting on another existential meaning 
(Seinssinn) becomes transcendental-phenomenological, just as 
conversely the latter, on reverting to the natural psychological 
standpoint, becomes once again psychologicd. Naturally this 
correspondence must still hold good if, prior to all interest in 
the development of psychological science, and of a “descriptive” 
or “phenomenological psychology” in particular, a transcendental 
' p henomenology is set up under the leading of a philosophical 
idea, so that through phenomenological reduction the transcen- 
dental Ego is directly set up at the focus of reflexion, and made 
the theme of a transcendental description. We have thus a 
remarkable thoroughgoing parallelism between a (properly 
elaborated) phenomenological psychology and a transcendental 
phenomenology. To each eidetic or empirical determination on 
the one side there must correspond a parallel feature on the 
other. And yet this whole content as psychology, considered from 
the natural standpoint as a positive science, therefore, and related 
to the world as spread before us, is entirely non-philosophical, 
whereas “the same” content from the transcendental standpoint, 
and therefore as transcendental phenomenology, is a philosophical 
science — ^indeed, on closer view, the basic philosophical science, 
preparing on descriptive lines the transcendental groimd which 
remains henceforth the exclusive ground for all philosophical 
; knowledge. Here in fact lie the chief difBculties in the way of 
an imderstanding, since it must be felt at first as a most un- 
reasonable demand that such a “numce” springing from a mere 
chMge of standpoint should possess such great, and indeed, for 
all genuine philosophy, such decisive significance. The wholly 
unique meaning of this “nuance” can be clearly appreciated only 
when he who philosophizes has reached a radical imderstanding 
with himself as to what he proposes to bring under the title 
“philosophy”, and only in so far as he is constrained to look for 
something differing in principle from positive science: the theo- 
retic control, that is, of something other than the world 
ostensibly given to us through experience. From such under- 



standing with one’s own self, carried out in a really radical 
and consistent way, there springs up of necessity a motiva- 
tion which compels the philosophizing Ego to reflect back on 
that very subjectivity of his, which in all his experience and 
knowledge of the natural world, both real and possible, is in the 
last resort the Ego that experiences and knows, and is thus already 
presupposed in all the natural self-knowledge of the “human Ego 
who experiences, thinks, and acts naturally in the world”. In 
other words: from this source springs the phenomenological 
transposition as an absolute requirement, if philosophy generally 
is to work out its distinctive purposes upon a basis of original 
experience, and so contrive to begin at all. It can make a beginning, 
and generally speaking develop all its further philosophical 
resources, only as a science working from the transcendental- 
philosophical standpoint. For this very reason the immediate 
a priori phenomenology (portrayed in this work in its actual 
functioning as that which directly prepares the transcendental 
basis) is the “first philosophy” in itself, the philosophy of the 
Beginning. Only when this motivation (which stands in need of 
a very minute and comprehensive analysis) has become a vital 
and compelling insight, does it become clear that the “change 
in the shading”, which at first appears so strange, transforming 
as it does a pure psychology of the inner life into a self-styled 
transcendental phenomenology, determines the being and non- 
being of philosophy — of a philosophy which knows with thorough- 
going scientific assurance what its own distinctive meaning calls 
for as the basis and the method of its inquiry. In the light of 
such self-comprehension, we understand for the first time that 
deepest and truly radical meaning of “psychologism” (that is, of 
transcendental psychologism) as the error that perverts the pure 
meaning of philosophy, proposing as it does to foimd philosophy 
on psychology, on the positive science of the life of the soul. This 
perversion persists unmodified when, in sympathy with our own 
procedure, the pure psychology of the inner life is set up also 
as an fl priori science; even then it remains a. positive science, 
and can provide a basis for positive science only, never for 


In the course of many years of brooding over these matters, the 
author has followed up different lines of inquiry, all equally 
possible, in the attempt to exhibit in an absolutely transparent 
and compelling way the nature of such motivation as propels 
beyond the natural positive realism of life and science, and 
necessitates the transcendental transposition, the “phenomeno- 
logical Reduction”. They are the ways of reaching the starting- 
point of a serious philosophy, and as they must be thought out 
in conscious reflexion, they themselves belong properly to the 
Beginning, as is possible, indeed, only within the beginner as 
he reflects upon himself. For each of these ways the point of 
departure is, of course, the natural unsophisticated standpoint 
of positive reality (Positivitdt) which the world of experience has 
as the basis of its being, and is confessedly “taken for granted” 
(the nature of such Being never having been questioned). In the 
work here presented (Second Section, second chapter, § 33 f.), 
the author selected that way of approach, which then appeared 
to him the most effective. It develops as a course of self-reflexion 
taking place in the region of the pure psychological intuition of 
the inner life, or, as we might also say, as a “phenomenological” 
reflexion in the ordinary psychological sense. It leads eventually 
to the point that I, who am here reflecting upon myself, become 
-conscious that under a consistent and exclusive focusing of 
experience upon that which is purely inward, upon what is 
“phenomenologically” accessible to me, I possess in myself an 
essential individuality, self-contained, and holding well together 
in itself, to which all real and objectively possible experience and 
knowledge belongs, through whose agency the objective world 
is there for me with all its empirically confirmed facts, in and 
through which it has for me at any rate trustworthy (even if 
never scientifically authorized) essential validity. This also includes 
the more special apperceptions through which I take myself to be 
a man with body and soul, who lives in the world with other men, 
lives the life of the world, and so forth. Continuing this self- 
reflexion, I now also become aware that my own phenomeno- 
logically self-contained essence can be posited in an absolute sertst, 
as i am the Ego who invests the being of the world which I so 



constantly speak about with existential validity, as an existence 
{Sein) which wins for me from my own life’s pure essence 
meaning and substantiated validity. I myself as this individual 
essence, posited absolutely, as the open infinite field of pure 
phenomenological data and their inseparable unity, am the “tran- 
scendental Ego” ", the absolute positing means that the world is 
no longer “given” to me in advance, its validity that of a simple 
existent, but that henceforth it is exclusively my Ego that is given 
(given from my new standpoint), given purely as that which has 
being in itself, in itself experiences a world, confirms the same, 
and so forth. 

Within this view of things there grows up, provided the con- 
sequences are fearlessly followed up (and this is not everybody’s 
business), a transcendental-phenomenological Idealism in opposition 
to every form of psychologistic Idealism. The account given in 
the chapter indicated suffers, as the author confesses, from lack 
of completeness. Although it is in all real essentials unassailable, 
it lacks what is certainly important to the foundation of this 
Idealism, the proper consideration of the problem of transcen- 
dental solipsism or of transcendental intersubjectivity, of the 
essential relationship of the objective world, that is valid for me, 
to others which are valid for me and with me. The completing 
developments should have been furnished in a Second Volume 
which the author had hoped to be able to supply very soon after 
the first, as a sequel that had been plaimed at the same time 
with it. 

The objections raised against this Idealism and its alleged 
Solipsism seriously impeded the reception of the work, as though 
its essential significance lay in any way in this sketch of its 
philosophical import: whereas this was no more than a means 
devised in the interest of the problem of a possible objective 
knowledge, for winning this necessary insight: that the very 
meaning of that problem refers us back to the Ego that is in 
and for itself; and that this Ego, as the presupposition of the 
knowledge of the world, cannot be and remain presupposed as 
having the existence of a world, and must therefore, in respect 
of the world’s being, be brought to its pure state through pheno- 


menological reduction, that is, through “Epoche”. I might have 
been better advised if, without altering the essential connexions 
of the exposition, I had left open the final decision in favour of 
transcendental Idealism, and contented myself with making clear 
that trains of thought of crucial philosophical significance with 
a trend that is towards Idealism necessarily arise here, and must 
by all means be thought out; so that to this end one needs in 
any case to make sure of the ground of transcendental subjectivity. 

I must not hesitate, however, to state quite explicitly that 
in regard to transcendental-phenomenological Idealism, I have 
nothing whatsoever to take back, that now as ever I hold every 
form of current philosophical realism to be in principle absurd, 
as no less every idealism to which in its own arguments that 
realism stands contrasted, and which in fact it refutes. Given 
a deeper understanding of my exposition, the solipsistic objection 
should never have been raised as an objection against pheno- 
menological idealism, but only as an objection to the incomplete- 
ness of my exposition. Still, one should not overlook what is the 
radical essential in all philosophi2ing to which, in this book, a 
path will be opened. Over against the thinking, rich in pre- 
suppositions, which has as its premises the world, science, and 
sirndry understandings bearing on method, and rooted in the 
scientific tradition as a whole, a radical form of the autonomy 
of knowledge is here active, in which every form of datum given 
in advance, and all Being taken for granted, is set out as invalid, 
and there is a reversion to that which is already presupposed 
implicite in all presupposing and in all questioning and answering, 
and herewith of necessity exists already, immediate and persistent. 
This is the first to be freely and expressly posited, and with 
a self-evidence which precedes all conceivable instances of self- 
evidence, and is contained implicitly in them all. Although it is 
only with the phenomenological reduction which would convert 
this radicalism into conscious work, that genuine work-performing 
philosophizing begins, the whole preparatory reflexion has already 
been carried through, and precisely in this spirit. It is pheno- 
menological, though still unconsciously so. It follows, therefore, 
that it is a piece of pure self-reflexion revealing original self-evi- 


dent facts ; and, moreover, when it exhibits in these facts (though 
incompletely) the outlines of Idealism, it is as far as can be from 
being one of the usual balancings between Idealism and Realism, 
and cannot be affected by the arguments involved in any of their 
objections. Such essential connexions of a phenomenological kind, 
and such motivations in an “idealistic” direction as are in fact 
revealed, hold firm under all the improvements and completions 
that may eventually prove necessarj', even as the reality of rivers 
and mountain ranges, which the first explorer has really seen 
and described, remains standing despite the improvements and 
additions to which his descriptions are subjected by later ex- 
plorers. The first preliminary steps towards a fresh formulation 
of the transcendental problem (to subserve mere purposes of 
motivation) must then be taken in accord with its phenomeno- 
logical content, and in accord with what from this point of 
departure forecasts with objective necessity the true meaning 
of an objective being that is subjectively knowable. Moreover, 
transcendental phenomenology is not a theory, devised merely 
as a reply to the historic problem of Idealism, it is a science 
founded in itself, and standing absolutely on its owm basis; it 
is indeed the one science that stands absolutely on its own 
ground. Only in such wise, however, that when consistently 
carried forward, it leads, as is already apparent in the important 
concluding portions of the book, to the “constitutive” problems, 
which take in all the conceivable objects we could ever meet 
with in experience, briefly the whole real world spread out before 
us together with all its categories of the object, and likewise all 
“ideal” worlds, and makes these all intelligible as transcendental 
correlates. Whence it clearly follows that transcendental pheno- 
menological Idealism is not a special philosophical thesis, a theory 
among others; that transcendental phenomenology, rather, as 
concrete science, is, in itself, even when no word is spoken con- 
cerning Idealism, universal Idealism worked out as a science. 
And it proves it through its own meaning as transcendental 
science in each of its special constitutive domains. T)iu- we nlsn 
need to make clearly explicit the fund amental and essential 
^fterence between transcendental-phenomenological Idealism 


jind that form of Idealism whi ch in p opular realism is opposed 
to it as its incompatiSIe'o^osite. And in the very firitplace let 
Bus be said: O ur phenomenological idealism does not deny the 
positive existence of the real {realm) world and of Naturl ^Tn 
t&e hrst place a s though it held it to be an illusion. It s sole task 
a^ se rvice is to clarify the meaning of this world, the precise 
s ense in which everyone accepts it, and with undeniable nghtT 
as really existing {zoirkUch seiende). That it exists — ^given as it is 
as a universe out there (daseiendes) in an experience that is con- 
t inuous, and h eia persistently together through a threaB*bf-wnie- 
spread unanimity — that is quite indubitable. It is quite another 
consideration, although in the light of the discussions in the text 
of this work one of great philosophical importance, that the con- 
tinuance of experience in the future imder such form of universal 
agreement is a mere (although reasonable) presumption, and that 
accordingly the non-existence of the world, although, and whilst 
it is in point of fact the object of a unanimous experience, always 
remains thinkable. The result of the phenomenological clarifica- 
tion of the meaning of the manner of existence of the real world 
(and, eidetical ly, of a real world generally) is that only tran- 
s cendental subjecti vity has ontologically the mea ning of Absolute 
Being, that it only is non-reiative, that is relative only to itself: 
whereasi the real world i ndeed exists, but in respect of essence 
is relative to t rans^dental subjectivity, and in such a way that 
i t can have its meanmg as existing (seiende) reality only as the 
intentional meaning-p roduct of transcendental subjectivity . But 
"f hat arst attains its full meaning when the phenomenological 
disclosure of the transcendental Ego is so far advanced that the 
experience of fellow-subjects impli cit in it h as w on its reduction 
to transc^dental experience; in ofbpr words, 
int erpretation carried out purely on the basis of transcendental 
experience has led to the knowledge of the real and whole meaning 
of the transcendental subjectmty, which, for the Ego reflecting 
^ the time means this : “I, the transcendental, absolute I, as I 
am in my own life of transcendental consciotisness; but besides 
myself, the fellow-subjects who in this life of mine reveal them- 
selves as co-transcendental, within the transcendental society of 


‘Ourselves’, which simultaneously reveals itself.” It is thus within 
the intersubjectivity, which in the phenomenological reduction 
Tfas reached empiricar^veimess on a transcendental level, and 
is thus itself transcendental, that the real {reale) world is con- 
stitutecras”“objectiye”, as being there for everyone. 

The world has this meaning, whether we are aware of^it or 
not. But how could we ever be awar e of it prior to the pheno- 
menological reduction wtuchfirst brings the transcendental sub- 
je^ivity as our aSsbIute Being into the fo cus of experience? So 
long as it was only the psj^blogical subjectivity that was 
recognized, and one sought to posit it as absolute, and to under- 
stand the world as its correlate, the result could only be an absurd 
Idealism, a psychological Idealism — ^the very type which the 
equally absurd realism has as its counterpart. Now by such as 
have won their way to the genuine transcendental subjectivity 
it can assuredly be seen that the great idealists of the eighteenth 
century, Berkeley and Hume on the one side, Leibniz on the 
other, had, properly speaking, already reached beyond psycho- 
logical subjectivity in the sense it bears within the natural world. 
But since the contrast between psychological and transcendental 
subjectivity remained unexplained, and the all-dominant sen- 
sationalism of the school of Locke could not render intelligible 
the constituting of what is real as a performance giving to sub- 
jectivity meaning and true being, the unfruitful and unphilo- 
sophical conflict fought out on the field of nature remained in 
vogue for the times that followed, and there prevailed a perverse 
interpretation of the meaning which the great idealists had really 
intended, yet to be sure without making that meaning scientifically 

The new publications which the author began to issue in 
1929 (the first since the Ideen) will contribute far-reaching 
advances, clarifications, and completions of what, for the rest, had 
already been begun in the Logische Untersuchmigen (1900-1901), 
and then in the Ideen, so that the claim to have set going the 
necessary beginnings of a philosophy, “which can present itself 
as a science”, caimot well be regarded as self-deception. In any 
case, he who for decades instead of speculating concerning a Ntew 


Atlantis has really wandered in the trackless wilds of a new 
continent and undertaken bits of virgin cultivation, will not allow 
himself to be diverted by the refusals of geographers who judge 
the reports in the light of their own experiences and habits of 
thought, and on the strength of this exempt themselves from 
all the trouble of making a journey into the land proclaimed to 
be new. 

There is still one point that calls for a remark. In the eyes of 
those who set aside the phenomenological reduction as a philo- 
sophically irrelevant eccentricity (whereby, to be sure, they destroy 
the whole meaning of the work and of my phenomenology), and 
leave nothing remaining but an a priori psychology, it often 
happens that this residual psychology is identified as to its main 
import with Franz Brentano^s psychology of inte ntionality. Great 
i ndeed as is the respect and gratitude with which the author 
re mem bers this gifte d thinicer as hi s teacHS^ and stfonglj^^ 
vinced as he is that his conversion of the s cholastic conc ept of 
i ntentionality into a de scriptive root-concept of ps y chology con- 
s titutes a great discoveiy?-, apart from wh ich phenomeno l ogy co uld 
n ot have come into being at al l ; noneJ: he jess we must distinguish 
a s essentially different the author ^s pure psychology impli citly 
contained in this transcendental phenomenology and the psy- 
chology oTBr enfa nc TT^ ^^ good also of his ‘‘psychognosis’’ 

limited to pure description in the region of inner experience. 
It is indeed “phenomenological” psychology if, as has often 
happened at the present time, we are to give the title “pheno- 
menological” to every psychological inquiry conducted purely 
within the framework of “inner experience”, and, grouping all 
such studies together, to speak further of a phenomenological 
psychology. For this latter discipline, quite apart from its name, 
takes us back, naturally, to John Locke and to his school, 
including John Stuart Mill . One can then say that David Hume^s 
T ^atise gives the first systematic sketch of a pure phenomenology, 
whichTtKough under the name of psychology, attSnpts to supi^y 
a pEfibso phlcal transcendents^ philo^pfiy. L ikeTus great^fe- 
decessor, Berkeley, it is as a psychologist that he is regarded and 
has exercised his influence. Thus, excluding all transcendental 


questions, it is this whole “phenomenological” school which 
alone calls here for our consideration. Characteristic of it and of 
its psychology is the conception set forth in Locke’s “white paper” 
simile of the pure soul as a complex or heap of temporally co- 
existing and successive data, which run their course under rules 
partly their own, partly psychophysical. I t would thu s be the 
function of descriptive psychology to disti nguish and classi]^ the 
m^l^cs of t hese “s^se- data”, data of the “ isofitjensa!.’, of 
iimer experie nce, and likewise the elementary b-asi C-£Qnns_Q£-tb.e 
psychical complex; th at of explanatory psychology to seek out 
the rules of genetic formations and transformations, much as in 
the case of natural science, and on similar lines of method. And 
quite naturally so, since the pure psychical being or the psychical 
life is regarded as a nature-resembling flow of events in a quasi- 
space of consciousness. On grounds of principle, we may say 
that it obviously makes no diiference w'hether we let the psychic 
“data” be blown along in a collective w'hole “atomistically”, 
though in accordance with empirical laws, like heaps of sand, 
or regard them as parts of wholes which by necessity, whether 
empirical or a priori, can alone operate as such parts, and prin- 
cipally perhaps within the whole of consciousness fettered as 
that is to a rigid form of wholeness. In other wor^, atomistic 
and Gestalt-psychology alike participate in that intrinsic m eani ng 
of psychological “naturalism”, as defined in terms of what we 
have statedlB5Ve~, whidr7i iavlrig're^ r3 to the expression “inner 
s ense”, may also be termed “sensatibhalism'’’~ ~l[S’gi «<a5mM5yr 
Qearly Brentano’s psychol ogy of~ intentionality also remains 
fettered to this inherite d naturalism, though invlrtue^its haying 
introduced into psychology as a main concept, descriptive in type 
and universal in scope, tha^ot IntentionSSy, it has worked therein 
as a reforming factor. ~~ 

The essentially liew influence which in transcendentallv direc ted 
phenomenology becomes active for descriptive psychology, and 
i s now completely Biahging the whole asp ect oFthls psychology, 
it s whole method, the setting of its concrete aims, is th^i^ ght 
th at a concrete descri ption of the sph e re of conscio usness as a 
self-contained sphere of intentionality (it is never oth^ise 


concretely given), a concrete description, for instance, of per- 
ceptions or recollections, and so forth, also calls, of necessity, 
for a description of the object as such, referred to in intentional 
experiences, as such, we say, indicating thereby that they belong 
inseparably to the current experience itself as its objectively 
intended or “objective meaning”. Furthermore, that one and the 
same intentional object as such, from the viewpoint of descriptive 
psychology, is an ideal indicator of a group of ways of being 
conscious that are proper to it, whose system of typical differences 
tallies essentially with the typical articulation of the intentional 
object. It does not suffice to say that every consciousness is a 
consciousness-of on the lines, perhaps, of Brentano’s classification 
(to which I cannot subscribe) into “presentations”, “judgments”, 
“phenomena of love and of hate”; but one must question the 
different categories of objects in their pure objectivity as objects 
of possible consciousness, and question back to the essential 
configurations of possible “manifolds” to be synthetically con- 
nected, through which an object of the relevant category can alone 
be known as the same, that is, as that which can be known through 
experiences of very differing description, dffiering and always 
differing still again, but always restricted to the descriptive types 
of such ways of consciousness as belong to it essentially and 
a priori. The reference to the fact that every object is either 
experienced or thought or sought after as an end, and so forth, 
is only a first step, and still tells us very little. The task of a 
phenomenological “constitution” of objects referred to at the 
close of this book, in a transcendental setting, it is true, finds its 
place here, only that now it is conceived as projected back upon 
the natural psychological standpoint. 

Unfortunately, the necessary stressing of the difference between 
transcendental and psychological subjectivity, the repeated 
declaration that transcendental phenomenology is not in any 
sense psychology, not even phenomenological psychology, has 
had this effect upon the majority of professional psychologists 
(who are wont to be very frugal, moreover, in all that concerns 
philosophy), that they failed to notice at all the radical psycho- 
logical reform which was involved in the transcendental; they 



interpreted my utterances as an intimation that as psychologists 
they were not concerned in any way with phenomenology, or 
with any part of it. Even the few who noticed here that it was 
very relevant to psychology, and sought to make it accessible, 
have not grasped the whole meaning and scope of an intentional 
and constitutive phenomenology, and have not seen that here for 
the first time, in contrast with naturalistic psychology from an 
outer standpoint, a psychology comes to words and deeds, a 
psychology in which the life of the soul is made intelligible in 
its most intimate and originally intuitional essence, and that this 
original intuitional essence lies in a “constituting” of meaning- 
formations in modes of existential validity, which is perpetually 
new and incessantly organizing itself afresh — ^briefly, in the 
system of intentional actions, whereby existential {seiende) objects 
of the most varied grades right up to the level of an objective 
world are there for the Ego as occasion demands. 

It was, moreover, not without reason that the psychological 
reform made its first entry as the concealed implication of a 
transcendental reform. For only a compulsion grounded on the 
philosophically transcendental problem, an urge towards extreme 
radicalism in the clearing up of the modes in which knowledge 
and object stand to each other in the conscious life itself, neces- 
sarily led to a universal and concrete phenomenology of con- 
sciousness, which received its primary orientation from the 
intentional object. In the transition to the psychology of the 
natural standpoint, it is then obvious that an intentional psychology 
has a quite different meaning from that of the traditions of the 
school of Locke or of that of Brentano. A. von Meinong also, 
although, in writings that appeared subsequently to my Logical 
Studies, his teaching comes here and there into touch with my 
own, is in no way to be regarded here as an exception : he remains 
bound to Brentano’s leading conceptions, or to psychological 
sensationalism, as does the entire psychology of the modern 
tradition and the whole psychology of the present day. 

The present work, however, as a philosophical treatise does 
not include psychological reform among its themes, although it 
should not be wholly lacking in indications bearing on a geiTuine 


intentional psychology. Even as philosophical, moreover, its task 
is limited. It does not claim to be anything more than an atte mpt 
th at has been growin g through . decadgS-joLmed itation excl usive ly 
directed to this one end: to discover a radical beg inmng..oi a 
phi|^ phY~wHicErto ^ reaeat. the Kanti an phrase, “will be able_ 
t o pre sent itself a s scien ce”. The ideal . oLa^phila soph£r,4D>diink^^^ 
out sooneroF later a logic, an ethic, a metaphysic, and so forth, 
which he can at all times justify to himself and others with an 
insight that is absolutely cogent — ^this ideal the author had early 
to abandon, and has not resumed it to this day. And for no 
reason other than the following, seeing that at any rate this 
insight was and remained for him indubitable, that a philosophy 
cannot start in a naive straightforward fashion — ^not then as do 
the positive sciences which take their stand on the previously 
given ground of our experience of a world, presupposed as 
something that exists as a matter of course. That they do it 
causes them all to have problems in respect of their foundations, 
and paradoxes of their own, a condition which a subsequent and 
belated theory of knowledge first seeks to remedy. For this very 
reason the positive sciences are unphilosophical, they are not 
ultimate, absolute sciences. A philosophy with problematic 
foundations, with paradoxes which arise from the obscurity of 
the fundamental concepts, is no philosophy, it contradicts its very 
meaning as philosophy. Phi losophy can take root only in radical 
reflexion upon the meaning and possibility of its own scheme . 
T hrough such reflexion it must in the ver y first place and through 
its own activity take possession of the absolute ground of pure 
pre-concept uai ex perience, _whi ch is i ts~o wn proper " Re serve; 
then, selF^active again, it must create original concepts, adequately 
a SjustM to tKis~gfound, a nd s o generally utili ze for its advance 
an absolu te ly transparent meth od. There can then be no unclear, 
problematic concepts, and no paradoxes. The entire absence of 
this procedure, the overlooking of the immense difficulties 
attaching to a correct beginning, or the covering up of the same 
through the haste to have done with them, had this for its con- 
sequence, that we had and have many and ever new philosophical 
“systems” or “directions”, but not the me philosophy which 


as Idea underlies all the philosophies that can be imagined. 
Philosophy, as it moves towards its realization, is not a relatively 
incomplete science improving as it goes naturally forward. Thwe 
lies embe dded in it s meaning as phi losophy a radicalism in tKe 
mattM' ^ foundations, an absolute freedom'frbnTall presup- 
po sitioi^ra~se cur iDg~lor ttseif ~gn~afa~s~o1ute~bMr: Th e' totality of 
presuppositions that can be “taken fo r grante d”. But that too 
must itself be firsTclarified through corresponding reflexions, 
and the absolutely binding quality of its requirements laid bare. 
That these reflexions become more and more interwoven as 
thought advances, and lead eventually to a whole science, to a 
science of Beginnings, a “first” philosophy; that all philosophical 
disciplines, the very foundations of all sciences whatsoever, spring 
from its matrix — all this must needs have remained implicit since 
the radicalism was lacking without which philosophy generally 
could not be, could not even make a start. The true philosophical 
beginning must have been irretrievably lost in beginning with 
presuppositions of a positive kind. Lacking as did the traditional 
schemes of philosophy the enthusiasm of a first beginning, they 
also lacked what is first and most important : a specifically philo- 
sophical groundwork acquired through original self-activity, and 
therewith that firmness of basis, that genuineness of root, which 
alone makes real philosophy possible. The author’s convictions 
on such lines have become increasingly self-evident as his work 
progressed. If he has been obliged, on practical grounds, to lower 
the ideal of the philosopher to that of a downright beginner, he 
has at least in his old age reached for himself the complete cer- 
tainty that he should thus call himself a beginner. He could 
almost hope, were Methuselah’s span of days allotted him, to 
be still able to become a philosopher. He has always been able 
to follow up the problems that issue from the Beginning, and 
primarily from what is first for a descriptive phenomenology, the 
beginning of the beginning, and to develop it concretely in what 
to him have been instructive pieces of work. The far horizons 
of a phenomenological philosophy, the chief structural formations, 
to speak geographically, have disclosed themselves; the essential 
groups of problems and the methods of approach on essential 


lines have been made clear. The author sees the infinite open 
country of the true philosophy, the “promised land” on which 
he himself will never set foot. This confidence may wake a smile, 
but let each see for himself whether it has not some ground in 
the fragments laid before him as phenomenology in its beginnings. 
Gladly would he hope that those who come after will take up 
these first ventures, carry them steadily forward, yes, and improve 
also their great deficiencies, defects of incompleteness which 
cannot indeed be avoided in the beginnings of scientific work. 

But when all is said, this work of mine can help no one who 
has already fixed his philosophy and his philosophical method, 
who has thus never learnt to know the despair of one who has 
the misfortune to be in love with philosophy, and who at the 
very outset of his studies, placed amid the chaos of philosophies, 
with his choice to make, realizes that he has really no choice at 
all, since no one of these has taken care to free itself from pre- 
suppositions, and none has sprung from the radical attitude of 
autonomous self-responsibility which the meaning of a philosophy 
demands. He who believes that he can appeal to the “fruitful 
jSd^off” of experience in the current sense of that term, or to the 
“assured results” of the exact sciences, or to experimental or 
physiological psychology, or to a constantly improved logic and 
mathematics, and so forth, and therein find premises for his 
philosophy, cannot have much susceptibility for the contents of 
this book. He is unable to bring to his reading an intensive 
interest, nor can he hold that the time and effort have been well 
spent which the sympathetic understanding of such a way of 
beginning demands. Only he who is himself striving to reach 
a beginning will herein behave otherwise, since he must say to 
himself: tm res agitur. 

Those who are interested in the author’s continued work and 
progress since 1913 may be referred to the recently published 
writing entitled “Formale und transzendentale Logik, Versuch 
einer Kritik der logischen Vernunft” (in the Jahrbuch f. PMno- 
tnenologie und pkarwmenohgische Forschung, Bd. X, 1929). Also 
to his Cartesianischen Meditatimen, an extended elaboration of 



the four lectures which he had the pleasure of giving first in 
the spring of 1922 at the University of London, and in this last 
year in an essentially maturer form at the Sorbonne in Paris. 
They furnish once again, though merely in outline an Introduction 
to phenomenological philosophy, but contain an essential supple- 
ment in the detailed treatment of the fundamental problem of 
transcendental intersubjectivity, wherewith the solipsistic objec- 
tion completely collapses. They will presumably appear simul- 
taneously with this English edition of the Idem in a French 
rendering in the Bulletin de la Societe de PhilosopMe. In the 
same year a German edition should be appearing, published by 
Niemeyer of Halle a.d.S, containing as additional matter a second 
Introduction, in which the clarification of the idea of a personal 
(on the lines of a mental science) and natural anthropology and 
psychology, and lastly of a pure intuitional psychology, is under- 
taken as an initial problem. At a later stage only is it shown 
how, starting from this discussion, which, like all that has pre- 
ceded, remains on natural ground, the Copernican reversal to 
the transcendental standpoint finds its motive. At the same time 
a series of publications is being started in my Jahrbuchi the 
concrete phenomenological studies which I have drafted as the 
years went by, to clear up my own mind, and for the safeguarding 
of the structure of phenomenology. 

In conclusion, let me thank my own honoured friend. Professor 
W. R. Boyce Gibson, for the disinterested labour involved in this 
translation. It fills me with some hope when so thorough and 
so earnest a thinker takes so great an interest in my efforts to 
furnish philosophy with a scientific beginning as to take upon 
himself the translating of this extensive work, the language of 
which is so difficult, even for Germans. 


The Idem %u einer reinm Phdnommohgie und phanomemlo- 
gischen Philosophies of which this is a translation, first appeared 
as the leading Article of the first issue of the Jahrbuch fur PhUo- 
sQphie und Phdnomenohgische Forschung * in 1913, and has been 
twice reprinted, in 1922 and in 1928. It furnishes the groundwork 
and starting-point of the phenomenological movement now so 
active in Germany, and is the ‘classic’ of that reform movement 
in philosophy which, in the words of the Author’s stirring article 
in Logos (Bd. I), 1910, conceives philosophy as a ‘rigorous 
science’, and aims at a radical reconstruction of its basis and 
method. Since the year 1900, which saw the first edition of 
Husserl’s Logical Studies, the Author has been known as a 
profound and penetrating logical thinker, but in these same 
Studies, more particularly in the Second Edition (1913-1921), 
we have not only logic, but the transition from logic to pheno- 
menology, and the growing conviction that a radical or ‘tran- 
scendental’ logic is possible only on a phenomenological basis. 
The present work supplies that basis in a form at once general 
and fundamental, special problems, such as those of Inter- 
subjectivity, the Pure Ego, and the relation of phenomenology 
to Metaphysics being reserved for later treatment. It is, as 
expressly stated on the front page of the third impression of the 
Idem (Halle, Max Niemeyer, 1928), the ‘First Book’, and, as 
such, bears the title AUgemeine Einjuhrung in die reine Phdno- 
tnenologie, or Gmeral Introduction to Pure Phenomenology — ^the 
title adopted for this English version. 

The translation from the German covers the Author’s Preface, 
the Text of the Idem, and the Index. It has had its difficulties, 
and the sincerest effort has been made to straighten these out, 
and present a faithful rendering— -in somewhat modified style, 
maybe — of the terse and compact original. I have had important 
help towards the elucidating of the meaning of the text from 
Professor Husserl himself, for whose generous kindness to me 

‘ Edited by E. Husserl. Freiburg-i-B. Published by Max Niemeyer, Halle, 
a.d.S. • 


during my stay in Freiburg in 1928 I cannot be too grateful, 
and from Professor Oskar Becker of the same University. In 
particular, Professor Husserl has laid all readers of this trans- 
lation under a special debt by his important and illuminating 
“Preface to the English Edition”, which not only sheds a most 
helpful light on the author’s own thought and writings, but 
supplements most usefully the discussion of the meaning of 
Transcendental Phenomenology, and its distinction from pheno- 
menological psychology given in his Article on “Phenomenology” 
in the Fourteenth Edition of the Encychpcedia Britamdca. I owe 
also many helpful suggestions to my own students of the Meta- 
physics Class, and in particular to Norman Porter, now Lecturer 
in Philosophy in the University of Sydney, who read through the 
whole work in MS. To my proof-reader. Dr. C. V. Salmon of 
Belfast University, I am quite specially indebted. He has taken 
on himself that burden of final revision, which writers ordinarily 
assume in their own person, but must carry by proxy when, 
as in my own case, they .are ten thousand miles away. 
Dr. Salmon is himself an expert phenomenologist, one of Pro- 
fessor Husserl’s own pupils, a contributor of the tenth volume 
of the Jahrbuch, and the translator of the Encyclopaedia Article 
on Phenomenology, to which I have just referred. His services 
in scrutinizing the- translated terminology have therefore been 
of exceptional value, and the fact that he has co-operated with 
the translator in the search after terminological precision should 
be most reassuring to the reader. 

It is hoped that the elaborate Analytical Index, which essentially, 
and in its present form, is the work of Dr. Ludwig Landgrebe 
of Freiburg, and has simply been put into English and English 
order by the translator, will prove a real and constant help to 
the student in his effort to follow the thought of one who always 
says what he sees, and never sacrifices a significant insight to 
the simplifying and obliterating conveniences of generalized 

The translator is deeply indebted to his publishers, George 
Allen & Unwin Ltd., of Ruskin House, and especially to the Editor 
of the Library of Philosophy, Professor J. H. Muirhead, for the 



interest and care they have taken in the publishing of this English 
version of Edmund Husserl’s fundamental work. Professor Muir- 
head greeted the venture from the outset with genuine and 
discerning sympathy, and his suggestions for the improvement 
of the English text, ever since the first MS. came into his hands, 
have been most helpful. It has been a constant satisfaction to 
realize that the editorship of the present translation was in the 
competent hands of so distinguished a scholar. 

In conclusion, I owe to my wife not only the typing of the 
MS, of the complete text, but many happy suggestions and 
improvements in the wording. The translation owes much to her 
scholarly care. 

If, with the interests of the reader in mind, the translator may 
venture on a word of advice, it would be this : Should the first 
chapter of the first Section — ^which treats of logical preliminaries, 
and forms the link of connexion with the later Logical Studies — 
prove by reason of its compression difficult or unsatisfying to 
the uninitiated, let him pass on to the Second Chapter, and make 
that the starting-point of his reading, reserving to himself, of 
course, the privilege of returning to the omitted chapter when he 
has become more familiar with the drift of the main argument, 
and feels the need for further light on its logical basis. 




Author’s Preface to the English Edition ii 

Translator’s Preface 31 

Introduction 41 



FIRST chapter 

Fact and Essence 51 

§ I. Natural knowledge and experience 51 

§ 2* Fact. Inseparability of fact and essence 52 

§ 3. Essential insight and individual intuition 54 

§ 4. Essential insight and the play of fancy. Knowledge of essences 

independent of all knowledge of facts 57 

§ 5. Judgments about essence and judgments of eidetic 

generality 58 

§ 6. Some fundamental concepts. Generality and necessity 59 

§ 7. Sciences of facts and sciences of the essence 61 

§ 8. Interdependence of the sciences of fact and of essence 63 

§ 9. Region and regional eidetics 64 

§ 10. Region and category. The analytic region and its categories 66 
§11. Syntactical objectivities and ultimate substrata. Syntactical 

categories 69 

§ 12. Genus and species 71 

§ 13. Generalization and formalization 72 

§ 14. Substrative categories. The substrative essence and the 

rdde tt, 74 

§ 15. Independent and dependent objects. Concretum and Individual 75 
§ 16. Region and category in the sphere of substantive meaning. 

Synthetic cognitions a priori 77 

§ 17, Conclusions of the logical considerations 78 


N.^turalistic Misconstructions 80 

§ 18. Introduction to the critical discussions 80 

§ 19. The empiricist’s identification of experience and primordial 

dator act 82 

§ 20. Empiricism and scepticism 85 

§ 21. Obscurities on the idealistic side 87 

§ 22. The reproach of Platonic realism. Essence and concept 88 

§ 23. Spontaneity of ideation, essence, and fiction 90 

§ 24. The principle of all principles 92 

§ 25, The positivist at work as natural scientist, the natural scientist 

in reflective thought as positivist 93 

§ 26. Sciences of the dogmatic and sciences of the philosophic stand- 
• point 95 







The Thesis of the Natural Standpoint and its Suspension 
§ 27. The world of the natural standpoint : I and my world about me 10 1 
§ 38. The cogito. My natural world -about-me and the ideal worlds- 

about-me 103 

§ 29. The ‘'other** Ego-subjects and the intersubjective natural tvorld- 

about-me 105 

§ 30. The general thesis of the natural standpoint 105 

§ 31. Radical alteration of the natural thesis. “Disconnexion**, 

“Bracketing” 107 

§ 32. The phenomenological sTtoxt) no 

second chapter 

Consciousness and Natural Reality 112 

§ 33. Intimation concerning “pure** or “transcendental conscious- 
ness’* as phenomenological residuum 113 

§ 34. The essence of consciousness as theme of inquiry 1 14 

§ 35. The cogito as “act”. The modal form of marginal actuality 116 

§36. Intentional experience. Experience in general 119 

§ 37. The “directedness” of the pure Ego in the cogito, and the 

noticing that apprehends 12 1 

§ 38. Reflexions on acts. Immanent and transcendent perceptions 133 
§ 39. Consciousness and natural reality. The view of the “man in 

the street’* 135 

§ 40, “Primary” and “secondary** qualities. The bodily given thing 

“mere appearance” of the “physically true** 12S 

§ 41. The real nature of perception and its transcendent object 129 

§42. Being as Consciousness and Being as Reality. Intrinsic differ- 
ence between the modes of tuition 133 

§ 43. Light on a fundamental error 135 

§ 44. The merely phenomenal being of the transcendent, the absolute 

being of the immanent 13*7 

§ 45. Unperceived experience, unperceived reality 141 

§ 46. Indubitability of immanent, dubitability of transcendent per- 
ception 143 


The Region of Pure Consciousness 14^ 

§ 47. The natural world as correlate of consciousness 147 

§ 48, Logical possibility and real absurdity of a world outside our 

own 149 

§ 49. Absolute consciousness as residuum after the nullifying of the 

world ^ rcQ 




§ 50. The phenomenological viewpoint and pure consciousness as 

the field of phenomenology 1 54 

§ 51. The import of the transcendental preliminary reflexions 155 

§ 52. Supplementary remarks. The physical thing and the ‘‘unknown 

cause of appearances” 158 

§ 53. Animalia and psychological consciousness 164 

§ 54. The same continued. The transcendent psychological experi- 
ence contingent and relative, the transcendental experience 
necessary and absolute 166 

§ 55. Conclusion. All reality exists through “the dispensing of mean- 
ing.” No “subjective idealism” i68 


The Phenomenological Reductions 171 

§ 56. The question concerning the extension of the phenomeno- 
logical reduction. The natural and the mental sciences 171 

§ 57. The question of the suspension of the pure Ego 172 

§ 58, The transcendence of God suspended 173 

§ 59. The transcendence of the eidetic. The suspending of pure logic 

as mathesis universalis 175 

§ 60. The suspending of the material-eidetic disciplines 177 

§61. The methodological importance of the systematic theory of 

phenomenological reductions 179 

§ 62. Epistemological preliminaries. “Dogmatic” and phenomeno- 
logical standpoints 182 



first CHAPTER 

Preliminary Considerations of Method 187 

§ 63. The special importance for phenomenology of considerations 

of method 187 

§ 64. The self-suspending of the phenomenologist 189 

§ 65. The reference of phenomenology back to its own self 189 

§ 66. Faithful expression of the clearly given. Unambiguous terms 192 

§ 67. Method of clarification. The “nearness” and “remoteness” of 

given data 193 

§ 68, Genuine and coimterfeit grades of clearness. The essence of 

normal clarifying 19S 

§ 69. The method of apprehending essences with perfect clearness 197 

§ 70. The r 61 e of perception in the method for clarifying the essence. 

The privileged position of free fancy 198 

f 71 . The problem of the possibility of a descriptive eidetic of experi- 




§ 72. Concrete, abstract, *‘mathematicar* sciences of Essential Being 202 
§ 73. Application to the problem of phenomenology. Description and 

exact determination ^<^6 

§ 74. Descriptive and exact sciences 207 

§75. Phenomenology as descriptive theory of the essence of pure 

experiences 209 


General Structures of Pure Consciousness 212 

§ 76. The theme of the following studies 212 

§ 77. Reflexion as the basic peculiarity of the sphere of experience. 

Studies on reflexion 215 

§78. Phenomenological study of reflexions upon experience 219 

§ 79. Critical excursus. Phenomenology and the difficulties of “self- 
observation” 223 

§ 80. The relation of experiences to the pure Ego 232 

§81. Phenomenological time and the time-consciousness 234 

§ 82. Continuation. The threefold limit of experience, as at once the 

limit of reflexion upon experience 238 

§ 83. Apprehension of the unitary stream of experience as “Idea” 239 
§ 84. Intentionality as the main phenomenological theme 241 

§ 85. Sensile ilXrjj intentional 246 

§ 86. The functional problems 251 



§ 87. Introductory remarks 255 

§ 88. Real (reelle) and intentional factors of experience. The noema 257 
§89. Noematic statements and statements concerning reality. The 

noema in the psychological sphere 260 

§ 90. The “noematic meaning” and the distinction between “im- 
manent” and “real (wirkUchen) objects” 261 

§ 91, Extension to the farthest reaches of Intentionality 265 

§ 92, The transformations of Attention in regard both to noesis and 

noema 267 

§93. Transition to the noetic-noematic structures of the higher 

sphere of consciousness 271 

§ 94. Noesis and noema in the sphere of the judgment 272 

§95, The analogous distinctions in the spheres of Sentiment and 

Will ^ 276 

§ 96. Transition to the chapters that follow. Concluding remarks 279 

fourth CHAPTER 

Theory of the Noetic-noematic Structures: Elaboration of the 

Problems 282 

§ 97. The hyletic and noetic phases as real {reelle)^ The noematic as 

non-real phases of experience 282 

I 98. Mode of being of the noema. Doctrine of forms for noeses ^ 

and for noemata 286 




§99. The noematic nucleus and its distinguishing marks in the 

sphere of presentations and representations 290 

§ 100. Levels in the construction of presentations in noesis and 

noema, in accordance with essential laws 292 

§ loi . Characteristics of levels as such. Different types of ‘'reflexions” 294 
§ 102. Transition to new dimensions in characterization 295 

§ 103. Characters distinctive of Being and of Belief 296 

§ 104. Doxic modalities as modifications 298 

§ 105. The modality of Belief, as Belief; the modality of Being, as 

Being 300 

§106. Aflirmation and Negation together with their noematic correlates 301 
§ 107, Reiterated modifications 303 

§ 108. Noematical characters are not determined through “reflexion” 304 
§ 109. The neutrality-modification 306 

§ no. Neutralized consciousness and the critical authority of the 

reason. The nature of Assuming 308 

§ III. Neutrality-modification and Fancy 309 

§112. Repeatability of the fancy-modification at successive levels; 

non-repeatability of the neutrality-modification 3 12 

§ 1 13. Actual and potential posi tings 313 

§ 1 14. Further concerning neutrality-modification and the potentiality 

of the theses 318 

§ 1 15. Applications. The extended concept of Act. Act-fulfilments 

and impulses to act 322 

§ 1 16. Transition to new analyses. The secondary noeses and their 

noematic correlates 325 

§ 1 17. The secondary theses and conclusion of the doctrine of the 
modifications of the neutralizing process. The general con- 
cept of ‘Theses’ 328 

§ 1 18. Syntheses of consciousness. Syntactic forms 333 

§ 1 19. Transformation of polythetic into monothetic acts 335 

§ 120. Positionality and neutrality in the sphere of the syntheses 338 

§ 121 . The doxic syntactics in the spheres of feeling and will 339 

§ 122. Modes of carrying out articulated syntheses. The “Thema” 342 

§ 123. Vagueness and distinctness as modes in the fulfilling of syn- 
thetic acts 344 

§ 124. The noetic-noematic stratum of the “Logos”. Meaning and 

meaning something 345 

§ 125. The completing modalities in the sphere of logical expression 

and the method of clarification 350 

§ 126. Completeness and generality of expression 352 

§ 127. Expression of judgments and expression of the noemata of 

feeling 353 




Noematic Meaning and Relation to the Object 359 

fxzS. Introduction 359 




§ 129. ‘Content” and ‘‘Object”; the content as “meaning” 361 

§ 130. Delimitation of the essence “noematic meaning” 363 

§ 1 31. The “object”, the “determinable X in the noematic sense” 365 

§ 132. The nucleus as meaning in the mode of its full realization 368 

§ 133. The noematic meaning as posited. Thetically and synthetically 
posited meanings (positions). Posited meanings in the 
domain of presentations 369 

§ 134. The apophantic formal doctrine 371 

§ 135. Object and consciousness. Transition to the phenomenology of 

Reason 374 


Phenomenology of the Reason 379 

§136. The first basic form of the rational consciousness: The pri- 
mordial dator “vision” 379 

§ 137. Self-evidence and Insight. “Primordial” and “pure”, assertoric 

and apodeictic self -evidence 382 

§ 138. Adequate and inadequate self -evidence 384 

§ 139. Interweavings of all the varieties of Reason. Theoretic, axio- 
logical, and practical Truth 387 

§ 140. Confirmation. Warranty (Berechflgung) apart from self-evidence. 

Equivalence of the positional and neutral insights 390 

§ 141 . Immediate and mediate rational positing. Mediate self-evidence 393 
§ 142. Being and the Thesis of Reason 395 

§ 143. The adequate presentation of a Thing as an Idea in the Kantian 

sense 397 

§ 144. Reality and primordial dator consciousness : Concluding deter- 
minations 398 

§ 145. Critical consideration of the phenomenology of Self-evidence 399 


Grades of Generality in the Ordering of the Problems of the 

Theoretic Reason 404 

§ 146. The most general problems 404 

§ 147, Ramifications of the problem. Formal Logic, Axiology, and 

Praxis 403 

§ 148. Problems of the theoretical reason as bearing on Formal Onto- 
logy 409 

§ 149. Problems of the theoretical reason as bearing on the regional 
ontologies. The problem of the phenomenological consti- 
tuting function 411 

§ 150. Continuation. The Thing-region as ti-anscendental clue 415 

§ 1 51. Strata of the transcendental constitution of the Thing. Supple- 
mentary considerations 419 

§ 152. Transfer of the problem of the transcendental constituting 

function to other regions 43 % 

§ 153. The full extension of the transcendental problem. The inquiries 

classified 430 

Analytical Index 
Index to Proper Names 




Pure Phenomenology, to which we are here seeking the way, 
whose unique position in regard to all other sciences we wish 
to make clear, and to set forth as the most fundamental region 
of philosophy, is an essentially new science, which in virtue of 
its own governing peculiarity lies far removed from our ordinary 
thinking, and has not until our own day therefore shown an 
impulse to develop. It calls itself a science of “phenomena”. 
Other sciences, long known to us, also treat of phenomena. Thus 
one hears psychology referred to as a science of psychical, and 
natural science as a science of physical “appearances” or pheno- 
mena. So in history we hear speak occasionally of historical, 
and in the cultural sciences of cultural phenomena, and similarly 
for all sciences that deal with realities. Now differently as the 
word “phenomenon” may be used in such contexts, and diverse 
as may be the meanings which it bears, it is certain that pheno- 
menology also deals with all these “phenomena” and in all their 
meanings, but from a quite different point of view, the effect 
of which is to modify in a determinate way all the meanings 
which the term bears in the old-established sciences. Only as 
thus modified do these meanings enter the phenomenological 
sphere. To understand these modifications, or, to speak more 
accurately, to reach the phenomenological standpoint, and through 
reflexion to fix its distinctive character, and that also of the 
natural viewpoints, in a scientific way, this is the first and by 
no means easy task which we must carry out in full, if we would 
gain the ground of phenomenology and grasp its distinctive 
nature scientifically. 

In the last decade there has been much talk of phenomenology 
in German philosophy and psychology. In presumed agreement 

with the Logical Studies,^ phenomenolog y is conceived as a 
sub-domain of em pirica L psychology ^ as a region con tai ning 
“i mmanent” descriptions of psychical events { Erlehnisse)^ which 
— ^ch is their understanding of this i mmanence— 

* E/Husserl, LogSdie Untersuchungen, z vols., 1900 and 1901. Republished 
(3rd ed.) in three vols. 1923, The references in this translation are to the three 
vols. of this third edition. 


within the frame work in inner exp erience [Erfahm^YMY protest 
ag^nsf this inter^etation^ has apparently been oF small use, and 
the accompanying elucidations, which sharply delineate some at 
least of the main points of the difference, have not been understood 
or have been heedlessly set aside. Thence also the completely 
empty replies — empty because the plain meaning of my statement 
was missed — ^to my criticism of the psychological method, a 
criticism which in no way denied the value of modern psychology, 
and in no sense depreciated the experimental work carried out 
by men of distinction, but exposed certain, in the literal sense 
of the term, radical defects of method on the removal of which, 
in my opinion, the raising of psychology to a higher scientific 
level and an extraordinary extension of its field of work must 
depend. There will still be occasion to deal briefly vsfith the 
superfluous defences of psychology against my presumed“attacks”. 
I mention this dispute here that I may state from the outset 
most emphatically, in face of prevailing and far-spreading mis- 
interpretations, that the pure phenmmohgy, to which in what 
follows we would prepare a way of approach, the same which 
emerged for the first time in the Logical Studies, and has 
revealed an ever richer and deeper meaning to me as my thought 
has dwelt on it through the last ten years, is not psychology, and 
that it is not accidental delimitations and considerations of ter- 
minology, but grounds of principle, which forbid its being counted 
as psychology. Great as is the importance which phenomenology 
must claim to possess for psychology in the matter of method, 
whatever the essential “bases” it provides for it, it is itself (if 
only as Science of ideas) as little identifiable with psychology 
as is geometry with natural science. Indeed, the difference is more 
marked, and reaches deeper than this comparison would itself 
suggest. It makes no difference that phenomenology has to do 
with “consciousness”, with all t3^es of experience, with acts and 

* In the article “Philosophy as Strict Science” (“Philosophie als strenge 
Wissenschaft”), Logos ^ voL i. pp. 316-318 (observe more particularly my treat- 
ment of the concept of experience (Erfahrung), p. 316). Cf. the detailed dis- 
cussion which already in my Review of German Writing on Logic between the 
years 1895-99 iArcHv, /. system. Philosophies Bd. X (1903), pp. 397-400, is 
devoted to the relation between phenomenology and descriptive psychplogy. 

I could not change a word of this to-day. 



their correlates ; though in view of the prevailing habits of thought, 
it demands no small effort to see this. That we should set 
aside all previous habits of thought, see through and break 
down the mental barriers which these habits have set along the 
horizons of our thinking, and in full intellectual freedom proceed 
to lay hold on those genuine philosophical problems still awaiting 
completely fresh formulation which the liberated horizons on all 
sides disclose to us — ^these are hard demands. Yet nothing less 
is required. What makes the appropriation of the essential nature 
of phenomenology, the understanding of the peculiar meaning 
of its form of inquiry, and its relation to all other sciences (to 
psychology in particular) so extraordinarily difficult, is that in 
addition to all other adjustments a new way of looking at things 
is necessary, one that contrasts at every point with the natural 
attitude of experience and thought. To move freely along this 
new way without ever reverting to the old viewpoints, to learn 
to see what stands before our eyes, to distinguish, to describe, 
calls, moreover, for exacting and laborious studies. 

It will be the chief task of this First Book to search out ways 
in which the excessive difficulties of penetrating into this new 
world can be overcome as it were bit by bit. We shall start from 
the standpoint of everyday life, from the world as it confronts 
us, from consciousness as it presents itself in psychological 
experience, and shall lay bare the presuppositions essential to 
this viewpoint. We shall then develop a method of “phenomeno- 
logical Reductions”, according to which we may set aside the 
limitations to knowledge essentially involved in every nature- 
directed form of investigation, deflecting the restricted line of 
vision proper to it, imtil we have eventually before us the free 
outlook upon “transcendentally” purified phenomena, and there- 
with the field of phenomenology in our own special sense of 
that term. 

Let us trace the lines of this anticipatory sketch somewhat 
more firmly, and in conformity with the bias of the times, as 
also with inner affinities of the subject-matter, connect them with 

P'sychohgy is a science of experience. Keeping to the customary 


sense^f the word experience (Erfahrung), this has a twofold 
meaning! ~~~ 


fact” — ^in^Hume’s_sense of the wprdj 

V aTTsychoio gy is a science of reali ties (Realitd ten). The.“pheno- 
mena” which it hffl dles as psycholo gical “phenomenology” are 
reii~g^ts whi ch as such, in so far as jthey Tave 'feir existence 
(Daseiti), take their plac^ wi th th e r eal Suyects^o which they 
belong in die on e spatio-temporal world, the omniiudo realitat is. 

As over again st thi s p ^cKdloglcar^pi enome nology”, pure or 
trans cendenta l phenomen ology will be established rt^ as a sc ience of 
facts, ^ as a science of essentia l Being (as “eidetic ” Science) ; a 
icience aims exclusively at establishing “knowledge of 

essences” {WesenserKemtm^Y'^S WsoTuteQ ~nd~”facts'^lih.Q 
corresponding” Reduction which leads from _the psychological 
phenomenon to the ]pure ' ‘essence^’,” oF, in respect of the juHgii^ 
t j^ug ht,~ ftgm^acfuaTl[“ empncaI^tb~“ess^^^ univ^sality, 
is the eidetic Reduction. ' - 

■ fw the second ^ceftWjjfi^mena of trans cendental phenomenology 
will he character ize d as non-real (irrea t). Other reductions, the 
specificity transcenden tal, “purify” the psychological phenomena 
from that w hich lends them reality, and therewith a setting in t he 
reST^^worid”. Our phen o menology should be a theory of essent ial 
JS^ng, detng n^^^h real, but with traiiscenden t allv reduc ed 
I p henomena . 

What this all affirms when more closely considered will first 
become plain in the developments that follow. In an anticipatory 
way it gives an outline sketch of the preliminary series of studies. 
I consider it necessary at this point to add only one renaark; 
It will surprise the reader that in the two foregoing passages in 
italics, in place of the single division of sciences into realistic 

and idealistic (or into empirical and a priori) yfhich is universally 
adopted, two dmsions are preferred, corresponding to the two 
pairs of opposites: Fact and Essence, Real and not-Real. The 

distinction conveyed by this twofold opposition replacing that 
between real and ideal will find a thoroughgoing iu stifi^ tion in 
the later course of our inquiries (as a matter of fact, in the S efcond 



Book). It will be shown that t he concept of reality requires a 
fundamentnl .iimitatioa in virtue of which a difference must be 
set up between real Being and individual (purely temporal) Being. 
The transition to the pure Essence provides on the qn^ side a 
kimwledge of tfTOs s eirbiallnitune., R ed. jor^i^e_other. 

o f the non-real (irreal). It will^ trans pire fu rthe r that al l tra n- 
scen dentallv purified ^^ex periences!Lare non-realities, and excluded 
from every connexion within the ''real wo rld**. These same non- 
reilrties are studied by phenomenology, but not as singular 
particularities {Einzelheiten)^ rather in their “essential being’'. 
The extent, however, to which transcendental phenomena as 
singular facta are at all available for study, and the question of 
the relation which a factual study of such a kind may bear to 
the idea of a Metaphysic, can be considered only in the con- 
cluding series of investigations. 

In the first Book we shall treat not only of the general theory 
of the phenomenological Reductions which make the transcen- 
dentally purified consciousness with its essential correlates per- 
ceptible (sichtlich) and accessible; we shall also seek to win 
definite ideas of the most general structures of this pure con- 
sciousness, and through their agency of the most general groups 
of problems, directions of study and methods which pertain to 
the new science. 

In the second Book we make a thorough inquiry into certain 
specially important sets of problems the systematic formulation 
of which and solution under types is the precondition for bringing 
into real clearness the difficult relations of phenomenology to the 
physical sciences of nature, to psychology, and to the sciences 
of the mind, and on another side also to the a priori sciences as 
a collective whole. The phenomenological sketches here traced 
in outline offer also the welcome means of considerably deepening 
the understanding of phenomenology reached in the first Book, 
and of winning from its immense circle of problems a far richer 
content of knowledge. 

A third and concluding Book is dedicated to the Idea of 
Philosophy. The insight will be awakened that genuine philosophy, 


the idea of which is to realize the idea of Absolute Knowledge, 
has its roots in pure phenomenology, and this in so earnest a 
sense that the systematically rigorous grounding and development 
of this first of all philosophies remains the perpetual precondition 
of all metaphysics and other philosophy “which would aspire to 
be a science" . 

Since phenomenology is here to be established as a science 
of Essential Being — ^as an a piori, or, as we also say, eidetic 
science — it will be useful to preface the labours devoted to 
phenomenology itself with a series of fundamental discussions 
upon Essence {Weseti) and the Science of Essential Being, and 
with a defence as against naturalism of the original and intrinsic 
authority of this Knowledge of Essence. 

We bring to a close these introductory words with a short 
terminological discussion. Following my custom in the Logical 
Studies, I avoid as far as possible the expressions a piori and 
a posteriori, partly on account of the confusing obscurities and 
ambiguities which infect their ordinary use, but also because of 
the notorious philosophical theories which as an evil heritage 
from the past are interwoven with them. Only in contexts which 
lend them singleness of sense, and only as the equivalent of other 
concomitant terms to which we have assigned clear and univocal 
meanings, should they be used, especially when we are concerned 
to note the sympathetic accord with historical parallels. 

The expressions Idea and Ideal are not quite in such evil odour 
as regards confusing ambiguities, though they suffer on the whole 
pretty badly in this respect, as the frequent misinterpretations 
of my Logical Studies have made me feel often painfully enough. 
As a further incentive to a change of terminology, I may mention 
the need to keep the highly important Kantian concept of the Idea 
free from all contact with the general concepts of (the formal 
or material) essence. I therefore make use, as a foreign expression, 
of the terminologically unspent Eidos, and as a German expression 
of a term whose equivocations are harmless, though at times 
vexatious, the word Wesen (Essence or Essential Being). 

I would also have been pleased to dispense with the heavily 
laden word Real, if only I could have found a suitable substitute. 



I add this further general remark: Since it is not advisable 
to choose technical expressions which fall wholly outside the 
framework of traditional philosophical speech, and, above all, 
since the fundamental concepts of philosophy cannot be defined 
through stable concepts that can be identified at any time by 
reference to a directly accessible intuitional basis; since rather 
it is only, as a rule, after protracted inquiries that they can be 
finally cleared up and determined: it is often indispensable to 
make use of a set of speech-forms which group together in an 
orderly way a numher of current expressions bearing closely 
equivalent meanings, the individual members of the group being 
terminologically distinguished one from the other. Definition 
cannot take the same form in philosophy as it does in mathe- 
matics; the imitation of mathematical procedure is invariably in 
this respect not only unfruitful, but perverse and most harmful 
in its consequences. Moreover, the foregoing terminological 
expressions should by means of obvious and determinate indi- 
cations maintain their fixed meaning throughout the course of 
the inquiry, whilst all close critical comparisons with philo- 
sophical tradition in this or other respects, if only to prevent the 
undue expansion of this work, must be omitted. 





§1. Natural Knowledge and Experience 

Natural knowledge begins with experience (Erfahrung) and re- 
mains within experience. Thus in that theoretical position which 
we call the ^^ naturaF* standpoin t, the total field of possible research 
is indicated by a single word: that is, the World. The sciences 
proper to this original standpoint are accordingly in their collec- 
tive unity s ciences of the Worl d, and so long as this standpoint is 
the only dominant one, the concepts ‘‘true Being’’, “real {wirkliches) 
Being”, i.e., real empirical (reales) Being, and — since all that is 
real comes to self-concentration in the form of a cosmic unity — 
“ Being in the World ” are meanings that coincide. 

Every science has its own object-domain as field of research, 
and to all that it knows, i.e., in this connexion, to all its correct 
assertions, there correspond as original sources of the reasoned 
justification that support them certain intuitions in which objects 
of the region appear as self-given and in part at least as given 
in a primordial (originarer) seme. The object-giving (or dator) in- 
tuition of the first, “natural” sphere of knowledge and of all its 
sciences is natural experience, and the primordial dator experience 
is perception in the ordinary sense of the term. To have something 
real primordially given, and to “become aware” of it and “perceive” 
it in simple intuition, are one and the same thing. In “outer per- 
ception” we have primordial experience of physical things, but in 
memory or anticipatory expectation this is no longer the case ; we 
have primordial experience of ourselves and our states of conscious- 
ness in the so-called inner or self-perception, but not of others and 
their vital experiences in and through “empathy”. We “behold 

* We are not talking here in terms of history. In this reference to originality 
there need not be, and should not be, any thought of genesis along the lines 
either of psychological causality or of evolutionary history. What other meaning 
is intended will become clear only in the sequel and in the light of scientific 
reflexion. But everyone feels at once that the priority of empirically concrete 
knowledge of facts to all other knowledge, to all knowledge on ideal mathe- 
matical lines, for instance, must not be taken in any temporal sense, though 
intelligible in non-temporal terms. 



the living experiences of others” through the perception of their 
bodily behaviour. This beholding in the case of empathy is indeed 
intuitional dator, yet no longer a primordially dator act. The 
other man and his psychical life is indeed apprehended as “there 
in person”, and in union with his body, but, unlike the body, it is 
not given to our consciousness as primordial. 

The World is the totality of objects that can be known through 
experience (Erfahrung), known in terms of orderly theoretical 
thought on the basis of direct present (aktueller) experience. This 
is not the place to discuss in greater detail the method proper to 
a science of experience or to consider how such a science justifies 
its claim to transcend the narrow framework of direct empirical 
givenness. Under sciences of the World, that is sciences developed 
from the natural standpoint, are included not only all so-called 
natural sciences, in the more extended as well as in the narrower 
sense of that term, the sciences of material nature, but also the 
sciences of animal beings {Wesen), with their psychophysical 
nature, physiology, psychology, and so forth. All so-called mental 
sciences also come under this head — ^history, the cultural sciences, 
the sociological disciplines of every kind, whereby we provisionally 
leave it an open question whether they are to be held similar to 
the natural sciences or placed in opposition to them, be themselves 
accepted as natural sciences or as sciences of an essentially new 


§2. Fact. Ikseparability of Fact and Essence 

Sciences of experience are sciences of “fact". The acts of cognition 
which underlie our experiencing posit the Real in individual form, 
posit it as having spatio-temporal existence, as something existing 
in this time-spot, having this particular duration of its own and a 
real content which in its essence could just as well have been 
present in any other time-spot; posits it, moreover, as something 
which is present at this place in this particular physical shape (or 
is there given united to a body of this shape), where yet the same 
real being might just as well, so far as its own essence is concerned, 
be present at any other place, and in any other form, and might 
likewise change whilst remaining in fact unchanged, or change 


otherwise than the way in which it actually does. Individual 
Being of every kind is, to speak quite generally, ^'accidentaV\ It 
is so-and-so, but essentially it could be other than it is. Even if 
definite laws of nature obtain according to which such and such 
definite consequences must in fact follow when such and such 
real conditions are in fact present, such laws express only orderings 
that do in fact obtain, which might run quite differently, and 
already presuppose, as pertaining ab initio to the essence of objects 
of possible experience, that the objects thus ordered by them, 
when considered in themselves, are accidental. 

But the import of this contingency, which is there called matter- 
of-factness {Tat$achlichkeit)y is limited in this respect that the 
contingency is correlative to a 7tecessity which does not carry the 
mere actuality-status of a valid rule of connexion obtaining between 
temporo-spatial facts, but has the character of essential necessity, 
and therewith a relation to essential universality. Now when we 
stated that every fact could be “essentially” other than it is, we 
were already expressing thereby that it belongs to the meaning of 
everything contingent that it should have essential being and therewith 
an Eidos to be apprehended in all its purity, and this Eidos comes 
xinAtT essentialtruths of varying degrees An individual 

object is not simply and quite generally an individual, a “this- 
there” something unique; but being constituted thus and thus 
“m itself^ it has its own proper mode of being, its own supply of 
essential predicables which must qualify it {qua “Being as it is in 
itself”), if other secondary relative determinations are to qualify 
it also. Thus, for example, every tone in and for itself has an 
essential nature, and at the limit the universal meaning-essence 
“tone in general”, or rather the acoustic in general — ^understood 
in the pure sense of a phase or aspect intuitively derivable from the 
individual tone (either in its singleness, or through comparison 
with others as a “common element”). So too every material thing 
has its own essential derivatives, and at the limit the universal 
derivative “material thing in general”, with time-determination- 
in-general, duration-, figure-, materiality-in-general. Whatever 
belongs to the essence of the individual can also belong to another 
individual, and the broadest generalities of essential being, of the 


kind we have been indicating through the help of examples, 
delimit ^‘regions’’ or ‘‘categories” ofmdmdmls. 

§3. Essential Insight and Individual Intuition 

At first “essence” indicated that which in the intimate self-being 
of an individual discloses to us “what” it is. But every such 
What can be “set out as Idea”. Empirical or individual intuition 
can be transformed into essential insight (ideation) — a possibility 
which is itself not to be understood as empirical but as essential 
possibility. The object of such insight is then the corresponding 
pure essence or eidos, whether it be the highest category or one 
of its specializations, right down to the fully “concrete”. 

This insight which gives the essence and in the last resort in 
primordial form can be adequate ; and as such we can easily procure 
it, for instance, from the essential nature of a sound; but it can 
also be more or less imperfect, “inadequate” ^ and that not only in 
respect of its greater or lesser clearness and distinctness. It belongs 
to the type of development peculiar to certain categories of essential 
being that essences belonging to them can be given only “one- 
sidedly”, whilst in succession more “sides”, though never “all 
sides”, can be given ; so correlatively the individual concrete par- 
ticularities corresponding to these categories can be experienced 
and represented only in inadequate “one-sided” empirical intui- 
tions. This holds for every essence related to the thing-Uhe, and 
indeed for all the essential components of extension and materi- 
ality respectively; it even holds good, if we look more closely 
(subsequent analyses will make that evident) for all realities gene- 
rally, whereby indeed the vague expressions ‘one-sidedness’ 
and ‘more-sidedness’ receive determinate memings, and different 
kinds of inadequacy are separated out one from the other. 

Here the preliminary indication vdll suffice that already on 
grounds of principle the spatial shape of the physical thing can 
be given only in some single perspective aspect; also that apart 
from this inadequacy which clings to the unfolding of any series 
of continuously connected intuitions and persists in spite of all 
that is thereby acquired, every physical property draws us on into 


infinities of experience ; and that every multiplicity of experience, 
however lengthily drawn out, still leaves the way open to closer and 
novel thing-determinations; and so on, in infinitum. 

Of whatever kind the individual intuition may be, whether 
adequate or not, it can pass off into essential intuition, and the 
latter, whether correspondingly adequate or not, has the character 
of a dator act. And this means that — 

The essence {Eidos) is an object of a new type. Just as the datum of 
individual or empirical intuition is an individual object, so the datum of 
essential intuition is a pure essence. 

Here we have not a mere superficial analogy, but a radical 
community of nature. Essential insight is still intuition, just as the 
eidetic object is still an object. The generalization of the correla- 
tive, mutually attached concepts “intuition” and “object” is not a 
casual whim, but is compellingly demanded by the very nature of 
things.! Empirical intuition, more specifically sense-experience’, 
is consciousness of an individual object, and as an intuiting agency 
“brings it to givenness”: as perception, to primordial givenness, 
to the consciousness of grasping the object in “a primordial way”, 
in its “ioJe'/y” selfhood. On quite similar lines essential intuition 
is the consciousness of something, of an “object”, a something 
towards which its glance is directed, a something “self-given” 
within it ; but which can then be “presented” in other acts, vaguely 
or distinctly thought, made the subject of true and false predica- 
tions — as is the case indeed with every '^objecf^ in the necessarily 
extended sense proper to Formal Logic. Every possible object, or 
to put it logically, every subject of possibly true predications^^ has 
indeed its own ways, that of predicative thinking above all, of 
coming under a glance that presents, intuits, meets it eventually 
in its “bodily selfhood” and “lays hold of” it. Thus essential 
insight is iptuition, and if it is insight in the pregnant sense of the 
term, and not a mere, and possibly a vague, representation, it is a 

* The surprising polemic of O, Kiilpe against my theory of categorical intuition 
in the work entitled Die Recdisierung (iQia, 1 . p. 127) illustrates the difficulty 
felt by psychological experts in our time of assimilating this simple and quite 
fundamental insight. I regret being misunderstood by this excellent scholar. 
But a critical reply becomes impossible where the misconception is so complete 
that there remains no vestige of the meaning of the positions originally laid down. 


primordial dator Intuition, grasping the essence in its ‘‘bodily” 
selfhood.! But, on the other hand, it is an intuition of a funda- 
mentally unique and novel kind, namely in contrast to the types of 
intuition which belong as correlatives to the object-matters of other 
categories, and more specifically to intuition in the ordinary 
narrow sense, that is, individual intuition. 

It lies undoubtedly in the intrinsic nature of essential intuition 
that it should rest on what is a chief factor of individual intuition, 
namely the striving for this, the visible presence of individual 
fact, though it does not, to be sure, presuppose any apprehension 
of the individual or any recognition of its reality. Consequently 
it is certain that no essential intuition is possible without the free 
possibility of directing one’s glance to an individual counterpart 
and of shaping an illustration; just as contrariwise no individual 
intuition is possible without the free possibility of carrying out 
an act of ideation and therein directing one’s glance upon the 
corresponding essence which exemplifies itself in something 
individually visible; but that does not alter the fact that the two 
kinds of intuition differ in principle^ and in assertions of the kind 
we have just been making it is only the essential relations between 
them that declare themselves. Thus, to the essential differences 
of the intuitions correspond the essential relations between 
“existence” (here clearly in the sense of individual concrete being) 
and “essence”, between/ezct and eidos. Pursuing such connexions, 
we grasp with intelligent insight the conceptual essence attached 
to these terms, and from now on firmly attached to them, and 
therewith all thoughts partially mystical in nature and clinging 
chiefly to the concepts Eidos (Idea) and Essence remain rigorously 

^ In my Logical Studies I used to employ the word Ideation to represent the 
primordial dator insight into essential being, and even then chiefly of the 
adequate type. Yet we clearly need a more plastic concept which shall include 
every consciomness plainly and straightly directed to an essence which it 
also grasps and Axes ; and in addition also includes every obscure consciousness 
which no longer intuits at all. 

» Cf. my article in Logos ^ I. p. 315, 



§ 4. Essential Insight and the Play of Fancy. Knowledge of 
Essences Independent of All Knowledge of Facts 

The Eidos, the pure essence, can be exemplified intuitively in the 
data of experience, data of perception, memory, and so forth, but 
just as readily also in the mere data of fancy (Phantasie). Hence, 
with the aim of grasping an essence itself in its primordial form, w'e 
can set out from corresponding empirical intuitions, but we can 
also set out just as well from non-enipirical intuitions, intuitions that 
do not apprehend sensory existence, intuitions rather **of a merely 
imaginative order. 

If in the play of fancy we bring spatial shapes of one sort or 
another to birth, melodies, social happenings, and so forth, or live 
through fictitious acts of everyday life, of satisfaction or dis- 
satisfaction, of volition and the like, we can through “ideation” 
secure from this source primordial and even on occasion adequate 
insight into pure essences in manifold variety : essences, it may be, 
of spatial shape in general, of melody as such, of social happening 
as such, and so forth, or of the shape, melody, etc., of the relevant 
special type. It is a matter of indifference in this connexion whether 
such things have ever been given in actual experience or not. 
Could free make-believe through some sort of psychological 
miracle lead to the imagining of something fundamentally new in 
kind (sensory data, for instance) which never occurred in anyone’s 
experiences, nor ever will, that would not affect in any way the 
primordial givenness of the corresponding essences, although 
imagined data are never under any circumstances real data. 

It follows essentially from all this that the positing of the essence, 
with the intuitive apprehension that immediately accompanies it, 
does not imply any positing of individual existence whatsoever; 
pure essential truths do not make the slightest assertion concerning 
facts; hence from them alone we are not able to infer even the 
pettiest truth concerning the fact-world. Just as to think a fact or 
to express it needs the grounding of experience (so far as the 
essential relevancy of such thinking necessarily demands it), so 
thought concerning pure essence — ^the unmixed thought, not 
that * which connects essence and facts together — needs for 



its grounding and support an insight into the essences of 

§ 5. Judgments about Essence and Judgments of Eidetic 

We have still to consider the following point: Judgments about 
essences and essential relationships on the one hand, and on the 
other hand eidetic judgments in general, in the broad sense in 
which we must consider them, are not the same thing; eidetic 
knowledge has not essences as its object-matter m all its propositions; 
and what is closely connected with this : intuition of the Essence — 
as we have so far understood it — ^as a consciousness analogous to 
natural experience, to the apprehension of concrete existence 
{Dasein)\ and wherein an essence is objectively grasped, as is an 
individual in the experience of nature, is not the only conscious- 
ness which includes the essence whilst excluding the positing of 
any concrete existence. We can be intuitively aware of essences and 
can apprehend them after a certain fashion without their becoming 
‘‘objects aboutvAiic\C\ 

Let us start from judgments. Speaking more accurately, our 
concern is with the difference between judgments about essences 
and judgments which in an indeterminate universal way, and 
unmixed with any positing of what is individual, still judge about 
the individual^ but purely as an instance of essential beings and in 
accordance with the rubric Hn generaV. Thus, in pure geometry, 
we judge as a rule not about the eidos ‘straight’, ‘angle’, 
‘triangle’, or ‘conic section’, etc., but about the straight line and 
angle in general or “as such”, about individual triangles in general, 
conic sections in general. Such universal judgments have the 
character of essential generality, of “pure”, or, as one also says, of 
^Wigorov£\ absolutely unconditioned^^ generality. 

For the sake of simplicity, let us assume that we are dealing with 
“axioms”, with judgments immediately obvious, to which all 
other judgments lead back as their ground of mediation. Such 
judgments — so far as they treat of individual instances in the way 
just indicated, as we here assume that they do— require for their 



noetic grounding, that is their being made open to insight, a 
certain essential vision which (in a modified sense) could also be 
designated as essential apprehension; and even the latter, as well 
as the essential intuition which confers objectivity, rests on having 
an awareness of individual instances of the essence, but not on 
their being experienced as empirically real. Moreover, mere pre- 
sentations of fancy or rather fancy- Varenesses suffice to give us 
these instances; of that concerning which we are aware we are 
conscious as such; it * ‘appears”, but is not grasped as concretely 
existing. When, for instance, we judge in an essentially general 
way (with a generality that is “unconditioned” and “pure”) that 
“a colour in general is different from a sound in general”, the 
judgment confirms what we have just been saying. An instance 
of the essence ‘colour’ and an instance of the essence ‘sound’ 
are intuitively “present”, and indeed as instancing their own 
essences; fancy-intuition (not involving the positing of concrete 
existence) and essential intuition are present at the same time and 
in a certain way, though the latter does not function as an intuition 
which objectifies the essence. But it belongs to the essence of the 
situation that we are free at any time to pass over to the correspond- 
ing standpoint from which the essence is objectified, and that the 
possibility of doing this is in fact an essential one. In keeping with 
the changed standpoint the judgment would also suffer change, 
and would run as follows: The essence (the “genus”) Colour is 
other than the essence (the “genus”) Sound. And so in all cases. 

Conversely every judgment treating of Essences can be transformed 
equivalently into an unconditionally universal judgment concerning 
instances of this essence as such. In this respect pure judgments 
relating to Essences (pure eidetic judgments) have a common affinity, 
whatever their logical form may happen to be. What is common to 
them is that they posit no individual being even when in pure 
essential generality they judge about what is individual. 

§ 6. Some Fundamental Concepts. Generality and Necessity 

Eidetic judging^ eidetic judgment or eidetic proposition^ eidetic 
truth (or true proposition) — ^these ideas manifestly belong to the 


same system. Connected with them is also the correlate of the 
third ofthese ideas: the plain eidetic fact {Sachverhalt) (as subssit- 
ing within eidetic truth) : and the correlate of the first two ideas: 
the eidetic fact in the modified sense of that which it is merely 
presumed to he \ in the sense of the judged content as such; and 
this may or may not prove reliable. 

Every eidetic division and individuation of an eidetically general 
fact is called, just in so far as it is this, an essential necessity. Essential 
generality and essential necessity are thus correlates. The use of the 
term “necessity” here vacillates somewhat so as to conform to the 
attached correlations: the corresponding judgments are also 
termed “necessary”. But it is important to take note of the dis- 
tinctions, and above all not to refer to essential generality (as is 
ordinarily done) as itself necessity. The consciousness of a neces- 
sity, or more specifically a consciousness of a judgment, in which 
we become aware of a certain matter as the specification of an 
eidetic generality, is called apodeictic, the judgment itself, the 
proposition, an apodeictic (also apodeictically — ^“necessary”) con- 
sequent oi the general proposition to which it is related. The propo- 
sitions we have stated concerning the relations between generality, 
necessity, apodeicticity can also be conceived in a more general 
way, so as to hold good for any realm of discourse, and not only 
for such as are purely eidetic. But with the eidetic limitation they 
obviously win a distinctive and specially important meaning. 

The connexion of efdeft’c judging about the individual in general 
with the positing of the individual as a concrete existent is also very 
important. The essential generality is transferred to an individual, 
or to an indeterminately general range of individuals, posited 
as concretely existing. Every “application” of geometrical truths 
to cases in nature (posited as real) has its place here. The subject- 
matter set down as real is then fact, so far as its real content is 
individual, but it is eidetic neemity, in so far as it is the instancing 
(Vereinzelung) of an essentialgenerality. 

One should not confuse the unrestricted generality of natural 
lam with essential generality. The proposition “all bodies are 
heavy” does not indeed take any determinate potential thing 
within the universe to be a concrete existent. And yet it has not the 



unconditional generality of eidetically general propositions in so 
far as, in accordance with its meaning as a natural law, it con- 
tinues to carry with it a reference to concrete existence {DaseinsseU 
zung)y to that, namely, of Nature itself, of temporo-spatial reality: 
all bodies — in Nature, all ‘^reaP’ bodies are heavy. On the other 
hand, the proposition “all material things are extended” has eidetic 
validity and can be taken as purely eidetic if the reference to con- 
crete existence conveyed by the subject is excluded as irrelevant. 
It states that which has its pure ground in the essence of a material 
thing, and in the essence of extension, that which we can bring 
home to insight, as “unconditioned” generality. This is done by 
bringing the essence of a material thing (any fictitious image of 
a thing of this type will here serve as a basis) to primordial given- 
ness, and then in this object-giving consciousness completing the 
mental steps required for the “insight”, for the primordial given- 
ness, that is, of the essential content which the foregoing proposi- 
tion openly expressed. That the real in space corresponds to truths 
of such a kind is not a mere fact (Faktum), but as a special develop- 
ment of essential laws an essential necessity. The element of fact in 
this connexion is only the reality itself which serves as basis for 
the application. 

§7. Sciences of Facts and Sciences of the Essence 

The connexion (itself eidetic) which holds between individual 
object and essence, and which is such that to each individual 
object a state of essential being belongs as its essence, just as 
conversely to each essence there corresponds a series of possible 
individuals as its factual instancings (Vereinzelungen), is the ground 
for a corresponding reciprocal relationship between sciences of 
fact and sciences of the essence. There are pure sciences of essential 
being such as pure logic, pure mathematics, pure time-theory, 
space-theory, theory of movement, etc. 

These, in all their thought-constructions, -are free throughout 
from any positings of actual fact; or, what comes to the same 
thing, in them no experience qua experience, i.e., qua consciousness 
that apprehends or sets up reality or concrete being, can take over 



the function of supplying a logical ground. Where experience 
functions in them, it is not as experience. The geometer who 
draws his figures on the blackboard produces in so doing strokes 
that are actually there on a board that is actually there. But his 
experience of what he thus produces, qua experience, affords just 
as little ground for his sight and thought of the geometrical essence 
as does the physical act of production itself. Whether or no he 
thereby suffers hallucination, and whether instead of actually 
drawing the lines he draws his lines and figures in a world of fancy, 
does not really matter. The student of nature behaves quite 
differently. He observes and experiments, i.e., he fixes what is 
concretely there just as he experiences it; experience for him is an 
act that supplies grounds, and for which mere imagining could never 
be a substitute. For this very reason science of fact and science 
of experience (Erfahrung) are equivalent concepts. But for the 
geometer, who studies not actualities, but “ideal possibilities”, not 
actual but essential relationships, essential insight and not experi- 
ence is the act that supplies the ultimate grounds. 

So it is with all the eidetic sciences. Essential contents which 
are mediated, which emerge as data in and through the mediating 
insight of thought, and indeed on principles that are throughout 
immediately transparent, are grounded in essential contents (or 
eidetic axioms) which come under the grasp of immediate insight. 
Every step of mediated grounding is accordingly apodeictically and 
eidetically necessary. Thus the essential nature of pure eidetic 
science consists in this, that its procedure is exclusively eidetic, 
that from the beginning and in all that follows further it makes 
known no factual meaning that is not eidetically valid, in the sense 
that it could either be brought without mediation to primordial 
givenness (as being immediately grounded in essences of which 
we have primordial insight), or could be “inferred” through pure 
consequential reasoning from “axiomatic” factual meanings of 
this type. 

Closely connected with the foregoing considerations is the 
practical Ideal of exact eidetic science, which in truth the more 
recent mathematics first taught us to realize : To confer the highest 
grade of rationality on every eidetic science by reducing all the 



mediated mental steps to mere subsumptions under the definitively 
systematized axioms of the eidetic field concerned, and in so far 
as ‘TormaF’ or “pure” logic (in the broadest sense of a mathesis 
unvoersalis'^) was not itself the science primarily in question, with 
the co-operation of all the axioms of this latter discipline. 

In close connexion once again with the foregoing is the Ideal of 
^^mathematizatiord\ which, alike in this to the Ideal just character- 
ized, is, on cognitive lines, of great practical importance for all 
“exact” eidetic disciplines, whose whole store of knowledge (as 
in geometry, for instance) is wrapped up in a scheme of pure 
deductive necessity within the broad generality of some few axioms. 
This is not the place to go into such matters more closely. « 

§ 8. Interdependence of the Sciences of Fact and of Essence 

Following what we have said, it is clear that the of eidetic 

science excludes in principle every assimilation of the theoretical 
results of empirical sciences. The references to reality which appear 
in the immediately valid premises of these sciences reappear in 
all the mediated positions. From facts follow always nothing but 

If, however, all eidetic science is intrinsically independent of 
all science of fact, the opposite obtains, on the other hand, in 
respect of the science of fact itself. No fully developed science of 
fact could subsist unmixed with eidetic knowledge, and in conse- 
quent independence of eidetic sciences formal or material. For in the 
first place it is obvious that an empirical science, wherever it finds 
grounds for its judgments through mediate reasoning, must pro- 
ceed according to the formal principles used by formal logic. 
And generally, since like every science it is directed towards 
objects, it must be bound by the laws which pertain to the essence 
of objectivity in general. Thereby it enters into relation with the 
group of formal-ontological disciplines, which, besides formal logic 
in the narrower sense of the term, includes the disciplines which 

* On the idea of pure Logic as mathesis urdversalisy cf. the concluding chapter 
of the first volume of the Logical Studies, 

* For further discussion under this head, cf. iw/r/z, Section 3, Ch. I, § 



figured formerly under the formal ^^mathesis unvoer$ali£^ (thus 
arithmetic also, pure analysis, theor}^ of manifolds). Moreover, and 
in the second place^ every fact includes an essential factor of a 
material order, and every eidetic truth pertaining to the pure 
essence thus included must furnish a law that binds the given 
concrete instance and generally every possible one as well. 

§Q. Region and Regional Eidetics 

Every concrete empirical objectivity, together with its material 
essence, finds its proper place within a highest material genus, a 
'Wegion'' of empirical objects. To the pure regional essence 
belongs then a regional eidetic science, or, as we can also say, a 
regional ontology. We assume herewith that in the regional essence, 
or in the different genera which enter into it as components, there 
are grounded systems of knowledge so rich and so ramified that it 
is worth while, having regard to their systematic development, to 
speak of a science or of a whole connected group of ontological 
disciplines corresponding to the several generic components of 
the region. We shall be able to convince ourselves very fully of the 
great extent to which this presupposition is actually fulfilled. 
In accordance herewith every empirical science which finds its 
ordered place within the scope of a (given) region will be essentially 
related to the regional as well as to the formal ontological dis- 
ciplines. We can express this also in this way: Every factual 
science (empirical science) has essential theoretical bases in eidetic 
ontologies. For it is quite self-evident (supposing that the assump- 
tion we have made holds good) that the rich supply of knowledge 
which refers in a pure, unconditionally valid way to all possible 
objects of the region — ^so far as it pertains in part to the empty form 
of objectivity in general, in part to, the eidos of the region which 
presents as it were a necessary material form of all regional objects 
— cannot be void of significance for the study of the empirical 

In this way, for instance, the eidetic science of physical nature 
in general (the Ontology of nature) corresponds to all the natural 
science disciplines, so far indeed as an Eidos that can be appre- 



hended in its purity, the ‘‘essence’’ nature in general^ with an infi- 
nite wealth of included essential contents, corresponds to actual 
nature. If we construct the Idea of a completely rationalized 
empirical science of nature, i.e., of a science that has progressed so 
far on its theoretical side that every particular incorporated in the 
same is referred back to its most universal and most fundamental 
grounds, it is then clear that the realization of this Idea is essentially 
dependent on the cultivation of the corresponding eidetic sciences; 
not only then on that of the formal maihesis which is related 
similarly to all the sciences, but, in particular, on that of the 
material-ontological disciplines which analyse out the essential 
being of Nature, and consequently also all essential articulations 
of Nature’s objectivities as such, in rational purity, i.e., after the 
eidetic pattern. And this holds good, of course, for all regions 

From the viewpoint oi practical knowledge^ also, we might expect 
in advance that the more an empirical science approximates to 
the “rational” stage, the stage of “exact” nomological science, 
i.e., the greater the extent to which its structure is ordered on the 
basis of well-developed eidetic disciplines, and to its own advantage 
draws upon them for the grounding of its own propositions, the 
greater will be the increase in scope and power of those practical 
services which are the fruits of knowledge. 

In support we may appeal to the development of the rational 
sciences of Nature, the physical sciences. Their era of greatness 
takes its rise in the modern age precisely from this, that the 
geometry which in the ancient world (and in its essentials in the 
school of Plato) had already been developed on pure eidetic lines 
to a high pitch of perfection was at one sweep and in the grand 
style made fruitful for physical method. It is clearly realized that 
it is the essence of a material thing to be a res extensa^ and that con- 
sequently geometry is an ontological discipline relating to an essential 
phase of such thinghood, the spatial form. But it is further realized 
that the universal (as we would say, the regional) essence of the 
Thing reaches much farther. The evidence for this is that forth- 
with development took the line of shaping a series of nev) dis'- 
ciplines to be set alongside geometry and called to discharge the 



same function of rationaUzing the empirical. The splendid outburst 
of the mathematical sciences formal and material springs from this 
impulse. With passionate zeal they were founded or organized as 
pure “rational” sciences {eidetic ontologies, as we would say) and 
indeed (in the dawn of the modern world and much beyond that) 
not on their own account, but for the sake of the empirical sciences. 
They then bore abundantly the hoped-for fruits in the parallel 
development of the rational physics we admire so much. 

§10. Region and Category. The Analytic Region 
AND its Categories 

If we place ourselves in imagination within any eidetic science, 
e.g., in the Ontology of Nature, we find ourselves directed normally, 
at any rate, not towards essences as objects, but towards the objects 
of the essences which in the case we have selected are subordinate 
to the Region we call Nature. But we observe thereby that 
is a title for diverse though connected formations, such as “thing”, 
“property”, “relation”, “substantive meaning” (fact), “group”, 
“order” and so forth, which are clearly not equivalent but refer 
back at times to a type of objectivity which has, so to speak, the 
prerogative of being primarily original, and in respect of which 
all others pose in a certain sense as mere differentiations. In the 
instance chosen the Thing itself has naturally this prerogative as 
against the property of a thing, relation, and so forth. But this is 
precisely a fragment of that formal order which must be cleared 
up if our talk about object and object-region is not to remain in 
confusion. From this clarification to which we devote the following 
reflexions,, the important concept of the category as related to the 
concept of region will spontaneously emerge. 

Category is a word which on the one hand and in the combina- 
tion “category of a region” refers us precisely to the relevant region, 
e.g., to the region of physical nature; but on the other hand sets 
the material region specified in relation to the form of region in 
general, or, which comes to the same thing, to the formal essence: 
object in general and the “formal categories” belonging to it. 

Let us first make this not unimportant remark: Formal and 



material ontologies appear at first sight to belong to the same 
series, in so far as the formal essence of an object in general and 
the regional essence appear on both sides to play the same part. 
One is therefore inclined to speak of material regions rather than 
of regions simpUciter as heretofore, and to set the ''formal region'* 
in alignment with them. If we adopt this form of words, we need 
to be a little cautious. On the one side stand the material, which 
in a certain sense are the essences "properly so-called". But on the 
other side stands what is still eidetic but none the less fundament- 
ally and essentially different : a mere essential form, which is indeed 
an essence, but a completely one, an essence which in the 

fashion of an empty form fits all possible essences, which in its formal 
universality has even the highest material generalities subordin- 
ated to it, and prescribes laws to these through the formal truths 
which belong to it. The so-called 'formal region" is thus not some- 
thing co-ordinate with the material regions (the regions pure and 
simple), it is properly no region at all, hut the pure form of region in 
general*, it has all regions with all their essential diversities of 
content under (though indeed only formaliter) rather than side by 
side with itself. Now this subordination of the material under the 
formal proclaims itself in this, that at the same time formal 
Ontology conceals in itself the forms of all possible ontologies in 
general (i.e., of all in the ‘‘proper’", “material” sense); and that it 
prescribes to the material ontologies a formal constitution common 
to all of them — ^including therein also those which we have still to 
study in respect of the distinction between region and category. 

We take our start from formal ontology (conceived always as 
pure logic in its full extension so as to cover the mathesis univer- 
salis), which, as we know, is the eidetic science of object in general. 
In the view of this science, object is everything and all that is, and 
truths in endless variety and distributed among the many dis- 
ciplines of the mathesis can in fact be set down to fix its meaning. 
But as a whole they lead back to a small set of immediate or basic 
truths, which in the pure logical disciplines function as "axioms". 
Now we define the pure logical basic concepts which figure in these 
axioms as logical categories, or categories of the logical region 'object- 
in-generaV. Through , these concepts as they figure in the total 


system of axioms the logical essence of object-in-general is 
determined, and the unconditionally necessary and constitutive 
determinations of an object as such, a something or other — ^so far 
as it should permit of being Something at all — are expressed. 
Since the pure logical in the sense we have marked out with 
absolute precision determines the concept of the analyticaV^ as 
opposed to the ''synthetical, a concept which alone is philo- 
sophically (and indeed fundamentally) important, we are wont to 
designate these categories as analytical. 

As examples of logical categories we may cite such concepts as 
property, relative quality, substantive meaning (fact), relation, 
identity, equality, group (collection), number {Ajizahl), whole and 
part, genus and species, etc. But the "meaning-categories''^ also, 
the fundamental concepts of the various kinds of propositions, 
of their elements and forms, which belong to the essence of the 
proposition {apophansis), have their proper place here, and they 
have it, following our definition, with reference to the essential 
truths which link together “object-in-generaF’ and “meaning-in- 
general’’, and link them moreover in such a way that pure truths 
concerning meaning can be transformed into pure truths con- 
cerning the object. It is precisely for this reason that "apophantic 
logic", even when its statements concern meanings exclusively, 
belong in the full inclusive sense to formal Ontology. None the 
less the meaning-categories must be separated off as a group 
having its own distinctive character, and the remaining ones set 
over against them as the formal objective categories in the pregnant 
sense of the term.^ 

We add here this further remark, that by “categories” we can 
understand, on the one hand, concepts in the sense of meanings. 

* Concerning division of logical categories into meaning-categories and formal- 
ontological categories, vide Logical Studies, Vol. I, § 67. The whole third 
study of the second volume treats specifically of the categories of Whole and 
Part. On historical grounds I had at that time not yet dared to make use of 
the alienating expression Ontology, and I described their study (loc, p. 222, 

of the first edition) as a fragment of an “a priori theory of objects as such**, 
which A. V. Meinong has brought more compactly under the title * ‘Theory 
of the Object” (Gegenstandstheorie), In opposition to this arrangement, I now 
hold it to be more correct, in sympathy with the changed condition of the 
time, to make the old expression Ontology current once again. 



but on the other also, and to better effect, the formal essences 
themselves which find their expression in these meanings. For 
instance, the “category^’ substantive meaning, plurality and the 
like, ultimately mean the formal eidos substantive meaning 
generally, plurality generally and the like. The equivocation is 
dangerous only so long as one has not learnt to separate clearly 
what must here be separated on all occasions : “meaning”, and that 
which in virtue of its meaning permits of being expressed ; and 
again: meaning and objectivity meant. In the terminological 
interest one can expressly distinguish between categorical con^ 
cepts (as meanings) and categorical essences. 

§ II. Syntactical Objectivities and Ultimate Substrata. 

Syntactical Categories 

We have still to draw an important distinction in the domain of 
objectivities generally, which reappears reflected within the 
formal theory of meanings as the distinction (derived from “pure- 
grammar”) between “syntactical forms” and “syntactical sub- 
strata”or “elements” {Stoffen) . Concomitantly with this distinction 
there appears a division of formal ontological categories into syn-- 
tactical categories and substrative categories^ which must now be 
more closely considered. 

By syntactical objectivities we understand such as are derived 
from other objectivities by means of ''syntactical forms^\ The 
categories which correspond to these forms we call syntactical 
categories. To the latter belong, for example, the categories: sub- 
stantive meaning, relation, constitutive quality, unity, plurality, 
numerical quantity {An^ahVjy order, ordinal number, and so forth. 
In its essential aspect we can describe the situation here existing 
as follows : Every object, so far as it can be rendered more explicit 
and related to other objects, and is in brief logically determinable, 
takes on different syntactical forms ; as correlates of the thinking 
in its determining function objectivities of a higher grade are 
constituted : qualities and qualitatively determined objects, rela- 
tions between such and such objects, pluralities of unities, members 
of ordered series, objects as bearers of determinations through 



ordinal numbering, and so forth. If the thinking is predicative, 
there gradually emerge expressions and corresponding apophantic 
complexes of meaning which reflect the syntactical objectivities 
according to all their forms and divisions in series of meanings 
that exactly correspond with them. All these “categorical objec- 
tivities’’^ can function as objectivities in general, and again as 
substrata of categorical constructions, the latter [as substrata] once 
again [for further constructions], and so forth. Conversely every 
such construction points back in a self-evident way to ultimate 
substrata^ to objects of a first or lowest grade; thus to objects 
which are no longer constructions of a syntactico^categorical kind^ 
which contain in themselves no further vestige of those ontological 
forms which are mere correlates of the functions of thought (to 
attribute, cancel, relate, connect, count, etc.). The formal region 
of objectivity in general divides up accordingly into ultimate 
substrata and syntactical objectivities. The latter we call syntactic 
derivatives of the corresponding substrata, to which also, as we 
shall presently learn, all “Individuals” belong. When we speak of 
individual property, individual relation, and so forth, these derived 
objects are naturally being called after the substrata from which 
they are derived. 

We would add the following remark: We can also reach the 
ultimate syntactically formless substrata from the side of the formal 
theory of meanings : every proposition and every possible member 
of it contains the so-called “terms” as substrata of its apophantic 
forms. They can be terms in a merely relative sense, they can 
themselves contain forms (e.g.,the plural form, attributes, and the 
like). But in any case we reach back and necessarily so to ultimate 
ierms^ ultimate substrata, which no longer contain in themselves 
any vestige of syntactical formation.^ 

^ Cf. Logical Studies^ Vol. Ill, Sixth Study, Second Section, esp. §§ 46 ff. 

® I reserve the more detailed discussion of the theory of ‘‘syntactical forms*’ 
and “syntactical matter*’, very important in respect of the formal theory of 
meanings — ^this basic portion of an “a priori grammar** — ^till I have occasion 
to publish the lectures on Pure Logic which I have been giving for many 
jnears. On the subject of “pure” grammar and the general programme of a 
formal theory of meanings, cf. Logical Studies, VoL II, Fourth Study. 



§ 12. Genus and Species 

We now need to draw within the realm of essences as a whole a 
new set of categorical distinctions. Every essence, whether it has 
content or is empty (and therefore purely logical), has its proper 
place in a graded series of essences, in a graded series of generality 
and specijicity. The series necessarily possesses two limits that 
never coalesce. Moving downward we reach the lowest specific 
differences or, as we also say, the eidetic singularities-, and we move 
upwards through the essences of genus and species to a highest 
genus. Eidetic singularities are essences, which indeed have neces- 
sarily “more general” essences as their genera, but no further 
specifications in relation to which they themselves might be 
genera (proximate or mediate, higher genera). Likewise that genus 
is the highest which no longer has any genus above it. 

In this sense, in the pure logical realm of meanings, “meaning 
in general” is the highest genus ; every determinate form of proposi- 
tion or of its components an eidetic singularity; proposition in 
general a mediating genus. Numerical quantity in general {AnzahT) 
is likewise a highest genus. Two, three, and so forth are its lowest 
differences or eidetic singularities. In the sphere of positive 
content, thing in general, for instance, or sensory quality, spatial 
shape, experience (Erlebnis) in general are highest genera; the 
essential elements pertaining to determinate things, determinate 
sensory qualities, spatial shapes, vital experiences as such, are 
eidetic singularities, possessing thereby positive content. 

It is a mark of these essential relations (not class, i.e,, group 
relations) indicated by the terms genus and species, that in the 
more specific essence the more general is “immediately or mediately 
contained^ ^ — ^in a definite sense to be understood in and through 
eidetic intuition and in accordance with the specific type of Being 
intended. For this very reason many inquiries would bring the 
relation of eidetic genus and species to eidetic division under the 
relation of the “part” to the “whole”. Here “whole” and “part” 
bear indeed the widest conceptual meaning of “containing” and 
“contained”, and of this the eidetic relation of kind to kind is a 
specification. Thus the eidetic singular implies all the generalities 



which lie above it, and these on their side “lie one in the other’’ 
in graded order, the higher always within the lower. 

§ 13. Generalization and Formalization 

A sharp distinction must be drawn between the relations of general- 
ization and specialization on the one hand, and on the other the 
reduction of what has material content to a formal generality of a 
purely logical kind, or conversely the process of filling in with con- 
tent what is logically formal. In other words: generalization is 
something wholly different from formalization, which plays so 
marked a part, for instance, in mathematical analysis. Specializa- 
tion is also something entirely different from deformalization, the 
“filling out” of an empty logico-mathematical form, or of a formal 

In sympathy with this distinction, the subordination of an 
essence under the formal generality of zpure logical essence should 
not be confused with the subordination of an essence under its 
higher generic essences. Thus, for example, the essence triangle is 
subordinated to the highest genus, spatial shape ; the essence red 
to the highest genus, sensory quality. On the other hand, red, 
triangle, and all essences homogeneous or heterogeneous, are 
subordinated under the categorical title “essence”, which in 
relation to them all has in no sense the character of a generic 
essence, rather lacks this character in respect of them alL To regard 
“essence” as generically related to essence wdth a positive content 
would be just as perverse as to misinterpret object in general 
(empty somewhat) as the genus of all objects indiscriminately, 
and then naturally without more ado as the one and only highest 
genus, as the genus of all genera. One should rather designate all 
formal-ontological categories as eidetic singularities, which have 
their highest genus in the essence “formal-ontological-category- 
in-general”. On similar grounds it is clear that every definite 
inference, it may be one that is serving the interests of physics, 
is the instancing of a definite pure-logical form of inference, every 
definite proposition of physics the instancing of a propositional 
form, and so forth. But pure forms are not genera to propositions 



or inferences with a positive content, but are themselves only the 
lowest differentiations of the pure logical genera proposition, 
inference respectively, which like all similar genera have as their 
summum genus “meaning-in-general”. The filling out of empty 
forms of a logical nature (and in mathens universalis there are no 
forms that are not empty) is thus an “operation” which is totally 
different from the genuine specialization which extends to the 
limits of differentiation. The assertion holds good universally; 
thus, for instance, the transition from space to the “Euclidean 
manifold” is no generalization, but a reduction to “formal” 

For the justification of this radical division, as in all such cases, 
we must fall back on essential intuition, which at once teaches 
us that essential forms of a logical character (the categories for 
instance) do not “lie” within the material content of infima 
species as does red in its unspecified generality within the different 
shades of red, or as “colour” in red or blue, and that they are not 
at all “within” them in that strict sense which might claim suffi- 
cient community with a part-relation in the ordinary narrow sense 
of the term to justify us in speaking of its being contained in it. 

No lengthy disquisition is needed to indicate that the sub- 
sumption of an individual, in general of a this-there, under an 
essence (a process which has a different character according as we 
are deali ng with an infima species or with a genus) is not to be 
confused with the subordination of an essence under its higher 
species or under a genus. 

We would likewise do no more than indicate the topic of 
extensions with its varied aspects relating more particularly to the 
function of essences in universal judgments and clearly requiring 
to be adjusted to the differences we have been considering. Every 
essence which is not an infima species has an eidetic extension, an 
extension of specific differences, and in the last resort at any rate 
of eidetic singularities. Every formal essence has on the other hand 
its formal or “mathematical” extension. Further, every essence as 
such has its extension of individual imits, an ideal conceptual 
totality of possible particulars to which it can be related through 
a thought that is both eidetic and universal. The topic of empirical 


extension has something more to add : the limitation to a sphere of 
concrete existence through a reference to concrete existence woven 
in with it and annulling the pure universality. All this transfers 
itself naturally from essences to “concepts” as meanings. 


THE rohe Tt 

We consider further the distinction between “full” substrata'‘mth 
positive content” (Sachhaltigen), together with the correspond- 
ing “full” “content-laden” syntactical objectivities, and the empty 
substrata together with the syntactical objectivities shaped out 
of them, the modifications of the empty Somewhat. This last class 
is in no sense itself empty or poor ; it has a fixed content, namely, 
as the totality of the positive contents belonging to the structure of 
pure "Logic o&mathesis universalis yrith. all the categorical objectivi- 
ties out of which the same build themselves up . Thus every subject- 
matter which expresses any syllogistic or arithmetical axiom or 
theorem, every form of inference, every numerical digit, every 
number-complex, every function of pure analysis, every Euclidean 
or non-Euclidean manifold properly defined through the analysis, 
has its place here. 

We now turn our attention to the class of objectivities with posi- 
tive content. Here we reach ultimate content-laden substrata as the 
nucleus of all syntactical constructions. To these nuclei belong 
the substrative categories, which sort themselves out under the two 
main alternative headings : “ultimate substantitive (Sachhaltiges) 
essence”, and“this-there”,or pure syntactically formless individual 
unit. The term ‘individual’ which suggests itself so readily is here 
unsuitable just because the indivisibility, as always still to be made 
definite, which the word’s meaning conveys, should not be taken 
up into the concept, but reserved rather for the special and quite 
indispensable concept ‘individual’. We therefore take over the 
Aristotelean expression roSe ri, which verbally at any rate does 
not include this meaning. 

We have contrasted the formless ultimate essence and the“this- 
there” ; we must now fix the essential connexion obtaining between 



them, which consists in this, that every ^this-there’ has its essential 
substantive quality possessing the character of a formless sub- 
strative essence in the sense we have assigned. 

§15. Independent and Dependent Objects. Concretum and 


We still need a further basic distinction, that between independent 
and dependent objects , A categorical form, for instance, is dependent 
in so far as it necessarily refers to a substratum of which it is the 
form. Substratum and form are essences which point the one to 
the other and are not thinkable ‘‘apart’’. In this broadest sense, 
the pure logical form, e.g., the categorical form Object in respect 
of all objective material, the category Essence in respect of all 
determinate essences, and so forth, is dependent. Let us disregard 
these relations of dependence, and connect a fruitful concept of 
dependence or independence with systems that show genuine 
content, with relations of ^^heing contained irC\ being one with, and, 
on occasion, being connected with in the stricter sense of the term. 

Of special interest to us here is the position as it concerns the 
ultimate substrata, and, to narrow the field still farther, the sub- 
strative substantive {Sachhaltigen) essences. Two possibilities 
remain open, that an essence of this kind in conjunction with 
another shall be the foundation of the unity of a single essence, or 
that it shall not do so. In the first case there arise relations which 
remain to be described more closely, possibly of one-sided or 
mutual dependence, and in respect of the eidetic and individual 
members that fall under the united essences there results the 
apodeictically necessary consequence that there can be no members 
of the one essence that are not determined through essences which 
have at least generic community with the other essence.^ Sensory 
quality, for instance, points necessarily to some sort of difference 
in extensity. Extensity again is necessarily the spread of some 
quality united with it and “enveloping” it. A phase of “increase” 
relating, shall we say, to the category of intensity is possible only 

* Cf.the detailed analysis in the Logical Studies II, Third Study, especially 

in the somewhat improved account in the later editions. 



as immanent in a qualitative content, and a content of such a kind 
is in turn not thinkable apart from some degree of increase. An 
appearing as a realized experience of a certain definite kind is 
impossible except as the appearing of an “appearing agency as 
such”, and likewise conversely. And so forth ! 

From all this there result important determinations of the formal- 
categorical concepts Individual, Concretum and Abstractum. A 
dependent essence is called an Abstractum, an absolutely self- 
sustaining [independent] essence a Concretum, A this-there, of 
which the substantive {Sachhaltiges) essence is a Concretum, is 
called an Individual, 

If we bring the “operation” of generalization under the concept 
of logical “modification”, we may say: the Individual is the 
primordial object demanded on purely logical grounds, the logical 
Absolute to which all logical modifications refer us back. 

It goes without saying that a concretum is an eidetic singularity, 
since species and genera (expressions which ordinarily exclude 
the lowest differentiations) are in principle dependent. Eidetic 
singularities fall accordingly into abstract and concrete. 

Eidetic singularities which are contained in a concretum as 
alternatives are necessarily “heterogeneous”, having regard to the 
formal-ontological law, that two eidetic singularities of one and the 
same genus cannot be bound together within the unity of a single 
essence, or as we also say: the lowest differentiations of a genus 
are mutually “incompatible”. Accordingly every singularity 
which finds its place within a concretum leads, when regarded as 
a differentiation, to a separate system of species and genera, and 
thus also to separate summa genera. For instance, within the unity 
of a thing as phenomenon the definite shape leads to the summum 
genus spatial shape in general, the definite colour to visual quality 
in general. Meanwhile the lowest differentiations within a con- 
cretum, instead of being mutually exclusive, can also overlap each 
other; as, for instance, physical properties both presuppose and 
include in themselves spatial determinations. Then the summa 
genera also are not mutually exclusive. 

As a further development genera divide in a characteristic and 
fundamental way into such as have concreta and such as have 



abstracta subordinated to them. We speak more conveniently of 
concrete and abstract genera^ despite the ambiguity which now 
attaches to the adjectives. For no one can entertain the thought of 
holding concrete genera themselves for concreta in the original 
sense of that term. Where accuracy demands, we must fall back 
on the clumsy expression: genera of concretes or of abstracts 
respectively. As examples of concrete genera we have real thing, 
visual phantom (visual shape appearing with sensory fullness), 
vital experience, and so forth. In contrast with these, spatial 
shape, visual quality, and the like, are examples of abstract genera. 

§ i6. Region and Category in the Sphere of Substantive 
Meaning. Synthetic Cognitions a priory 

With the concepts Tndividuar and ‘Concretum^ the concept 
also of Region^ so fundamental for scientific theory, is defined 
in a strict ‘‘analytic’’ way. Region is just the highest and most 
inclusive generic unity belonging to a concretunty that is, the essential 
unitary connexion of the summa genera which belong to the 
lowest differences within the concretum. The eidetic scope of 
the Region includes the ideal totality of the concretely unified 
systems of differences of these genera, the individual scope the 
ideal totality of possible individuals answering to such concrete 

Every regional essence determines ^^synthetid^ essential truths, 
i.e.y such as are grounded in it as this generic essence, but are 7 iot 
mere specifications of formal-ontological truths. The regional con- 
cept and its regional subdivisions are thus not free to vary in 
these synthetical truths ; the replacing of the relatively constant 
terms by variables gives no formal logical law, of the kind which 
has a place in characteristic fashion in the case of all “analytic” 
necessities. The system of synthetic truths which have their 
ground in the regional essence constitutes the content of the 
regional ontology. The totality of the fundamental truths among 
these, of the regional axioms, limits — and defines for u%—4he 
system of regional categories. These concepts express not merely, 
as do concepts generally, specifications of purely logical cate- 



gories, but are distinguished by this, that by means of regional 
axioms they express the features peculiar to the regional essence, 
or express in eidetic generality what mmt belong “a priori" and 
“synthetically” to an individual object of the region. The appli- 
cation of such (not pure logical) concepts to given individuals 
is apodeictic and unconditionally necessary, and regulated, more- 
over, through the regional (synthetic) axioms. 

If, despite notable differences in fundamental outlook which 
are not incompatible however with an inner affinity, one wishes 
to m ain tain approval of Kant’s Critique of the Reason, one has 
only to interpret the regional axioms as synthetic cognitions a priori, 
and we should then have as many irreducible classes of such 
forms of knowledge as there are regions. The “synthetic primary 
concepts” or categories would be the regional primary concepts 
(related essentially to the region in question and its synthetic 
principles), and we should' have as many different groups of 
categories as there are regions to be distinguished. 

On this understanding formed Ontology takes its place, out- 
wardly, in the same series as the regional (the strictly “material”, 
“synthetic” ontologies). Its regional concept “object” determines 
(cf. supra, § 10) the formal system of axioms, and thereby the 
system of formal (“analytic”) categories. Therein lies, in fact, 
a justification of the parallelism, despite all the essential differences 
which have been brought forward. 

§ 17. Conclusions of the Logical Considerations 

We have so far been concerned entirely with pure logical con- 
siderations, keeping clear of every “material” sphere, or, as we 
equivalaitly put it, every determinate region; we have spoken in 
general terms of regions and categories, and this generality, 
according to the sense of our successive definitions, is purely 
logical in kind. The precise task was to draw up a scheme on the 
fottndaiions of pure Logic, as a sample of the logically originated 
fundamental constitution of all possible knowledge, or of the objec- 
tivities proper to such knowledge, accordirg to which individuals 
must be determinable in terms of concepts and laws and under the 



hading of synthetic a priori pnnciples^\2inA all empirical sciences 
grounded in their own regional ontologies^ and not merely on the 
pure logic which is common to all sciences. 

From this position there emerges also the idea of a task that 
is set us: To determine within the circuit of our individual 
intuitions the highest genera of concreta^ and in this way to effect 
a distribution of all intuitable individual existence according to 
existential regions^ each of which^ since the distinction rests on 
the most radical essential groups, marks off on lines of principle 
an eidetic and an empirical science (or group of sciences). More- 
over, the radical distinction in no way bars out intercrossing and 
partial overlapping. Thus, for instance, ‘^material thing” and 
“soul” are different existential regions, and yet the latter has its 
grounds in the former, and there follows therefrom the grounding 
of the theory of the soul in the theory of the body. 

The problem of a radical “classification” of the sciences is in 
the main the problem of the separating of the regions, and for 
this again we need, as a preliminary, pure logical studies of the 
kind we have here been brieflyoutlining. But, of course, we need 
also, on the other hand. Phenomenology — about which we still 
know nothing. 



§ 1 8. Introduction to the Critical Discussions 

The general discussion concerning essence and the science of 
essences in contrast with fact and the science of facts, which 
we have undertaken by way of prelude, concerned essential 
foundations for our construction of the idea of a pure pheno- 
menology (which, indeed, as. was noted in the Introduction, 
should become a science of the Essential Being of things), and 
for understanding its position in regard to all empirical sciences, 
and thus also to psychology. But — ^and much depends on this 
point — ^all determinations of principle must be correctly under- 
stood. In developing them, and we would stress the point firmly, 
we have not been arguing academically from a philosophical 
standpoint fixed in advance, we have not made use of 
traditional or even of generally recognized philosophical 
theories, but on lines which are in the strictest sense funda- 
mental have shown up certain features, i.e., given true expression 
to distinctions which are directly given to us in intuition. 
We have taken them exactly as they there present them- 
selves, without any admixture of hypothesis or interpretation, 
and without reading into them anything that might be suggested 
to us by theories handed down from ancient or modern times. 
Positions so laid down are real “begiimings”; and when, as in 
our own case, they are of a generality that covers the all- 
enveloping regions of Being, they are surely fundamental in a 
philosophical sense, and belong, themselves, to philosophy. But 
we do not need to presuppose even the last-named ; our previous 
reflexions have been, as all that are to follow should be, free 
from every relation of dependence on a “science” so contentious 
and contemptible as is philosophy. In the fundamental positions 
we have set up we have presupposed nothing, not even the con- 
cept of philosophy, and we intend to hold on to this policy 
henceforth. The philosophic inoxf, which we propose to adopt, 
should consist, when explicitly formulated, in this, that in respect 



of the theoretical contefit of all previous philosophy, we shall abstain 
from passing any judgment at all, and that our whole discussion 
shall respect the limits imposed by this abstention. On the other 
hand, we do not need on that account to avoid (and indeed we 
could not avoid) speaking of philosophy at all, of philosophy as 
a historical fact, of philosophical movements that have once 
existed, and in a good though often also in a bad sense have 
determined the general scientific convictions of mankind, most 
markedly indeed in respect of the fundamental positions of 
which we have treated. 

It is precisely in this connexion that we must engage in a 
contest with empiricism, a contest which we can readily fight 
out within the limits of our ^noxn, since the points at issue here 
permit of being established on a basis of immediacy. If philosophy 
possesses “fundamental” principles in the genuine sense of the 
term, principles which can therefore be grounded in their essential 
character only through what intuition immediately gives, a con- 
test which concerns such intuition does not depend for its 
decision on any philosophical science, on the possession of the 
idea of philosophy, and the professedly grounded content of its 
theory. The circumstance which compels us to give battle is this, 
that “Ideas”, “Essence”, and “knowledge of Essential Being” 
are denied by empiricism. It is not the place here to unfold the 
historical grounds which should show us just why the victorious 
advance of the natural sciences, however greatly indebted for 
their high scientific level, as “mathematical”, to eidetic grounding, 
has favoured philosophical empiricism, and has made it the 
dominating, and indeed in the circles of empirical science the 
almost exclusively dominating, conviction. In any case, within 
these circles, and therefore also among the psychologists, there 
prevails a hostility to Ideas which must eventually prove dan- 
gerous to the empirical sciences themselves; since thereby the 
eidetic grounding of these sciences, which is in no sense already 
completed, the establishing — ^which must eventually prove 
necessary — of new sciences dealing with Essential Being, and 
indispensable for the further advance of the empirical sciences 
themselves, is definitely hindered* What is said here, as will later 


come clearly to light, directly concerns phenomenology, a disci- 
pline which furnishes the essential eidetic basis of psychology and 
the sciences of mind. Thus we need to take certain steps to 
defend our position. 

§ 19. The Empiricist’s Identification of Experience and 
Primordial Dator Act 

Empiricistic Naturalism springs, as we must recognize, from the 
most praiseworthy motives. It is an intellectually practical radi- 
calism, which in opposition to all “idols”, to the powers of 
tradition and superstition, to crude and refined prejudices of 
every kind, seeks to establish the right of the self-governing 
Reason to be the only authority in matters that concern truth. 
Now to pass rational or scientific judgment upon facts {Sachen) 
means being guided by the facts themselves, getting away from 
talk and opinion back to the facts, questioning them in their 
self-givenness, and laying aside all prejudices alien to their nature. 
It is only another way of expressing the very same thing — so the 
empiricist thinks — ^to say that all science must spring from 
experience, that its mediated knowledge must be grounded in 
immediate experience. Thus to the empiricist genuine science 
and the science of experience mean just the same thing. “Ideas”, 
“Essence” as opposed to facts, what else might they be than 
scholastic entities, metaphysical ghosts? To have saved mankind 
from such philosophical spooks as these is precisely the chief 
service of the natural science of modem times. Science is alone 
concerned with the experienceable real fact-world. What is not 
fact-world is imagination, and a science based on imaginations 
is simply imaginary science. Imaginations as psychical facts have 
of course their raison d'Stre, they belong to psychology. But — 
as we sought to explain in the previous chapter — ^that there should 
spring from our imaginings, through a so-called essential vision 
grounded upon them, new data, “eidetic” in nature, objects 
which are non-real, this — so the empiricist will conclude — ^is 
indeed “ideological extravagance”, a “reversion to scholasticism”, 
or to that sort of “speculative construction a prmf' whereby 


the Idealism of the first half of the nineteenth century, unfamiliar 
as it was with the scientific knowledge of nature, so greatly 
impeded the course of true science. 

Meanwhile, all that the empiricist here says rests on mis- 
understandings and prejudices — ^however good or well meant 
the motive which originally inspired him. The fundamental 
defect of the empiricist’s argument lies in this, that the basic 
requirement of a return to the “facts themselves” is identified 
or confused with the requirement that all knowledge shall be 
grounded in experience. Accepting the intelligible naturalistic 
limitation of the field of knowable “facts”, he takes for granted 
without further question that experience is the only act through 
which facts themselves are given. But facts {Sachen) are not 
necessarily facts of naturCy the fact-world in the ordinary sense, 
not necessarily the fact-world {Wirklichkeit) in general, and it is 
only with the fact-world of nature that the primordial dator act 
which we call experience is concerned. To trace identifications 
here, and to take them for granted as matters of course, is simply 
to wave aside unnoticed distinctions in respect of which the 
clearest insight is available. Thus the question arises, On which 
side do the prejudices lie,^ Genuine lack of prejudice does not 
call for the downright rejection of “judgments foreign to ex- 
perience”, except when the judgments’ own proper meaning 
demands a grounding in experience itself. To maintain straight 
away that all judgments permit of being grounded in experience, 
and even demand such grounding, without previously submitting 
to study the essential nature of judgments with due regard to 
their fundamentally distinct types, and without considering at 
the same time whether this declaration may not in the long run 
be absurdy that is a “speculative construction a priorf\ which 
is none the better for proceeding in this instance from the 
empiricist side. Genuine science, and the genuine absence of bias 
which inwardly distinguishes it, demands as the foundation of 
all proofs judgments which as such are immediately valid, draw- 
ing their validity directly from primordial dator intuitions. These 
again are divided ao the meaning of the judgments, or the proper 
essential nature of the objects and contents of the judgments y prescribes. 



The fundamental regions of objects, and, correlatively, the regional 
types of object-giving intuitions, the types of judgment belonging 
to these, and finally the noetic standards, which for the groimding 
of such types may demand ]viS,t this kind of intuition and no other 
— all this cannot be postulated or decreed ex cathedra ; it can be 
established only through insight, and that again means : shown 
up in and through the primordial dator intuition, and fixed 
through judgments which faithfully fit the intuitively given 
data. We cannot but think that a procedure that is really free 
from bias or purely matter-of-fact .must take this form, and no 

Imnediate “seeing” (Sehen), not merely the sensory seeing of 
experience, but seeing in general as primordial dator consciousness 
of any kind whatsoever, is the ultimate source of justification for 
all rational statements. It has this right-conferring function only 
because and in so far as its object-giving is primordial. If we 
see an object standing out in complete clearness, if purely on 
the basis of the seeing, and within the limits of what we grasp 
through really seeing, we have carried out processes of discrimi- 
nation and conceptual comprehension, if then we see (as a new 
way of “seeing”) how the object is constituted, the statement 
faithfully expressing this has then its justification. If we ask why 
the statement is justified, and ascribe no value to the reply “I 
see that it is so”, we fall into absurdity, as will later become 
clear to us. Moreover, this does not exclude the possibility, as 
we may here add so as to prevent misconstructions that may 
arise, that under certain circumstances one “seeing” can very 
well conflict with another, and likewise one legitimate statement 
with another. For the implication in this case is not that seeing 
is no ground of legitimacy, any more than the outweighing of 
one force by another means that it is no force at all. What it 
does tell us is that perhaps in a certain category of intuitions 
(those of sensory experience would just fit the suggestion), seeing 
in its very essence is “imperfect” ; it can on lines of principle 
be strengthened or weakened, and hence an assertion which has 
an immediate and therefore a genuine ground of legitimacy 
in experience must none the less be given up in the course of 


experience under the pressure of a counterclaim which exceeds 
and annuls it. 

§ 20. Empiricism and Scepticism 

Thus for “experience” (Erfahrung) we substitute the more general 
“intuition”, and therefore decline to identify science in general 
and science of experience. Moreover, it is easy to see that he 
who supports this identification and contests the validity of pure 
eidetic thinking is led into a scepticism which, as genuine, cancels 
itself through its own absurdity.^ It is sufficient to question 
empiricists concerning the source of the validity of their general 
thesis (e.g., that “all valid thought has its ground in experience 
as the sole object-giving intuition”) to get them involved in 
demonstrable absurdities. Direct experience gives only singular 
elements and no generalities, and is thus insufficient. It can make 
no appeal to the intuition of essences, since it denies such intuition ; 
it must clearly rely on induction, and so generally on the system 
of mediate modes of inference through which the science of 
experience wins its general propositions. How fares it now, we 
ask, with the truth of mediated conclusions, be these deductively 
or inductively inferred ? Is this truth (indeed, we could even say, 
the truth of a singular judgment) itself something experienceable, 
and thus in the last resort perceptible? And how fares it 
with the principles on which modes of inference depend, to which 
we appeal in cases of doubt or conflict, as, e.g., with the principles 
of the syllogism, the law of “mediated equality”, and so forth, 
upon which, as to ultimate sources, we here fall back for justi- 
fication of all modes of inference? Are these themselves in their 
turn empirical generalizations, or is not the very conception of 
such a thing involved in radical absurdity ? 

Without allowing ourselves to be led here into any further 
discussions, thereby merely repeating what has been said else- 
where,® this at any rate should have become clear, that the 
fundamental tenets of empiricism need first and foremost to be 

^ Cf. concerning the characteristic concept of Scepticism the “Prolegomena 
to Pure Logic”, Logical Studies, Vol. I, § 32. 

* Cf. Logical Studies, Vol. I, esp. chs. 4 and 5. 



set out with greater distinctness, clearness, and precision, and 
to have their grounds better specified; and the grounding itself 
must follow the very standard to which the tenets give expression. 
But at the same time it is manifest that here at least there arises 
a serious suspicion whether in this falling back upon fundamentals 
an absurdity may not be concealed; whilst in the literature of 
empiricism it is hard to find any suggestion of a serious attempt 
being made to bring real clearness and a scientific grounding 
into these basic relations. Scientific grounding on empirical lines 
would demand here, as elsewhere, a start from single instances 
fixed with theoretical rigour, and an advance to general positions in 
accordance with rigorous methods lit up throughout with insight 
into principle. Empiricists appear to have overlooked the fact that 
the scientific demands which in their own theses they exact from 
all knowledge are equally addressed to these theses themselves. 

Whereas these philosophers, holding characteristically to an 
adopted standpoint, and in open contradiction with their prin- 
ciple of freedom from bias, start out from unclarified, ungrounded 
preconceptions ; we start out from that which antedates all stand- 
points: from the totality of the intuitively self-given which is 
prior to any theorizing reflexion, from all that one can imme- 
diately see and lay hold of, provided one does not allow oneself 
to be blinded by prejudice, and so led to ignore whole classes 
of genuine data. If by “Positivism” we are to mean the absolute 
imbiased grounding of all science on what is “positive”, i.e., on 
what can be primordially apprehended, then it is we who are 
the genuine positivists. In fact we permit no authority to deprive 
us of the right of recognizing all kinds of intuition as equally 
valuable sources for the justification of knowledge, not even that 
of “modem natural science”. When it is really natural science 
that speaks, we listen willingly and as disciples. But the language 
of the natural scientists is not always that of natural science 
itself, and is assuredly not so when they speak of “natural 
philosophy” and the “theory of knowledge of natural science”. 
And it is above all not so when they would have us believe that 
general truisms such as all axioms express (propositions such as 
that a -h I = I -f «, that a judgment cannot be coloured, that 



of every two sounds that differ in quality one is lower and the 
other higher, that a perception in itself is a perception of some- 
thing and the like) are expressive of facts of experience, whereas 
we know in the fullness of insight that propositions of this type 
bring to developed expression data of eidetic intuition. But just 
on this account it is clear to us that the “positivists” confuse at 
one time the cardinal distinctions between the types of intuition, 
and at another, though they see them as opposed types, are yet 
not willing^ being bound by their prejudices, to recognize more 
than one of these as valid, or indeed even as present at all, 

§ 21. Obscurities on the Idealistic Side 

Obscurity prevails, to be sure, on the opposite side also. There 
indeed one accepts pure thought, an “<2 pnorV\ and thereby dis- 
cards the thesis of the empiricist ; but does not bring to clear 
consciousness, through reflexion, the fact that there is such a thing 
as pure intuition, a mode of being presented in which essences 
are primordially given as objects, just as individual realities are 
given in empirical intuition; nor does one know that every process 
of insight involving judgment^ and in particular the insight into 
unconditionally universal truths, falls under the concept ^dator 
intuition^^ which has indeed differentiations of diverse sorts^ above 
all, those that run parallel to the logical categories,'^ It is true that 
there is talk about self-evidence, but instead of its bring brought 
as a process of insight into essential relations with ordinary seeing, 
one hears of a 'feeling of selffevidence^\ which like a mystical 
Index veri lends to the judgment a feeling-colouring. Such inter- 
pretings are possible only so long as one has not learnt to analyse 
types of consciousness, viewing them purely and in respect of 
their essence, instead of making theories about them from some- 
where up above. These so-called feelings of self-evidence, of 
intellectual necessity, and however they may otherwise be called, 
are just theoretically invented feelings? Everyone will recognize 

* Cf. Logical Studies f Vol. Ill, Sixth Study, § 45 f. Likewise supra, § 3. 

» Presentations such as, for instance, Elsenhans gives in his Textbook of 
Psychology, p. 3891., are, in my opinion, psychological fictions having no 
basis whatsoever in the phenomena themselves. 


this who has brought some case of self-evidence into view as 
a really given object of vision, and has compared it with a case 
in which evidence of the same content of judgment is lacking. 
It is at once noticed that the tacit presupposition of the ‘feelings 
of evidence’ theory, namely, that psychologically a judgment 
may remain constant except in this one circumstance, that at 
one time it is coloured with feeling and at another not, is radically 
erroneous ; that rather the self-same upper stratum, that of one 
and the same statement considered as mere expressed meaning, 
is at one time adjusted point for point to “clear-seeing” intuition 
of fact, whereas at another time, and at this lower level, a quite 
different phenomenon is taking place which is not intuitive 
(intuitives), but, maybe, a consciousness of fact that is wholly 
confused and inarticulate. With the same right, indeed, in the 
empirical realm one might grasp the difference between the clear 
and faithful judgment of perception and some vague judgment 
concerning the same subject-matter as consisting simply in this, 
that the former is endowed with a “feeling of clearness", and the 
other not. 

§ 23 . The Reproach of Platonic Realism. Essence and 


It has ever and anon been a special cause of offence that as 
“Platonizing realists” we set up Ideas or Essences as objects, 
and ascribe to them as to other objects true Being, and also 
correlatively the capacity to be grasped through intuition, just 
as in the case of empirical realities. We here disregard that, alas! 
most frequent type of superficial reader who foists on the author 
his own wholly alien conceptions, and then has no difficulty in 
reading absurdities into the author’s statements.* If object and 
empirical object, reality and empirical reality mean one and the 
same thing, then no doubt the conception of Ideas as objects 
and as realities is perverse “Platonic hypostatization”. But if, as 
has been done in the Logical Studies, the two are sharply 
separated, if Object is defined as anything whatsoever, e.g., a 

' The polemics directed against the Logiad Studies and my Logos article, 
even those that are well-intentioned, move in the main, alas ! on this level. 


subject of a true (categorical, afErmative) statement, what offence 
then can remain, unless it be such as springs from obscure 
prejudices? Also, I did not discover the general concept of 
Object, but only set up in a new form something which all pure 
logical propositions demanded, and at the same time pointed out 
that it is in principle indispensable, and therefore also deter- 
minative of general scientific speech. In this sense, indeed, the 
tone-quality c, which is a numerically unique member in the 
tone-scale, or the digit 2 in the series of numbers, or the figure 
of a circle in the ideal world of geometrical constructions, or 
any proposition in the ‘‘world” of propositions — ^in brief, the ideal 
in all its diversity h an “object”. Blindness to ideas is a kind 
of psychic blindness, which through prejudices renders us incap- 
able of bringing into the field of judgment what we have already 
in our field of intuition. Our critics in truth see, and so to speak 
continuously see, “ideas”, “essences” — ^make use of them in 
thought, formulate judgments concerning essences — only from 
their epistemological “standpoint” they explain the same away. 
Self-evident data are patient, they let theories chatter about 
them, but remain what they are. It is the business of theories 
to conform to the data, and the business of theories of knowledge 
to discriminate the fundamental types, and to describe them in 
accordance with their distinctive nature. 

Prejudices in theoretical matters give remarkable self-assurance. 
There cannot be any such thing as essence or, therefore, intuition 
of essence (Ideation), and thus, where common speech contra- 
dicts this, it must be an affair of '‘^grammatical hypostatizations^\ 
and one should not allow oneself to be driven by these on to 
^^metaphysics^\ What lies before us, in fact, can be only the 
empirically real mental products of ^^ahstractM\ which tack 
themselves on to experiences or presentations in their natural 
reality. Accordingly theories of Abstraction are now zealously 
constructed, and here, as well as in all the sections that treat of 
intentionality (which are indeed leading chapters in Psychology), 
this experience-proud Psychology is made rich with invented 
phenomena and with psychological analyses that are no analyses 
at all. Thus ideas or essences, they say, are ^^concepts^\ and concepts 



are *‘mental constructions'' , “products of abstraction”, and as such 
they surely play a great part in our thought. “Essence”, “Idea”, 
or “Eidos”, such are only grand “philosophical” names for “sober 
psychological facts” (Fakta). Dangerous names on accoimt of 
the metaphysical suggestions they convey! 

We reply : certainly essences are “concepts”, if, as the ambiguous 
word permits, we take “concepts” to mean “essences”. Only we 
must be quite clear in our mind that the talk about mental 
products is in that case mere nonsense, and so too all talk about 
the formation of concepts, in so far as it is to be understood in 
a rigorous and proper sense. One may read in a treatise that the 
nrimber-series is a series of concepts, and then a little farther 
on: concepts are mental constructs. Thus the numbers themselves, 
the essences, were being referred to at the outset as concepts. 
But, we ask, are not the numbers what they are whether we 
“construct” them or not? Certainly I perform the counting, I 
construct my number-presentations, “adding unit to imit”. These 
number-presentations are now such as they are, but even when 
I repeat their construction identically, they are something dif- 
ferent. In this sense we may have at one time no number- 
presentations of one and the same number, at other times many 
such presentations, as many as we like. But in saying this we 
have already (and how could we avoid it?) drawn a distinction; 
number-presentation is not number itself: it is not the digit Two, 
this unique member of the number series, which, like all such 
members, is a non-temporal being. To refer to it as a mental 
construct is thus an absurdity, an offence against the perfectly 
clear meaning of arithmetical speech which can at any time be 
perceived as valid, and precedes all theories concerning it. If 
concepts are mental constructs, then such things as pure numbers 
are no concepts. But if they are concepts, then concepts are no 
mental constructs. Thus fresh terms are needed if only to resolve 
ambiguities so perilous as these. 

§ 23. Spontaneity of Ideation, Essence, and Fiction 
But, comes the retort, is it not true and self-evident that con- 
cepts, or, if you prefer, essences, such as red, house, and so forth. 



originate through abstraction from individual intuitions ? And do 
we not construct concepts at pleasure out of concepts already 
formed? We have then, clearly, to deal here with psychological 
products. The case is similar, so one will perhaps add, to that 
of arbitrary fictions : the flute-playing centaur which we freely 
imagine is certainly a presentation we have ourselves constructed. 
We reply: ‘‘conceptual construction’* certainly takes place spon- 
taneously, and free fancy likewise, and what is spontaneously pro- 
duced is of course a product of mind. But so far as the flute- 
playing centaur is concerned, it is a presentation in the sense 
in which that which is presented is called presentation, but not 
in the sense in which presentation stands verbally for a mental 
experiencing. Naturally the centaur itself is not mental, it exists 
neither in the soul, nor in consciousness, nor anywhere else, it 
is in fact “nothing”, mere “imagination” ; or, to be more precise, 
the living experience of imagination is the imagining 0/ a centaur. 
To this extent, indeed, “the centaur as meant”, the centaur as 
fancied, belongs to the experience itself as lived. But we must 
also beware of confusing this lived experience of imagination 
with that in the experience which is imagined, qua object 
imagined.^ So also what is engendered in the spontaneous act 
of abstracting is not the essence, but the consciousness of the 
essence, and the position here is as follows: that a primordial 
dator consciousness of an essence (Ideation) — ^we are here clearly 
concerned with essential relations — ^is in itself and necessarily 
spontaneous, whereas to the empirical consciousness which gives 
us sensory objects spontaneity is non-essential: the individual 
object can “appear”, one may be aware of it as apprehended, 
but without being spontaneously “busied with” it at all. Thus 
there are no motives discoverable unless it be those of mistaken 
identity which could demand the identification of the conscious- 
ness of the essence with the essence itself, and therefore the 
reduction of the latter to psychological terms. 

The comparison with our fiction-constructing consciousness 
might raise still another doubt, in respect namely of the 

* Cp. on this point the phenomenological analyses of the later sections of this 


“existence” of essences. Is not the essence a fiction, as the 
sceptics indeed would have it ? It is true that as the co-ordinating 
of fiction and perception under the more general concept 
“intuiting consciousness” casts a doubt on the existence of 
objects given in perception, so the comparison drawn above 
renders suspect the “existence” of essences. [But it is with 
essences as it is with things.] Things can be perceived and 
remembered, and therewith recognized as “real”; or again, in 
modified acts, as doubtful or null (illusory); finally also, in acts 
quite differently modified, as “mere apparition”, or appearing 
as if real or null, and so forth. So too, precisely, with essences; 
whence it also follows that even they, like other objects, have 
meanings given them that are sometimes right, but, as in the 
case of false geometrical thinking, sometimes wrong as well. But 
the apprehension and intuition of essences is an act that has many 
forms. In particular essential insight is a primordial dator ^c^,and 
as such analogous to sensory perception^ and not to imagination, 

§ 24. The Principle of All Principles 

But enough of such topsy-tuny theories! No theory we can 
conceive can mislead us in regard to principle of all principles : 
that every primordial dator Intuition is a source of authority 
(Rechtsquelle) for knowledge^ that whatever presents itself in 
^HntuitM^ in primordial form (as it were in its bodily reality), 
is simply to he accepted as it gives itself out to be^ though only 
within the limits in which it then presents itself. Let our insight 
grasp this fact that the theory itself in its turn could not derive 
its truth except from primordial data. Every statement which does 
nothing more than give expression to such data through merely 
unfolding their meaning and adjusting it accurately is thus really, 
as we have put it in the introductory words of this chapter, an 
absolute beginnings called in a genuine sense to provide founda- 
tions, a principium. But this holds in special measure of the 
essential judgments of this class that are general in form, and 
it is to these that the term ‘principle^ is normally limited. 

. In this sense the natural scientist is perfectly justified in fol- 



lowing the “principle” that in respect of all assertions relating 
to facts of nature we must look for the experiences upon which 
they are grounded. For that is a principle, an assertion drawn 
imme^ately from sources of general insight, as we can at any 
time convince ourselves by clearing up to our own satisfaction 
the meaning of the expressions used in formulating the principle, 
and bringing out in their pure givenness the essences that attach 
to these. Now the worker in the field of essences, and w'hosoever 
uses and expresses universal propositions, must follow a parallel 
principle ; and such a principle must exist, since already indeed 
the principle, just admitted to be such, of the grounding of all 
knowledge of facts in experience is not itself open to empirical 
insight, as is indeed true of every principle, and in general of 
all knowledge concerning essences. 

§ 25. The Positivist at Work as Natural Scientist, the 

Natural Scientist in Reflective Thought as Positivist 

De facto the positivist rejects knowledge of essences only when 
he reflects “philosophically” and allows himself to be deceived 
through the sophisms of empiricist philosophers, but not when 
as a natural scientist he thinks himself into the normal viewpoint 
of natural science and gives grounds for his convictions. For 
then, as is obvious, he lets himself be guided to a very large 
extent by his essential insights. As is well known, the pure 
mathematical disciplines, whether material like geometry or 
kinematics, or formal (purely logical) like arithmetic, analysis, 
and so forth, are the basic means used by natural science 
in its theoretical work. And it is open to all to observe that these 
disciplines do not proceed empirically, and are not grounded in 
observations and experiments on figures, movements, and so 
forth as presented in experience. 

Empiricism indeed will not see this. But should we take its 
contention seriously, that so far from there being too few 
experiences to serve as grounds, an infinity of experiences 
is at our service; that in the collective experience of all races 
of mankind, even of the races of beasts that preceded them, an 



immense store of impressions, arithmetical and geometrical, has 
been accumulating, and been integrated in the shape of habits 
of apprehension, and that it is from this source that our 
geometrical insight now draws its inspiration? But whence 
then the knowledge of these alleged accumulated stores when 
no one observes them scientifically or faithfully reports them? 
Since when have long-forgotten and entirely hypothetical ex- 
periences supplanted actual experiences that have been most 
carefully tested in their proper empirical action and scope as the 
grounds of a science, and of the most exact science at that ? The 
physicist observes and experiments, and on good grotmds will 
not be satisfied with pre-scientific experiences, let alone instinctive 
apprehensions and hypotheses concerning experiences which are 
said to have been intuited. 

Or should we say, as from another quarter has in fact been 
said, that we owed the insights of geometry to the '‘experiences 
of out fancy’% drawing them as inductions from experiments on 
the functioning of fancy} But how then is it, so runs our counter- 
query, that the physicist makes no use of such wonderful 
experience through fancy? For this reason, no doubt, because 
experiments conducted in imagination would be imagined experi- 
ments, just as figures, movements, and groups in fancy are not 
real but imagined. 

We take the most correct course, however, in regard to all 
such interpretations, when, instead of adopting the position they 
stand for and arguing from that basis, we point to the intrinsic 
meaning of mathematical assertions. In order to know, and to 
know indubitably, what a mathematical axiom states, we must 
not turn to the philosophical empiricists, but to consciousness, 
wherein, as mathematicians, we grasp axiomatic matter with 
complete insight into its axiomatic character. If we hold purely 
to this intuition, it is quite certain that in the axioms pure con- 
nexions between essences find expression without the slightest 
assistance from facts of experience. Instead of philosophizing 
and psychologizing about geometrical thought and intuition from 
an outside standpoint, we should enter vitally into these activities, 
and through direct analyses determine their immanent meaning. 



It may well be that we have inherited dispositions for knowledge 
from the knowledge of past generations; but for the question 
concerning the meaning and value of what we know, the genetic 
story of this heritage of knowledge is as indiiferent as is that 
of our gold currency to its real value. 

§ 26. Sciences of the Dogmatic and Sciences of the 
Philosophic Standpoint 

Thus the natural scientists speak about mathematics and every- 
thing eidetic in a sceptical vein, but through their eidetic method 
they behave dogmatically. And to their own benefit! Natural 
science has grown to greatness by pushing ruthlessly aside the 
rank growth of ancient scepticism and renouncing the attempt 
to conquer it. Instead of toiling over such vexed special problems 
as that concerning the general po^^Iity of a knowledge of 
“external” nature, or asking how alrttie difficulties which the 
ancients had already discovered in this possibility were to be 
solved, it preferred to busy itself with the question of the right 
method for a science of nature if it is to be carried really through 
and as perfectly as possible in the form of exact natural science. 
But this direction of effort, whereby it cleared a free path for 
its inquiry into facts ^ has been half nullified by the consideration 
that once again it is giving scope for sceptical reflexions y and lets 
itself be limited in its possibilities of work by sceptical tendencies. 
In consequence of the surrender to empiricist prejudices, scep- 
ticism at present is blocked in respect only of the sphere of 
expenenccy and no longer in respect of the realm of essences. For 
it is not sufficient here to draw the eidetic into the circle of 
inquiry only under false empiricist colours. Those eidetic dis- 
ciplines which, like the mathematical, are of ancient origin, and 
have become unassailable through the sanctions of habit, these 
alone can tolerate such misvaluations; whereas (as already indi- 
cated) when it comes to the establishing of new disciplines, 
empirical prejudices must exercise their full power of obstruction. 
The right attitude to take in the pre-philosophical and, in a good 
sense, dogmatic sphere of inquiry, to which all the empirical 


sciences (but not these alone) belong, is in full consciousness 
to discard all scepticism together with all "natural philosophy" and 
"theory of knowledge" , and find the data of knowledge there where 
they actually face you, whatever difficulties epistemological 
reflexion may subsequently raise concerning the possibility of such 
data being there. 

There is indeed an unavoidable and important division to 
be drawn in the field of scientific inquiry. On the one side stand 
the sciences of the dogmatic standpoint, facing the facts and un- 
concerned about all problems of an epistemological or sceptical 
kind. They take their start from the primordial givenness of the 
facts they deal with (and in the testing of their ideas return 
always to these facts), and they ask what the nature of the 
immediately given facts may be, and what can be mediately 
inferred from that natural ground concerning these same facts 
and those of the domain as a whole. On the other side we have 
the rigorous inquiries of the epistemological, the specifically 
philosophical standpoint. They are concerned with the sceptical 
problems relating to the possibility of knowledge. Their object 
is finally to solve the problems in principle and with the appro- 
priate generality, and then, when applying the solutions thus 
obtained, to study their bearing on the critical task of determining 
the eventual meaning and value for knowledge of the results of 
the dogmatic sciences. Having regard to the present situation, and 
so long as a highly developed critique of knowledge that has 
attained to complete rigour and clearness is lacking, it is at any 
rate right to fence off the field of dogmatic research from all "criticaT’ 
forms of inquiry. In other words, it seems right to us at present 
to see to it that epistemological (which as a rule are sceptical) 
prejudices upon whose validity as right or wrong philosophical 
sdence has to decide, but which do not necessarily concern the 
dogmatic worker, shall not obstruct the course of his inquiries. 
But it is precisely the way with scepticisms that they favour such 
unseasonable obstructions. 

Herewith indeed we find indicated the special situation, to 
develop which the theory of knowledge is needed as a science 
having a direction of inquiry peculiar to itself. However self- 


contained the knowledge may be that is directed towards pure 
fact and rests on insight, none the less, as the knowledge is bent 
reflectively back upon itself, the possibility of any type of know- 
ledge being valid, including its intuitions and insights, appears 
beset with baffling obscurities, and with difficulties that are 
almost insoluble, more particularly with reference to the tran- 
scendence which the objects of knowledge claim to possess in 
relation to knowledge itself. On this very ground scepticisms arise 
which force their way in the face of all intuition, experience, and 
insight, and in the sequel might develop into factors that obstruct 
the working of the practical sciences. We get rid of these difficulties 
that concern the form of dogmatic"'^ natural science (a term, there- 
fore, which should not express here any depreciation whatsoever); 
just through clearly grasping the 7nost general principle of all method^ 
that of the original right of all data^ and holding it vividly in mind, 
whilst we ignore the rich and varied problems relating to the 
possibility of the different kinds of knowledge and their respective 





§ 27. The World of the Natural Standpoint: I and My 
World About Me 

Our first outlook upon life is that of natural human ^beings, 
imaging, judgin g, feeling, 

Let us make dear to ourselves what this means in the form of 
simple meditations which we can best carry on in the first 

I am a ware of a world, spread out in space e ndlessly, and in 
time beco ming an d become, without end. I am aware of it, that 
means, first of all, I discoverirnmSedTately^ intuitively, I experi- 
ence it. Through sight, touch, hearing, etc., in the dififerent ways of 
sensory perception, corporeal things somehow spatially distri- 
buted are for me simply there^ in verbal or figurative sense 
‘‘present”, whether or not I pay them special attention by busying 
myself with them, considering, thinking, feeling, willing. Animal 
beings also, perhaps men, are immediately there for me; I look 
up, I see them, I hear them coming towards me, I grasp them 
by the hand ; speaking with them, I understand immediately what 
they are sensing and thinking, the feelings that stir them, what 
they wish or will. They too are present as realities in my field 
of intuition, even w’^hen I pay them no attention. But it is not 
necessary that they and other objects likewise should be present 
precisely in mj field of perception. For me real objects are there, 
definite, more or less familiar, agreeing with what is actually 
perceived without being themselves perceived or even intuitively 
present. I can let my attention wander from the writing-table 
I have just seen and observed, through the unseen portions of 
the room behind my back to the verandah, into the garden, to 
the children in the summer-house, and so forth, to all the objects* 
concerning which I precisely “know” that they are there and 
yonder in my immediate co-perceived surroundings — a know- 
ledge which has nothing of conceptual thinking in it, and first 



changes into clear intuiting with the bestowing of attention, and 
even then only partially and for the most part very imperfectly. 

But not even with the added reach of this intuitively clear or 
dark, distinct or indistinct co-present margin, which forms a 
continuous ring around the actual field of perception, does that 
world exhaust itself which in every waking moment is in some 
conscious measure “present” before me. It reaches rather in a 
fixed order of being into the limitless beyond. What is actually 
perceived, and what is more or less clearly co-present and deter- 
minate (to some extent at least), is partly pervaded, partly girt 
about with a dimly apprehended depth, or fringe of indeterminate 
reality. I can pierce it with rays from the illuminating focus of 
attention with varying success. Determining representations, dim 
at first, then livelier, fetch me something out, a chain of such 
recollections takes shape, the circle of determinacy extends ever 
farther, and eventually so far that the connexion with the actual 
field of perception as the immediate environment is established. 
But in general the issue is a different one : an empty mist of dim 
indeterminacy gets studded over with intuitive possibilities or 
presumptions, and only the “form” of the world as “world” is 
foretokened. Moreover, the zone of indeterminacy is infinite. The 
misty horizon that can never be completely outlined remains 
necessarily there. 

As it is with the world in its ordered being as a spatial present 
— ^the aspect I have so far been considering — so likewise is it 
with the world in respect to its ordered being in the succession of 
time. This world now present to me, and in every waking ‘now’ 
obviously so, has its temporal horizon, infinite in both directions,* 
its known and unknown, its intimately alive and its unalive 
past and future. Moving freely within the moment of experience 
which brings what is present into my intuitional grasp, I can 
follow up these connexions of tiie reality which immediately 
surrounds me, I can shift my standpoint in space and time, loo k 
th is way and that) turn temporally forwards and backwards; I 
can provide fo r myself constantly new an d niore or less clear 
andTmeaning&l perceptions and representations, and images also 
more or less clear, in wiuch 1 make Intuitable to myself whatever 


can possibly exist really or supposedly in the steadfast order of 
spja^and ti me . » 

In this way, when consciously awake, I find myself at all times, 
and without my ever being able to change this, set in relation 
to a world which^^^^gpgh its constant changes, remains one and 
ever the same. It is continually “present” for me , and I myse lf 
am a memb y of world is not th^e for me 

as^^ajmere world of facts and affairSy but, w ith the same immediacy, 
as a world of values world of ^oods^ ^rpra ctw aTwoH i^ 
further effort on my part I find the things before me fhmished 
not only with the qualities that befit their positive nature, but 
with value-characters such as beautiful or ugly, agreeable or 
disagreeable, pleasant or unpleasant, and so forth. Things in 
their immediacy stand there as objects to be used, the “table” 
with its “books”, the “glass to drink from”, the “vase”, the 
“piano”, and so forth. These values and practicalities, they too 
belong to the constitution of the actually present^ objects as such, 
irrespective of my turning or not turning to consider them or 
indeed any other objects. The same considerations apply of 
course just as well to the men and beasts in my surroundings 
as to “mere things”. They are my “friends” or my “foes”, my 
“servants” or “superiors”, “strangers” or “relatives”, and so 

§ 38. The “Cogito”. My Natural World-about-me and the 
Ideal Worlds-about-me 

It is then to this world, the world in which I find myself and which 
is^als o my wc^^aEmit-m e^ that t he complex forms of my manifold 
and shifting spontaneities of consciousness stand related : obsemng 
mThe intefests the bringing of meaning into con- 

ceptu^formlErbuprd^ ; comparmg and distin^ishing, 
collecting and counting, presupposing and inferrin g, th e flieori^ 
in^cfivifjrorconsaoi^^ in its different forms and 

stagSTRH atedri^it l iSe TO^ the diverse acts ai^ statis_i^^ 
sentiment a nd will: approv al and disapproval, joy and sorrow, 
d^ire and aversion, hope and fear, decision^^action^^^ 



together with the sheer act^f^the Ego, in which I become 
ac^mated TOthrjie 

spontaneous tendencies to turn towards it aiid to 
inciu3ed*linKrTEe one TSitesiair'exp^ssibn : Cogiio. In the 
naturd iirge of life I '!i^’continu31y in Ws fundamental form 
qj all "wak^ul” living, whether in addition I do or do not assert 
the cogito, and whether I am or am not “reflectively” concerned 
vrith the Ego and the cogitare. If I am so concerned, a new co^to 
has become livingly active, which for its part is not reflected 
upon, and so not objective for me. 

'4 E am present to myself continuall y as sonwone who perceives, 
represents, thi nks, feel s, desires, and so forth; an d forfM^osT 
^fl^teein I find myself rela ted in present experience jto the 
Fact-world which is constantly about m^But I am not always 
so related, not every cogito m” which I live has for its cogitatum 
things, men, objects or contents of one kind or another. Perhaps 
E am busied with pure numbers and the laws they symbolize: 
nothing of this sort is present in the world about me, this world 
of '“real fact”. And yet the world of numbers also is there fo' 
nae , as the field of objects with which I am arithmetically busied ; 
while I am thus occupied some numbers or constructions of a 
numerical kind will be at the focus of vision, girt by an arith- 
rnetical horizon partly defined, partly not; but obviously this 
being-there-for-me, like the being there at all, is something very 
different from this. The arithmetical w orl d is there f or rmjmly 
nohen and so Io n? as I occutv the arithmetical standpo int. But the 
»^?^~worl<r, the world in the or dinary sense of the wo rd, is 
cmsiantly Ibe re fo r me, so long as I live natuf aliy and look in 
its'Hirection. I am then at the ‘'natu ral standp oint'’, which is just 
of stating the same thing. A nd there is no need to 
modify these conclusions when I proceed to appropriate to myself 
the arithmetical world, and other similar “worlds”, by adopting 
the corresponding standpoint. The natural world still remains 
‘‘present”, I am at the natural standpoint after as well as before, 
and in this respect undisturbed by the adoption of new standpoints. 
3f my cogito is active only in the worlds proper to the new stand- 
Iioints, the natural world remains unconsidered; it is now the 


background for my consciousness as act, but it is not the encircling 
sphere within which an arithmetical world finds its true and proper 
place. The two worlds are present together but disconnected^ apart, 
that is, from their relation to the Ego, in virtue of which I can 
freely direct my glance or my acts to the one or to the other. 

§ 29. The ‘'Other’’ Ego-subject and the Intersubjective 
Natural World-about-me 

Whatever holds good for me personally, also holds good, as I 
toov^ Tor alTdSieFm®' whom^riindr^ inTSy wbrTd-about- 

me. fcp^iena^^ I understand and t3ce them fas 

Ego-subjects, units like myself, and related to^their^^natural 
surroundings. But t Hisln suc K^TOsedhat T“appf(^^^ th e world- ‘ 
about-them and the world-about-me objectively asjone md the 
same world, which differs in each^case only through affecting 
ccmsciousness differently. Each has his place whence he sees the 
things that are present, and each enjoys accordingly different 
appearances of the things. For each, again, the fields of perception 
and memory actually present are different, quite apart from the 
fact that even that which is here intersubjectively known in 
common is known in different ways, is differently apprehended, 
shows different grades of clearness, and so forth. Despite all this,-^ 
we come to understandings with o ur nei ghbours, and set up in 
jcommon an oI^ective.„Bp.atiq-te X^ct-wqrld^ ^ the worM^ 

about us thqtjs there for us alf and to which we ourselves none the 
less belong, ’ 

§ 30. The General Thesis of the Natural Standpoint 

That which we have submitted towards the characterization of 
what is given to us from the natural standpoint, and thereby 
of the natural standpoint itself, was a piece of pure description 
prior to all ''theory^'. In these studies we stand bodily aloof from 
all theories, and by ‘theories’ we here mean anticipatory ideas 
of every kind. Only as facts of our environment, not as agencies 


for uniting facts validly together, do theories concern us at all. 
But we do not set ourselves the task of continuing the pure de- 
scription and raising it to a systematically inclusive and exhaustive 
characterization of the data, in their full length and breadth, 
discoverable from the natural standpoint (or from any standpoint, 
we might add, that can be knit up with the same in a common 
consent). A task such as this can and must — as scientific — be 
undertaken, and it is one of extraordinary importance, although 
so far scarcely noticed. Here it is not ours to attempt. For 
us who are striving towards the entrance-gate of phenomen- 
ology all the necessary work in this direction has already been 
carried out; the few features pertaining to the natural stand- 
point which we need are of a quite general character, and have 
already figured in our descriptions, and been sufficiently and 
fully clarified. We even made a special point of securing this full 
measure of clearness. 

We emphasize a most important point once again in the sen- 
tences that follow: I^^^cpntiniially present and standing oyer 
against me the one spatio-temporal fact-world to which I myself 
"nfielong, as do air^fier meri^found lii'it and related in the same 
way to it. This “fact-world^^ the wor^already tells. us^X find 
^be and also take it just as it ^es itself to me as sqm^ 

thing that e xist s outlheiiillill doubting and rejecting of the data 
of the natural world leaves standing the general thesis of the 
natural siaMpbintr^TU^^f^ as" fact- world alway s there ; 

at the„most it is at odd^oint s *'ot her'' than I jupposed> this or 
that under such n ames as ^fillusi on'^ “hallucination’^, and the 
lik e, must be st ruck gut of it, so to speak; but J:he.^t ’Remains 
e ver, in the sense of the genera TBi^is. a world that has its being 
out ther€^o Jmoyyit.morje more trustworthily, 

luoje perfectly than t he naive lore of experience is aUe to" do, 
and to solve all the probl ems of scientific knowledge which offer 
themselves upo n its g round, that isTEe^iToFffie of the 

natural standi>oint, 


§ 31. Radical Alteration of the Natural Thesis 
“Disconnexion’', “Bracketing” 

Instead nov^fjrmaming at tlm to alter 

ttji^dically. Our am mustj^e to convince ourselves of the possi- 
bility; of this alteration^on grounds of principle. 

T he General T hesis acco f dinj^o'^'v^rcK theTe^^ worl d about 
me is at all times known not merely in a general wa y as som etHng 
app^ehendedTBfft'as^aTaH^world the re, does 
consist of c ourse in a n act pr oper^ in an aitmulated judgment 
about , existence^ IlLis^^lld..lgmgin all^ the jime jhe 

standpoint is adopted, that i s, i t endures persistently during the 
whole , . course., oT our 7^ of natural endeavour. W hat has been 
at any tim e perceived clea rly, or obscurely made present, in short 
everything out of the world o f natur^ known thmugh^expMeirce 
and prior to any thinking, J>ear^ in its totality and in all its 
articulated sections the character “pres ent” “out there”, a 
character which can function essential]^ of support 

for an explic^ J^re^atiyeX^ exis^ntial^judgi^^ which isTn 

agreement with the character it is grounded upon. If we express 
that same judgmentp^^lmow quite well that in so doing we 
have simply put into the form of a statement and grasped as 
a predication what already lay somehow in the original experience, 
or lay there as the character of something “present to one’s 

We can treat the potential and unexpressed thesis exactly as 
we do the thesis of the explicit judgment. A procedu re of th is 
so rt, p ossible jat_af!yJtme^S3.x doubt 

Descart es, with an entirely different end in view, 
with the p urpose of setti ng up an absolutely indubitable sphere 
o^Bemg, undertook to carry through. We fink on^itcrj^,. but ad 
directly ar^ emphaticafly t^^^ tWs attempt to ^ou^^eveiything 
should serve us only as a device of methodj^ helping us to stress 
certain points which by its means7£S though secluded in its 
essence, must be brought clearly to light. 

The attempt to doubt eveiything has its place in the realm 
of our perfect freedom. We can attempt tdTdd^i anything and 


ever[tHngJiQ3yever convinced we J>e con^rnmgj^at we 
doubt, eve n though , die,. eHdence-^wMch. se^ assurance is 
completely adequate. 

~~Let iis cmsider zeh^ is essentially involved in an act of this kind. 
He ^ who attempts to do ubt is^ att g mpting to doub t ‘‘Being’^of 
s ome fonn ._p x-0 t^r,' or it^may be Being exp^ded into such 
predicative forms as ‘‘It i?\~"ltjs~t Hs' or Chus”, and the Uke. 
THe attmpt does not affect the form of Being itself. He wh o 
doubtSj^for instenc e, whet to an j)biect. whose Being he does not 
d oubt, is constitute d in suc h and such ^way, doubts"^ew’izy it 
is_cmstfi^d.-Mt can^^bviously transfer this way~bFs pea king 
fr om t he cbubting to the aTtg^raf “douBting^ It i s clear ffia tl 
we cannot dq ubf the Bein g .of any thing. ^ Jn_the same act oLl 
conscmusne^, (under the unifying form of' simultaneity)^ bring 
what is substantive to this Bei ng under the terms of the Natural 
Thesis^^andsi). confer upon it the character of ‘‘being actually there” 
(yorhanden). Or to put the same in another way: we caimot at 
once doubt ’and hold for certain one and the same quality of 
Being. It is likewise clear that the attempt to doubt a ny ob ject 
of awaren ess in respect of its bein^a^m^_tbere^.M£e.ssgrily 
coitions a certain suspension (A ufhel>ung\ cf the thesis] and it is 
precisely this that interests us. It is no t a transforn iation of the 
thesis into its a ntithesis, of positive into neg ative; it is also not 
a tranSbraaation into presumption, suggestion, indecision, doubt 
(in one or another sense of the word); such shifting indeed is 
not at our free pleasure. JRntlm is_itJotne.tMig^iU unique. We 
dQ not abandon the thesis toe have (adopted, toe make no change 
in qur conviction, which remains in itself what it is so long as 
y^e do not introduce new motives of judgmwit, which we precisely 
ref rain from d'omg.*AjiL 3 jet the the sis un dergoes a moc hfica tion — 
whilst remainingln itse lf what it is, we set it as it were^'out of 
acti m'’, disconnect it”, "bracket it”. It^stUI rem^s there 
like the bracketed in the bracEe‘trTD£e,.thg. disconnected Putside 
the connexiona l sys tem. We can also say: The t h^is is exj^rience 
^ live d (Eriebnis ), but we make "no use” of i t, and by Aat, of 
cdu^, we do not ittdicate privation (as_when we say of* the 
ignorant tliat he makes no use oTacertain thesis); in this case 


rather, a5^.TOth_alL are dealing with 

indicators Jthat pointtp a de finite but uni^ formoJ_^consctpusnesSy 
which cj.amps pja to A^^^inal it actually 

or even predicatively posits existence or not), and trai^va^s it 
in a quitejgeculiar way. This transva luing is a concern of our full 
freedom, and is opposed to al l cognitive attitudes th^ wo^ sk'' 
themselves up as co-prdinate_with jAe yet within^Ee 

unity of **simuit aneity *^ incompatible with ij^ as indeed 

it is in general with all attitudes whaSoever in the strict sen^ 
of the word. ^ 

In the attempt to doubt applied to a thesis which, as we pre- 
suppose, is certain and tenaciously held, the “disconnexion” 
takes place in and with a modification of the antithesis, namely, 
with the ''supposition'" (Ansetzung) of Non-Being, which is thus 
the partial basis of the attempt to doubt, With^ Descartes this 
so markedly the case that one can say that his universal attempt 
at doubt is_just jin a ttem^ at uniyersal^denial. We disregard 
this possibility here, we are not interested in every analytic 
component of the attempt to doubt, nor therefore in its exact 
and completely sufficing analysis. We ex tract only tM phenomenon ^ 
of ^^^acketing" or "disconnecting", which is obviously not hmited 
to that of the atte^^ETo7_dou^^ alSfough it can be detached 
from it with special pase, but can appear in other ^ntexis dl'sof* 
and with jio less .ease independently. In relation to every thesis 
and whcdly_uncoerced_^ c an use jhis peculiar a certain 

fBfrainingJfomjudgTmn^^ compatible mfh th^ 
xmshakable becm m self- evidmci ng convi ction of Truth, thesis 
is !‘£ut„auto£.actipn7^ bracket ed, it passes off into th ^ modifiedT 
s tatus of a “brac keted t hesis ”, and the judgment simplictter iffio 
* ^ bracketed judgnienff^ 

Naturally one should not simply identify this consciousness 
with that of “mere supposal”, that nymphs, for instance, are 
dancing in a ring; for thereby no disconnecting of a living con- 
viction that goes on living takes place, although from another 
side the close relation of the two forms of consciousness lies clear. 
Again, we are not concerned here with supposal in the sense of 
"assuming" or taking for granted, which in the equivocal speech 


of current usage may also be expressed in the words: “I suppose 
(I make the assumption) that it is so and so.” 

Let us add further that nothing hinders us from speaking of 
bracketing correlatively also, in respect of an objectivity to be 
posited, whatever be the region or category to which it belongs. 
What is meant in this c^e is_Aat every thesis related to this 
o^ctMty must be ^connected and changed into its "br^eted 
Counterpirt. On closer wei^lnorebver.^the ‘bracketing’ image 
is from the outset Setter suited to t he sphere of the 'byertT just 
as the Spres sion ‘to put out of action’ better suits the sphere 
of the Act or of Consciousness. 

§ 32. The Phenomenological errox ^ 

We can now let the universal ktroxri in the sharply defined 
and novel sense we have given to it step into the place of the 
Cartesian attempt at universal doubt. But on good grounds we 
limit the universality of this eiroxq. For were it as inclusive as 
it is in general capable of being, then since every thesis and every 
judgment can be modified freely to any extent, and every objec- 
tivity that we can judge or criticize can be bracketed, no field 
would be left over for unmodified judgments, to say nothing of 
a science. BuL-Qur, just-to-discover- a. new scienti^c 
domain, such . as, jaigbt, be w on precisel y throfigh, the, , method^ of 
Jhough only t hroug h a definitely Jimited form 

of it.. 

The limiting consideration can be indicated in a word. 

We pui out of action the general thesis which belongs to the 
essence of the natural standpoint, we place~Tn brackete whatever 
it ''m5CTes~r^pecB5ig '1 316 ' ratU]re~Df^ e1n~g':~ tins "entire natural 
wHSja_co ntinually “dier e foFr5”7'^resent~fo 
on r hand”, and w ill ever remain there, i s a'‘^cPiTO 3d”'drwKich 
we conti nue to be conscious, even though it_pleases us to put 
it inJjracSeteT ^ ’ * 

If Ldo~ tSs, as ,La m fully free to d o. I iLQ.not then deny this 
“wo rld”, a s though I were a so phis t.,. JLdo not dmbf that it is 
t^eaa though I were a sceptic; but I use the “phenomenolc^cal” 



krroxny which completely bars me from using any judgme nt t hat 
concern^^gHoAen^^ley^enc^ {Dasein). 

stand never so firm to me, though they fill me with wonSmng " 
admiration, though I am far from any thought of objecting to 
them in the least degree, Ijliscpmt^t them all, / make absolutely 
nojJLs^ of their standards^ I do appropriate a single one of t he 
proposiUom Md^Sehte^ systems^ even though their evidential 

value is perfect n one of t hem^ ndfme oflJiem serves me for 
a foundation — so lon g, that is, as it is understood, in the way 
these sciences themselves understand it, as a truth concerning the 
realities of this world. I may accept^ iLmly after IJiavA placed it^ 
means : only in the modified consciousness 
of the judgment as it appears in disconnexion, and not as it 
figures within the science as its proposition^ a proposition which 
claims to be valid and whose validity I recognize and make use of. 
The krroxri here in question will not be confused with that 
which positivism demands, and against which, as we were com- 
pelled to admit, it is itself an offender. We are not concerned 
at present with removing the preconceptions which trouble the 
pure positivity {SachMchkeit) of research, with the constituting 
of a science “free from theory’’ and “free from metaphysics” by 
bringing all the grounding back to the immediate data, nor with 
the means of reaching such ends, concerning whose value there 
is indeed no question. What we demand lies along another line. 
The whole worli.aS--.placfcd».wiAilL 

seijted in experience „iLS^rjeal,- completely “free from all 
theory^’, just as it is in reality^e^erienoedi, and 
manifest Jn^jand through A of our experiences, has now 

no validity fo r m us^be set inj^ackets.untested^^^^^^ but 
also uncontested. Similarly all theories and sciences, positivistic 
or otherwise, which relate to this world, however good they may 
be, succumb to the same fate. 



§ 33. Intimation Concerning “Pure” or “Transcendental 
Consciousness” as Phenomenological Residuum 

We have learnt to understand the meaning of the phenomeno- 
logical kmxn, but we are still quite in the dark as to its service- 
ability. In the first place it is not clear to what extent the 
limitation of the total field of the knoxq, as discussed in the 
previous pages, involves a real narrowing of its general scope. 
Far what can remain over when the whole worlds j^^acketed, 
inctuding ourselves and all our thi nMns (cositar e) ? 

' Since" the reader'aEeady knows that the interest which governs 
these ‘Meditations’ concerns anew eidetic science, he will indeed 
at first expect the world as fact to succumb to the disconnexion, 
but not the world as Eidos, nor any other sphere of Essential 
Being. The disconnecting of the world does not as a matter of 
fact mean the disconnecting of the number series, for instance, 
and the arithmetic relative to it. 

However, we do not take this path, nor does our goal lie in its 
direction. That goal we could also refer to as the winning of a 
new region of Being, the distinctive character of which has not yet 
been defined, a region of individual Being, like every genuine 
region. We must leave the sequel to teach us what that more 
precisely means. 

We procee d in the first instance by showing up simply and 
directly wfiat we see ;~lir(t~§in5Flfie1Be thus shovm up 

irheitEer more nor less than that which we~refer to on essential 
founds as “pure expefiehceS ”pure consdousiiess” 

with its pure “correlates or consciousness’VanJ'on the other side 
itsr"pure Bgo*S WErnbserve that it is Ixoxa the Ego, iAe~con- 
sciousness, the experience as given to us from the natufaTstand- 
ppi nt, that.we taktruut iStifft T ~ 

J. the rea l human being, am a real object li ke others in the 
world. I carry out cogitationes, acts of consciousness ’ ’ 
^ wider sense, and these acts, as Belonging 


0 to this human subject, are events of the s^^natural world. And 
alf my remaining experiences (Erlebnisse) likewise, out of whose 
changing stream the specific acts of the Ego shine forth in so 
distinctive a way, glide into one another, enter into combinations, 
and are being incessantly modified. Nq w in its widest connotation 
the expressionJVgg^goe^j’^ (then in deed less suited for its 
puVposeyind udes all experiences (Erlebnisse)^ a nd entrenc hed in 
the natural^andpoint as we are e ven in our scientific thinking, 
grounded there in habits that are most firmly established since 
they have never misled us, we take a ll these data of psychologic al 
reflexi on as real wor ld-events , as the e xperiences (E rlehnisseY^Qi 
a nimal beings . So natutil it to us to see them only in this 
lightthat, though acquainted already with the possibility of a 
change of standpoint^; and on the search for the new domain of 
objects, we fail to notice that it is from out these centres 
of experience {Erlebnisse) themselves that through the adoption of 
the new standpoint t he ne w domain emerges^ Connec ted w itlL 
thi s is the fact that An BteaduoLl^magj^^ towards 

th ( ^e cen tr es of experience, we turned them, away and sought 
the new objects in the ontological realms of arithmetic , geometry, 
andlt^^ nothing truly new was to be w on. 

lius we fix our eyes steadily upon the sphere of Conscious ness 
and stu dy^fiatlFIsthat we find im manent in i t. At first, without 
having yet carried out the phenomenological suspensions of the 
element of judgment, we subject tins sphere ot Corisciousness 
in its essential nature to a systematic though in no sense 
exhaustive analysis. What we lack above all is a certain ^general 
insight into the essenc e of consciousness in general , and quite 
spl'Sally also of consciousness, so far as in and through its 
essential Being, t he **natur ar^ fact- world comes to be kn own. In 
these studies we go so far as is needed to furnish the full insight 

at which we have been aiming, to wit, that. Consciousness in itself^ 

has a being of its own wMdLAn its absolute uniquenes.^.^f^ M.atvrf 
r emmns unaffected by the phenomenological disconnexion. I t there- 
f ore remiiorro^ra^ re siduum^', as a^regioiT'^ 

of Being which is in principle unique, and cguTB ecdmrin fact 
the^ld of a nw science— the science of PhenonienSSgyr*" 


Through this insi ght the “pheiiomenologicar’ enoxn will for" 
thp first tiin e deaer TO its name: to exercise it in full consciousne ss 
of its import will turn out to be the necessary ojeration whi^ 
renders “pure'' consciousness access ible to us. and subsequently t he 
wJiole phenomenological regi'ow A nd thu s we shall be able t6“ 
imfjpniiranfl why this -r egionLlanii.the jo ew science Cac hed to it 
was, fated to remain unknown. From the natural standpoi nt 
nothing can be seen exce pt the natural wo rld. So long as the 
possibility bt the phenomenological standpoint was not grasped, 
and the method of relating the objectivities which emerge there- 
with to a primordial form of apprehension had not been devised, 
the phenomenological world must needs have remained unknown, 
and indeed barely divined at all. 

We would add yet the following to our terminology : Important 
motives w-hich have their ground in epistemological requirements 
justi fy us in referring to “pure” consciousness, of which much 
is yet to be said, also as transcmdental consnousness, and tpe 
o peration tnrougn which it is acquired as transcendentaTe'no-^ . 
On grounds of method this operation will spli t up into different 
step s of “disconnexion” or “bracketing”, and thus our me thod 
will assume the character of a graded reduction. Forthisre^on 
we propose to speak, and ev en preponderating ly, of phenom^ - 
l oeical reductions ftho ugh. in respect of their unity as a whole, 
w e would speak in unitary form oi ihe phenomenological redu c- 
t ion). From the episte mological viewpoint we would also spe ak 
of transcendental reductions. Moreover, these and a// biir terms 
m^Sriye uiidtffstoo d exclusiv^Ty in accordance with the s ense 
which our presentations indicate for th en^l^t not in any other 
one which history or the ter minol ogical habits of the reader may 
fa vour . 

§ 34. The Essence of Consciousness as Theme of Inquiry 

We start with a series of observations within which we are not 
troubled with any phenomenological knox^. We are directed to 
an “outer world”, and, without forsaking the natural standpoint , 
reflec t psycho logically on our Lgo and its experience (Erlebenf. 



We busy ourselves, precisely as we would have done if we had 
never heard of the new viewpoint, with the essential nature of 
*‘the consciousness of something” , following, for instance, our con- 
sciousness of the existence of material things, living bodies and 
men, or that of technical and literary works, and so forth. We 
adhere to our general principle that each individual event has 
its essence that can be grasped in its eidetic purity, and in this 
purity must belong to a field available to eidetic inquiry. In 
accordance herewith the universal fact of nature conveyed by the 
words “I am”, “I think”, “I have a world over against me”, and 
the like, has also its essential content, and it is on this exclusively 
that we now intend to concentrate. Thus we rehearse to ourselves 
byway of illustration certain conscious experiences chosen at ran- 
dom, and in their individuality just as they are in their natural 
setting as real facts of human life, and we make these present 
to ourselves through memory or in the free play of fancy. On 
the ground of illustrations such as these, which we assume to 
be presented with perfect clearness, we grasp and fix in adequate 
ideation the pure essences that interest us. The individual facts, 
the fact-character of the natural world in general, thereby escapes 
our theoretical scrutiny — as in all cases where our inquiry is 
purely eidetic. 

We limit still further the theme of our inquiry. Its title ran: 
Consciousness, or more distinctly Conscious experience (Erlebnis) 
in general, to be taken in an extremely wide sense, about whose 
exact definition we are fortunately not concerned. Exact definitions 
do not lie at the threshold of analysis of the kind we are here 
making, but are a later result involving great labour. As sta rting- 
pqint we take consciousness in a pregnant sense which suggest^ 
itselfat once, most simply indicated through the Cartesian cogito. 
‘ T thin k”. As is known, Descartes imderstood this in a sense so 
wide as to inc lude every case of “I p erceive, I remember, I fancy, 
I Judge, feel, desire, will”, and all experiences of the Ego that 
in any way resemble the foregoing, in all the countl ess fluctuations 
o f their special patterns. T he Ego itself to which they are all 
related, or which in very differing ways “lives in” them, active, 
passive, spontaneous, in receptive or any other “attitude”, and 


indeed the Ego in any and every sense, we leave at first out of 
consideration. We shall be concerned with it later, and fundamen- 
tally. For the present there is sufficient other material to serve 
as support for our analysis and grasp of the essential. And we 
shall find ourselves forthwith referred thereby to enveloping 
connexions of experience which compel us to widen our con- 
ception of a conscious experience beyond this circle of specific 

We shall consider conscious experiences in the concrete fullness 
a nd en tirety wi th which they figure in their conc rete context— 
stream of experience—zn d to which they are closely attached~~~ 
through their own proper e ssence. It then becomes evident tKat 
every experience in the stream which our reflexion can lay hold 
on has its own essence open to intuition, a “content” which can 
be considered in its singularity in and for itself. We shall be 
concerned to grasp this individual content of the cogitatio in 
its pure singularity, and to describe it in its general features, 
excluding everything which is not to be found in the cogitatio 
as it is in itself. We must likewise describe the unity of conscious- 
ness which is demanded by the intrinsic nature of the cogitationes, 
and so necessarily demanded that they could not be without this 

§ 35. The Cogito as “Act”. The Modal Form of 
Marginal Actuality 

Let us start with an example. In front of me, in the dim light, 
lies this white paper. I see it, touch it. T his perceptual sedng 
^ nd touchi ng of_the paper as th e full concrete "experience of the 
p aper that lies here as given in truth precisely with these gnaliriog 
precisely with this relative lack of clearness, with this imperfect 
definition, ap pearing to me fro m this particular angle— is a cogi- 
tatio, a conscious ex perience. T he paper itself with its objective 
qu alities, its extension in space, its objective positibiTin regard 
^ niy body, is not cogitatio. but cogitaium, 
»qL,£gggpt ual experience, but somethmg perc eived. Now that 
whrch is perceived can itself very ^'bi a conscW experience ; 


but it is evident that an object such as a material thing, this 
paper, for instance, as given in perceptual experience, is in prin- 
ciple other than an experience, a being of a completely different 

Before pursuing this point farther, let us amplify the illus- 
tration. In perception properly so-called, as an explicit awareness 
{Gewakrm)., I am turned tow'ards the object, to the paper, for 
instance, I apprehend it as being this here and now. The appre- 
hension is a singling out, every perceived object having a back- 
ground in experience. Around and about the paper lie books, 
pencils, ink-well, and so forth, and these in a certain sense are 
also “perceived”, perceptually there, in the “field of intuition”; 
but whilst I was turned towards the paper there was no turning 
in their direction, nor any apprehending of them, not even in 
a secondary sense. They appeared and yet were not singled out, 
were not posited on their owm account. Every perception of a 
thing has such a zone of background intuitions (or background 
awarenesses, if “intuiting” already includes the state of being 
turned towards), and this also is conscious experience”, or more 
briefly a “consciousness of” all indeed that in point of fact lies 
in the co-perceived objective “background”. We are not talking 
here of course of that which is to be found as an “objective” 
element in the objective space to which the background in question 
may belong, of all the things and thing-like events which a valid 
and progressive experience may establish there. What we say 
applies exclusively to that zone of consciousness which belongs 
to the model essence of a perception as “being turned towards 
an object”, and further to that which belongs to the proper 
essence of this zone itself. But it is here implied that certain 
modifications of the original experience are possible, which we 
refer to as a free turning of the “look” — ^not precisely nor merely 
of the physical but of the “mental look” — from the paper at first 
descried to objects which had already appeared before, of which 
we had been “implicitly” aware, and whereof subsequent to the 
directing of one’s look thither we are explicitly aware, perceiving 
them “attentively”, or “noticing them near by”. 

We are aware of things not only in perception, but also con- 



sciously in recollections, in representations similar to recollections, 
and also in the free play of fancy; and this in “clear intuition’* 
it may be, or without noticeable perceptibility after the manner 
of “dim” presentations; they float past us in different “charac- 
terizations” as real, possible, fancied, and so forth. All that we have 
stated concerning perceptual experiences holds good, obviously, 
of these other experiences, essentially different as they are. 
We shall not think of confusing the objects of which we are aware 
under these forms of consciousness (the fancy-shaped nymphs, 
for instance) with the conscious experiences themselves which 
are a consciousness of them. Then, again, we know that it is the 
essence of all such experiences — ^taking the same, as always, in 
their concrete fullness — to show that remarkable modification 
which transfers consciousness in the mode of actual orientation 
to consciousness in the mode of non-actuality and conversely. At 
the one time the experience is, so to speak, ^^explicitly^^ aware of 
its objective content, at the other implicitly and mtttly potentially. 
The objective factor, whether in perception, memory, or fancy, 
may already be appearing to us, but our mental gaze is not yet 
^^directed^^ towards it^ not even in a secondary sense, to say nothing 
of being “busied” with it in some special way. 

Similar remarks apply to all and any of the cogitationes in the 
sense illustrated by Descartes’ use of the term, to all experiences 
of thought, feeling and will, except that, as will be emphasized 
(in the next paragraph), the “directedness towards”, the “being 
turned towards”, which is the distinctive mark of focal actuality, 
does not coincide, as in the favourite because simplest examples 
of sensory presentations, with singling out and noting the objects 
we are aware of. It is also obviously true of all such experiences 
that the focal is girt about with a “zone” of the marginal; the 
stream of experience can never consist wholly of focal actualities. 
These indeed determine, in a very general sense which must be 
extended beyond the circle of our illustrations, and through the 
contrast with marginal actualities already drawn, the pregnant 
meaning of the expression “cogito”, “I have consciousness of 
something”, “I perform an act of consciousness”. In order to 
keep this well-established concept purely separate, we propose 


1 19 

to reserve for it exclusively the Cartesian expressions cogito and 
cogitationes, unless through some addition, such as ‘‘marginar’ 
or the like, we expressly indicate the modified use we are making 
of the term. 'r** 


We can define a ^^wakefuV Ego as one that within its stream 
o f experience is continually conscious in the spe cific form of the 
co gito \ which, of course, does not mean that it can and does 
brin g these expinehces jpersisten tl y or in general to pr^icaSve" 
expression. Ego-subjects include animals. But, according to what 
we ha^^siicT above, it belongs to the essence of the stream of 
experience of a wakeful Self that the continuously prolonged chain 
of cogitationes is constantly enveloped in a medium of dormant 
actuality {Inaktualitdt)^ which is ever prepared to pass off into 
the wakeful mode {Aktualitdt)^ as conversely the wakeful into the 

§ 36, Intentional Experience. Experience in General 

"'However drastic the change which the experiences of a wakeful 
Consciousness undergo in their transition into the dormant state, 
the experiences as modified share the essential nature of the 
original experiences in an important respect. It belongs as a 
general feat ure to the essence of every actual cogito to be a con- 
sciousne ss of southing. Bi itaccording to what we have already 
said, the modified cogitatio is likewise and in its own way Con- 
sciotisnesSi and of the same something as with the corresponding 
unmodified consciousness. Thus the essential property of Con- 
sciousness in its general form is preserved in the modification. 
All e xperiences which bave these essential pro perties in common, 
are also called ^inten tional experiences^^ in the very wide 
sense of the Logical Studies) ; in so^th ey are a consc io usnes s 
of somet hing they are said to be "Hntentionally related'^ to this 

We must i however, be quite clear on this point that there is 
no question here of a relation between a tsv^ological event — cailed 
experi ence (Erlebnis) — and some other real existent iBaseinS— cal led 
Object — or of z psychological conmxionohtzimng between the one 



and the other in objective reality. O n the co ntrary, we are <y n— ■ 
cerrSd with experiences in their essential purity, with pure essences , , 
•s nd wit BYhat wE IcE~S the essence “g priori, tnun-^ 

conditioned necessity . .JZ ~ ~ ^ — - 

That an exp erience is the consciousn ess of something: a 
fi ction, for instance, the fiction of this or that centaur; a per- 
ception, the p erceptio n of its “real " object; a jud^en t, th e 
piSgfrieTit concerning it s subject-matter, and so forth, this doe s 
not relat e to the experimental fact as lived within the world, 
more specifically \ vithin some given psychological context, but 
to"Bie~pu re"essence grasped ideationally as pure idea. In t h^ very ' 
psaftnpp. r>f an p-gp<> pence lies determ ined not only that, but also 
w hereof it is a consciousness, an d in what determinatForinHete r- 
minate sensft it is tViia Sn too in the essence of consciousness 
as dormant lies included the variety of wakeful cogitationes, into 
which it can be differentiated through the modification wft have 
already referred to as “the noticing of what was previously 

Under experiences in the widest sense we understand whatever*' 
is to be found in the stream of experience, not only therefore 
intentional experiences, cogitationes actual and potential taken in 
their full concreteness, but all the real {reellen) phases to be found^ 
in this stream and in its concrete sections. 

For it is easily seen that not every real phase of the concrete 
unity of an intentional experience has itself the basic character 
of intenthnality, the property of being a “consciousness of some- 
thing”. This is the case, for instance, with all sensory data, which 
play so great a part in the perceptive intuitions of things. In 
the experience of the perception of this whitepaper, more closely 
in those components of it related to the paper’s quality of white- 
ness, we discover through properly directed noticing the sensory 
datum “white”. This “whiteness” is something that belongs 
inseparably to the essence of the concrete perception, as a real 
(yeeUes) concrete constitutive portion of it. As the content which 
presents the whiteness of the paper as it appears to us it is the 
bearer of an intentionality, but not itself a consciousness of 
something. The same holds good of other data of experience. 


of the so-cslled sensory feelings^ for instance. We shall be speaking 
of these at greater length in a later context. 

§ 37, The “Directedness” of the Pure Ego in the Cogtto, 
AND the Noticing that Apprehends 

Though we are unable at this point to proceed farther with our 
descriptive analysis of intentional experiences in their essential 
nature, we would single out certain aspects as noteworthy in 
relation to further developments. I f an int entional experience 
is actual, carried out, that is, after the manner of cogtid^iE^ 
si ^ect *^directs^^ itself within it towaj5slKe~i ntehtTdha^^^ 

To the cogito itself belongs an immanent **glancing«-towards*^ the 
object) a directedness which from another side springs fo rth from 
t he **Ego^*, which can therefore never be absent. Th is glancing of 
th e Ego towards something is in harmony with the act involved, 
p erceptive in perception, fanc i ful in fancy, approving in aimroval, 
volitional In will, and so forth. T his means, therefore, that this 
having in one’s glance, in one’s mental eye, which belongs to 
the essence of the cogito^ to the act as such, is not in itself in turn 
a proper act, and in particular should not be confused with a 
perceiving (in however wide a sense this term be used), or with 
any other types of act related to perceptions. I t should be noticed 
th at intentional object of a consciousness (un derstood as the 
latter’s full correlate) i s by no means to be identified with 
a1)1)rehended object. W e are accustomed without further thought 
to include the being apprehended in the concept of the object 
(of that generally which stands over against the subject), since 
in so far as we think of it and say something about it, we have 
made it into an object in the sense of something apprehended. 
In the widest sense of the word, apprehending an object (Erfassen) 
coincides with mindfully heeding it {achten)y and noting its nature 
(bemerken)y whether attentively as a special case, or cursorily, 
provided at least that these expressions are used in their customary 
sense. This heeding or apprehending is not to be identified with the 
modus of ^Uogito'^ in general^ that of actuality, but seen more 
closely, with a special act^modus which every consciousness or every 



act which does not yet possess it can assume. Should it do this, its 
intentional object is not only known in a general way and brought 
within the directed glance of the mind, but is an apprehended 
and noted object. A tu rning towards a Thing, to be sure, cannot 
take place o therwise than in the way of app^ hension, and the 
same holds^^od of all object ivities that are "‘plainly p^resmtah le ^^ ; 
jiefe~ a"tu rmng~tQwards (be it even in fancy) is eo ipso a n ^^ap prej- 
bending” and a ^h^ding”. But in the act of valuation we are 
turned towards values, in acts of joy to the enjoyed, in acts of 
Ibve^loTh eljeloved, in acting the a ction, ancT^zY^o^^ appre- 
h ending dl this. Th e intentional objec t rather, that wEcI^ is 
vdued, ejy^yed, belovfed, hoped as su^ r^^^cSSn “ ai“ action, 
firk becomes an apprehende^object through a distinctively 
objectifying^^ turn of thought. If one IF turned towards some 
matter absorbed in appreciation, the apprehension of the matter 
is no doubt included in the total attitude; but it is not the mere 
matter in general, but the matter valued or the value which is 
(and the point will concern us more in detail later on) the complete 
intentional correlate of the act of valuation. Thus ^Ho be turned 
in appreciation towards some matter” does not already imply 
^^having^^ the value 'for objecf^ in the special sense of object 
apprehended, as indeed we must have the object if we are to 
predicate anything of it; and similarly in regard to all logical 
acts which are related to it. 

Thus in acts like those of appreciation we have an intentional 
object in a double sense: we must distinguish between the "subject 
matter'^ pure and simple and the full intentional object^ and corre- 
sponding to this, a double intentio, a twofold directedness. If we 
are directed towards some matter in an act of appreciation, the 
direction towards the matter in question is a noting and appre- 
hending of it ; but we are ‘directed” — only not in an apprehending 
way — also to the value. Not merely the representing of the matter 
in question, but also the appreciating which includes this repre- 
senting, has the modus of actuality. 

But we must hasten to add that it is only in respect of 
simple acts of valuation that the matter stands so simply. 
In general, acts of sentiment and will are consolidated upon a 



higher level, and the intentional objectivity also differentiates 
itself accordingly: there is also a complicating of the ways in 
which the objects included in the unitary total objectivity come 
under the directed mental glance. But in any case the following 
main propositions hold good : — 

In every act some mode of heeding {Achtsamkeit) holds sway. 
But wherever it is not the plain consciousness of a subject-matter^ 
wherever some further ‘‘attitude towards’^ the subject-matter is 
grounded in such consciousness, subject-matter and full inten- 
tional object (“subject-matter^’ and “value”, for instance), likewise 
heeding the object and mentally scrutinizing ity separate out the one 
from the other. But at the same time the possibility of a modi- 
fication remains an essential property of these grounded acts, 
a modification whereby their full intentional objects become 
noticed, and in this sense ^WepresentejT objects, which now, from 
their side, become capable of serving as bases for explanations, 
relations, conceptual renderings, and predications. Thanks to this 
objectification we find facing us in the natural setting, and there- 
fore as members of the natural worlds not natural things merely, 
but values and practical objects of every kind, cities, streets with 
street-lighting arrangements, dwellings, furniture, works of art, 
books, tools, and so forth. 

§ 38. Reflexions on Acts. Immanent and Transcendent 

We add the following : Living in the cogito we have not got the 
consciously before us as intentional object; but it can 
at any time become this : to its essence belongs in principle the 
possibility of a 'Wefleodve*^ directing of the mental glance towards 
itself naturally in the form of a new cogitatio and by way of a 
simple apprehension. In other words, every cogitatio can become 
the object of a so-called “inner perception”, and eventually the 
object of a reflexive valuation, an approval or disapproval, and 
so forth. The same holds good in correspondingly modified ways, 
not only of real acts in the sense of acts of perception (Aktim- 
pressionen), but also of acts of which we are aware “in” fancy, 


“in’’ memory, or “in” empathy, when we understand and re-live 
the acts of others. We can reflect “in” memory, empathy, and 
so forth, and in these various possible modifications make the 
acts we are “therein” aware of into objects of our apprehending 
and of the attitude-expressing acts which are grounded in the 

We connect with the foregoing the distinction between tran- 
scendent and immanent perceptions and acts generally. We avoid 
talking about inner and outer perception as there are serious 
objections to this way of speaking. We give the following 
explanations : — 

Under acts immanently directed, or, to put it more generally, 
under intentional experiences immanently related, we include those 
acts which are essentially so constituted that their intentional 
objects, when these exist at all, belong to the same stream of experience 
as themselves. We have an instance of this wherever an act is 
related to an act (a cogitatio to a cogitatio) of the same Ego, or 
likewise an act to a given sensible affect of the same Ego, and 
so forth. Consciousness and its object build up an individual 
unity purely set up through experiences. * 

Intentional experiences for which this does not hold good are 
transcendently directed, as, for instance, all acts directed towards 
essences, or towards the intentional experiences of other Egos 
with other experience-streams; likewise all acts directed upon 
things, upon realities generally, as we have still to show. 

In the case of an immanently directed, or, more briefly, immanent 
(the so-called “inner”) perception, perception and perceived essm^ 
tially constitute an unmediated unity, that of a single concrete 
cogitatio. The perceiving here so conceals its object in itself that 
it can be separated from it only through abstraction, and as 
something essentially incapable of subsisting alone. If the perceived 
is an intentional experience, as when we reflect upon some still 
lively conviction (expressed, it may be, in the form: I am con- 
vinced that — ) we have a nexus of two intentional experiences, of 
which at least the superimposed one is dependent, and, moreover, 
not merely grounded in the deeper-lying, but at the same time 
intentionally directed towards it. 


This type of real {reellen) ''self-containedness"^ (in strictness a 
similitude only) is a distinctive characteristic of immanent perception 
and of the mental attitudes founded upon it; it is lacking in most 
of the other cases of immanent relationship between intentional 
experiences, as, for instance, in the remembering of remembering. 
The remembered remembering of yesterday does not belong to 
the present remembering as a real constituent of its concrete 
unity. The present remembering could still retain its own full 
essential nature, even though yesterday’s in truth never took 
place, whilst the latter, on the other hand, assuming that it really 
happened, belongs necessarily with it to one and the same 
unbroken stream of experience, which through manifold concrete 
experiences mediates continuously between the two. In this 
respect transcendent perceptions and the other transcendently 
related intentional experiences are clearly ordered very differently. 
The perception of a thing not only does not contain in itself, 
in its real {reellen) constitution, the thing itself, it is also without 
any essential unity with it, its existence naturally presupposed. 
A unity determined purely by the proper essence of the experiences 
themselves can be only the unity of the stream of experience, or, 
which is the same thing, it is only with experiences that an 
experience can be bound into one whole of which the essence 
in its totality envelops these experiences’ own essences and is 
grounded within them. This proposition will become still clearer 
in the sequel and its great significance will become apparent. 

§ 39. Consciousness and Natural Reality. The View of 
THE “Man in the Street” 

All the essential characteristics of experience and consciousness 
which we have reached are for us necessary steps towards the 
attainment of the end which is unceasingly drawing us on, the 
discovery, namely, of the essence of that ''pure'' consciousness 
which is to fix the limits of the phenomenological field. Our 
inquiries were eidetic ; but the individual instances of the essences 
we have referred 10 as experience, stream of experience, “con- 
sciousness” in all its senses, belonged as real events to the natural 


world. To that extent we have not abandoned the ground of 
the natural standpoint. Individual consciousness is interwoven 
with the natural world in a twofoIT way: it « some OTj^Fcb? - 
srmu^i^r^that ofTom'e'OT&B Or i B a large number 

aj least of its particularizations it is a consciousness of this world. 
I fTr aspect now oflJas iHtiftar te allmdm em with the real world, what 
is meant by saying that consciousness has an essence “of its own”, 
that with other consciousness it constitutes a self-contained 
connexion determined purely through this, its own essence, the 
connexion, namely, of the stream of consciousness? Moreover, 
since we can interpret consciousness in the widest sense to cover 
eventually whatever the concept of experience includes, the 
question concerns the experience-stream’s own essential nature 
and that of all its components. To what extent, in the first place, 
must the material world be fundamentally different in kind, 
excluded from the experience's cnm essential nature ? And if it is 
this, if over against all consciousness and the essential being 
proper to it, it is that which is “foreign” and “other”, how can 
consciousness be interwoven with it, and consequently with the 
whole world that is alien to consciousness? For it is easy to 
convince oneself that the material world is not just any portion 
of the natural world, but its fundamental stratum to which all 
other real being is essentially related. It still fails to include the 
souls of men and animals ; and the new factor which these intro- 
duce is first and foremost their “experiencing” together with their 
conscious relationship to the world surrounding them. But here 
consciousness and thinghood form a connected whole, connected 
within the particular psychological unities which we call animalia, 
and in the last resort within the real unity of the world as a whole. 
Can the unity of a whole be other than made one through the 
essential proper nature of its parts, which must therefore have 
some community of essence instead of a fundamental heterogeneity? 

To be clear, let us seek out the ultimate sources whence the 
general thesis of the world which I adopt when taking up the 
natural standpoint draws its nourishment, thereby RnahliTig me 
as a conscious being to discover over against me an existing world 
of things, to ascribe to myself in this world a body, and to find 



for myself within this world a proper place. This ultimate source 
is obviously sensory experience. For our purpose, however, it is 
sufficient to consider sensory perception, which in a certain proper 
sense plays among experiencing acts the part of an original 
experience, whence all other experiencing acts draw a chief part 
of their power to serve as a ground. Every perceiving conscious- 
ness has this peculiarity, that it is the consciousness of the 
embodied {leibhaftigen) self-presence of an individual object, which 
on its own side and in a pure logical sense of the term is an 
individual or some logico-categorical modification of the same.'' 
In our own instance, that of sensory perception, or, in distincter 
terms, perception of a world of things, the logical individual is 
the Thing; and it is sufficient for us to treat the perception of 
things as representing all other perceptions (of properties, pro- 
cesses, and the like). 

The natural wakeful life of our Ego is a continuous perceiving, 
actual or potential. The world ot tiung^anS our body within it 
are continuously ~ presenTto our perception. How then does and 
can" Consciousness itselj separate out as a concrete thing in itself, 
from that within it, of which we are conscious, namely, the 
perceived being, ^‘standing over against” consciousness “in and for 

I meditate first as would the man “in the street”. I see and 
grasp the thing itself in its bodily reality. It is true that I some- 
times deceive myself, and not only in respect of the perceived 
constitution of the thing, but also in respect of its being there 
at all. I am subject to an illusion or hallucination. The perception 
is not then “genuine”. But if it is, if, that is, we can “confirm” 
its presence in the actual context of experience, eventually with 
the help of correct empirical thinking, then the perceived thing 
is real and itself really given, and that bodily in perception. Here 
perceiving considered simply as consciousness, and apart from 
the body and the bodily organs, appears as something in itself 
essenceless, an empty looking of an empty “Ego” towards the 
object itself which comes into contact with it in some astonish- 
ing way. 

* Cf. supra, § IS, P- 75 et seq. 



§ 40. “Primary” and “Secondary” Qualities. The Bodily 
Given Thing “Mere Appearance” of the “Physi- 
cally True” 

If as a “man in the street” misled by sensibility I have indulged 
the inclination to spin out such thoughts as these, now, as “a 
rpaTi of science”, I call to mind the familiar distinction between 
secondary and primary qualities, according to which the specific 
qualities of sense should be “merely subjective” and only the 
geometrico-physical qualities “objective’^. The colour and sound 
of a thing, its smell, its taste, and so forth, though they appear to 
cleave to the thing “bodily” as though belonging to its essence, 
are not themselves and as they appear to be, real, but mere 
“signs” of certain primary qualities. But if I recall familiar 
theories of Physics, I see at once that the meaning of such much- 
beloved propositions can hardly be the one which the words 
warrant: as though really only the “specific” sensory qualities 
of the perceived thing were mere appearance ; which would come 
to saying that the “primary” qualities which remain after the 
subtraction of these same sensory qualities belonged to the same 
thing as it objectively and truly is, together with other such 
qualities which did not show forth as appearance. So understood, 
the old Berkeleian objection would hold good, namely, that 
extension, this essential nucleus of corporeality and all primary 
qualities, is unthinkable apart from the secondary qualities. Rather 
the whole essential content of the perceived things all that is present 
in the body, with all its qualities and all that can ever be perceived , 
is “mere appearance”, and the “true thing” is that of physical 
science. When the latter defines the given thing exclusively 
through concepts such as atoms, ions, energies, and so forth, and 
in every case as space-filling processes whose sole characteristka 
are mathematical expressions, its reference is to something that 
transcends the whole content of the thing as present to us in bodily 
form. It cannot therefore mean even the thing as lying in natural 
sensible space; in other words, its physical space cannot be the 
space of the world of bodily perception: otherwise it would also 
fall under the Berkeleian objection. 



The ''true Being'^ would therefore be entirely and fundamentally 
something that is defined otherwise than as that which is given in 
perception as corporeal reality^ which is given exclusively through 
its sensory determinations, among which must also be reckoned 
the sensori-spatial. The thing as strictly experienced gives the mere 
"this^\ an empty X which becomes the bearer of mathematical 
determinations^ and of the corresponding mathematical formulae^ and 
exists not in perceptual space, but in zn" objective space^\ of which 
the former is the mere “symboL’, a Euclidean manifold of three 
dimensions that can be only symbolically represented. 

Let us then accept this. Let that which is given bodily in any 
perception be, as is taught there, ‘‘mere appearance”, in principle 
“merely subjective”, and yet no empty illusion. Yet that which 
is given in perception serves in the rigorous method of natural 
science for the valid determination, open to anyone to carry out 
and to verify through his own insight of that transcendent being 
whose “symbol” it is. The sensory content of that which is given 
in perception itself continues indeed to be reckoned as other than 
the true thing as it is in itself, but the substratum, the bearer (the 
empty X) of the perceived determinations still continues to count 
as that which is determined through exact method in the form 
of physical predicates. All physical knowledge serves accordingly, 
and in the reverse sense, as an indicator of the course of possible 
experiences with the sensory things found in them and the occur- 
rences in which they figure. Thus it helps us to find our way about 
in the world of actual experience in which we all live and act. 

§ 41. The Real Nature of Perception and its Transcendent 


All this being presupposed, what is it, w e ask, t hat belongs t o 
the concrete real nature {reellen Bestande) of the perception itself, 
as cogitation Not the physical diing. as is obvious; radically 
transjcendSnET^s it is, transcende nt over against the whole “world 
ol ^pe^anc e”. But e venthehittf^^^ refe r to it habitually 

as “merely subjecS^ ”, does not b elong in al l its detail of thing s 
and 'evBTfs loTfETre^^^ of perception, but is opposed to 



it as “transcen dent”. Let us consider this more closely. We have 
indeed already i^en of the transcendence of the thing, but 
only in passing. It concerns us now to win a deeper insight into 
the relation of the transcendent to the Consciousness that knows it, 
and to see how this mutual connexion, which has its own riddles, 
is to be understood. 

We shut off the whole of physics and the whole domain of 
theoretical thought. We remam within the trameworJr of plain 
intuIHonTahH'Siesyntheses that belong to it, including perception. 
It is~tE5revident that i ntuition and the intuited'," perceptio n and 
the" thing perceived, though essentially related to each other, are 
i rT^IncTpIe and of nece ssity not really (reell) and essmtiaUY one 
and united. _ " *■ 

'“We "start by taking an example. Ke eping this table steadil y 
i n view as I go round it, changing my position in spa ce all the 
time. I have continually the consciousne ss of the bodily presence 
out there of thi s one and self-sam e tabl e, whicElnlteelf rema ins 
i mchanged thr oughout. But the perception of the table is one 
th at changes continuously, it is a continuum ot changing per- 
ceptions. I close my eyes. My other senses are inactive in relation 
to the table: I have now no perception of it. I open my eyes, 
and the perception returns. The perception? Let us be more 
accurate. Under no circumstances does it return to me individu- 
ally the same. O nly the table is the same, known as id entical 
through the synthetic consciousness which connects the new 
perception with the recollection, ‘i'he percei ved thing can b e, 
without being perceived, without my being aware of it even a s 
potential only (in the way of inactuality, as previously^ described), 
and perhaps without itself ch anging at all. Tint the perception 
itself is what it is within the steady flow of consciousness, and 
is itself constantly in flux; tile pei'cepinal' iiow is~gver pass ing 
oyer into the adjace nt consciousness of the just-past, a new now 
simultan eously gleams forth, and so on. The perceived^Bnglh 
genial, and all its parts, aspects, and phases, whether tnd quality ■ 
be pri mary or secon dary, are necessarily transcendent t o the 
perception, and on the same grounds everywhere. The^lour 

‘ Cf. supra, § 3S, esp. p. 118. 


of the thing seen is not in principle a real phase of the con- 
sciousness of colour ; it appears, but even while it is appearing 
the appearance can and must be continually changing, as experience 
shows. The same colour appears “in” continuously varying pat- 
terns oi perspective colour-variations. Similarly for every sensory 
quality and likewise for every spatial shape ! One and the same 
shape (given as bodily the same) appears continuously ever again 
“in another way”, in ever-differing perspective variations of 
shape. That is a necessary state of things, and it has obviously 
a more general bearing. For it is only in the interests of simplicity 
that we have illustrated our point by reference to a thing that 
appears unchanged in perception. The transfer to changes of 
any other sort is a perfectly simple proceeding. 

An empirical consciousness of a self-same thing that looks ^^all- 
rou nd^^ its object^ an d m sodoing is continually confirming the unity 
of its o wn nature, essentially and necessar ily possesses a mmifold 
s^em of continuous p atte rns of appea rances and perspective varid^ 
tionSs in and through which all obj ective phases 
given which appear in perce ption manif esflhemsehes penpectively 

definite continua . Every determinate feat^eTfaslfT'am system 
of perspective variations; and for each of these features, as for 
the thing as a whole, the following holds good, namely, that it 
remains one and the same for the consciousness that in grasping 
it unites recollection and fresh perception synthetically together, 
despite interruption in the continuity of the course of actual 

We now see also what it is that reall y and indubitably belongs 
to the real n ature of the concrete intentional experience^wEich 
we^refer tp her e a^£^(^ptions^ things. Whilst the thing is 
the intentional unity, that which w e are cons cious ot a:s one and 
self-TdeiiticaT within the continuously ordered flow of perceptual 
patterns as they" off the one into the other, these patte rns 
th^selveshave always their definite descriptive nature {Bestand)y 
wEich is essentially correlated with that unity. ^lo every^ phase 
oFjperceptidn there necessarily belongs, for instance, a definite 
content in the way of perspective variations of colour, shape, 
and so forth. They are counted among the ^^sensory data!\ data 



of a particular region with determinate divisions, which within 
every such division gather together into concrete unities of 
experience sm generis {sensory ‘^fields’’)-, which, further, in ways 
we cannot here describe more closely, are ensouled within the 
concrete unity of perception through “apprehensions”, and, in this 
ensouling, exercise the “exhibitive {darstellende) function”, or in 
unison with it constitute that which we call the “appearing of” 
colour, shape, and so forth. This, after interweaving itself with 
still further features, constitutes the real nature (Bestand) of 
perception, which is the consciousness of one identical thing 
derived through the confluence into one unity of apprehension, a 
confluence grounded in the essential Being of the apprehensions 
unified, and again through the possibility, grounded in the very 
essence of different unities of this kind, of syntheses of identification. 
We must keep this point clearly before our eyes, that the 
sensory data which exercise the function of presenting colour, 
smoothness, shape, and so forth perspectivally (the function of 
“exhibiting”), differ wholly and in principle from colour, smooth- 
ness, shape simpliciter, in short, from all the generic aspect which 
a thing can show. The perspective variation {the “ Abschattung”), 
though verbally similar to the perspected variable {the “Abge- 
schattetes”), differs from it generkally and in principle. The per- 
spective variation is an experience. But experience is possible 
only as experience, and not as something spatial. The per- 
spected variable, however, is in principle possible only as 
spatial (it is indeed spatial in its essence), but not possible 
as experience. In particular it is also nonsense to take the per- 
spective shape-variation (that of a triangle, for instance) for 
something spatial and capable of being in space, and whoever 
does this is confusing it with the perspected variable, the shape 
that manifests itself through the appearances. How further we 
are to separate with systematic thoroughness the different real 
{reeUeri) phases of the perception as cogitatio (as contrasted with 
the phases of the cogitatum which transcends it), and to charac- 
terize them in accordance with their natural divisions, very 
difficult to trace, in part, that is a theme for inquiries on a large 


§ 43. Being as Consciousness and Being as Reality. Intrinsic 
Difference between the Modes of Tuition 
The studies we have just completed left us with the transcendence 
of the thing over against the perception of it, and as a further 
consequence, over against every consciousness generally which 
refers to the thing; not merely in the sense that the thing as a 
real (reelles) constituent part of consciousness is as a matter of 
fact not to be found — ^the whole situation rather concerns eidetic 
insight: in absolutely unconditioned generality or necessity, a thing 
cannot be given as really immanent in any possible perception 
or, generally, in any possible consciousness. Thus a basic and 
essential difference arises between Being as Experience and Being 
as Thing, In principle it is a property of the regional essence 
experience (more specifically of the regional subdivision cogitatio)^ 
that it is perceivable through immanent perception, but it is of 
the essence of a spatial thing that this is not possible. When, as 
a deeper analysis teaches, it belongs to the essence of every thing- 
giving intuition that in unity with the given thing other data 
analogous to things can be apprehended through looking in the 
appropriate direction, detachable strata, and stages in the make- 
up of what appears as a thing — ^^visual illusion£\ for instance, 
in their various specifications — ^precisely the same holds good for 
them too: they are in principle transcendent entities. 

Before pursuing somewhat farther this opposition between 
immanence and transcendence, we insert the following remark: 
Apart from perception, we find a variety of intentional experiences 
which essentially exclude the real immanence of their intentional 
objects, whatever for the rest the nature of these objects may be. 
This holds, for instance, of every representative activity: of every 
recollection, of the apprehension through empathy of the con- 
sciousness of others, and so forth. Naturally we should not 
confuse this transcendence with that which is here concerning 
us. The inability to be perceived immanently, and therefore, 
generally, to find a place in the system of experience belongs in 
essence and ‘‘in principle’’ ^ altogether to the thing as such, to 

* We use the term principle” (prinzipiell) here, as in this work generally, 
in a rigorous sense, with reference to the highest and therefore most radical 
generalities or necessities of an essential character* 



every reality in that genuine sense which we have still to fix and 
make clear. Thus the Thing itself, simpliciter, we call transcen- 
dent. In so doing we give voice to the most fundamental and 
pivotal difference between ways of being, that between Con- 
sciousness and Reality, 

This opposition between immanence and transcendence, as 
our exposition has further brought out, is accompanied by a 
fundamental difference in the mode of being given. Immanent and 
transcendent perception do not only differ generally in this, that „ 
the intentional object which has its lodgment in the character 
of the bodily self is in the one case really immanent in the 
perceiving, but not so in the other case ; they differ much more 
through a mode of being given which embodies the difference 
in its essential form, and conveys it mutatis mutandis into all the 
representational modifications of perception, and into the corre- 
lated intuitions of memory and fancy. We perceive the Thing 
through the ‘^perspective’^ manifestations of all its determinate 
qualities which in any given case are “real”, and strictly “fall” 
within the perception. An experience has no perspectives {Bin 
Erlebnis schattet sick nicht ah). It is not an accidental caprice of 
the Thing nor an accident of “our human constitution” that 
“our” perception can reach the things themselves only and merely 
through their perspective modifications. On the contrary, it is 
evident, and it follows from the essential nature of spatial thing- 
hood (and in the widest sense inclusive of “visual illusions”) 
that Being of this species can, in principle, be given in perceptions 
only by way of perspective manifestation f and it follows likewise 
from the essential nature of cogitationeSy of experiences in 
general, that they exclude these perspective shadings; or, other- 
wise stated, when referring to that which has being in this region, 
anything of the nature of “appearing”, or self-revealing through 
perspective variations, has simply no meaning. Where there is ' 
no Being in space, it is senseless to speak of seeing from different 
standpoints with a changing orientation, and under the different 
aspects thereby opened up, or through varying appearances and 
perspective shadings; on the other hand, it is an essential neces- 
sity to be apprehended as such with apodeictic insight that spatial 


Being in general can be perceived by any Ego actual or possible only 
when presented in the way described. It can ‘‘appear’’ only with 
a certain “orientation”, which necessarily carries with it sketched 
out in advance the system of arrangements which makes fresh 
orientations possible, each of which again corresponds to a certain 
“way of appearing”, which we perhaps express as a being 
presented from this or that “aspect”, and so forth. If we take 
the reference to ways of appearing to apply to ways of experiencing 
(it can also, as is clear from the description we have just given, 
bear a correlative ontic meaning), it comes to saying this, that 
it belongs to the essential nature of certain peculiarly constructed^ 
types of experience^ or, more specifically, peculiarly constructed 
concrete perceptions, that the intentional element in them is 
known as a spatial thing ; and that;^the ideal possibility of passing 
over into determinate, ordered, continuous perceptual patterns, 
whicli can always be continued, and are therefore never exhausted, 
belongs to their very essence. It lies then in the essential structure 
of these pattern-groups that they establish the unity of a singly 
intentional consciousness : the consciousness of a single perceptual 
thing appearing with ever-increasing completeness, from end- 
lessly new points of view, and with ever-richer determinations. 
On the other hand, a spatial thing is no other than an intentional 
unity, which, in principle, can be given only as the unity of such 
ways of appearing. 

§ 43. Light on a Fundamental Error 

It is thus a fundamental error to suppose that perception (and 
every other type of the intuition of things, each after its own 
manner) fails to come into contact with the thing itself. We are 
told that the thing in itself and in its itselfness is not given to 
us ; that what every existent (Seienden) in principle possesses is 
the possibility of seeing things as they plainly are, and, more 
specifically, of perceiving them in an adequate perception which 
gives us the bodily self without any mediation through appear^ 
ances^\ God, the Subject of absolutely perfect knowledge, and 
therefore also of every possible adequate perception, naturally 


possesses what to us finite beings is denied, the perception of 

things in themselves. 

But this view is nonsensical. It implies that there is no essential 
difference between transcendent and immanent, that in the pos- 
tulated divine intuition a spatial thing is a real (reelles) constituent, 
and indeed an experience itself, a constituent of the stream of 
the divine consciousness and the divine experience. The thought 
that the transcendence of the thing is that of an image or sign 
has proved misleading here. The image-theory is often zealously 
attacked and a sign-theory substituted for it. But the one and 
the other alike are not only incorrect but nonsensical. The spatial 
thing which we see is, despite all its transcendence, perceived, 
we are consciously aware of it as given in its embodied form. We 
are not given an image or a sign in its place. We must not sub- 
stitute the consciousness of a sign or an image for a perception. 

Between perception on the one hand and, on the other, the 
presentation of a symbol in the form of an image or meaning there 
is an unbridgeable and essential difference. With these types of 
presentation we intuit something, in the consciousness that it 
copies something else or indicates its meaning; and though we 
already have the one in the field of intuition, we are not directed 
towards it, but through the medium of a secondary apprehension 
are directed towards the other, that which is copied or indicated. 
There is nothing of all this in perception, as little as in plain 
recollection or fancy. 

Through acts of immediate intuition we intuit a ‘^self’’. No 
apprehensions at a higher level are built up on the basis of these 
apprehending acts of intuition ; nothing is therefore known for 
which the intuited might serve as a “sign’’ or “image”. And for 
this reason, therefore, it is said to be immediately intuited as 
“self”. The same, in perception, is still uniquely characterized as 
“bodily” as contrasted with the modified character of “hovering 
before the mind”, or being “presented to it” in memory or free 
fancy We collapse into nonsense when, as is ordinarily done, 

* In my lectures delivered at Gottingen (and indeed since the summer term 
of 1904) I have substituted an improved version of the inadequate exposition 
which I gave in the LogicaL Studies (an exposition still influenced overmuch 
by the views of the dominant Psychology) dealing with the relations between 



we completely mix up these modes of presentation with their 
essentially different constructions, and correlatively the data cor- 
respondingly presented: thus plain presentation with symbolic 
interpretation (whether on the basis of image or sign) and down- 
right plain perception with both of these. The perception of 
things does not present something that is not present as though 
it were a recollection or a fancy; it presents and apprehends a 
Self in its bodily presence. It does this in accordance with the 
apprehended object’s meaning, and to suppose that it acts 
otherwise is just to run counter to its own proper sense. Moreover, 
if it is a question, as it is here, of the perception of things, its 
essential nature is to be a perception that works through per- 
spectives; and correlatively it belongs to the meaning of its 
intentional object of the thing as given within it, to be perceivable, 
in principle, only through perceptions of such a kind, perceptions 
that imply perspectives. 

§ 44. The Merely Phenomenal Being of the Transcendent, 
THE Absolute Being of the Immanent 

A certain inadequacy hdon%s,, to the perception of things, 
and that too is an essential necessity. In principle a thing can 
be given only “in one of its aspects”, and that not only means 
incompletely, in some sense or other imperfectly, but precisely 
that which presentation through perspectives prescribes. A thing 
is necessarily given in mere modes of appeanng*\ and the necessary 
factors in this case are a nucleus of what is ^^really presented^\ 
"^n outlying zone of apprehension consisting of marginal ^‘co-data^^ 
of an accessory kind {uneigentlicher), and a more or less vague 
indeterminacy. And the meaning of this indeterminacy is once 
again foreshadowed by the general meaning of the thing per- 
ceived as such, or by the general and essential nature of this 
type of perception which we call thing-perception. The indeter- 

these simple intuitions and those that are grounded in them, and have made 
detailed communications covering the researches that are leading me forward, 
and in the interval, moreover, have been influencing literary thought both in 
point of terminology and of literary substance. In the coming volumes of the 
yahrbuch I hope to publish these and other studies which have for long been 
utilized in lectures. 



minacy necessarily means the determinability of a rigoromly pre~ 
scribed mode {Stils), It points forward to possible patterns of per- 
ception, which, continually passing off into one another, coalesce 
in the unity of a single perception in which the continuously 
enduring thing in ever new series of perspectives reveals ever 
again new ‘^aspects’’ (or retraces the old). Meanwhile the sub- 
sidiary co-apprehended phases of the thing come gradually into 
the focus of real presentation as real data, the indeterminacies 
define themselves more clearly to turn at length into clear data 
themselves; contrariwise, what is clear passes back into the 
unclear, the presented into the non-presented, and so forth. To 
remain for ever incomplete after this fashion is an ineradicable 
essential of the correlation Thing and Thing-perception. If the 
meaning of Thing gets determined through what is given in 
Thing-perception (and what else could determine the meaning?), 
it must require such incompleteness, and we are referred of 
necessity to unified and continuous series of possible perceptions 
which, developed from any one of these, stretch out in an infinite 
number of directions in systematic strictly ordered ways^ in each 
direction endlessly, and always dominated throughout by some 
unity of meaning. In principle a margin of determinable indeter- 
minacy always remains over, however far we go along our 
empirical way, and however extended the continua of actual 
perceptions of the same thing which we may have treasured. No 
God can alter this in any way, any more than He can the equation 
I 4. 2 = 3, or the stability of any other essential truth. 

On broad lines we can always see that transcendent Being in 
general, whatever its genus may be, when understood as Being 
for an Ego, can become a datum only in a way analogous to that 
in which a thing is given, thus only through appearances. Other- 
wise it would really be a Being which could also become imma- 
nent; whereas what is immanently perceivable is this and nothing 
more. Only when we fall into the confusions we have indicated 
above, and have now cleared up, can we hold it possible that one 
and the same could at one time be given through appearance, in 
the form of transcendent perception, and at another through 
immanent perception. 


Still, let us first develop from the other side also the specific 
contrast between Thing and Experience (-BrZeJww). Experience y we 
said, does not present itself. This implies that the perception of 
experience is plain insight into something which in perception 
is given (or to be given) as ^‘absolute*\ and not as an identity 
uniting modes of appearance through perspective continua. All 
that we have stated concerning the givenness of things here loses 
its meaning, and we must bring this home to ourselves in detail 
with full clearness. The experience of a feeling has no perspectives. 
If I look upon it, I have before me an absolute ; it has no aspects 
which might present themselves now in this way, and now in 
that. In thought I can think truly or falsely about it, but that 
which is there at the focus of mental vision is there absolutely 
with its qualities, its intensity, and so forth. Contrariwise, the 
tone of a violin with its objective identity is given through per- 
spectives, it has its changing forms of appearance. They differ 
according as I approach the violin or recede from it, according 
as I am in the concert hall itself or listen through its closed doors, 
and so forth. No way of appearing claims to rank as giving its 
data absolutely, although a certain type, appearing as normal 
within the compass of my practical interests, has a certain advan- 
tage; in the concert hall, at the “right” spot, I hear the tone 
“itself” as it “really” sounds. So likewise we say of everything 
in its visual relations that it has a normal appearance; we say 
of the colour, the form, and the thing as a whole which we see 
in ordinary daylight, and normally oriented in regard to us, so 
the thing really looks, that is its real colour, and the like. But 
that points only to a kind of secondary objectification within the 
compass of the total objectification of the thing, as we can easily 
convince ourselves. It is indeed clear that, if we were to hold 
fast to the “normal” form of appearance as the one and only 
form, and cut away all other varieties of appearance and the 
essential connexions with them, no vestige of the meaning of 
the givenness of the thing would be left over. 

We therefore maintain : whereas it is an essential mark of what 
is given through appearances that no one of these gives the matter 
in question in an “absolute” form instead of presenting just one 



side of it, it is an essential mark of what is immanently given 
precisely to give an absolute that simply cannot exhibit aspects 
and vary them perspectively. It is also indeed self-evident that 
the perspectively varying sensory contents themselves, which, as 
real {reell), belong to our experience of the perception of the 
thing, function, no doubt, for something other as perspective 
variations, but are not themselves manifested in turn through 
perspective variation. 

We must note the following distinction also : Even an experience 
(Erlebnis) is not, and never is, perceived in its completeness, it 
cannot be grasped adequately in its full unity. It is essentially 
something that flows, and starting from the present moment we 
can swim after it, our gaze reflectively turned towards it, whilst 
the stretches we leave in our wake are lost to our perception. 
Only in the form of retention or in the form of retrospective 
remembrance have we any consciousness of what has imme- 
diately flowed past us. And in the last resort the whole stream 
of my experience is a xmity of experience, of which it is in 
principle impossible “swimming with it” to obtain a complete 
perceptual grasp. But this incompleteness or “imperfection” which 
belongs to the essence of our perception of experience is funda- 
mentally other than that which is of the essence of “transcen- 
dent” perception, perception through a presentation that varies 
perspectively through such a thing as appearance. 

All the ways of being given, and the diiferences between these 
which we find in the sphere of perception, reappear, in modified 
form, in the modifications connected with reproduction. The pre- 
sentings of things are set out through presentations whereby the 
perspective variations themselves, the apprehensions, and thus 
the phenomena in their entirety and through and through, are 
modified in reproduction. We have also reproductions of ex- 
periences and acts of reproductive intuition in the manner of 
presentation and of reflexion in presentation. Here naturally 
there is no hint of reproduced perspective variations. 

We now add the following case of contrast : It is of the essence 
of presentations to show gradual differences of relative clearness 
or dimness. Obviously also this difference in degree of perfec- 



tion has nothing to do with that which relates to the conditions 
under which perspectively varying appearances are given to us. A 
presentation that is more or less clear does not in its graded 
changes of clearness pass through changes of perspective in the 
same sense as that which has shaped our own terminology, when 
we say that a spatial configuration, every quality that clothes it, 
and so the whole “appearing thing as such’^ changes perspectively 
in manifold ways, whether the presentation is clear or obscure. 
The reproduced presentation of a thing has its different possi- 
bilities of graded clearness, and this indeed for every form of 
perspective variation. As one sees, the question concerns dif- 
ferences in different dimensions. It is also obvious that the 
differences which we make in the sphere of perception itself 
under the headings clear and unclear, distinct and indistinct 
vision, show indeed a certain analogy with the differences in 
clearness just referred to, so far, that is, as we are concerned 
in either case with gradual increases and decreases in the fullness 
with which the presented material is given, but that even these 
differences belong to different dimensions. 

§ 45. Unperceived Experience, Unperceived Reality 

If we live ourselves into these positions, we shall understand also 
the following essential difference in the way in which experiences 
{Erlehnisse) and things stand to one another in respect of their 

It is a mark of the type of Being peculiar to experience that 
perceptual insight can direct its immediate, unobstructed gaze 
upon every real experience, and so enter into the life of a 
primordial presence. This insight operates as a “reflexion’’, and 
it has this remarkable peculiarity that that which is thus appre- 
hended through perception is, in principle, characterized as 
something which not only is and endures within the gaze of 
perception, but already was before this gaze was directed to it. 
“ All experiences are conscious experiences”: this t ells us speci- 
fica Uy with respect to intentional experiences thaOliev are no t 
only the consciousness of something, and as such present not 



me rely when they are objects of a reflective consciousness, bu t 
thai^hen myeflected on they are already there as a ''background '^ 
therefoi ^in principl e, and a t first in an analogical sense , 
^ available for perception, unnoticed things in our external field 
^ of vision. These can be available only in so far as they are already, 
as unnoticed, objects of consciousness in a certain sense, and that 
means, in their case, when they appear. Not all things fulfil this 
condition : the field of view of my attention which includes all 
that appears is not endless. On the other hand, unreflective 
experience must also fulfil certain conditions of preparedness, 
although in a quite different way more in conformity with its own 
nature. It cannot “appear’\ It fulfils these conditions none the 
less at all times through the mere manner of its existence, and 
indeed for that same Ego to which it belongs whose pure personal 
gaze on occasion lives ^ 4 n’’ it. It is only because reflexion and 
experience have the essential peculiarities which are here only 
hinted at that we can know anything about experiences that we 
do not reflect on, and therefore also about the reflexions them- 
selves. And it goes without saying that the modifications of 
experiences in reproduction (and retention) run, mutatis mutandis ^ 
on similar lines. ’ 

Let us carry the contrast farther. We see tha t it is the intrinsic 
n ature of an experience to be perceivable through Th ings 

also are perceivabUy on principle, and in perception they ar e 
apprehended as things of the world that surround me. Also th ey 
b elong to this world without being perceived, they are thus there 
for the Effo eiien ifAgw. StilL in general, not so that a glance noting 
their presence could be sent in their direction! The background 
area, taken as the field of sheer noticeability , includes indeed only 
a small portion of the world that surrounds me. The statement 
*Tt is there’’ means rather that from actual perceptions and their 
background of real appearences possible series of perceptions lead 
up under motives that are constant and continuous and girt about 
(as unnoticed backgrounds) with ever-changing fields of things; 
and so further till we reach those systems of perceptions in which 
the Thing in question appears and is apprehended. In principle 
we make no essential alteration here when in the place of a single 



Ego we consider a plurality of Egos. Only through the relation 
of a possible reciprocity of understanding can I identify the world 
of my experience with that of others, and at the same time enrich 
it through the overflowings of their experience. A transcendence 
which dispensed with the aforesaid systematically motived con- 
nexion with my existing sphere of actual perception would be 
a completely groundless assumption; a transcendence which dis- 
pensed with the same, on principle, would be nonsense- The 
presence of what is actually not perceived in the world of things 
is then of this type, and is essentially different from that mode 
of Being of which we are intrinsically sensible, the Being of our 
own inward experiences. 

§ 46, Indubitability of Immanent, Dubitability of 
Transcendent Perception 

From all this important consequences follow. Every immanent 
perception necessarily guarantees the existence (^xisten z) oi its 
o bject. I f r eflective apprenension is directedTo my experience, _ 
I .apprehend an absolute belt whose existence {pasein) is, in 
prind^e, undeniable, that is7 ^e insight that it does not exisi T 
i^n principle, impossible ; it would be non sense to maintain th e 
p^sibility of an experience given in such a way not truly existing . 
TTie^^t r e ain of " e xpeiieiice which ' is Tnihe, that, namely, of the 
one who is thinking, may be to ever so great an extent uncom- 
prehended, unknown in its past and future reaches, yet as soon 
as I glance towards the flowing life and into the real present 
it flows through, and in so doing grasp myself as the pure 
subject of this life (what that means will expressly concern us 
at a later stage), I say forthwith and because I must: I am, this 
life is, I live: co^to. 

T o^every stream of experience, and to every Ego as such, there 
b el^STin principle, the possibility of securing this self-evidence : 
each ofus bears in himselt the w arrant of his absolute existe nce 
{Daseins) as a fundamental possibility. B ut is it not ^nceivable, 
one might ask, that an Ego might have only fancies in its stream 
of experience, that the latter might consist of nothing beyond 



jBctive intuitions ? Such an Ego would thus discover only Active 
cogitationes ; its reflexions, by the very nature of this experiential 
medium, would be exclusively reflexions within the imagination. 
But that is obvious nonsense. That which floats before the mind 
may be a mere fiction; the floating itself, the fiction-producing 
consciousness, is not itself imagined, and the possibility of a 
perceiving reflexion which lays hold on absolute existence belongs 
to its essence as it does to every experience. No nonsense lies 
in the possibility that all alien consciousness which I posit in 
the experience of empathy does not exist. But my empathy and 
my consciousness in general is given in a primordial and 
absolute sense, not only essentially but existentially. This 
p rivileged position holds o nly for oneself and for the s tream 
of experience to which the self is related; here only is tliere, 
a nd must there be, anything ot the nature ofTmmanient per- ' 

ception. ■ — — 

In contrast to this, it is, as we know, a n essential feature of th e 
tSmg-worfd that ho {)erception, however perfect it may be, gives 
us anything absolute within its domain ; and wit h th is ~tHe”fol- 
lo"v^g is essentially COlinfected, namely, that every experience 
jErfa hrmg), however far it extends, leaves open" the possibini^"' 
that what is given, desp ite the pers istent "consciousness of Its 
bodily selt-presence,"'does not exist. It is e^gf^ritTallyjEafld law 
fhat existence in the form of a thing is never demanded as necessary 
|y virtue of its Evennes s, but in a certain way is alvia.-^^~mnttngem. 
^a!t meam : TtT c an alw^ s happen that the further course o f 
experience will compel us to abandon what has already been set 
down and justified in the light of emUr ical canons of rightness. 
It was, so we afterwards say, mere illusion, hallucination, merely 
^coherent dream, and the like. Moreover, in this sph ere of giv en 
■data ^he op en possibility remains of changes m apprehension. , 
t h^ turn ing ot an appearance over in to ^ne which cannot unite 
it harm oniously, and the rewith an influence of laterempfiic al 
p ositions on earli er o nes whereby the intentional objects of the se 
earlier positings suffer, so to speak, a p osthumous reco nstruction 
—eventualities which i n the spher e of subject-ex perience {Erlebnis) 
are essentially excluded. In the absolute sphere, opposition. 



illus^n, and being-otherwise have no place. It is a sphere of the 
absolutely estaF IisEed Position), 

In every way, tEenTlT ^ everything which is there 

for me in tl^jworld of things is on grounds of principle only a 
p resumptive reality \ that I myself ^ on the contrary, for whorn tf 
is there (excludi ng that which is imputed to the thing-world 
‘^by me’’), I myself or my experience in its actuality am absolute 
Reality (Wirklichk eit), a positing that is uncon - 

d itioned and simply indi^iuble. 

The thesis of my pure Ego and its personal life^ which is necessary^'* 
a nSplainly mdubttable, thtis sta nds oppose^toThe thesis of the world 
which is ^^contingenf\ Al l corporeally given thing4ike entities can 
dBo not he, no corporeally given experiencing can also not he : that 
is the essential law, which defines this necessity and that con- 

Obviously then the ontic necessity of the actual present 
experiencing is no pure essential necessity, that is, no pure 
eidetic specification of an essential law; it is the necessity of a 
fact {Faktum), and called ‘necessity’ because an essential law 
is involved in the fact, and here indeed in its existence as such. 
The ideal possib ility of a reflexion which has the essential character 
of ^self-evident u iishakeable emleiihal thesis has i ts ground in 
th e essential nature of a pure Ego %n general and of an exp eriencing 
in gener al^ 

The reflexions in which we have been indulging also make 
it clear that no proofs drawn from the empirical consideration 
of the world can be conceived which could assure us with absolute 
certainty of the world’s existence. Jhe world is not doubtful in 
t he sense that ther e are rational grounds which might be pitted 
a igainst the ^emendousTorce of UMnimous experiences, but in 
t he sense that a doubt is thinkable , and this is so because the 
p ossibility of non-Eeing is in priiiciple neverexcluded. Ever y 
e mpirical power, be it ever so great, can be gradually outweighed 
an ^overcome. Nothing is thereby altered in the absolute Being 

* It concerns a qidte outstanding case of the empirical necessities which are 
considered in § 6 at the conclusion of the second paragraph of this treatise. 
Cf. on this point also the Third Study of the Second Book in the new edition of 
the Logical Studies. 



of experiences, indeed these remain presupposed in all this all 
the time. 

With this conclusion our study has reached its climax. We 
have won the knowledge we needed. In the essential connexion s 
it has re vealed to us already involveJthe most important of the 
premises on w hich depend those inferences we would draw 
cohcerhiiigT he detachability in princip le of the whole natural 
world from the do main of consciousn ess, the sphere in which 
^per ienc es have their being: in ferences in which, as we Can 
r^dily convince ourselves, a central, though not fully developed, 
thought of the quite otherwise oriented meditations of Descartes 
comes at last to its own. To reach our final goal we shall need 
indeed to add in the sequel a few supplementary discussions, 
which for the rest will not trouble us too much. Meanwhile let 
us draw our conclusions provisionally within a compass of limited 



§ 47. The Natural World as Correlate of Consciousness 

In connexion with the results of the last chapter we add the 
following consideration: In point of fact the course of our human 
experiences (Erfahrungen) is such that it compels our reason to 
pass beyond intuitively given things (those of the Cartesian 
imaginatio) and place at their basis a “physical truth”. But it 
might also have been differently ordered. Not only might human 
development have never overstepped the pre-scientific stage and 
been doomed never to overstep it so that the physical world 
might indeed retain its truth whilst we should know nothing 
about it; the physical world might have been other than it is 
with systems of law other than those actually prevailing. It is 
also conceivable that our intuitable world should be the last, 
and “beyond” it no physical world at all, i.e., that the things as 
perceived should lack mathematical and physical determinacy, 
that the data of experience should exclude every type of physics 
similar to ours. The connexions within experience would then 
be correspondingly other than they actually are, and of a different 
type, inasmuch as the empirical motives which are basic for the 
formation of physical concepts and judgments would then have 
lapsed. Yet on the whole, within the compass of the dator 
intuitiom included under the title “simple experience” (percep- 
tion, remembrance, and so forth), “things” might still present 
themselves as similar to the things we know, maintaining them- 
selves continuously in appearance-patterns as intentional unities. 

But we can go farther in this direction; when we mentally 
destroy th e objectivity of thi ngs — ^as correlate of empirical con- 
s^ciwsness — ^th ere is nothing to limit us.^ W e must always bea r 
in mind that %ohat things are (the things about which alone we 
e^ speak, and COtlcerning whose being or non-being, so being 
or not so being, we can alone contend and reach rational decisions), 
th ey are as things of experience » Experience alone prescribes their 
meaning, and indeed, when we are dealing with things that are 



founded on fact, it is actual ex o exie j ice^in jts definitely ordered 
e xpirical connexions which does the prescribing. B ut if we can 
subject t he forms under which ou r experience is inwardly lived, 
md in particular the basic experience of the perception of thingT 
to an eidetic study^ looking out for their essential necessities and 
possibilities (as we can obviously do), and on these lines also 
eidetically track down the modifications of empirical connexions 
that are essentially possible with their motivations: ^Hhe real 
worW \ as it is called, the c orr elate of our factual experiei^, t hen" 
p resents itself 2s a si>eciM .^. of vari ms possible worlds and no^ 
worlds^ wh ich ^ on their side, are no other than correlates of the 
e ssentially iyossible variations of the idea empi rical cons ciousness^ 
wi ^ its more or less orderly emp irical connexions. We must 
^ Ger^re not let oursel ves be deceiveH^By^ny about the 
t ranscendence of the tKiii^over against consciousness or^bou t 
its “Being in itself*’. The genuine concept of thing-transcendence, 
winclr i ig -t l ^ whereby all rational statements about 

transcendence are measured, cannot be extracted from any source 
other than the perception’s own essential content, or the definitely 
articulated connexions which we call evidential {cmweisenderi) 
experience. The idea of this transcendence is thus the eidetic 
correlate of the pure idea of this evidential experience. 

This holds of every conceivable kind of transcendence which 
might be treated as real or possible. object tha t has being 
in itself {an sich seiender) is n ever s uch as p be out of relation to 
^'c omciousness and its Em. T h e thing is the world about 

me, even the thing tha t is not seen and the really possible thing, 
not exp^ienced, but experienceabie or perha ps-experienceable> 
Experienceahility never betokens an empty logical possihittiy, but 
one that has its motive in the system of experience. The latter 
is itself through and through a system of ^^motivation^\^ con- 

^ It is to be noticed that this fxindatnental phenomenological concept of 
motivation, which suggested itself to me so early as in the Logical Studies I had 
isolated the pure phenomenological sphere (as a contrast indeed to the concept 
of causality which was related to the transcendent sphere of reality), is a 
germalization of that concept of motivation according to which we could say, 
for instance, of the willing of an end that it motivated the willing of the means. 
For the rest, the concept of motivation undergoes on essential grounds various 



stantly taking up new motivations and transforming such as have 
already taken shape. Motivations differ in respect of the contents 
which mark our apprehension of them or their own definition, 
being more or less richly organi2ed, more or less restricted or 
vague in content according as they concern things already ‘‘known” 
or “wholly unknown” and “still undiscovered”, or else, in regard 
to the seen thing, concern what we know or still ignore about 
it. Our exclusive concern is with the essential configurations of 
such systems which underlie pure eidetical research in all its 
possible developments. It is an essential requirement that what 
exists already realiter^ but is not yet actually experienced, can 
come to be given, and that that then means that it belongs to 
the undetermined but determinable marginal field of my actual 
experience at the time being. But this marginal field is the cor- 
relate of the components of indeterminacy which essentially 
depend on the thing-experiences themselves, and these com- 
ponents — always on essential grounds — leave open possibilities 
of a filling out which are in no sense arbitrary, but predesignated 
in accordance with their essential type^zTxd are, in brief, motivated. 
All actual experience refers beyond itself to possible experiences, 
which themselves again point to new possible experiences, and 
so in infinitum. And all this takes place according to essentially 
definite specifications and forms of order which conform neces- 
sarily to a priori types. 

Every hypothetical construction of practical life and of empirical 
science is related to this shifting but ever-present horizon through 
which the world-thesis receives its essential meaning. 

§ 48. Logical Possibility and Real Absurdity of a World 
Outside Our Own 

The hypothetical assumption of a Re al Something outside this 
world is ihdee 3 nr§ ** 16 gicaily" possible ^e, an d there is clea rly 
no formal contradiction in making it. Bu t if Sve question th e 
essent ial conditions of its validity, the kind of evidenc e 

modifications, but the ambiguities that arise therefrom are not dangerous, 
and even appear to be inevitable, as soon as the phenomenological positions 
are cleared up. 


(AusweisuTie) d ema nded by its very meaning and the nature of 
me evidential ge nerally as determin ed i n principle through th e 
^sis ot a transcendent — ^however we may generalize correctly 
its essential nature — we perceive that the transcendent must needs 
be experiencedble, a nd not merely by an Ego conjured into being 
a s an empty logical possibility but by any actual Ego, as the 
demonstrable (ausweisba re) uni ty of its systematic experience. B ut 
we can see (we are indeed not yet far enough advanced here to be 
able to give detailed grounds for the view) that what is perceiv- 
able by one Ego must in principle be conceivable by every Ego. 
And though as a matter of fact it is not true that everyone stands 
or can stand in a relation of empathy of inward understanding 
with every other one as we ourselves, for instance, are unable 
to stand with the spirits that may frequent the remotest starry 
worlds, yet in point of principle there exist essential possibilities 
for the setting up of an understanding, possibilities, therefore, that 
worlds of experience sundered in point of fact may still be 
united together through actual empirical connexions into a single 
intersubjective world, the correlate of the unitary world of minds 
(of the rmiversal extension of the human community). If we 
think this over, the logical possibility on formal grounds of 
realities outside the world, the one spatio-temporal world which 
is fixed through our actual experience is seen to be really non- 
sense. If there are worlds or real things at all, the empirical 
motivations which constitute them must he able to reach into 
my experience, and that of every single Ego, in the maimer which 
in its general features has been described above. Things no doubt 
exist and worlds of things which cannot be definitely set out 
in any human experience, but that has its purely factual grounds 
in the factual limits of this experience. 

§ 49. Absolute Consciousness as Residuum after the 
Nullifying of the World 

What we have said does not imply, on the other hand, that there 
must be a world or thing of some sort. The existenc e of a world 
is_^ t he correlate of certa in experience-psiteins marked out by 



ce rtain essential formatio ns. But it is not at all clear that actual 
experiences can run their course only when they show these 
patterns : we cannot extract such patterns purely from the essence 
of perception in general, and from the varieties of empirical 
intuitions which play their part in the perceptual function. On 
the contrary, it is quite conceivable that it is not only in single 
instances that experience through conflict dissolves into illusion, 
and that every illusion does not as it were de facto proclaim a 
deeper truth, and every conflict in its proper place be precisely 
what is demanded by more widely connected systems for main- 
taining the harmony of the whole; it is conceivable that our 
experiencing function swarms with oppositions that cannot be 
evened out either for us or in themselves, that experience shows 
itself all at once obstinately set against the suggestion that the 
things it puts together should persist harmoniously to the end, 
and that its connectedness, such as it is, lacks the fixed order- 
schemes of perspectives, apprehensions, and appearances — ^that 
a world, in short, exists no longer. It might happen, moreover, 
that, to a certain extent still, rough unitary formations might be 
constituted, fleeting concentration-centres for intuitions which 
were the mere analogues of thing-intuitions, being wholly in- 
capable of constituting self-preserving “realities’^ unities that 
endure and ^ ‘exist in themselves whether perceived or not 

Let us now bring in the results we reached at the close of 
the last chapter; let us think of the possibility of non-Being 
which belongs essentially to every Thing-like transcendence: Jt 
is th en evident that the Being of consciotisnessy of every stream 
o f experience generally, though it wo md indeed de tnevtiably 
modified ^ a nullifying of the thing-zoorldl would no t be defected 

th^eby in its own prop er m^f^^Jl'TModified, certainly ! Ij] pr the^ 

nullifyin g of the world means, correlatively, just this, that in every 
s treanTof experience (tlie ^ll streamrboth wavs endless, ot the" 
experiences of an Ego) c grtain ordered empirical c onnexions, and 
accordingly also systems of theorizing reason T which take their 
bearin gs from these, would be excluded. B ut this does not involve 
the exclusion of other experiences and experiential systems. 



T^us^no real thin gs none that consciously pres ents and n aani- 
fests itself through appearances, for the^idng 
b { consaousness itself (in the widest sense of the stream of 

Immanent Bei n^ is therefore without doubt absolute in this sense^ 
that in principle n ulla ^ re^ indiget ad existendum. 

On the other hand^ the to orUof the tra nscendent “m” is relate d 
unreservedt^d^ consciousness^ not indeed to logical conceptions^ but 
to what is actual. 

*TEat"has alrBldy been made clear in a very general way in the 
analyses already carried out (in the foregoing paragraphs). What 
i s transcendent's thro ijgl^<^^ empirical connexions. 
Given directly and with incr easing completeness through pea^ 
c eptual continua harmoniou sly develope^and through certain 
m ethodic thought-forms grou nded in experience, it reaches” ever^ 
more fully and immediately the oretic d^erminations of increasing 
tr anspa renc y and unceas ing progressTveSaess. Let us assumel'Eat 
consciousness with its expenenlt dl content and its flux is really 
so articulated in it 'S~^lfYEartEe subject of consciousness in the 
free theoreti cal play of emj^ical activity ^dlihought carry 
all such connexions to completion (wherewith we‘”sEouldTiave 
to reckon in the help given througE^^ihutual understanding with 
other Egos and streams of experience); let us further assume 
that the proper arrangements for conscious-functioning are in 
fact satisfied, and that as regards the courses of consciousness 
itself there is nothing lacking which might in any way be required 
for the appearance of a unitary world and the rational theoretical 
knowledge of the same. We ask now, presupposing all this, is it 
still concevoahle^ is it not on the contrary absurd, that the corre- 
sponding transcendental world should not he} 

We thu s see that consciousness (inward experience) and real 
Bemg arelnTio scjiHC eo*oidlna,te forms of Being, liviuM as fiicinliy 
ii^hbours, and occasionally entering Into ‘^relation’’ or some 
j SSrocat ^^CQnn^ion^ \ Only that which is essentially related 
to an other, each related element having its own proper essence, 
and on the same lines as the other, can in a true sense be said 
to form a connexion with that other or build up a whole with 


it. Both immanent or absolute Being and transcendent Being are 
indeed “being’’ {seiend) and “object”, and each has, moreover, 
its objective determining content; but it is evident that what 
then on either side goes by the name of object and objective 
determination bears the same name only when we speak in terms 
of the empty logical categories. Between the meanings of con- 
sciousness and reality yawns a veritable abyss. Here a Being which 
manifests itself perspectively , never giving itself absolutely, merely 
contingent and relative; there a necessary and absolute Being, 
fundamentally incapable of being given through appearance and 
perspective-patterns . 

It is thus clear that in spite of all talk — ^well-grounded no doubt 
in the meaning intended — of a real Being of the human Ego, and 
its conscious experiences in the world and of all that belongs 
thereto in any way in respect of “psychophysical connexions” — 
that in spite of all this, Consciousness, considered in its purity \ 
must be reckoned as a self-contained system of Being, as a system of 
Absolute Being, into which nothing can penetrate, and from 
which nothing can escape; which has no spatio-temporal 
exterior, and can be inside no spatio-temporal system; which 
cannot experience causality from an3rthing nor exert causality 
upon anything, it being presupposed that causality bears the 
normal sense of natural causality as a relation of dependence 
between realities. 

On the other side, the whole spatio-temporal world, to which 
man and the human Ego claim to belong as subordinate singular 
realities, is according to its own meaning mere intentional Beings 
a Being, therefore, which has the merely secondary, relative 
sense of a Being for a consciousness. It is a Being which con- 
sciousness in its own experiences (Erfahrungen) posits, and is, in 
principle, intuitable and determinable only as the element com- 
mon to the [harmoniously] I motivated appearance-manifolds, but 
over and beyond this, is just nothing at all. 

' [Tr. Note. — ‘Tinstimmig”. This word appears in the 1922 reprint of the 
first issue of the Jahrhuch, but neither in the first issue itself nor in the reprint 
of the Ideen published in 1928.J 



§50. The Phenomenological Viewpoint and Pure Con- 
sciousness AS THE Field of Phenomenology 

Thus the meaning which ‘‘Being’^ bears in common speech is 
precisely inverted. The being which for us is first, is in itself 
second, i.e., it is what it is only in ‘‘relation’’ to the first. It is not 
as though a blind legal decree had ordained that the ordo et con- 
nexio rerum must direct itself according to the ordo et connexio 
idearum. Reality, that of the thing taken singly as also that of the 
whole world, essentially lacks independence. And in speaking of 
essence we adopt here our own rigorous use of the term. Reality 
is not in itself something absolute, binding itself to another only 
in a secondary way, it is, absolutely speaking, nothing at all, it has 
no “absolute essence” whatsoever, it has the essentiality of some- 
thing which in principle is only intentional, only known, consciously 
presented as an appearance. 

Now let us turn our thoughts back again to the first chapter, 
to our reflexions upon phenomenological reduction. I t is now 
clear in point of fact that over against the natural theoretical 
s^tandpoint, whose correlate is the world, a new standpoint mu§t 
b e available wh idiJi L-Spite ot the swifchmg off of this psycho - 
pl^ical totality of nature leaves someth in g over — ^the who le 
field of absolute consciousness. Th us, instead of living naively 
i n experience {Erfahrung)^ a nd subjecting what we experience, 
transcendent nature7 to theoretical inquiries, we perform the 
^phenomenological reduction^ ^ . In other words : msteaci ot naively 
copying out the acts proper to the nature-constituting conscious- 
ness with its transcendent theses and allowing ourselves to be led 
by motives that operate therein to still other transcendent theses, 
and so forth — ^we set all these theses “out of action”, we take no 
part in them ; we direct the glance of apprehension and theoretical 
iny ipiry to pure consciousness in its own absolute Being. It is this 
whi ch remains over as the “phenomenological r esiduum” we 
w ere in quest of : remains over, we ^V^thoughwehave 
“Suspended” the whole world with all things, living creatures, 
men, ourselves included. We have literally lost nothing, but have 
won the whole of Absolute Being, which, properly understood, 


conceals in itself all transcendences, ‘‘constituting” them within 

Let us make this clear to ourselves in detail. At the natural 
standpoint we simply carry out all the acts through which the world 
is there for us. We live naively unreflective in our perceiving and 
experiencing, in those thetic acts in which the unities of things 
appear to us, and not only appear but are given with the stamp of 
“presentness” and “reality”. When we pursue natural science, 
we carry out reflexions ordered in accordance with the logic of 
experience, reflexions in which these realities, given and taken 
alike, are determined in terms of thought, in which also on the 
ground of such directly experienced and determined transcen- 
dences fresh inferences are drawn. A t the phenomenological 
standpoint, acting on lines of general principle, we tie up the 
per fmrrtance of all such cogit ative tneses, i.e., “place in brackets” 
what has been carried out, § ** we do not associate the se theses” wit h 
pur new inquiries ; instead of living in them and carrying them 
out, we carry out acts of reflexion directed towards them, and these 
we apprehend as the absolute Being which they are. We now live 
entirely in such acts of the second level, whose datum is the infinite 
field of absolute experiences — the basic field of Phenomenology. 

§ 51. The Import of the Transcendental Preliminary 


We can all perform acts of reflexion, to be sure, and bring them 
within the apprehending glance of consciousness; but such re- 
flexion is not yet phenomenological^ nor is the apprehended 
consciousness pure consciousness. Radical discussions of the kind 
we have undertaken are therefore necessary in order to penetrate 
to the knowledge that there is, indeed can be, any such thing as 
the field of pure consciousness, which is not a portion of nature 
itself; and this it is so little that Nature is possible only as an 
intentional unity within this field and grounded in immanent 
organizations. They are necessary that we may further know that 
a unity such as this is given adjusted to theoretical research in a 
quite diflFerent setting from that in which the consciousness which 



‘‘constitutes” this unity, and so every absolute consciousness 
whatsoever is presented and made an object of inquiry. They are 
necessary that in face of the philosophic poverty in which we waste 
our energies, covering it with the fine name of a world-view 
grounded in natural science, it shall become clear that the tran- 
scendental study of consciousness does not mean nature-research, 
and may not presuppose this as a premise, s ince from its transcen- 
dental stand point Nature is in principle placed within the bracket . 
They are necessary in order that we should know that this d etach- 
ment from t h e whole world in the form of a phenomenolojg cal 
reduct ion is something tot ally different from the mere abstraction 
of certain components of an embracing organization, whether the 
conne xions be n ecessary or merely factua L iFconscious exgeri- 
ences were inconceivable a pa rt from tl iftir mter lacinpr with Nature 
i n the ve ry way in whicE^colours are inconc eivable apart from 
extension , we could not look on consciousness as an ab’so lute 
region for itself alone in the sen se in which we must actually do 
B^ t we must see that through such ‘^st r^tion'" trdnT Nature 
we could win only what was natu ral, ne ver pure transcendental 
con sciousness . And again , phenomenologicaniHTcHon does" not 
betoken a mere restriction of the judgment to a connected portion 
of the totality of real Being. In all the particular sciences of reality 
the theoretical interest is confined to special domains of the real 
universe, the others remaining unconsidered except in so far as 
real threads of connexion crossing to and fro compel inquiries of 
a mediating kind. In this sense mechanics “abstracts” from optical 
events, physics in general and in the widest sense of the term from 
the psychological. For this reason, as every man of science knows, 
no domain of reality is isolated, the whole world is in the last resort 
a single “Nature”, and all the natural sciences articulations of 
one Natural Science. With the realm of experiences as absolute 
essences the case is radically and essentially different. It is shut off 
fast within itself , and yet has no boundaries which might separate 
it from other regions. For that which it would bound off from itself 
would need to be in essential community with i t. But it is the who le 
of Absolute Being in the definite sense stressed by our analyses."* 
It is essentially independent of all Being of the type of a world or 



Nature, and i t has no need of the se for its existence {Existent), Tht 
existence of what is natural cannot condition the existence of 
c opiousness shice it ar ises a s the coicrdate of consciousness ; it 
is only in so far as it constitutes itself within ordered organizations^ 
o f con sciousness *"■ — - — • 


In passing we note the following : Let it be stated to prevent mis- 
understandings. If the element of fact {Faktizitdt) in the given 
order of the course of consciousness, in its differentiation into 
individuals and the teleology immanent in them gives legitimate 
occasion for the question covering the grounds of this same order, 
the theological principle which might rationally be presupposed 
here cannot^ for essential reasons, be accepted as a transcendence 
in the sense of world-transcendence^ for as is self-evident in advance 
from the positions we have already established, that would be an 
absurd circle. The governing principle of the Absolute must be 
found in the Absolute itself and through pure and absolute re- 
flexion. In other words, since a world-God is evidently impossible, 
and since, on the other hand, the immanence of God in the abso- 
lute Consciousness cannot be grasped as immanence in the sense 
of Being as experience {Erlebnis) (which would be no less absurd), 
there must be in the absolute stream of consciousness and its 
infinities other ways of manifesting the transcendent than the 
constituting of thing-like realities as unities of appearances that 
agree together ; and finally there must be intuitive manifestations 
to which theorizing thought can adjust itself, and by following 
the indication of which in a reasonable spirit we might come to 
understand the single rule of the assumed theological principle. 
It is then also evident that this rule could not be taken as causal, 
in the sense of the natural concept of causality, which is lowered 
to the pitch suited to realities and to the functional systems proper 
to their peculiar essence. 

However, that does not concern us here any further. Our 
immediate aim concerns not theology but phenomenology, however 
important the bearing of the latter on the former may indirectly 
be. The fundamental considerations we have raised, so far as they 



were indispensable, have served to open up the realm of the 
Absolute as the research-domain proper to Phenomenology. 

§ 52. Supplementary Remarks. The Physical Thing and the 
“Unknown Cause of Appearances” 

But we still need to add something by way of supplement. Our 
last reflexions bore chiefly on the thing of the str^oty imaginatio, 
and we paid inadequate attention to the physical thing, for which 
the thing that appears to sense (what is given in perception) must 
function as “mere appearance”, much as though it were something 
“purely subjective”. Meanwhile it follows from our previous 
studies that this mere subjectivity should not be confused (as it is 
so frequently) with an experiential subjectivity, as though the 
perceived things in their perceptual qualities were themselves 
experiences. Moreover, it caimot be the intended meaning of 
scientific workers (especially when we do not judge them by what 
they say but by the real significance of their method) that the thing 
that appears is an illusion or a faulty image of the “true” physical 
thing. Similarly the statement that the apparent determinations are 
“signs” of the true determinations is misleading 

Should we then say on the lines of the “Realism” so fashionable 
in our day: what is really perceived (and, in the first sense of the 
term, apjpears) is to be regarded from its side as appearance or 
instinctive basis of something else inwardly alien to it and separated 
from it ? And must the later be reckoned on theoretical grounds as a 
reality which for the purposes of explaining the way in which we 
experience these appearances must be accepted hypothetically as 
something wholly unknown, as a concealed cause of these appear- 
ances, to be characterized only indirectly and analo^gically through 
mathematical concepts? 

Already on the ground of our general exposition (which the 
analyses that follow should tend greatly to deepen and to confirm 
more stably) it is clear that theories of this kind are possible only 
so long as we fail to keep persistently in mind and to justify 
scientifically the meaning of thing-givenness which lies in the 

> Cf. what is said about the image-and-sign theory in § 43, pp. 136-7 ff. 


essential nature of experience, and therefore also of “thing in 
general” the meaning which supplies the absolute standard of all 
rational statements concerning things. Whatever conflicts with 
this meaning is even absurd in the strictest sense of that term,^ 
and this holds undoubtedly of all epistemological theories of the 
type described. 

It can be easily shown that, if the unknown cause we have 
assumed exists {ist) at all, it must be in principle perceptible and 
experienceable, if not by us, at least for other Egos who see better 
and farther than we do. We are not concerned here with any 
empty, psychological possibility, but with an essential possibility 
possessing content and validity. Further, we should need to show 
thatthepossible perception itself again, and with essentialnecessity, 
must be a perception through appearances, and that we have there- 
fore fallen into an inevitable regressus in infinitum. Again, we should 
need to point out that an explanation of the perceptually given 
events through causal realities hypothetically assumed, through 
unknown entities of the nature of a thing (as, for instance, the 
explanation of certain planetary disturbances through the assump- 
tion of a still unknown new planet, Neptune), is something that 
differs in principle from explanation in the sense of a physical 
determination of experienced things and through physical means 
of explanation after the style of atoms, ions, and the like. So too on 
similar lines much else could be discussed and developed. 

It is not our duty to enter into a systematically exhaustive dis- 
cussion of all such relations. It is enough for our purpose to bring 
certain main points into clear relief. 

Returning then, let us take the position, easily tested, that in 
physical method tht perceived thing itself is always and in principle 
precisely the thing' which the physicist studies and scientifically 
determines, j 

This assertion appears to contradict the statements expressed® 
on an earlier page, in which we sought to determine more closely 

^ In this work Absur<iity is a term of logical import, and expresses no extra- 
logical valuation in terms of feeling. Even the greatest of the men of science 
have occasionally lapsed into absurdity, and when it is our scientific duty to 
point this out that does not in any way prejudice our respect for them. 

» Cf. $upray § 40, pp. 128-9. 

i 6 o 


the meaning of current phrases used by the physicists, and in 
particular the sense of the traditional separation between primary 
and secondary qualities. After excluding obvious misinterpreta- 
tions, we said that *'the thing we strictly experience” gives us ‘‘the 
mere this”, an “empty which becomes the bearer of the exact 
physical determinations which do not themselves fall within 
experience properly-so-called. The “physically true thing” is 
thus “in principle differently determined” from that which is 
given “bodily” in perception itself. The latter displays purely 
sensory features which are precisely not physical. 

None the less, the two expositions are compatible enough, and 
we do not need to challenge that interpretation of the physical 
viewpoint at all seriously. We have only to understand it correctly. 
On no account should we fall into the fundamentally perverse 
copy-and-sign-theories which, without taking the physical thing 
specially into account, we considered at an earlier stage and 
likewise disposed of in its most general form.^ An image or sign 
points to something that lies beyond it, which, could it but pass 
over into another form of presentation, into that of a dator intuition, 
might “itself” be apprehended. A sign and copy does not “an- 
nounce” in its self the self that is signified (or copied). But the 
physical thing is nothing foreign to that which appears in a sensory 
body, but something that manifests itself in it and in it alone 
indeed in a primordial way, a way that is also a priori in that it 
rests on essential grounds which cannot be annulled. Moreover, 
even the sensory determining-content of the x which functions 
as bearer of the physical determinations does not clothe the 
latter in an alien dress that conceals them : rather it is only in so 
far as the x is the subject of the sensory determinations that it is 
; also subject of the physical, which on its side announces itself in 
; the sensory. In principle a thing, the precise thing of which the 
' physicist speaks, can in accordance with what has been already 
set out in detail be given only sensorily, in sensory “ways of 
appearance”, and it is the identical element which appears in the 
shifting continuity of these ways of appearance which the physicist 
in relation to all experienceable (thus perceived or perceivable) 
I Cf. supra, ^43, pp. 135-7* 


systems which can come under consideration as “conditioning 
circumstances”, subjects to a causal analysis, to an inquiry into 
real necessary connexions. The thing which he observes, with 
which he experiments, which he sees continually, handles, places 
on the scales, “brings to the fusing-furnace”, this and no other 
thing is the subject of physical predicates, since it is it that has the 
weight, mass, temperature, electrical resistance, and so forth. So 
too it is the perceived processes and connexions themselves which 
are defined through concepts such as force, acceleration, energy, 
atom, ion, and so forth. The thing that appears to sense, which 
has the sensory properties of shape, colour, smell, and taste, is 
therefore far from being a sign for something else^ though to a 
certain extent a sign for itself. 

Only so much can be said : The thing that appears with such 
and such sensory properties under the given phenomenal con- 
ditions is, /or the physicist^ who for such things generally, and in 
the form of relevant connexion between the appearances, has 
already fixed the physical determinations on general lines^ the sign 
and symbol for a wealth of causal properties of this same thing, 
which as such declare their presence in specific and familiar 
relations of dependence among appearances. What is there declared 
— even when revealed in intentional unities of conscious experi- 
ences— is clearly, in principle, transcendent. 

It is clear from the foregoing that even the higher transcendence 
of the physical thing does not imply any reaching out beyond the world 
for consciousness^ or, shall we say, for any Ego that functions as the 
subject of knowledge (singly or in the relation of empathy). 

The situation as generally indicated is this, that physical thought 
builds itself up on the basis of natural experience {Erfahren) (or 
of the natural theses, which it establishes). Following the rational 
motives which the connexions of experience suggest, it is com- 
pelled to adopt certain forms of apprehending its material, to 
construct such intentional systems as the reason of the case may 
require, and to utilize them for the theoretical determination of 
things as experienced through sense. Out of this springs up the 
opposition between the Thing of the plain sensory imaginatio and 
the Thing of the physical intellectio, and on the latter side grow 

i 62 pure phenomenology 

up all the ideal ontological thought-constructions which express 
themselves in physical concepts, and derive their meaning as they 
should do exclusively from the method of natural science. 

If the empirical logical reason, under the rubric Physics, thus 
works into shape an intentional correlate of a higher level — ^physical 
nature out 0/ nature as it plainly appears — ^it is pure mythology to 
set up what the reason so transparently puts into our hands, 
which is no more than the determination of the nature given to us 
in simple intuition in terms of the logic of experience, as an unknovm 
world of thing-realities in themselves, a hypothetical substructure 
devised to subserve the causal explanation of appearances. 

Sensory things are thus coimected with physical things, and 
that most absurdly, through causality. But in so doing ordinary 
Realism confuses, by reason of their “mere subjectivity” sensory 
appearances, i.e., the appearing objects as such (which are in fact 
already transcendent) with the absolute experiences which consti- 
tute them — confuses them, that is, with experiences of the appear- 
ing, of the empirical (erfahrenden) consciousness generally. The 
confusion is rife in this form, at any rate, that one speaks as though 
objective physics were concerned to explain not the “appearances 
of things” in the sense of the appearing things, but in the sense of 
the constituting experiences of the experiencing consciousness. 
Causality which belongs in principle to the system of the consti- 
tuted intentional world, and has no meaning except in this world, 
is not only made into a mythical bond of union between “objective” 
physical Being and the “subjective Being” which appears in imme- 
diate experience — ^the “merely subjective” things of sense with the 
“secondary qualities” — but through the unjustified transition 
from the latter to the consciousness that constitutes it, causality 
is made into a bond between physical Being on the one hand and 
absolute Consciousness, more specifically the pure experiences 
of the experiencing {des erfahrenden) consciousness on the other-. 
Thereby Physical Being is made to rest on a mythical absolute 
reality, whilst that which is truly absolute, the pure consciousness 
as such, is not even seen. Thus the implied absurdity,that of tu rning 
physical nature, this intentional correlate of logically determining 
thought, into an absolute, passes unnoticed; with the result that 


this Nature which defines the directly determined world of things 
in terms of the logic of experience, and in this function is fully 
kncmi, this Nature — ^to seek behind which for something else is 
senseless — is made into an unknown reality which can never be 
apprehended, nor through any distinctive quality of its own, 
to which now is ascribed the role of a causal reality in relation to the 
flux of subjective appearances and empirical experiences. 

In these misunderstandings, no doubt, the fact that a false 
interpretation has been put upon the sensory unintuitability 
characteristic of all categorical unities of thought, more particularly, 
of course, of those whose construction is highly mediated, exercises 
an influence that is an3rthing but slight; and it is none the less 
true that the misconception of the tendency so useful to practical 
knowledge of suppl3dng sensory pictures, or “models” to these 
unities of thought, has also exercised considerable influence. What 
is unintuitable to sense has been taken as symbolically representing 
a concealed entity which could be made simply sense-intuitable 
through improvements in the organization of our ideas, and the 
models have served as intuitable schematic pictures of this hidden 
thing; their function was therefore similar to that of those proble- 
matic drawings of antediluvian forms of life which the palaeontolo- 
gist sketches on the strength of some meagre data. The transparent 
meaning of the constructive forms of thought as such is disregarded, 
as is also the fact that the h3q)othetical element is bound up with 
the work of synthetic thinking. Even a divine physics caimot make ' 
categorical thought-determinations of realities intuitable in the 
plain, ordinary way, as little as divine omnipotence can bring it 
about that elliptic functions should be painted or played on the 

Much as the foregoing stands in need of deeper development, 
much as it may have induced in us a sensitive need for a complete 
classifying of all the relevant relationships, we now see clearly at 
any rate, and our own purposes require this, that the transcendence 
of the physical thing is, in principle, the transcendence of an 
existent {Seins) which constitutes itself within consciousness and 
remains fettered to consciousness, and the regard we pay to the 
mathematically grounded science of Nature (whatever the special 



enigmas may be to which its knowledge gives rise) does not affect 
our results in the least. 

It needed no particular discussion to show us that all that we 
have brought home to ourselves in respect to the objectivities of 
Nature, considered as “mere facts” (Sachen), must hold good for 
all the axiological and practical objectivities, aesthetic objects, 
cultural creations, and so forth which are grounded on them. And 
finally likewise for all the transcendences generally, constituted in 
accordance with the requirements of consciousness. 

§ 53. Animalia and Psychological Consciousness 

There is a further extension of the scope of our studies which is 
very important. We have drawn the whole of material nature 
within the ambit of our established conclusions, both that which 
appears to us through sense, and the physical nature which is 
grounded in it as a higher level of knowledge. But how fares it 
with animal realities, with men and beasts ? And in respect of their 
souls zrxd psychical experiences} The world in its fullness is in fact 
not merely physical but psychological. All streams of conscious- 
ness bound up with animated bodies should belong to it, im- 
deniably. Thus on the one hand consciousness should be the Absolute, 
within which ever3rthing transcendent is constituted, and in the 
last resort the whole psychological world ; and on the other hand 
consciousness should be a subordinate real event within this world. 
How does this tally ? 

Let us make clear to ourselves how consciousness, so to speak, 
enters into the real world, how that which is absolute in itself can 
abandon its immanence and put on the character of transcendence. 
We see at once that it can do this only in virtue of a certain par- 
ticipation in transcendence in its first and primordial sense, and 
that obviously is the transcendence of material Nature. Only 
through the empirical relation to the body does consciousness 
become real in a human and animal sense, and only thereby does 
it win a place in Nature’s space and time — ^the time which is 
physically measured. We recollect also that it is only through the 
connecting of consciousness and body into a natural unity that 


can be empirically intuited that such a thing as mutual under- 
standing between the animal natures that belong to one world is 
possible, and that only thereby can every subject that knows find 
before it a full world containing itself and other subjects, and at 
the same time know it for one and the same world about us 
belonging in common to itself and all other subjects. 

A peculiar type of apprehending or experiencing, a peculiar 
type of “apperception”, completes what is brought about by this 
so-called “linking-on”, this realization of consciousness. Whatever 
this apperception may consist of, whatever special type of mani- 
festation it may demand, so much is quite obvious, that con- 
sciousness itself in these apperceptive interweavings, in this 
psychological relation to the corporeal, forfeits nothing of its own 
essential nature, and can assimilate nothing that is foreign to its 
own essence, which would indeed be absurd. Corporeal Being is 
in principle a Being that appears, declaring itself through sensory 
perspectives. The consciousness that is naturally apperceived, 
the stream of experiences, given as human and animal at once, 
in close empirical connexion with corporeality, does not itself 
become of course through this apperception something that 
appears perspectively. 

And yet it has become something other than it was : a very part 
of Nature. In itself it is what it is, its essential nature is absolute. 
But it is not grasped in its absolute essence, in its flowing thisness, 
but “as something apprehended”; and in this quite distinctive 
form of apprehension, a quite distinctive transcendence shapes 
itself : a state of consciousness appears which is the state of a self- 
identical real ego-subject. This ego-subject declares in and through 
this state of consciousness its individual real properties, and it is as 
properties which manifest this unity through conscious states 
that we become aware of the ego-subject as united with the bodily 
appearance. Thus on the plane of appearance the psychophysical 
natural unity, man or beast, is constituted as a unity that rests on 
bodily foundations and corresponds to the grounding function of 

As with every transcendence-instituting apperception, so here 
also we are presented with an essentially twofold point of view* 



In the o«e, the apprehending glance is turned towards the apper- 
ceived object through the very act of apprehending, as it were, 
through which the transcendent object is set up ; in the other, the 
apprehending look passes back in reflection to the pure apprehend- 
ing consciousness itself. We have then, to take our own case, on 
the one side the psychological point of view in which the glance is 
directed upon experience as the natural standpoint dictates, upon 
an experience of joy, for instance, as an inner state of feeling of a 
man or an animal. On the other side we have woven together with 
this, as an essential possibility, ih& phenomenological point of view, 
according to which, all transcendences having been disconnected, 
the glance is directed in reflection upon the absolute pure con- 
sciousness, giving us the apperception of an absolute experience 
in its intimate subjective flow; so it is, to revert to our previous 
example, with the affective experience of joy as an absolute 
phenomenological datum, yet under the influence of a function 
of apprehension which animates it, the function, namely, of 
“making manifest” the state of consciousness of a human ego- 
subject linked to the appearance we call a body. The “pure” 
experience “lies” in a certain sense in what is psychologically 
apperceived, in the experience as subjective human condition; 
with its own essence it takes on the form of psychical subjectivity, 
and therewith the intentional relation to man’s Ego and man’s 
body. If the experience in question — ^the feeling of joy in the 
example selected — Closes this intentional form (and it might quite 
conceivably do so), it suffers a change, certainly, but only one 
which simplifies it into pure consciousness, so that it loses all its 
meaning as a natural event. 

§ 54. The Same Continued. The Transcendent Pstchological 
Experience Contingent and Relative, the Tran- 
scendental Experience Necessary and Absolute 

Let us suppose that we have been apperceiving according to the 
natural pattern, but that our apperceptions have been continually 
invalid, so that all coherent {einstimmige) coimexions in which 
empirical unities might take shape have become impossible; in 



other words, let us imagine in the spirit of the foregoing exposition* 
that the whole of nature — ^and the physical in the first instance — 
has been “annulled”, there would then be no more bodies and 
therefore no men. As a man I should no longer be, and again I 
should have no neighbours. But my consciousness, however its 
states of experience might vary, would remain an absolute stream 
of experience with its own distinctive essence. Were something 
still left over enabling us to grasp the experiences as “states” of a 
personal Ego, in and through whose changes self-identical personal 
properties were manifested, we could break up these apprehensions 
also, do away with the intentional forms which bring them into 
shape, and reduce them to pure experiences. Even psychical 
states point to the ordering conditions of absolute experiences 
in which they are constituted and tdce on the intentional and in 
its way transcendent form “state of consciousness'’. 

Certainly an incorporeal and, paradoxical as it may sound, even 
an inanimate and non-personal consciousness is conceivable, i.e., 
a stream of experience in which the intentional empirical unities, 
body, soul, empirical ego-subject do not take shape, in which all 
these empirical concepts, and therefore also that of experience in 
the psychological sense (as experience of a person, an animal ego), 
have nothing to support them, and at any rate no validity. All 
empirical unities, and therefore psychological experiences also, 
are indicators of cibsolute systems of experience, and show a quite 
distinctive essential formation, iJesides which still other formations 
are conceivable; all are in the same sense transcendent, merely 
relative, contingent. We must bring ourselves to see that in taking 
for granted that every experience of oneself or another has empirical 
validity as the psychological and psychophysical state of conscious- 
ness of animal subjects, we are indeed fully justified, but only 
within the relevant limits ; that over against the empirical expM- 
ence, and as the assumption on which it depends for its very meaning, 
stands the absolute experience, and that this is not ametaphysicd 
construction but with appropriate shifting of the standpoint 
indubitably manifest in all its absoluteness and immediately given 
in intuition. We must convince ourselves that the p^hical in 
« Cf. § 49, pp. IS0-IS2* 



general in the psychological sense ^ that psychical personalities, 
psychical properties, experiences or states are unities, and 

are therefore as realities of every kind and degree, mere unities of 
an intentional “constitution’^ — ^in their own sense truly existing 
{zoahrhaft seiend); intuitable, experienceable, and on empirical 
grounds scientifically determinable — ^and yet “merely intentional”, 
and therefore merely “relative”. To hold that they exist in an 
absolute sense is therefore absurd. 

§55. Conclusion. All Reality Exists through “The Dis- 
pensing OF Meaning”. No “Subjective Idealism” 

In a certain sense and with proper care in the use of words we 
may even say thz t all real unities are uniti es of imanins^\ U nities 
of meaning presuppose (le t me repeat it with emphasis: not 
through deduction from metaphysical postulates of any description, 
but because we can point to it in our intuitive wholly doubt-free 
procedure) a sense-gimng cDnsdo umfiss^ which^ pn its side, is absolut e 
and not dep end ent in it s turn on sense bestowed on it from anoth er 
source. If the concept of reality is derived from natural realities, 
from the unities of possible experience, then “universe”, “Nature 
as a whole”, means just so much as the totality of realities ; but to 
identify the same with the totality of Beings and therewith to make 
it absolute, is simply nonsense. An absolute reality is just as valid 
as a round squa re. Re ality and world, here u sed, are just thetities 
for certain unities of meanin gs namdy, u nities of ‘^^eahlng^ " 
related to cer tain organizSions of puYe absolute consciousness 
which dispense meaning and show torth its validity in certain 
esse ntially^trK.ed^ specific ways. 

If anyone objects, with reference to the se discussions of ours , 
tha t they transforrn fhelwhnk wofj d i nto subiecti^ illusion and 
th row them selves into the arms of an“idealism such as Berkeley’s”, 
we can only make answer tEat lie has iKt meaning of 

tl ^se discussions. We subtract just as liffle from the ple^^^ of 
the world’s Being, from the totality of all realities, as we do from 
the plenary geometrical Being of a square when we deny (what in 
this case indeed.can plainly be taken for granted) that it is round. 


It is not that the real sensory world is ' ^recast'* or denied, but that 
a n absurd interpretation of th e same, which indeed contradictsits 
o vm mentally clarified meanin g, is set aside. It sprinjnin^ 
making the world absolute in 2i philosophical sense, which is wholly 
foreign to the way in which we naturally look out upon the world. 
This outlook is altogether natural, it pervades our unsophisticated 
action as we exhibit in practice the general thesis already described, 
it can therefore never be absurd. Absurdity first arises when one 
philosophizes and, in probing for ultimate information as to the 
meaning of the world, fails to notice that the whole being of the 
world consists in a certain ^‘meaning” which presupposes^ absolute 
consciousness as the field from which the meaning is derived; and 
further, when in support of this attitude, one fails to notice that this 
field, this existential realm of absolute origins^ is open to research on an 
intuitional basis ^ and contains an infinite wealth of insight-rooted 
knowledge of the highest scientific worth. It is true that we have 
not yet shown that this is so, it will first become clear to us in the 
course of our inquiries. 

We would remark in conclusion that the generality with which 
we have stated these last reflexions concerning the constituting 
of the natural world in absolute consciousness should give no 
offence. The scientific reader will be able to gather from the con- 
ceptual precision of the expositions that we have not been airing 
philosophical fancies, but, on the basis of systematic work among 
the fundamentals in this field, have been focusing in the form of 
descriptive statements consistently general in character items of 
knowledge that have been carefully and cautiously acquired. 
The need for closer development and the filling of vacant gaps 
may very well be felt, and should be so felt. The further exposition 
will contribute substantially to the more concrete shaping and 
filling out of the previous outlines. But we must note that our aim 
has not been to present a detailed theory of such transcendental 
constituting, and therewith to sketch a new “Theory of Knowledge*' 
in respect of the spheres of reality so constituted, but only to 

* I allow myself here in passing, and for the purposes of impressive contrast, 
the use of an unusual and yet in its own way trustworthy extension of the 
concept of ‘‘meaning”. 



clarify certain general thoughts which may help us in acquiring the 
idea of a pure transcendental consciousness. What is essential for 
our purpose is to see upon evidence that the phenomenological 
reduction, as a means of disconnecting us from the natural stand- 
point and its general thesis, is possible, and that, when carried out, 
the absolute or pure transcendental consciousness is left over as 
residuum, to which it is then absurd to ascribe reality (Realitat), 



§ 56. The Question Concerning the Extension of the Phe- 
nomenological Reduction. The Natural and the 
Mental Sciences 

T he discon nexi on from Nature w as for us the methodological 
means wh ereby the direction of the mental glance upon the pur e 
tr ^scendental consciousness^^comes at all pos^hle . NoWmat 
w^ave brought it withinth^l^u^of mental it still remains 

useful to consider, conversely, what in general, in the interests ^f 
an inquiry into the nature of puie^nsc iousness, must remain 
di sconnected , and whether the necessary disconnexion concerns 
the sphere of Nature only. From the side of the phenomeno- 
logical science which we propose to establish, this amounts to the 
query, Which sciences does it draw from whilst leaving its pure 
meaning unimpaired ? Which should it depend on as already given^ 
and which should it not depend on? Which then need to be 
bracketed?’’ It lies in the peculiar and essential nature of pheno- 
menology as a science of ‘‘origins” that such questions of method 
which lie remote from the interest of every unsophisticated 
(“dogmatic”) science must in its own case be a matter of careful 

In the first place it goes without saying that with the suspending 
of the natural world, physical and psychological, all individual 
objectivities which are constituted through the functional activities 
of consciousness in valuation and in practice are suspended — all 
varieties of cultural expression, works of the technical and of the 
fine arts, of the sciences also (so far as we accept them as cu ltural 
f acts and not asjyaliditv-svstems L aesthetic and practical values of 
every shape and form. Natural in the same sen^ are also realities 
of such kinds as state, moral custom, law, religion. Therewith 
all the scien ces natura l and me ntaL with the entire knowledge they 

which require 

b ave accumulated, undergo disconnexion as science; 
for their development the natural ^andpoint. 


§ 57. The Qotstion op the Suspension of the Pure Ego 

Difficulties arise just at one limiting point. Man as a natural being 
and as a person linked with others in a personal bond, t 

■ tlrtiXWiiWiwriTgl 

b rought th rough t he phenomeno 
npthingness? Let we~liach th e s;^eam of pure 

c QnsciQ usn e ss. In refle^ on eve ry oh ou t 

takes the explicit fornr ^ffl^o. TJoes it loje this form w we 
make use^oFatranscenS^ ? 

So much is clear from the outset, that after carrying this reduc- 
tion through, we shall never stumble across the pure Ego as an 
experience among others within the flux of manifold experiences 
which survives as transcendental residuum; nor shall we meet it 
as a constitutive bit of experience appearing with the experience 
of which it is an integral part and again disappearing. The Ego 
a ppears to be perm anently, even necessari ly, there ^ a nd th is 
permanence is obviously not that of a stolid unshifting experienc e, 
of a"^xed idea'\ Oirthe contrary, it belonsrs to everv experience 

that comes and streams past, its 

a ctual comto. and towards the oJ)iect. This visual ray changes 
with every cogito^ shooting forth afresh with each new one as it 
comes, and disappearing with it. But the Ego remaina^ tf-i dejxticsi ] . 
In principle, at any rate, ever y cogitatio can change, can come and 
go, ev en though it may be open toUoubt wliether each is necessarily 

t which remains a 

all real and possible changes of experien 

all e xperiences also within the mental background belong to i t 
an d it to them , and aU r)f them, as belonging to one single strea m 
of experience, that, namely, which is mine, must permit of 

tr^sformed into actual coeitationes or of being inwardly absorbed 


i nto such; in the words of Kant, “Th^ ‘7 think' must. he ahh tn 
accompany all my presentations”, 

J[f asresiduum ol' the pJienomefiological suspension of the Hsrld 
and the em^ical subjectivity that belongs to it rpmaina a 
pure. Ego (a fund amen t ally d ifferent one, then, for each separate 
stream of experiences), a _guite peot^^anscendence simultane- 
Qusly pr esentsjte elf — ^a non-constituted transcendence — a tts n- 
scendence mimmanence. Given the immediately essential part which 
this transcendence plays in every cogito, we should not be free to 
suspend it, although for naany inquiries the problem of the pure 
Ego can remain in suspenso. But we will count the pure Ego as a 
phenomenological datum only so far as the immediate and clearly 
ascertainable peculiarity of its essential nature reaches, and it is 
given together with pure consciousness, whereas all theories con- 
cerning it which reacJhL_out beyond these limits shouldjbe discon- 
nected. We shall find occasion, moreover, to devote a special 
j chapter in the Second Book of this whole work to the difficult 
^ questions raised by th e pure E go and also by the need to render 
I secur£the provisional po_sition which wejiave here adopted. ^ ^ 

§ 58. The Transcendence of God Suspended 

After abandoning thenatu ral world, we strik e in pur co urse another 
transcendence, which is not given like the pure Ego immediately 
unitecl to consciousness in its reduced state, bu t comes to knowledge 
i n a highly mediated form , stand ing over against the transcendence 
Q£ lhe_wQrlQ as it it were its polar opposite . W e refer to the tran- 
scendence of God. The reduction of the natural wo rld to conscious - 
ness in its absolutene ss ^Wes fa ctuali faktisch e) s y^ems of consci^s 
e xperiences of certain kinds""s^endidlv ordered and regulated ? 
within which, as intentional correlate, there is consti tuted, in the 
sp SSie bf empirical intuition, a morphologically ~ ordered world, a 

In the Logical Studies I took up on the question of the pure Ego a sceptical 
position which I have not been able to maintain as my studies progressed. 
The criticism which I directed against Natorp’s stimulating Introduction to 
Psychology (Vol. II, pp. 340 ff.) ceases therefore to be relevant on one of the 
main issues. (I regret that I have not been able to read and consider any 
further the revised edition of Natorp’s work which has recently appeared.) 



world, that is, in respect of which classificatory and descriptive 
sciences can be supplied. This very world, so far as its material 
basis is concerned, permits at once of being determined in the 
theoretical thought of the mathematically grounded natural 
sciences as the “appearance’^ of physical nature that conforms to 
exact natural laws. And since the rationality which the fact-worl d 
s hows is not in any sense such as the essence deman ds, there lies 
concealed in all this a w^onderful teleology . 

Further : the sys tematic study of alLteleologie s which are to be 
found in the empirical world itself, the concrete evolution of the 
series of organisms, for instance, up to man, and within the 
evolution of humanity, th e growth of culture with its care fo r 
t he spirit and so forth, is not exhausted by the explanations of all ^ 
such creations by the natural sciences out of the given concrete 
environment and in conformity with natural laws. On the con- 
trary, the transition to pure consciousness through the method of 
transcendental reduction leads necessarily to the question con- 
cerning the ground of what now presents itself as the intuitable 
actuality {Faktizitat) of the corresponding constituting conscious- 
ness. It is not concrete actuality (Faktum) in general, but con- 
crete actuality as the source of possible and real values extending 
indefinitely, which compels us to ask after the “ground” — ^which 
of course has not then the meaning of a substantive cause. We pass 
by all that might lead to the same principle from the side of the 
religious consciousness, even though its argument rests on ration- 
ally grounded motives. What concerns us here, after merely 
touching on the diflFerent groupings of such rational grounds 
for the existence of a “divine” Being beyond the world, is that 
this existence should not only transcend the world, but obviously 
also the “absolute” Consciousness. It would thus be an ^'Absolute'" 
in a totally different sense from the Absolute of Consciousness^ as on 
the other hand it would be a transcendent in a totally different 
sense from the transcendent in the sense of the world. 

We naturally extend the phenomenological reduction to this 
“Absolute” and to this “Transcendent”. It should remain dis- 
connected from the field of research still to be created, so far as 
this is to be a field of pure Consciousness. 



§ 59. The Transcendence of the Eidetic. The Suspending 
Pure Logic as Mathesis Universalis 

As we have suspended individual realities in every sense, so now 
we seek to suspend all other varieties of the “transcendent”. This 
affects the series of the “general” objects, the essences. They too 
are in a certain way “transcendent” to pure consciousness, and 
not to be really found in it. Meanwhile we cannot disconnect 
transcendents indefinitely, transcendental purification cannot 
mean the disconnecting of all transcendents, since otherwise a 
pure consciousness might indeed remain over, but no possibility of 
a science of pure consciousness. 

We proceed to make this clear. Let us attempt the most extensive 
disconnecting of the eidetic conceivable, and with it therefore that 
of all eidetic sciences. To every sphere of individual Being which 
can be separated off as a region — ^the term “Being” is here given 
its widest logical meaning — ^there belongs an ontology; to physical 
nature, for instance, an ontology of nature, to animality an ontology 
of animality — ^all these, whether maturely developed or disciplines 
set up for the first time, succumb to the reduction. Over against 
the material ontologies stands the “formal” ontology (inj^pson 
with the formal logic of thought-meanings), and belonging to it 
the quasi-region “object in general”. If we try to disconnect this 
also, we are met by doubts which will at the same time affect the 
possibility of a limitless disconnecting of the eidetic. 

The following line of thought impresses itself on us. The 
purposes of science demand that we should tack on to every 
domain of being certain eidetic spheres, not precisely as fields of 
research, but as places where the knowledge of essential forms 
can be ordered, places to which the workers in the domain in 
question must always penetrate whenever their interest lies in the 
theoretical motives which are linked together within the essence 
proper to this domain. Above all, every scientific worker must be 
free to make appeal to formal logic (or formal ontology). For 
whatever he inquires into will always have the character of an 
object, and that which holds good formaliter for objects in general 
(properties, contents generally, and the like), that also is his 



concern. And however he conceives concepts and propositions, 
draws inferences, and so forth, that which formal logic decrees 
with formal generality concerning meanings of this type and 
classes of such meanings concerns him in the same way as it does 
every special worker. Therefore it concerns the phenomenologist 
also. Every pure experience also finds its place under the widest 
logical meaning of object. Thus — so it would seem — ^we cannot 
suspend formal logic and formal ontology. So too, and for obviously 
similar reasons, we cannot suspend general Noetics, which ex- 
presses our essential insight into the rationality or irrationality of 
the judging activity generally, the meaning-content of which is 
determined only in its formal generality. 

But if we look at the matter more closely, there opens up the 
possibility under certain provisos of placing formal logic in 
‘‘brackets”, and therewith all the disciplines of formal Mathesis 
(algebra, theory of numbers, theory of manifolds, and so forth). 
For if we may take for granted that the inquiry of phenomenology 
into Pure Consciousness sets itself and needs set itself no other 
task than that of making such descriptive analyses as can be 
resolved into pure intuition, the theoretical framework of the 
mathematical disciplines and all the theorems which develop 
within it cannot be of any service. Where the formation of con- 
cepts and judgments does not proceed constructively, where no 
systems of mediated deduction are built up, the formal theory of 
deductive systems generally, as we have it in mathematics, cannot 
function as the instrument of material research. 

Now phenomenology, in point of fact, is a pure descriptive 
discipline which studies the whole field of pure transcendental 
consciousness in the light oipure intuition. The logical propositions 
to which it might find occasion to refer would thus throughout 
be logical axioms such as the principle of contradiction, whose 
universal and absolute validity, however, it could make transparent 
by the help of examples taken from the data of its own domain. 
We can therefore expressly include formal logic and the entire 
field of Mathesis generally in our disconnecting and in 

this respect convince ourselves of the legitimacy of the standard 
which, as phenomenologists, we wish to follow. To claim nothing 


that we cannot make essentially transparent to ourselves by reference 
to Consciousness and on purely immanental lines. 

With this understanding we attain at once the explicit knowledge 
that a descriptive phenomenology is in principle independent 
of all those disciplines. This conclusion is not without its im- 
portance in respect to the philosophic appreciation of the value 
of phenomenology, and it therefore serves our purpose to record 
it here straight away. 

§ 60. The Suspending of the Material-Eidetic Disciplines 

As regards the eidetic fields of study on their material side, one 
of these is of such outstanding significance for us that the im- 
possibility of disconnexion can be taken for granted: that is, the 
essential domain of the phenomenologically purified consciousness 
itself. Even when we set ourselves the task of studying pure con- 
sciousness in its particularized specifications, after the manner 
therefore of a science of facts, though not in an empirico-psycho- 
logical sense (since we are moving within the limits imposed upon 
us by our phenomenological disconnexion from the world), we 
could not dispense with the a priori consciousness. A science of 
facts cannot alienate the right of making use of the essential truths 
which relate to the individual objectivities of its own domain. Now 
it is our direct intention, as follows from what we have already 
said in the Introduction to this work, to establish phenomenology 
itself as an eidetic science, as the theory of the essential nature of 
the transcendentally purified consciousness. 

If we do this, phenomenology brings under its own aegis all 
^Hmmanental essences^\ i.e., those which within the individual 
happenings of a stream of consciousness, and nowhere else, get 
particularized influx-conditioned experiences of some sort or other. 
Now it is of fundamental importance to see that by no means all 
essences belong to this special circle, that, on the contrary, the 
distinction between immanent and transcendent which holds good 
for individual objectivities holds on precisely similar lines for the 
corresponding essences. Thus *‘thing”, “spatial shape’’, “move- 
ment”, “colour of a thing”, and so forth; also “man”, “human 




concern. And however he conceives concepts and propositions, 
draws inferences, and so forth, that which formal logic decrees 
with formal generality concerning meanings of this type and 
classes of such meanings concerns him in the same way as it does 
every special worker. Therefore it concerns the phenomenologist 
also. Every pure experience also finds its place under the widest 
logical meaning of object. Thus — so it would seem — ^we cannot 
suspend formal logic and formal ontology. So too, and for obviously 
similar reasons, we cannot suspend general Noetics, which ex- 
presses our essential insight into the rationality or irrationality of 
the judging activity generally, the meaning-content of which is 
determined only in its formal generality. 

But if we look at the matter more closely, there opens up the 
possibility under certain provisos of placing formal logic in 
‘‘brackets”, and therewith all the disciplines of formal Mathesis 
(algebra, theory of numbers, theory of manifolds, and so forth). 
For if we may take for granted that the inquiry of phenomenology 
into Pure Consciousness sets itself and needs set itself no other 
task than that of making such descriptive analyses as can be 
resolved into pure intuition, the theoretical framework of the 
mathematical disciplines and all the theorems which develop 
within it cannot be of any service. Where the formation of con- 
cepts and judgments does not proceed constructively, where no 
systems of mediated deduction are built up, the formal theory of 
deductive systems generally, as we have it in mathematics, cannot 
function as the instrument of material research. 

Now phenomenology, in point of fact, is a pure descriptive 
discipline which studies the whole field of pure transcendental 
consciousness in the light oipure intuition. The logical propositions 
to which it might find occasion to refer would thus throughout 
be logical axioms such as the principle of contradiction, whose 
universal and absolute validity, howevej, it could make transparent 
by the help of examples taken from the data of its own domain. 
We can therefore expressly include formal logic and the entire 
field of Mathesis generally in our disconnecting kiroxj, and in 
this respect convince ourselves of the legitimacy of the standard 
which, as phenomenologists, we wish to follow. To claim nothing 


that we cannot make essentially transparent to ourselves by reference 
to Consciousness and on purely immanental lines. 

With this understanding we attain at once the explicit knowledge 
that a descriptive phenomenology is in principle independent 
of all those disciplines. This conclusion is not without its im- 
portance in respect to the philosophic appreciation of the value 
of phenomenology, and it therefore serves our purpose to record 
it here straight away. 

§ 60. The Suspending of the Material-Eidetic Disciplines 

As regards the eidetic fields of study on their material side, one 
of these is of such outstanding significance for us that the im- 
possibility of disconnexion can be taken for granted: that is, the 
essential domain of the phenomenologically purified consciousness 
itself. Even when we set ourselves the task of studying pure con- 
sciousness in its particularized specifications, after the manner 
therefore of a science of facts, though not in an empirico-psycho- 
logical sense (since we are moving within the limits imposed upon 
us by our phenomenological discoimexion from the world), we 
could not dispense with the a priori consciousness. A science of 
facts cannot alienate the right of making use of the essential truths 
which relate to the individual objectivities of its own domain. Now 
it is our direct intention, as follows from what we have already 
said in the Introduction to this work, to establish phenomenology 
itself as an eidetic science, as the theory of the essential nature of 
the transcendentally purified consciousness. 

If we do this, phenomenology brings under its own aegis all 
'Hmmanental essences'^ i.e., those which within the individual 
happenings of a stream of consciousness, and nowhere else, get 
particularized influx-conditioned experiences of some sort or other. 
Now it is of fundamental importance to see that by no means all 
essences belong to this special circle, that, on the contrary, the 
distinction between immanent and transcendent which holds good 
for individual objectivities holds on precisely similar lines for the 
corresponding essences. Thus “thing’^ ‘‘spatial shape”, “move- 
ment”, “colour of a thing”, and so forth; also “man”, “human 




feeling”, “soul”, and “psychical experience” (experience in the 
psychological sense), “person”, “quality of character”, and the 
like, are transcendent essences. If we wish to construct a pheno- 
menology as a pure descriptive theory of the essential nature of 
the immanent formations of Consciousness, of the events which 
under the limitations of the phenomenological suspension can be 
grasped within the stream of experiences, we must exclude from 
this limited field everything that is transcendently individual, 
therefore also all the transcendent essences, whose logical position 
lies rather in the theory of the essential nature of the relevant 
transcendent objectivities. 

Thus in its immanence it must admit nopositings of such -essences 
in the form of Being, no statements touching their validity or non- 
validity, or concerning the ideal possibility of objectivities that 
shall correspond to them; nor may it establish any laws bearing 
on their essential nature. 

To phenomenology that proposes really to limit itself to the 
region of pure experience, no transcendent-eidetic regions and 
disciplines can contribute, in principle, any prenoises at all. 
Since, then, it is our purpose, in conformity with the standard 
already referred to above, to give to phenomenology precisely 
this purity of construction, and since issues of the greatest philo- 
sophical import depend on deliberately preserving this purity 
throughout, we expressly sanction an extension of the original 
reduction to all transcendent-eidetic domains and the ontologies 
which belong to them. 

So, just as we discoimect the real Nature of physical science 
and the empirical natural sciences, we disconnect also the eidetic 
sciences, i.e., the sciences which study what belongs essentially 
to the physical objectivity of Nature as such. Geometry, kinematics, 
the “pure” physics of matter enter the bracket. Similarly, just as 
we have suspended all empirical sciences dealing with the nature 
of animals and all mental sciences concerning personal beings in 
personal relationships, concerning men as subjects of history, as 
bearers of culture, and treating also of the cultural institutions 
themselves, and so forth, we also suspend now the eidetic sciences 
which correspond to these objectivities. We do so, in advance and 


in idea; for, as everyone knows, these eidetic sciences (rational 
psychology, sociology, for instance) have not as yet received a 
proper grounding, at any rate none that is pure and free from all 

With reference to the philosophic functions which phenomen- 
ology is called to undertake, it is also advisable here again to state 
explicitly that in the investigations carried out above the absolute 
independence of phenomenology of all sciences, including eidetic 
sciences in their material bearing, has been firmly established. 

The given extensions of the phenomenological reduction have 
obviously not the fundamental importance which attaches to the 
original plain disconnexion from the natural world and the 
sciences which relate to it. Through this prior reduction it first 
became possible to focus attention on the phenomenological field 
and the apprehending of its data. The remaining reductions, as 
presupposing the first, are thus secondary, but by no means there- 
fore of small importance. 

§ 61. The Methodological Importance of the Systematic 
Theory of Phenomenological Reductions 

A systematic theory of the phenomenological reductions as a whole 
such as we have here attempted to outline has great importance for 
phenomenological method (and in the sequel for the method of 
transcendental philosophical research generally). Its explicit 
“bracketings” have this bearing on method that they continually 
remind us that the relevant spheres of Being and Knowledge lie, 
in principle, outside those which require to be studied in the way 
proper to transcendental phenomenology, and that every intru- 
sion of premises belonging to those bracketed domains is a sign 
pointing to a nonsensical confusion, a genuine perd^ams. If 
the phenomenological domain could but be taken immediately 
for granted, as is the case with donoains that possess a natural 
empirical setting, or could we but reach it through a mere transi- 
tion from the empirical to the eidetic standpoint, as the geometrical 
domain can be reached, shall we say, starting from the empirically 
spatial, it would not then stand in need of any elaborate reductions 



with the difficult considerations arising therefrom. Moreover, if 
persistent temptations to a fallacious metabasis did not exist, 
more particularly in the interpretation of the objectivities of the 
eidetic disciplines, we should not have needed to separate so 
carefully the single steps in the process. But the temptations are 
so strong that they even threaten those who in certain particular 
domains have freed themselves from all general misconceptions. 

We note in the first place the extraordinarily widespread dis- 
position of our time to interpret the eidetic psychologically. Even 
many who call themselves idealists have yielded to it ; and indeed, 
generally speaking, the influence of empiricist views on idealist 
thinkers has been a strong one. Those who take ideas or essences 
for “mental constructions”, who with respect to the operations of 
consciousness through which “concepts” of colour and shape are 
acquired, drawn from intuited examples of things with colours 
and shapes, confuse the consciousness of these essences, colour 
and shape resulting from the momentary intuition, with these 
essences themselves, ascribe to the flow of consciousness as a real 
part of it what is in principle transcendent to it. But that is on the 
one hand a corruption of psychology, for it affects the purity of 
the empirical consciousness ; on the other hand (and that is what 
here concerns us), it is a corruption of phenomenology. If then 
the region we are seeking is to be really discovered, it is most 
important that we should reach a clear understanding on this point. 
But we compass this most naturally when we follow our own track, 
in the first instance by a general justification of the eidetic generally, 
and then, as a more specific step in connexion with the theory of 
phenomenological reduction, by the suspending of the eidetic. 
This suspension had indeed to be confined to the eidetics of 
the transcendent individual objectivities in all the meanings 
which these transcendences bear. A new and fundamental phase 
of this whole question must here be considered. Granted that we 
have already freed ourselves from the tendency to interpret, 
essences and essential contents psychologically, it is a new and big 
step farther forward which does not by any means follow the 
earlier step as a matter of course, when the fruitful distinction 
which we have briefly indicated as that between immanent and 


transcendent essence is perceived and consistently observed on all 
occasions. On the one side essences of the formations of conscious- 
ness itself, on the other essences of individual events which 
transcend consciousness, essences therefore of that which only 
‘‘declares’’ itself in formations of consciousness; “constituting” 
itself, for instance, through sensory appearances, as indeed 
Consciousness requires. 

In my own case, at any rate, the second step, though the first 
had been taken before it, gave me great difficulty. No attentive 
reader of the Logical Studies could now miss this. The first 
step is there carried out with unhesitating decision : the right of the 
eidetic to be its own self as against the attempt to interpret it 
psychologically is justified in detail — ^very much against the sense 
of the time which reacted so vehemently against “Platonism” and 
“Logical Absolutism”. But as regards the second step, in certain 
theories, as in those concerning the logico-categorical objectivities 
and the object-giving consciousness 0/ these, it is quite decisively 
taken, whereas in other developments of the same volume there is 
obvious oscillation, in so far, namely, as the concept of the logical 
proposition is referred now to the logico-categorical objectivity, 
and now to the corresponding essence immanent in the judging 
thought. It is indeed hard for the beginner in phenomenology to 
learn to master in reflexion the different standpoints of conscious^ 
ness with their different objective correlates. But that holds for all 
essence-domains which do not themselves belong to the imma- 
nence relationships of consciousness. This insight must be won 
not only in respect of the formal-logical and the ontological 
essences and essence-contents (thus for essences such as “proposi- 
tion”, “conclusion”, and the like, as well as “number”, “order’'’, 
“manifold”, and so forth), but also in respect of the essences which 
are taken from the sphere of the natural world (such as “thing”, 
“bodily shape”, “man”, “person”, and so forth). An indication of 
this insight is the phenomenological reduction in its extended form. 
The controlling practical thought which this extension brings 
with it, that, as a matter of principle, not only the sphere of the 
natural world but all these eidetic spheres as well should, in re- 
spect of their true Being, provide no data for the phenomenologist ; 



that as a guarantee for the purity of its region of research they 
should be bracketed in respect of the judgments they contain, 
that not a single theorem, not even an axiom, should be taken from 
any of the related sciences, nor be allowed as premises for pheno- 
menological purposes — ^now assumes great methodological impor- 
tance. Let us therefore protect ourselves methodically from those 
confusions which are too deeply rooted in us, as born dogmatists, 
for us to be able to avoid them otherwise. 

§62, Epistemological Preliminaries. “Dogmatic^’ and 
Phenomenological Standpoints 

I have just made use of the term “dogmatist’’. We shall see that 
no merely analogical use of that word is here intended, but that 
an affinity with the Theory of Knowledge is implied in the very 
nature of the case. There is good reason at this point for thinking 
of the epistemological opposition between dogmatism and criti- 
cism, and for designating as dogmatic all the sciences which yield 
to the reduction. F ^r it is clear from essential sources that t he 
scj^Tices whioh-nre hrarkf ted are really just those and all those 
which stand in need of “criticism”, and i ndeed of a criticism which 
th ey^are not able on principle to supply^emselvesTand tha t, oil 
t|ae other h and, th e, s d en ce w i nch has the unique function of 
cr iticizing all the others and itself at th e same time Is none other 
t han phenomenology,^ T o put it more precisely! I t is the dis- 
tinctive peculiarity of phenomenolo gy to include .all lienees and 
a ll forms of.faiowiedge in the scope of its ei detic universality, and 
in respect of all that_whir h is^^/yzgrfz^fgZy trampar^nt in 
t^mZ-Or at least would be so, i f^they were genuine forms of 
Hao^ledge^The meaning and legitimacy of all the immediate 
starting-points possible and of all immediate steps in possible 
method come within its jurisdiction. Therefore all eidetic (all 
unconditionally and universally valid) forms of knowledge lie 
enclosed in phenomenology, and through them the root-problems 
of possibility ’, as bearing on any science or form of knowledge 

* ^ this point §26. Phenomenology is then the natural ground for the 

so-called specinc philosophical sciences. 


one may care to consider, receive an answer. As applied, pheno- 
menology supplies the definitive criticism of every fundamentally 
distinct science, and in particular there with the final determination 
of the sense in which their objects can be said to “be”. It also 
clarifies their methodology in the light of first principles, It is 
ther efore not surprising th at phe nomenology is as it were the 
sec ret longing of the whole philosophy of times. Jh£ 

fu ndamental thought of Descartes in its won derf ul profundity is 
alr ^dy pressing towards it ; Hume again, a psychological philo- 
so phy of the school of Locfe7a lmost en terslfs^^^^^ 
e yes are dazzled. The first to perceive it truly is Kant, whose 
g reatest intuitions firs{ become quite clear to us after we Tiave 
brought the distinctiv e features of the ph enomenological field 
i nS^ the tOCUS Ot full consciousness. It tj^en tn "iTft 

Kant^s mental gaze rested on this field, although he was not 
yet able to appropri ate it and reco gnize it as the centre from whic h 
to yrork up on his own line a rigorous science of Essential Being. 
Thus^the Transcendental Deduction of the first edition of the 
Criti Que of FurflR mson. for instance, already moves strictly .on 
phe: gomenological ground ; bu t Kant misinterprets the same as 
psyc hological, and th erefore eventually abandons it of his o wn 

Meanwhile we are anticipating subsequent developments 
(those of the Third Book of this whole work). The anticipatory 
statement may serve to justify us in referring to the group of 
sciences subject to reduction as dogmatic and opposing pheno- 
menology to them as a science of a wholly different dimension. 
At the same time we draw a parallel contrast between a dogmatic 
and z phenomenological standpoint y in which case the natural stand- 
point obviously comes under the dogmatic as a special case. 


The fact that the specific phenomenological suspensions which 
we have put forward are independent of the eidetic suspension 
of individual existence suggests the query whether within the 
compass of the former an empirical science {Tatsachenwissenschaft) 



of the transcendentally reduced experiences may not be possible. 
Like every fundamental question bearing on possibility, this 
question can be decided only on the ground of eidetic pheno- 
menology. It is answered in a way when we come to see why it 
is that every attempt to begin naively with a phenomenological 
science on a basis of fact before completing the phenomenological 
theory of essential being is mere nonsense. It can be shown that 
there cannot be by the side o/the extra-phenomenological sciences 
of fact a phenomenological science of fact that runs parallel to 
them and is co-ordinate with them, and that on the ground that 
the final appraisement of all sciences of fact leads to the uniting 
within a single system of the phenomenological connexions corre- 
sponding to all these sciences, connexions that have a concrete 
reference and function a^ possibilities with a concrete bearing; 
and that this interconnected imity is no other than the field of the 
phenomenological science of fact that was felt to be lacking. This 
science in one of its main aspects is thus the “phenomenological 
transformation” of the ordinary sciences of fact, made possible 
through eidetic phenomenology, and the only question that 
remains over is the extent to which something further cap be 
done from the position thus achieved. 





§63. The Special Importance for Phenomenology of 
Considerations of Method 

I £ we observe the rules J^Normm) which the phenomenological 
r eductions prescribe for us ; if. as they require us to do, we strictly 
suspend all transcendences; i f we take experiences pure, m 
accordance with their own essential nature, then after all we have 
set down there opens up before us a field of eidetic knowledge. 
Once the difficulties of the first beginnings have been overcome, 
we perceive it stretching endlessly in every direction. The variety 
of the species and forms of experience with their essential natures 
real and intentional is indeed inexhaustible ; and correspondingly 
endless is the variety of the essential connexions and apodeictically 
necessary truths that have their ground in these. Thus this infinite 
field of the a priori of consciousness which in its imique singularity 
has never yet come to its own, never strictly been seen at all, must 
now be brought under cultivation and the full value of fruitage 
drawn from it. But how find the right beginning? In point of 
fact, the beginning is here the most difficult thing of all and 
the situation out of the ordinary. The new field does not lie 
spread before our gaze crowded with given products, so that we 
could simply grasp them, confident of being able to make them 
objects of a science; nor can we be sure of the method we need 
for our advance. 

For when we seek to press forward on our own account and 
increase our knowledge of this new field, we lack the data of the 
natural standpoint, natural objects in particular, which through 
long-standing experience and the thought-practice of millenniums 
have become thoroughly familiar through their various distinctive 
properties, their elements, and their laws. Here the unknown still 
borders on the knovm. All methodical labour attaches itself to 
fact, all improvements of method to methods already in use ; our 
concern generally is merely with the developing of special methods 
which fit in with the already prescribed and well-established 


requirements of an approved scientific canon of method in 
general, and in the work of discovery they take their lead from 
these requirements. 

How different in phenomenology ! IHs not only that prior to all ^ 
method it stands already in need of a method , 
hring i nto the focus of a pprjdienskmj the content .gltbe j 
;gme transcendental consciousn ess ; n ot only that it calls further- f 
^re for awearisome diversion^f mind from natural data of which 
we are constantly conscious and with which the newly intended 
object is as it were interwoven, so that we are always in danger of 
confusing the one with the other; there is also lacking all that helps 
us so much in the sphere of natural objects, the familiarity won 
from practised intuitions, the favour conferred by ways of thinking 
left ready to one’s hand and traditional methods grown smooth 
to their task. Even a well-established method in this field will lack 
the hopeful confidence which derives its nourishment from various 
successful and approved applications in the recognized sciences 
and the practice of life. 

" Qie phenomenology whic h has recently come forwar d has 
t herefore to reckon with a r^ ical scept ical temper. IFhas not on ly 
to jdevelop its method, to win new forms of knowledge fr om new 
I mds of material, it has to reacEt he completest clearness concem- 
in g t he meaning and th evalidity^ the metEod which is to enab le 
i tto hold its own again st all serious criticisms. 

Whence it follows— and tEisls^veryninuch more important as 
it relates to a matter of principle — that p henomenology is bound 
b y its essential nature to make the claim of being **first” philosophy 
and to provide the means for all the rational criticism that needs 
to be performed ; that i t therefore demands the co mpletest freedom 
from all assumptions ^nd absolute refle x ive insi^ to 

it self. I t is its own essential nature to realize the completest clear- 
ness concerning its own essence, and therefore also concerning the 
principles of its own method. 

For these reasons the painstaking efforts spent in winning 
insight into the basic grounds of the method, into that which 
tight from the outset and continuously throughout its whole 
development is decisive for the new science, have a significance 


for phenomenology which is quite different from that which 
analogous efforts could ever have for other sciences. 

§ 64. The Self-suspending of the Phenomenologist 

Let us consider first a doubt as to method which might at once 
check the first steps we take. 

We disconnect the whole natural world and all eidetic spheres'^ 
of the tr anscendent order, and should thereby reach a ‘‘pure’’ 
consciousness. Butdid w e not say ju^now ‘*we” disconnect, and^ 
c an we as phenomenologists set ourselves out of action, we who 
st| ll remain m embers of the natural world ? 

We may soon convince ourselves that there is no real difficulty, 
prov ided we have hot shifted' the meaning of the ”discoime5in^\ 
W e can even co ntinue undisturbed to speak as in our capacity as 
i^tural human beings we have to speak j ior as phenomenologists 
we should not cease toTe main natura rEuman beings and to set 
ourselves down a s such also in our speech. But as a piece of method, ’ 
and in respect of the set propositidh^ which are to find their place 
in the fundamental work on Phenomenology still to be brought 
out, we apply to ourselves the rule of phenomenological reduction 
which bears on our own empirical existence as well as on that of 
other beings, forbidding us to introduce a proposition which con- 
tains, implicitly or explicitly, such references to the natural Order. 
So far as the reference to individual existence is concerned, the 
phenomenologist proceeds like any other eidetic worker, e.g., the 
geometer. In their scientific treatises geometers frequently speak 
of themselves and their work; but the subject who thinks out 
mathematics does not enter as such into the eidetic content of 
the mathematical propositions themselves. 

§ 65. The Reference OF Phenomenology Back to its Own Self 

Again, it might be a stumbling-block to someone that whereas 
from the phenomenological standpoint we direct our mental 
glance towards this or that pure experience with a view to studying 
it, the experiences of this inquiry itself, of this adoption of a 


standpoint and this direction of the mental glance, taken in their 
phenomenological purity, should belong to the domain of what is 
to be studied. 

That too is not a difficulty. It is precisely the same in psychology, 
and the case is similar in logical noetics. The thinking of the 
psychologist is itself something psychological, the thinking of the 
logician something logical, namely, as coming itself within thescope 
of the logical norms. This back-reference upon oneself would be 
a matter for concern only if upon the phenomenological, psycho- 
logical, and logical knowledge of this momentary thinking of this 
momentary thinker depended the knowledge of all other matters 
in the relevant spheres of study, which is, as anyone can see, an 
absurd presupposition. 

. It is true that a certain difficulty attaches to all disciplines that 
are referred back upon themselves, and in this respect that the 
first introduction to them, as also the first serious inquiry into 
their import, must operate with certain accessories of method 
which they have first in the sequel to shape in a scientifically 
adequate way. Without preliminary and preparatory considerations 
both of matter and method, the sketch of a new science could never 
be outlined. But the concepts and the other methodic elements 
with which psychology, phenomenology, and so forth, in their 
begiimings, operate in such preparatory treatises, are themselves 
psychological, phenomenological, and so forth, and first acquire 
their scientific impress within the system of the science already 

Obviously no really serious doubts which might hinder the real 
development of such sciences and of phenomenology in particular 
need disturb us in this direction. If it figures as a science mtkin 
the limits of mere immediate intuition, a pure descriptive” science 
of Essential Being, the general nature of its procedure is given in 
advance as something that needs no further explanation. It has to 
place before its own eyes as instances certain pure conscious events, 
to bring these to complete clearness, and within this zone of clear- 
ness to subject them to analysis and the apprehension of their 
essence, to follow up the essential connexions that can be clearly 
understood, to grasp what is momentarily perceived in faithful 


conceptual expressions, of which the naeaning is prescribed purely 
by the object perceived or in some way transparently understood. 
If this procedure in its unsophisticated form serves at first only to 
make one at home in a new domain, to practise seeing, apprehend- 
ing, analysing generally within it, and to encourage some acquain- 
tance with its data, scientific reflexion upon the essential nature 
of the procedure itself, upon the essential nature of the types of 
presentation which play their part within it, upon essence, per- 
formance, conditions of complete clearness and insight, as well as 
of completely true and steady conceptual expression, and more of 
the same kind, undertakes the function of a general and logically 
rigorous methodic grounding. Followed up deliberately, it takes 
on the character and rank of scientific method; and this, in any 
given case, in the application of rigorously formulated methodic 
standards, permits of the practice of a limiting and improving 
criticism. The essential relation of phenomenology to its own self 
here reveals itself in this, that what there in methodic reflexion 
under the rubrics: clearness, insight, expression, and the like, is 
considered and established, itself belongs on its own side to the 
phenomenological domain, that all the reflexive analyses are pheno- 
menological analyses of the essential nature of things, and the 
methodological insights obtained in respect of their establish- 
ment come under the very norms which they formulate. Thus 
it must be possible through fresh reflexions to convince one- 
self on every occasion that statements in the methodological 
propositions can be given with complete clearness, that the 
concepts utilized really and truly answer to what is given, and 
so forth. 

What has just been said obviously holds good for all method- 
ological inquiries which relate to phenomenology, however 
widely we might extend their limits, and so we can under- 
stand that this whole work which aims at preparing the way for 
phenomenology is itself through and through phenomenological 
in content. 



§66. Faithful Expression of the Clearly Given, 
Unambiguous Terms 

Let us follow up a little farther the most general of all the methodo- 
logical thoughts which have figured in the previous paragraphs. 
In phenomenology which claims to be nothing beyond a Theory 
of Essential Being developed within a medium of pure intuition, 
let us carry through by the help of given examples of pure tran- 
scendental consciousness cases of insight into such Being and fixate 
them conceptually or terminologically. The words we use may be 
derived from common speech, they may be ambiguous, and in 
respect of their shifting sense also vague. In so far as in the way 
of actual expression they are ‘‘congruent’’ with the intuitively given 
data, they take on a definite meaning as their Me et nunc actual 
and clear meaning; and from this point they can be rendered 
scientifically determinate. 

Everything indeed is not done when we have settled how the 
word is to be applied so as to fit faithfully the intuitively appre- 
hended essence, even supposing that in regard to this intuitive 
apprehension ever3^hing is exactly as it should be. Science is 
possible only when the results of thought can be preserved in the 
form of knowledge and remain available for further thinking as a 
system of propositions distinctly stated in accordance with logical 
requirements but lacking the clear support of presentations, and 
so, understood without insight, or else actualized after the manner 
of a judgment. It requires, of course, special provisions, both 
subjective and objective, for setting up at will (and on an inter- 
subjective basis) the appropriate grounds and the actual insight. 

Germane to all this is also the requirement that the same words 
and propositions shall be unambiguously correlated with certain 
essences that can be intuitively apprehended and constitute their 
completed “meaning”. On the ground of intuition and illustrative 
single data to which we have grown familiar, they will be furnished 
with distinct and unique meanings (“cancelling” as it were other 
meanings which under certain circumstances thrust themselves 
forward through the force of habit), and in such a way that in all 
the possible contexts in which thought may be active they main- 


tain their developed concepts, whilst they lose the capacity to 
adapt themselves to other intuitive data with other completed 
essences. And since in the languages in general use foreign tech- 
nical terms are, so far as possible, avoided and on good grounds, 
it is a constant necessity, in face of the existing ambiguities of 
ordinary speech, to be cautious and frequently test whether a word 
fixed for use in a previous context may be employed in some new 
context in a sense which is really the same as before. But this is 
not the place to go more closely into these and similar rules (into 
such, for instance, as relate to science as shaped through inter- 
subjective intercourse). 

§ 67. Method of Clarification. The “Nearness” and 
“Remoteness” of Given Data 

Of greater interest to us are certain considerations of method 
which, instead of relating to the verbal expression, relate to the 
essence and the essential connexions which they once fixated and 
now express. If the glance of inquiry is turned towards experiences, 
these will generally be presented with a ctrtzm emptiness oi content 
and vague sense of distance which prevents their being employed 
in reaching conclusive results, whether singular or eidetic. The 
matter would stand otherwise if, interested not so much in the 
experiences for their own sake as in the manner of their presenta- 
tion, we wished to study the essential nature of emptiness and 
vagueness themselves, for these on their side are not vague but 
are presented with fullest clearness. But if that itself which is 
vaguely known, the unclear floating image, shall we say, of memory 
or fancy, produces its own essence, that which it produces can 
only be something imperfect ; i.e., where the single intuitions which 
underlie our apprehension of the essence are on a lower plane of 
clearness, so also are the apprehensions of the essence, and correla- 
tively the object apprehended has an ^'unclear” meaning, it has its 
disorderly mixtures, its lack of proper distinctions both within 
and without. It is impossible or “only roughly” possible to decide 
whether what is apprehended now here and now there is the same 
(the same Being) or something different; it cannot be determined 


what components are really present, and what the components 
which already show themselves in vague relief, and give but a 
wavering indication of their own presence, ‘‘properly are”. 

We must then bring to the normal distance, to complete clearness^ 
what at any time floats before us shifting and unclear and more 
or less far removed, intuitionally, so that our intuitions of the 
essence may be given a corresponding value in which the intended 
essences and essential relations are given to the fullest possible 

Apprehension of the essence has accordingly its own grades of 
clearness^ just as in the case of the particular which floats before 
our gaze. But for every essence, just as for the corresponding 
phase of its individual counterpart, there exists, so to speak, an 
absolute nearness^ in which its givenness is in respect of this graded 
series absolute, i.e., pure self-givenness. The objective element 
does not only meet one’s gaze as “itself” in general, and we are not 
only aware of it as “given”, but it confronts us as a self given in 
its purity^ wholly and entirely as it is in itself. So far as a vestige of 
unclearness remains over, so far too does a factor of obscurity 
enter into the “self-”given phase, which therefore* does not pass 
within the circle of light reserved for that which is given pure. 
In the case of full unclearness y the polar opposite of full clearness, 
the phase of givenness, is not reached at all, consciousness is 
“obscure”, intuits no longer y in the strict sense it no longer “gives 
objects” at all. We must accordingly state the matter as follows: — 

Dator comciomness in the pregnant sense of the term and the 
intuitable over against the unintuitahUy the clear over against the 
obscure y these are parallel oppositions. Similarly; Grades of 
gwennesSy of iniuitabilityy of clearness. The zero-limit is obscurity, 
the unity-limit is full clearness, intuitability, givenness. 

But givenness in this connexion is not to be understood as 
primordial givenness, therefore not as givenness of the perceptual 
type. We do not identify the ^^self-given^^ with the *^primordially 
given^\ with the “embodied”. Understood in a strict sense, “given” 
and “self-given” may be used indifferently for each other, and 
the use of the super-suflicient expression should serve only to 
exclude givenness in that wider sense in which it is said of every- 


thing presented that it is given in presentation (though maybe 

Our distinctions apply further, as is forthwith apparent, to 
intuitions of any and every Und^ including empty presentations; 
therefore, too, without restriction in respect of the objects referred 
to^ although we are here interested only in the ways in which 
experiences are given and in their phenomenological constituents 
(real (reellen) and intentional). 

But with reference to future analyses, we must also take care 
that what is most essential to the matter is retained, whether the 
glance of the pure Ego searches through the whole of the relevant 
conscious experience, or, to put it more clearly, whether the pure 
Ego "Hums towards"^ a ‘‘given matter” and eventually ""grasps'^ 
it, or does not do so. Thus, for instance, “given percept-wise”, 
instead of being tantamount to “perceived” in the strict and normal 
sense of the apprehensions of this given object as it is, may 
mean no more than “ready to be perceived”; likewise “given 
fancy-wise” need not mean so much as “grasped through a move- 
ment of fancy”, and so generally, and indeed with respect also 
to all grades of clearness or obscurity. We may refer thus in 
advance to the “readiness”, which at a later stage we will discuss 
more closely, but let it be also noted that under the heading 
“giveimess”, where no contrary indication is added or obviously 
implied by the context, we understand as an included factor the 
being apprehendedy and, where the givenness of the essence is 
concerned, the being apprehended primordially. 

§68. Genuine and Counterfeit Grades of Clearness. The 
Essence of Normal Clarifying 

But we must continue our descriptions. If we speak of grades of 
givenness or clearness, we must distinguish between genuinely 
graded increases of clearness, to which one should also add graded 
increases in obscurity y and ungenuine increases of clearness, namely, 
enlargements extensive in hind of the scope of the clearness, with an 
accompanying rise, maybe, in its intensity. 

A phase already given, already really intuited, can be given with 


greater or lesser clearness — a tone or a colour, for instance. Let 
us exclude all apprehensions which reach beyond the intuitively 
given. We have then to deal with serial gradations that develop 
within the framework in which the intuitable can really be intuited ; 
intuitability as such under the rubric clearness admits of continu- 
ous differences of the intensive type, the intensities starting from 
zero, but closing at the upper end with a fixed limiting value. To 
this, one might say, the lower grades, in a certain sense, point 
forward; when we look at a flower in some mode of imperfect 
clearness, we “mean*’ the colour as it is “in itself”, and this is 
precisely that which is given when the clearness is perfect. And 
yet we must not allow ourselves to be led astray by the metaphor 
of “pointing” — as though one thing were a sign for another — ^and 
one should be just as chary of speaking here (we recall what 
have already noted once before)^ of exhibiting the clear “in 
itself” through the unclear: as the property of a thing, maybe, 
“exhibits” in intuition through sensory phases, namely, through 
perspective appearances. The graded differences of clearness are 
proper throughout to the mode of being given. 

It is quite otherwise when an apprehension that reaches beyond 
what is intuitively given weaves empty apprehensions into the 
real intuitive apprehension, for now, by degrees as it were, an 
increasing amount of what is emptily presented can become 
intuitable, or of what is already intuitable emptily presented. Thus 
the procedure of making clear to oneself consists here in two 
interconnected sets of processes : rendering intuitable^ and enhancing 
the clearness of what is already intuitable. 

In these words we have described the essential nature of the 
normal process of making something clear. For as a rule no pure 
intuitions are present, and there are no pure empty presentations 
passing over into pure intuitions ; it is the impure intuitions which, 
as intermediate grades maybe, play the chief part, bringing their 
objective matter on certain sides or in certain phases intuitively 
before us, and on other sides or in other phases yielding mere 
empty presentations. 

* Cf. mpra, § 44, p. 137 et seq. 


§ 69. The Method of Apprehending Essences with Perfect 


Perfectly clear apprehension has this advantage, that in virtue of its 
own essential nature it permits us with absolute certainty to 
identify and distinguish, to relate and make explicit, enables us, 
briefly, to carry out '‘with insight’’ all “logical” acts. Under this 
class come the acts of apprehending the essence^ to whose objective 
correlates, as already stated above, the^distinctions of clearness, now 
more familiar to us, are transferred, just as on the other side the 
methodological knowledge we have just gained is transferred to the 
objective of securing that the essence shall be perfectly presented. 

Thus in general the method which is a basic part of the method 
of eidetic science generally is one of going forward step by step . The 
particular intuitions which minister to the apprehension of the 
essence may be already sufficiently clear to render possible a 
completely clear grasp of some essential generality, and yet not so 
adequate as to satisfy the main intention ; there is a lack of clearness 
as regards the closer definitions of the interwoven essences ; thus 
we need to scrutinize our illustrative instances more closely or to 
contrive others that are better suited, in which the pertinent single 
features left confused and obscure stand out and can then be 
transformed into data of the clearest kind. 

We can always bring the data nearer to us even in the zone of 
obscure apprehension. What is obscurely presented comes closer 
to us in its own peculiar way, eventually knocking at the door 
of intuition, though it need not for that reason pass over the 
threshold (and perhaps cannot do so “on account of psychological 

We have further to consider that what is given to us at the moment 
has a determinable margin ^ not yet determinate^ and possessing its 
own way of effecting the transition through a process of “««- 
folding^\ of separating out into series of presentations at first; it 
may be passing once more into obscurity, then emerging once 
again in the presentational sphere, until the Object referred to 
(das Intendierte) passes into the brightly lit circle of perfect 


Further, we would draw attention to the point that it would be 
gow§ too far to say that all self-evident apprehension of the essence 
demands that the subsumed particulars in their concrete fullness 
should be fully clear. It is quite sufficient when grasping essential 
differences of the most general kind, as those between colour and 
sound, perception and will, that the exemplifying instances should 
show a lower grade of clearness. It is as though the most general 
character, the genus (colour in general, sound in general), were 
fully given, but not as yet the difference. That's a shocking way 
of putting it, but I could not see how to avoid it. Let the reader 
figure the situation for himself in vivid intuition. 

§ 70. The Role of Perception in the Method for Clarifying 
THE Essence. The Privileged Position of Free Fancy 

Let us, as a further step, accentuate some of the specially important 
features of the method of apprehending essence. 

It belongs to the general and essential nature of immediate, 
intuitive essence-apprehension (and the point is one that we have 
already stressed)^ that it can be carried out on the basis of the 
mere present framing of particular illustrations. But such presenting 
under the form of fancy, for instance, can, as we have just been 
showing, be so perfectly clear as to enable us to see and apprehend 
perfectly the essential nature of things. In general, perception with 
its primordial dator quality, and external perception, of course, in 
particular, has advantages of its own as compared with all forms of 
representation. And this, moreover, not merely as the empirical 
act whereby we fix the content of an objective experience — such 
fixing does not at present concern us — ^but as the basis for firmly 
establishing the essential being of things on phenomenological 
lines. Outer perception has its perfect clearness in respect of all 
objective phases which reach their mode of givenness really within 
it and on primordial lines. But it also offers, with the eventual 
assistance of the reflexion directed back upon it, clear and steady 
details for general analyses of a phenomenological kind, directed 
towards essences, and even, on closer inspection, for analyses of 

* Cf. § 4, pp. 57-58. 


acts as well. Anger reflected upon may dissipate, quickly modifying 
its content. It is also not always available like perception, not 
producible at pleasure with the help of convenient experimental 
apparatus. To study it reflectively in its primordiality would be 
to study an anger in process of dissipation, which has its own 
meaning, no doubt, but perhaps not that which was to be studied. 
Outer perception, on the contrary, so much more accessible as 
it is, does not “dissipate” under reflexion, and we are able, without 
special trouble in fixing the conditions of clearness and keeping 
within the limits of primordiality, to study in general its essential 
nature, and that also of its own components and essential correlates. 
If one says that perceptions also have their differences of clearness 
(in relation, namely, to the cases of perception), e.g., in the dark, in 
fog, and so forth, we will not let ourselves be drawn into further 
discussion as to whether these differences are quite so similar to 
those already referred to as they are here assumed to be. Let it 
suffice that perception is not ordinarily conditioned by fog, and that 
clear perception, as it is needed, is always at our disposal. 

Now if for purposes of method the advantages of primordiality 
were very marked, we should have to consider where and how and 
to what extent it could be realized in the different types of experi- 
ence ; which of these types come specially near in this respect to 
the pre-eminently privileged domain of sensory perception, and 
many similar questions. But as it is we can disregard all this. There 
are reasons why, in phenomenology as in all eidetic sciences, 
representations, or, to speak more accurately, free fancies ^ assume 
a privileged position over against perceptions ^ and that, even in the 
phenomenology of perception itself ^ excepting of course that of the 
sensory data. 

The geometer when he thinks geometrically operates with 
imagery vastly more than he does with percepts of figures or 
models; and this is true also of the “pure” geometer, who dis- 
penses with the methods of algebra. In fancy it is true he must 
toil to secure clear intuitions, and from this labour the drawing and 
the model sets him free. But in actual drawing and modelling he 
is restricted; in fancy he has perfect freedom in the arbitrary 
recasting of the figures he has imagined, in running over continuous 


series of possible shapes, in the production therefore of an infinite 
number of new creations ; a freedom which opens up to him for the 
first time an entry into the spacious realms of essential possibility 
with their infinite horizons of essential knowledge. The drawings 
therefore follow normally after the constructions of fancy and the 
pure eidetic thought built upon these as a basis, and serve chiefly 
to fix stages in the process already previously gone through, thereby 
making it easier to bring it back to consciousness once again. Even 
where the thinker “meditates” over the figure, the new processes 
of thought which link themselves on to it have fancy-processes as 
their sensory basis, and it is the results of this work of fancy which 
fix the new lines on the figure. 

Keeping to the most general considerations, the position for 
the phenomenologist, who has to deal with experiences as reduced 
and with the correlates which essentially belong to them, is 
substantially the same. There is also an infinite number of essential 
forms of the phenomenological kind. The worker in phenomen- 
ology, as in other fields, can make only a limited use of the help 
supplied through the primordial order of givenness. He has indeed 
at his disposal as primordial data all the main types of perception 
and representation. He has them as perceptual illustrations for a 
phenomenology of perception, of fancy, of memory, and so forth. 
For the most part he has likewise at his disposal in the sphere 
of the primordial examples for judgments, supposals, feelings, 
volitions. But naturally not for all possible special forms, just as 
little as the geometer depends on drawings and models for the 
infinite variety of his corporeal types. Here too at all events the 
freedom of research in the region of the essence necessarily 
demands that one should operate with the help of fancy. 

It is naturally important, on the other hand (once again as in 
geometry, which has recently and not idly been attaching great 
value to collections of models and the like), to make rich use of 
fancy in that service of perfect clearness which we are here demand- 
ing, to use it in the free transformation of the data of fancy, but 
previously also to fructify it through the richest and best observa- 
tions possible in primordial intuition; noting, of course, that this 
fructifying does not imply that experience as such can be the ground 


of validity. We can draw extraordinary profit from what history 
has to offer us, and in still richer measure from the gifts of art and 
particularly of poetry. These are indeed fruits of imagination, but 
in respect of the originality of the new formations, of the abundance 
of detailed features, and the systematic continuity of the motive 
forces involved, they greatly excel the performances of our own 
fancy, and moreover, given the understanding grasp, pass through 
the suggestive power of the media of artistic presentation with 
quite special ease into perfectly clear fancies. 

Hence, if anyone loves a paradox, he can really say, and say with 
strict truth if he will allow for the ambiguity, that the element 
which makes up the life of phenomenology as of all eidetical science 
is *‘fiction^\ that fiction is the source whence the knowledge of 
‘‘eternal truths” draws its sustenance^ 

§71. The Problem of the Possibility of a Descriptive 
Eidetic of Experiences 

In the preceding pages we have repeatedly described phenomen- 
ology quite frankly as a descriptive science. A fundamental ques- 
tion of method is again raised, and with it a doubt which checks 
us as we press eagerly forward into the new territory. Is it right to 
set phenomenology the aims of pure description? K descriptive eidetic i 
is that not something altogether perverse? 

The motives to such questioning are sufficiently familiar to all 
of us. He who, like ourselves, is feeling his way, so to speak, in 
a new eidetic, asking what researches are here possible, what 
points to start from, what methods to adopt, glances involuntarily 
towards the old, highly developed eidetic disciplines, towards 
the mathematical therefore, and in particular towards geometry 
and arithmetic. But we notice at once that in our own case these 
disciplines cannot be appealed to for guidance, that the conditions 
in their case are essentially different. There is indeed some danger 
here that the novice who has not yet come across any bit of genuine 
phenomenological essence-analysis may be misled as to the possir 

^ A sentence which should be particularly appropriate as a quotation for 
bringing ridicule from the naturalistic side on the eidetic way of knowledge 1 


bility of a phenomenology. Since the mathematical disciplines are 
the only ones at the present time which could effectively represent 
the idea of a scientific eidetic, the thought at first does not suggest 
itself that there may be still other types of eidetic disciplines, 
non-mathematical in character, and in their whole theoretical 
cast radically different from the type already known. Hence, if 
someone has allowed himself, on the strength of general con- 
siderations, to be won over to the demand for a phenomeno- 
logical eidetic, the attempt, doomed to miscarry from the outset, 
to establish such a thing as a mathematics of phenomena, may 
mislead him into abandoning the very idea of a phenomenology. 
But that again would be perverse. 

So let us in the most general way make clear to ourselves the 
distinctive uniqueness of the mathematical disciplines in opposition 
to that of a theory of experiences in their essential aspect, and at the 
same time be clear as to the precise aims and methods which 
should in principle be unsuited for the sphere of experience. 

§72. Concrete, Abstract, “Mathematical” Sciences of 
Essential Being 

Let us start from the distinction of essences and essential sciences 
into material and formal. We can exclude the formal and there- 
with the whole group of formal, mathematical disciplines, since 
phenomenology obviously belongs to the noaterial eidetic sciences. 
If analogy can give any guidance at all in matters of method, its 
influence should be felt most strongly when we restrict ourselves 
to material mathematical disciplines such as geometry, and there- 
fore in more specific terms whether a phenomenology must be 
built up, or can be built up, as a “geometry” of experiences. 

In order to win at this point the requisite insight, we must not 
lose sight of some important distinctions drawn from the general 
theory of science.’' 

Every theoretical science binds an ideally limited whole of 
being tc^ether by relating it to a domain of knowledge which on 

■ Cf. with subsequent developments the first dmpter of the first section, 
esp. ^ 13 , xs, and 16. 


its side is determined through a higher genus. We first reach a 
radical unity through reverting to the highest genus of all, to the 
relevant region and the regional components of the genus, that is, 
to the highest genera which unite within the regional genus and 
are eventually grounded mutually the one in the other. The 
construction of the highest concrete genus (the region) out of 
genera that are partly alternative, partly grounded in one another 
(and in this way enveloping one another), corresponds to the 
construction of the concreta that belong to it out of lowest differ- 
ences that are partly alternative, partly grounded in one another ; 
as obtains with temporal, spatial, and material determinations, 
for instance, in the case of the Thing. To each region there corre- 
sponds a regional Ontology with a series of self-limited regional 
sciences, which eventually rest on one another and correspond 
to the highest genera which have their unity in the region. To 
subordinate genera correspond mere disciplines or so-called 
theories, to the genus conic ‘section’, for instance, the discipline 
of the conic sections. Such a discipline, as will be readily grasped, 
has no complete independence so long as, in its forms of knowledge 
and its assignings of grounds to knowledge, it has naturally to 
adapt itself to the whole basic group of forms of knowledge con- 
cerning the essence which have their unity in the summum genus. 

According as the highest genera are regional (concrete) or mere 
components of such genera, are sciences concrete or abstract. The 
division corresponds obviously to that between concrete and 
abstract genera in general.^ There belong then to the domain at 
one time concrete objects, as in the eidetic science of nature, at 
another, abstract objects like the configurations of space, time, and 
motion. The essential relation of all abstract genera to concrete, 
and in the last resort regional genera, gives to all abstract disciplines 
and full-fledged sciences essential connexion with those that are 
concrete and regional. 

Precisely parallel with the division of eidetic sciences there 
runs, moreover, a corresponding division of empirical sciences. 
They divide again according to regions. We have, for instance, 
just one physical science of nature, and all single natural sciences 
* Cf. supra, § 15, pp. 75-77* 


are strictly speaking mere disciplines : the impressive balance not 
only of eidetic but of empirical laws also, which stands to the 
credit of physical nature generally prior to any division into natural 
spheres, gives these single sciences their unity. Moreover, different 
regions can show interconnexion through empirical rules, as, for 
instance, the region of the physical and that of the psychical. 

If we now glance at the familiar eidetic sciences, we are struck 
by the fact that they do not proceed by description, that geometry, 
for instance, does not grasp in single intuitions, describe and 
classify in order the lowest eidetic differences, the numberless 
spatial figures that can be drawn in space, as do the descriptive 
natural sciences in respect of empirical natural formations. 
Geometry gives, rather, a few types of fundamental constructs, the 
ideas of body, surface, point, angle, and the like, the same which 
play the controlling part in the ‘‘axioms’’. With the help of axioms, 
i.e., of primitive laws of Essential Being, it is now in the position 
to infer deductively, and in the form of exact determining con- 
cepts which represent essences that remain as a rule estranged 
from our intuition, all forms that “exist” in space, i.e., all spatial 
forms that are ideally possible and all the essential relations that 
concern them. The essential generic nature of the domain of 
geometry, and in relation thereto the pure essential nature of 
space, is so ordered that geometry can be fully certain of being 
able to control, through its method, with exact precision really 
all the possible cases. In other words, the variety of spatial forma- 
tions generally has a remarkable logical basic property , to indicate 
which we introduce the name definite'^ 7nanifold or ^^mathematical 
manifold in the pregnant sense of the terfn^\ 

It has the following distinctive feature, that a finite number of 
concepts and propositions — ^to be drawn as occasion requires 
from the essential nature of the domain under consideration — 
determines completely and unambiguously on lines of pure logical 
necessity the totality of all possible formations in the domain, so that 
in principle, therefore, nothing further remains open within it. 

We can also put it thus : A manifold of this type has the dis- 
tinctive property of being ^^mathetnatically, exhaustively definable^\ 
The “definition” lies in the system of axiomatic concepts and 


axioms, and the ‘‘mathematically-exhaustive*’ herein that the 
defining assertions in relation to the manifold imply the greatest 
conceivable prejudgment — ^nothing further is left undetermined. 

An equivalent of the concept of a definite manifold lies also 
in the following propositions : — 

Every proposition constructed out of the designated axiomatic 
concepts, and in accordance with any logical form whatsoever, is 
either a pure formal implication of the axioms, or formally derivable 
from these as the opposite of what they imply, that is, formally 
contradicting the axioms ; the contradictory opposite would then 
be a formal implication of the axioms. In a mathetnatically definite 
manifold the concepts ^^true^^ and ^formal implication of the axioms'*^ 
are equivalent^ and likewise also the concepts “false’’ and “formally 
implied as the opposite of a formal implication of the axioms”* 

I also refer to a system of axioms which on purely analytic lines 
“exhaustively defines” a manifold in the way described as a 
definite system of axioms \ every deductive discipline which rests on 
such a system is a definite discipline^ or one that is mathematical 
in the pregnant sense of the term. 

The definitions remain as a system even when we leave the 
material specification of the manifold fully undetermined, thus 
making a generalization of the formalizing type. The system of 
axioms is thereby transformed into a system of axiomatic forms, 
the manifold into a form of manifoldness, and the discipline 
relating to the manifold into a form of discipline.^ 

* Cf. on this point Logische Untersuchungatj Vol. L §§ 69, 70. 1 had already made 
use of the concepts here introduced towards the beginning of 1890 (in the 
Studies in the Theory of the Formal Mathematical Disciplines^ which I had 
thought of as a sequel to my Philosophy of Arithmetic) ^ and indeed chiefly 
with the purpose of finding a solution, on lines of principle, of the problem 
of imaginary quantities (cf. the brief indication, Log. Unters.y Vol. I. p. 250). 

I have had many an opportunity since then in lectures and practice-classes 
of developing the related concepts and theories, sometimes in full detail, and 
in the winter term 1900-01 I treated of the same in two addresses given 
before the “Mathematical Society*’ in Gdttingen. Certain points out of this 
circle of ideas have found their way into current literature without any 
reference to the original source. The close relation of the concept of definiteness 
to the “Axiom of Completeness” introduced by D. Hilbert for the Foundations 
of Arithmetic will be apparent without further remark on my part to every 



§73. Application to the Problem of Phenomenology. 

Description and Exact Determination 

How fares it then mth. phenomenology as compared with geometry, 
as the representative of a material mathematics in general ? It is 
clear that it belongs to the concrete-eidetic disciplines. Experiential 
essences {Erlebnisweseti) which are not abstracts but concreta 
constitute its scope. These, as such, have many varieties of 
abstract phases, and the question now is : Do the highest genera 
which belong to these abstract phases form here too domains for 
definite disciplines, for “mathematical” disciplines after the pattern 
of geometry ? Have we then here also to seek after a definite system 
of axioms and to erect deductive theories upon it? In other words, 
have we here also to seek for “fundamental constructs” and to 
derive from these constructively, i.e., deductively, through apply- 
ing the axioms consistently to all other essential formations of the 
domain and their essential determinations ? Now it belongs to the 
very essence of such derivation, and this also is to be observed, to 
be a determining form that is logically mediated, and its results, 
even if they are “shown on the figure”, cannot in principle be 
grasped in immediate intuition. We can also set our question in 
these words : Is the stream of consciousness a genuine mathematical - 
manifold? Does it in its actuality (Faktizitdt) resemble physical 
nature, which indeed, if the ideal which leads the physical in the 
last resort is valid and is grasped through rigorous concepts, we 
should have to designate as a concrete definite manifold ? 

It is a very important problem of theoretical science how to 
reach fully clear conclusions concerning all the questions of 
principle which have here been mooted; thus, after the fixing of 
the concept of the definite manifold, to consider the necessary 
conditions which a materially determined domain must satisfy if 
it is to correspond to this idea. One condition for this is the exact~ 
ness of the "conceptual construction'', which is in no sense a ma tter 
of our arbitrary choice and of logical dexterity, but in respect of 
the assumed axiomatic concepts, which must however be present- 
able in immediate intuition, presupposes exactness in the appre- 
hended essence itself. But to what extent “exact” essences can be 


found in an essence-domain, and whether exact essences figure in 
the substructure of all essences apprehended in real intuition, 
and therefore also of all the components of the essence, these 
are matters that depend throughout on the peculiar nature of the 

The problem we have just been glancing at is inwardly bound 
up with the fundamental and still unsolved problems of setting 
out clearly on grounds of principle the relation oV description"^ with 
its '^descriptive concepts"\ to ‘‘unambiguous’’, "exact determination"" 
with its "ideal concepts"" \ and running parallel to this, of clearly 
setting out the relation so little understood between “descriptive” 
and “explanatory” sciences. An attempt bearing in this direction 
will be communicated in the sequel to these studies. At this point 
we should not postpone too long the main train of our reflections, 
and we are moreover not sufiiciently prepared to treat such ques- 
tions at present in an exhaustive way. Let it suffice if in what 
follows we just hint at some points which in a general way we may 
perhaps bring more closely home to ourselves. 

§ 74. Descriptive and Exact Sciences 

Let us connect our observations with the contrast we have been 
drawing between geometry and descriptive natural science. The 
geometer is not interested in actual forms intuitable through sense, 
as is the descriptive student of nature. He does not, like the latter, 
construct morphological concepts of vague types of configuration, 
which on the basis of sensory intuition are directly apprehended, 
and, vague as they are, conceptually or terminologically fixed. The 
vagueness of the concepts, the circumstances that they have mobile 
spheres of application, is no defect attaching to them; for they are 
flatly indispensable to the sphere of knowledge they serve, or, as 
we may also say, they are within this sphere the only concepts 
justified. If it behoves us to bring to suitable conceptual expression 
the intuitable corporeal data in their intuitively given essential 
characters, we must indeed take them as we find them. And we 
do not find them otherwise than in flux, and typical essences can 
in such case be apprehended only in that essential intuition which 

2o8 pure phenomenology 

can be immediately analysed. The most perfect geometry and its 
most perfect practical control cannot help the descriptive student 
of nature to express precisely (in exact geometrical concepts) 
that which in so plain, so understanding, and so entirely 
suitable a way he expresses in the words: notched, indented, 
lens-shaped, iimbelliform, and the like— simple concepts which 
are essentially and not accidentally inexact^ and are therefore also 

Geometrical concepts are 'HdeaV concepts, they express some- 
thing which one cannot ‘‘see”; their “origin”, and therefore their 
content also, is essentially other than that of the descriptive concepts 
as concepts which express the essential nature of things as drawn 
directly from simple intuition, and not anything “ideal”. Exact 
concepts have their correlates in essences, which have the character 
of ^*Ideas^^ in the Kantian sense. Over against these Ideas or ideal 
essences stand the morphological essences, as correlates of descrip- 
tive concepts. 

That ideation which gives ideal essences as ideal ^Himits'\ which 
cannot on principle be found in any sensory intuition, to which 
on occasion morphological essences “approximate” more or less, 
without ever reaching them, this ideation is something essentially 
and radically different from the apprehension of the essence through 
simple “abstraction”, in which a selected “phase” in the world 
of essences is set up as something intrinsically vague, as simply 
typical. The constancy and clear-cut distinguishability of generic 
concepts or generic essences, which have their scope within the 
flux of things, should not be confused with the exact?iess of the ideal 
concepts, and the genera whose scope includes an ideal element 
throughout. We must further realize that exact and purely descrip- 
tive scietwescza indeed uxiitQthtiv efforts, but can never take each 
other’s place; that however far the development of exact science, 
the science, that is, that operates with an ideal ground-work, is 
pushed, it cannot discharge the original and authentic tasks of 
pure description. 


§ 75. Phenomenology as Descriptive Theory of the Essence 
OF Pure Experiences 

As concerns Ph enomenology, it aims at being a descriptive theory 
of the essence of pure transcengehtal experiences from thepEen o^" 
menological standpoint, an d like every descriptive discipline, 
neither idealizing nor working at the substructure of things, it 
has its own justification. Whate ver there "m ay be in *‘reduce4’’ 
experiences to grasp eidetically in pure intuition, wito as a rear 
portion of such experience or as intentional correlate, that is its 
p rovince, and is a vast source ot absolute knowIedge foritT" 

Still, let us see more clearly to wfiat extent really scientific 
descriptions can be set up on the phenomenological field, with its 
infinite number of eidetic concreta, and to what services they can 
be put. 

It is part of the peculiarity of consciousness generally to be 
continually fluctuating in different dimensions, so that there can 
be no talk of fixing any eidetic concreta or any of the phases which 
enter immediately into their constitution with conceptual exactness. 
Let us take, for instance, an experience of the genus “imagery of 
a thing’’ as it is given us either in phenomenologically immanent 
perception or in some other (of course reduced) intuition. The 
phenomenologically particular object (the eidetic singularity) 
is then just this imagery of the thing in the whole wealth of its 
concreteness, precisely as it participates in the flow of experience, 
with the precise deternainacy or indeterminacy with which it lets 
its thing appear, now in this aspect, now in that, and with just 
that distinctness or mistiness, that fluctuating clearness and inter- 
mittent obscurity, and so forth, which is peculiar to it. It is only 
the individual el ement which p henomen ology ignores, w hilst it 
raises the whole essential con tent in its concrete^fullness into eidetfc 
consciousness, and t akes it as an ideally selfsa me ^ence, which 
1 ^ every essence could particularize itself not only hie et nunc 
but in numberless instances. W e can see at once that a conceptual 
and terminological fixation of this and every similar flowing con- 
cretum is not to be thought of, and that this applies to each of its 
immediate and no less flowing parts and abstract aspects. 



If now there is no question of an unambiguous determination 
of eidetic singularities in our realm of description, it is quite other- 
wise with the essences at a higher specific level. These are susceptible 
of stable distinction, unbroken self-identity, and strict conceptual 
apprehension, likewise of being analysed into component essences, 
and accordingly they may very properly be made subject to the 
conditions of a comprehensive scientific description, 

_Thus we describe and determine with rigorous conceptual 
j^cxsibn the gene ric essence of perce pt ion generally or of subordi^ 
nate species such as the perception of ^^ thinghood, o f anim al 

natures, a nd t he like ; like wise of memory, empathy, will, and ^ 
f orth) in their generality. Su tjhe highest genialities stand fore - 
most: experience in general, contatio in general, and these mak e 
i t possible to give comprehensive descriptions of the essentia l 
nature of things . Moreover, it belongs to the very nature of a general 
apprehensToh bT essences and of general analysis and description 
that there is no corresponding dependence of what is done at higher 
grades on what is done at the lower. In point of method we cannot 
insist, for instance, on a systematic inductive procedure, on a 
gradual ascent, rung by rung, up the step-ladder of generality. 

We now note a further consequence. It follows from what w e 
ha ve said that all d eductive theorizing is exclude d from phenomen- 
ology. M ediate inferences are not positively denied it ; but seeing 
that all its knowledge is descriptive and must be purely adjusted 
to immanent requirements, it follows that inferences, unintuitable 
ways and means of every description, have only the methodological 
meaning of leading us toward the facts which it is the function of 
an ensuing direct essential insight to set before us as given. 
Analogies which press upon us may, prior to real intuition, supply 
us with conjectures as to the essential relations of things, and from 
these may be drawn inferences that lead us farther forward ; but 
in the end the conjectures must be redeemed by the real vision 
of the essential connexions. So long as this is not done we have no 
result that we can call phenomenological. 

. T ^e pressing q uestion whether within the eidetic domain of 
reduced phenomena (m t he domain as a whole or in some one or 
other of Its subdivisions) an idealizing procedure may be adopted 


side by side with the descript ive, substitu ting for the intuitable 
<£ta' pure a nd rigorously conceived ideals, w hi ch might then 
i^eed serve as thel Fundamental nex us for a mathesis of experiences 
and as a counterpar t to descriptive phenomenology, is iiideed no F 
settled by the foregoing considerations^ ^ 

Much as the studies we have just completed must leave open to 
inquiry, they have considerably furthered our quest, and not only 
through bringing into our field of view a series of important 
problems. We are now quite clear that for the grounding of 
phenomenology there is nothing to be gained from mere analogies. 
It is only a misleading prejudice to suppose that the historical 
methods of the a priori sciences, which are exact ideal sciences 
throughout, must be accepted without question as the pattern 
for every new method of science, and especially for our transcen- 
dental phenomenology — as though all eidetic sciences must show 
one type of method only, that of “exactness”. Transcendental 
phenomenology as descriptive science of Essential Being belongs 

which the mathematical sciences belong. 



§76. The Theme of the Following Studies 

The realm of transcendental consciousness had proved, as a result 
oTplienom<5iiQl^ical reduction, to be, in a certain definite sense, a 
i^lm of ‘‘absolute” Being. It is the origmal category ot Being 
generally Xor, as we would put it, the original region), in which all 
other regions of Being have their root, to which they are essentially 
related, on which they are therefore one and all dependent in an 
essential way. The doctrine of Catego ries must take its start un- 
reser vedly from this the most radical of all distinctions of Bei ng — 
^em^asConsciousness and Being as ^^declarin^^^ itself in consc ious- 
ness, or as ^^transcendent** Being, a distinction which, as is clearly 
apparent, can be drawn in all its purity and properly justified only 
through t he method ot phenomenoiogicar reduction. The rela- 
tions between phenomenology and all other sciences, a topic we 
have frequently touched on, but must go into more deeply at a 
later stage, have their ground in this essential relation between 
tramcendental and transcendent Being. Their very meaning implies 
that the domain over which phenomenology rules extends in a 
certain remarkable way over all the other sciences from which it 
has none the less disconnected itself. Tlw disco n nexion has also 
t he character of a change of indica tor tohicTt alter sl^he value of thdt^ 
to which the indi cator refers change of indicator he reckoned 

th^ whose value ii s^ves to alter is ther^y rdnstated wiihw^^ 
‘^henomer^Qgical sphered Of to puHt meta^oricaU : the bracketed ^ 
mattefls npy off the phenomenological ^te, but only 
b racketed, and thereby provided with a sign that indicates th e 
b ^ketin g. Taking its sign with it. the bracketed matter is reii?" 
tegrat eAln the main theme of the inquiry. 

It is most necessary to get a thorough understanding of this 
position, together with the different points of view intrinsic to it. 
To take a pertinent illustration : p hysical nature suffers dis con- 
nexion, whilst notwithstanding we con tinue to have not only a 
phenomendlogy oFthe natural scientific consciousness on the side 


of its thought and e xperience, but also a phenomenology of nature 
i tself as correlate^oHEe natural scientific con“s crbusness7Simi!^^ 
although psychology and mental science are aSecte3rby the dis- 
comiexion, we have a phenomenology of man, his personality, 
personal qualities, and his conscious course (as a human being) ; 
a phenomenology, further, of the mind of the community, its 
social institutions, its cultural creations, and so forth. Whatever 
is transcendent, in so far as it comes to be consciously presented, 
is an object of phenomenological study not only on the side of the 
comcionsness of it, of the various conscious ways, for instance, in 
which it comes to be given as transcendent, but also, although 
essentially bound up with the viewpoint just noted, as the given 
and that which is experienced in it. 

There are in this way immense fields of phenomenological 
research which have been quite overlooked by those who havg 
started out from the idea of experience — especially when we start, 
as we all do, with the psychological viewpoint, and have at first 
allowed ourselves to take over the concept of experience from the 
psychology of our own time — ^fields of inquiry which at first, under 
the influence of inner resistances, one is apt to be little inclined to 
recognize as phenomenological at all. Through this inclusion of 
bracketed matter, quite peculiar and at first confusing situations 
are created in the case of psychology and the science of mind. 
T o restrict oneself to the case of psychology, we may set it down^ ^ 
that consciousn ess, as a given datum of psychological experience, 
and as human or animal, is an object of psychology, of empirical 
psychology in the investigations of empirical science7 oreid etic 
psychology in those of the sci^ce ofEssences . On the other hand, 
the whole world, with its psychic i ndividuals and its psychic ex - 
pmences — all this aVcorrelate of the absolute cons ciousness — j 
falls iiTmodlhecL bracketedT forin within phenom^ology . Thus J 
consciousness figures under different forms of apprehension^^and 
i ndifferent connexions, even within phenomenSogy"^^ fiiSt 
in itself as absolute consciousness, then in its correlate as psycho-^ 
lo gical consciousness, which now finds its place in the natural 
world , with its value altered in a certain wav and vet withou t 
loss of its own content as consciousness. These are complicated 


connexions and extraordinarily important ones. It ^also depends 
on them that everj phenomenological position c oncerning abso- 
l ule^consciousness ^n be reinterpret in terms oriidetic ps^ 
cbology (which, strictly considered, is itself in no sense phenomeno- 
iQgical)Tlhou gh the phenomenological outlook is, of the two, th e 
more comprehensive, and as absolute the more radical. T o see all 
this clearly, and then further to clarify fully and inwardly the 
essential relations between pure phenomenology, eidetic and empi- 
rical psychology, and in the last resort mental science, is of deep 
concern to the disciplines here involved and to general philosophy. 
In particular, the psychology which is being so energetically de- 
veloped in our own day can win the radical foundation which it still 
lacks only when, in respect of the essential connexions that have 
been indicated, it commands far-reaching insight into their nature. 

The indications that have just been given make us feel how far 
removed we still are from an understanding of phenomenology. 
We have learnt how to make use of the phenomenological stand- 
point, we have set aside a whole series of deflecting misgivings 
concerning method, we have defended the claims of pure descrip- 
tion: the field of research lies free before us. But we do not yet 
know what its main themes are, or, more specifically, what main^ 
types of description are prescribed by the most general division of 
experiences in their essential aspect. To bring clearness into these 
relations, let us try in the chapters that follow to describe this 
most general division among essences by reference to some of Tts 
specially important features. 

With these new reflexions we do not really leave behind us tKe 
problem of method. The discussions on method which we have 
so far undertaken were determined by the most general insight into 
the essential nature of the sphere of phenomenology. It goes 
without saying that a deeper-reaching knowledge of this sphere — 
not in its details, but in its sweeping generalities — ^must also furnish 
us with standards of method of richer capacity, with which all 
special methods will have to link themselves up. We do not and 
cannot bring method to any field from beyond its boundaries. 
Formal Logic, or Noetics, does not give method, but the form of 
possible method, and, usefixl as the knowledge of form can be 


in methodological matters, determinate method — ^not after the 
pattern of mere technical specialization, but after the general type 
of method — is a norm which springs from the main regional 
division of the sphere in question and its general structural forms, 
and therefore, in its epistemological aspect, is essentially dependent 
on the knowledge of these structures. 

§77. Reflexion as the Basic Peculiarity of the Sphere of 
Experience. Studies on Reflexion 

Under the most general peculiarities of the essential nature of 
the pu7e sphere of experience we treat in the first place of 
flexiorCL We do this on account of its universal methodological 
function ; phenomenological method proceeds entirely through 
acts of reflexion. There are, however, as bearing on the functional 
capacity of reflexion, and therefore on the possibility of a pheno- 
menology generally, certain sceptical doubts, which we would first 
of all dispose of in a radical way. 

We have already had to refer to Reflexion in our previous dis- 
cussions. The conclusions we there reached, before we had passed 
on to phenomenological ground, we can now, under the strictest 
conditions of phenomenological reduction, simply take over, 
since those results merely concerned what is inwardly essential 
to the experiences, and therefore, as we know, such matter as 
remains a sure possession to us, transcendentally purified only in 
regard to the way in which we apprehend it. We will first of all 
recapitulate what we already know, and seek at once to penetrate 
deeper into the facts of the case, as well as into that type of pheno- 
menological study which reflexion renders both possible and 

Every Ego lives its own experience s, and in these is in- 
cluded much that is real {tt ell) andHSiten^na The phrase *Tt 
liveaj^em^^ does n ot^ean that it holds theirTahcrwhatever is in 
t hem **inits glance'\ and that it apprehends them after the manner 
of immanent experience (Erfahrung), or any other immanent in- 
tuition or presentation. It is ideally possible for every experience 
notjncluded in the glance to be '^broughtunder it” ; a reflective 

2i6 pure phenomenology 

act of the Ego is directed towards it, and it now becom es an object 
/or the Ego. It is just the same as regards the possible glances 
which the Ego may direct towards the component elements of 
the experience and towards their intentionalities (towards that of 
which they are in the last resort the consciousness). Again, the re- 
flexions are experiences, and as such can furnish the basis for new 
reflexions, and so on ad infinitum, with a generality that is grounded 
on principle. 

The experience as really lived at the moment, as it first enters the 
focus of reflexion, presents itself as really lived, as being “now”; 
but not only that, it presents itself as just having been, and so far 
as it was unnoticed as precisely such, as not having been reflected 
on. At the natural standpoint we take it for granted, without think- 
ing about it, that experiences do not exist only when we turn to 
greet them and grasp them in immanent experience (Erfahrung ) ; 
and that if in immanent reflexion and as retained (in “primary” 
memory) they are still “objects of awareness”, as having “just” 
been, then they really (wirkUch) existed and were indeed really 
lived by us. 

We are further convinced that it is also reflexion which “in” 
the process of recall, and as grounded within it, informs us con- 
cerning our former experiences, which were “then” present, 
“then” immanently perceptible, although not immanently per- 
ceived. The same holds good, according to the naively natural 
view, in respect of anticipation {Vorerinnerung), or previsional 
expectation. At first there comes in the immediate “protention” 
(as we might put it), the exact counterpart of immediate retention, 
and then the anticipation (reproductive in the more proper sense 
of the term) which re-presents in quite another way, and is the 
counterpart of recall. Here the intuitively expected whereof, 
thanks to the reflexion possible “in” anticipation, we are aware 
through prevision as '“presently coming”, has at the same time the 
meaiung of what will be perceived, just as the recalled has the 
meaning of what has been perceived. Thus we can reflect in 
anticipation also, and bring to consciousness experiences of ours 
for the enjoyment whereof the anticipation itself did not offer the 
proper standpoint, as none the less belonging to the anticipated 


as such : as we do each time we say that we shall see what is coming, 
when, in so saying, the reflecting glance has turned towards the 
‘‘coming’’ perceptual experience. 

Reflecting from the natural standpoint we make all this clear to 
ourselves, maybe as psychologists, and follow it out into its further 

Now let us set in action the phenomenological reduction. 
Established results (within their bracket) are transformed into 
cases that illustrate essential generalities, and we can now make 
them our own within the framework of pure intuition and sym- 
pathetically study them. For instance, in vivid intuition (imagina- 
tive, if you like it) we picture ourselves as involved in this or that 
act, in joy, it may be over a theoretical train of thought that is 
running its free and fruitful course. We perform all the reductions 
and see what lies in the pure essential nature of the phenomeno - 
l ogical material. W e turn then first towards the passing train of 
thought. We develop further the phenomenon in its illustrative 
aspect. During the course of the enjoyment we cast a reflective 
glance on the joy itself. It becomes the experience glanced at and 
immanently perceived, fluctuating thus and thus in the focus 
{Blick) of reflexion, then sinking away. The free flow of thought 
suffers thereby, we are now aware of it in the modified way, the 
joyousness which is an element in its flux is essentially and sym- 
pathetically affected; we can verify this, and in so doing must 
redirect our gaze thither once again. But let us set all this aside 
for the present and consider the following : — 

The first reflexion upon the joy finds it actually present, but 
not as just beginning. It is already there as a going concern, previ- 
ously experienced but not held before the eye. It is evidently open 
to us to look into the past duration and mode of givenness of the 
joy-producing factor, to pay attention to the earlier stretches of 
the theoretical course of thinking which engendered it, and also 
to the vision {Blick) previously directed to it; to note, pn the other 
hand, how joy turned in its direction, and thus, through the con- 
trast, appreciate the lack of any glance directed towards the joy 
during the preceding phases of the phenomenon. We may also in 
respect of the joy, that subsequently became an object of reflexion, 

2i8 pure phenomenology 

reflect on the act of reflexion that objectified it, and so render more 
effectively clear the difference between what is experienced but not 
noticed, and the joy that is noticed^ likewise the modifications 
which come about through the acts of apprehending, unfolding, 
and so forth, which emerge with the redirecting of the vision. 

We can examine all this from a phenomenological standpoint and 
eidetically, whether at a higher level of generality or following the 
essential conditions which hold for special types of experience. 
The whole stream of experience with its experiences lived after 
the mode of unreflecting consciousness can be made the subject of 
a scientific study of the nature of the essence which should aim 
at systematic completeness, with reference, moreover, to all the 
possibilities of intentional aspects of experience included in them, 
with reference also more specifically to the experiences of modified 
consciousness which may be in them and their intentional aspects. 
In regard to the latter we have become acquainted with examples 
in the shape of modifications of experience that are involved as 
intentional phases in all representations, and can be brought out 
through reflexions carried on “within” them: that of “having 
been perceived” which lies in every memory, that of “about to be 
perceived” which lies in every expectation. 

The study of the stream of consciousness takes place, on its own 
side, through various acts of reflexion of peculiar structure, which 
themselves, again, belong to the stream of experience, and in 
corresponding reflexions of a higher grade can be and indeed 
must be made into objects for phenomenological analyses. For it 
is through analyses of this kind that the foundations of a general 
phenomenology are laid, and the methodological insight so in- 
dispensable to its development is grounded. Similar considerations 
obviously apply to psychology. No headway is made through vague 
talk concerning the study of experiences through reflexion or — 
what is ordinarily identified with this— recollection; to say nothing 
of much erroneous stuff which (precisely because all serious 
analysis of the essence is lacking) is wont to intrude itself very 
soon, as, for instance, that nothing of the nature of immanent 
perception and observation can possibly be. 

Let us go into these matters somewhat more closely. 


§ 78. Phenomenological Study of Reflexions upon Experience 

Reflexion, as the foregoing analysis will have shown us, is an 
expression for acts in which the stream of experience {Erlebnis)^ 
with all its manifold events (phases of experience, intentionalities) 
can be grasped and analysed in the light of its own evidence. 
It is, as we may also express it, the name we give to consciousness’ 
own method for the knowledge of consciousness generally. But 
in this very method it becomes itself the object of possible studies. 
Reflexion is also the title for types of experience which belong 
essentially together, and therefore the theme of a leading chapter 
of phenomenology, whose function it is to distinguish the different 
‘‘reflexions” and to analyse them completely in systematic order. 

In this connexion we must first of all be clear on this point, that 
every variety of ^^reflexion'* has the ch aracter of a modification of 
co7isctousness^ and indeed of such a modification as every conscious- 
ness can, in principle, experience. 

We speak of modifications here just in so far as every re flex ion 
h ^s its essential origin in changes of standpoint, whereby a given 
e xperience or unreflective experience-datum undergoes a certain 
t ransformatio n — into the mode, that is. of reflective consciousness 
( consciousness of which we are awar e). The given experience can 
itself already possess the character of a reflective consciousness of 
something, in which case the modification is of a higher grade; 
but we are thrown back at last on absolutely irreflective experiences 
and the real {reellen) or intentional data implicit in them {DaUlien). 
Every experience can now be translated in accordance with 
essential laws into reflective modifications, and that along different 
directions which we shall learn to know more accurately still. 

The fundamental methodological importance for phenomen- 
ology, and no less for psychology, of the study of reflexions in 
their essential nature is manifest in this, that under the concept 
of reflexion must be included all modes of immanent apprehension 
of the essence, and on the other hand all modes of immanent 
experience (Erfahnmg). So, for instance, the immanent perception, 
which in point of fact is a reflexion, in so far as it presupposes a 
shifting of the glance from something we are conscious of objec- 


tively to the subjective consciousness of it. Likewise, as we have 
mentioned (in the preceding paragraph) when discussing what the 
natural standpoint takes for granted, every memory not only admits 
a reflective directing of the glance upon itself, but also that peculiar 
reflexion which takes place “in” the recollection itself. At first we 
are unreflectively aware in memory of the flow of a piece of music, 
it may be, in the mode of what is “past”. But to the essence of what 
we are thus aware of belongs the possibility of reflecting on what 
has been perceived. Similarly in the case of expectation, of the 
consciousness that looks forward to “what is coming”, there is 
always the essential possibility of diverting the glance from this 
coming event to its coming perceivedness. It is a consequence of 
these essential connexions that the propositions “I remember A” 
and “I have perceived A”; “I look forward to A”, and “I shall 
see A”, are equivalent a prion and immediately; but only equiva- 
lent, for the meaning is a different one. 

Her e the task of p henomenology is to make a systematic stu dy ■ 
of all theexperimental mo fiincations which t all under the heading 
of ‘deflexio n”, together with all the modifications with whiclir- 
they stand in essential relation and which they presuppose. The 
latter concern the totality of essential modifications which every 
experience must undergo during its primordial phase, and in 
addition the different kinds of transformation which can be thought 
of as carried out on every experience ideally in the way of “opera- 

Every experienc e is in itself a flow of becoming, it i s what it is 
withi n an original e ngendering (Erzeugung) of an essential ty^tlSt 
never^anges: a ^constant How of retentions and protentions 
mediated by a primordial phase which is itself in flux, in which the 
living now of the experience comes to consciousness contrasting 
with its “brfore” and “after”. On the other hand, every experience 
has its parallels in different forms of reproduction which can be 
regarded as ideal “operative” transformations of the original 
experience; each has its “exactly corresponding” and yet radically 
modified counterpart in a recollection, as also in a possible anticipa- 
tion, in a possible fancy, and again in repetitions of such trans- 


Naturally we think of all experiences that run parallel to others 
as belonging to a common essence-stock: the parallel members 
should also be conscious of the same intentional objects of refer- 
ence and conscious of them in identical modes of givenness — 
identical, provided that they share these common elements, though 
remaining in other respects open to variation. 

Since the modifications we have been considering belong to 
every experience as ideally possible changes, and therefore in a 
certain sense indicate operations of thought which can be conceived 
as carried out on every such experience, they can be repeated in 
infinitum^ and can also be performed on the experiences in their 
modified form. Conversely, starting from any experience which has 
already the character of such a modification, and remains then 
always so characterized in itself^ we are led back to certain original 
experiences, to "Hmpressions^^ which exhibit experiences that in 
the phenomenological sense are absolutely primordial. Thus per- 
ceptions of things are primordial experiences in relation to all 
memories, fancy presentations, and so forth. They are primordial 
in the sense in^which concrete experiences can be that at all. For 
closer inspection reveals in their concreteness only one^ but that 
always a continuously flowing absolute primordial phase^ that of 
the living now. 

We can relate these modifications in primary instance to actual 
experiences of which we are unreflectively aware, since we can see 
at once that all such as we are reflectively aware of must participate 
eo ipso in these primary modifications, inasmuch as they are 
reflexions upon experiences, and, when taken in their full concrete- 
ness, themselves experiences of which we are unreflectively aware, 
and as such take on all modifications. Now reflexion itself is 
assuredly a general modification of a new type — ^this st\i-directing 
of the Ego upon its experiences, and in agreement therewith the 
functioning of acts of the cogito (of such acts in particular as 
belong to the lowest, most fundamental stratum, that of the 
simple presentations) “in” which the Ego directs itself upon 
its experiences; but precisely the interweaving of reflexion 
with intuitive or empty apprehensions, or comprehensions, 
makes it necessary that the study of the reflective modification 


should be combined with the study of the modifications indicated 

Only through acts of experiencin g as reflected on do w e know 
any thinp r nf thp. stream of experience and of its necessary relation- 
ahip tn thft pure Ego : e.g.. ^ at it is a held tor the free consumina- 
tion of the conscious processes of one and the same pure Ego; 

t haT~ ill the experiences of the stream are its own jusn n~so~ 
far as it can glance at them or “through them” at what is other*" 
tlniVi and foreign to the Ego. We convince ourselves that these~ 
experiences retain their meaning and their right even in their 
reduced form, and in a general and essentially universal way we 
grasp the right of such kinds of experiences generally, just as, 
parallel therewith, we grasp the right of essential insights relating 
to experiences in general. 

Thus, fo r instance, we grasp the absolute right of immanent 
percevoi ng reflexion, i.e ., of i mmanent perception simplidter, an d 
indeed in respect of that which it brings in its flow to real primordial 
givenness; likewise the absoTute right of immanent retention, in 
respect oFlhat in it of which we are conscious as “still” living and 
having “just” happened, b ut of course no further than the content 
of what is thus characterized reaches ; right, for instance, in respect 
of the fact that it was the perception of a sound and not of a colour. 
We likewise grasp the relative right of immanent reco llection, which 
e^efios j ust so far as'the content ol this memory, taken by itse lf, 
sh ows the genuine character of recollection (th is is by no means 
shown, in general, by every aspect of the remembered), a right 
which in this precise sense cleaves to eoerj recollection. But it ik of 
course a merely “relative” right, one that permits of our asking 
how far the right extends. And so forth. 

We thus see with completest clearness and with the conscious- 
ness of unconditional validity that it would be absurd to suppose 
that experiences are epistemologically guaranteed only in so far 
as they are given to us in the reflective consciousness of immanent 
perception ; or that we can be sure of them indeed only in the actual 
now of the present moment ; that it would be absurd to doubt 
whether that which we discover as “still” consciously there when 
we give a glance backwards (the immediately retained) ever 


existed; or again, to doubt whether in the end experiences which 
pass into the field of vision are not precisely for this reason trans- 
formed into something toto ccelo different from what they were, 
and so forth. It is important only that we should not allow ourselves 
to be confused by arguments which, despite all their formal pre- 
cision, show no sense of adjustment to the primitive sources of 
validity, those of pure intuition; we must abide by the “principle 
of all principles”, that complete clearness is the measure of all 
truth, and that statements which give faithful expression to their 
data need fear nothing from the finest arguments. 

§ 79. Critical Excursus. Phenomenology AND THE Difficulties 
OF “Self-observation” 

It is clear from what we have just said that phenomenology is 
not affected by the methodological scepticism which in empirical 
psychology has led so often in parallel case to the denial or im- 
proper restriction of the value of inner experience. Recently 
H. J. Watt^ has none the less believed that he could maintain this 
scepticism as against phenomenology, though he has quite failed 
to grasp the distinctive meaning of pure phenomenology to which 
the Logical Studies have sought to provide an introduction, 
and has not seen how the pure phenomenological differs from the 
empirico-psychological situation. Related as the difficulties on 
both sides may be, it remains a real difference whether there is 
raised the question concerning the range and the intrinsic value for 
knowledge of the existential states through which the data of our 
inner (human) experience are brought to expression — ^the question 
advanced by psychological method; or, on the other side, the 
question proper to a phenomenological method, concerning the 
intrinsic possibility and range of essential states, which, on the 

* Cf. Sammelbericht II : “tJber die neueren Forschungen in der Gedachtnis- 
und Ajssoziationspsychologie aus dera Jahre 1905’** Arckiv, f. d, ges. 
Psychologies Bd. IX (1907). H. J. Watt criticizes exclusively the position of 
Th. Lipps. Though my name is not mentioned, I believe myself justified in 
regarding his criticism as directed against me as well, since a great part of 
his exposition where he is reporting the views of others might be referred 
just as well to my Logical Studies (1900-01) as to the writings of Th. Lipps, 
which appeared later. 


ground of pure reflexion, should concern experiences as such, 
considered from the standpoint of their own essence as liberated 
from all natural apperception. Yet between the two there subsist 
inner relationships, congruences, indeed, in no small measure, 
which justify our paying attention to Watt’s objections, in par- 
ticular to remarkable statements such as the following : — 

“It is scarcely possible even to form opinions concerning the 
way in which one comes to a knowledge of immediate experience. 
For it is neither knowledge nor the object of knowledge, but 
something diiSFerent. One cannot see how a record concerning the 
experience of experience, even if it has been taken, could be put on 
paper.” “But this is always the final question of the fundamental 
problem of self-observation.” “It is now customary to refer to 
this absolute description as phenomenology 
Resuming Th. Lipps’s expositions, Watt says further; “In 
contrast to the knozon reality of the objects of self-observation we 
have the reality of the present Ego and the present conscious 
experiences. This reality is experienced (merely lived, that is, 
not ‘known’, not reflectively apprehended). It is therefore 
absolute reality,” “Very different opinions may be held”, he now 
adds as his own comment, “as to what one is to do with this 
absolute reality. . . . Moreover, it is only a question here of results 
of self-observation. If now this observation which is always retro- 
spective is always a knowledge about experiences we have just Aad 
as objects, how should we set up mental states of which we can 
know nothing, of which we are only aware? The importance of the 
whole discussion turns, in fact, round this point, the origin, namely, 
of the notion of an immediate experience which is not know- 
ledge. It must be possible to observe. Everyone in the last resort 
experiences, only he doesn’t knoza this. Even if he knew it, how 
could he know that his experience is really as absolute as he thinks 
it to be ? Out of whose head should Phenomenology spring up into 
life ready-fashioned? Is a phenomenology possible, and, if so, in 
what sense? All these questions press for an answer. Perhaps a 
discussion of the question of self-observation undertaken by 
experimental psychology will shed new light on the topic. For the 

* Loc, dUi p. 5 . 


problem of phenomenology is one which necessarily arises for 
experimental psychology also. Perhaps the latter’s solution will 
be more cautious since it lacks the supporting zeal of the dis- 
coverer of phenomenology. In any case it has a natural and 
spontaneous bias towards inductive method,”^ 

In view of the pious belief in the omnipotence of inductive 
method which breathes from the lines last quoted (a belief Watt 
should hardly be cherishing w^hen he is meditating upon the 
conditions of the possibility of this method), it is truly surprising 
to hear him confess ‘‘that a functional analytic psychology will 
never be able to explain the fact of knowdedge”,^ 

In opposition to these assertions, so characteristic of the psycho- 
logy of the present day, and just so far as they are psychologically 
intended, we should in the first place have tojustify the separation 
above referred to between the psychological and the phenomeno- 
logical questions, and in this connexion to stress the point that a' 
phenomenological doctrine of the essence is as little called on to 
take an interest in the methods ’which might enable the phenomen- 
ologist to certify the existence of those experiences which serve as 
a basis for his phenomenological findings, as the geometer is 
expected to be interested in determining on methodical lines how 
the existence of the figures on the board or the models in the cup- 
board is to be rendered convincing. Geometry and phenomenology, 
as sciences of the pure essence, know nothing positive concerning 
real existence. It hangs together with this, that clear fictions do 
not only serve these sciences for a foundation as well as do data of 
actual perception and experience, but to a certain extent even 
better .3 

Now if phenomenology also has no existential judgments to 
make concerning experiences (Erlebnisse), thus no “experiment- 
ings’’^ (Erfahrungen) and “observings” in the natural sense in 
which a science of facts must find support in such acts, it makes 
none the less, as a fundamental condition of its possibility, positive 
affirmations coiicerning unreflective experiences. These it owes 
to reflexion, or, more accurately, to reflective intuition of the 
essence. Consequently the sceptical doubts concerning self- 
* Loc> cit., p. 7. » Lqc. ciL, p. la. 3 Cf. supra, § 70, pp. 199-200, 



observation, in so far as these doubts spread in a way easy to 
understand, from reflexion as immanent to every reflexion gene- 
rally, come under the ken of phenomenology also. 

And, indeed, what could we make of phenomenology if we 
“cannot see how a record concerning the experiencing of experi- 
ence, even if it has been taken, could be put on paper’’? What 
could we make of it if it had to make statements concerning the 
essence of “known” reflective experiences, but not concerning the 
essence of experiences as such? What could be done if it were 
“scarcely possible even to hold opinions concerning the way in 
which one comes to a knowledge of immediate experience”, or 
to a knowledge of one’s essence? It may be that the phenomen- 
ologist has no existential judgments to pass on the experiences 
which come before him as the examples on which his ideal forma- 
tions depend. Yes, one might object, but he sees in these ideal 
formations only ideas of that which at the moment he has before 
him as an illustration. As his glance turns towards the experience, 
it first becomes that which now offers itself to his gaze; as he 
looks away, it becomes something else. The essence apprehended 
is essence only of the reflective experience, and the supposition 
that through reflexion one can win absolutely valid knowledge 
which is valid for experiences generally, reflective or unreflective, 
is wholly ungrounded. “How can we set up mental states”, 
though it be only as essential possibilities, “of which we can know 

Clearly this concerns every kind of reflexion, although in 
phenomenology each separate kind claims to be a source of abso- 
lute knowledge. In fancy a thing, it may even be a centaur, hovers 
before my eyes. I believe myself to know that it manifests itself 
under certain “modes of appearance”, and in certain “sensory 
variations of the perspective kind”, apprehensions and the like. I 
believe myself to have the essential insight that an object of this 
kind can be viewed only under modes of appearance of this 
particular kind, only through these functions of perspective 
manifestation, and whatever else may play a part here. But as I 
keep my centaur in view, I have not in view its modes of appear- 
ance, its perspective data, its apprehended meanings ; and when I 


comprehend its essence, I do not comprehend these and their 
essence. For this there is needed a certain turn of reflective in- 
sight, and this renders fluid the whole experience with modifying 
effect; thus in the new ideal formation I have something new 
before my eyes, and should not maintain that I have reached 
essential components of the unreflective experience. I should not 
maintain that it belongs to the essence of a thing as such to exhibit 
itself in the form of “appearances*\ manifesting itself in the 
indicated way in perspective and through sensory data, which on 
their side must submit to apprehension, and so forth. 

The difficulty obviously bears on the analyses of consciousness 
also in respect of the “meaning” of the intentional experiences, of 
all that which belongs to the supposed, to the object intentionally 
referred to, as such, to the meaning of a statement, and the like. 
For these also are analyses conducted with a scheme of specially 
directed reflexions. Watt himself goes even so far as to say: 
“Psychology must reach a clear understanding that with self- 
observation the objective relation of the experiences to be de- 
scribed is changed. This change has perhaps a greater significance 
than one is inclined to believe.”^ If Watt is right, we should be 
maintaining too much when, in self-observation, we set it down 
that we had just been attending here to his book and were con- 
tinuing to do so. That held good no doubt prior to reflexion. 
Reflexion, however, changed the attentive “experience to be 
described”, and indeed (according to Watt) in respect of the objec- 
tive relation. 

Every genuine scepticism, whatever its type and orientation 
may be, can be recognized by this fundamental absurdity, that in 
the arguments it uses it presupposes implicitly, as the conditions 
of the possibility of its validity, precisely that which it denies in 
its own theses. It is easy to recognize the presence of this feature 
in the arguments we are considering. He who merely says, I 
doubt the significance of reflexion for knowledge, maintains an 
absurdity. For as he asserts his doubt, he reflects, and to set this 
assertion forth as valid presupposes that reflexion has really and 
without a doubt (for the case in hand) the very cognitive value 

* Loc, dt., p. 12. 



upon which doubt has been cast, that it does not alter the objective 
relation, that the unreflective experience does not forfeit its essence 
through the transition into reflexion. 

Further; In the arguments considered reflexion is continually 
referred to as a fact, and there is much talk as to what causes it or 
could not cause it ; and at the same time very naturally “unknown”, 
unreflective experiences are also referred to as facts, namely, as 
those out of which the reflective grow. Thus a knowledge of un- 
reflective experiences including unreflective reflexions is pre- 
supposed throughout, whilst at the same time the possibility of 
such knowledge is put in question. That happens, in so far as 
doubt arises as to the possibility of making any statement whatso- 
ever concerning the content of unreflective experience and the 
work of reflexion upon it : how far does reflexion alter the original 
experience, and does it not falsify it, so to speak, by converting it 
into something totally different from what it was ? 

But it is clear that if this doubt and the possibility which arises 
out of it were justified, there would not remain the slightest 
justification for the certainty that an unreflective experience or a 
reflexion exists or can exist at all. It is further clear that this cer- 
tainty which, as we know, was the constant presupposition 
throughout can be known only through reflexion, and that it can 
be groxuided as immediate knowledge only on reflective, dator 
intuition. So too as regards the assertion of the reality or possi- 
bility of the modifications which follow on reflexion. Are the like, 
however, given through intuition, they are given within an 
intuitional content; thus it is absurd to maintain that there is 
here nothing knowable, nothing respecting the content of the 
unreflected experience and the type of modifications which it 

This suffices clearly toexpose the absurdity. Here,as everywhere, 
scepticism loses its force by harking back from verbal discussions 
to the essential intuition, the primordial dator intuition and the 
sovereign right which it possesses in itself. Ever3rthing depends 
on whether we really set this intuition in action, and are able to 
raise the matter in question into the light of genuine essential 
clearness: whether we can grasp expositions such as w'e have 


attempted in the previous paragraph in the same intuitive way as 
that in which they are carried out and presented. 

The phenomena of reflexion are in fact a sphere of pure and 
perhaps of the clearest data. It is an essential insight always attain- 
able because immediate ; that, from the objectively given, as such, 
a reflective glance can be transferred to the object-giving con- 
sciousness and its subject; from the perceived, the corporeally 
‘‘there’’ to the perceiving act ; from the remembered, as it “hovers” 
before us as such, as “having been”, to the remembering; from 
the statement as it comes from the given content to the stating 
activity, and so forth ; whereby the perceiving comes to be given 
as a perceiving of just this perceived object, the momentary 
consciousness as the consciousness of just this momentary object. 
It is evident that essentially — ^not therefore on merely accidental 
grounds, merely “perhaps for us” and our contingent “psycho- 
logical constitution” — ^it is only through reflexions of this kind 
that such a thing as consciousness or conscious content (in a real 
or intentional sense) can become known. Therefore God Himself 
is subject to this absolute and transparent necessity, just as surely 
as He is to the insight that 3 + i = i + 2. Even He could win a 
knowledge of His consciousness and its content only through 

This implies that reflexion cannot be entangled in any anti- 
nomian conflict with the Ideal of perfect knowledge. Every type 
of being, as we have already had to insist more than once, has 
ways of being given which are essentially its own^ and therewith 
its own ways as regards methods of knowledge. It is strictly absurd 
in this connexion to treat essential peculiarities as defects, to the 
extent even of imputing them as contingent, empirical defects to 
“our human” way of knowing. Another question which must also 
be considered on lines of essential insight concerns the possible 
“range” of this or that type of knowledge, the question how we 
are to guard against statements which go beyond what is really 
given at the moment and transcend the eidetic grasp; and still 

* We are not here carrying over the conflict into the domain of theology: in 
epistemological reflexion the idea of God is a necessary limiting concept, or an 
indispensable pointer in the construction of certain limiting concepts, which 
even the philosophical atheist cannot dispense with. 



another question is that of the methods proper to empirical think- 
ing : how we humans, as psychologists may be, must proceed under 
the given psychological conditions so as to confer on our human 
knowledge as much dignity as the case admits of. 

We must lay stress, moreover, on the point that our repeated 
recourse to insight (self-evidence or intuition) here as elsewhere 
is no mere form of speaking, but, in the sense of the Introductory 
Section, signifies the regress to that which is ultimate in all 
knowledge, precisely as it does when we speak of insight in 
connexion with the most primitive logical and arithmetical axioms.^ 
But he who has learnt to grasp with insight what is given in the 
sphere of consciousness will not be able to read without astonish- 
ment statements like the one already cited: *'it is not possible to 
form any opinions concerning the way in which one comes to a 
knowledge of immediate experience’’. From such words one can 
only gather how strange to modern psychology essential analysis 
in its immanent aspect still is, although it gives the only possible 

* Whilst the work is going to press I read in a work of Th. Ziehen which has 
just appeared, entitled Theory of Knowledge on a Psychophysiological and 
Physical Foundation^ a characteristic utterance concerning “that contemptible 
so-called intuition or self-evidence which has two chief properties: firstly, it 
changes from philosopher to philosopher and from one school of philosophers 
to another school of philosophers; and in the second place it shows a marked 
preference for coming in precisely when the author is developing a very doubtful 
point of Ms theory; we are then to he protected from doubting by apiece ofblu^\ 
In this criticism, as the context shows, the attack is levelled at the doctrine 
of “gexreral objects** or “essences**, and at the theory of essential intuition as 
worked out in the Logical Studies, Ziehen then adds the following: “In order 
to distinguish these trans-empirical concepts from the common herd of 
ordinary concepts, a special generality, absolute exactness, and so forth, have 
often been ascribed to them. All this seems to me to be mere human pre- 
sumption** (zV., p. 413). No less characteristic for this theory of knowledge 
is the utterance (p. 441) relating to the intuitive apprehension of the Ego 
(and held by its author to have a quite general bearing): “I can think of only 
one real testimony to a primary intuition of a kind such as this, the agreement 
of all individuals who thinic and feel in bearing witness to such intuitions.** 
For the rest we would naturally not deny that the appeal to “intuition** has 
often meant talking nonsense. The question is only whether this nonsense 
in the case of an alleged intuition could be discovered in any other way than 
through real intuition. In the sphere of experience also the appeal to experience 
has involved much traffic in nonsense, and it would be hard if for that reason 
experience in general were to be set down as “bluff** and the “testimony** in 
its favour made to depend on the “agreement of all individuals who think 
and feel in bearing witness to such ‘experience* *’. Cf. on this point the second 
chapter of the first division of the present work. 


method for fixing the concepts which must prove determinative 
in all immanent psychological description^ 

In the problems of reflexion here discussed, the inner connexion 
between phenomenology and psychology is brought home to us 
with special force. Eyery description of Essential Be ing which 
relate s to ty pes of experience provides an unconditi onally valid 
no rm for th^^sibilities of empirical existence. N a turally this 
als o applies in particular to all the types of experience wh ich 
ev en for psychological method are part of the men tal life, as it 
hoj^ good generally for all modes of inner experience. Thus 
phenomenology is th e court of appeal for the funcjamen^IaTques- 
t io:^ of psychological methodology. T he general collusions 
which it has reached must be recognized and, as occasion requires, 
adopted by the psychologist as the condition for the possibility 
of all further deyelopments of method in his field. What conflicts 
with it bears the stamp of intrinsic psychological absurdity^ just as 
in the physical sphere every conflict with geometrical truths and 
the truths of the ontology of nature in general bears the stamp of 
intrinsic absurdity in natural science. 

In accordance herewith we can trace an intrinsic absurdity of 
this kind in the hope expressed that the sceptical doubts concern- 
ing the possibility of self-observation may be overcome through 
psychological induction by the way of experimental psychology. 
Here again it is just as though one wished to overcome the corre- 
sponding scepticism in the domain of the knowledge of physical 
nature, the doubt whether in the end every external perception 
would not prove deceptive (since each, taken singly, could really 

* C£. my article in Logos ^ I> PP* 302-322. 

» The two articles of A. Messer and J. Cohn (in the first volume of the 
yahrhUcker der Philosophiey edited by Frischeisen-Kohler), which have also 
come into my hands whilst this book is in the press, show once again how 
little even thorough and scholarly thinkers can succeed in freeing themselves 
from the grip of prevailing prejudices, and, in spite of all good will to the 
efforts of phenomenology, how little they are able to grasp the distinctive 
nature of phenomenology as a ‘‘doctrine of Essential Being’\ Both writers, 
and Messer in particular (as also in his earlier critical reflexions in the ArcUv, 
/. d, ges, PsychoL, XXII), have misunderstood the meaning of my expositions ; 
so much so that the doctrines which are there opposed as my own are simply 
not mine at alL I hope that the more detailed expositions of the present_^work 
will prevent the recurrence of such misunderstandings in the future. 



deceive us) by means of experimental physics, which indeed pre- 
supposes at every step the authority of external perception. 

Moreover, what is here stated in very general terms should 
become more convincing in the light of all that follows, more 
particularly through the clearing discussions concerning the scope 
of reflective essential insight. The relations here touched on 
between phenomenology (for between the eidetic psychology 
which here, for provisional reasons, is not yet separated off from 
it, and in any case is inwardly bound up with it) and psychology 
as an empirical science are to be discussed and clarified with all the 
deep problems they give rise to in the Second Book of this whole 
treatise. I am sure of this, that at a time not so very far distant it 
will have become a commonly accepted conviction that pheno- 
menology (or eidetic psychology) is, methodologically, the basic 
science for empirical psychology, just as the material {sachhaltig) 
mathematical disciplines (e.g., geometry and kinematics) are 
basic for physics. 

The old ontological doctrine, that the knowledge of possibilities^^ 
must precede that of actualities {Wirklichkeiten) is, in my opinion, 
in so far as it is rightly understood and properly utilized, a really 
great truth. 

§ 80. The Relation of Experiences to the Pure Ego 

Ai^ np^ the esse ntiaLp. eculiarities of a general kind, distinctive o f 
the traRiscendentally purified field of experience, the first pla ce 
s biould be kept for the relation of that experieni^ to the *^puii^ 
EgouJE yery '*cogito^\ every act in a specially marked sense, is 
cMractmzed as act of the Egor^^roceeding from the Ego'\ 

* ^actually living^^ in i t . We have already spoken on this point, and 
recall in a few sentences what we previously worked out. 

When observing, I perceive somethings similarly in recollec- 
tion I am often “busied’^ with something; again, observing in a 
sense, 1 follow in imaginative fancy what goes on in the world of 
fancy. Or I meditate, draw inferences; I revoke a judgment, 
^‘refrain’’ if need be from judging at all. I approve or disapprove, 
I am glad or grieved, I wish, or I will and do ; or again, I ‘^refrain’’ 


from being glad, from wishing, willing, and action. In all such acts 
I am present, actually present, In xeflexion I apprehend myself 
he rein as the human being that lam. 

But if I perform the phenomenolo gical emyriy the whole 
w<^d of the natural setting is andwith it,*T, the Irnan^ 

The pure experience as act with its own pro per essence then re- 
mains as residue. B ut I also see that the apprehension of the same 
as human experience, quite apart from the question of existence, 
introduces various features which do not need to be there, and 
that on the other side no disconnecting can remove the form of the 
cogito and cancel the ‘‘pure’’ subject of the^t. The “being 
directed towards”, “the being busied with”, “adopting an atti- 
t u3e^^ ^'u n dergoing orsuffering from”, has this of 7t€cessityvit2ipptd 
i n its very essence, that it is just something “from the Ego”, or in 
the rj ^verse direction “to the Ego ”; and t his Lgo pure E go, 
an d no reduction can get any grip on i t. * 

We have hitherto spoken of experiences of the special “cogito” 
type. The remaining experiences which supply the general viilieu 
for the actuality of the Ego certainly lack the marked relation to 
the Ego, of which we have just been speaking. And yet they too 
have their part in the pure Ego, and the latter in them. They 
“belong” to it as “its own”, they are its background of conscious- 
ness, its field of freedom. 

Yet notwithstanding these peculiar complications with all “its” 
experiences, the experiencing Ego is still nothing that might be 
taken for itself and made into an object of inquiry on its own 
account. Apart from its “ways of being related” or “ways of 
behaving”, it is completely empty of essential components, it has 
no content that could be unravelled, it is in and for itself indescrib- 
able : pure Ego and nothing further. 

There is therefore occasion for a variety of important descrip- 
tions, bearing on the special forms or modes of experience of the 
experiencing Ego, as actually enjoyed. In this connexion we 
continue to distingui sh — despite the necessary interrelationship — 
t he expSince tisel^ irG^^e^ pu re Ego of t he experiencing process ; 
and again : the pure subjective jyhase of the %m y of experiencing from 
th e j^maining, Ego-diverted content of the experience^ s o to speak. 



Thus there is a certain, extraordinarily impo r tant two-sidedn ess 
in the essential nature of the sphere of experience, concernin g 
wh ich we can also say that in experiences we mu st jjgtjng uish 
l^tween a jTz/A/Vcif/gjf/T and an objectively oriented osptc t : a form of 
^^pression which should not indeed be misunderstood, as though 
we taught that the “object” of knowledge might, in this respect, 
be something analogous to the pure Ego. However, the form of 
jexpression will justify itself. And we hasten to add that to this 
t\vo-sidedness there corresponds, to a c onsiderable extent at*?^ 
>ate ^ divisjon (though 1^^^ real separation) be tween two^ 
different sections o f our inquiry, the one bearing on pure suBjec- 
ti^V, the other on that which belongs to th e **constitution ''"of 
o hjectivity.<2^ referre£to‘^S^nb]tctivtsom^^ W e shall haviTmuc h 
t o say about the “intentional reference” of experiences (an d of 
tl ie pure experiencing Ego) to objects, and ab out many diffe rent 
f actors of experience and “intentional correlate s” which are" 
connected therewith, ^ ut in comprehensive inquiries topics such 
as these can be studied and described analytically or synthetically, 
without concerning ourselves more deeply with the pure Ego and 
the ways in which it plays its special part. We cannot indeed help 
touching on it frequently in so far as it comes in as a necessary 

The meditations which we propose to follow up still further in 
this Section of our work will bear, by preference, on the objec- 
tively oriented aspect, as that which first presents itself when we 
forsake the natural standpoint. The problems indicated in the 
introductory paragraphs of this Section already refer to this aspect 
of objectivity. 

^8i. Phenomenological Time and the Time-Consciousness 

Phenomenological time as a general peculiarity of all experiences 
demands a separate discussion. 

We must carefully note the difference between this phenommo-^ 
logical timey this unitary form of all experiences within a single 
stream of experience (that of onepm^ Ego), and ''objective'^ i.e., 
^cosmic^* time. 


Through the phenomenological reduction consciousness has 
forfeited not only its apperceptive “attachment’’ (in truth only an 
image) to material reality and its relations in space, merely second- 
ary though these be, but also its setting in cosmical time. The same 
time, which belongs essentially to experience as such with the 
modes in which its intrinsic content is presented — and derived 
from these the modally determined now, before and after, simul- 
taneity, succession and so forth — ^is not to be measured by any state 
of the sun, by any clock, by any physical means, and generally 
cannot be measured at all. 

Cosmical time stands to phenomenological time in a relation 
somewhat analogous to that in which the “exfensity” [spread’\ 
that belongs to the immanent essence of a concrete sensory content 
(a visual “extensity”, maybe, in the field of visual sensory data) 
stands to objective spatial “extension”, to that, namely, of the 
appearing physical object, manifesting itself in visual “perspec- 
tives” through the medium of the sensory data in terms of which 
it appears. Just as it would be absurd to bring under the same 
generic essence a sensory phase such as colour or spread, and the 
phase of the thing proper which manifests itself perspectively 
through it, such as the colour and extension which belong to it as 
a thing, so is it also in respect of the phenomenologically and 
the cosmically temporal. In experience and its different phases, 
transcendent time can exhibit itself in the form of appearance; 
but in principle there is no sense either here or elsewhere in setting 
up between the exhibiting and the exhibited a figurative similarity 
which qua similarity would presuppose oneness of essence. 

Moreover it should not be said, for instance, that the way in 
which cosmic time declares itself within the phenomenological is 
precisely the same as that in which other real essential phases 
of the world present themselves phenomenologically. The self- 
presentation of colours and other sensory qualities of the thing 
(in corresponding sensory data of the different fields of sense) is, 
to be sure, something essentially different, and different again the 
self-manifestation through perspectives of the spatial shapes of 
things in forms of outspreadedness within the sensory data. But 
in the cases here cited there is everywhere community of nature. 


For the rest, as will be apparent in the light of the studies to be 
undertaken later, Time is the name for a completely self’-coniuined 
sphere of problems and one of exceptional difficulty. It will be seen 
that in a certain sense our previous exposition has been silent, and 
necessarily so, concerning a whole dimension, so as to maintain 
free of confusion what first becomes transparent from the pheno- 
menological standpoint alone, and quite apart from the new 
dimension constitutes a self-contained field of investigation. The 
transcendental Absolute” which we have laid bare through the 
reductions is in truth not ultimate; it is something which in a 
certain profound and wholly unique sense constitutes itself, and 
has its primevaLsource in what is ultimately and truly absolute. 

Fortunately we can leave the enigmas of the time-consciousness^ 
in our preliminary analyses without imperilling their rigour. In 
the statements that follow we do no more than touch the fringe of 
the question. 

The essential property which the term “temporality” expresses 
in relation to experiences generally indicates not only something 
that belongs in a general way to every single experience, but a 
necessary form binding experiences with experiences. Every real ex- 
perience (we ratify this as self-evident on the ground of the clear 
intuition of an experiential reality) is necessarily one that endures ; 
and with this duration it takes its place within an endless continuum 
of durations — ^a concretely filled continuum. It necessarily has a 
temporal purview concretely filled, and stretching away endlessly 
on all sides. And that at once tells us that it belongs to one endless 
stream of experienced^ Every single experience can begin and end 
and therewith bring its duration to an^end — ^for instance, an ex- 
perience of joy. But the stream of experience cannot begin and 
end. Every experience, as temporal being, is an experience of its 
pure Ego. And to this the possibility (which, as we know, is no 
empty logical possibility) necessarily- belongs, that the Ego may 
direct its pure personal glance to this experience, and grasp it as 
really being, or as enduring in phenomenological time. 

* The labours of the author over this problem, which for long were unavailing, 
were, so far as their essential purpose was concerned, brought to a conclusion 
in the year 1905, and their results communicated in University lectures [since 
published as Vorlesur^en zur Phanomenologie des inneren Zdtbetousstseins, 
1928. — Ed,] at Gottingen. 


But, again, it belongs to the essence of the situation that the Ego 
is able to direct its glance upon the way in which the temporal 
factor is being given^ and to know self-evidently (as we all in fact 
do, living over in intuition what is written down for us) that no 
enduring experience is possible unless it is constituted within a 
continuous flow of modes of givenness as the unitary factor in the 
process, or the duration; further, that this mode of givenness of 
the temporal experience is itself in turn an experience, although 
of a new kind and dimension. The joy, for instance, which begins 
and ends, and during the interval endures, I can first gaze at as it is 
in its purity, following all its temporal phases. But I can also pay 
attention to its mode of declaring itself : to the modus of the actual 
‘‘Now’*, and to this feature also that with this very ‘now*, and in 
principle with every ‘now*, a new and continuously new ‘now* 
links up in necessary continuity, and that in concert with this 
every actual now passes into a just vanished, the just vanished 
once again and continuously so into ever-new just vanishings of 
the just vanished, and so forth. And similarly for every ‘now* 
that has been newly linked on to its predecessor. 

The actual now is necessarily something punctual and remains 
so, a form that persists through continuous change of content. It is 
the same with the continuity of the “just vanished**; it is a con- 
tinuity of forms with contents ever new. And it also comes to this : 
the enduring experience of joy is “consciously** given in a con- 
sciousness-continuum of this constant form: an impressional 
phase as the limiting phase of a continuous series of retentions, 
which, however, are not on the same level but constitute a con- 
tinumis succession of intentional relationships — a continuous chain 
of retentions of retentions. The form receives a continually fresh 
content; thus to each impression united with the experience of 
‘now* a new impression, corresponding to an ever-new point of 
the duration, is continually “annexing itself*’; the impression 
continuously transforms itself into retention, and this continu- 
ously into modified retention, and so forth. 

To all this must be added continuous changes in an opposite 
direction: ‘after* corresponding to ‘before*, a protentional con- 
tinuum corresponding to. the retentional. 



§82, Continuation. The Threefold Limit of Experience, 
AS AT Once the Limit of Reflexion upon Experience 

But there is still more to be stated. Every present moment of experi- 
ence, even if it be that of the initial phase of an experience freshly 
developing, has necessarily a before as a limit. But on grounds of 
principle this can be no empty previousness, a mere form without 
content, mere nonsense. It has necessarily the meaning of a past 
now which in this form contains a past something, a past experience. 
Every experience in its fresh beginning has necessarily been 
preceded in time by experiences, the past of experience is continu- 
ally filled with content. But every present moment of experience 
has also, and necessarily, an after as a limits and that also is no 
empty limit ; every present moment of experience, be it even the 
terminal phase of the duration of an experience that is ceasing, 
passes off into a new ‘now’, and that necessarily filled with 

To this we can also add the following : necessarily attached to 
the now-consciousness is the consciousness of the just past, and 
this consciousness again is itself a now. No experience can cease 
without a consciousness of the ceasing and the having ceased^ and that 
is a now filled with a new content. The stream of experience is an 
infinite unity, and the form of the stream is one that necessarily 
envelops all the experiences of a pure Ego — a form containing a 
variety of form-systems. 

We defer the further elaboration of these insights and the 
indication of their vast metaphysical consequences to the further 
treatment held over for future publication. 

The general peculiarity of experiences of which we have just 
been treating, considered as possible data for reflective (immanent) 
perception, is portion of a still more comprehensive peculiarity 
which finds expression in this Law of Essential Beings that every 
experience comes not only under the rubric of temporal succession 
in an essentially self-contained organization of experiences, but 
also under that of simultaneity. This means that every present 
moment of experience has about it a fringe of experiences, which 
also share the primordial now-form, and as such constitute the 


one primordial fringe of the pure Ego, its total primordial now- 

This fringe enters as a unity into the structure of the past modes 
as well. Every Before, as a modified Now, in regard to each focal 
experience to which it stands in the relation of a Before, is the 
centre of infinite extensions, including whatever belongs to the 
same modified Now, briefly its encircling stretch of “what has 
simultaneously been”. The descriptions previously given should 
thus be completed by the bringing in of a new dimension, and 
not until we do this have we the whole phenomenological time- 
field of the pure Ego, which, from any one of “its” experiences 
as a centre, it can measure throughout according to the three 
dimensions of before, after, and at the same time ; or in other words, 
the whole, essentially unitary, rigorously self-contained stream of 
temporal unities of experience. 

One pure Ego, one Stream of experience filled with content along 
all three dimensions, and in such filling holding essentially together 
and progressing (sichfordemder) through its continuity of content: 
these are necessary correlates. 

§ 83, Apprehension of the Unitary Stream of Experience 

AS “Idea” 

With this root-form of consciousness the following stands in essential 
relation : — 

If the glance of the pure Ego, as the Ego reflects and percep- 
tively understands, rests on some experience, there exists the 
a priori possibility of redirecting the glance to other experiences, 
so far as the bearing of this connexion extends. But in principle 
this whole connexion is never one that is or can be given through 
a single pure glance. Notwithstanding, even it is in a certain, 
though in an intrinsically different, way intuitively graspable, 
namely, along the line of limitlessness in the progressive develop- 
ment^ of immanent intuitions, from the experience that has been 
fixated to new experiences within its fringe, and from the fixating 
of these to that of their experience-fringes, and so forth. When 
we speak of an experience-fringe, we have in mind not only the 



limits of phenomenological temporality along the lines already 
indicated, but differences that arise from new for?ns in the mode 
of presenting the data. Thus an experience that has become the 
object of a personally directed glance, and so has the modus of 
the deliberately looked at, has its own fringe of experiences that 
are not deliberately viewed; that which is grasped in a mode 
of ^‘attention”, and grasped with increasing clearness as occasion 
arises, has a fringe of background inattention showing relative 
differences of clearness and obscurity, as well as of emphasis and 
lack of relief. Thence spring eidetic possibilities: the bringing 
of what is not the object of a personally directed look within 
the focus of pure mental vision, raising the unemphatic into relief, 
and making the obscure clear and ever clearer.^ 

Advancing continuously from one apprehension to another, we 
apprehend in a certain way, I remarked, the stream of experience 
as a unity also. We do not apprehend it like a single experience, 
but after the fashion of an Idea in the Kantian sense. It is nothing 
set down and asserted at haphazard, but absolutely .and indubit- 
ably given, in a correspondingly wide sense of the word “given*\ 
This indubitability, although also grounded in intuition, has a 
quite different source from that which obtains for the Being of 
experiences, and is therefore given pure in immanent perception. 
It is precisely the distinctive feature of an ideation that mentally 
sees a Kantian ‘Tdea”, yet does not in so doing forfeit the trans- 
parency of its insight, that the adequate determination of its 
content, in this instance the stream of consciousness, is unattain- 
able. At the same time we see that there belongs to the stream 
of experience, and its component factors as such, a series of dis- 
tinguishable modes of presentation, the systematic study of 
which must furnish for the future a main task of general 

We can also draw from our reflexions the eidetically valid and 
self-evident proposition, that no concrete experience can pass as 
independent in the full seme of the term. Each ‘"stands in need of 

* Of the ‘Uimit” or ^‘fringe* ^ {Horizont) we can therefore speak here in much 

the same terms as we did in § 35 (p, 117) of a ‘‘zone** (Hof) and a *‘back- 
ground” (Bintergrund). 


completion” in respect of some connected whole, which in form 
and in kind is not something we are free to choose, but are 
father bound to accept. 

For instance, if we consider any outer perception, shall wc 
say this definite perception of a house taken in its concrete fullness, 
there then pertains to it as a necessar}- part of its determination 
the experience-context; but it is a particular, necessary, and yet 
^'non-essentiaV'' of its determination, being such, namely, that 
changes in it alter nothing in the experience’s own essential 
content. Thus the perception itself changes according as the deter 
mination of the context changes^ whereas the lowest specific dif- 
ference of the genus ‘^perception”, its inner uniqueness, can be 
thought of as remaining identical with itself. 

That two perceptions essentially identical in respect of this 
uniqueness should also be identical in respect of context-deter- 
mination is in principle impossible, for they would then be 
individually one perception. 

At all events, we can see this clearly in the case of two per- 
ceptions and of two experiences generally, which belong to one 
stream of experience. Every experience influences the (clear or 
obscure) setting of further experiences. 

Closer inspection would further show that two streams of 
experience (spheres of consciousness for two pure Egos) cannot 
be conceived as having an essential content that is identically the 
same\ moreover, as is evident from the foregoing, no fully-- 
determinate experience of the one could ever belong to the other ; 
only experiences of identically the same specification can be 
common to them both (although not common in the sense of 
being individually identical), but never two experiences which 
in addition have absolutely the same “setting”. 

§ 84. Intentionality as the Main Phenomenological 


We pass on now to a peculiarity distinctive of experi ences , which 
wft defim t/?1y refer to as the general theme of ‘‘ohieSI^Iy ^ 
orie nted phenomenology, namely, Intentionality. It is to this 



e xtent an essential peculiarity of the sphere of experience in 
general, s ince all experiences in one way or anoth er participate 
S intentionality, th oug^ we cannot in one and^Flanir’^ens e 
say of every experience that it has ^intentionalitv. a s . we can sa y 
fo^nstance of every experience which enters as object into the 
focus of possible reflexion — be it even an abstract phase of 
experience— that it has a temp^orar character . It i s intentional ity 
which c haracterizes consciousness in the pre g nant sense of t he 
t erm, and justifies us in describing the whole stream of ex perience 
“ as aTon^ a stream of consciousness and unity of on e conscious - 

In the preliminary analyses of Essential Being in the Second 
Section of this work, analyses concerning consciousness in general, 
we found it necessary (still before the entrance-gate to pheno- 
menology as we were, and specifically interested in winning our 
way in through the method of reduction) to work out in advance 
a series of definite sketches of the most general kind, treating 
of intentionality in general, and serving also to delineate the 
“act”of the ^^cogitatio^\^YJe made use of these, and quite advisedly, 
at a further stage of our inquiry, although the original analyses 
were not as yet carried out under the express, authoritative 
guidance of phenomenological reduction. For they concerned 
the experiences’ own pure essence, and could therefore not be 
affected by the suspending of the apperceptive viewpoint and 
existential setting of psychology. And since our present interest 
is to discuss Intentionality^ adopting the term as an inclusive title 
for a number of pervasive phenomenological structures, and to outline 
the group of problems which concern the essential nature of these 
structures (so far as this is possible in a general introduction), 
let us run over \yhat we have said before, recasting it somewhat 
in sympathy with our present aims, which point in an essentially 
different direction. 

We understood under Intentionality the unique pecul iarity of 
e xperiences “to be the consciousness o/* som ething”. It waslrTthe 
explicit cogito that we first came across this Underfill property 
to which all metaphysical enigmas and riddles of the theoretical 
* Cf. supra, §§ 36-3S, pp. 1 19-135. 


reason lead us eventually back: perceiving is the perceiving of 
something, maybe a thing; judging, the judging of a certain 
matter; valuation, the valuing of a value; wish, the wish for the 
content wished, and so on. Acting concerns action, doing con- 
cerns the deed, loving the beloved, joy the object of joy. In ev ery 
wak eful coffjto a **glancing*^ ray from the pure Ego is directed 
upon the ‘‘object” of the correlate o f consciousness f or the 
time being, the thing, the tact, and so forth, and enjoys th e 
typically varied consciousness of it. But we learnt from pheno- 
menological retiexion that this orientation of the Ego in presenting, 
thinking, valuing . , . this wakeful intercourse with the correlate- 
object, this directedness towards it (or indeed away from it, 
though with the glance upon it all the same), is not discoverable 
in every experience, whereas intentionality may always be con- 
cealed in it. Thus, for instance, it is clear that the objective 
background, from which the perceived object of the cogitatio 
emerges as the glance of the Ego singles it out, is an objective 
background in a really experienceable sense. That is, whilst we 
are even now turned towards the pure object in the modus 
cogitOy various objects “appear”, we are intuitively “aware of” 
them, they blend into the unity of a single intuition, that of a 
consciously grasped field of objects. This is a potential field of 
perception in the sense that a special perceiving (an awareness 
of the type cogito) can be directed towards everything that thus 
appears; but not in the sense that the variations of sensory 
perspective experienced as present, variations of the visual kind, 
for instance, spread out in one single visual field, are incapable 
of being objectively grasped at all until the glance of the Ego 
is turned towards them, when for the first time they shape 
themselves into intuitive appearances of objects. 

We must further include here experiences that proceed from 
the background of actual consciousness, such as stirrings'^ of 
pleasure, the early shapings of judgment, incipient wishes, and 
so forth, and from dilferent depths of background-distance, or, 
as we can also say, of farness from or nearness to the Ego, since 
the pure Ego as it lives, wakeful, in the passing thought is the 
centre of reference. A liking, a wish, a judgment, and $0 forth, 



can in a specific sense be 'Julfilled'\ na mely, by t he Ego, whic h 
take s an active part ^ in this fulfilling (or as in the ‘‘fulfilling” 
of sorrow actually “suffers”); but such modes of consciousness 
may already be ''astir^\ and emerge in the “background” without 
being “fulfilled” in this way. And yet in their own essential 
nature these nascent actualities {Inaktualitdten) are already a 
“consciousness of something”. Accordingly we did not include 
in the essence of intentionality what belongs specifically to the 
cogitOy the “glance-towards”, or the Ego’s turning-to (an attitude 
still to be understood and phenomenologically studied in manifold 
ways) ; ^ on the contrary, we have taken this cogitatio to be a special 
modality of the general function which we call Intentionality. 

Note on Terminology 

In the Logical Studies this general function is referred to as 
“Act-character”, and every concrete experience of this character 
as an “Act”. The persistent misunderstandings to which this 
Act-concept has given rise have compelled me (here as in my 
lectures for a number of years back) to be more careful in regard 
to terminology, to delimit terms more closely, and no longer use 
the expressions ‘Act’ and ‘intentional experience’ as equivalent 
without proper reservations. The sequel will show that my 
original act-concept is completely indispensable, but that it is 
necessary to be constantly allowing for the modal difference 
between fulfilled and unfulfilled acts. 

Where nothing is said to the contrary, and we are simply 
concerned with acts, the proper and, so to speak, focal acts, the 
fulfilled acts will be the ones exclusively intended. 

Moreover, w^e may make this quite general remark, that in the 
beginnings of phenomenology all concepts or terms must in a 
certain sense remain fluid, always prepared to refine upon their 
previous meanings in sympathy with the progress made in the 
analysis of consciousness and the knowledge of new^ pheno- 
menological stratifications, and to recognize differences in what 
at first to our best insight appeared an undifferentiated unity, 

* Cf. mpra ^ § 37, pp, 121 ff. 


All selected terms have tendencies of meaning due to the con- 
nexions in which they are used; they point in the direction 
of certain relations concerning which it subsequently transpires 
very often that they have their source in more than one essential 
stratum ; with the accompanying conclusion that the terminology 
must be more effectively limited or otherwise modified. Thus 
it is not until a very highly developed stage of science has 
been reached that we can count on terminologies being definitely 
fixed. It is misleading and radically perverse to apply the formal 
and external standards of a logic of terminology to scientific work 
in the first stages of progressive effort, and in their first beginnings 
to exact from them terminologies of the kind first used to render 
stable the concluding results of great scientific developments, 
For the beginning every expression is good, and in particular every 
suitably chosen image which has the quality of directing our 
glance to a phenomenological result that can be clearly grasped. 
Clearness is quite compatible with a certain margin of indeter- 
minacy. The further determining or clarifying is precisely the 
further task, as, on the other hand, the inner analysis which 
proceeds by comparisons or by varying the context : the splitting 
up into components or strata. Those who, not content with what 
is offered to them as intuitively manifest, demand ‘definitions’^ 
of the type provided by the “exact” sciences, or believe that 
with phenomenological concepts won from the rough analysis 
of a couple of illustrations and taken as firmly fixed they can 
think their scientific thought unhampered by intuition, and 
through such free-lancing further the cause of phenomenology, 
are still so truly beginners that they have not grasped the essential 
nature of phenomenology, nor the method of work which it 
intrinsically demands. 

What we have said applies no less to the empirically directed 
psychological phenomenology in the sense of a description of 
psychological phenomena, which attaches itself to what is imma- 
nently essential. 

The concept of intentionality, grasped in the indefinite breadth 
we have given it, is a concept which at the threshold of pheno- 
menology is quite indispensable as a starting-point and basis. 



The general meaning which it indicates may, prior to closer study, 
be ever so vague ; it may present itself in ever so great a number 
of essentially different formations; it may be ever so difficult to 
set out through clear and rigorous analysis what it strictly is that 
constitutes the pure essential nature of intentionality, which 
components of the concrete formations properly contain it, and 
to which of these it is inwardly foreign — at all events when we 
recognize experiences as intentional, and say of them that they 
are the consciousness of something, we are considering them from 
a definite and highly important point of view. In saying this, it 
remains for the rest a matter of indifference to us whether the 
matter at issue is concrete experiences or abstract strata of 
experience, for such also can show the peculiarity in question. 

§ 85. Sensile vXt], Intentional 

We already intimated above (when we referred to the stream of 
experience as a unity of consciousness) that intentionality, apart 
from its puzzling forms and stages, resembled also a universal 
medium which in the last resort includes within itself all expe- 
riences, even those that are not characterized as intentional. At 
the level of discussion to which we have so far been limited, 
which stops short of descending into the obscure depths of the 
ultimate consciousness which constitutes the whole scheme of 
temporal experience, and accepts experiences rather as they 
present themselves in immanent reflexion as unitary temporal 
processes, we must, however, distinguish on grounds of principle : — 

1. All the experiences which in the Logical Studies were 
designated "‘primary contents’’;^ 

2. The experience or phases of experience, which are the bearers 
of the specific quality of intentionality. 

To the former belong, in the highest order of generality, 
unitary ''sensile** experiences, "sensory contents** such as the data 
of colour, touch, sound, and the like, which we shall no longer 
confuse with the appearing phases of things, their colour-quality, 
their roughness, and so forth, which rather "‘exhibit^’ them- 

* Vol. Ill, Sixth Study, § 58, p. 180. The concept of a primary content may, for 
the rest, be found already in my Philosophie der Arithmetik^ 1891, pp. 7a ff. 


selves experientially through their means. Similarly as regards 
sensile impressions of pleasure, pain, tickling, etc., and also 
the sensile phases of the sphere of ‘‘impulses’’. Such concrete 
data of experience are to be found as components in concrete 
experiences of a more comprehensive kind which as wholes are 
intentional, and indeed so that over those sensile phases lies 
as it were an “animating”, fneanmg-bestowing stratum (or one 
with which the bestowal of meaning is essentially bound up), 
a stratum through whose agency, out of the sensile-element^ which 
contains in itself nothing intentional^ the concrete intentional 
experience takes form and shape. 

Whether such sensile experiences in the stream of experience 
are of necessity everywhere the subjects of some kind of “ani- 
mating synthesis” which informs them (including whatever 
features this in its turn demands and renders possible), or, as 
we also say, whether they ever take their part in intentional 
functions y does not here call for decision. On the other hand, let 
us also leave undecided in the first instance whether the characters 
that enter essentially into the setting up of intentionality can find 
concrete embodiment apart from any sensile foundation. 

At all events, in the whole phenomenological domain (in the 
whole, that is, within the stage of constituted temporality, as must 
always be borne in mind), this remarkable duality and unity of 
sensile vXt] and intentional plays a dominant part. In point 
of fact these concepts of matter and form thrust themselves right 
to the front when we bring before the mind clear intuitions 
of one kind or another or clearly shaped valuations, services, 
volitions, and so forth. Intentional experiences are there as unities 
through the bestowal of meaning (used here in a very wide sense). 
Sensory data offer themselves as material for intentional inform- 1 
ings or bestowals of meaning at different levels, for such, that is, 
as are elementally plain and original, as we have yet to consider 
more closely. How well all this suits the case is shown from still ’ 
another side by the theory of “correlates”. And as regards the 
possibilities left open above, they might also be entitled formless 
materials and immaterial forms. 

We add the following in the interest of terminology: The 



expression ‘primary content’ no longer seems to us sufficiently 
significant. On the other hand, the expression ‘sensory experience’ 
cannot be used to indicate this concept, since our customary 
reference to sensory perceptions, sensory intuitions generally, 
sensory delight, and the like, stand in the way, whereby not merely 
hyleticbut also intentional experiences are described as sensory; 
clearly, too, the expressions “mere” or “pure” sensory experiences 
do not improve matters owing to the new ambiguities to which 
they are now exposed. Moreover, the term “sensory” has in 
addition its own ambiguities, which cleave to it in the pheno- 
menological reduction. Apart from the double meaning exem- 
plified in the contrast between “sense-bestowing” and “sensory”, 
an ambiguity which, perplexing as it occasionally is, can scarcely 
be avoided any longe;:, the following consideration must be noted : 
sensibility in a narrow sense indicates the phenomenological 
residuum of that which is mediated through the “senses” in 
normal outer perception. Subsequent to the reduction an essen- 
tial affinity between the relevant “sensory” data of the external 
intuitions reveals itself, and there corresponds to it a unique 
generic essence, a fundamental concept of phenomenology. 
Moreover, in a further and essentially unitary sense, sensibility 
includes the sensory feelings and impulses also which have their 
own generic unity, and on the other hand an essential affinity 
of a general kind as well with those sensibilities in the narrower 
sense of the term, and all this apart from the common basis of 
meaning which tht functional concept of vXri expresses in addition. 
Both together compelled the old transfer of the originally narrower 
meaning of sensibility to the spheres of sentiment and will, to 
the intentional experiences, namely, in which sensory data of 
the spheres here indicated play their part as functioning “mate- 
rials’ ^ Thus, at all events, we need a pj^w term which shall express 
the whole group through _it^ unity of function and its contrast 
with the formative characters, and we choose for this purpose 
the expression hyletic or material data^ also plainly and simply 
matenah {Stoffe), Where it concerns us to awaken a memory for 
the old and, in their way, unavoidable expressions, we say sensile 
(sensuelle)^ or even sensory {sinnlkhe) materials. 


What forms the materials into intentional experiences and 
brihp^’l iriiir ^^gec^ of inte ntionality^is thTTame as 

thaF which gives its specific meaning to our use of the jterm 
“consciousness’^ in accordance wi th which consciousness points 
eo tp¥6 to sometTimg of which it is the consciousness. Now since 
tFfms" ^haser^oT consciousness^, "“^ivvarenesses^kn^ all 

similar constructions, and the ter m ‘intentional phases’ likew ise 
Have Become quite unusable through manifold equivocations, 
which wiirclelirly reveal themselves in the folTorong pages7 \ve 
introduce the term noetic phase^ or, more briefly put, noesis. T hese 
noeses cohsfituteThe^sp^ ificatm ' ^ widesfsm^ 

oTlhe term, which in all the actual forms of life which belong* 
to it brings us back to cogitationes^ and t hen to in tentional 
exp erienceFgenerairy, an all that ( and essen-^ 

tially only that) wfaich is the eidetic presupp osition of the idea of 
a No rm. At the same time it is not an unwelcome'lfeaHre'tKar 
the word “Nous” i n one of its outstanding m eanings recalls the 
word [“meaning” or] {Sinn), alt hough the “ bestow^ of 

s ense” which takes place m the noetic phases includes a variety 
of things, and only as its basis a “sense-bestowal” as adjuncT* 
t<f the pregnant conceptoFse^~(^^). 

T Eere would also be good grounds tor referring to this noetic 
side of experiences as the psychical. For through the reference 
to ipvxq and psychical, the scrutiny of the philosophical psy- 
chologists was directed with a certain show of preference to that 
which the term intentionality conveys, whereas the sensory 
phases were referred to the body and its sensory activities. This 
old tendency finds its most modem impress in Brentano’s separa- 
tion of the “psychical” from “physical phenomena”. It is par- 
ticularly important, since it blazed a fresh trail for the develop- 
ment of phenomenology — although Brentano himself remained a 
stranger to phenomenological ground, and although with his 
sharp distinction he failed to reach that for which he sought, 
namely, the separation of the empirical domains of psychology 
and the physical natural sciences. What concerns us here par- 
ticularly in this matter is only the following : Brentano did not 
indeed find the concept of the material phase, and for this reason, 


that he took no account of the separation on grounds of principle 
of the “physical phenomena” as material phases (sensory data) 
from the “physical phenomena” as the objective phases that 
appear in the noetic apprehension of the former (the colour of 
a thing, the shape of a thing, and the like) ; but as against this 
he marked off on the other side the concept of the “psychical 
phenomenon” in one of his two clear-cut determinations, through 
the unique feature of Intentionality. Thereby he brought the 
“psychical” in that outstanding sense of the term which did not 
supersede the historical meaning of the word, but gave it a 
certain new accentuation within the field of view of our 
own time. 

But as against the use of the word “psychical” as the equivalent 
of intentionality, there is this to urge, that it would be without 
any doubt unsuitable to indicate the psychical in this sense, and 
the psychical in the sense of the psychological (of that which 
is the distinctive object of psychology) in the same way. Moreover, 
in respect of this latter concept there is a disagreeable ambiguity 
which has its source in the familiar drift towards a “psychology 
without a soul”. And there is further this closely connected point, 
that under the heading of the psychical, especially of the actually 
psychical in opposition to the corresponding “psychical dis- 
positions”, we think preferably of the experiences in the unity 
of the empirically given stream of experience. But it is now 
unavoidable to designate as also psychical, or as objects of 
psychology, the real bearers of this psychical quality, the animal 
natures or their “souls” and their psychically real properties. 
The “psychology without a soul” confuses, we would venture 
to think, the suspension of the soul-entity in the sense of this 
or that nebulous metaphysic of the soul with the suspension of 
the soul generally, that is, of the psychic reality given empirically 
as a fact, whose subjective states are the experiences. This reality 
is in no sense the mere stream of experience, bound to the body 
and empirically regulated in certain ways, for which rulings the 
dispositions-concepts are mere indicators. However that may be, 
the existing ambiguities, and above all the circumstance that the 
concepts of the psychical which at present prevail do not embody 


the specific mark of intentionality, render the word useless for 
our purposes. 

We therefore hold to the word noetic^ and say: — 

The sir earn of phen o menoh^cal bein^ has a twofold bed: a 
material and a noetic, 

"iPfienom eno Idgica^^ ref^^ and analyses which sgeciaUy 
concern th e material may be called h yleiu^y phenome nological^ 
as, cm the other side, those that re l ate to noetic pE ases may be 
re ferred to as noetically phenomenologicaL The incomparably more 
important and fruitful analyses belong to the noetical side. 

§ 86. The Functional Problems 

Yet the greatest problems of all are the functional problems, or 
those of the ^^constituting of the objective field of consciousness^*. 
They concern the way in which, for instance, in respect of 
Nature, noeses, animating the material, and weaving themselves 
into unitary manifolds, into continuous syntheses, so bring into 
being the consciousness of something, that in and through it the 
objective unity of the field of objects {Gegenstdndlichkeit) may 
permit of being consistently “declared’’, “shown forth”, and 
“rationally” determined. 

Function** in this sense (totally different from the mathematical) 
is something wholly unique, grounded in the pure essence of the 
noeses. Consciousness is just consciousness “of” something; it is 
its essential nature to conceal “meaning” within itself, the quin- 
tessence of “soul”, so to speak, of “mind”, of “reason”. Con- 
sciousness is not a title-name for “psychical complexes”, for 
fused “contents”, for “bundles”, or streams of “sensations”, 
which, meaningless in themselves, could give forth no “meaning”, 
however compactly massed they might be; but it is “conscious- 
ness” through and through, the source of all reason and unreason, 
all right and wrong, all reality and illusion, all value and disvalue, 
all deed and misdeed. Thus consciousness is toto ccelo different 
from that which sensationalism takes it solely to be, from what 
in point of fact is in itself meaningless, and irrational material, 
though capable, to be sure, of rationalization* What this rationaliza- 

2 S 2 pure phenomenology 

tion amounts to is a point which we shall soon learn better to 

The viewpoint of Function is the central viewpoint of pheno- 
menology; the inquiries which radiate from it cover the whole 
phenomenological sphere pretty nearly, and in the last resort all 
phenomenological analyses enter its service in one form or 
another as integral portions or as lower grades. Instead of the 
single experiences being analysed and compared, described and 
classified, all treatment of detail is governed by the ' ‘teleological’' 
view of its function in making “synthetic unity” possible. The 
treatment considers from the standpoint of the essence the 
various conscious groupings which in the experiences themselves, 
in their dispensings of meaning, in their noeses generally, are as 
it were prefigured^ needing to be just drawn out from them; so, 
for instance, in the sphere of experience (Erfahrimg) and empirical 
thinking, functional method turns to the many forms of conscious 
continua and of broken connexions of conscious experiences 
inwardly united through a common thread of meaning, through 
the unifying consciousness of one and the same objective, appear- 
ing now in this guise, now in that, presenting itself intuitively 
or determined by thought. It seeks to inquire how this self- 
same factor, how objective unities of every kind, immanent, 
but not real, are “known” or “supposed”, how the identity of 
these suppositions is constituted by conscious formations of very 
different type yet of essentially prescribed structure, and how 
these formations should be described on strict methodical lines. 
And it seeks further to inquire how corresponding to the double 
heading “reason” and “unreason”, the unity of the objective 
content of every objective region and category can and must 
in accordance with conscious insight be “brought out” or “broken 
up” respectively : shaped in the forms of reflective consciousness, 
“more closely” or “othervdse” determined, or else cast completely 
aside as “vain illusion”. In connexion herewith come all the 
distinctions which bear the familiar yet enigmatic titles : “reality” 
and “illusion”, “true” reality, “illusory reality”, “true” values, 
“illusory” or disvalues, and so forth, here followed by the 
attempt to clear them up on phenomenological lines. , 


We must therefore study in the most general and compre- 
hensive way how objective unities of every region and category 
“are consciously constituted’’. We must show systematically how 
all the connexions of our real and possible consciousness of them 
as essential possibilities are prescribed by their essential nature: 
the simple or secondary intuitions intentionally related to them, 
the thought-formations of lower and higher levels, the confused 
or the clear, the expressed or the not-expressed, the pre-scientific 
and the scientific, up to the loftiest formations of strict theoretical 
science. All fundamental types of possible consciousness, and the 
modifications, fusions, syntheses which essentially belong to them, 
must be made plain to sight and systematically studied in their 
eidetic generality and phenomenological purity; how through 
their own essence they prefigure all possibilities (and impossi- 
bilities) of being, how the existing object following essential laws 
that are absolutely fixed is the correlate of conscious connexions 
of a quite definite essential content, just as conversely the being 
of systems thus articulated is equivalent to the existing object, 
and this always with reference to all regions of Being and all 
grades of generality right down to the concreteness of Being 

From its pure eidetic standpoint which “suspends” the tran- 
scendent in every shape and form, phenomenology comes inevit- 
ably on its own ground of pure consciousness to this whole system 
of problems which are traascendetital in the specific sense^ and for 
this reason it merits the title of Transcendental Phenomenology. 
On its own ground it must come to the point, not of treating 
experiences as so much dead material, as “systems of content”, 
which simply are, but mean nothing, intend nothing, with their 
elements and ordered constructions, their classes and sub-classes; 
but rather of mastering its own intrinsically peculiar group of 
problems which present experiences as intentional^ and that purely 
through its eidetic essence as *^co?isciousness--ofi\ 

Naturally pure hyletics finds its proper place in subordination 
to the phenomenology of the transcendental consciousness. More- 
over, it has the character of a self-contained discipline, and as 
such has a value in itself; but on the other hand, and from the 



functional viewpoint, it wins significance from the fact that it 
furnishes a woof that can enter into the intentional tissue, material 
that can enter into intentional formations. Not only in point of 
difficulty, but also in regard to the relative rank of the problems 
to be considered, from the standpoint of the idea of an absolute 
knowledge, it stands clearly below noetic and functional pheno- 
menology (two aspects, moreover, which in strictness should not 
be separated). 

We proceed now to develop the subject more fully in the 
following chapters. 


Stumpf, in his important Berlin Academy Essays,^ uses the word 
‘function’ in the connexion “psychical function” in opposition 
to that which he calls “appearance”. The distinction is intended 
as a psychological one, and as such fits in with the opposition 
we have set up (and applied in a psychological sense only) between 
“acts” and “primary contents”. It should be noted that the terms 
in question bear a completely different meaning in our expositions 
from that which the distinguished scientist has given them. With 
superficial readers of the writings on both sides it has already 
frequently happened that they have confused Stumpf’s concept 
of phenomenology (as doctrine of “appearances”) with my own.' 
Stumpf’s phenomenology would correspond to what we set out 
above under the title hyletic, only that our exposition, from the 
standpoint of method, is essentially conditioned by the enveloping 
framework of transcendental phenomenology. On the other hand, 
the idea of hyletics eo ipso transfers itself from phenomenology 
on to the ground of an eidetic psychology, within the limits of 
which, as we take it, Stumpf’s “phenomenology” would find its 
proper place. 

* C. Stumpf , ‘‘Erscheiuiingen und psychische Funktionen” (pp. 4 ff.) and “Zm 
Einteilung der WissenschSften’*, both published in the Ahh, d, KgL Pretiss, 
Akademe d, Wissensch, for the year 1906. 


§ 87. Introductory Remarks 

The peculiarity of intentional experience is in its general form 
easily indicated ; we all understand the expression ‘‘consciousness 
of something’’, especially in the illustrations which we make for 
ourselves. The harder is it to grasp the phenomenological pecu- 
liarities of the corresponding essence purely and correctly. That 
this heading marks off a vast field of toilsome discoveries, and 
eidetic discoveries at that, still seems to the majority of philo- 
sophers and psychologists (if we may judge from the literature on 
the subject) to be something strange even to-day. For no headway 
is made by simply seeing and saying that every presenting refers 
to a presented, every judgment to something judged, and so forth; 
nor indeed if in addition one points to Logic, Epistemology, and 
Ethics, with their numerous self-evidences, and indicates these as 
belonging to the essential nature of intentionality. That is also 
a very simple way of claiming that the phenomenological doctrine 
of the essence is something primitively old, a new name for the 
old Logic and such disciplines as may need to be ranked with 
it. For until we have grasped the transcendental standpoint in 
its uniqueness, and really appropriated the pure phenomenological 
ground, though we may indeed use the word phenomenology, 
we have not got the thing itself. Moreover, the mere shifting 
of the standpoint, the mere effecting of the phenomenological 
reduction, does not suffice to bring such a thing as phenomenology 
out of pure logic. For how far logical, and similarly pure onto- 
logical, pure ethical, or any other such a propositions which 
one may cite in this connexion, express what is really pheno- 
menological, and to what phenomenological strata they may in 
any given context belong, this is in no sense obvious at first 
sight. On the contrary, there lie concealed here the most difficult 
problems of all, the meaning of which is naturally hidden from 
all those who have not as yet any inkling of the basic distinctions 
upon which all the others depend. As a matter of fact (if I may 



venture a judgment based on my own experience), it is a long 
and thorny way that leads from the insights of pure logic, from 
those of the theory of meaning, from ontological and noetical 
insights, and likewise from the current normative and psycho- 
logical theory of knowledge, to the apprehension of immanent- 
psychological and then phenomenological data, and lastly to all 
the essential connexions which make the transcendental relations 
intelligible a priori. Similar considerations apply, wheresoever we 
fix our effort on the attempt to find a way through from objective 
insights to the phenomenological that essentially belong to them. 

Thus * ‘consciousness of something” is atone and the same time 
very obvious and highly obscure. The false tracks into which 
our first reflexions lead us, as we thread the maze, easily generate 
a scepticism which denies the inconvenient problem in all its 
bearings. Not a few shut themselves out altogether from the 
start because they cannot bring themselves to grasp intentional 
experience, the experience of perception, for instance, in company 
with its own proper essence as such. They do not succeed because 
they cannot replace the practice of living in perception, their 
attention turned towards the perceived object both in observation 
and in theoretical inquiry, by that of directing their glance upon 
the perceiving itself, or upon the way in which the perceived 
object with its distinguishing features is presented, and of taking 
that which presents itself in the immanent analysis of the essence 
just as it actually does present itself. If the right standpoint has 
been won and entrenched through practice, if above all there 
has been acquired the courage to follow’- up the clear essential 
data with an entire absence of all prejudice, and indifference to 
all current and borrowed theories, firm results follow forthwith, 
the same for all who adopt the same position. There follow as 
well-established possibilities the power of passing on to others 
what one has seen oneself, or testing the descriptions of others, 
sifting out intrusive phrases void of meaning they have slipped 
in unnoticed, and of exposing and eliminating errors which here 
too are possible, as they are in every sphere in which validity 
counts for something, by a further appeal to intuition. But now 
to the matters themselves ! 



§ 88. Real (Reelle) and Intentional Factors of Experience. 

The Noema 

If, as has been our custom in the present meditations generally, 
we look out for distinctions of a very general kind, such as can 
be grasped at once on the very threshold of phenomenology, so 
to speak, and are determinative for all further methodical advance, 
we at once stumble across what, in respect of intentionality, is 
a quite fundamental distinction , ^ame ly, th at betw een tht proper 
components of the intentional experiences, and their Inimiioml 
c or^ates, joFiSt corr^^ In the preliminary eidetic" 

inquiries of the Second Section of this work we have 
already touched on this distinction.^ It helped us, in the transition 
from the natural standpoint to the phenomenological, to make 
clear the uniqueness of the phenomenological sphere. But that 
within this sphere itself, within the framework of the transcen- 
dental reduction, it should acquire a radical importance con- 
ditioning the entire problematics of phenomenology — this could 
not at that time be suspected. Thus on the one hand we have 
to distinguish the parts and phases wBch w elSnd throu g h^ 7^ 
(reetlepTMt^ of the" Sperience in w hich we treat the experience 
as an oBjecFlTke^ any other, and question concernmg its parts or 
tFe dependent'pESes build” itlip^^ lines. But 

oh the otfieiTiand‘fEelntentIoiSre^enS^ 
oF sometEngT lind is so in the form its essence prescribes : as 
memory, for instance, or as judgment, or as will, and so forth: 
and so we can ask what can be said on essential lines concerning 

"Ev ery in teiitionai experience, thanks to its noetic phase, is 
noetic, it is its essen tial nature to harbour in itself a "‘meaning’^ 
of so me sort, it may be many meanings, and on the^founFoT 
this gift of in^ning, and in harmony therewith, to develop further 
phases which through it become themselves “meaningfor’. Such 
n qetic phases include , for instance, the direct ing of the gTanc e 
of the pure Ego upon the object **iiitSS 3ed^^ by it in virtue oF 
ifs"*giff of meaning, upohlhat which “it h^inlts m 

I Cf. § 41, p. 129 et seq. 



thing meant”; further, the apprehension of this object, the steady 
grasf of ir whilst the glance has shifted to other objects which 
have entered within the circle of “conjecture” ; likewise the effects 
of bringing out, relating, apprehending synoptically, and taking 
up the various attitudes of belief, presumption, valuation, and 
so forth. All this may be discovered in the relevant experiences, 
however differently constituted they may be, and however variable 
in themselves. N ow truly as th is illustr^ive series of phases 
points to real {reelle) components of the experiences, it also 
pointi^ through the~ruT5ric "‘meaning^ to components that ate 
not'rei^ . - ■ 

Corresponding at all points to the manifold data of the real 
(reellen) noetic content, there is a variety of data displayable in 
really pure (wirklich r drier) intuition, and in a correlative “noematic 
content", or briefly '‘noema" — ^terms which we shall henceforth be 
continually using. 

Perception, for ins tance, has its noema, and at the base of this 
its perceptual meaning,^ that is, the perceived as such. Similarly, 
tKe^e&OTecfion',~tvteHrif occurs, has as its own its remembered 
as such precisely as it is “meant” and “consciously known” in it; 
so again judging has as its own the judged as such, pleasure 
the pleasing as such, and so forth. We must everywhere take the 
noematic correlate, which (in a very extended meaning of the 
term) is here referred to as “meaning” {Sinn) precisely as it lies 
“immanent” in the experience of perception, of judgment, of 
liking, and so forth, i.e., if toe questionin pure form this experience 
itself, as we find it there presented to us. 

We can make our meaning here fully clear through the help 
of an illustrative analysis (which we propose to carry out in the 
light of pure intuition). 

Let IK suppose that we are looking with pleasure in a garden 
at a bloss oming apple-tr ee, a^he_fres_h^^ng: green, of the la wn, 
a nd so forth r'Phe~p5neptrbn and the pleasufe that accompanies 
it is obviously not that which at the same time is perceived and 

' Cf. Losied Studies, Vol. II', the Krst Study, § 14, p. 50, on “meaning that 
fulfils” (on this point see the Sixth Study, § 55, p. 169, on “the meaning of 
perception”); further, for what follows see the Fifth Study, § ao f., on the 
“material” of an act; likewise the Sixth Study, §§ 35-29. 


gives pleasure. From the na tural standpoint the apple-tree is 
someth ing that exists in fibeTranscendeht * r ealit^of space, and 
the perception as well as the pleasureji^ps 3 rcjucal state which we 
e^y a s reaT Euman^hHng^ the one an d the other realf 

be ing (R^ m)^ tEe^eaHnan' or the real perception on the one 
ha& ^ an_3llfe^ar^ pfe"-tr^ll^ ffiere su bsist real 

rel ations. such conditions of exp erience , and in cer tain 

cases it y noy be that the perception is a **mere hallucinati on*\ 
and th £t the p er ceived, this apple-tree that s tands before us, does 
no^ exist in the ^‘ reaV^ obje ctive world. T he 
whichwas~^reviously thought of as really subsisting is now 
disturbed. Nothing remains but the perception; there is nothing 
real out there to which it relates. 

Let us now pass over to the phenomenological standpoint. The^ 
tra nscendent world enters its ‘^bracket’’; in respect of its real 
being we use t he dkconnecting €^2^ We now ask what there 
is to discover, on essential lines, in the nexus of noetic experiences 
of perception and pleasure-valuation. Togeth er wdth the whole 
physical and psy chical world the real subsi sten ce of the objective 
reja^ n between perception and perceived is suspended ; and ve t 
a relation between percep tion and perceived (as likewise between 
the pTeSiif^'ancl that which pleases) is obviously left over, a 
relation which in its essential nature comes before us ffi’ ‘^pure 
immanence**, purely, that is, on the ground of the phenomeno- 
logically reduced experience of perception and pleasure, as it fits 
into the transcendental stream of experience. This is the very 
situation we are now concerned with, the pure phenomenological 
situation. It may be that phenomenology has also something to 
say concerning hallucinations, illusions, and deceptive percep- 
tions generally, and it has perhaps a great deal to say about them; 
but it is evident that here, in the part they play in the natural 
setting, they fall away before the phenomenological suspension. 
Here in regard to the perception, and also to any arbitrarily 
continued nexus of such perceptions (e.g., if we were to observe 
the blossoming tree ambulando)^ we have no such question to put 
as whether anything corresponds to it in ‘*the** real world. This 
posited {thetische) reality, if our judgment is to be the measure 



of it, is simply not there for us. An d yet everyth ing remains, 
so to speak, as of old. Even thephenomen^ologically re“3uce3per- 
cepfTiSt'SXpef perception of “this apple-tree in bloom, 
in this garden, and so forth”, and likewise the reduced pleasure, 
a pleasure in what is thus perceived. The tree has not forfeited 
the least shade of content from all the phases, qualiHe^hh^ 

which it appeared in this percepB^^mfT^Hn^^ this pleasure 

the like, ^ — — 

From our phenomenological standpoint we can and m ustjut 
the ques tion of essence: What is th e perceived as sucK^? What 
essential phases doe s it harbou r in itself in its capacit y as noe ma? 
We win the reply to our question as we wait, in pure surrender, 
on what is essentially given. We can then describe “that which 
appears as such” faithfully and in the light of perfect self- 
evidence. As just one other expression for this we have, “the 
describing of perception in its noematic aspect”. 

§ 89. Noematic Statements and Statements Concerning 
Reality. The Noema in the Psychological Sphere 

It is clear that all these descriptive statements, though very similar 
in sound to statements concerning reality, have undergone a 
radical modification of meaning; just as the described itself, 
though it figures as “the same exactly”, is still something radically 
other than it was, in virtue, so to speak, of an inverting change 
of signature. “In” the reduced perception (in the phenomeno- 
logically pure experience) we find, as belonging to its essence 
indissolubly, the perceived as such, and under such titles as 
“material thing”, “plant”, “tree”, “blossoming”, and so forth. 
The inverted commas are clearly significant; they express that 
change of signature, the corresponding radical modification of 
the meaning of the words. The tree plain and simple, the thing 
in nature, is as different as it can be from this perceived tree as 
such, which as perceptual meaning belongs to the perception, and 
that inseparably. The tree plain and simple can burn away, 
resolve itself into its chemical elements, and so forth. But the 
meaning — ^the meaning of this perception, something that belongs 



necessarily to its essence — cannot burn away; it has no chemical 
elements, no forces, no real properties. 

Whatever in purely immanent and reduced form is peculiar 
to the experience, and cannot be thought away from it, as it is 
in itself, and in its eidetic setting passes eo ipso into the Eidos, 
is separated from all Nature and physics, and not less from 
all psychology by veritable abysses; and even this image, being 
naturalistic, is not strong enough to indicate the difference. 

The perceptual meaning belongs of course also to the pheno- 
menologically unreduced perception (to the perception in its 
psychological sense). Thus we can here clearly see at once 
how the phenomenological reduction can fulfil for the psy- 
chologist the methodically useful function of fixing the noematic 
meaning in sharp distinction from the object pure and simple, 
and of recognizing it as belonging inseparably to the psychological 
essence of the intentional experience, which would then be appre- 
hended as real. 

On both sides, whether the standpoint be psychological or 
phenomenological, we must assiduously see to it that the “per- 
ceived’’ as meaning includes nothing (thus nothing should be 
ascribed to it on the ground of “indirect information”) that does 
not “really appear” in that which in the given case is the per- 
ceptual manifestation of the appearing reality, and precisely in 
the mode, the way of presentation in which we are aware of it 
in the actual perception. A unique kind of reflexion may on every 
occasion detect this meaning, as it is immanent in perception, 
and it is only to that which is apprehended in it that the pheno- 
menological judgment has to adjust itself and give faithful 

§ 90. The “Noematic Meaning” and the Distinction be- 
tween “Immanent” and “Real [Wirklicben) Objects” 

Like perception, ever y inte ntional experience — ^and this is indeed 
the fundamental mark of all intentionality^ — h as its “intentional 
o bject”, i.e., its obj ective meaning. Or to repeat the same in other 
words: To have a merniSgTofToTiave something “in mind”, is 



cardinal feature of all consciousness, thatjon account of which 
itis not onlyexperiehce'genefal]^^ meanin^I7^'‘^ndeti^ 

* In the example we took and analysed, t^^ out 

as its “meaning” or “sense”, does not of course exhaust the full 
noema ; correspondingly the noetic side of intentional experience 
does not consist exclusively of the strict “sense-giving” phase 
to which “sense” or “meaning” specifically belongs as correlate. 
We shall presently show that the full noema consists in a nexus 
of noematic phases, and that the specific sense-phase supplies 
only a kind of necessary nucleatic layer in which further phases 
are essentially grounded, which for that reason, no doubt, though 
with an enlargement of the term’s meaning, we should designate 

But let us at first stand fast by the only clear conclusion we 
have reached. In tentional experience, so we showed, is un- 
doiAtedly so or ganized that, given a suitable view point, a “sense ” 
^ be extracted from it. The situat this meaning 

for "us7'{lre""dfcun ^ ^ that the non-existence (or the 

being persuaded of the non-existence) of the presented or ideally 
constructed object in its plain and simple sense caimot steal the 
presented object as such from the relevant presentation (and so 
from the existing intentional experience generally), that a dis- 
tinction must therefore be drawn between them, could not remain 
concealed. The difference, striking as it is, could not escape the 
impress of literary speech. As a matter of fact, the scholastic 
distinction between ^^mentar\ ^HntentionaV\ or ^Hmmanent^ 
object on the one hand, and ^WeaV object on the other, points 
back to it. Meanwhile, the step from a first apprehension of a 
distinction affecting the nature of consciousness, to its right, 
phenomenologically pure fixation and correct valuation, is an 
immense step forward, and precisely this step, which for a con- 
sistent and fruitful phenomenology is the decisive one, was not 
taken. The decisive factor lies before all in the absolutely faithful 
description of that "le^ich really lies before one in phenomeno- 
logical purity, and ia keeping at a distance all interpretations 
that transcend the given. In this region appellations already 
announce interpretations, and often very false ones. Such betray 



themselves here through such expressions as “mentaF\ ‘‘imma- 
nent” object, and are at any rate furthered through the expression 
“intentional” object. 

A too easy suggestion lies ready to hand: In jexperience the 
i ntention is given with its intenti onal o bject, which as such belongs 
inseparably to it, thus lives really {ree l!) with in it." ^What the 
experien ce intends, pres ents, etc., is an d remams with it, whet her 
the c orresponding “real ob ject” { wirklich e Objekt) exists in reality 
or no^ or h as been annihilated in the interval, and so fortELT' ” 

Bu^ try in thh w av to Separate the real oSjeH lfi n the 
case of outer perception the perce ived thing of natur e) from the 
intentional object, placing the latter as “immanent” to pTfcep^ 
ti on within experience as a real factor (reg7/j^ w areTes^by 
the difficulty that now two realities must confront each other, 
whereas one of these is present and“pbssible. 1 perceive the 
thing, the object of nature, the tree there in the garden; that 
and nothing else is the real object of the perceiving “intention”. 
A second immanent tree, or even an “inner image” of the real 
tree that stands out there before me, is nowise given, and to sup- 
pose such a thing by way of assumption leads only to absurdity. 
The copy as a real {reelles) element in psychologically-real per- 
ception would again be a reality {ein Reales) that functioned for 
another as image. But it could do this only through a repre- 
sentational form of consciousness in which for the first time 
something appeared — ^giving us a first intentionality — and this in 
its turn as an “image-object” functioned consciously for another 
such object, wherewith a second intentionality based on the fiirst 
would be necessary. But it is no less evident that each one of 
these ways of being conscious already calls for the distinction 
between immanent and real object, and thus contains in itself 
the very problem that was to have been solved through the 
construction. Over and above this the construction in the case 
of perception is subject to the objection which we discussed in 
an earlier context to charge the perception of the physical with 
representative functions means substituting for it an image- 
consciousness which from the descriptive viewpoint is constituted 
* Cf. supa, § 43, pp. 13s ff. 



in an essentially different way. Still the main point lies here, 
that in ascribing a representative function to perception, and 
consequently to every intentional experience, we unavoidably 
bring in an endless regress (as can be seen at once from our own 

In the face of errors such as these, we must abide by what 
is given in pure experience, and place it within its frame of 
clearness just as it comes into our hands. The ^‘reaP’ object is 
then to be ‘^bracketed”. Let us consider what this means : starting 
as men in our natural setting, the real object is the thing out 
there. We see it, we face it, we have turned our eyes towards 
it and fixed them upon it, and as we find it there in space over 
against us, so we describe it and make our statements concerning 
it. In the matter of values we likewise take up an attitude; this 
that we see facing us in space pleases us or determines us to 
action; what there presents itself we lay hold of, work it up, and 
so forth. If we now carry out the phenomenological reduction, 
every transcendent setting, that above all which is bound up with 
perception, receives its suspending bracket, which envelops all 
the derivative acts, every perceptual judgment with the valuations 
grounded in it, and eventually the judgment of value, and so 
forth. What it comes to is this: we suffer all these perceptions, 
judgments, and so forth, but only on condition that they be 
regarded and described as the essentialities which they are in 
themselves ; if anything in them or in relation to them is presented 
as self-evident, that we establish and fortify. But we allow no 
judgment that makes any use of the affirnniation that posits a 
‘Veal” thing or “transcendent” nature as a whole, or “co-operates” 
in setting up these positions. As phenomenologists we avoid all 
such affirmations. But if we “do not place ourselves on their 
ground”, do not “co-operate with them”, we do not for that 
reason cast them away. They are there still, and belong essen- 
tially to the phenomenon as a very part of it. Rather, we con- 
template them ourselves ; instead of working with them, we make 
them into objects ; and we take the thesis of perception and its 
components also as constituent portions of the phenomenon. 

So then we ask generally, keeping to the clear meaning of 



these suspensions, what is it “lies’" self-evidently before us in 
the whole “reduced” phenomenon? Now in perception there lies 
also this, that it has its noematic meaning, its “perceived as such”, 
“this tree blossoming out there in space” — ^understood as under 
the inverted commas — ^that in fact which belongs to the essence 
of the phenomenologically reduced perception — ^in short, its 
correlate. To speak in an image: The “bracketing” which per- 
ception has undergone prevents any judgment being passed on 
the perceived reality (i.e., any judgment that has its ground in 
the unmodified perception, and therefore accepts its thesis as its 
own). But it does not hinder any judgment to the effect that 
perception is the consciousness of a real world (provided the thesis 
thereof is not set in action), and it does not hinder any description 
of this perceptually appearing “real world as such” with the 
special modes in which we are consciously aware of this reality 
as appearing, e.g., simply as perceived, merely “one-sided”, in 
this or that orientation, and so forth. We must now see to it with 
scrupulous minuteness that we do not put into the experience 
anything which is not really included in the essence, and that 
we “lay it in” precisely in the way in which it already “lies” in 
the essence itself, 

§ 91. Extension to the Farthest Reaches of Intentionality 

What has hitherto been more fully discussed with reference to 
perception really holds good of all types of intentional experience. 
In memory, after reduction, we find the remembered as such; 
in expectation, the expected as such; in imaginative fancy, the 
fancied as such* 

“In” each of these experiences there “dwells” a noematic 
meaning, and however closely self-related, indeed, so far as a 
central nucleus is concerned, essentially self-same, the latter 
remains in different experiences, it differs in kind none the less 
when the experiences differ in kind; the common groundjhere 
is at least differently featured, and necessarily so. The object 
considered may be in every case a blossoming tree, and in every 
case this tree may so appear that the faithful description of that 


which appears as such necessarily uses identical expressions. Yet 
the noematic correlates are for this very reason essentially different 
for perception, fancy, imaginative presentation, memory, and so 
forth. At one time that which appears is characterized as ‘‘cor- 
poreal reality”, at another as fiction, then again as recollection 
brought before the mind, and so forth. 

These are characters which we find as inseparable features of 
the perceived, fancied, remembered, etc., as such; of the meaning 
of perception^ the meaning of fancy, the meaning of memory, and 
as necessarily belonging to these in correlation with the respective 
types of noetic experiences. 

Thus, where our interest lies in describing the intentional 
correlates faithfully and completely, we must never collect such 
data in a haphazard way, but group together characters that 
conform to certain essential laws, and fix their import with 
conceptual strictness. 

We observe from this that within the complete noema (as we 
had in fact previously declared) we must separate out 
different certain strata which group themselves about a central 
**nucletts^\ the sheer ^^objective meaning*\ that which in our 
examples was something that could be everywhere described 
in purely identical objective terms, because in the specifically 
different though parallel experiences there could be an identical 
element. We see at the same time, if we again set aside the 
brackets suspending the theses, that running parallel with and 
corresponding to the different concepts of meaning, different 
concepts of unmodified objectivities must be distinguishable, of 
which the “object simpliciter^\ namely, the identical element 
which is at one time perceived, a second time directly represented, 
and a third time exhibited in figured form in a picture, and so 
forth, indicates only one central concept. Meanwhile, as a mere 
preliminary, let this indication suffice. 

We now glance round within the sphere of consciousness, 
taking a somewhat wider sweep, and, by turning to the main ways 
of being conscious, seek to get to know the noetic-noematic 
structures. As we follow up the real indications, we are at the 
same time winning direct assurance step by step of the thorough- 


going validity of the fundamental correlation between noesis and 

§ 92. The Transformations of Attention in Regard both to 
Noesis and Noema 

In our preliminary chapters we have already spoken more than 
once of a species of remarkable transformations of consciousness 
which cut across all other kinds of intentional occurrences, and 
constitute therefore a quite general structure of consciousness 
sui generis. We spoke metaphorically of a “mental glance” or 
“glancing ray” of the pure Ego, of its turnings towards and away. 
We brought the phenomena belonging to this context imder a 
unity and into completely clear and distinct relief. Wherever the 
topic of “Attention” is concerned, they play the chief part without 
any phenomenological separation from other phenomena, and 
when mixed with these they are referred to as modes of attention. 
We on our side wish to retain the word attention, and in addition 
to speak of attentional transformations, but exclusively with refer- 
ence to such as we ourselves have distinctly separated out, inclusive 
of the groups of interconnected phenomenal transformations to 
be more fully described in the sequel. 

Our concern here is with a series of transformations possible 
ideediter, which already presuppose a noetic nucleus and certain 
characterizing phases of a different order which necessarily belong 
to it, transformations which do not of themselves work any change 
in the noematic effects which belong to this noesis, and yet 
exhibit modifications of the whole experience on its noetic as well 
as on its noematic side. The glancing ray of the pure Ego passes 
now through this, now through that noetic layer, or (as in the 
case, for instance, of memories) right through this or that inter- 
calated stratum, sometimes directly, sometimes as reflected. 
Within the total given field of potential noeses or of noetic objects, 
we glance now at some whole, say the tree which is perceptually 
present, now at this or that part and phase of the same; then 
again at a thing standing close by, or at some complex organization 
and process. Suddenly we direct our glance towards some object 


of recollection which chances to occur to us. Our glance, instead 
of passing through the noeses of perception, which in a continuous 
and unitary way, though variously articulated, constitute for us 
the steadily appearing world of things, goes through a noesis of 
remembrance into a world of memory, moves about in the latter, 
wandering here and there, passes on to memories of other levels, 
or into worlds of fancy, and so forth. 

For the sake of simplicity let us remain in one intentional 
stratum, that of the world of perception, which in simple cer- 
tainty is just out there. Let us fix in idea and in respect of its 
noematic content some thing of which we are perceptively aware 
or some occurrence connected with it, just as we fix in its full 
immanent essence the whole concrete consciousness of the thing, 
or the occurrence in the corresponding section of phenomeno- 
logical duration. Then the fixing also of the beam of attention 
in its own appointed circuit belongs to this idea. For the beam 
also is a phase of experience. It is then evident that modes of 
alteration of the fixed experience are possible which we indicate 
by the rubric ‘‘alterations in the distribution of attention and 
its modes*^ It is clear that the noematic factor of the experience 
here remains the same in so far as can now everywhere be said : 
Let the same objective reality be characterized always as cor- 
poreally existent, presenting itself in the same modes of appear- 
ance, the same orientations and manifesting characters. We may 
be made aware, moreover, of this or of that part of its content 
through the same modes of indeterminate intimation and unin- 
tuitional co-representation. We draw out certain parallel noematic 
elements and compare them, and the alteration we will suppose 
consists merely in this, that in one case of comparison this 
objective phase has the “preference’^ and in the other that; or 
that one and the same phase is at one time “primarily noted”, 
at another noted only in a secondary way, or only “just noted” 
along with something else, if it is not indeed “completely un- 
noticed”, although still continuing to appear. There are indeed 
different modes which belong specifically to attention as such. 
The group of actuality-modes separates itself off therewith from 
the mode of non-actuality; from that which we plainly call 


Inattention, the mode, so to speak, of the dead enjoyment of 
consciousness (Bewussthabens). 

On the other hand it is clear that these modifications are not 
only those of the experience itself in its noetic aspect, but that 
they also cover its noemata, that, on the noematic side — ^without 
prejudice to the identical noematic nucleus — ^they exhibit a new 
class of characterizations. It is usual to compare attention with 
an illuminating light. What is attended to, in the specific sense, 
subsists in the more or less bright cone of light, but can also 
shelve off into the half-shadow and into the full darkness. Little 
as the image suffices to inculcate with the proper distinctness 
all modes calling for phenomenological fixing, it is still significant 
as pointing to changes in that which appears as such. This 
alteration of the lighting does not alter that which appears in 
and through the meaning it conveys, but brightness and darkness 
modify its mode of appearing; they are to be foxmd in the 
directing of the glance to the noematic object and there described. 

It is obvious, moreover, that the modifications in the noema 
are not of such a kind that they simply annex to something that 
remains the same throughout some merely external addition ; on 
the contrary, our concern is with the necessary modes of the 
way in which the self-identical presents itself. 

Looked at more closely, however, the situation at this point 
is. not that the whole noematic content, characterized as occasion 
has determined in terms of the modus ‘‘attentional’^ (its attentional 
kernel^ so to speak), must be upheld as a constant over against all 
arbitrary modifications of the attention. On the contrary, looking 
at the matter from the noetic side, we observe that certain noeses, 
whether of necessity or following fixed possibilities of their 
nature, are conditioned by modes of attention, and in particular 
through positive attention in the quite special sense of the term. 
All “enacted acts’’, the “actual positions assumed”, e.g., that of 
“acting out” a decision which ends a doubt, that of setting aside, 
of the positing of a subject, and the consequent adjustment of 
the predicate, making a valuation and that “for the sake of 
another”, the attitude in a choice, and so forth — ^all this pre- 
supposes positive attention to that to which I take up a position. 



But it leaves unaltered the fact that this function of the wandering 
glance, which alternately enlarges and restricts its mental span, 
signifies a special dimension of correlative modifications noetic and 
noematic^ of which the systematic study on essential lines is one 
of the fundamental tasks of general phenomenology. 

The attentional formations, in their modes of actuality, possess 
in a very special sense the character of subjectivity^ and all the 
functions which are modalized through these modes, or pre- 
suppose them, as species their genera, win thereby this character 
also. The attending ray gives itself out as radiating from the 
Pure Ego and as terminating in the objective, being directed 
towards it or deviating from it. The shaft of attention is not 
separate from the Ego, but itself is and remains personal. The 
^‘object” is referred to, is the goal aimed at, set in relation to 
the Ego only (and by the Ego itself), but is not itself “subjective’’. 
An attitude which bears the personal ray in itself is thereby an 
act of the Ego itself; the Ego does or suffers, is free or conditioned. 
The Ego, so we also expressed, “lives” in such acts* This life 
does not signify the being of any “contents” of any kind in a 
stream of contents, but a variety of describable ways in which 
the pure Ego in certain intentional experiences, which have the 
general mode of the cogito^ lives therein as the “free essence” 
which it is. The expression “as free essence” refers, however, 
to nothing more than such modes of life as the going freely out 
of oneself, or going back upon oneself, spontaneous doing, 
experiencing something from objects, suffering, and so forth. 
What goes on in the stream of experience outside the personal 
ray or cogito is characterized in an essentially different way; it 
lies outside the Ego’s actuality, and yet, as has already been 
indicated in a previous context, it still belongs to the Ego in so 
far as it is the field of potentiality for the Ego’s free acts. 

So much towards the general characterization of the noetic- 
noematic positions, which must be treated with systematic 
thoroughness in the phenomenology of Attention.^ 

* ‘Attention* is a main theme of modem psychology, and in no other direction 
does its dominant sensationalistic character come out more strikingly in 
the handling of this theme, for not even the essential connexion between 
attention and intentionality — ^this fundamental fact that attention generally is 



§ 93. Transition to the Noetic-Noematic Structures of the 
Higher Sphere of Consciousness 

In the series of discussions which immediately follow we wish 
to consider certain structures of the “higher” sphere of conscious- 
ness, in which a number of noeses are built up^ the one above the 
other y within the unity of a concrete experience^ and in sympathy 
wherewith the noematic correlates likewise are consolidated. For 
the law of the essence universally attested runs to this effect: 
No noetic phase without a noematic phase that belongs specifically 
to it. 

Even in the case of the higher-level noeses — ^taking these in 
their concrete completeness — ^there figures on the noematic side 
a central nucleus which at first obtrudes itself prominently, the 
“meant {vermeinte) objectivity as such”, the objectivity in inverted 
commas as the phenomenological reduction demands. There also 
this central noema must be understood in precisely that modified 
objective state in which it is in fact a noema, the consciously 
known as such. Subsequently it will be seen that here too this 
new kind of objectivity — ^for the objective taken in its modified 
form itself becomes again under the rubric ‘meaning’, as, for 
instance, in our own scientific inquiries concerning it, an objective, 
although raised here to a unique dignity — ^has its ways of being 
given, its “characters”, its manifold modes, under which it is 
known in the complete noema of the noetic experience in question, 
or of some relevant branch of such experience. Here too, of 
course, all distinctions in the noema must find their corresponding 
parallel in the unmodified objectivity. 

It is then further the business of closer phenomenological study 

nothing else than a fundamental kind of intentional modification — ^has ever, 
to my knowledge, been ^inted out before. Since the appearance Logical 
iSfiMdiEer(cf. there the discussions under Vol. II, Second Study, § 22 f pp, 160-166, 
and the Fifth Study, § 19, p. 405) there has indeed been an occasional reference, 
covering a few words, to a connexion between attention and *Hhe con- 
sciousness of an object”; but apart from a few exceptions (I recall the 
writings of Th. Lipps and A. Pfander), the reference has been made in a way 
which reveals a failure to understand tiiat the question at issue concerns ^ 
radical and first begintdr^ of the theory of attention, and that the further inquiry 
must be conducted within the framework of intentionality, and indeed not at 
once as an empirical, but first of all as an eidetic study. 


to establish, in the case of the noemata of the changing speci- 
fications of a stable species (e.g., perception), what is essentially 
determined according to law through the species itself, and what 
through the differentiating specifications. But the determination 
is thoroughgoing; in the sphere of the essence there are no 
accidents; everything is coimected through essential relations, 
and in particular through noesis and noema. 

§ 94. Noesis and Noema in the Sphere of the Judgment 

From this sphere of derivative (fundierter) essences let us take 
as an instance ih.t predicative judgment. The noema of th.t judging 
process^ i.e., of the concrete experience of the judgment, is the 
“judged content of the judgment as such’’, but that is nothing 
other, at any rate so far as its chief nucleus is concerned, than 
what we ordinarily refer to simply as the judgment. 

In order to grasp the full noema, we must seize it as we find 
it in reality {mrklich)^ in the full noematic concreteness in which 
we are aware of it in concrete judging. The judged content of 
the judgment is not to be confused with the matter judged about. 
When the judging process shapes itself on the basis of a per- 
ceiving or other plainly “positing” act of presenting, the noema 
of the presenting act becomes part of the judging act taken in 
its full concreteness (just as the presenting noesis also becomes 
a constitutive part of the essence of the concrete noesis of the 
judgment), and within it takes on certain forms. The presented 
(as such) receives the form of the apophantic subject or object, 
and the like. For the sake of simplicity we neglect here for the 
moment the higher layer of verbal “expression”. These “objects 
concerning which”, in particular the objects we utilize for the 
subjects of our judgments, are the matters judged about. The 
whole that is formed out of them, the whole somewhat (Was) as 
content of the judgment qua content ^ and in addition taken exactly 
with the concrete featuring^ and in the form of presentation in which 
we are “aware of” it in experience, constitutes the full noematic 
correlatBy the '^meaning^' (in its widest sense) of the judgment as 
experienced. To put it more pregnantly, it is the “meaning as 



we have it through the way m*^which it is given to us’^ so far 
as this way of being given is traceable in it as a feature. 

But the phenomenological reduction must not here be over- 
looked, demanding of us, if we wish to obtain the pure noema 
of our judgment as experienced, that we ^‘bracket” the delivery 
of the judgment. If we do this, we find facing us in their pheno- 
menological purity the full concrete essence of the judgment as 
experienced, or, as we now express it, the noesis of the judgment^ 
apprehended concretely as essence^ and the noema of the judgment 
which belongs to the noesis, and is necessarily one with it, i.e., the 
delivered judgmenf^ as Eidos, and here again in phenomenological 

The psychologizers everywhere will take offence at this; they 
are already disinclined to distinguish between judging as an 
empirical experience and judgment as “Idea”, as essence. This 
distinction, so far as we are concerned, needs no further defence. 
But even one who accepts it is challenged. For he is required 
to recognize that this one distinction nowise suffices, and that 
there are many ideas we need to determine which in the essential 
nature of a judgment’s intentionality fall on two different sides. 
It must above all be recognized that here, as with all intentional 
experiences, the two sides, noesis and noema, must be distin- 
guished on principle. 

We would note here, by way of criticism, that the concepts 
of ^HntentionaV^ and ^^epistemologicaV^ essence^ which were estab- 
lished in the Logical Studies are indeed correctly stated, but are 
still capable of a second interpretation so far as they can be 
understood in principle, as expressing not only noetic but also 
noematic essences, and that the noetic rendering as carried out 
there in a one-sided way is precisely not the one needed for the 
notion of the concept of the pure logical judgment (the concept 
which pure logic in the sense of pure mathesis demands, in 
contrast with the noetic concept of judgment in the noetics of 
normative logic). The distinction between the passing of a judg-- 
ment and the jti^ment as passed^ which has already established 
itself in ordinary speech, can point in the right direction, namely, 
* Cf. Logged Studies j VbL II, Fifth Study, § ai, pp. 4^7 



that as correlatwely related to the judgment as experienced we 
have the judgment simpliciter as noema. 

This then is what we should understand as the “judgment”, 
or the proposition in the pure logical seme, only that pure logic 
is not interested in the noema in all its bearings, but only in so 
far as it is thought of as exclusively determined through a 
narrower essence ; and in fixing this more closely the attempted 
distinction of the Logical Studies considered above has shown 
the way. If, taking our start from a definite judgment as we 
experience it, we seek for the full noema, we must, as above 
stated, take “the” judgment precisely as we are aware of it in 
this experience, whereas in the proceedings of formal logic the 
identity of “the” judgment has a far wider range. A self-evident 
judgment “S is P” and “the same” blind judgment are noemati- 
cally different, but share an identical kernel of meaning which 
for the treatment of formal logic is alone determinative. The 
difference is similar to the one already touched on between the 
noema of a perception and that of a parallel presentation which 
has before it the same object with precisely the same determining 
content, characterized in the same way (as “certainly being”, 
“doubtfully being”, and the like). The kinds of act are different, 
and there still remains wide scope in other ways for phenomeno- 
logical differences, but the noematic content is the same. And 
we add this further point that corresponding to the idea of the 
judgment as we have just characterized it, an idea which con- 
stitutes the fundamental concept of formal logic (that discipline 
of the matkesis unwersaUs which relates to predicative meanings), 
there stands over against it as its correlative the npetical idea: 
“the judgment” in a second sense of that term, understood 
namely as judging in general, in eidetic generality determined 
purely by considerations of form. It is therfundamental concept 
of the formal noetical . legitimacy-doctrine (Rechtslehre) of the 
judging process.* 

* As concerns Bolzano’s concept of the ‘‘judgment in itself*’, the “proposition 
in itself’% we can see from the expositions of the Wissenschaftslehre that 
Bolzsno never clearly realized the proper meaning of his pioneering concep- 
tion- Bolzano never saw that we have here tzoo intrinsically possible inter- 
pretations* both of which might he referred to as a “judgment in itself”: the 



All that we have just been saying holds also for other forms 
of noetic knowledge, and naturally, to take a special instance, 
for all such forms as are essentially related to judgments as 
predicative certainties, and with the corresponding suggestions, 
presumptions, doubts, and rejections. The agreement, moreover, 
can reach so far that in the noema we have a content of meaning 
everywhere the same, provided only with different ‘^characteriza- 
tions”. The same “S is P” as noematic nucleus can be the ^'contenf^ 
of a certainty, a suggested possibility, a presumption, etc. In the 
noema the “S is P” does not stand alone; in proportion as it 
is thought out as content it is something dependent; we are 
aware of it as occasion offers in changing characterizations which 
cannot dispense with the full noema; we are aware of it in the 
character of the “certain” or the “possible”, of the “probable”, 
the “null”, etc., characters to which in their entirety the modi- 
fying inverted commas belong, and as correlates are specifically 
related to the noetic experiential phases of holding something as 
possible, as probable, as null and void, etc. 

Herewith, as we see at once, two fundamental concepts of the 
content of a judgmenf^ differentiate, and similarly for the content 
of a supposition, the content of a question, and so forth. Logicians 
not infrequently so speak of the content of a judgment that (even 
without making the necessary distinction) either the noetic or 

specific character of the judgment as we experience it (the noetic idea) and 
the noematic idea correlative to it. His descriptions and annotations are 
ambiguous. As an objectively biased mathematician, he had in view the 
noematic concept, although an occasional turn of phrase (cf. L P* 
the quotation from Mehmers Denklekre cited with approval) appears to speak 
against this. He had it in view precisely as the arithmetician has number in 
view-— his mind adjusted to numerical operations, but not to phenomenological 
problems concerning the relation between number and the consciousness of 
number. Phenomenology here, in the logical sphere as elsewhere, was some- 
thing completely foreign to the great logician. That must be clear to anyone 
who has really studied' Bolzano ^s Wissenschaftslehre, now, alasl so hard to 
obtain, and is moreover not inclined to confuse every working out of funda- 
mental eidetic concepts — ^for phenomenology the naive way of doing things — 
with one that is phenomenological. Were one to do this, then in the interests 
of consistency one would have to refer to every creative worker with mathe- 
matical concepts, a G. Cantor, shall we say, in respect of his brilliant conception 
of the groundwork of the group-theory, as a phenomenologist, and similarly 
also, in the last resort, the unknown creator of the groun4work of geometry 
in the grey days of yore. 



the noematico-logical concept ‘judgment’ — ^the two concepts 
we have previously characterized — ^is, as the case may be, clearly 
indicated. Running parallel with these, and of course without ever 
clashing with them or with one another, we have the corre- 
sponding pairs of concepts in suppositions, questions, doubts, etc. 
But here we have a second meaning of the content of a judgment, 
as a “content” which the judgment can have identically in common 
with a presumption (or a presuming), with a question (or a 
questioning), and other act-noemata or act-noeses. 

§ 95. The Analogous Distinctions in the Spheres of 
Sentiment and Will 

Analogous considerations apply then, as one may easily convince 
oneself, to the spheres of sentiment and will, to experiences of 
pleasure and displeasure, to valuation in every sense, to wish, 
decision, and practical action; these are all experiences which 
contain many and often varied intentional stratifications, noetic, 
and also, correlatively, noematic. 

Moreover, the stratifications, speaking generally, are so ordered 
that the uppermost strata of the phenomenon as a whole can 
fall away without the residue ceasing to be a concrete complete 
intentional experience, and that conversely also a concrete 
experience can receive a new noetic stratum of an inclusive 
character; as when, for instance, “valuation” as a dependent 
phase stratifies itself over and above a concrete presentation, or 
conversely falls away again. 

When a perceiving, fancying, judging, and the like lies in this 
way at the base of a stratum of valuation that completely covers 
it, we have, in the stratified block as a whole^ called, after its highest 
stratum a concrete experience of valuation, different noematUy 
different meanings. The perceived as such belongs as meaning 
specifically to the perceiving, but enters into the meaning of the 
concrete valuing, providing this meaning with a basis. In corre- 
spondence herewith we must respectively distinguish the objects, 
things, qualities, the various matters which stand out in the 
valuing as having value, and the corresponding noemata of the 


presentations, judgments, and the like upon which the conscious- 
ness of value rests; and on the other hand the objects and the 
contents of value themselves, or the noematic modifications 
corresponding to these, and then generally the complete 
noemata {Noemen) which belong to the concrete consciousness 
of value. 

Let us first note, by way of explanation, that in the interests 
of greater distinctness we are well advised (here and in other 
analogous cases) to introduce certain distinguishing relative terms, 
in order the better to keep separate worthful object and object 
of worth, worthful fact and fact of worth, worthful quality and 
quality of worth (which is itself once again equivocal). We speak 
of some mere “fact” as being worthful, having a worth-character, 
worthfulness; and in another direction of concrete worth itself, or 
worthfulness in the object (Wertohjektitdt: objectified value). We 
speak in similarly parallel terms of the plain substantive meaning 
or position of affairs^ and of the plain meaning or position in terms 
of worth [or value], where the valuing involves a consciousness of 
the substantive meaning as a supporting foundation. Worthful- 
ness in the object includes the object itself; it brings in worihfvl'- 
ness as a new objective stratum. The meaning, in terms of value 
holds in itself its own plain substantive meaning, the attribute 
of value, that of positivity likewise, and, over and above this, 

We must further distinguish between worthfulness in the 
object plain and simple and worthfulness in the object under the 
inverted commas^ which lies in the noema. Just as the perceived 
as such stands over against the perceiving in a sense which 
excludes any question concerning the genuineness of the per- 
ceived, so stands the valued as such in relation to the valuing, 
and again so that the Being of the Value (of the valued thing 
and its true being of value) remains unconsidered. For the appre- 
hension of the noema all affirmations bearing on actuality must 
be suspended. And again, we must observe well that the full 
“meaning” of the valuing includes its What {das Was desselben), 
together with the whole fullness of realization which marks our 
awareness of it in the experience of value under consideration; 


and that worthfulness in the object [objectified value], under 
the inverted commas, is not, without further question, the full 

The distinctions we have drawn may be carried through on 
similar lines in the sphere of the Will. 

On the one side we have the mo/«fto«wemake at any moment, 
with all the experiences which demand it as a basis, which indeed 
it includes within itself when taken in its concreteness. A variety 
of noetic phases belongs to it. Volitional affirmations presuppose 
affirmations in regard to values, positings of things, and the like. 
On the other hand, we find the resolve as a unique type of 
absorption into the object belonging specifically to the domain 
of will, and obviously grounded in other and similar noematic 
absorptions into the object. If then as phenomenologists we 
suspend all our real affirmations, the phenomenon of will, as a 
phenomenologically pure intentional experience, retains its willed, 
as such”, as a noema proper to the will’, the “will’s meaning” 
(WiUensmeinung), and in the precise way in which it subsists as 
“meaning” in this will (on its full essentiality), and with whatever 
is willed “in all its ramifications”. 

We spoke just now of “meaning” (Meinvng). This word thrusts 
itself upon us here at every point, as do also the words “sense” 
(Sim) and “conceptual significance” (Bedeutung). To the function 
of meaning (Meinen), or intending (Vermeineri), corresponds then 
the meaning as meant {Meintmg) ; to the signifying in conceptual 
thought {Bedeuten) corresponds the conceptual signification 
{Bedeutung). Meanwhile these terms all together are through 
associational transfer infected with so many ambiguities — and not 
least also with such as arise through gliding over into these 
correlative strata, which it should be the function of science to 
keep strictly and systematically apart — ^that one caimot be too 
careful in dealing with them. Our treatment of these topics is 
at present free to move on essential lines within the universe 
of “intentional experience” taken in its widest scope. But the 
use of the term “meaning” {Meinen), as above, is normally 
restricted within narrower areas, which function, however, at the 
same time as substrata of the phenomena of the wider field of 



inquiry. The word can therefore be used as a logical term (and 
the remark applies to its sister-expressions also) only within these 
narrower areas. For the generalities of our treatment our newly 
coined terms, and the illustrative analyses that accompany our 
introduction of them, will certainly serve us more effectively. 

§ 96. Transition to the Chapters that Follow. Concluding 


We have bestowed such great care, though on general lines, on 
working out the difference between noesis and noema (where 
by noesis we understand the concrete completely intentional 
experience as modified through the stressing of its noetic com- 
ponents) because the grasp and mastery of it is of the greatest 
consequence for phenomenology, is indeed quite decisive for its 
proper grounding. At first sight it appears to be concerning itself 
with what is obvious: every consciousness is the consciousness 
of something, and the modes of consciousness are very different. 
But on nearer approach we realized the great difficulties. They 
concern the understanding of the mode of being of the noema, 
the way in which it should “lie” in experience, and become 
“consciously known” there. They concern quite particularly the 
clear-cut separation between the real {reeller) portions of one’s 
whole experience which belong to the experiencing itself, and 
those which belong to the noema, and should be attributed to 
it as its own. Also the correct articulation in parallel structures 
of noesis and noema, which follows on the separation between 
them, gives trouble enough. Even if we have already happily 
completed certain main sections of the line of separation in 
question, taking presentations and judgments as our material, 
since it is here that the occasion for the cleavage first offers itself, 
and logic has already carried out in this field valuable, though 
not even remotely sufficient, preliminary work, it needs toil and 
self-discipline in respect of the parallel distinctions concerning 
“acts of the heart”, not only to postulate and assert them, but 
really to bring them out clearly as they are actually given 
to us. 


Involved as we are in meditations whose function it is to lead 
the thought upwards, it cannot be our task here to carry out 
portions of phenomenology in a systematic way. None the less 
our aims demand that we should penetrate more deeply into these 
matters than hitherto, and draft the beginnings of such inquiries. 
This is necessary in order to clarify the noetico-noematic struc- 
tures, so far at least as to make their significance understood as 
regards the study of the problems and methods of phenomenology. 
A living picture of the fruitfulness of phenomenology, of the 
greatness of its problems, of its way of proceeding, can be won 
only when domain after domain has been actually tramped and the 
problem- vistas it possesses opened up for all to see. But each such 
domain will be really covered, and come home to our feeling as a 
firm ground for work only through carrying out phenomenological 
fencings and clearings, whereby also the meaning of the problems 
here to be solved can first be made intelligible. The analyses and 
indications of further probleim which are still to follow should 
conform strictly to this conception, as indeed the previous ones 
in part have already done. And though the novice may think 
that the material handled is complicated, we are really limiting 
ourselves to quite restricted fields of work. We show a natural 
preference indeed for what lies relatively close to the approaches 
into phenomenology, and for what is an unconditional preliminary 
to following up the main tracks that run through the domain 
systematically from end to end. It is all of it hard. It demands 
toilsome concentration on the data of the specifically pheno- 
menological intuition of essential being. There is no ‘‘royal road” 
in phenomenology any more than in philosophy. There is only 
the one road, and its own essential nature must point it out. 

In closing we would add the following remark. We have expounded 
phenomenology as a science in its beginnings. Only the future can 
teach us how many of the results of the analyses we have here 
attempted are destined to l^t. Much of what we have described must 
certainly, sub specie aterni^ be otherwise described. But we should 
and must strive in each step we take to describe faithfully what we 
really see from our own point of view and after the most earnest 
consideration. Our procedure is that of a scientific traveller in an 
unknown part of the world who carefully describes what he finds 


on the trackless ways he takes — ways that will not always be the 
shortest. He should be full of the sure consciousness of bringing to 
expression what in relation to time and circumstance is the thing 
that must be said, which, because it faithfully expresses what has been 
seen, preserves its value always — even when further research calls for 
new desciiptions with manifold improvements. In a similar temper 
we wish in what further lies before us to be loyal expounders of 
phenomenological formations, and for the rest to preserve the habit 
of inner freedom even in regard to our own descriptions. 



§ 97. The Hyletic and Noetic Phases as Real (Reellb), 
The Noematic as Non-real Phases of Experience 

In the previous chapter, when introducing the distinction between 
noetic and n oema tic, we made use of the expression real {reeller) 
and intentional analysis. Let that be our point of connexion with 
what follows. A phenomenologically pure experience has its real 
(reellen) components. For simplicity’s sake let us limit ourselves 
to noetic experiences of the lowest level, and therefore to those 
in which the intentionality is not complicated by a number of 
noetical layers superposed one on the other of the kind we noted 
in the case of acts of thought, feeling, and will. 

By way of illustration let us take a sensory perception, the 
simple perception of a tree, which we get as soon as we glance 
out into the garden, when, in a unitary act of consciousness, we 
see this tree there, at one moment appearing to be motionless, then 
stirred by the wind, and presenting also modes of appearance 
which differ greatly in so far as during the course of our con- 
tinued observation we shift our spatial position in regard to it, 
stepping to the window maybe, or changing the position of head 
or eyes, and at the same time perhaps relaxing the mechanism 
of accommodation or tightening it up. In this way the unity of 
a single perception can include in itself a great variety of modi- 
fications, which we, as observing from the natural standpoint, 
attribute now to the real object as its changes, now to a real 
(realen) and positive {wirklichen) relationship to our real {realen) 
psychophysical subjectivity, and lastly to this subjectivity itself. 
But we have now to describe what remains over as phenomeno- 
logical residuum, when we effect the reduction to ‘‘pure imma- 
nence”, and what in that case should count as areal {reelles)integral 
part of the pure experience y and what should not be so regarded. 
And we have then to be fully clear about this, that whilst the 
“perceived tree as such”, or, alternately, the full noema which 


is not affected by the suspending of the reality {Wirklichkeit) of 
the tree itself and the whole real world, does indeed belong to 
the essence of the perceptual experience in itself, on the other 
hand this noema^ with its ‘‘tree’^ in inverted commas, is m little 
contained realiter {reel!) in the perception as is the tree of the real 
natural order {Wirklichkeit). 

What do we really {reell) find in the perception as pure 
experience, included within it as the parts, pieces, and indivisible 
phases of a whole, are included in that same whole ? We have 
already drawn attention to such genuine, real {reellen) constituents 
on a previous occasion under the titles of material and noetic 
constituents. Let us now contrast them with the noematic factors. 

The colour of the tree-trunk, as we are aware of it under the 
conditions of pure perception, is precisely “the same^’ as that 
which before the phenomenological reduction we (as “natural’’ 
human beings, at any rate, prior to any admixture of physical 
knowledge) took to be that of the real {wirklichen) tree. Now this 
colour, as bracketed, belongs to the noema. But it does not belong 
to the perceptual experience as a real {reelles) integral part of it, 
although we also find in the experience “a colour-like something”, 
namely, the “sensory colour”, the hyletic phase of the concrete 
experience in which the noematic or “objective” colour “manifests 
itself in varying perspectives^\ 

But one and the same noematic colour of which we are thus 
aware as self-same, in itself unchanged within the unity of a 
continuously changing perceptual consciousness, runs through 
its perspective variations in a continuous variety of sensory 
colours. We see a tree unchanged in colour — its own colour as 
a tree — ^whilst the positions of the eyes, the relative orientations, 
change in many respects, the glance wanders ceaselessly over the 
trunk and branches, whilst we step nearer at the same time, and 
thus in different ways excite the flow of perceptual experience. 
Let us now start sensory reflexion, reflexion upon the perspective 
variations : we apprehend these as self-evident data, and are also 
able, shifting the standpoint and the direction of attention, to 
place them with full evidential certainty in relation with the 
corresponding objective phases, recognize them as corresponding, 



and thereby also see without further difficulty that the perspective 
colour-variations, for instance, which belong to some fixed colour 
of a thing are related to that fixed colour as continuous ‘Variety’' 
is related to “unity”. 

We even win, on carrying out the phenomenological reduction, 
the general essential insight that the object ‘tree’ in a perception 
in general can only then appear as objectively determined just as 
it appears in the perception, when the hyletic phases (or, should 
a continuous series of perceptions be in question, the continuous 
hyletic transformations) are just these and no others. Thus it 
follows that every alteration of the hyletic content of the per- 
ception, when it does not cancel the perceptual consciousness 
outright, must at least have the result that that which was 
appearing becomes objectively “another”, either in itself or in 
the mode of orientation which marks the manner of its appearing, 
and so forth. 

All considered, it is also quite beyond doubt that “unity” and 
' “variety” here belong to totally different dimensions^ and so indeed 
that ^ery hyletic element has its place as a real {reelles) integral 
part in the concrete experience, whereas that which “exhibits” 
itself in its variety and “varies perspectively” has its place in the 

But, as we have previously put it, the material elements are 
“animated” through noetic phases, they undergo (whilst the Ego 
is turned not to them, but to the object) “formal shapings” 
(Auffassungen)^ “gifts of meaning”, which we grasp, in reflexion, 
upon and with the material elements. Whence it immediately 
follows that not only the hyletic phases (the sensory colours, 
sounds, etc.), but also the animating apprehensions — or taking 
both together f the appearing of the colour, the sound, and every 
• such quality of the object^ — ^belong to the “real” (reellen) con- 
stitution of the experience. 

The following holds good generally: perception in itself is the 
perception of its object, and to every component which “objec- 
tively” directed description picks out in the object, there corre- 
sponds a real {reelle) component of the perception; but only so 
far, be it observed, as the description holds faithfully to the object 


just as it ‘^stands before us^’ in this perception itself. Also we 
can indicate all these noetic components only by falling back on 
the noematic object and its phases, and referring, shall we say, to 
the consciousness, more clearly the perceptual consciousness of 
the trunk of a tree, or of the colour of the trunk, and so forth. 

On the other hand, our deliberations showed that the real 
{reelle) experiential unity of hyletic and noetic factors is totally 
different from that of the factors of the noema “of which we 
are aware’’ within that same unity; and again, from the unity 
which unites all those real elements of experience with that which 
comes to consciousness in and through them as noema. The 
^Hranscendentally constituted^^ product, shaped “on the basis” of 
the material experiences, and “through” the noetic functions, 
is indeed something “given”, and when we faithfully describe 
the experience and its noematic object of awareness in pure 
intuition, something self->evidently given; but it belongs to the 
experience in a completely different sense from that in which 
the real {reellen) and consequently proper constituents of the 
experience belong to it. 

The reference to the phenomenological reduction, and simi- 
larly to the pure sphere of experience as “transcendental”, depends 
precisely on our finding in this reduction an absolute sphere of 
materials and noetic forms, to whose interfacings, nicely articulated 
in accord with an immanent essential necessity, belongs this wonder- 
ful conscious possession of something definitely or definably given 
in such and such a way, standing over against consciousness itself 
as in principle other, irreal, transcendent; and it rests on the 
recognition that here is the ultimate source for the only con- 
ceivable solution of the deepest problems of knowledge affecting 
the essential nature, and the possibility of objectively valid know- 
ledge of the transcendent. The “transcendental” reduction prac- 
tises cVo^ in respect of reality {Wirklichkeit); but to the residue 
thereby left over belong the noemata with the noematic unity 
which lies in them themselves, and with these the mode in which 
what is real {Reales) is specifically given in consciousness itself, and 
our consciousness becomes aware of it. The knowledge that it is 
here throughout a question of eidetic, and therefore unconditionally 



necessary connexions opens a big field of inquiry, that of the 
essential relations between the noetic and the noematic, between 
the experience and the correlate of consciousness. But this last- 
mentioned title for the essence includes the objectivity of con- 
sciousness, as such, and at the same time the noematic forms 
in which anything is intended or given. Within the sphere from 
which we have drawn our illustration there first grows up the 
general assurance that perception does not consist in just holding 
the object presently before one, but that it belongs (a priori) to 
the proper essence of the perception to have “its’’ object, and 
to have it as the unity of a certain noematic content {Bestandes), 
which for other perceptions of “the same” object is always 
something different again, though always essentially prescribed 
in advance; and that it precisely belongs to the essence of the 
present object when objectively determined in such and such a 
way, to be noematic in perceptions of the descriptive type in 
question, and to be this nowhere else, and so forth. 

§ 98, Mode of Being of the Noema. Doctrine of Forms for 
Noeses and for Noemata 

To complete the discussion, much still remains to be added. It 
should be closely noted in the first place that every transition 
from a phenomenon to the reflexion which analyses it realiter 
(reell)y or to the function of a quite different kind which analyses 
its noema, generates new phenomena, and that we should be 
falling into error if we confused the new phenomena which in 
a certain sense are transformations of the old with these old ones, 
and ascribed to the former what is respectively real or noematic 
in the latter. For instance, we have no intention of saying that 
the material contents, it might be the perspectively varying colour- 
contents, are present in the perceptual experience precisely as 
they are in the analysing experience. There, to consider the one 
point only, they were contained as real (reelle) phases, but they 
were not perceived therein, not objectively apprehended, as they 
are in the analysing experience, where they figure as the termini 
of noetic functions which were not previously present. Although 


these material contents are further burdened with the functions 
concerned in their presentation, yet these too have undergone 
an essential change (though indeed along another dimension). 
Of this we shall have more to say later. The distinction has 
obviously an essential bearing on phenomenological method. 

Having made this remark, let us turn our attention to the 
following points which concern the special theme of our inquiry. 
In the first place every experience is so articulated as to leave 
open the intrinsic possibility of directing the glance upon it and 
its real {reellen) components, and likewise in the contrary direc- 
tion upon the noema, e.g., the seen tree as such. Now what is 
given through this latter glance is indeed itself, logically speaking, 
an object, but one that is wholly dependent. Its esse consists 
exclusively in its ^^percipi,^^ except that the meaning of this 
statement is about as far removed as it can be from that of 
Berkeley, since here the percipi does not contain the esse as a real 
(reelles) constituent. 

This is naturally carried over into the eidetic mode of treatment ; 
the Eidos of the noema points to the Eidos of the noetic con- 
sciousness; both belong eidetically together. The intentional 
object as such is what it is as the intentional object of a conscious- 
ness that is articulated thus or thus, and is the consciousness 
of it. 

But despite this dependence, the noema permits of being 
considered on its own account, of being compared with other 
noemata, of being studied in respect of its possible transforma- 
tions, and so forth. We can draft on general lines a pure doctrine of 
noematic forms to which there would correspond as its correlative 
a general and not less pure doctrine of the forms of concrete^ 
metical experiences^ with their hyUtic and specifically noetic com- 

These two doctrines of forms would not of course stand 
related to each other in any sense as images in a mirror ^ or as 
though they could pass over the one into the other through a 
mere change of signature, e.g., through simply substituting for 
every noema N the “consciousness of N’^ This indeed already 
follows from what we have developed above when discussing the 



interconnexion of unitary qualities in the noema of a thing, and 
its hyletic varieties of perspectival manifestation in the possible 
perceptions of things. 

Now it might seem that the same must hold good in regard 
to the specifically metical phases also. We could point in par- 
ticular to those phases which contrive it so that a complex variety 
of hyletic data, of colour or touch, for instance, assumes the 
function of varied perspectival shading of one and the same 
objective thing. Indeed, we need only recall the fact that as 
regards the material elements themselves in their essential nature 
the relation to the objective unity is not unambiguously indicated, 
but rather that the same material nexus may experience a variety 
of discontinuous formative shapings, the one emerging within 
the other, and then springing beyond it, and that corresponding 
to these we are made aware of different objectivities. And does 
not this already make it clear that in the animating synthedzings 
(Auffassungen) themselves as phases of experience there lie essential 
differences^ which differentiate themselves pari passu with the 
shifting appearances whose changes they follow, and in and 
through whose animation they constitute a “meaning’’, and 
differentiate it? We are tempted in consequence to draw this 
inference : A parallelism between noesis and noema does indeed 
exist, but is such that the formations must be described on both 
sides y and in their essential correspondence to one another. The 
noematic field is that of the unitary, the noetic that of the “con- 
stituting” variety factors (Mannigfaltigkeiten). The consciousness 
that “functionally” unites the varied elements, and at the same 
time constitutes unity, never^ as a matter of fact, shows identity 
where in the noematic correlate we have an identity of the “object” 
presented. Where, for instance, different sections of an enduring 
act of perceiving through which the unity of a thing is being 
constituted show something identical, this one tree that remains 
unchanged within the meaning of this perceiving process — as we 
seek to orient ourselves this way and that, viewing it now from 
in front and now from behind, noting in respect of the visually 
apprehended qualities at any one spot that they are at first indis- 
tinct and vague, then distinct and determinate, and the like — 


there we become aware of the object subsisting in the noema 
as self-identical in the strict sense of the word, but in the different 
sections of its immanent duration our consciousness of it is 
something non-identical, its parts being merely conjoined, and 
one only in virtue of its continuity* 

Now, whatever the amount of truth in all this, the inferences 
drawn are not quite correct, and in general the greatest caution 
is required in dealing with these difficult questions. The paral- 
lelisms that we find here — and there are several of them which are 
only too easily confused — are beset with great difficulties that still 
stand in great need of being cleared up. We must carefully keep 
in view the difference between concrete noetical experiences, the 
experiences with their hyletic phases, and the pure noeses, as mere 
systems of noetic phases. Again, we must keep distinct the full 
noema, and, as for instance in the case of perception, the‘*appearing 
object as such”. Let us take this ‘‘object”, and all its objective 
“predicates” — ^thenoematic modifications of the predicates of the 
perceived thing, plainly posited as real in normal perception — then 
both it and these predicates are indeed unities as opposed to the 
multiplicities of conscious experiences (concrete noeses) with their 
constituting function. But they are also unities of Tzoma/zV: multi- 
plicities. We recognize this so soon as we draw into the circle 
of our consideration the noematic characterizations of the noe- 
matic “object” (and its “predicates”), which hitherto we have 
badly neglected. Thus the colour that appears is certainly a unity 
over against noetic multiplicities, of those in particular which have 
a noetic quality of apprehension. But closer study shows that 
to all transformations of this character, if not in the “colour 
itself”, which appears continuously, then in its changing “modes 
of presentation”, for instance in its “orientation in regard 
to me”, there correspond noematic parallels. Thus generally 
then do noetic “characterizations” mirror themselves in the 

How that should be the case must be (and not only for the 
phase of perception here favoured for purposes of illustration) 
a theme of wide-embracing analyses. We shall analyse in turn 
the different types of consciousness with their varied noetic 




characters, and study them closely on the basis of the noetic- 
noematic parallels. 

But we must stress this point in advance, that the pcatalleUsm 
between the unity of the noematically “intended” olfect, of the 
object we have in “mind” (im “Sinne”), and the constituting 
formations of consciousness {prdo et connesdo rerum — ordo et con- 
nexio idearuni) should not he confused with the parallelism between 
noesis and noema, understood in particular as a parallelism of 
noetic and corresponding noematic characters. 

It is to this last-mentioned parallelism that the discussions 
which immediately follow refer. 

§ 99. The Noematic Nucleus and its Distinguishing Marks 
IN THE Sphere of Presentations and Representations 

It is thus our task to widen considerably the circle of what has 
been put forward along the two parallel lines of noetic and 
noematic states respectively, so as to reach the full noema and 
the full noesis. What we have hitherto had preferably in view, 
not indeed without some presentiment of the great problems 
included therein, is only a central nucleus, and even then lacking 
a clearly defined edge. 

We recall in the first place that “objective meaning”, which 
we discovered on a former page^ through the comparison of 
noemata of different types of presentations, of perceptions, 
memories, images, etc., as one to be described in objective terms 
only, and even in reciprocally identical terms in the favourably 
selected limiting case when an object, a tree, for instance, remains 
completely similar in quality and orientation, and is in every 
respect similarly apprehended whilst being pictured in the var3dng 
media of perception, memory, fancy, etc. In contrast with the 
selfeame “appearing tree as such”, with the selfsame “objective” 
manner {Wie) of its appearing, there remain, as we pass from one 
kind of intuition or other form of presentation to another, the 
differences in the mode of gkiermess. 

We are made aware of this identical element at one time in 
' Cf. supra , § 91, pp. 365-6. 


a ^^primordiaV^ way, at another ^Hhrough memory'\ then again 
'Hmaginatweiy\ and so forth. But what are thereby indicated 
are characters in the appearing tree as such*\ discoverable when 
the glance is directed to the noematic correlate, and not to the 
experience and its real (reellen) states of being. It is not ^^ways 
of being conscious"' in the sense of noetic phases that are rendered 
through these expressions, but ways in which that of which we 
are aware itself and as such presents itself. As features of the 
‘"ideal” {Ideellen)^ so to speak, they are themselves “ideal”, and 
not real. 

More accurate analysis shows us that the characters mentioned 
above by way of illustration do not belong to a single series. 

On the one hand we have the plain reproductive modification, 
the plain representation, and this, remarkably enough, figures in 
its own essential nature as the modification of something other than 
itself. The representation refers us back to perception in its 
proper phenomenological essence: for instance, my recall of a 
past event implies, as we have already remarked, the “having 
perceived it”; thus in a certain way we become aware of the 
“corresponding” perception (perception of the same core of 
meaning) in memory, though it is not really contained in it. 
Memory in its own essential nature is in fact a “modification of” 
perception, Correlatively that which is characterized as past 
presents itself in itself as “having been present”, as a modification 
therefore of the “present”, which in its unmodified form is the 
“primordial”, the “corporeally present” of perception. 

On the other hand, the imaginative modification belongs to 
another series of modifications. It represents “in” the form of 
an “image”. But the image can appear in a primordial form, 
e.g., the “painted” picture (not indeed the picture as a things of 
which we say, for instance, that it hangs on the wall)^ which 
we grasp in and through perception. But the image can be also 
something that appears as reproduced, as when we have presen- 
tations of imagery in memory or free fancy. 

We observe at the same time that the characters of this new 
series do not only refer us back to those of the first, but also 
* For further discussion of this distinction, cf. infra^ § PP* 



presuppose certain complications: the latter with reference to 
the distinction between the ‘‘picture” and the “copy”, a dis- 
tinction which belongs noematically to the essential nature of 
consciousness. We also see from this that the noema here holds 
within itself Sipatr of characters which refer to each other, although 
they belong to different objects of presentation. 

Finally, the sign-furnishing presentations with the analogous 
contrast of sign and thing signified offer a type of modifying 
noematic characters (to which there correspond, as everjrwhere, 
noetic parallels), which is closely related to the preceding, but 
none the less new; and here again presentative groups, and as 
correlates of their peculiar unity as sign-furnishing presentations, 
pairs of noematic characterizations that belong to each other, 
appear in noematic pairs of objects. 

One also observes that just as the “image” in itself, in virtue 
of its meaning as image, presents itself as the modification of 
something, which apart from this modification would be there 
in its corporeal or represented selfhood, so it is precisely with 
the “sign”, but likewise in its own way as the modification of 

§ 100, Levels in the Construction of Presentations in 
Noesis and Noema, in Accordance with Essential Laws 

All the types of presentational modification of which we have 
so far treated are always capable of being reformed on new levels 
in such a way that the intentionalities in noesis and noema rest 
on one another in descending levels^ or rather dovetail into one 
another in a peculiar way. 

There are simple forms of representationy simple modifications 
of perceptions. But there are also representatiom at further stages, 
at a second or thirds or^ on essential lineSy at any desired leveL 
Memories “in” memories may serve as an example. Living in 
memory we bring before us into consciousness a connected 
experience. We can bring this explicitly before us by first 
reflecting “in” memory (which on its side is a representative 
modification of a primordial act of reflecting), and then finding 


the connected experience characterized as ‘‘having been lived” 
under the form of memory. Among the experiences so charac- 
terized, whether we reflect upon them or no, memories themselves 
may now appear, characterized as “memories that have been 
lived”, and we can glance through and past them on to remem- 
bered matter of the second level. And then within the connected 
experiences modified in this secondary way memories can once 
more appear, and so idealiter in infinitum. 

A mere change of signature (the precise nature of which we 
will presently learn to understand) translates all these events into 
the type oi free fancy \ we have fancies in fancies, and so from 
one level to another the dovetailing can be indefinitely carried on. 

On similar lines we may also have mixtures. Every representation 
essentially implies in its own procedure in respect of the stage 
just below it representative modifications of percepts^ which 
through reflexion which functions so wonderfully in this process 
of representation are brought to the focus of conscious appre- 
hension; within the unity of the phenomenon of representation 
we may find the production of memories, expectations, fancies, 
and so forth, adjoining those of perceptions, and the acts of repre- 
sentation involved in the whole process may themselves belong 
to any one of these types, and all this at different stages. 

This also holds good of the complex types, presentation as 
copy znA presentation as sign. Let us take an example which shows 
very complicated and yet lightly grasped constructions of per- 
ceptions out of perceptions of a higher level, A name on being 
mentioned reminds us of the Dresden Gallery and of our last 
visit there: we wander through the rooms, and stand before a 
picture of Teniers which represents a picture gallery. When we 
consider that pictures of the latter would in their turn portray 
pictures which on their part exhibited readable inscriptions and 
so forth, we can measure what interweaving of presentations, and 
what links of connexion between the discernible features in the 
series of pictures, can really be set up. But for the illustrating of 
our insight into essences, in particular of our insight into the ideal 
possibility of carrying on the dovetailing processes indefinitely, 
we do not need to consider such complicated cases as these. 



§ loi. Characteristics of Levels as Such. Different Types 
OF “Reflexions” 

In all such constructs of successive levels, which at every joint 
of their structure contain some modification of the processes of 
representation, and often as a repetition, it is clear that noemata 
of corresponding stages in the construction are progressively being 
constituted. In the consciousness that we have of a copying 
process, at the second stage, an “image” in itself is characterized 
as a second-level image, or as the image of an image. If we recall 
how yesterday we recalled a youthful experience, the noema 
“youthful experience” is in itself characterized as a remem- 
brance of the second level. Hence this general conclusion: — 

To every noematic level there belongs a level characteristic, 
serving as a kind of indicator, the possession of which stamps 
that which possesses it as belonging to that particular level, 
whether for the rest this individual be a primary object or lie 
along this or that line of reflective vision. For to every level there 
inwardly leUng certain possible reflesdons; for instance, in respect 
of things remembered at the second level of remembrance there 
pertain reflexions upon those perceptions of these same things 
which belong to the same level (and are thus represented on the 
second level). 

Further, every noematic level is a “presentation” “of” the 
data of the levels that follow. But “presentation” does not here 
mean presentational experience, and the word “of” does not 
express the relation of consciousness to its object. It is, as it were, 
a noematic intentionality over against the noetic. The latter carries 
the former in itself as a correlate of consciousness, and its 
intentionality passes in a certain way through the noematic and 
beyond it. 

This becomes clearer as we direct a noticing glance of the 
Ego upon the objective field of consciousness. The glance pene- 
trates through the noemata of the series of levels, reaching the 
direct of the last level, and there holding it steady whilst no longer 
penetrating through and beyond it. But the glance can wander 
also from level to level, and instead of simply passing through 


them all, is rather directed with fixating effect upon what is given 
each in turn, and that either in a “straightforward" or in a 
reflecting line of vision. 

In the example cited above, the glance can remain at the 
level of the Dresden Gallery : we go back “in recollection” to 
Dresden, and walk through the gallery. Again, still immersed 
in recollection, we can get absorbed in the pictures, and now 
find ourselves in the picture-worlds. Then, in a picture-con- 
sciousness of the second level we turn to the painted picture of 
the gallery, and gaze at the pictures painted within it; or our 
reflexion, passing from level to level, is turned upon the noeses, 
and so forth. 

This variety of the possible directions in which our glance can 
turn belongs essentially to the manifold of mutually related and 
reciprocally grounded intentionalities, and wherever we find 
analogous groundings — and in what follows we shall get to 
know many more of quite another kind — ^there arise analogous 
possibilities of a change of reflexion. 

It need not be said how greatly these relationships stand in 
need of penetrating scientific study on essential lines. 

§ 102. Transition to New Dimensions in Characterization 

It is clear that in respect of aU the peculiar characterizations 
we have come across in the structurally diversified domain of 
modification through variations in the form of representation, 
we must distinguish, and on the grounds already alleged, between 
the noetic and thenoematic. The noematic “objects” — ^the object 
as copy or the copied object, the object functioning as sign and 
the significate, disregarding their own proper characterizations 
“copy of”, “copied”, “sign for”, “signified” — are unities of which 
we have evident awareness in experience, but which yet transcend 
experience. But if this is so, then characters which stand out 
on them as we consciously apprehend them, and, when we direct 
our glance upon them, are grasped as their unifying features, 
cannot possibly be regarded as real (reelle) phases of experience. 
How the two stand related to each other, that which is a real 



(reeller) constituent of experience, and that in it of which we are 
aware as non-real, may be a matter presenting the most diificult 
problems; none the less we must keep the two separate at every 
point, and just as much indeed in respect of the noematic nucleus, 
of the ‘‘intentional object as such’’ (taken in its “objective” mode 
of presentation), which functions as the passing bearer of the 
noematic “characters”, as in respect also of the characters them- 

But of characters such as these that cleave to the noematic 
nucleus, there are still other instances of quite different type, 
and of these the modes of attachment to the nucleus vary widely. 
They come under radically different genera^ under radically 
different dimensions of characterization^ so to speak. And we would 
point out from the outset that all characters still to be indicated 
in this connexion, or that have already been indicated (mere 
headings for necessary analytico-descriptive studies), have a 
universal phenomenological range of application. And though in 
our first treatment of them we show a preference for the inten- 
tional experiences that have the relatively simplest constitution, 
for such as can be grouped together under a definite and funda- 
mental concept of ^^presentatiorC\ and furnish the necessary 
basis for all other intentional experiences, the same summa genera 
and characteristic differences belong also to all these derived 
{fundierten) experiences, and consequently to all intentional 
experiences generally. The situation then is this, that at all times 
and of necessity we are aware of a noematic nucleus, a “noema 
of the object” that must be characterized somehow, and indeed 
by differences, alternative and mutually exclusive, selected from 
each genus. 

§ 103. Characters Distinctive of Being and of Belief 

Looking around now for new characters, our attention is first 
drawn to the fact that interlinked with the groups of characters 
previously treated, we have characters which are clearly of a 
wholly different type, namely, the characters of Being. As noetic 
characters, correlatively related to modes of Being — as ^'doxic*^ 


or ""belief characters'^ — ^we may cite as closely linked with intuit- 
able presentations the perceptual belief present as a real {reell) 
factor in normal perception, and functioning therein as a “sense 
of reality’^ and, more closely still, perceptual assurance or its 
equivalent; to it corresponds in the appearing “object’’ as 
noematic correlate the ontical character ""reoV^ {wirklich). The 
same noetic or noematic character is shown in the “certainty” 
which may accompany all repeated representation, in ""sure^^ 
recollection of every kind, whether in respect to what has been, 
to what now is, or to what will be in the future (as in anticipative 
expectation). Such are ""thetic^^ acts, acts that ""posif^ Being, In 
making use of this expression, however, we must bear in mind 
that when it also points to an act, or to some special mental 
attitude, the reference must be ignored. 

That which appears in the way of perception or recollection 
possessed in the region we have so far been considering the 
character of “real” {wirklich) Being simpliciter, of “certain” Being 
as we also say when contrasting it with other ontical characters. 
For this character can be modified, and even, in relation to one 
and the same phenomenon, transformed through actual modifying 
processes. The way of ""certain^^ belief can pass over into that of 
suggestion ox presumption y or into that of question and doubt \ and, 
according to the line taken, that which appears (characterized 
in respect of that first order of characterizations which takes in 
the “primordial”, the “reproductive”, and the like) will adopt 
the ontical modalities of the ""possible^\ the ""probabW\ the ''ques-- 
tionable'\ and the ""doubtful'^ respectively. 

For instance, a perceived object stands out there at first as 
a plain matter of course, a certainty. Suddenly we are doubtful 
whether we have not been made the victims of a mere “illusion”, 
whether what we see or hear, etc., is not “mere seeming”. Or 
else that which appears preserves its ontical certainty, but we 
are uncertain with regard to some one or other of its sets 
of qualities. The thing “suggests” a man. Then a contrary 
suggestion sets in: it might be a moving tree, which in the 
gloom of the wood resembles a man in motion. But the “weight” 
of the one “possibility” is now considerably reinforced, and we 


decide in its favour perhaps, definitely presuming that “it was 
surely a tree”. 

Similarly the modalities of Being change, and this far more 
frequently, in the course of recollection, and so indeed as in great 
measure to set themselves up or exchange their signatures purely 
within the limits of intuition or of obscure presentation, without 
any type of “thinking” in the specific sense of the term, or “con- 
cept”and predicative judgment playing anypart in the matter at all. 

We see at the same time that the phenomena in this context 
summon us to various elucidatory studies, that characters of 
diverse types emerge (e.g., the '‘decided”, the “weights” of possi- 
bilities, and the like), and that in particular, also, the question 
concerning the essential bases of occasional characters, and con- 
cerning the whole structure of noemata and noeses, as organized 
in conformity with essential laws, calls for deeper investigation. 

It suffices us here as elsewhere to have set out the problems 
in their proper connexions. 

§ 104. Doxic Modalities as Modifications 

With respect to the series of belief-modalities with which we 
are now specially concerned, we have still to point out that in 
it once again the outstanding, specifically intentional meaning of 
the word ‘modification* comes to its own, the meaning we have 
elucidated in our previous analysis of the series of noetic and 
noematic characters. In the series we are now concerned with 
the certainty of belief clearly plays the part of the unmodified, 
or, as we should say here, the “unmodalized” root-form of the 
way of belief. Corresponding to this as its correlative, the ontical 
character pwre and simple (the noematic being “certain” or “real”) 
functions as the root-form of all modalities of Being. In point of 
fact, all ontical characters which spring from it, the specific so- 
to-be-called modalities of Being, contain in the very meaning they 
bear a back-reference to the root-form. The “possible” states 
in itself just as much as “being possible”; the “probable”, 
“doubtful”, “questionable”, so much as “being probable”, “being 
doubtful and questionable”. The intentionality of the noeses is 


reflected in these noematic relations, and we again feel driven 
to speak directly of a ^^noematic intenthnality*^ as ^'paraller to 
the noetic properly so called. 

These considerations may then be applied to the full ''positions'^ 
i.e., to the unities which functionally unite a meaning-nucleus 
with an ontical character 

For the rest it is convenient to apply the term modality of 
Being to the whole series of these ontical characters, so as also 
to include under it the unmodified “Being^’, whenever it needs 
to be treated as a member of this series \ much as the arithmetician 
also includes the unit “one’’ under the name “number”. In a 
similar sense we generalize the verbal meaning of doxic modali- 
ties, whereunder often, with a conscious sense of ambiguity, we 
shall bring together the parallel meanings of the noetic and the 

We must pay heed further to the ambiguities of the word 
“certain”, when we refer to unmodalized Being as “being cer- 
tain” ; and not only in this respect that it sometimes means the 
noetic and sometimes the noematic “being certain”. It also 
serves, for instance (and the usage is very confusing) to express 
the correlate of affirmation, the “yes” as counterpart to “no” 
and “not”,^ This usage must be strictly excluded. The meanings 
of words are constantly shifting within the limits of immediate 
logical equivalence. But our business is to set out the equivalences 
ever3rwhere, and to prune off sharply whatever reference to 
phenomena of an essentially different nature may lurk behind 
the equivalent concepts. 

The certitude of belief is belief in its plain and simple form, 
belief in the pregnant sense of the term. As a matter of fact, 
as our analyses have shown, it holds a highly remarkable and 
unique position among the variety of acts which are all included 

* For further treatment of the concept of “Satz**, or “proposition** in the 
unusually extended meaning [of “position**] which we give to it, see the first 
chapter of the Fourth Section of this work (pp, 359 ff.). 

* [TaANSLATOR*s NoTE. — ^This Strictly applies only to the German meaning 
of the word gewiss, which stands for “certainly** as well as for “certain**. But 
our use of the term “certainly** to indicate aflfirmation will help the reader 
to grasp the author’s meaning at this point.] 


under the title ‘Belief— or, often under the title, here very mis- 
leading though used by many, “Judgment.” A proper expression is 
needed which takes this unique position into account, and effaces 
every reminder of the popular tendency to place certitude on 
a level with the other modes of belief. We introduce the term 
primary belief (Urglaube) or Protodoxa {Urdoxa) as suitably 
expressing the intentional back-reference of all “modalities of 
belief” which we have previously affirmed. We note further that 
we shall be using this latter expression (or, alternatively, “doxic 
modality”) for all intentional modifications which are grounded 
in the essential nature of the protodoxa, including those to be 
set forth afresh in the analyses that follow. 

The radically false doctrine, according to which a genus 
“Belief” (or “Judgment”) simply splits up into certainty, sup- 
posal, and so forth, as though the relation could be expressed 
by spinning out a series of co-ordinate species (at whatever point 
the series might break off), just, as in the case of the genus 
‘sensory quality’, colour, sound, and so forth are co-ordinate 
species, scarcely calls for criticism, so far as we are concerned. 
Moreover, here as elsewhere we must refrain from following up 
the consequences of our phenomenological conclusions. 

§ 105. The Modality of Belief, as Belief; the Modality of 
Being, as Being 

When with regard to the highly remarkable developments we 
have just been setting forth we speak of an intentionality through 
which the secondary modes refer back to the protodoxa, the 
meaning of this form of speech requires that it be possible for 
our mental glance to vary its incidence in a way which is indeed 
essentially characteristic of intentionalities of higher level. This 
possibility, moreover, is actually realized. On the one hand, living 
within the probability-consciousness, in an atmosphere of pre- 
sumption, we can look towards what is probable; but on the 
other hand towards the probability itself and as such, that is 
towards the noematic object in the character which the pre- 
sumption-noesis has given it. But the “object” with its own 


meaning, together with this probability-character, is from the second 
viewpoint given as being {seiend) : consciousness in relation to this 
will accordingly be that of plain belief in the unmodified sense 
of the term. Just in the same way we can live ourselves into a 
possibility-consciousness (in “suggestion’’), or into a questioning 
and doubtful attitude, the glance directed to what we are aware 
of as possible, questionable, doubtful. But we can also look upon 
the possibilities, upon the questionable and doubtful situations 
as such, and eventually, rendering the insight explicit, grasp the 
state of being possible or questionable or doubtful as a con- 
stitutive character of the object meant, and in this sense predicable 
of it; it is then given as being in the unmodified sense of the 

We are thus able to state in a general way this highly remarkable 
peculiarity of the essential nature of things, that every experience 
in relation to all the noetic phases which through its noeses shape 
themselves about the ^Hntentional object as such^^ functions as a belief- 
consciousness in the sense of the Protodoxa; or as we can also say: 

Not only does every addition of new or modification of old 
noetic characters constitute new noematic characters, but there- 
with eo ipso new ontical objects constitute themselves for con- 
sciousness ; to the noematic characters there correspond predic- 
able characters inherent in the object meant, and indeed as real 
{wirkliche), and not mere noematically modified predicables. 

These statements will gain in clearness when we have become 
more familiar with new noematic spheres of study. 

§ 106. Affirmation and Negation together with Their 
Noematic Correlates 

As still a further modification that harks back to the protodoxa, 
and indeed one that in virtue of its essential intentional back- 
reference to every variety of belief-modality may very well be 
reckoned as of a higher grade, is rejection^ with its analogue 
acceptance \ or, more specifically expressed, negation and affirma- 
tion. Every negation is the negation of something, and this Some- 
thing points us back to this or that modality of belief. Thus 



noetically negation is the “modification” of some “position”, 
the latter term signifying not an affirmation, but a “setting down” 
{Setzung) in the extended sense of some form of belief-modality. 

Its new noematic form of service is the '‘cancelling^’ of the 
corresponding positing character, its specific correlate is the 
cancellation character we designate as “not”. The cancelling mark 
of negation strikes out something posited, or, to speak more con- 
cretely, a “posited meaning” {Satz), and indeed through the can- 
celling of its specific positional character^ i.e., its ontical modality. 
Thereby this character and the posited statement itself appear 
as a “modijkation” of something else. Or to state the same thing 
differently: through the transformation of the plain conscious- 
ness of Being into the corresponding consciousness of negation, 
the plain character “being” (seiend) turns in the noema into that 
of “not being”. 

In an analogous way, out of the “possible”, the “probable”, 
the “questionable”, we get the “impossible”, the “improbable”, 
the “unquestionable”. And therewith the whole noema is modi- 
fied, the whole “posited meaning” taken in its concrete noematic 

Just as, to speak in an image, negation cancels, so does affirma- 
tion “underline”- it “confirms” a position by “accepting’ it, instead 
of “removing” it as negation does. That also provides a series 
of noematic modifications that run parallel with the modifications 
in the way of cancellation; but this cannot be followed up here 
any further. 

Hitherto we have ignored what is peculiar in the “attitude” 
of the pure Ego, which in and through rejection, more specifically 
that of the negating type, “directs” itself against the matter 
rejected, the being that is to be cancelled, as in affirmation it 
inclines towards that which is affirmed, and directs itself towards 
it. This descriptive side also of the whole matter should not be 
overlooked, and calls, on its own account, for analytic study. 

And so again we must do justice likewise to the circumstance 
that following the dovetailing of intentionalities in one another, 
different directions of the mental glance may be taken as occasion 
suggests. We can live within the negating consciousness, in other 


words, we ‘‘carry out” the negation; the glance of the Ego is 
then directed to that which undergoes cancellation. But we can 
also direct the glance in a comprehensive way upon the cancelled 
as such, upon that which is provided with the cancelling mark; 
the latter then stands forth as a new "^objecf\ and indeed in the 
plain original doodc mode ^^being"^ (seiend). The new standpoint 
does not generate the new ontical object; we are already aware 
of what we reject in its cancelled character even in the “carrying 
out” of our rejection ; but it is only at the new standpoint that 
the character becomes a determination that can be predicated of 
the noematic kernel of meaning. Similar remarks apply of course 
to affirmation also. 

Thus in this direction as well there lie problems calling for 
a phenomenological analysis of essence.^ 

§ 107. Reiterated Modifications 

What we have already done in the way of starting such analyses 
enables us to take at once the following further step in the 
direction of increasing insight. 

Since what is negated and affirmed {Negat und Affirmat) is 
always an object that is, it can, like everything we are conscious 
of as a mode of Being, be affirmed or denied. There follows then, 
in consequence of the very constitution of Being, which at every 
step renews its own nature, an ideally infinite chain of reiterated 
modifications. Thus the first step in this direction gives us the 
“not-notbeing”, the “not -impossible”, “not - unquestionable”, 
“not-improbably-being”, and so forth. 

The same holds good, as can be immediately seen on looking 
back, of all the modifications of Being which have been referred 
to on previous pages. We can bring consciously before ourselves 
once again that something is possible, probable, questionable, 
and so forth, in the mode of possibility, probability, question- 

* It would be instructive, on the basis of the elucidations of the essential 
nature of doxic distinctions attempted in the present chapter, to think over 
the penetrating work of A. Reinach, Zur Theorie des negativen Urteils (Miinchner 
Philos. Abhandlungen, 1911), and to bring its forms of inquiry under our 
own angle of vision. 



ability, and to the noetic formations there correspond the noe- 
matic ontical formations. It is possible that it is possible, that it 
is probable, questionable ; it is probable that it is possible, that 
it is probable, and similarly for all such complications. Then 
again, to the formations of the higher levels there correspond 
affirmed and negated positions, which once more can be modified, 
and in this way again, speaking ideally, we wander off into infinity. 
We are far from being concerned here with mere verbal repetitions. 
As witness, we need only bring to mind the Theory of Proba- 
bility and its applications, wherein possibilities and probabilities 
are continually being considered, denied, doubted, presumed, 
questioned, established, and so forth. 

But we must always remember, when speaking of modifications 
in this connexion, that the reference may be, on the one hand, 
to a possible transformation of the phenomena, thus to a possible 
actual operation; and on the other hand to the much more 
interesting essential property of the noeses or noemata, of harking 
back, in virtue of their own essential nature, and without any 
accompanying regard as to their genesis to something other, 
something unmodified. But whether we take the one viewpoint 
or the other, we stand in either case on pure phenomenological 
ground. For when we speak here of transformation and genesis, 
our sole concern is with essential happenings of a phenomeno- 
logical character, and our words have not the least reference to 
empirical experiences as natural facts. 

§ 108. NpEMATiCAL Characters are not Determined 
THROUGH “Reflexion” 

It is necessary in regard to each new group of noeses and noemata 
which we have brought to clear consciousness that we should 
assure ourselves afresh of the fundamental bit of knowledge 
which runs so counter to the habits of thought of the psycho- 
logizers, that the distinction between noesis and noema must be 
real and correctly drawn, in fact exactly as faithful description 
requires. If one has already become familiar with the pure 
immanent description of the essence (a point which so many fail 


to reach who otherwise thiak highly of description), and has come 
to the understanding that consciousness must always have ascribed 
to it an intentional object that belongs to it, and is capable of 
being described on immanental lines, there is still a great temp- 
tation to apprehend noematic characters, and especially the one 
we have just been considering, as mere ^^determinations ofreflexion^\ 
We understand, as we recall the current and narrow conception 
of reflexion, what this means, to wit: determinations which accrue 
to the intentional objects through the latter being referred to those 
ways of being conscious in which they figure precisely as the objects 
of consciousness. 

Thus the negated, the affirmed, and the like, are to be reached 
in this way, that the object of the “judgment’’ in reflexion is 
characterized as negated when the reflexion bears on the negating, 
as affirmed when it bears on the affirming, as probable when it 
bears on the presuming, and so everywhere. But this view is 
a mere subjective construction,^ which already proclaims its 
perversity through the fact that if these predicates were really 
no more than relating predicates of reflexion, they could be given 
only in the actual reflecting upon the act-aspect and in relation 
to it. But they are evidently not given through such reflexion. 
We grasp what concerns the correlate as such through the glance 
being turned directly on the correlate itself. We grasp the negated, 
the affirmed, the possible, the questionable, and so forth, as 
directly qualifying the appearing object as such. In no wise do 
we here glance back upon the act. Conversely the noetic predi- 
cates which emerge through such reflexion are far from having 
the same meaning as the noematic predicates in question. Con- 
nected with this is the fact that even from the standpoint of 
truth 'not-being’ is clearly only equivalent to and not identical 
with “being validly negated” ; similarly ‘being possible’ is not 
identical with “being held possible in a valid way”, and the like. 

If we still needed further witness, natural speech, unembar- 
rassed by any psychological prejudices, would here supply it. 
Looking into the stereoscope we say that the pyramid that here 
appears is “nothing”, is mere “illusion”. That which appears, 

* Cf. Logical Studie$i Vol. Ill, Sixth Study, § 44, pp. 139 if. 



as such, is the obvious subject of predication, and we ascribe to 
this noema of a Thing (which is in no sense a Thing) whatever 
character we discover in it, even the nothingness. Only we must 
have the courage here, as everywhere in phenomenology, to accept 
in the phenomenon what really presents itself to mental insight, 
and in the form in which it so presents itself, and instead of 
twisting its meaning to describe it honestly. All theories must 
adjust themselves to these descriptions. 

§ 109. The Neutrality-Modification 

Among the modifications which relate to the sphere of Belief, 
we have still to indicate one of the highest importance which 
occupies a position all by itself, and should therefore in no way 
be placed on a line with those so far discussed. The unique way 
in which it stands related to the various attitudes of Belief, and 
the circumstance that it is only as we touch the deeper strata 
of inquiry that its own distinctive character is opened up — as 
having no specific coimexion with the sphere of belief, rather 
as a highly important modification of consciousness of a general 
kind — justifies us in giving it here a more detailed treat- 
ment. We shall also have the opportunity thereby of bringing 
under discussion a genuine modification of Belief which we have 
yet to consider, with which the new modification in question 
may very easily be confused, namely, that of Assumption. 

We are dealing now with a modification which in a certain 
sense completely removes and renders powerless every doxic 
modality to which it is related, but in a totally different way 
from that of negation, which, in addition, as we saw, shows in 
the negated a positive effect, a non-being which is itself once 
more being. It cancels nothing, it “performs” nothing, it is the 
conscious counterpart of all performance : its neutralization. It 
lies enclosed in every ‘withholding of performance’, ‘setting out 
of action’, “bracketing”, “leaving postponed”, and so “having 
postponed”, “thinking oneself into” the performance, or “merely 
thinking” what is performed without “helping to bring it about”. 

Since this modification has never been scientifically set out. 


and has therefore not been fixed terminologically (when the 
topic has been touched on it has always been confused with other 
modifications), and since there is no unequivocal name for it even 
in ordinary speech, we can only reach it by enveloping tactics 
and by a gradual process of elimination. For all the expressions 
we have just collected to serve as a preliminary indication of 
what it means contain some surplus of meaning. An arbitrary 
doing of some kind is everywhere included in the meaning 
indicated, whereas there should be no hint of this in the meaning 
we are seeking to fix. We therefore set it aside. The result of 
this doing has certainly a distinctive content, which, apart from 
the fact that it “springs from” the doing (which would of course 
also be a phenomenological datum), can be considered in itself, 
in detachment from all such arbitrariness as something both 
possible and actual within the sphere of experience. Let us then 
exclude all volitional elements from the ‘leaving postponed’, and 
also avoid interpreting it in the sense of what is doubtful or 
hypothetical, and there remains a certain having “postponed” 
something, or, better still, a “having let it stand”, where we have 
not in mind anything that has been “really” let stand. The 
positing characteristic has become powerless. The belief is no 
longer seriously a belief, the presumption not seriously a pre- 
sumption, the denying not seriously a denying. It is neutralized^^ 
belief, presumption, denial, and the like, and their correlates 
repeat those of the unmodified experiences though in a radically 
modified way: the simply being, the being possible, probable, 
questionable, likewise the non-being, and all that has been pre- 
viously negated or afiirmed — ^this is all consciously there, but not 
in the “real” way, only as “merely thought”, as “mere idea”. 
Everything has the modifying “suspensory bracket”, closely 
related to that of which we have previously spoken so much, 
which is also so important for preparing the way into pheno- 
menology. The positings pure and simple, the positings that have 
not been neutralized, have as correlated results “positions” 
(Satze), which are collectively characterized as “states of being” 
{^"Seiendes"'). Possibility, probability, questionability, non-being, 
and yea-being — all that is itself something “which is”, charac- 



terized as such in the correlate, and “intended” {vermeint') as that 
in consciousness. But the neutralized positings are essentially 
distinguished by this mark, that their correlates contain nothing 
that can be posited, nothing that can he really predicated', in no 
respect does the neutral consciousness play towards that of which 
it is aware the part of a “belief”. 

§ no. Neutralized Consciousness and the Critical Authority 
OF THE Reason. The Nature of Assuming 

It is clear that we have here a really unique peculiarity of Con- 
sciousness. The proof is that the non-neutralized noeses, the 
noeses properly so-called, are essentially subject to the critical 
authority of the reason, whereas in the case of the neutralized 
noeses, the question concerning reason and unreason has no meaning. 

Likewise, correlatively, for the noemata. Every noema charac- 
terized as in state of being (as certain), or as possible, presumable, 
questionable, null, and so forth, can be so characterized either 
“validly” or “invalidly” ; it can “veritably” be, possibly be, it 
can be nothing at all, and so forth. Mere supposal “posits”, on 
the contrary, nothing ; it is not an affirmatory consciousness. The 
“mere thought” of realities, possibilities, and so forth, “makes 
no pretensions” in regard to reality, it is neither to be recognized 
as correct nor rejected as incorrect. 

All mere supposal (Sich-denken) can indeed be translated into 
an assumption or supposition (Ansetzen), and this new modification 
(just as in the case of supposal) is subject unconditionally to the 
thinker’s arbitrary preference. But ‘suppositing’ (.^MirfareJi) is again 
akin to positing (Setzen), the supposition again a kind of “position” 
(Satz), only that it is a quite unique modification of the position 
of belief, which contrasts with the main series discussed above, 
following a side-line of its own. It can enter as a member (as 
a supposition in the form of the “antecedent” or consequent 
of a hypothetical proposition) into the unity of positions {Set- 
zungen), which permit of rational judgments being passed upon 
them, and so itself come under the rules of rational valuation. 
We caimot say of a mere uncertain thought that it is correct or 


incorrect, but we can say this of the supposition that enters into 
a hypothetical judgment. It is a fundamental error to confuse 
the one and the other, and to overlook the equivocation which 
lies in our reference to a mere supposal or a mere thought. 

In addition we have the similarly misleading equivocation 
which lies in the word 'to think’, when it is referred now to the 
quite special sphere of the thought that discriminates, apprehends, 
and expresses logical thought in a specific sense of the term, and 
now to the positional as such, which, as we here had it directly 
in view, does not call for any discriminating nor for any appre- 
hending in the way of predication. 

We find all the happenings here considered in the sphere of. 
mere sensory intuitions (with their transitions into obscure pre- 
sentations) to which we have in the first instance assigned a 
preferential position. 

§ III. Neutrality-Modification and Fancy 

But yet another dangerous ambiguity of the expression “mere 
supposal” comes in for consideration. We must protect ourselves 
here against a very closely besetting confusion, namely, that 
between neutrality-modification and fancy. The confusing element 
here, and one not lightly to be disentangled, lies herein that fancy 
is itself in fact a neutrality-modification, that in spite of its being 
of so special a type its significance is universal and applicable to 
all experiences, and that it also plays its part in most of the 
formations of supposal, and must then be distinguished from the 
general neutrality-modification with its manifold formations that 
conform to all the types of the positing function. 

More closely stated, the process of fancy in general is the 
neutrality-modification of the ^^positing^^ act of representation^ and 
therefore of remembering in the widest conceivable sense of 
the term. 

We must notice here that in ordinary speech representation^ 

* [Translator’s Note. — ^The German word here used is Vergegenwartigung, 
“bringing to present consciousness”, or “representation”. If it is to be 
equivalent to “Reproduction”, as the author intimates, “reproduction” cannot 
be identified with its customary meaning of “bringing hack to present con- 



(Reproduction) and fancy cut across each other. We employ the 
expressions in such a way that, in conformity with our own 
analyses, we leave the general word ‘representation’ with its 
meaning undetermined in respect of the question whether the 
“positing” act it expresses is a proper or a neutralized one. 
Representations generally divide them into the two groups: 
memories of every kind and their neutrality modifications. How- 
ever, as will be further apparent,^ this division cannot be accepted 
as a genuine classification. 

On the other hand, every experience generally (every really 
living one, so to speak) is an experience “which is present”. It 
belongs to its very essence that it should be able to reflect on 
that same essence in which it is necessarily characterized as that 
which certainly and presently is. In accordance with this there 
corresponds to every experience, as to every individual Being of 
which we are primordially aware, a series of ideally possible 
memory-modifications. To experiencing, as the primordial con- 
sciousness of experience, there correspond as possible parallels 
memories of the same experience, and therefore also fancies 
as its neutrality-modifications. So it is for every experience, 
however the direction of the glance of the pure Ego may be 
ordered. The following may serve by way of elucidation: — 
Whenever we may have represented objects of one kind or 
another — let us at once suppose that it is a mere world of fancy, 
and that we have our attention turned towards it — it then follows 
as pertaining to the essence of the fancy-active consciousness 
that not only the fancy-world itself, but also, at the same time, 
the perceiving activity which has “given” it, is modified into the 
form of fancy. We turn our attention to this world and to the 
“perceiving within the fancy” (i.e., to the neutrality-modification 
of the memory), yet only then when, as we prewously put it, 
we “reflect within the fancy”. But it is of fijndamental importance 
not to confuse this modification, which ideally can at any time 
be carried out, and would transfer every experience, even the 

sciousness”, but must be given the more general meaning of “bringing to 
present consciousness”.] 

* Cf. the reference to Essence and Counter-essence (p. 319). 


fancy-making experience itself, into the mere fancy which exactly 
corresponds to it, or, what amounts to the same things into the 
neutralized recollection^ with that neutrality-modification which 
we can set over against every ^^positing^^ experience. In this 
respect memory is a quite special form of positing experience. 
As other forms we have normal perception, the perceptive or 
reproductive consciousness of possibility, probability and ques- 
tionability, the consciousness of doubt, of negation, affirmation, 
supposition, and so forth. 

We can satisfy ourselves with the help of an illustration that 
the neutrality-modification of the normal perception which posits 
its object with unmodified certainty is the neutral consciousness 
of the picture-object^ which we find as a component in our ordinary 
observation of a depicted situation perceptively presented. Let 
us try to make this clear, and let us suppose that we are observing 
Diirer’s engraving, ‘^The Knight, Death, and the Devil’’. 

We distinguish here in the first place the normal perception 
of which the correlate is the engraved prinf^ as a things this print 
in the portfolio. 

We distinguish in the second place the perceptive conscious- 
ness within which in the black lines of the picture there appear 
to us the small colourless figures, ‘‘knight on horseback”, “death”, 
and “devil”. In aesthetic observation we do not consider these 
as the objects {Objekten)\ we have our attention fixed on what 
is portrayed the picture'^ more precisely, on the '^depicted^^ 
realities, the knight of flesh and blood, and so forth. 

That which makes the depicting possible and mediates, it, 
namely, the consciousness of the “picture” (of the small grey 
figurettes in which through the derived noeses something other, 
through similarity, “presents itself as depicted”), isnow an example 
for the neutrality-modification of the perception. This depicting 
picture-object stands before us neither as being nor as non-beings 
nor in any other positional modality \ or rather, we are aware of it 
as having its being, though only a quasi-being, in the neutrality- 
modification of Being. 

But it is just the same with the object depicted^ if we take up 
a purely aesthetic attitude, and view the same again as “mere 



picture”, without imparting to it the stamp of Being or non- 
Being, of possible Being or probable Being, and the like. But, 
as can clearly be seen, that does not mean any privation, but a 
modification, that of neutralization. Only we should not represent 
it as a transforming operation carried out on a previous position. 
Occasionally indeed it can be this. None the less it need not 
be it. 

§ 1 12. Repeatability of the Fancy-Modification at Successive 
Levels; Non-repeatability of the Neutrality-Modifi- 

The radical difference between fancy in the sense of a neutralizing 
presentation, and a neutralizing modification generally, reveals 
itself — ^if we may emphasize, and somewhat sharply, this additional 
decisive point of difference — ^in the fact that fancy-modification 
as a presentation is repeatahle {iterierbar) (there are fancies of any 
specifiable level, fancies “in” fancies), whereas the repetition 
{Wiederkolung) of the neutralizing “operation" is essentially 

Our assertion that it is possible to repeat in this way repro- 
ductive (as also copy-making) modifications would seem to have 
met with pretty general opposition. That attitude will not be 
changed until practice in general phenomenological analysis is 
more widespread than is the case at present. So long as one treats 
experiences as “contents” or as mental “elements”, which in 
spite of all the fashionable attacks against atomizing and hypos- 
tatizing psychology are still looked upon as a kind of minute 
matter, so long as the belief accordingly prevails that it is possible 
to fix the difference between “contents of sensation” and the 
corresponding “contents of fancy” only through material char- 
acters of “intensity”, “fullness”, and the like, no improvement is 
to be looked for. 

One must first learn to see that we are concerned here with 
a difference in the consciousness, that the fancy-image therefore 
is not a mere faded datum of sense, but in its own way a fancy 
of the corresponding sense-datum; further, that this “of” cannot 


find its way in through any thinning, however drastic, of the 
intensity, or the content, etc., of the sense-datum in question. 

He who is versed in the art of reflecting on consciousness (and 
has previously learnt in a general way to see the data of inten- 
tionality) will without further difficulty see the levels of conscious- 
ness which lie before us in the fancy that is in a fancy or the 
memory in a memory or a fancy. He will then also see what lies 
in the essential construction of these successive formations, 
namely, that every fancy at a higher level can pass freely over 
into a direct fancy of that which in the former case is fancied 
only indirectly, whereas this free possibility does not obtain in 
the transition from fancy to the corresponding perception. Here 
as a challenge to spontaneity there opens up a chasm which the 
pure Ego can cross only in the essentially new form of realizing 
action and creation (wherein also the power to hallucinate at wiU 
must be taken into account) 

§ 1 13. Actual and Potential Positings 

Our reflexions on neutrality-modification and positing necessitate 
further important developments. We have used the expression 
“positing” consciousness in a wide sense which requires to be 

Let us separate actual irom potential positing, and as the general 

* In respect of the points from the doctrine of neutrality-modifications which 
have so far been dealt with, the Logical Studies have in the main, especially 
in what concerns the relation to fancy, already won their way to a correct 
grasp of the subject. Cf. (Joe, cit,) the Fifth Study, and particularly in § 39, 
the contrast there drawn between ‘^qualitative” and “imaginative modifica- 
tion”, in which the former has the meaning of the neutrality-modification 
which we have here referred to. Since Meinong’s book, tJfher Annahmen (1902), 
has dealt in detail with questions which are closely related to those discussed 
in the present chapter, I am bound to explain why I could connect the 
discussion only with my old writings and not with his book. In my opinion 
this book, which here as elsewhere reveals such extensive coincidences with 
the parallel sections of the Logical Studies — ^in respect of content and theoretical 
ideas alike — ^has not made any real advance on my own attempts, whether in 
respect of substance or method. Many elements in my thought, upon which, 
now as before, I believe I should lay stress, are not considered there, and 
this applies particularly to the points treated above. The confusions which 
these last discussions of ours have served to lay bare precisely constitute the 
central core of Meinong’s view of assumptions. 



title, which we are still unable to do without, adopt that of 
^‘positional consciousness”. 

The difference between the actuality and the potentiality of 
the positing process stands in close relation to the actuality- 
differences of attention and inattention, of which we have pre- 
viously spoken,* but in no way coincides with them. By taking 
the neutrality-modification into account, the general distinction 
between the actuality and non-actuality of the directedness of 
the Ego in attention becomes infected with a double meaning, 
or, alternatively, there slips into the concept of the expression 
‘actuality’ a double meaning, the essential nature of which we 
must make clear. 

The neutrality-modification came before us in marked contrast 
with real belief, presumption, and the like, with the peculiarly 
modified consciousness of a “mere thinking oneself into” a belief, 
presumption, and so forth; or, to speak in terms of the correlative, 
in contrast with having “really” {wirklich) before “oneself”, or 
having “really posited” that which is, that which probably is, 
and so forth, and not having really posited it in the mode of a 
mere “standing undecided”. But from the outset we also pointed 
out the essentially different attitude of a non-neutral and a neutral 
consciousness respectively with respect to the potentiality of the 
positing function. Out of every “real” {zoirklichen) consciousness 
we can draw forth various positings potentially included in it, 
and these are then real {zoirkliche) positings ; in whatever is really 
meant, in a thetic sense, there real predicables lie concealed. But 
a neutral consciousness “contains” in itself no “real” (zvirkliche) 
predicables of any kind. The unfolding of its content through 
the focal actualities of attention, through a turning to the different 
predicates of the object we are aware of, gives as resiilt nothing 
but neutral acts or modified predicates. This different type of 
potentiality, according as the consciousness is neutral or non- 
neutral, this remarkable fact that the general potentiality of the 
directed glancings of attention thus bifurcates, now calls for 
deeper inquiry. 

The reflexions of the last paragraph but one left us with this 

' Cf.§3S, p, Ii8f.;§37,p. laa f. ; § 92, pp. 367 if. 


result, that every real experience as a present state of being — or, 
as we can also say, as the temporal unity constituted in the 
phenomenological time-consciousness — ^bears its ontical character 
with it in a certain way,y^/5■^ like something that has been perceived. 
To every actual present state of experience there corresponds 
in idea (ideell) a neutrality-modification, namely, a possible present 
state of fancy-experience which exactly corresponds to it in 
content. Every such experience in the form of fancy is charac- 
terized not as being really present, but as being “as though” 
{gleichsafri) it were present. It is in fact exactly as though one 
were comparing the noematic data of some perception or other 
with those of an active state of fancy (fanciful contemplation) 
which corresponds to it precisely in idea {ideell). Every perceived 
item is characterized as “really present Being”; every parallel 
item in the form of fancy is characterized as the same in content, 
but as “mere fancy”, “as though itwere” present Being. Thus: — 

The original time-consciousness itself functions as a perceptual 
consciousness^ and has its counterpart in a corresponding fancy- 

This all-enveloping time-consciousness, however, is not of 
course a continuous immanent perception in the pregnant sense, 
i.e., in the sense of an actual positing perceiving, which is itself 
an experience in our sense, lying in immanent time, having 
present duration, constituted in the time-consciousness. In other 
words, it is not of course a continuous inner reflecting, in which 
experiences posited in the specific sense were to be grasped as 
existing {seiend) and actually objectified. 

Among experiences there are some that stand out, called imma- 
nent reflexions, more specifically immanent perceptions, which as 
directed upon their objects apprehend Being actually and posit 
it. Beside these, among the same experiences, there are perceptions 
that point to a transcendent object, that similarly posit Being, 
the so-called external perceptions. ^'PerceptM^ in the normal 
sense of the word does not only indicate generally that this or 
that thing appears to the Ego in embodied presence^ but that the 
Ego is aware of the appearing thing, grasps it as really being 
there, and posits it. This actuality of the act of positing it as 

3i6 pure phenomenology 

being there is, in accordance with previous findings, neutralized 
in the perceptive consciousness of an image. With the glance 
turned towards the “image” (not towards that of which it is the 
copy), we do not apprehend anything real {WirkUches) as object, 
but an image, a fiction. The “apprehension” has the actuality of 
the directing activity, but is not “real” (zoirkliche) apprehension, 
but mere apprehension in the modified form of the “as if” 
(“gleichsam”); the positing is not actual positing, but modified 
into the “as if”. 

Through withdrawal of the mental glance from the fiction, the 
attentional actuality of the neutralized position passes over into 
potentiality; the image still appears, but is not “observed”; in the 
mode of the “as if” it is not apprehended. In the essential nature 
of this situation and its potentiality there lie possibilities for 
actual directings of the mental glance, which, however, never give 
rise here to actualities in the way of positing. 

The conditions are similar when we compare “actual” (not- 
neutral, really positing) recollections with those in which that 
which is remembered, through a diverting of the glance perhaps, 
still appears indeed, but is no longer actually posited. The poten- 
tiality of the positing of that which “still” appears here, means 
that through the actuality of attention there spring forth not only 
apprehending cogitationes in general, but such as in all strictness 
“really” (pirhlich) apprehend and actually posit. In the neutrality- 
modifications of memories, i.e., in To&rtfandes, we have once again 
the attentional potentialities of which the transformation into 
actualities gives “acts” {cogitationes) indeed, but wholly neutralized 
acts, doxic positings after the mode of the ‘as if’. We are aware 
of the fancied object not as “really” present, past or future ; it 
only “hovers”, as that which possesses no posited actuality. 
No mere directing of the glance can set this neutrality aside, 
just as little as in other cases it can generate positional 

Every perception — ^let the observation still serve us for further 
illustration — ^has its perceptual background. The specifically 
apprehended thing has its envir(mment, appears perceptively 
with it, lacking all special placing in the sphere of that which is 


out there, yet adjusted to the nature of the environed thing. It 
too is an environment “that really is”, and it is a feature of our 
awareness of it that it is intrinsically possible for actual glances 
that functionally posit Being to direct themselves towards it. It 
is in a certain measure a unity of potential positings. So it is with 
memory in respect of its background of recollection, or also with 
perception, or, it may be, memory in respect of its fringe of 
retentions and protentions, of recollections that hark back and 
recollections that anticipate, which, in greater or less abundance, 
and changing off and on their grade of clearness, press forward, 
but do not pass into actual thetic form. In all these cases the 
actualization of the “potential positings” necessarily leads through 
corresponding directings of the mental glance (attentional 
actuality) to further and yet further actual positings, and this 
belongs to the essence of these situations. But if we pass over 
to the parallel neutrality-modifications, everything translates itself 
into the modification of the ‘as if, even the “potentiality” itself. 
The image-object or fancy-object has also (and necessarily) 
attentional backgrounds. Again, the word “background” is a title 
for potential directions of interest and “apprehensions”. But the 
fixing of the interest in the direction of reality does not lead 
on principle to positings, but always only to positings of the 
modified kind. 

Similar considerations — and the point is one that still specially 
interests us — ^apply to the modal variations of the specific theses 
of belief (the doxic primary theses), to the presumptions, sug- 
gestions, questions, and so forth, and similarly to denials and 
affirmations. The correlates in them of which we are conscious, 
the possibility, probability, nullity, and the like, canMXi&txgo doxic 
positing, and at the same time specific “objectivation” ; but whilst 
we “live” “in” the presuming, questioning, rejecting, affirming, 
and the like, we carry out no doxic primary theses, though 
we do indeed carry out other ^Hheses^^ in the sense of a necessary 
generalization of the concept, namely, presumption-theses^ ques- 
tionability-theseSy denial-theses y and so forth. But we can always 
pass the corresponding doxic judgments : the ideal possibility of 
bringing to actuality the potential theses involved in them has its 



ground in the essential nature of the phenomenological situation.^ 
This actualization, again, when it deals from the outset with 
actual theses, always leads to actual theses as potentially involved 
in the initial theses. If we translate the initial theses into the 
speech of neutrality, potentiality is translated into the same 
speech. If in mere fancy we presume, ask questions, and the like, 
all our previous conclusions still hold good, but with a changed 
signature. All the doxic theses and modalities of Being derived 
from the original act or the act-noema, and through the possible 
shiftings of the focus of attention, are now neutralized. 

§ 1 14. Further Concerning Neutrality-Modification and 
THE Potentiality of the Theses 

The difference between non-neutral and neutral consciousness, 
if we are to follow the analyses we have made, concerns conscious 
experiences not merely in the attentional modus of the cogito, 
but also in that of attentional sub-focal actuality. It then makes 
itself felt in the twofold demeanour of these “backgrounds” of 
consciousness on the occasion of their attentional transformation 
into “foregrounds”, or, to speak more strictly, on their trans- 
formation into attentional actualities wherewith the original 
experience passes over into a doxic cogito, indeed into a proto- 
doxa. Naturally this is possible imder all circumstances, for it 
belongs to the essential nature of every intentional experience 
that it can “glance towards” its noeses as well as its noemata, 
the neomatically constituted objectivities and their predicates, 
positing and apprehending them after the way of the protodoxa. 

The situation, as we may also put it, is this: that the neiOrality- 
modificoHon is not a specific modification attached to the actual 
theses, the only ones that are truly theses, but concerns a fun- 
damentally essential peculiarity of all consciousness generally, which 
finds expression in a certain attitude towards actual protodoxic 
positionality or non-positionality. Whence the necessity of ex- 
hibiting it in the actual primary positings or in the modification 
they undergo. 

' Cf. svpra, § 105, pp. 300, 301. 


More closely described our topic is as follows : — 

Consciousness generally, of whatever kind and form it may be, 
is traversed by a radical cleavage. In the first place there belongs, 
as we know, to every consciousness in which the pure Ego does 
not from the outset live as “bringing it about”, which therefore 
has not from the outset the form of the "cogito", the essentially 
possible modification which transfers it into this form. Now there 
are two fundamental possibilities connected with the way in which 
consciousness is brought about within the modus cogito, or otherwise 
ej^ressed : 

To every cogito there belongs a counterpart that exactly corre- 
sponds with it, and is such that its noema possesses in the parallel 
cogito its exactly corresponding counter-noema. 

The relation of the parallel “acts” consists in this, that one 
of the two is a “real {wirklicher) act", the cogito a “real”, “really 
positing", cogito, whereas the other is the “shadow" of an act, 
an act improperly so-called, a cogito that does not “really” posit. 
The one really effects something ; the other is the mere reflexion 
of an effect. 

Corresponding to this we have the radical difference of the 
correlates : on the one side the constituted noenaatic effect which 
has the character of the unmodified, real effect, on the other the 
“mere thought" of the exactly corresponding effect. The real and 
the modified correspond idealiter with absolute precision, and yet 
have not the same essential nature. For the modification is trans- 
ferred to the essence ; to the primordial essence there corresponds 
its counter-essence as a “shadow” of the same essence. 

In the metaphorical speech concerning shadows, reflexion, and 
image, there should of course be no suggestion of mere illusion 
or deceitful intention, for thereby real acts or positional corre- 
lates would be given. Nor need the warning be renewed against 
the other tendency so ready to hand, to confuse the modification 
here in question with the fancy-modification which likewise 
creates for every experience — as the present phase of experience 
in the inner consciousness of time — z counterpart, its own fancy- 

The radical separation of intentional experiences into two 



classes, which are to one another as reality to the ineffectual 
mirroring of the noematic function, proclaims its meaning to us 
here (as we leave the doxic domain) in the following fundamental 
propositions : — 

Every cogito is in itself either a primary form of doxic positing 
or not. But by virtue of a system of laws, which again belong to 
the essential nature of consciousness in its basic generality, every 
cogito can be transferred to a primary positing of a doxic type. 
But only in complex ways, and in particular as follows: every 
“thetic character” in the broadest sense of the term, which con- 
stitutes itself as correlate of a noetic “thesis” (used here in a 
correspondingly broad sense) in the noema of the cogito to which 
it belongs, undergoes transformation into an ontic character, and 
therewith takes on the form of a modality of Being with the very 
widest range of meaning. In this way the character of “probable”, 
which is the noematic correlate of presumption, and indeed 
specifically of the “act-character” of the “thesis” of presumption 
as such, changes into probable Being', likewise the noematic 
character of the “questionable”, this specific correlate of the 
thesis of questionability, changes into the form of questionable 
Being; the correlate of negation into the form of non-being; all 
of these mere forms which have, so to speak, taken on the stamp 
of the actual primary doxic thesis. But this reaches farther still. 
We shall be finding ground for extending the thetic concept to 
cover all act-spheres, and therefore also for speaking, for instance, 
of pleasure-theses, wish-theses, will-theses, with their noematic 
correlatives, “pleasing”, “wished for”, “as it practically should 
be”, and the like. These correlates also, through the transfer, 
possible a priori, of the act in question into a primary doxic 
thesis, assume the form of modalities of Being with an extremely 
extended range of meaning; thus “pleasing”, “wished for”, “as 
it should be”, and so forth, become predicable, for in the actual 
positing of the root-belief we are conscious of these as being pleas- 
ing, wished for, and so forth.^ But, in these examples, we are to 
understand the transfer as implying that it preserves the noema 
of the original experience in its whole essential quality, with this 
* Cf. supra, the sentences towards the close of § 105, p. 301. 


sole exception, that the mode of presentation of data will have 
changed with the transfer in some law-conforming way. This 
point, however, will need to be further developed.^ 

The two cases are radically distinguished in this respect, that 
the protodoxa, as the case may be, is either a real, so to speak 
a really believed belief, or else its nerveless counterpart, mere 
‘‘supposal” (of Being swipliciter^ possible Being, and so forth). 

What results, through processes of inward change from that 
doxic transformation of the original experience, whether develop- 
ments of its noematic constituents into real primary doxic posit- 
ings, or an unfolding into protodoxic neutralities exclusively, that 
is predetermined with absolute rigour through the essential nature 
of the intentional experience in question. Thus from the outset 
a firm conceptual system of potential ontical positings is traced 
in the very essence of e'oery conscious experience, and indeed, 
following the prefigured articulation of the consciousness in 
question, a field of possible real positings or of possible neutral 
* ‘shadow-positings” . 

And again : consciousness in general is so articulated as to be 
of a twofold type: original and shadoAV, positional and neutral 
consciousness. The distinguishing feature of the one is that its 
doxic potentiality leads to real positing doxic acts, and of the 
other that it gives rise only to the shadow-pictures of such acts, 
only to neutrality modifications of the same; in other words, that 
it contains in its noematic constitution nothing that can be 
doxically grasped, or, which amounts to the same thing, no ‘‘real” 
{wirkliches)notm2L^ but only its counter-image. Moreover, neutral 
experiences are restricted just to one form of doxic positionality : 
that which belongs to them as data of the immanent time- 
consciousness, determining them as the modified consciousness 
of a modified noema. 

The expressions ^^positionaV^ and ^^neutraV^ should from now 
on serve our terminological needs. Every experience, whether it 
has the form of the cogito, whether it is or is not in any special 
sense act, comes under this opposition. Thus positionality does 
not imply the presence of a real position or the performing act 

* Cf. infra, § 117, pp. 32B-9, first paragraph, 




through which it is established ; it expresses only a certain potential 
capacity for carrying out actual acts of doxic positing. Yet let 
us include under the concept of positional experience the case 
in which an experience is from the outset a position already 
established, a suggestion which is less likely to give offence as 
to each completed positing there belongs a plurality of potential 

The difference between positionality and neutrality expresses, 
as has been already shown, no property peculiar to belief-positings 
only, no mere kind of belief-modification such as presuming, 
questioning, and the like, or, in other directions, assuming, 
denying, affirming, thus not the intentional variations of a primary 
modus of belief in the pregnant sense of the term. It is in fact, 
as we had stated in advance, a distinction in the nature of con- 
sciousness of a universal kindy but one which in the course of our 
analysis appears, and on good grounds, to be connected with the 
distinction already specially indicated in the narrow sphere of 
the doxic cogito between positional (i.e., actual, real) belief and 
its neutral counterpart (the mere “supposaF’). Indeed, there has 
been revealed highly remarkable and deep-lying interconnexions 
of an essential nature between the act-characters of belief and all 
other kinds of act-characters, and therefore all types of con- 
sciousness generally. 

§ 115. Applications. The Extended Concept of Act. 

Act-Fulfilments and Impulses to Act 

It is important to take into account again some observations 
already made.^ The cogito in general is explicit intentionality. The 
concept of intentional experience generally already presupposes 
the opposition between potentiality and actuality, and that in its 
quite general meaning, in so far as it is only in the transition 
to the explicit cogito and in reflexion on experience that has not 
been made explicit and on its noetic-noematic constituents, that 
we are able to know that it conceals within itself intentionalities, 
or noemata which are peculiar to it. Consider, for instance, the 
^ Cf. suprat § 84, pp. S42 ff. 


consciousness of the unobserved but subsequently observable 
background in perception, memory, and so forth. The explicit 
intentional experience is a ‘‘completed’* ‘T think”. But the same 
‘T think” can also pass over into an “unfulfilled” condition 
through changes in the process of attention. The experience of 
a fulfilled perception, a fulfilled judgment, feeling or volition, 
does not disappear when the attention turns “exclusively” to 
something new, and the Ego consequently “lives” exclusively 
in a new cogito. The earlier cogito “rings off”, sinks into 
“obscurity”, but it still continues to experience a modified form 
of Being. Similarly cogitationes in the background of experience 
press their way up, sometimes following the path of recollection 
or neutrally modified, sometimes unmodified. For instance, a 
belief, a real belief, “stirs” within us; we already believe “before 
we know it”. Under certain conditions likewise movements of 
pleasure or displeasure, desires, even resolves, are already lively 
before we “live” “in” them, before we carry out the cogito proper, 
before the Ego “gets busy” judging, pleasing, desiring, willing. 

Thus the cogito indicates in fact (and from the start it is as 
such that we have introduced the concept) the act proper of 
perceiving, judging, pleasing, and so forth. But on the other hand 
the whole structure of experience in the cases described, with 
all its theses and noematic characters, remains the same, though 
it lacks this developed actuality. Let us then separate more 
clearly fulfilled acts from acts that are not fulfilled \ the latter are 
either acts “that have missed fulfilment” or impulses to act 
{Aktregungen), We could also quite well use the last word quite 
generally for acts that are not fulfilled. Such impulsive stirrings 
are lived with all their intentionalities, but the Ego does not live 
in them as “a fulfilling subjecf\ Thereby the concept of Act is 
extended in a definite and wholly indispensable sense. The ful- 
filled acts, or, as in a certain respect it is better to call them (in 
respect of the fact, namely, that we are here dealing with pro- 
cesses), the acts in process of fulfilment^ compose what in the 
broadest sense we term attitudes^^ {Stellungnahmeri)^ whilst the 
reference to attitudes in the pregnant sense of the term points 
back to consolidated (fundierte) acts in ways to be discussed more 



fully at a later stage: for instance, to attitudes of hate, or of the 
hater to the hatred, which, on its side, has already been con- 
stituted for consciousness within noeses of a lower level as a 
person or thing which is out there; attitude, affirmative or 
negative, to the claim to have Being, and the like, would likewise 
belong here. 

It is now clear that acts in the broader sense, just as in the 
case of the specific cogitationes, carry with them the differences 
between neutrality and positionality, which already prior to the 
transformation into cogitaiiones are noematically and thetically 
effective, only that we first perceive these effects through acts 
in the narrower sense, through cogitationes , The positings, which 
may be positings in the modus of the “as if*\ are already really 
present in them together with the noeses as a whole to which 
these positings belong: the ideal condition being presupposed 
that they do not, sympathetically with the transformation, enrich 
their intention and otherwise get altered. In any case we can 
exclude these changes (and also especially the intentional enrich- 
ments and reshapings which pass into the flow of experience 
after the transformation). 

Throughout our whole series of discussions under the title 
“Neutrality” the doxic positings had a privileged place. Neutrality 
was indicated under the rubric potentiality. Everything rested 
on this, that every thetic act~charactet‘ generally (every act-“ inten- 
tion”, e.g., the intention in pleasure-giving valuation and will, 
the specific character of the positing act in pleasing and in willing) 
conceals in its essential being a character of the genus ^ doxic thesis^ 
which coincides witV^ it in certain ways. According as the act- 
intention concerned is not neutralized or is neutralized, so is it 
with the doxic thesis included in it, here thought of as primary 
\pr proto-^thesis. 

This preference given to the doxic primary thesis will be less 
marked in the analyses that follow. It will be clear that the 
conformity to law in the realm of essences which we have brought 
out in our inquiries demands closer determination so far as firstly 
and in general the doxic modalities (in the specific sense which 
also includes assumptions) must replace or represent the doxic 


primary theses as the **doxic theses’’ included in all theses. 
But within this general preference for doxic modalities the doxic 
primary thesis, the certainty that marks belief, has the quite 
special advantage that these modalities themselves must be trans- 
formed into theses of belief, so that once again all neutrality 
has its indicator in the doxic potentiality, and in the quite special 
meaning which it bears in relation to the primary thesis. The 
manner in which the doxic in general “covers” all the varieties 
of the thetic will in this connexion receive its closer deter- 

Now the propositions which have been set down provisionally 
in their widest generality (lacking though they may be in certain 
respects), and made really clear only in special act-spheres, need 
for their foundation a broader basis. So far we have not dis- 
cussed at all deeply the parallelism of noesis and noema in all 
the intentional domains. This main theme of the present section 
of the book brings its own motive to bear in urging the extension 
of the analysis. In carrying out this extension what we have set 
out in general concerning the neutrality-modification will at the 
same time be confirmed and completed. 

§116. Transition to New Analyses. The Secondary Noeses 
AND Their Noematic Correlates 

So far we have been studying a series of general features in 
the structure of noeses and noemata within a large and yet 
very limited framework. Our studies, to be sure, have been on 
a very modest scale, and have not gone farther than was required 
for bringing these features into relief, and for realizing our 
leading aim, that, namely, of providing a general yet significant 
idea of the groups of problems which the universal twin-theme 
Noesis and Noema brings with it. Our studies, despite the 
manifold complications they draw into their analyses, were 
concerned only with a mere underflow of the stream of experi- 
ence, to which belong those intentionalities which are still of a 
relatively simple structure. If we except the anticipatory reflexions 
* Cf. further below, pp. 331 ff. 


in which we last indulged, we selected by preference sensory 
intuitions, in particular those of appearing realities, as also the 
sensory presentations which are derived from these intuitions 
through dimming their brightness, yet are of course united with 
them through community of kind. The common genus is indicated 
by the term “presentation’’, though we also considered all the 
phenomena which essentially belonged to these presentations, 
such as the reflective intuitions and presentations generally of 
which the objects are no longer sensory things.^ The universal 
range within which our results are valid — suggested indeed by 
the very way in which we have ordered the inquiry, leaving the 
feeling that whatever might bind us to the lower domain had 
subsidiary significance — thrusts itself upon us as soon as we 
extend the limits of our research. We then see that all the 
differences between a central core of meaning (a notion which 
certainly requires further analysis) and the thetic characters 
which group themselves about it recur, and so likewise do all 
modifications which — like those of representation, attention, 
neutralization — ^invade the central meaning along their own lines, 
whilst leaving it none the less its “identical” character. 

We can now proceed along two different directions, leading 
on both sides to intentionalities which are grounded in presen- 
tations: either in the direction of the noetic syntheses^ or in that 
which leads us up to novel though secondary types of ''positings'\ 

If we follow this latter direction, we come across (as the first 
and simplest possible, free, that is, from syntheses either at the 
lower or higher levels) the affective^ appetitive, volitional noeses 
which are based on “presentations”, perceptions, memories, 
symbols, and so forth, and clearly display in their structure the 
evidences of a stratified formation. In dealing with acts in their 
entirety, we now give priority ever5rwhere to the positional forms 
(not thereby excluding the neutral substrata), since what is to 

* The firm delimitation on essential lines of the most general concept of 
presentation^ taking as a starting-point the spheres already indicated, is 
naturally an important problem for systematic phenomenological research. 
In regard to ail such questions I would refer to the prospective publications 
from whose store of theoretical material the positions so briefly indicated in 
the present Studies have been drawn. 


be said of them also holds good in a sufficiently modified form 
of the corresponding neutralizations. For example, an gesthetic 
pleasure is grounded in a neutrality-consciousness of perceptive 
or reproductive content {Gehalt), a joy or sorrow in a (non- 
neutralized) belief or a modality of belief, a voluntary desire or 
aversion likewise, but related to something valued as pleasant, 
beautiful and the like — and so forth. 

What interests us here, before we enter at all into the divisions 
of this structure, is that with the new noetic phases new noematic 
phases y on the correlative side, also appear. On the one side appear • 
new characters, analogous to the modes of belief, but themselves 
possessing at the same time, in their new content, the capacity 
for being doxologically posited; on the other side new varieties 
of ^formative synthesis^^ unite with the correspondingly new 
varieties of phase; there is constituted a new meaning which is 
based upon that of the underlying noesis, and at the same time 
envelops it. The new meaning introduces a totally new dimension 
of meaning : with it there is constituted no new determining marks 
of the mere ^^materiaV^ {Sachen), but values of the materials — 
qualities of value, or concrete objectified values: beauty and ^ 
ugliness, goodness and badness ; or the object for use, the work 
of art, the machine, the book, the action, the deed, and so 

Moreover, every full experience of the higher level also shows 
in its full correlate a structure similar to that which we perceived 
{erschaut) at the lowest level of noeses. In the noema of the higher 
level the valued as such is as it were a meaning-nucleus girt about ~ 
with new thetic characters. The “valuable”, the “pleasing”, 
“joyous”, etc., are similar in function to the “possible”, “prob- 
able”; or again, as the case may be, to the “not at all”, or 
the “yes indeed”, although it would be perverse to give it a place 
in this series. 

Further, the consciousness in respect of this new character is 
once again a positional consciousness: the “valuable” can be 
doxically posited as being valuable. The “state of being” (seiend) 
which belongs to the “valuable” as its characterization can be 
thought of also as modalized, as can every “state of being” or 


‘^certainty^’; the consciousness is then a consciousness oi possible 
mine; the “matter’’ {Sache) only suggests itself as valuable; or 
again, we are aware of it as probably valuable^ or as not-valuable 
(here the meaning does not go so far as “valueless”, as bad, 
ugly, and the like; what is expressed in the not- valuable is 
simply the cancelling of the “valuable”). All such modifications 
affect the consciousness of value, the valuing noeses, not in a 
mere external way, but inwardly, and the same remark applies to 
the noemata also (cf. below, p. 331). 

We find again a variety of deep-reaching changes in the form 
of the modifications of attention, according as, in keeping with 
the multiplicity of essential possibilities, the attentive glance 
traverses the different intentional strata to the “matter” alluded 
to and its phases beyond — a coherent system of modifications 
with which we are already acquainted as the lower level — but 
then also on to the values, the established distinctions of the 
higher level through the apprehensions which constitute them; 
and again to the noemata as such, to their characters, or, in the 
other act of reflexion, to the noeses — and all this in the different 
specific modes of attention, marginal observation, non-observation, 
and the like. 

The attempt to unravel these complicated structures sharply 
and clearly, and to clarify them adequately, necessitates exceed- 
ingly difficult inquiries. We must ask, for instance, how “formative 
’syntheses of value” are related to those of fact, how the new 
noematic characterizations (good, beautiful, and so forth) stand 
to the modalities of belief, how they group themselves systemati- 
cally in series and divisions, and many similar questions. 

§117. The Secondary Theses and Conclusion of the 
Doctrine of the Modifications of the Neutral- 
izing Process. The General Concept of “Theses” 

We have still to consider the relation of the new noetic and 
noematic strata of consciousness to the neutralizing process. We 
connected this modification with doxic positionality. This, as 
we can easily convince ourselves, plays, in point of fact, that part 


in the strata now specially before us which we ascribed to it 
in advance in the most extended act-sphere, and have specially 
discussed in that of the modalities of judgment. In the conscious- 
ness of presumption, the ‘‘presumable”, the “probable” lies 
included positionally; and so also the “pleasant” in the con- 
sciousness of pleasure, the “joyous” in the consciousness of joy, 
and so forth. It lies therein, i.e., it is available for doxic positing, 
and therefore it is predicable. Accordingly every feeling-con- 
sciousness {Gerniitsbewusstsein) with its new kind of secondary 
feeling-noeses comes under the concept of positional conscious- 
ness, as we had recast this concept, in relation to doxic position- 
alities, and lastly to positional certainties. 

But on closer view we shall have to say that in relating the 
neutrality-modification to the doxic positionality, important as 
are the insights upon which the relating rests, we have in a certain 
sense taken a roundabout way. 

Let us first be clear on this point, that acts of pleasure (whether 
“performed” or not), likewise acts of feeling {Gemut)^ and will 
of every kind, are “acts”, “intentional experiences”, and that 
thereto belongs in its place {jeweils) the “intentio”, the “attitude”. 
Otherwise expressed, they are in a very wide but essentially 
unitary sense ^'positings^\ only not of the doxic kind. We casually 
remarked above, and quite correctly, that act-characters generally 
are ''Theses ^^ — theses in an extended sense of the term, and only 
in a special sense belief-theses or modalities of the same. The 
essential analogy of the specific pleasure-noeses with the belief- 
positings is manifest, likewise that of the wish and will noeses, 
and so forth. In valuing also, in wishing and in willing, something 
is “posited”, quite apart from the doxic positionality which “lies” 
in them. That indeed is the source also of all the parallel 
relatings of the different types of consciousness and of all classi- 
fications of the same; strictly, the modes of positing{Setmngsart€n) 
were the things classified. 

It belongs to the essence of every intentional experience, 
whatever else may be found in its concrete make-up, to possess 
at least one “positing characteristic”, one “thesis”, as a rule 
several bound together in a dependency-scheme ; in this plurality 



one is then necessarily the archon^ so to speak, uniting all others 
in itself and dominating them throughout. 

The highest generic unity which unites all these specific ^‘act- 
characters’^ these “positing’’ characters, does not exclude essential 
and generic differences. Thus the ajffective positings are related 
to the doxic as positings, but do not by any means belong so 
intimately together as do all the modalities of belief. 

With the generic community, in essence, of all positional 
characters, that of its noematic positional correlates (of the 
“thetic characters in the noematic sense”), and if we take the 
latter with its broader noematic foundations, the essential com- 
munity of all “positions” {SdUe) is eo ipso given. But therein 
in the last resort are grounded those analogies which have at all 
times been felt to hold between general logic, general theory of 
value, and ethics, which, when pursued into their farthest depths, 
lead to the constituting of general formal disciplines on lines 
parallel to the above, formal logic, formal axiology, and the formal 
theory of practice 

Thus we are led back to the generalized heading, Thesis^ \ to 
which we now refer the following proposition : — 

Every consciousness is either actually or potentially ^Hhetic^\ 
The earlier adopted concept, that of actual positing^\ and with 
it that of positionality, undergoes thereby a corresponding exten- 
sion. As a consequence, our doctrine concerning the neutralizing 
process and its relation to positionality is transferred to the 
concept of the “thesis” in its extended form. Thus the general 
modification which we call the neutralizing belongs to the thetic 
consciousness generally, whether it be fully carried out or not, 
and indeed directly in the following way : On the one hand we 
have characterized the positional theses by this feature, that they 
are either actual theses or may be translated into such ; that they 
accordingly have noemata that can be posited as “real”, can be 
actually posited in the extended sense. In opposition to these 
we have the “as if” theses, the theses improperly so-called, the 
ineffectual mirrorings, incapable of carrying on any actual thetic 
functions in respect of their noemata even when neutralized. The 
* For further consideration of this point, cf. infra ^ Section IV, Ch. 3. 


difference between neutrality and positionality runs parallel to 
that between noetic and noematic; and in the form in which it 
is here understood it concerns all sorts of thetic characters 
directly, without taking the way round through the “positions”, 
in the narrow and alone current meaning of the word “primary 
doxic positings”, yet through which alone it can authenticate itself. 

But this means that the priority assigned to these special doxic 
positings has its deep positive basis. In the light of our analyses 
it is precisely the doxic modalities, and in particular the primary 
doxic thesis, that of the certainty of belief, which have the unique 
advantage of covering through their positional potentiality the 
whole sphere of consciousness. Every thesis of whatever genus 
can, in conformity with essential laws, and through the doxic 
characterizations which belong inalienably to its essential nature, 
be transformed into an actual doxic positing. A positional act 
posits, but whatever be the “quality” of its positing it posits 
doxically; whatever is posited through it in other modes is posited 
also as being, only not as actually being. And yet actuality can, 
in essence, be produced by way of an “operation” that remains 
possible in principle. Every “statement” (Satz), every statement 
of a wish, for instance, can therefore be transformed into a doxic 
statement, and it is then in a certain way both in one : at once 
a doxic statement and the statement of a wish. 

In this connexion the scheme of essential order, as we have 
already pointed out, is at first this, that tht prerogative of the doxic 
pertains properly and in its universal bearing to doxic modalities 
also. For every affective experience, every valuation, wish, and 
will is characterized in itself either as being certain or as being 
suggested, or as a presumptive or doubtful valuing, wishing or 
willing.^ Value, for instance, when our standpoint is not that of 
the doxic modalities of position, is precisely not actually posited 
in its doxic character. We become aware of value in valuing, of 
the pleasant in pleasure, of the joyous in rejoicing, but some- 
times so that in valuing we are not quite “sure”, or that the 
matter only suggests itself as valuable, as perhaps valuable, whilst 
we still refrain from taking sides in the valuations we pass upon 
* Cf, suprat pp. 327-8. 


it. When we live ourselves into such modifications of the valuing 
consciousness, we do not need to take the doxic point of view. 
But we can do so if we become absorbed in the suggestion thesis, 
and then pass over into the corresponding thesis of belief, which, 
taken predicatively, assumes the form: “the matter should be 
worth while”; or, if we turn to the noetic side and to the valuing 
Ego, “it suggests itself to me as valuable (perhaps valuable)”. 
Similarly for other modalities. 

All thetic characters harbour doxic modalities of this kind, and 
when the modus is that of certainty, doxic primary theses which, 
on lines of noenaatic meaning, coincide with the thetic characters. 
But since this also holds for the doxic variations, doxic primary 
theses are also present in every act (but no longer, as before, 
noematically coincident). 

We can therefore also say: Every act, as also every act-correlate, 
harbours explicitly or implicitly a ''logical” factor. It can always 
be made logically explicit, by means, namely, of the essential 
generality of the action whereby the noetic stratum of the “act 
of expression” attaches itself to all that is noetic (or that of 
the expression itself to all that is noematic). Whereby it is 
evident that with the transition to the neutrality-modification 
the expressing act itself and what it expresses are as such 

It results from all this that all acts generally — even the acts of 
feeling and will — are" objectifying” acts, original factors in the" con- 
stituting” of objects, the necessary sources of different re^ons of 
being and of the ontologies that belong therewith. For example : 
the valuing consciousness constitutes over against the mere world 
of positivity the typically new “axiological” objectivity, a “being” 
of a new region, so far at any rate as actual doxic theses in virtue 
of the intrinsic nature of the valuing consciousness generally are 
indicated in advance as ideal possibilities which give prominence to 
objectivities with a new type of content — values — as “intended” 
in the valuing consciousness. In acts of feeling they are affectively, 
intended ; they come,through actualizing the doxic coTAe,TA{Gehalt) 
of these acts, to forms of being meant that are first doxic and 
then expressly logical. 


Every act-consciousness which is not doxically carried out is, 
as non-doxic, a potentially objectifying function; only the doxic 
cogito actually exercises an objectifying function. 

Here lies the deepest of the sources for shedding light on the 
universality of the logical^ in the last resort that of the predicative 
judgment (to which we must add the stratum of meaningful 
expression which we have not yet subjected to closer study), and 
from that standpoint we can also understand the ultimate ground 
for the universality of the supremacy of logic itself. Proceeding 
further, we grasp the possibility, Indeed the necessity, of formal 
and material noetic disciplines, or, alternatively, of noematicand 
ontological disciplines essentially related to the intentionality of 
feeling and will. We shall take up this theme later, as we must 
first fill up certain gaps in our inquiry 

§118. Syntheses of Consciousness. Syntactic Forms 

If we now look along the second of the two directions indicated 
above,* on the forms of synthetic consciousness, there appear 
within our horizon various ways of constructing experiences 
through an intentional connexion, which, as essential possibilities, 
belong partly to all intentional experiences generally, partly to 
the peculiar features of special types of these experiences. One 
consciousness is bound up with another, not only in a merely 
general way, but so as to constitute one consciousness, of which 
the correlate is one noema, and this on its own side is grounded 
in the noemata of the noeses that are linked together. 

We have not had in view here the unity of the immanent thne- 
consciousness y although we must not forget it, seeing that it is the 
all-enveloping unity of all the experiences of a stream of experi- 
ence, and indeed a unity of consciousness that binds consciousness 
with consciousness. Any single experience we may select shapes 
itself within a continuous “orlginaP’ time-consciousness as a 
unity stretched out in phenomenological time. Adopting a suit- 
able reflective standpoint, we are able to note the mode of con- 

* For further consideration of this point, cf. infra, the concluding chapter of 
the Fourth Section, pp. 404 ff. * Cf . p. 326 . 



scious presentation of the stretches of experience which belong 
to the different sections of experienced duration, and subsequently 
to state that the whole consciousness which constitutes this unity 
of duration is continuously compounded out of sections in which 
the sections of the duration as we experience them are con- 
stituted ; and that the noeses, therefore, do not only unite together, 
but constitute one noesis with one noema (that of the filled 
duration of experience), which is grounded in the noemata of the 
united noeses. And what holds good for a single experience, holds 
good also for the whole stream of experience. Foreign to each 
other as experiences may essentially be, they constitute themselves 
collectively into one time-stream, as members of the one pheno- 
menological time. 

Meanwhile we have expressly excluded this primary synthesis 
of the original time-consciousness (which is not to be conceived 
as an active and discrete synthesis) with the forms of inquiry 
which belong to it. The syntheses we wish now to speak of are 
not those to be found within this timt-consciotisnessy but within 
the limits of time itself y of concretely filled phenomenological 
time; or, what comes to the same thing, the syntheses of the 
experiences plain and simple, taken as we have so far always 
taken them as unities having duration, as perishing processes in 
the stream of experience, which is itself no other than the filled 
phenomenological time. On the other hand, we are not proposing 
to discuss — ^most important though they certainly are — ^the con- 
tinuous syntheses, such, for instance, as essentially belong to every 
consciousness that constitutes the thinghood of things in space. 
We shall have ample opportunity later of getting to know these 
syntheses more closely. We turn our interest rather to the 
articulated syntheses, to the distinctive ways in which discrete, 
discontinuous acts are bound together in an articulated unity, 
in the unity of a synthetic act of a higher order. We do not refer 
to a continuous synthesis as an “act of higher order” the unity 
(noetic, as also noematic and objective) belongs rather to the same 
grade as that which is unified. It is, moreover, easy to see that 
much matter of a general bearing to be developed in the following 
* Cf . the PhilosopMe d, Arithmetik, p. So et passim. 


pages applies to continuous syntheses in the same way as it does 
to articulated, ox poly theticy syntheses. 

As examples of synthetic acts of a higher grade, we may cite 
in the sphere of the will the will that refers beyond “for the sake 
of another’’; and likewise in that of acts of feelings tht pleasure 
that refers beyond^ the rejoicing ^^with regard to^\ or, as we can 
likewise say, “for another’s sake”. And so with all similar act- 
events in connexion with the different types of act. Manifestly 
all acts that indicate a preference also belong here. 

We propose to subject to closer consideration another and in 
a certain sense universal group of syntheses. It includes collective 
(taking together), disjunctive (concerning the “this or that”), 
explicativey relating syntheses, and generally the whole series of 
syntheses which determine the formal ontological forms in con- 
formity with the pure forms of the synthetic objectivities con- 
stituted within them, and on the other hand, with respect to the 
structure of the noematic creations, are reflected back in the 
apophantic meaning-form of formal logic (the logic of propositions 
noematically oriented throughout). 

The relation to formal ontology and logic already indicates that 
we are there concerned with an essentially closed group of syn- 
theses, possessing in respect of the kinds of experience to be 
united, which on their side also should be noetic unities of any 
degree of complexity, a range of possible application that is 
inimitably universal. 

§119. Transformation of Polythetic into MonotheticActs 

With regard to all kinds of articulated syntheses of polythetic 
acts, we must first observe the following: — 

Every synthetically unitary consciousness, however many special 
theses and syntheses it may involve, possesses the total object 
which belongs to it as a synthetically unitary consciousness. We 
call it a total object in contrast with the objects which belong 
intentionally to the lower or higher grade members of the syn- 
thesis, so far as they all contribute to it on the principle of con- 
solidated grounding {Fundierung)^ and find their place within it. 



Every noesis, with its own distinctive form of self-limitation, 
though it be a dependent stratum, contributes its quota to the 
constitution of the total object; just as, for instance, the valuing 
phase, which is dependent, as it is necessarily grounded in a 
consciousness of the positive material concerned, constitutes the 
objective value-stratum, ^ that of the ‘‘quality of value'\ 

Among new strata such as the above must also be reckoned 
the specifically synthetic strata among the syntheses of con- 
sciousness previously indicated as the most universal, i.e,, all the 
forms which specifically spring from the synthetic consciousness 
as such, the forms of union, and the synthetic forms which attach 
to the component members themselves (in so far as they are 
included in the synthesis). 

Within the synthetic consciousness, we said, there is constituted 
a synthetic total object. But it is “objective’’ in a quite different 
sense from that in which the constituted object of a plain thesis 
is so. The synthetic consciousness or the pure Ego “within” it 
has many rays turned upon its object ; the plain thetic conscious- 
ness has only one such ray. Synthetic collecting is a “plural” 
consciousness; it is just one and one and one taken together. 
Likewise within a primitive relating consciousness the relation 
is constituted as a twofold positing. And similarly everywhere. 

Every such many-rayed (polythetic) constitution of synthetic 
objectivities — which are essentially such that originally'^ we can 
be aware of them only synthetically — possesses the essential law- 
conforming possibility of transforming the many-rayed object of 
awareness into one that is simply one-rayed^ of ^'rendering objective" 
in the specific sense and in a monothetic act what is synthetically 
constituted in the many-rayed object. 

Thus the synthetically constituted collection is objective in 
a special sense; it becomes the object of a plain doxic thesis 
through the back reference of a plain thesis to the primitively 
constituted collection referred to above, through a peculiar noetic 
attachment of a thesis to the synthesis. In other words, the plural 
consciousness can be essentially translated into a singular conscious- 
ness, which withdraws the plurality from it as one object, a some- 
thing single; the plurality on its side can now be united with 


other pluralities and previous objects placed in relation to them, 
and so forth. 

The situation is clearly the same for the disjunctive conscious- 
ness, built up as it is on a pattern wholly analogous to that of 
the collective consciousness, and for its ontic or noematic cor- 
relates as the case may be. Likewise out of the relating conscious- 
ness the originally and synthetically constituted relation can be 
taken in the form of a plain thesis attached thereto and made 
into an object in the special sense, and as such compared 
with other relations, and generally employed as a subject of 

But we must further make it completely self-evident that the 
simply objectified and the synthetically unitary are really the 
same, and that the thesis or extracted relation which comes after 
does not add an)^hing of its own to the synthetic consciousness, 
but just takes what the latter gives. What is manifestly also 
self-evident is the essentially different mode of presentation. 

In Logic this conformity with law proclaims itself through the 
Law of “Denominative equivalence”, according to which there 
corresponds to every proposition and to every distinguishable 
formal part of it a denominative expression: to the statement 
itself, let us say “S is P”, corresponds the denominatvoe that- 
clause; for instance, in the subject-place of new propositions we 
have “being P” corresponding to the “is P”; similarity corre- 
sponding to the relational form “similar”, plurality to the plural 
form, and so forth.^ 

The concepts which have sprung out of the “denominative 
reductions”, conceived as exclusively determined through the 
pure forms, make up formal-categorical modifications of the idea 
of objectivity generally, and supply the fimdamental conceptual 
material of formal ontology, and included therein all formal 
mathematical disciplines. This statement is of crucial importance 
for understanding the relation of formal logic as apophantic logic 
to formal ontology in its universal form. 

• Cf. the first attempts in this direction in the Logical Studies, Vol. II, Fifth 
Study, § 34 to § 36 ; further, Vol. Ill, § 49 of the Sixth Study ; and generally for 
the doctrine of synthesis consult the Second Section of this Study. 



§ 1 20. Positionality and Neutrality in the Sphere of the 


All strict syntheses, and we had such continually before us, 
are built up on simple theses, the word being understood in that 
general sense which we have fixed above as embracing all “inten- 
tions”, all “act-characters”; and they themselves are theses, theses 
of a higher level.* All our conclusions concerning actuality, focal 
and marginal, concerning neutrality and positionality can be 
transferred accordingly — and no long words are needed to show 
this — ^to the syntheses. 

On the other hand a closer inquiry would here be needed to 
determine the various relations in which the positionality and 
neutrality of the basic theses stand to that of the theses grounded 
upon them. 

It is clear generally, and not only for the specially grounded 
acts we call Sjnatheses, that one cannot say off-hand that a 
positional thesis of a higher grade presupposes only positional 
theses at the lower grades. So too an actual essential insight 
is a positional and not a neutralized act, grounded in some 
illustrative intuiting consciousness which on its side can very 
well be a neutral, a fancy consciousness. The conditions are 
similar for an aesthetic pleasure in respect of the object of 
pleasure being manifested, and for a positional representative 
consciousness in respect of the representing “image”. 

If we turn now to consider the group of syntheses that interests 
us, we recognize at once that in it every synthesis is dependent, 
so far as its positional character is concerned, on that of the grounding 
noeses; more exactly, that it is positional (and can be so only) 
when all the sub-theses are positional, and neutral when they 
are not this. . 

The collective function, for instance, is either really collective 
or collective in the mode of the “as if”; it is really, or else in 
neutralized form, thetic. In the one case all the acts related to 

^ Moreover, the concept of synthesis has an ambiguity which is scarcely 
hurtful in ^at it sometirites designates the full synthetic phenomenon, and 
sometimes the mere synthetical “Act-character**, the most fundamental thesis 
of the phenomenon. 


the single members of the collection are real theses, and not so 
in the other case. Similar conditions obtain in regard to all the 
other syntheses of the class reflected in the logical syntactics. 
Pure neutrality can never function for positional theses; it must 
at least undergo the transformation into “suppositions’ ^ into 
hypothetical antecedent or consequent clauses, into hypotheti- 
cally supposited denominatives, as “the Pseudo-Dionysius”, for 
instance, and other similar expressions. 

§121. The Doxic Syntactics in the Spheres of Feeling 

AND Will 

If we now ask how the syntheses of this group find expression 
in the syntactic forms of stated meanings, which the logical 
theory of positional forms systematically develops, the reply is 
ready to hand. There are in fact, so the answer runs, doocic 
syntheses^ or, as we can also say, in recollection of the logico- 
grammatical syntactical forms which take their impress, doxic 
syntactics. As belonging to the specific essence of doxic acts, we 
may cite the syntactic “and” together with the plural forms, and 
the syntactic “or” and the positing, as a relating act, of a predi- 
cate on the basis of a subject-positing, and so forth. No one 
doubts that “belief” and “judgment” in the logical sense belong 
closely to each other (even if one does not propose to identify 
them), and that syntheses of belief {Glaubens-synthesen) find their 
“expression” in the forms of stated meaning. Correct as this is, 
one can clearly perceive that this way of putting it does not bring 
out the whole truth. These syntheses “and”, “or”, “if”, or 
“because”, and “thus”, in brief the syntheses which at first 
present themselves as doxic, are by no means merely doxic. 

It is a fundamental fact^ that such S3m.theses also belong to 
the strict essential nature of the non-doxic theses, and in the 
following sense : — 

There is undoubtedly such a thing as collective joy, collective 

* The author stumbled upon this thought (more than ten years back) during 
the attempt to realize the idea of a formal axiology and formal theory of 
practice as an analogue to formal logic. 



pleasure, collective will, and so forth. Or, as I am accustomed 
to express it, there is besides the doxic “and’’ (the logical), also 
an axiological and practical “and”. The same is true of the word 
“or”, and all the syntheses therewith connected. For example: 
the mother who glances lovingly at her little flock embraces each 
child singly and all together in 07 ie act of love. The unity of 
a collective act of love is not a love and a collective presentation 
to that end, though the latter may be attached to love as its 
necessary foundation. Loving is itself collective; it is as many- 
rayed as the presentation, and perhaps the plural judging which 
“underlies” it. We should speak in precisely the same direct way 
of a plural loving as of a plural presenting or judging. The 
syntactical forms enter into the essential being of acts of feeling, 
namely, into the thetic layer specifically peculiar to them. This 
cannot here be developed for all syntheses ; we must be content 
with the indication offered by the example just given. 

But let us recall the essential and intimate affinity between 
doxic theses and theses generally, which we inquired into above. 
In every thesis generally, in accord with that which when func- 
tioning as a love-intention, for instance, it noematically effects, 
there lies concealed a doxic thesis running parallel to it. Mani- 
festly the parallelism between the syntactical forms which belong 
to the sphere of the doxic thesis and those that belong to all 
Other theses (the parallelism between the doxic “and”, “or”, and 
so forth, and the value-possessing and purposive) is a special 
case of the same essential and intimate affinity. For the synthetic 
acts of feeling — ^synthetic, namely, in respect of the syntactical 
forms here discussed — constitute synthetic objectivities of feelings 
which come through corresponding acts to explicit objectification. 
The beloved group of children as object of affection is a collective 
object, which means, applying what we have considered above 
to the matter of the correlative, not only a positive collective 
object and a love directed to it^ but a collective object of love. Just 
as noetically a ray of love proceeding from the Ego splits up 
into a bundle of rays, each of which is directed towards a single 
object, so too there are distributed over the collective object of 
affection as such as many noematic characters of love as there 


are objects collected at the time, and there are as many positional 
characters which combine synthetically into the noematic unity 
of a positional character. 

We see that all these syntactical forms are parallel forms, 
i.e., that they belong as much to the acts of feeling (Gemiit) 
themselves, with their specific components of feeling and syn- 
theses of feeling, as to the doxic positionalities which run parallel 
to them and share the same essential nature, and may be extracted 
from them through suitable glancings towards the upper and 
lower levels at the moment. Naturally this can be transferred, 
mutatis mutandis, from the noetical to the noematical sphere. The 
axiological “and” essentially conceals in itself a doxic, and every 
axiological syntactical form of the group here considered a logical 
factor ; just as every plain noematic correlate contains within itself 
a “that which is”, or some other modality of Being, and as its 
substratum the form of “something” and the forms which other- 
wise belong to it. And at all times it is a matter of essentially 
possible special directings of the mental glance and of thetic or 
synthetic-doxic modes of procedure included herewith to shape 
out of an act of feeling in which we live, so to speak, wrapped in 
the feeling, and thus without actualizing the doxic potentialities, 
a new act in which what was at first only a potential objectivity 
of feeling is transformed into one that is actual, doxic, and, it 
may be, expressly explicit. Moreover, it is possible, and in every- 
day life very usual, to look, for instance, towards several intuitional 
objects, positing them doxically, and to fulfil at the same time 
a synthetic act of feeling, a unitary act of collective pleasure, 
perhaps, or a unifying selective act of feeling, of a pleasure that 
favours or a displeasure that rejects; whilst we do not go so 
far as to give a doxic turn to the whole phenomenon. We do 
so, however, when we make a statement, for instance, concerning 
our pleasure in the many, or in one out of the many ; concern- 
ing the preferability of the one as compared with the other, and 
the like. 

There is no need to insist on the importance of carefully 
carrying out analyses such as the above for increasing our know- 
ledge of the essential nature of axiological and practical objec- 



tivities, meanings and modes of consciousness, and therefore also 
of the problems of the ‘‘origin’’ of the ethical, aesthetical, and 
essentially allied concepts and judgments {Erkenntnisse). 

Since it is not our proper task here to solve phenomenological 
problems, but to set in scientific relief the main problems of 
phenomenology, and to indicate in advance the lines of study 
that bear on these problems, we must be content to have developed 
thus far the matters here treated. 

§ 122. Modes of Carrying Out Articulated Syntheses. 

The “Thema” 

To the realm of theses and syntheses there belongs an important 
group of general modifications, and the brief indications of its 
nature we propose to give can best be added at once and at this 
precise point. 

A synthesis can be carried out step by step; it becomes, it 
arises through original production. This primordiality of becoming 
in the stream of consciousness is a quite peculiar one. The thesis 
or synthesis becomes, in so far as the pure Ego actually advances 
step by step ; itself lives in the step and “steps on” with it. Its 
free spontaneity and activity consists in positing, positing on the 
strength of this or that, positing as an antecedent or a consequent, 
and so forth; it does not live within the theses as a passive 
indweller; the theses radiate from it as from a primary source 
of generation. Every thesis begins with a point of insertion^ with 
a point at which the positing has its origin^ so it is with the first 
thesis and with each further one in the synthetic nexus. This 
“inserting” even belongs to the thesis as such, as a remarkable 
modus of original actuality. It somewhat resembles the fiat^ the 
point of insertion of will and action. 

But we should not confuse the general and the particular. The 
spontaneous resolve, the purposive, accomplishing action is one 
act beside other acts ; its syntheses are special syntheses among 
others. But each act of whatever kind can start off in this spon- 
taneity modus of a so-to-speak creative beginnings in which the 
pure Ego steps on the scene as subject of the spontaneity. 


This mode of insertion passes over immediately and in accord- 
ance with an essential necessity into another mode. For instance, 
the apprehending and taking possession of involved in perceiving 
turns again and without a break into having in one^s grasps \ 

Still another new modal alteration supervenes when the thesis 
was a mere step towards a synthesis, when the pure Ego takes 
a new step, and now in the pervading unity of the synthetic 
consciousness still maintains^ ^ in its grasp what it had just 
grasped : apprehending the new thematic object, or rather appre- 
hending a new member of the total thema as the primary thema, 
but still keeping the member previously apprehended as belonging 
to the same total thema. For example, when collecting things 
together I do not allow the object just perceptively apprehended 
to slip away whilst I turn my apprehending glance to the new 
object. In the process of proving something, I go step by step 
over the thoughts that serve as premises ; a synthetic step once 
taken, I do not abandon it; I do not lose hold of what I have 
won, but the modus of actuality has been essentially altered 
through the effective introduction of the new thema of primary 

Moreover, we have also to deal, though in no stmt merely^ with 
obscurations. The differences which we have just sought to 
describe present rather, in contrast with the differences of clear- 
ness and obscurity, a completely new dimension, although the 
two kinds of difference interlace so closely. 

We further observe that these new differences, no less than 
the differences in clearness and all other intentional differences, 
come under the law of the correlation of noesis and noema. 
Thus once again there correspond to the noetic actuality- 
modifications of the kind here in question, the noematic. That 
is, the mode of presentation of the “intended (Vermeinten) as 
such’’ is altered in and through the shiftings of the thesis, or the 
steps of the synthesis, and these changes can be shown to affect 
the noematic content at the time being also, and can be brought 
into relief as one of its strata. 

If the actuality-modus (in noematic parlance the mode of 
presentation) — disregarding for a moment the changes that are 



continually in flux — is necessarily transformed and in accordance 
with certain discrete types y there persists none the less throughout 
the transformations an essential common element. Noematically 
something is preserved in the form of an identical meaning] on 
the noetic side the correlate of this meaning, and further the 
whole form of articulation according to theses and syntheses. 

But a new modification of the essence now takes place. The 
pure Ego can withdraw itself wholly from the theses ; it releases 
the thetic correlates /row its ^'hold'^] it 'Hums to another thema'\ 
What had just been its thema (theoretic, axiological, and so 
forth), with all its articulations more or less obscured, has not 
disappeared from consciousness; it is still consciously appre- 
hended, but no longer held in thematic grasp. 

This holds good for single theses as well, and also for the links 
in a synthesis. I am at present meditating; a whistle from the 
street distracts me momentarily from my thema (in this case a 
thought-thema). A moment in which I am turned towards the 
sound, but forthwith a return to the old thema! The apprehension 
of the sound is not blotted out, we are still conscious of the 
whistle in a modified way, but we no longer hold it in our mental 
grasp. It does not belong to the thema, not even to a parallel 
thema. We notice that this possibility of simultaneous themata 
and thematic syntheses which may cut across and "disturV^ each 
other points to still further possible modifications, and we note 
how the title-heading "Themd!\ related to all the basic types of 
acts and act-syntheses, is itself an important theme for pheno- 
menological analysis. 

§ 123. Vagueness and Distinctness as Modes in the 
Fulfilling of Synthetic Acts 

Let us now consider further modalities of the act of fulfilment 
which lie, so to speak, in the direction opposite to the favoured 
modus of actuality as it springs from its primary source. A thought, 
simple or decked out with various thetic characters, can emerge 
as a "mgue^^ thought. It then appears like a simple presentation 
without any articulation that is actual and thetic. Perhaps we 


recall a proof, a theory, a conversation — it “occurs to us’\ And 
yet at first we are not turned towards it; it emerges in the “back- 
ground”. Then a personal glance is turned single-ray- wise upon 
it, apprehending the relevant noematic objectivity in an inarticu- 
late grasp. A new process can now set in; the vague reminiscence 
passes into one that is distinct and clear; step by step we recall 
the course of the proof, we “re”-produce the theses of the proof 
and the syntheses, we “re”-capitulate the stages of yesterday’s 
conversation, and the like. Of course all such reproduction in the 
way of reminiscence, of reproducing “earlier” originary pro- 
ductions, is something non-essential. It may be that we have 
begun to unfold a . theoretical idea for carrying through a 
complicated theory, at first in a vague though unitary way, then 
in definite steps freely taken, and have transformed it into syn- 
thetic actualities. All that is here indicated can of course be applied 
in a similar way to all kinds of acts. 

This important difference between vagueness and distinctness 
plays an important part in the phenomenology of “expressions” 
still to be discussed, explicit presentations, judgments, acts of 
feeling, and so forth. We have only to think of the way in which 
we are accustomed to grasp the synthetic constructions, still 
very complex, which make up the “intellectual content” of our 
reading at any time, and consider what, in our understanding 
of the matter read, and in respect of this so-called intellectual 
foundation of the expressions, comes to really primordial 

§ 124. The Noetic-Noematic Stratum of the “Logos”. 
Meaning and Meaning Something 

Acts of expression, act-strata in the specific “logical” sense, are 
interwoven with all the acts hitherto considered, and in their 
case no less than in the others the parallelism of noesis and 
noema must be clearly brought out. The prevalent and unavoid- 
able ambiguity of our ways of speaking, which is caused by this 
parallelism and is everywhere operative where the concomitant 
circumstances are mentioned, operates also of course when we 


talk of expression and meaning. Ambiguity is dangerous only so 
long as it is not known to be such, or the parallel structures 
have not been kept apart. But if that has been done, we have 
only to be careful that we are quite certain on the occasion in 
question as to which of the structures our words must be 

Let us start from the familiar distinction between the sensory, 
the so to speak bodily aspect of expression, and its^non-sensory 
‘‘mentar’ aspect. There is no need for us to enter more closely 
into the discussion of the first aspect, nor upon the way of uniting 
the two aspects, though we clearly have title-headings here indi- 
cated for phenomenological problems that are not unimportant. 

We restrict our glance exclusively to “meaning’^ {Bedeutung)^ 
and ^‘meaning something’’ {Bedeuten). Originally these words 
relate only to the sphere of speech, that of ‘^expression”. But 
it is almost inevitable, and at the same time an important step 
for knowledge, to extend the meaning of these words, and to 
modify them suitably so that they may be applied in a certain 
way to the whole noetico-noematic sphere, to all acts, there- 
fore, whether these are interwoven with expressive acts or not.^ 
With this in view we ourselves, when referring to any intentional 
experiences, have spoken all along of “Sinn” (sense), a word 
which is generally used as an equivalent for “Bedeutung” (mean- 
ing). We propose in the interests of distinctness to favour the 
word Bedeutung (meaning at the conceptual level) when referring 
to the old concept, and more particularly in the complex speech- 
form ''logicaV^ or ^'expressing^^ meaning. We use the word Sinn 
(Sense or Meaning simpliciter) in future, as before, in its more 
embracing breadth of application. 

Let us suppose, to take an example, that there is a perceived 
object out there, an object with a definite meaning, and mono- 
thetically posited in determinate fullness. We discriminate, making 
the given meaning more explicit, and relate the discriminated 
parts or phases within a unity, following some such scheme as 

* Cf. in this connexion the Philosophie der Arithmetiki p. 28 f., where the 
distinction is already drawn between the ‘‘psychological description of a 
phenomenon” and the “statement of its meaning”, and mention is made of 
a “logical content” as opposed to the psychological. 


“This is white”. But our attitude here is the primitive one we 
are wont to take up as a rule and off-hand in a first plain per- 
ceptual grasp of a thing. The process makes no call whatsoever 
on “expression”, neither on expression in the sense of verbal 
sound nor on the like as verbal meaning, and here the latter 
can also be present independently of the verbal sound (as in the 
case when this sound is “forgotten”). But if we have “thought" 
or stated “This is white”, a new stratum is there with the rest, 
and unites with the “meant as such” in its pure perceptive form. 
On these lines everything remembered or fancied can, as such, 
have its meaning made more explicit and expressible. Whatever 
is “meant as such”, every meaning {Meimmg) in the noematic 
sense (and indeed as noematic nucleus) of any act whatsoever 
can be expressed conceptually {durch ‘Bedeutungen’). Thus we posit 
quite generally the following: — 

Logical meaning {Bedeututg) is an expression. 

The verbal sound can be referred to as expression only because 
the meaning which belongs to it expresses ; it is in it that the 
expressing originally lies. “Expression” is a remarkable form, 
which permits of being adapted to every “meaning” (to the 
noematic “nucleus”), and raises it to the realm of the “Logos”, 
of the conceptual, and therewith of the “general". 

Moreover, the terms just used are understood in a quite 
de fini te sense, which must not be confused with other meanings 
which the terms admit of. Speaking generally, the terms in 
question point to a large field of phenomenological analyses, 
which are fundamental for clarifying the essential nature of 
logical thinking and its correlates. From the noetic standpoint 
the rubric “expressing” should indicate a special act-stratum to 
which all other acts must adjust themselves in their own way, 
and with which they must blend remarkably in such wise that 
every noematic act-meaning, and consequently the relation to 
objectivity which lies in it, stamps itself “conceptually” in the 
noematic phase of the expressing. A peculiar intentional instru- 
ment lies before us which essentially possesses the outstanding 
characteristic of reflecting back as from a mirror every other 
intentionality according to its form and content, of copying it 



whilst colouring it in its own way, and thereby of working into 
it its own form of ‘‘conceptuality”. Yet these figures of speech 
which here thrust themselves upon us, those of mirroring and 
copying, must be adopted with caution, as the imaginative- 
ness which colours their application might easily lead one 

Problems of exceptional difficulty beset the phenomena which 
find their place under the headings ‘mean’ {Bedeiiten) and 
‘meaning’ (Bedeutung).^ Since every science, viewed from the 
side of its theoretical content, of all that constitutes its “doctrine” 
(theorem, proof, theory), is objectified in a specific “logical” 
medium, the medium of expression, it follows that for philo- 
sophers and psychologists who are guided by general logical 
interests the problems of expression and meaning lie nearest of 
all, and are also the first, generally speaking, which, so soon as 
one seeks seriously to reach their foundations, compel towards 
phenomenological inquiry into the essential nature of things.^ 
Thence one is led to the queries how to interpret the “expressing” 
of “what is expressed”, how expressed experiences stand in 
relation to those that are not expressed, and what changes the 
latter undergo when expression supervenes; one is then led to 
the question of their “intentionality”, of their “immanent 
meaning”, of their “content” and quality (i.e., the act-character 
of the thesis), of the distinction of this meaning and these phases 
of the essence which lie in the pre-expressive from the meaning 
of the expressing phenomenon itself and its own phases, and 
so forth. One gathers still in various ways from the writings of 
the day how little justice is apt to be done to the great problems 
here indicated in their full and deep-lying significance. 

The stratum of expression — ^and this constitutes its peculiarity — 
apart from the fact that it lends expression to all other inten- 

* As can be gathered from the second volume of the Logical Studies, in which 
they figure as a main theme. 

a In point of fact, this was the way along which the Logical Studies endeavoured 
to penetrate into Phenomenology. A second way, starting from the opposite 
side, from the side, namely, of experience and the data of sense which the 
author has also followed since the beginning of the ^nineties, did not find full 
expression in that work. 


tionalities, is not productive. Or if one prefers: its productivity^ 
its noematic service^ exhausts itself in expressingy and in the form 
of the conceptual which first comes with the expressing. 

Moreover, the expressing stratum, from the side of its thetic 
character, is completely one in essence with that which finds 
expression, and in the covering process absorbs its essence so 
completely that we call the expressive presenting just presenting; 
and expressive belief, presumption, doubt, in themselves and as 
a whole, belief, presumption, doubt; similarly we call expressive 
wish or will just wish or will. It is, moreover, an illuminating 
fact that the difference between positionality and neutrality is 
characteristic of the expressive also, and we have already con- 
sidered it above. The expressing stratum cannot have a thesis y 
positional or neutraly that is otherwise qualified than the stratum 
that suffers expressmiy and when the two cover each other we find 
not two theses to be kept separate, but one thesis only. 

The attempt to clarify here the relevant structures meets with 
considerable difficulties. Already the recognition that after ab- 
stracting from the stratum of sensory verbal sound, there lies 
before us in reality still another layer which we here presuppose, 
thus in every case — even in that of a thinking that is ever so 
vague, empty, and merely verbal — a stratum of meaning that 
expresses, and a substratum of expressed meaning — ^is not one that 
is easy to make, nor again is the understanding of the essential 
connexions of these stratifications easy. For we should not hold 
too hard by the metaphor of stratification; expression is not of 
the nature of an oveidaid varnish or covering garment; it is a 
mental {geistige) formation, which exercises new intentional 
influences (Funktionen) on the intentional substratum and 
experiences from the latter correlative intentional influences. 
What this new image in its turn amounts to must be studied 
in relation to the phenomena themselves and all their essential 
modifications. Of special importance is the understanding of the 
different kinds of ‘ ‘generality which there emerge; on the one 
hand, that which belongs to every expression and phase of 
expression, even to the dependent “is’’, “not”, “and”, “if”, and 
so forth; on the other hand, the generality of “general names” 



like “man” as contrasted with proper names like “Bruno”; or 
again, such as belong to an essence in itself syntactically formless 
as compared with the different generalities of meaning which 
have just been touched on. 

§125. The Completing Modalities in the Sphere of 

Logical Expression and the Method of Clarification 

In order to clear up the difficulties here indicated, special regard 
must be had to the differences of actuality-modus treated above, ^ 
to the modalities of the completing of the act which concern 
all theses and syntheses, including therefore the expressive. But 
this in a twofold way. On the one hand they concern the stratum 
of meaning, the specifically logical stratum itself, on the other 
hand the basic substrata. 

In the course of reading we can draw out every meaning fully 
and freely articulate it, and can connect meanings synthetically 
together in the way already indicated. Through this completim 
of the acts of meaning in the mode of self^production we win 
complete distinctness of ^HogicaV^ understanding. 

This distinctness can pass over into vagueness in all the modes 
above described ; the sentence just read sinks into obscurity, loses 
its living articulation, ceases to be our “thema”, “still within 
our grasp”. 

But we must separate such distinctness and vagueness from 
that which affects the expressed substrata. A distinct under- 
standing of word and sentence (or a distinct articulated fulfilling 
of the act of stating) is compatible with the vagueness of the 
foundations. This vagueness does not bespeak want of clearness 
merely, although it also does this. The substratum can be a 
confused unity (and mostly is this), a unity that does not carry 
its articulation actually in itself, but owes the same to its merely 
adjusting itself to the stratum of logical expression which is 
really articulate and carried out in primal actuality. 

This has a highly important methodological significance. We 
call attention to the point that our previous discussions concerning 

* Cf. supra, § 122, p. 343 f. 


the method of clarification^ with regard to the statement, which 
is the vital element of science, need supplementing in certain 
essential respects. What is needed in order to reach from vague 
thinking to strict, fully explicit knowledge, to the distinct and 
at the same time clear fulfilling of acts of thought, is now easily 
indicated. In the first place all “logical” acts (those of meaning 
something), so far as they were still in the modus ‘vagueness’, 
must be transferred to the mode of primordial spontaneous 
actuality; we have to set up a state of complete logical distinctness. 
But an analogous proceeding must be carried out in the basal 
substrattm", we must transform all that is lifeless into vitality, 
all vagueness into distinctness, all unintuitability also into 
intuitability. Only when we carry out this work in the sub- 
stratum — ^provided that in so doing incompatibilities do not 
emerge rendering all further work superfluous — does the method 
previously described come into action, whereby we have to 
take into account the fact that the concept of intuition, of 
clear consciousness, is transferred from monothetic to synthetic 

For the rest, as a deeper analysis shows, everything turns on 
the kind of self-evidence which the occasion requires and on the 
stratum concerned. All self-evidencing insights which bear on 
relations of a purely logical character, on the essential connexions 
of noematic meanings — ^those therefore which we obtain from the 
b^ic laws of formal logic — ^require that the meanings be given, 
that, in other words, statements be given which e3q)ress the forms 
prescribed by the relevant law of meaning. The dependence of 
the meanings brings it about that the exemplification of the 
essential logical constructs which mediate the law’s self-evidence 
have lower layers connected with them, those in fact which 
are brought to logical expression; but these lower layers do 
not need to be brought to clearness when it is pure logical 
insight that is involved. With corresponding modifications this 
holds good for all the “analytical” forms of applied logical 

' Cf. § 67, p. 193- 



§ 126. Completeness and Generality of Expression 

We must further lay stress on the difference between complete 
and incomplete expression.^ The unity of the expressing and the 
expressed in the phenomenon is indeed that of a certain con- 
gruence, but the upper layer need not extend its expressing 
function over the entire lower layer. Expression is complete when 
the sta?np of conceptual meaning has been fixed upon all the syn- 
thetic forms and significations of the lower layer-, incomplete when 
this is only partially effected: as when, in regard to a complex 
process, the arrival of the carriage, perhaps, bringing guests that 
have been long expected; we call out: the carriage! the guests! 
This difference of completeness will naturally cut across that of 
relative clearness and distinctness. 

An incompleteness of a totally different kind from the one just 
discussed is that which belongs to the essential nature of the 
expression as such, namely, to its generality, ‘T would like”, 
expresses the wish in a general form; the form of command, 
the command; “might very well be” the presumption, or the 
likely as such, and so forth. Every closer determination in the 
unity of the expression is itself again expressed in general form. 
It lies in the meaning of the generality which belongs to the 
essential nature of the expressing function that it would not ever 
be possible for all the specifications of the expressed to be 
reflected in the expression. The stratum of the meaning function 
is not, and in principle is not, a sort of duplication of the lower 
stratum. Many directions of variability in the latter do not appear 
at all in the meaning whose function it is to express; they and 
their correlates do not “express themselves” at all ; so it is with 
the modifications of relative clearness and distinctness, the atten- 
tional modifications, and so forth. But in that also to which the 
specific me anin g of the speech-form of expression points there 
arc essential differences, as in respect of the way in which the 
synthetic forms and the synthetic materials find expression. 

We must also refer here to the “dependence” of all formal 
meanings and all “syncategorematic” meanings generally. The 
* Cf* Logical Studies^ Vol. II, Fourth Study, §§ 6 


isolated “and”, “if”, the isolated genitive “of the heavens”, can 
be understood and yet dependent, in need of completion. The 
question here is what this standing in need of completion 
betokens, and what it amounts to in respect of the two strata 
and with regard to the possibilities of incompleteness in the 
function that means this, that, or the other.^ 

§ 127. Expression of Judgments and Expression of the 
Noemata of Feeling 

We must be clear about all these points if one of the oldest and 
hardest problems of the sphere of meaning is to be solved, a 
problem which hitherto, precisely because it lacked the requisite 
phenomenological insight, has remained without solution: the 
problem, namely, as to how statement as the expression of judgment 
is related to the expressions of other acts. We have expressive 
predications in which a “thus it is!” comes to expression. We 
have expressive presumptions, questions, doubts, expressive 
wishes, commands, and so forth. Linguistically we have here 
forms of sentence whose structure is in part distinctive, while 
yet they are of ambiguous interpretation : by the side of sentences 
that embody statements we have sentences embod3dng questions, 
presumptions, wishes, commands, and so forth. The original 
debate bore on the issue whether, disregarding the grammatical 
wording and its historical forms, we had here to do with co- 
ordinate types of meaning, or whether the case was not rather 
this, that all these sentences, so far as their meaning is 
concerned, are not in truth sentences that state. If the latter, 
then all act-constructions, such, for instance, as those of the 
sphere of feeling, which in themselves are not acts of judg- 
ment, can achieve “expression” only in a roundabout way 
through the mediation of an act of judging which is grounded 
in them. 

The whole policy, however, of making the problem bear on 
acts, on noeses, is sufficient, and the persistent overlooking of the 
noemata, upon which precisely in reflexions on meaning such as 

* Cf. loc, ciu, § 5. 



these the mental glance is directed, is prejudicial to the under- 
standing of the matters involved. In order simply to reach a point 
where the problems can be correctly set, it is altogether necessary 
that we should take into account the different structures we have 
indicated: we need the general knowledge of the correlation 
between noetic and noematic as pervading all intentional relations 
and all thetic and synthetic strata; likewise the separation of the 
stratum of logical meaning from the substratum to be expressed 
through it; further, the insight into the directions essentially 
possible here as elsewhere in the sphere of intentionality, both 
those taken in reflexion and those in which modifications take 
place; but more particularly we need the insight into the ways 
in which out of every consciousness substantive meanings of a 
noetic and noematic kind are to be disengaged. The root-problem 
to which we are referred back in the long run must, as the whole 
connected series of our last problem-analyses shows, be formulated 
thus: — 

Is the medium for the expressing of meaning, this unique 
medium of the Logos, spedficaUy dome? Does it not, in the 
process whereby the expressing of meaning is adjusted to the 
meaning expressed, coincide zoith the doxic element latent itself in 
all positionality? 

This would not of course exclude the possibility of there being 
various ways of expressing such experiences, those of feeling, for 
instance. A single one of these would be the direct plain expression 
of the experience (or of its noema, in the case of the correlative 
meaning of the term ‘expression’) through the immediate adjust- 
ment of an articulated expression to the articulated experience 
of feeling whereby doxic and doxic tally together. Thus it would 
have been the doxic form dwelling in respect of all its component 
aspects within the experience of feeling that made possible the 
adjustability of the expression, as an exclusively doxothetic 
experience, to the experience of feeling, which, as such, and in 
respect of all its members, is multithetic, but thereunder neces- 
sarily doxothetic also. 

To speak more accurately, this direct expression, if it would 
be true and complete, should be applied only to the doxic non- 


tnodalized experiences. If I am not certain as to what I wish, 
it is then not correct when I say in direct adaptation: May 
S be P. For all expressing, according to the basic interpretation 
we have given of it, is a doxic act in the pregnant sense, i.e., a 
believing certitude.^ Thus it can express only certainties (e.g., cer- 
tainties of wish or will). The expression in cases such as the 
above can be rendered only indirectly in some such form as: 
“Perhaps may S be P”, In so far as modalities make their 
appearance, we must, if we would secure as fit an expression as 
possible, have recourse to the doxic theses with modified thetic 
content, which, so to speak, lie concealed in them. 

Letting this interpretation pass as correct, we must still sup- 
■ plement it by the following considerations : — 

There exist at all times a number of alternative indirect expressions 
involving “roundabout phrases”. It is part of the essential nature 
of every objectivity as such, through whatever acts it may have 
been constituted, whether plain and simple, or manifold and 
synthetically grounded, to admit of various possible ways of 
developing it relationally; thus to every act, an act of wishiag, 
for instance, there may be annexed different acts relating to it, 
to its noematic objectivity, to its noema as a whole: linkings of 
subject-theses, predicate-theses added to these, wherein, maybe, 
that which in the original act was intended as a wish is 
developed in the form of a judgment and expressed in a 
corresponding way. The expression is then directly adjusted not 
to the ordinal phenomenon, but to the predicative form derived 
from it. 

Moreover, we must not fail to observe that explicative or 
analytic synthesis (judgment prior to its expression as conceptual 
meaning), on the other hand statement or judgment in the ordinary 
sense, and lastly doxa (belief) are matters that must be kept well 
apart. The commonly called “theory of judgment” is viciously 
ambiguous. It is one thing to clear up the essential nature of 

* One may not say that an expressing act expresses a doxic act, if by the 
expressing act one understands, as we do here at every point, the act of 
meaning itself. If, however, the phrase ‘expressing act* relates to the verbal 
sound, one could very well speak after the manner in question, but the sense 
would then be completely altered. 

3S6 pure phenomenology 

the idea of doxa, another to clarify the essence of statement or 
that of the related developments. ^ 

■ Tbs whole subection should be compared with the concluding chanter of the 
Sixth Study , Lo^cdL Studies, Vol. III. It will be seen that during the intervening 
^nod Ae auAor has not stayed where he was, but that in spite of much 
that IS disputable and immature the analyses of the earlier book move in the 
direction of progress marked out by the present volume. They have been 
attacked in various ways, yet without any real understanding of the new 
motives of thought and new ways of formulating problems which were there 
attempted. ^ 






§ 128. Introduction 

The phenomenological excursions of the last chapter have led us 
into pretty well all intentional domains. Adopting a far-reaching 
viewpoint, we have followed the line of cleavage between real 
{reeller) and intentional, noetic and noematic analysis. Thus guided, 
we have everywhere come across structures that ramified afresh 
incessantly at every point. We can no longer close our eyes to the 
evidence that this cleavage points in fact to a fundamental structural 
distinction that runs right through all intentional structures, and 
must therefore constitute a leading motive governing the develop- 
ment of phenomenological method, and must determine the course 
of all researches that bear on the problems of intentionality. 

It is also clear that with this cleavage eo ipso a separation 
has emerged between two radically opposed and yet essentially 
interrelated regions of Being. We have previously stressed the 
point that Consciousness in general must count as an independent 
region of Being, But we then recognized that the description on 
essential lines of the nature of consciousness leads us back to the 
corresponding description of the object consciously known, that 
the correlate of consciousness is inseparable from consciousness 
and yet not really {reell) contained in it. Thus the noematic separ- 
ated itself off as an objectivity that belongs to consciousness and is 
yet unique. In this connexion we note the following : Whilst objects 
simpliciter (taken in the unmodified sense) stand under radically 
different summa genera^ all meanings of objects and all noemata 
taken in their completeness, however they may otherwise differ, 
belong intrinsically to a single supreme genus. But then it is also 
true that the essences, noema and noesis, are mutually inseparable : 
every lowest difference on the noematic side points eidetically 
back to lowest differences of the noetic. This naturally applies 
to all formations of genus and species. 

The knowledge of the essential two-sidedness of intentionality 

36 o pure phenomenology 

in the form of noesis and noema brings this consequence with it, 
that a systematic phenomenology should not direct its effort one- 
sidedly towards a real {reelle) analysis of experiences, and more 
specifically of the intentional kind. But the temptation to do this 
is at first very great, because the historical and natural movement 
from psychology to phenomenology brings it about that as a 
matter of course we take the immanent study of pure experiences, 
the study of their own proper essence, to be a study of their real 
components.^ On both sides in truth there open up vast domains 
of eidetic inquiry, and these are constantly related to each other, 
yet as it turns out keep separate for a long stretch. In great 
measure, that which has been taken for noetic act-analysis has been 
obtained when the mental glance was directed towards the “meant 
as such’^ and it was really noematic structures which were there 

In the discussions that immediately follow we propose to direct 
our attention to the general structure of the noema, and from a 
point of view which has hitherto been repeatedly referred to by 
name, but was yet not the leading one for the purpose of noematic 
analysis : the phenomenological problem of the relation of conscious^ 
ness to an objectivity has, above all, its noematical aspect. The 
noema in itself has an objective relation, through its own proper 
“meaning”. If then we ask how the “meaning” of consciousness 
transmits itself to the “object”, its own object, and in manifold 
acts of very varied noematic content can yet remain “the same”, 
and how we perceived this in the meaning itself, new structures 
present themselves of which the exceptional importance is at once 
obvious. For moving forward in this direction and, on the other 
hand, reflecting on the parallel noeses, we eventually strike the 
question what the “claim” of consciousness to be really “related to” 
an objective, to have an objective “reference”, properly comes to, 
how objective relations which are “valid” and “invalid” are to be 
made clear phenomenologically in the light of the distinction 

I This is still the standpoint of the Logical Studies, The nature of the facts 
themselves may to a considerable extent compel us to carry out noematical 
analyses, but these are still considered rather as indicators pointing to the 
parallel noetic structures: the essential parallelism of the two structures had 
not yet been clearly grasped. 


between noesis and noema ; and thus we find confronting us the 
great problems of the Reason which it will be our aim in this division 
of our treatise to clarify on transcendental lines and to formulate 
as phenomenological problems. 

§ 129. '‘Content” and "Object”; the Content as "Meaning” 

In the previous analyses a universal noematic structure played a 
constant part indicated by the separating olF of a certain noematic 
^'nuclev£^ from the changing ^^characters'* that belong to it, whereby 
the noema in its fullest specification appears drawn into the 
stream of modifications of various kinds. This nucleus has not yet 
received adequate scientific recognition. It stood out intuitively as 
a unity, and sufficiently clearly to enable us to concern ourselves 
with it in a general way. It is now the proper time to consider it 
more closely and to set it at the centre of phenomenological 
analysis. As soon as this is done there emerge distinctions of uni- 
versal importance that run through all kinds of act, and lead the 
way to great masses of material for research. 

We start from the ordinary equivocal phrase: the content of 
consciousness. Under content we understand the "meaning” of 
which we say that in it or through it consciousness refers to an 
objective as its "own”. As the superscription and final end of our 
discussion, so to speak, we take the following proposition: — 

Every noema has a ^^contenf'y namely, its "meaning”, and is 
related through it to "its” object. 

In more recent times one often hears it proclaimed as a great step in 
advance that now at last the basic distinction between act, content, 
and object has been achieved. The three words in this setting have 
almost become catchwords, especially since the publication of Twar- 
dowski’s fine treatise. ^ Meanwhile, though the author's merit in 
having discussed in a penetrating way certain current confusions, and 
exposed their latent fallacies, is undoubtedly a great one, it must still 
be said that in regard to the clearing up of the essential concepts 
involved he has not taken (and we do not impute any blame to him 
on this account) any considerable step beyond what was well known 
(despite their carelessness and confusion) to the philosophers of former 

* K, Twardowski, Concerning the Theory of the Contetit and Object of Presenta^ 
tionSy Vienna, 1894. 


generations. Prior indeed to a systematic phenomenology of conscious- 
ness no radical progress was possible. With concepts that are left 
phenomenologically obscure, such as “act*^ ‘‘content’’, and “object” 
of “presentations”, we can make no headway. What is it that may 
not call itself act and content of a presentation, and indeed presentation 
itself? And what can be so called should itself be scientifically under- 

In this respect a first and, as it would appear to me, a necessary 
step was tentatively taken through the phenomenological emphasis 
given to the terms “material” and “quality”, and through the idea 
of “intentional essence” as distinguished from “epistemological 
essence”. The one-sidedness of the noetic orientation, within which 
these distinctions were first drawn and intended, is easily overcome 
by a proper regard to the noematic parallels. We can interpret the 
concepts noematically thus: “quality” (judgment-quality, wish-quality, 
and so forth) is nothing other than what we have hitherto treated as 
“positing” character, “thetic” character in the widest sense. The 
expression which has its origin in contemporary psychology (that of 
Brentano) appears to me now little suitable; every particular thesis 
has its quality, but should not itself be called a quality. The “material” 
which within limits coincides with the “what” that the positing 
characteristic takes from the “quality” manifestly corresponds to the 
“noematic nucleus”. 

The task now before us is to develop these initial positions con- 
sistently, to cast light upon them from a deeper source, to dissect 
the involved concepts more accurately, and to carry them out correctly 
through all the domains of noesis-noema. Every really successful step 
taken in this direction must be of exceeding importance for pheno- 
menology. We are not concerned here with specialist side-issues, but 
with essential phases which enter into the central structure of every 
intentional experience. 

In order to get into closer touch with our material, we add the 
following reflexion: — 

Intentional experience, one is wont to say, has ^^objective 
reference] but one also says, it is consdotisness of something^\ 
consciousness, for instance, of an apple-tree in blossom here in 
this garden. We shall not find it necessary at first, in regard to 
such examples, to keep the two phrases apart. If we recall our 
previous analyses, we find the full noesis related to the full noema 
as to its full intentional somewhat. But it is then clear that this 
relation cannot be the same as is intended in the phrase concerning 
the reference of bonsciousness to its intentional objective ; for to 
every noetic, in particular to every thetic-noefic phase, there corre- 


ponds a phase in the noema ; and in the latter, set apart over against 
the nexus of thetic characters, is the noematic nucleus character- 
ized through these. Let us further recall the “directed glance”, 
which under certain circumstances traverses the noeses (passing 
through the actual cogito), transforming the specifically thetic 
phases into rays of the positing actuality of the Ego, and let us 
accurately note how this Ego with its rays is now “directed upon” 
the objective as apprehending what is, or as presuming or wishing, 
and so forth, how its glance penetrates the noematic nucleus; 
we will then be observant that the phrase concerning the relation 
(more specifically the “direction”) of consciousness to its objective 
points towards a most inward phase of the noema. It is not the 
nucleus itself just indicated, but something which, so to speak, 
constitutes the necessary midpoint of the nucleus and functions 
as “bearer” of the noematic peculiarities which specially belong to 
it, of the noematically modified properties, namely, of the “meant 
as such”. 

As we go more closely into this, we become aware that in fact 
the distinction between “content” and “object” must be drawn 
not only in the case of “consciousness”, of the intentional experi- 
ence, but also in that of the noema taken in itself.'Vhas the noema 
also refers to an object and possesses a “content”, “by means of” 
which it refers to the object, the object being the same as that of the 
noesis; so the “parallelism” is once again thoroughly verified. 

§ 130. Delimitation of the Essence “Noematic Meaning” 

Let us approach these remarkable structures still more closely. 
We simplify our reflexion by leaving the attentional modifications 
unconsidered, fiirther by restricting ourselves to positional acts, 
in whose theses we absorb ourselves, following the grading of the 
strata involved, now in one partial thesis, now in another, whilst 
the remaining theses continue operative indeed, but in a secondary 
way. We shall subsequently make it clear and without further 
difiiculty that through simplifications of this kind our analyses 
lose nothing in universal validity. We are dealing precisely with an 
essence which remains unaffected by such modifications. 



Let us then place ourselves within a living cogito. In accordance 
with its essential nature it is in a quite special sense “directed” 
upon an objective. In other words, there belongs to its noema 
an “objectivity” — ^in inverted commas — ^with a certain noematic 
constitution unfolded in a definitely limited description, which, 
as the description of the'^meant objective just as it is meant”, avoids 
all stdfective expressions. Formal-ontological expressions are 
there utilized, such as “object”, “constitution”, “positive content” ; 
material ontological expressions such as “thing”, “figure”, 
“cause”; determinations of content such as “rough”, “hard”, 
“coloured” — ^they all have their inverted commas, thus bearing a 
noematically modified meaning. On the other hand, for the descrip- 
tion of this intended objective as such all such expressions as 
“perceptively”, “recollectively”, “clearly and intuitionally”, 
“intellectually”, “given”, are excluded— ih&y belong to another 
order (Dimension) of descriptions, not to the objective we are 
aware of, but to the way in which we are aware of it. On the other 
hand, in the case of an appearing thing as object, it would fall 
again within the limits of the description in question to say: “in 
front” its colour, shape, and so forth are of such and such a well- 
defined ^isxd, “behind” it has “a” colour, but one that is “not more 
closely defined”, and generally in this and that respect it remains 
“undetermined' whether it is thus or so. 

This holds not only for natural objects, but quite generally — 
for objectified values {Wertohjehtitdten) for instance. The descrip- 
tion of these applies to the “matter” intended and, in addition, to 
the predicates of “value”, as when “in the sense” of that form of 
our meaning which consists in valuing we say of the tree as it 
appears that it is covered with “gloriously” scented blossom. Even 
the predicates of value have then their inverted commas; they are 
the predicates not of a value simpliciter, but of a value-noema. 

Herewith, clearly, a fully dependable content is marked off in 
every noema. Every consciousness has its “what” (Was), and 
means “its” objective; it is evident that in the case of every such 
consciousness we must be able as a matter of principle to carry 
out a noematic description of this same objective “exactly as it is 
meant”; through development and conceptual appreheirsion of 


our data we acquire a definite system oi predicates either formal or 
material, determined in positive form or left “indeterminate” 
(intendedly “empty”), ^ and these predicates in their tnodifiedcon- 
ceptual sense determine the ‘'content” oi the object-nucleus of the 
noema in question. 

§131. The “Object”, the “Determinable X in the 
Noematic Sense” 

But the predicates are predicates of “something” , and this “some- 
thing” belongs together with the predicates, and clearly insepar- 
ably, to the nucleus in question : it is the central point of unifica- 
tion which we referred to above. It is the nodal point of connexion 
for the predicates, their “bearer”, but in no wise their unity in 
the sense in which any system or connexion of predicates might 
be called a unity. It must be distinguished from these, although it 
should not be set alongside them and should not be separated from 
them, as inversely they themselves are its predicates : inconceivable 
without it and yet distinguishable from it. We say that in the con- 
tinuous or synthetic process of consciousness we are persistently 
aware of the intentional object, but that in this experience the 
object is ever “presenting itself differently” ; it may be “the same”, 
only given with other predicates, with another determining 
content; “it” may display itself only in different aspects whereby 
the predicates left indeterminate have become more closely deter- 
mined ; or “the” object may have remained unchanged throughout 
this stretch of givenness, but now “it”, the selfsame, changes, 
and through this change becomes more beautiful or forfeits some 
of its utility-value, and so forth. If this is always understood as 
the noematic description of what is meant at the time, as such, and 
if this description, as is always possible, is drawn on the level of 
pure adequacy, then the self-same intentional “object” separates 
itself off self-evidently from the shifting and changing “predicates”. 
There detaches itself as the central noematic phase: the “object”, 
the “objective unity” {Ohjekt), the “self-same”, the “determinable 

* This emptiness of indeterminacy should not be confused with intuitional 
emptiness, the emptiness of the obscure presentation. 



subject of its possible predicates’* — the pure X in ahstraction from 
all predicates — and it disconnects itstli from these predicates, or 
more accurately from the predicate-noemata. 

To the one object we attach a variety of modes of consciousness, 
acts or act-noemata. Manifestly this is nothing accidental; no one 
of these is thinkable unless various intentional experiences are 
also thinkable, bound together in continuous or in properly 
synthetic (pol3rthetic) unity, in which ‘‘it**, the object, is consciously 
grasped as self-same and yet in a noematically different way : the 
characteristic nucleus shifting, and the “object”, the pure subject 
of predicates remaining self-same. It is clear that we can already 
regard every partial interval in the immanent duration of an act 
as an “act”, and the total act as a certain accordant {einstimmige) 
unity of the continuously interlinked acts. We can then say: 
sundry act-noemata have everywhere here a variety of nucleiy yet 
so that, despite this fact, they close up together in an identical 
unity, a unity in which the “something”, the determinable 
which lies concealed in every nucleus, is consciously grasped as 

But separated acts, as, for instance, two perceptions or a per- 
ception and a memory, can likewise close together in a “harmoni- 
ous” unity, and by means of the unique nature of this closing 
together, which is clearly not foreign to the essential being of the 
acts thus linked together, the Something of the initially 
nuclei, which at one time may be determined thus or thus and at 
another otherwise determined, is now consciously grasped as the 
same Something, or as in common accord the same “object”. 

Thus in every noema there lies as point of unification a pure 
objective something such as the above, and we see at the same time 
how in respect of the noema two generically different concepts 
of object are to be distinguished : this pure point of unification, 
this noematic '^object simpliciter'\ and the '^olject as modally 
determined^^ {Gegemtand im Wie seiner Bestimmtheiten), including 
the occasional indeterminacies which “remain open”, and in this 
modal way contributory to the total meaning. Moreover, this 
“modal form** is to be understood as that precisely which the act 
at the time prescribes, and as such therefore it really belongs to its 


noema. The ''meaning'^ {Sinn)^ of which we have frequently 
spoken, is this noematic object in its modal setting^^ (^^Gegenstand 
im Wie^^)y with whatever the description as featured above was 
able to detect as self-evident in it and to express in con- 
ceptual form. 

Let it be noted that we were careful to adopt the term “meaning” 
just now and not “nucleus” {Kern), For it will turn out that 
with a view to getting the real, concrete complete nucleus of the 
noema we must take into account one further direction in which 
differences must be drawn, a direction which has not left any 
impress on the characterized description which has defined 
“meaning” {Sinn) for us. But keeping here, in the first instance, 
purely to that which our description grasps, “meaning” figures as 
a basic portion of the noema. It changes, speaking generally, from 
noema to noema, but under certain circumstances remains abso- 
lutely unchanged, and may even be characterized as “self- 
identical”, in so far as the “object modally determined” admits of 
being described both {heiderseits) as identically the same and as 
absolutely unchanged. It cannot be lacking in any noema, nor can 
its necessary centre, the point of unification, the pure determinable 
X. No “meaning” apart from this empty ^^something^\ nor again 
without ^^determining contenf\ It is evident, moreover, that such 
qualifications are not first inserted in the subsequent analysis and 
description, but that as condition of the possibility of a de- 
scription that carries its own evidence with it, and prior to 
that description, they lie really {mrklick) in the correlate of 

Through the bearer of meaning which (as an empty X) belongs 
to meaning, and iht possibility^ grounded in the essential nature of 
meaning, of harmonious combination into unities of meaning of 
any desired grade y not only has every meaning {Sinn) its “object”, 
but different meanings refer to the same object, just in so far as 
they can be organized into unities of meaning, in which the 
determinable X^s of the united meanings coincide {sur Deckung 
hommen) with one another and with the X of the total meaning of 
the unity of meaning under consideration. 

Our discussion passes from the monothetic acts to the syntheticy 



or, to be more distinct, to the polythetic. Every member of a 
thetically articulated consciousness has the prescribed noematic 
structure; each has its X with its “determining content”; but in 
addition the noema of the synthetic total act, with reference to 
the “leading” {^^archontische'‘'y thesis, has the synthetic X and its 
determining content. The glancing ray of the pure Ego, parting 
into a plurality of rays, rests in the act of fulfilment upon the X 
that is coming to synthetic unity. Under the transformation of the 
denominative function the total synthetic phenomenon is modified, 
and in such a way that a ray of actuality rests on the supreme 
synthetic X. 

§ 132. The Nucleus as iMEANiNG in the Mode of its Full 


Meaning {Shin) as we have determined it is not a concrete essence 
in the constitution of the noema as a whole, but a kind of abstract 
form that dwells in it. If we hold the meaning firm, the “meaning 
meant” {“Vermeinte”), that is, with the precise determining 
content wherew'ith it is meant, there emerges clearly a second 
concept of the “object in its modal setting” — as determined, 
namely, through the modes in which it is given. If, moreover, we 
disregard attentional modifications, and all differences like those 
of the modes of fulfilling, we are led to consider — and always still 
in the favoured sphere of positionality — the saturation-differences 
in clearness which, epistemologically, are so determinative. That 
of which we are obscurely conscious, as such, and that of which 
we are clearly conscious are in respect of their noematic concrete- 
ness {Konkretiofi) very different, as much so as are the experiences 
as a whole.- But there is nothing to hinder the determining content 
whereby the obscurely grasped object is indicated from being 
absolutely identical with that of the clearly grasped object. The 
descriptions would coincide, and a synthetic consciousness of unity 
could so envelop the twofold consciousness that it might really 
be one and the same object that was indicated. We shall accord- 
ingly reckon the concrete fullness of the noematic constituent in 

• Cf. § 1 17, p. 330. 

NOEMATIC meaning and relation to object 369 

question as the full nucleus^ the meaning in the mode of its full 

§ 133. The Noematic Meaning as Posited. Thetically and 
Synthetically Posited Meanings (Positions). Posited 
Meanings in the Domain of Presentations 

A careful application of these distinctions within all act-domains 
would now seem to be called for, together with a supplementing 
back-reference to the thetic phases which bear a special relation 
to the meaning as noematic. In the Logical Studies (under the title 
Quality) they were included from the outset wdthin the concept 
of meaning (of the “essence in the mode of meaning”), and within 
tliis unity the two components “ideal content” (meaning {Sim) 
as we now interpret it) and Quality were accordingly distinguished.' 
Yet it seems more suitable to define the term Meaning [Sinri) 
merely as that “ideal content” (Materie), and then to indicate the 
unity of meaning and thetic character as posited meaning {Satz). 
We have then single-membered posited meanings (as with perceptions 
and other thetic intuitions) and many-membered synthetic posited 
meanings, such as predicative doxic posited meanings (judgments), 
posited meanings in the form of presumptions with predicatively 
articulated material, and so forth. Single and many-membered 
alike are further the posited meanings expressing pleasure, wish, 
command, and so forth. The concept of proposition {Satz) is cer- 
tainly extended thereby in an exceptional way that may alienate 
sympathy, yet it remains within the limits of an important unity of 
essence. We must constantly bear in mind that for us the concepts 
meaning {Sinn) and posited meaning (or position) {Satz) contain 
nothing of the nature of expression and conceptual meaning, but 
on the other hand include all explicit propositions and all propo- 
sitional meanings. 

According to our analyses these concepts indicate an abstract 

* Loc, dt,i Vol. II, Fifth Study, §§ 30 and 21, pp. 411-425. For the rest, cf. 
Vol, III, the Sixth Study, § 25, pp, 86-90, The neutral having-“postponed” 
is, of course, not now reckoned by us, as it was then, as a “quality’* (thesis) 
beside other qualities, but as a modification which “mirrors” all qualities, 
and therefore all acts generally. 



stratum belonging to the full tissue of all noemata. To grasp this 
stratum in its all-enveloping generality, and thus to realize that it 
is represented in all act-spha^es^ has a wide bearing on our way of 
knowledge. Even in the plain and simple intuitions the concepts 
meaning [Sinn) and posited meaning {Satz) which belong insepar- 
ably to the concept of object (Gegenstand) have their necessary 
application, and the special concepts intuitional meaning {An~ 
schauungssinn) and posited intuitional meaning {Anschauungssatz) 
must of necessity be coined. So, for instance, in the domain of 
outer perception, after abstracting from the character of perceived- 
ness, as something present in this noema prior to all developing 
and conceptual thought, we must extract by force of vision from 
out the “perceived object as such” the meaning of object, the 
thing-signijicance {Dingsinn) of this perception which changes from 
perception to perception (even in respect of “the same” thing). 
If we take this meaning in its full sense, in its intuitional fullness^ 
there results a definite and very important concept of appearance. 
To these meanings correspond posited meanings generally: 
intuition-meanings, presentation-meanings, perceptual meanings, 
and so forth. In a phenomenology of external intuitions which, as 
such, has to do not with objects simplicitefy in the unmodified 
sense, but with noemata as correlates of the noeses, concepts 
such as the ones here set out stand in the centre of scientific 

If now we return in the first place to the general thema, we have 
before us the still further task of distinguishing systematically the 
fundamental types of meaning, the plain and the synthetic (i.e., 
pertaining to synthetic acts) meanings of the first and higher 
grades. Following in part the basic divisions of determinations of 
content, and partly the basic forms of synthetic formations which 
play a similar part in the case of all domains of meaning, and thus 
taking everything into account which a priori^ both as to its form 
and its content, is determinative for the general structure of mean- 
ings, common to all spheres of consciousness or peculiar to gene- 
rically limited spheres, we ascend to the Idea of a systematic and 
universal doctrine of the forms of meanings. If in addition we bring 
under consideration the systematic distinction of the positing 


characters, we have also carried out at the same time a systematic 
treatment of types (Typtk) of positions {Satzef 

§ 134. The Apophantic Formal Doctrine 

A main task here is to sketch out a systematic “analytic’’ formal 
doctrine of *^hgical” meanings, or posited predicative meanings, of 
“judgments” in the sense of formal logic, which takes into account 
only the forms of the analytic or predicative synthesis, leaving 
undetermined the significant terms which enter into these forms. 
Although this task is a special one, it has still a universal bearing 
in this way that the total predicative synthesis indicates the class 
of all possible meaning-types of possible operations; the opera- 
tions of analysis {Explikation) and of the linking of the elements in 
relational patterns are everywhere equally applicable: as in the 
relation of the determining quality to its subject, of the part to 
the whole, of the related to its subject of reference, and so forth. 
Interwoven with these are the operations of conjunction, dis- 
junction, and hypothetical connexion. All this prior to any state- 
ment and prior also to the expressive or “conceptual” mode of 
apprehension which emerges for the first time with the statement- 
form, and clings to all forms and contents {Materien) as significant 

This formal doctrine, which we have already touched on, in 
idea, several times, which according to our indications constitutes 
the intrinsically necessary substratum for scientific mathesis 
universalis, loses its isolation through the results of our present 
inquiries, finding its home within the general ideally conceived 
formal doctrine of meanings generally, and its last place of origin 
in noematic phenomenology. 

Let us approach the whole matter more closely. 

The analytic-syntactical operations, we said, are possible opera- 
tions for all possible meanings and positions, whatever determining 
content the noematic meaning in question (which is indeed no 
other than the “meant” {vermeinte) object as such, and in the mode 
in which its content is presented at the time) may include “un- 
developed” in itself. But it can always be developed, and any one 



of the operations which is essentially connected with the develop- 
mental “analysis” will permit of being carried out. The synthetic 
forms which grow up in this way (in accord with the grammatical 
“syntactics”, we called them also the syntactical) are quite well 
defined, belong to a well-established system of forms, can be 
isolated through abstraction and grasped conceptually and through 
the medium of expression. Thus, for instance, we can treat that 
which is perceived as such in plain perceptive thesis, analytically, 
and after such fashion as is revealed in the expressions : “This is 
black; it is an inkstand; this inkstand is not white; if white, it is 
not black”, and the like. Each new step brings us a new meaning; 
in the place of the original single-membered meaning we have a 
synthetic meaning posited, which, according to the law of the 
expressibility of all posited protodoxic meanings, maybe brought 
to expression or to predicative statement. Within the articulated 
meanings that are posited each member has its syntactical form 
originating in the analytic synthesis. 

Let us suppose that the positings which belong to these forms 
of meaning are doidc primary positings : there grow up thus different 
forms of judgments in the logical sense (apophantic propositions). 
The aim before us, that of determining all these forms a priori, of 
controlling with systematic thoroughness the infinitely manifold 
formal constructions, yet all delimited in conformity with law, 
points us to the Idea of z formal doctrine of apophantic propositions, 
or syntactics. 

The positings, and in particular the synthetic positing as a whole, 
can also be doieic modalities. We presume, let us suppose, and 
develop the supposition in the modus “presumably” aware of, or 
something is questionable, and we develop the questionable in a 
consciousness which reflects the state of being questionable, and 
so forth. If we bring the noematic correlates of these modalities 
to expression (“S might well be P”, “Is S P?” and the like), and 
if we do the same also for the plain predicative judgment itself, 
as we also express affirmation and denial (e.g., “S is not P”, “But 
S is P”, “S is certainly, really P”), the concept of form is theti 
extended, and so also the idea of the formal doctrine of propositions. 
The form is now multiply determined, partly through the strict 


syntactical forms, partly through the doxic modalities, A total 
thesis, moreover, always remains belonging to the total meaning 
posited, and a doxic thesis is included in it. At the same time every 
such posited meaning and the conceptual “expression” which 
directly fits it can, through a development of meaning and predica- 
tion which transforms the modal characteristic into a predicate, 
be transformed into a stated meaning, with a judgment which 
judges concerning the modality of a content of this and that form 
(e.g., “It is certain, it is possible, it is probable that S is P”). 

As with the modalities of judgment, so similarly with secondary 
times, with the meanings and positions of the spheres of feeling 
(Gemiits) and of mil, with the s)mtheses that specifically belong 
to them and the corresponding modes of expression. The goal 
of the new formal doctrines of posited meanings, and specifically 
of these meanings in the form of syntheses, is then easily indicated. 

Moreover, we see that in a suitably extended formal doctrine of 
doxic positions — ^when in just the same way as with the modalities 
of Being we also transfer the modalities of shall and should (if the 
analogical phrase be allowed) to the content {Materie) of the judg- 
ment — the formal doctrine of all positions is once again reflected. 
What this transfer means it needs no long exposition to say, but 
at the most calls for exemplifying instances. Instead of saying 
“May S be P”, we say “May it be that S be P,” it is as wished (not 
is wished); in the place of “S shall be P”, we say “That S be P, 
that shall be,” it is as willed, and so forth. 

The task of Phenomenology, as itself sees it, lies not in the 
systematic elaboration of these formal doctrines, wherein, as may 
be learnt from the apophantic form, we can deduce from primitive 
axiomatic basic formations the systematic possibilities of all further 
formations; its field is the analysis of the a piori shown forth in 
immediate intuition, the fixing of immediately transparent essences 
and essential connexions and their descriptive cognition in the 
systematic union of all strata in pure transcendental consciousness. 
What the theorizing logician isolates in the formal theory of mean- 
ing, and by reason of the one-sided direction of this interest treats 
as something apart without taking any understanding heed of the 
noematic and noetic systems in which it is phenomenologically 


interwoven, — ^that the phenomenologist takes in the full range of its 
relationships. His great task is to follow up the phenomenological 
interlacings of essences in all directions. Every plain axiomatic 
exhibition of a basic logical concept becomes a new heading for 
phenomenological inquiries. That which has already been plainly 
set out in widest logical generality as “posited meanings” (as in 
judgment), as categorical or hypothetical proposition, as attribu- 
tive determination, nominalized adjective or relative, and the like, 
gives rise, so soon as it is once again embedded in the correspond- 
ing noematic connexions between essences, whence the glance of 
the theorist drew it forth, to difficult and far-reaching problems of 
pure phenomenology. 

§ 135. Object and Consciousness. Transition to the 
Phenomenology of Reason 

As every intentional experience has a noema and therein a meaning 
through which it is related to the object, so, inversely, everjrthing 
that we call by the name of Object, that of which we speak, what 
we see before us as reality, hold to be possible or probable, think 
of in however vague a way, is in so far already object of conscious- 
ness ; and this means that whatever the world and reality may be 
or be called must be represented within the limits of real and 
possible consciousness by corresponding meanings and positions, 
filled more or less with intuitional content. When therefore 
phenomenology performs its “suspending” operations, when 
as transcendental it brackets all actual positing of realities 
{ReaUtaten) and carries out the other bracketings, as we have 
previously described them, we can now understand in the light 
of a deeper reason the meaning and the legitimacy of the earlier 
thesis : that whatever is phenomenologically disconnected remains 
still, with a certain change of signature, within the framework of 
phenomenology.* The real (realen) and ideal positivities {Wirk- 
lichkeiten), which come under the suspending clause, are repre- 
sented in the phenomenological sphere by the whole nexus of 
ccfrresponding meanings and positions (Sinnen md Sdtzen). 

' Cf. § 76, p. 212. 


Thus, for example, every real natural thing is represented by 
all the meanings and significant positions with their fluctuating 
filling, through which, as so and so determined and further to be 
determined, it figures as the correlate of possible intentional 
experiences; represented thus by the variations ‘‘of the full 
nucleus”, or, what amounts here to the same thing, by the system 
of all possible “subjective modes of appearing”, in which it can 
be noematically constituted as self-identical. But this constituting 
relates in the first instance to an essentially possible individual 
consciousness, then also to a possible community-consciousness, 
i.e., to an essentially possible plurality of personal centres of 
consciousness and streams of consciousness enjoying mutual 
intercourse, and for whom one thing as the self-same objective 
real entity must be given and identified intersubjectively. It must 
not be forgotten that all our discussions, including therefore the 
ones now before us, are to be understood in the sense of the 
phenomenological reductions and in eidetic generality. 

On the other hand, to eveiy thing, and eventually to the whole 
world of things, with the one space and the one time, there corre- 
spond the systems of possible noetic events, of the possible experi- 
ences of particular individuals and community-units that relate 
to these events, experiences which, as parallel to thenoematic 
manifolds previously treated, contain in their own essence this 
peculiar feature of being related to this world of things through 
their import and posited meaning. In them accordingly there 
appear the relevant manifolds of hyletic data, with the appropriate 
“apprehensions”, thetic act-characters, and so forth, which in 
their connected unity make up what we call the empirical con^ 
scioumess of this thinghood. Over against the thing in its unity 
stands an infinite ideal manifold of noetic experiences of a quite 
determinate essential content, over which, despite the endlessness, 
a proper oversight can still be kept, all the experiences agreeing 
in this that they are a consciousness of “the same” object. This 
unanimity is evidenced in the sphere of consciousness itself 
through experiences which on their side again belong with the rest 
to the group which we have here delimited. 

For the limitation to the empirical consciousness was intended 



only by way of illustration, as was also the restriction to “things’* 
of the “world”. Everything, however far we stretch the framework, 
and on whatever level of generality and particularity we may also 
be moving — even down to the lowest concreta — ^is essentially pre- 
figured. As the sphere of experience is determined in accord- 
ance with its essential and transcendental structure as rigorously 
conforming to law, so is every possible construction on essential 
lines according to noesis and noema fixedly determined, just as 
every possible figure that can be constructed in space is somehow 
determined through the essential nature of space, according to 
unconditionally valid dispensations of law and order. What on 
both sides is here called possibility (eidetic existence) is thus 
absolutely necessary possibility, an absolutely firm joint in the 
absolutely firm structure of an eidetic system. The goal of inquiry 
is to know this system scientifically, i.e., to stamp it into theoretical 
form and to control it systematically through concepts and formula- 
tions of laws which spring from pure essential intuition. All the 
fundamental distinctions drawn by formal ontology and the theory 
of categories attached to it — ^the doctrine concerning the division 
of the regions of Being and their ontical categories, as also con- 
cerning the constitution of the material ontologies that fit them — 
are, as we shall understand in detail as we press farther forward, 
the main headings of phenomenological studies. And to these, there 
necessarily correspond noetic-noematic systems of essences which 
must permit of being systematically described and determined 
according to possibilities and necessities. 

If we consider more closely what the essential connexions 
between object and consciousness as characterized in the above 
treatment mean and must mean, we become conscious of an 
ambiguity, and on following it up we notice that we are facing a 
crucial turning-point in our inquiries. We assign to an object a 
variety of “posited meanings”, or alternatively of experiences 
possessing a certain noematic content, and in such a way indeed 
that through it syntheses of a priori identification are possible, 
whereby the object can and must remain the same. The X in the 
different acts or act-noemata furnished with a differing “deter- 
mining content” is necessarily known as the same. But U it really 


the same? And is the object itself real? Could it not be unreal whilst 
the various agreeing and even intuitionally saturated posited 
meanings — ^whatever their essential content might be — ^fulfilled 
their function according to the measures of consciousness ? 

We are not interested in the fact- world of consciousness and 
the fulfilling of its functions, but in the essential problems which 
might here need formulating. Consciousness, or the conscious 
subject itself, passes judgments about reality, asks questions about 
it, thinks it probable or doubts it, resolves the doubt and thereby 
passes verdicts of the reason^\ Must not the essence of this judicial 
right and correlatively the essence of ‘‘reality’^ — ^related to all kinds 
of objects, and following all the categories, formal and regional — 
permit of being clearly understood within the system of essential 
connexions of the transcendental consciousness, thus in a purely 
phenomenological way? 

There was then an ambiguity in what we said about the noetic- 
noematic ‘‘constitution’’ of objectivities, e.g., thing-objectivities. 
In any case, we were then thinking especially of “real” objects, of 
things of the “real world”, or at least of “a” real world in general. 
But what then does this “real” mean for objects which are indeed 
given to consciousness, yet only through meanings and positions ? 
What does it mean for the posited meanings themselves, for the 
differentiating of the essences of these noemata, or of the parallel 
noeses? What means it for the particular modes of its construction 
according to form and fullness ? How does this structure specify itself 
in sympathy with the special regions of objects? The question then 
is, how in the spirit of phenomenological science we are to describe, 
noetically and noematically, all the connexions of consciousness 
which render necessary a plain object (and this in common speech 
always means a real object) precisely in its character as real. But 
in the extended sense of the term an object — ^“whether it is real or 
not” — is “constituted” within certain connexions of consciousness 
which bear in themselves a transparent unity so far as they carry 
with them essentially the consciousness of an identical X. 

In fact, our treatment does not concern realities {WirkUchkeiten) 
merely, in whatever pregnant sense the term be used. Questions 
concerning reality are to be found in all forms of knowledge as 



such, even in our own, the phenomenological, which relates to 
the possible constitution of objects : they all have their correlates 
in “objects” which are meant to possess “real Being”. When is 
the noematically “meant” identity of the X “real identity” — so it 
may everywhere be asked — ^instead of being “merely” meant, and 
what does this “merely meant” (vermeint) mean ? 

Thus we must devote a new series of reflective studies to the 
problems of reality (Wirklichkeit) and to the correlative problems 
of the rational consciousness which lays out this reality within 


When we speak of objects simpliciterl vjt mean a^ a fulejreal 
objects tha t truly are and belong to this o r that category of Being. 
Whatever we assert then concerning objects — ^provided we speak 
reasonably — w e must submit, whether as meant or spoken, to 
^^ lo^ical ffroundin^ ^\ ^^ proof^ (Ausweisen ), direc t or 

mediated ''insi^h f\ In the logical sphere, in that of statement, 
* * ^hich truly or really {wirkUch) an d ‘ ‘ that which is ra tion^ 

ally demonstrab le^^ {Ausweisbar) are intrinsically correlated ^ and so 
for all doxic modalities ontical or position aL Of course, the possi- 
bility of a rational demonstration (Ausweisung) which stands here 
in question is not to be understood as empirical but as ^^ideaP \ 
a s an essential possibil ity. 

§ 136. The First Basic Form of the Rational Consciousness: 

THE Primordial Dator “Vision"’ 

If we now ask w hat is meant by a rational setting fort h (Ausweisung) j 
i.e., wherein the rational consciousness consists, we find at once in 
th e intuitive representing of examples and the beginnings o f 
e ssential analysis car ried out upon them the source of several 
distinctions : — 

We have in the first place the distinction between positional 
experi ence s in which what is set down acquires primordial given- 
nesSf and those in which it does not acquire such givenness; 
between perceivings^ '‘^sedn^^ acts, tha t is — understood in a broad 
sense — ^and n on-^perceivir^^^ acts, " 

Thus a recollective consciousness, for example that of a land- 
scape, is not g iven in a primordial sense; the landscape is not 
perceived as thoug h we were really seeing it. In stating this we have 
not wished to say that the recollective consciousness has no inde- 
pendent right of its own, but just that this is not one of “seeing"" . 
Phenomenology present s an analogue of this opposition for all 
types We can, for instance, predicate in 



a “blind” way that 2 + i = i + 2; we can, however, carry out 
the same judgment with insight. The positive fact (Sachverhalt), 
the synthetic objectivity which corresponds to the synthesis of 
judgment, is then primordially given, grasped in a primordial way. 
It is this no longer after the living fulfilment of the insight, for 
the latter passes off at once into the obscurity of a retentional 
modification. The latter may indeed have a rational advantage 
over any other dim or confused consciousness of the same noematic 
meaning, over an “unthinking” reproduction, for instance, of 
something once previously learnt and perhaps with insight; but 
it is no longer a consciousness primordially given. 

These distinctions do not concern the pure meaning and position, 
for this is the same for both members of every such pair of examples, 
and may also be consciously and intuitively grasped as identical 
every time. The distinction concerns the way in which the mere 
meaning or position, which as a mere abstractum requires a plus in 
the way of supplementing phases in the full development (Kon- 
kretion) of the noema of consciousness, is or is not filled out. 

Fullness of meaning is not the only requisite; we are also con- 
cerned with the mode (Wie) of the filling out. One mode of experi- 
encing the meaning is the “intuitive", whereby we are made 
aware of the “meant object as such” through direct mental vision, 
and as a particularly outstanding case we have that wherein the 
mode of direct vision is the primordial object-giving mode. The 
meaning in the perception of the landscape is perceptively filled 
out, and we become aware of the perceived object with its colours, 
forms, and so forth (so far as they “fall within perception”) in the 
mode of the “embodied”. We find similar distinctions in all act- 
spheres. The situation has again its two aspects in the parallelistic 
sense, a noetic and a noematic. In the noematic setting we find the 
character of embodiment (as the primordial state of being filled 
out) blent with pure meaning, and the meaning stamped with this 
character now functions as the foundation of the noematic character 
of positionality, or, which here means the same thing, the ontical 
character. The parallel holds good of the noetic setting also. 

A specific character of rationality pertains, however, to that of 
positionality as its own, as a distinction which is then and only then 


essential to it when it is a positing grounded not merely in meaning 
generally but in a filled out, primordial dator meaning. 

Here and in every kind of rational consciousness the phrase 
“belonging to’’ receives the meaning of “being its own”. For 
instance: To the corporeal appearing of a thing there belongs in 
all cases positionality. It is not only one with this appearing in a 
general way (as a mere general fact, shall we say, which is here 
unquestioned) ; it is one with it in a unique sense, it is ''motivated'^ 
by it, and still again not merely in a general way but ''rationally 
?notivated^\ And this means that the positing has its original 
ground of legitimacy in the primordial givenness. In other forms of 
givenness the ground of legitimacy need not exactly be wanting ; 
what is, however, lacking is the prerogative of the original ground 
which plays its outstanding part in the relative appreciation of the 
grounds of legitimacy. 

The posit ing of the essence o r essential relationships “primor- 
di ally” given in our vision of Essential Being likewise “belongs” to 
its positing “material”, to the “meaning” in its mode of givenness. 
It is reasonable and, as believing certitude, originally motivated 
positing; it has the specific character of "that which understands^^ 
(der "einsehenden*^). If the positing is a "blind** one, if the meanings 
of the words are determined on the basis of a dim act-background 
of which we are only confusedly aware, the rational character of 
the insight is necessarily lacking ; with such a mode of givenness (if 
we are still to use this word here) of the significant fact {Sachver-- 
haltes)^ or, alternatively, with such noematic accompaniment of 
the nucleus of meaning, the character of reason is essentially 
incompatible. On the other hand, this does not exclude a secondary 
rational character, as the example of the imperfect reproduction 
of essential cognitions shows. 

Insight, self-evidence generally, is thus an entirely distinctive 
occurrence ; at its “centre” it is the unity of a rational positing with 
that which essentially motivates it^ the whole situation here indicated 
being intelligible in terms of the noema as well as of the noesis. 
The reference to motivation fits excellently the relation between 
the (noetic) positing {Setzen) and the noematic meaning posited 
(Sat2) in its mode of intuitional saturation (Erfulltheit), The express 



sion “self-evident posited meaning” in its noematic rendering is 
immediately intelligible. 

The twofold meaning of the word self-evidence in its application 
nowto noetic characters, or full acts (e.g., self-evidence of judging), 
now to noematic positions (e.g., self-evident logical judgment, 
self-evident stated meaning), is a case of the general and necessary 
ambiguities of the expressions related to the phases of correlation 
between noesis and noema. The phenomenological indication of 
the source they spring from renders them harmless, and even 
permits us to recognize their indispensability. 

We have yet to note that the expression “fulfilment” (Erfulbing) 
has still another ambiguity which lies in a quite other direction : 
at one time it is “fulfilment of intention”, as a character which the 
actual thesis takes on through the special mode of meaning; at 
another it is precisely the peculiarity of this mode itself or the 
peculiar property of the meaning in question, to conceal “rich 
resources” which motivate in accordance with reason. 

§ 137. Self-Evidence and Insight. “Primoedial” and “Pure” 
Assertoric and Apodeictic Self-Evidence 

The pairs of examples made use of above illustrate at the same 
time a second and a third essential difference. That which we 
ordinarily call self-evidence and insight (or seeing into) is a positional 
doxic and also adequate dator consciousness which “excludes 
Otherness”; the thesis is motivated in a quite exceptional way 
through the adequacy of the given material, and is in the highest 
sense an act of the reason. The arithmetical example illustrates 
that for us. In the example of the landscape we have indeed a 
seeing, but not the experience-of-self-evidence {Evident) in the 
ordinary pregnant meaning of the word, a “seeing into”. When the 
contrasted examples are looked into more closely, we are struck 
by a double difference: in the one example we are treating of 
the essence, in the other of the individual', in the second place the 
primordial givenness in the eidetic example is adequate, in the 
example from the sphere of experience it is inadequate. Both 
differences which intercross under certain circumstances will 


prove of importance in respect to the type of insight {Evidenz) 

So far as the first difference is concerned, we may state on 
phenomenological grounds that the so to speak assertoric"^ seeing 
of an individual^ for instance, the “awareness” of a thing or of 
some individual state of things, is in its rational character essen- 
tially distinguished from an ''apodeictic"^ seeing^ from the in-seeing 
of an essence or an essential relationship] but also likewise from the 
modification of this in-seeing, which may take place through a 
mixing of the two, namely, in the case of the application of an 
insight to something assertorically seen, and generally in the know- 
ledge of the necessity of a posited particular being so-and-so. 

Evidential Vision {Evidenz) and Insight, in the ordinary 
meaningful {pragnanter) sense, are taken as meaning the same thing, 
namely, apodeictic in-seeing. We propose in our terminology to 
separate the two words. We are in real need of a more general 
word which shall include in its meaning assertoric seeing and 
apodeictic in-seeing. We should consider it as a phenomenological 
finding of great importance that they both really belong to one 
generic essence, and that, understood in a still more general way, 
Rational Consciousness in general designates a summum genus of 
thetic modalities, in which the “seeing”, used in its very widest 
sense, and as bearing on primordial givenness, constitutes a well- 
defined class. In giving a name to the summum genus one has the 
option either of extending the meaning of the word “seeing” (as 
we did just now, but going very much farther) or of widening the 
meaning of the words “in-seeing” and “evidential vision” {Evi^ 
denz) . It might be most suitable to choose the word : evidential vision 
to stand for the most general concept ; the expression primordial 
evidential vision would then be available for representing every 
rational thesis characterized by a relation of motivation in respect 
of the primordiality of what is primordially given. We should then 
have to decide further between the assertoric and apodeictic forms 
of evidential vision, and to leave to the word insight the special task 
of designating this apodeictic character. Proceeding still farther, we 
would set up as opposites pure insight and impure insight (the 
latter including the cognition of the necessity of an element of 

3^4 PURE phenomenology 

fact, the Being of which does not need to be self-evident), and 
likewise, and in a quite general way, we would draw a contrast 
between /iMfc and impure evidential vision. 

Further differences arise as our inquiry deepens, differences 
concerning the bases of motivation and affecting the character of 
the evidential vision ; for example, the difference between purely 
formal (“analytic”, “logical”) and material (synthctic-a priori) 
evidential vision. But at this point we should not go beyond the 
briefest indications. 

§ 138. Aoequate and Inadequate Self-Evidence 

Let us now turn back to the second of the two differences indicated 
above, which is closely connected with that between adequate 
and inadequate givenness, and gives us occasion at the same time 
to describe an outstanding type of “impure” evidential vision. 
The positing act {Setzung) grounded in the corporeal appearance 
of the Thing is indeed rational, but the appearance is never more 
than a one-sided “imperfect” appearance ; not only are we conscious 
in corporeal form of the very object that is in process of appearing, 
but of the thing itself simpliciter, the whole in its collective though 
only one-sidedly intuitional and in addition variouslyundetermined 
meaning. But of course that which “verily” appears must not be 
separated from the Thing as though it were itself a separate thing; 
its correlate of meaning constitutes a dependent part within the 
full meaning of the Thing, a part which can have unity of meaning 
and independence only within a whole which necessarily conceals 
in itself components of emptiness and of indeterminacy. 

In principle a thing in the real world, a Being in this sense, can 
within the finite limits of appearance appear only “inadequately” . 
Essentially connected therewith is the fact that no rational positing 
which rests on an appearance that presents itself so inadequately can 
be “definitive”, “invincible”; that no such positing in its par- 
ticularity is equivalent to the downright assertion that “the Thing 
is real”, but only to the assertion “It is real” on the supposition 
that the advance of experience does not bring in its train “stronger 
rational motives” which exhibit the original positing as one that 



must be ‘‘cancelled” in the further connexion. Moreover, the 
positing is rationally motivated only through the appearance (the 
imperfectly fulfilled perceptual meaning) in and for itself, con- 
sidered in its particularized detail. 

The phenomenology of the Reason in the sphere of the types of 
Being \vhich can on principle be only inadequately given (the 
sphere of transcendetits in the sense of realities {Realitiiten) has 
therefore to study the different occurrences within this sphere 
which have been indicated a priori and in advance. It has to make 
clear how the inadequate consciousness of givenness, the partial 
appearing, is related to one and the same determinable X, whilst 
continuously advancing towards ever-fresh appearances which are 
continuously passing over into one another, and also to indicate 
the essential possibilities which here present themselves; how, 
on the one hand, a sequence of experiences is possible here and 
constantly motivated on rational lines through the rational place- 
ments [positings] that are continuously at one’s disposal, namely, 
the course of experience in which the empty places of the appear- 
ances that have preceded get filled again, the indeterminacies more 
closely determined, moving forward all the time towards a 
thoroughgoing harmonious filling out^ with the steadily increasing 
rational power that goes with this. On the other hand, we have to 
make clear the opposite possibilities, the cases of the fusions or 
polythetic syntheses where there is disagreement or determination 
otherwise of that X which we are constantly aware of as one and 
the same — otherwise, that is, than in harmony with the original 
bestowal of meaning. We have to show, moreover, how positional 
components of the earlier course of perception suffer cancellation 
together with their meaning; how under certain circumstances 
the whole perception explodes^ so to speak, and breaks up into 
^^conflicting apprehensions of the Thing^\ into suppositions concerning 
the thing ; how the theses of these suppositions annul one another, 
and in such annulling are modified in a peculiar way; or how the 
one thesis, remaining unmodified, “conditions” the cancelling of 
the “contrary thesis” ; and other contingencies of the same kind. 

As further and closer objects of study we may note the peculiar 
modifications which the original positings of the Reason suffer 



owing to the fact that in the course of harmonious filling out they 
undergo a positive phenomenological enhancement with respect to 
their motivating '^power'\ that they increase steadily in ^^weighf\ 
that they thus constantly and essentially possess weight, but one 
that differs gradually. The other possibilities also call for analysis, 
in respect of such points as how the weight of positings suffers 
from ^'countermotives^\ how in doubt they mutually ^^halance^^ one 
another^ how one placement in rivalry with another of ‘ 'greater’’ 
weight is ^^outweighed’\ abandoned'^ and so forth. 

In addition, of course, the circumstances which are essentially 
determinative of the changes in the positional characters in the 
sense in which they belong to the positional content should be 
subjected to a comprehensive analysis on essential lines (e.g., the 
circumstances accompanying the “conflict” or the “rivalry” of 
appearances). For here, as everywhere, in the phenomenological 
sphere, there are no contingencies, no mere matter-of-fact con- 
nexions {Faktizitaten) \ all is essentially and definitely motivated. 

In a similar way the inquiry into the essential nature of all kinds 
of rational acts in their immediacy should be carried through in 
connexion with ageneralphenomenology of the noetic andnoematic 
given material. 

To every region and category of would-be objects corresponds 
phenomenologically not only a basic kind of meaning or position^ 
but also a basic kind of primordial dator-consciousness of such mean- 
ing, and, pertaining to it, a basic type of primordial self -evidence ^ 
essentially motivated through a primitive givenness that conforms 
to the basic divisions just referred to. 

Every such self-evidence, the word being understood in the 
extended sense we have given to it, is either adequate^ incapable 
in principle of being either “strengthened” or “weakened”, thus 
without the graded differences of a weighty or it is inadequate^ and 
therewith capable of increase and decrease. Whether in any given 
context the former or the latter kind of self-evidence is possible 
depends on its generic type; it is thus prefashioned, a prioriy and 
to demand the perfection which self-evidence possesses in one 
content (e,g., that of essential relations) in other contexts which 
essentially exclude it is simply absurd. 



We have still this remark to make, that we were obliged to 
transfer the original meaning of the concepts “adequate” and 
“inadequate”, which relates to the mode of presentation, to the 
essential peculiarities of the rational positings themselves, grounded 
on them. We were enabled to do so by the very fact of their con- 
nexion. It is one of those unavoidable equivocations due to trans- 
ference, which lose their power to harm so soon as one recognizes 
them as equivocal, and has clearly and consciously distinguished 
the derived from the original. 

§ 139. Interweavings of All the Varieties of Reason. 
Theoretic, Axiological, and Practical Truth 

An act of positing, whatever its quality may be, has, in harmony 
with what we have stated hitherto, its justification, in and through 
the very positing of its meaning, provided only that it is rational ; 
the rational character is itself the character of rightness. This 
character “belongs” to it essentially, and not contingently as a 
mere fact under the accidental conditions of an empirically 
positing Ego. Correlatively meaning as posited can also be said to 
have its own rightness : it stands virithin the rational consciousness 
equipped with the noematic character of rightness, which essen- 
tially belongs moreover to the posited meaning in its capacity as 
the noematic thesis so qualified together with this content of mean- 
ing. Or to state it more accurately, there “belongs” to it a fullness 
made up in this way, which on its own side furnishes the ground 
for the rational character of the thesis. 

The posited meaning here has its justification (Recht) in'itself. 
But it may also be that “just something may be said on behalf of a 
position " ; without being “itself” rational, it can still have a share of 
reason. We recall — ^to keep within the doxic sphere — ^the peculiar 
connexion of the doxic modalities with the protodoxa^ : they all 
point back to it. If, on the other hand, we consider the rational 
characters which belong to these modalities, the thought at once 
obtrudes itself upon us that they all, differ as they may in regard 
to content and the conditions of motivation, point back, so to speak, 

» Cf. § 104, p. 300. 



to one primary rational character which belongs to the domain of 
primary belief, to the case of primordial and in the last resort 
perfect self-evidence. It will be observed that between these two 
Vinds of back-reference there are deep-lying essential con- 

Just to indicate the following : A presumption can be character- 
ized as rational in itself, if we follow that in it which harks back to 
the corresponding primary belief; and if we adopt this in the form 
of a “supposing”, “something then speaks for this”. It is not the 
belief itself simplidter that is characterized as rational, although 
it has a share in reason. We see that further rational distinctions 
of a theoretical kind need to be drawn and studied here. Essential 
connexions between the different qualities, connexions of a 
reciprocal kind, with the rational characters which are peculiar 
to them, detach themselves here, and in the end all the lines of 
connexion converge back upon the primary belief and its primary 
reason, upon the ''Truth!*. 

Truth is manifestly the correlate of the perfect rational character 
of the protodoxa, the believing certainty. The expressions: "A 
protodoxic posited meaning, a stated meaning, for instance, is 
true”, and “The character of perfect rationality attaches to the 
corresponding belief and judgment”, are equivalent correlates. 
We are not referring here, of course, to any fact of experience or 
to any individual judger, although it is eidetically taken for 
granted that truth can be actually given only where there is an 
actual consciousness of the self-evident, and this applies therefore 
also to the truth of this “being taken for granted” itself, that of the 
previously indicated equivalence, and so forth. If the protodoxic 
self-evidence, that of believing certainty, is lacking, then, we say, 
with respect to its content of meaning “S is P”, a doxic modality 
maybe self-evident, the presumption, for instance, that“S should 
be P”. This modal self-evidence is manifestly equivalent to and 
necessarily cormected with a protodoxic self-evidence of altered 
meaning, namely, with the self-evident position, or the truth, “that 
S is P is presumable (probable)” ; on the other hand also with the 
truth, “there is something to be said for the assertion that S is P”; 
and again; “there is something to be said for the assertion that SP 


is true”, and so forth. All this points to essential connexions 
which need phenomenological inquiries reaching down to funda- 

Self-evidence, however, is in no sense a mere title for rational 
developments of this kind in the sphere of belief (and indeed in 
that of the predicative judgment only), but holds for all thetic 
spheres, and particularly also for the important rational connexions 
that run between them. 

It therefore concerns the highly difficult and far-reaching 
problems of the reason in the sphere of tire theses of feeling 
(Gendits) and will,^ as also their interlacings with the “theoretical”, 
i.e., doxic reason. The “theoretical” or “dbxoZcigfcal truth", or self- 
evidence, has its parallels in the “axiological and practical truth 
or self -evidence" , whereby the “truths” of this last heading come 
to be expressed and known* in the form of doxological truths, 
namely, in the specifically logical or apophantic. It does not need 
to be said that for dealing with these problems fundamentally we 
need studies of the kind we have already attempted to initiate: 
studies that concern the essential relations connecting the doxic 
theses with all other kinds of placement, those of feeling {Gemutes) 
and will, and those again that lead all doxic modalities back to the 
protodoxa. Even thereby also we may bring ourselves to rmder- 
stand from ultimate grounds why the assurance of belief and, 
correspondingly, the truth plays so dominant a part in all affairs 
of the reason; a part which, for the rest, is such as to make us take 
for granted that in respect of a solution the problems of Reason in 
the doxic sphere must have precedence of the problems of the 
axiological and practical Reason. 

* A first impulse in this direction was given through Brentano’s brilliant 
work, On the Origin of Social Knowledge (1889), a work to which I am most 
gratefully indebted. 

» Knowledge is chiefly a name for logical truth, as characterized from the 
standpoint of the subject, and as correlate of its self -evidencing judging; but 
is also a name for every kind of self -evidencing judging itself, and, lastly, for 
every doxic act of reason. 



§ 140. Confirmation. Warranty (JBerecbtigvng) apart from 
Self-Evidence. Equivalence of the Positional and 
Neutral Insights 

Further study is demanded in respect of the problems offered 
by the connexions of “congruence” (Deckung) which (to name only 
an outstanding case) must be set up on essential lines between acts 
of the same meaning or position, hut of different rational value. For 
instance, a self-evident and a non-self-evident act may be con- 
gruent in such a way that in the transition from the latter to the 
former the self-evident act takes on the character of proving 
something to be, the non-self-evident act that of itself proving to 
be. The positing with insight that characterizes the one functions 
as “confirmatory” of the insight-lacking positing of the other. 
The “posited meaning” is “verified” or “confirmed”, the imperfect 
mode of givenness is transformed into the perfect. The particular 
form this process takes or can take is prescribed by the essential 
nature of the relevant types of positing, or of the posited meanings 
in question in their perfected fulfilment. For every class of posited 
meanings the forms of verification that are intrinsically possible 
must be clearly laid down on phenomenological lines. 

If the positing is not irrational, motivated possibilities may be 
drawn from its essence to show that and how it can be translated 
into an actual rational positing that verifies it. It can be seen that 
it is not every imperfect self-evidence that here prescribes a 
course of fulfilment which terminates in a corresponding primordial 
self-evidence, of the same sort and meaning ; on the contrary, a 
verification of this primordial kind, so to speak, is intrinsically 
excluded by certain kinds of self-evidence . This is true, for instance, 
of the recall of a recollection {Ruckerinnerung) and in a certain 
way of all recollecting generally, and likewise essentially of em- 
pathy to which, in the second volume of this book, we shall ascribe 
a basic kind of self-evidence (and into whose nature we shall there 
inquire more closely). In any case, very important phenomeno- 
logical themes are therewith indicated. 

We must further note that the motivated possibility of which 
we spoke above is to be sharply distinguished from empty possi- 



bility^ : it is definitely motivated through that which the posited 
meaning with such filling as is given to it includes within itself. 
It is an empty possibility that this writing-desk here on its under- 
side, which is at present invisible to me, rests on ten legs instead 
of on four legs, as is really the case. This four-ness, on the contrary, 
is a motivated possibility in respect of the definite perception 
which I am just enjoying. For every perception generally it is a 
motivated consideration that the “conditions” of perception can 
change in certain ways, that “in consequence” the perception can 
pass over correspondingly into a perceptive series of a definite 
type prescribed by the very meaning of my perception, and tending 
to fulfil the perception and confirm its posited meaning. 

For the rest, in respect of the “empty” or “mere” possibility 
of proof, there are two further cases to distinguish: either the 
possibility coincides with the reality ^ in such wise, namely, that see- 
ing-into the possibility brings with it the primordial rational 
consciousness and consciousness of givenness ; or that is not the 
case. The latter holds in the example we have just made use of. 
Real experience^ and not merely running through “possible” 
perceptions after bringing them into consciousness, supplies a real 
proof ofpositings which claim reality {Reales)^ such as the existential 
positings of natural processes. On the other hand, in the case of 
every positing of an essence or an essential position, the intuitional 
realization of its completed filling out is equivalent to the filling out 
itself, just as a priori the intuitional realization, even the mere 
fanciful representation of an essential connexion and insight into 
the same, are “equivalent”, i.e,, the one passes into the other 
through a mere alteration of the standpoint, and the possibility 
of this reciprocal transition is not accidental but essentially 

* This is one of the most essential ambiguities of the term ‘‘possibility^^ 
though there are still others (the /omaZ-logical possibility, mathematico- 
ormal freedom from contradiction). It is of intrinsic importance that the 
possibility which plays its part in the theory of probabilities, and consequently 
that the consciousness of possibility (the attitude of suggestion) of which 
we spoke in connexion with the theory of doxic modalities as a parallel to 
the presumption-coiisciousness, has motivated possibilities as its correlates, A 
probability never builds itself up out of unmotivated possibilities, only moti- 
vated nossibilitieR have weiffht. and so forth. 



§141. Immediate and Mediate Rational Positing. Mediate 


Confessedly all mediate grounding leads back to the immediate. 
Hht primary source of all rightness {Rechtes)^ in respect of all domains 
of objects and the positing acts related to them, lies in immediate 
and more narrowly specified primordial self -evidence, or in the 
primordial givenness which motivates it. But one can draw further 
from this source indirectly in different ways : the rational value 
of a positing act which in itself has no self-evidence can 
be derived from it, or, if it is immediate, strengthened and 

Let us consider the latter case, and with the aid of an example 
indicate the difficult problems which concern the relation of the 
non-self-evident immediate rational positing acts to primordial self- 
evidence (in our sense of the term, as bearing, that is, on the primor- 
dial nature of givenness). 

In a certain way indeed every clear recollection possesses an 
original and immediate right; considered in and for itself, it 
“weighs” something, whether little or much, it has a “weight”. 
But it has only a relative and imperfect right. In respect of that 
which it reproduces, let us say a past event, there lies in it a relation 
to the actual present. It posits the past and necessarily posits with 
it the relevant field of view, though in a dim, vague, undetermined 
way ; brought to clearness and thetic distinctness the latter would 
have to permit of being developed in a context of recollections 
thetically carried out, and to terminate in actual perceptions, in the 
actual ^^hic et nunc,^^ The same holds for every sort of remember- 
ing in our very broad use of the term in which it is related to all 
the modes of time. 

In positions such as these, essential insights unmistakably 
declare themselves. They point to the essential connexions with 
the exhibition of which the meaning and the kind of verification 
of which every recollection is capable and “stands in need of” 
would be presented more clearly. With every advance from one 
recollection to another in the clarifying connexions of memory, 
which terminate in the perceptual present, the memory gets 



Strengthened. The strengthening is to a certain extent reciprocal, 
the memory-weightings are functionally inter-dependent, each 
recollection in its context of memories has a power which increases 
with the extension of that context, and is greater than it would have 
been in a more restricted connexion or alone by itself. But if the 
development reaches through to the present moment^ something of 
the light of perception and its self -evidence shines back along the whole 
series of recollections. 

One could even say: the rationality and legitimacy {Rechts- 
charakter) of memory springs up in secret through the power of 
perception^ which in all confusion and obscurity is still operative 
even when the latter “lacks its full consummation’’. 

But in any case such verification is needed to bring out clearly 
what it strictly is that bears the mediated reflexion of perceptual 
authority {Wahrnehmungsrechtes). Memory has its own kind of 
inadequacy in that it can blend what is “really remembered” with 
what is not remembered, or again in the fact that different recol- 
lections can take place and yet pass as the unity of one memory ; 
whereas through the receding of the horizon of memory which 
takes place in actual recall, the series of recollections which then 
open out divide so that the one single memory-picture “explodes”, 
and scatters in a plurality of mutually incompatible memory- 
intuitions, whereby there would be occurrences to describe 
similar to those which (in a manner that clearly permits of being 
extensively generalized) we have had occasion to point out in 
respect of perceptions.^ 

All this may serve to indicate by way of illustration large and 
important groups of problems dealing with the ^'confirming^^ and 
verifying'"^ of immediate rational positings (as also to illustrate the 
division of rational positing acts into pure and impure, unmixed 
and mixed) ; but above all we may grasp here one sense in which 
it is valid to say that all mediate rational positings, and, in further 
sequence, all rational cognition that is predicative and conceptual, 
throw us back upon self -evidence. We are to understand, of course, 
that only the primordial self-evidence is an “original” source 
of authority {Rechtsqiielle)^ and the rational positings of memory, 

* Cf. supra, § 138, pp. 385“*6. 



for instance, and so of all reproductive acts, including that of 
empathy, are not original, and are in certain ways “derived’’. 

We may, however, draw from the source of the primordially 
given in shapes and forms of a quite different mould. 

One such form has already been indicated by the way: the 
weakening of rational values in the continuous transition from 
living self-evidence to non-self-evidence. But let us now indicate 
an essentially different group of cases where a posited meaning is 
mediately related, within a synthetic connexion self-evident at every 
link of it, to grounds that are immediately self-evident. Therewith 
emerges a new and general type of rational positions, of a different 
rational character, phenomenologically, from immediate self- 
evidence. So here also we have a kind of derived mediate self- 
evidence^^ — ^the kind for which as a rule the expression “mediate 
self-evidence” is exclusively reserved. This derived self-evidential 
character is such in its essential nature that it can emerge only with 
the last link of a system of positions which, starting with those 
that are immediately self-evident, takes different forms as its 
course proceeds, every step in advance being supported on grounds 
of self-evidence ; whereby these self-evidences are partly immediate, 
partly already derived; partly transparent, partly not; primordial, 
or non-primordial. Therewith a new field of the phenomenological 
theory of reason is indicated. Our task here is to study, from the 
side both of the noesis and the noema, the general and the special 
“events” of the essential order of reason in mediate supportings^ 
provings of every kind and form, and in all thetic spheres what- 
soever; to refer to their phenomenological origins the different 
“principles” of such proof, which are of essentially different kind, 
for instance, according as it treats of objectivities that are presented 
as immanent or transcendent, adequate or inadequate; and to 
make these “principles” “intelligible” through this ultimate 
reference, not omitting to take into account all the phenomeno- 
logical strata involved. 



§142. Being and the Thesis of Reason 

With the general understanding of the essence of the reason — ^and 
this is the goal of the group of inquiries indicated — of the reason 
stretched to its widest to cover all varieties of the positing act, 
including the axiological and the practical, the general elucidation 
of the essential correlations which unite the idea of true (wahrhaft) 
Being with the ideas of truth, reason and consciousness must 
eo ipso be secured. 

In this direction we very soon reach a general insight, namely, 
that not merely “object that truly is” and “to be rationally posited”, 
but also “truly being”, and an object to be posited in an original 
and perfect thesis of the Reason, are equivalent correlates. The 
object would not be given to this rational thesis in an incomplete 
and merely “partial” form. The meaning which underlies it as its 
material would not in any prescribed direction lying within one’s 
mental reach leave any “open” possibilities for the determinable 
X: no determinability which was not already an established de- 
termination, no meaning that was not fully determined and its 
defining limits set. Since the thesis of the reason should be an 
original one, it must have its rational ground in the primordial 
givenness of that which is in a full sense determined : The X is 
not only meant in its full determinacy, but therein primordially 
given. The import of the indicated equivalence is then as 
follows: — 

To every olyect “that truly is” there intrinsically corresponds 
(in the a priori of the unconditioned generality of the essence) 
the idea of a possible consciousness in which the object itself can be 
grasped in a. primordial and also perfectly adequate way. Conversely, 
when this possibility is guaranteed, the object is eo ipso “that which 
truly is”. 

This too is here specially significant, namely, that we find 
definitely prescribed in the essential nature of every category of 
formative synthesis (which is the correlate of every category of the 
object) the possible shapes, perfect or imperfect, which it can 
concretely take. Again, it is prescribed on essential lines for every 
imperfect synthesis of this kind how it may perfect itself, how its 



meaning may be completed, intuitionally filled, and how the in- 
tuition is to be further enriched. 

Every category of the object (every region and every category 
in our own more restricted and pregnant sense of the term) is a 
general essence which must itself be brought on grounds of prin- 
ciple to adequate giveimess. In its adequate givenness it prescribes a 
transparent (dnsichtige) general rule for every special object of 
which we become aware in the variety of concrete experiences 
(these experiences would here be naturally taken not as individual 
particularities (Singularitdten) but as essences, as concreta of the 
lowest class). It prescribes the rule that determines how an object 
subordinate to it is to be brought in respect of its meaning and 
mode of presentation to full determinacy, to adequate primordial 
givenness; through which discrete or continuously developing 
connexions of consciousness, and through which concrete exhibi- 
tions out of the essential nature of these connexions, are effected. 
We shall understand how much these short sentences contain 
when we study these problems more closely in the concluding 
chapter (starting from § 149). At this point a brief illustrative 
indication may suffice : The invisible determinations of a thing — 
this we know with apodeictic certainty — ^are, like all thing-determi- 
nations, necessarily spatial ; this gives a law-conforming rule for 
the possible spatial modes of completion in respect of the invisible 
sides of the appearing thing, a rule which, in its full development, 
we call pure geometry. As further determinations of a Thing we 
have the temporal and the material determinations. To these, in 
their turn, new rules apply for possible (not therefore freely dis- 
posable) completions of meaning, and in further sequence for 
possible thetic intuitions or appearances. The essential content 
these may possess, the standards to which their matter conforms, 
and the criteria for determining the characters which their forms 
of apprehension, noematic or noetic, may legitimately possess, 
this too is all prescribed a priori. 



§ 143. The Adequate Presentation of a Thing as an Idea in 
THE Kantian Sense 

Yet before we grapple with these problems, a postscript is needed 
to remove the illusory sense of contradiction with our previous 
exposition (§ 138). There we remarked that on principle we could 
only have inadequately appearing (therefore also only inadequately 
perceivable) objects. But we must not overlook the modi^dng 
qualification we made: inadequately perceivable, we said, within 
the finite limits of appearance. There are objects — and all tran- 
scendent objects, all “realities" {Realitaten) which are included 
under the rubric Nature or World are here included — ^which cannot 
be given with complete determinacy and with similarly complete 
intuitability in any limited finite consciousness. 

But as “Idea" (in the Kantian sense), the complete givenness is 
nevertheless prescribed — ^as a connexion of endless processes of 
continuous appearing, absolutely fixed in its essential type, or, 
as the field for these processes, a continuum of appearances deter- 
mined a priori, possessing different but determinate dimensions, 
governed by an established dispensation of essential order. 

This continuum is more closely defined as infinite in all direc- 
tions, consisting in all its phases of appearances of the same 
determinable X, so ordered as a coimected system and so deter- 
mined as to its essential content that any one of its lines when 
carried continuously forward gives a harmonious system of appear- 
ances (which is itself to be designated as a unity of mobile appear- 
ance), wherein the given X, ever one and the same, is with 
unbroken consistency “more closely” and never “otherwise” 

If now a self-contained unity of the course covered, a finite act 
therefore that is mobile only within the limits of its finitude, is 
in virtue of the pervasive infinity of the continuum unthinkable 
(it would give an absurd finite infinity), the idea of this continuum 
and the idea of the completed givenness thereby prefigured lies, 
none the less, transparent before us — open to insight as only an 
“Idea” can be, designating through its essential nature a type of 
insight that is all its own. 



The idea of an infinity essentially motivated is not itself an 
infinity; the insight that this infinity is intrinsically incapable of 
being given does not exclude but rather demands the transparent 
givenness of the Idea of this infinity. 

§ 144. Reality and Primordial Dator Consciousness : 

Concluding Determinations 

Thus it remains as a result that the Eidos True-Being is correla- 
tively equivalent to the Eidos Adequately given-Being and Being 
that can be posited as self-evident; and this, moreover, in the 
sense either of finite givenness or of givenness in the form of an 
Idea. In the one case Being is “immanent” Being, Being as a 
completed experience or noematic correlate of experience; in 
the other case it is transcendent Being, i.e., Being whose “tran- 
scendence” rests precisely in the infinitude of the noematic correlate 
which it demands as ontical “material”. 

Where the dator intuition is adequate and immanent, the sense 
{Sinn) primordially filled out, though not indeed the sense 
simpliciter, coalesces with the object. The object is just that which 
is grasped and posited in adequate intuition as a primordial Self, 
transparent in virtue of its primordiality, and absolutely trans- 
parent in virtue of the completeness of the meaning and its 
complete primordial filling-out {Erfiillung). 

Where the dator intuition is of a transcending character, the 
objective factor caimot come to be adequately given; what can 
alone be given here is the Idea of such a factor, or of its meaning 
and “epistemological essence”, and therevrith an a priori rule for 
the well-ordered infinities of inadequate experiences. 

On the ground of experiences that have at times been enjoyed 
and of this rule (or varied system of rules which covers their case) 
we cannot indeed unambiguously infer how the further course 
of experience must proceed. On the contrary there remain open 
countless possibilities which, however, are prefigured according 
to type through the very richly organized a priori ordering. The 
system of geometrical rules determines with absolute precision 
all the possible forms of motion which might supplement the bit 



of observed movement here and now before us, but it does not 
indicate a single real course for the motion of the object that is 
really moving. How the empirical thought which is grounded in 
experience comes here to the rescue ; how anything of the nature 
of the scientific determination of thing-like particulars as empiri- 
cally posited units {Einheiten) which yet include an infinite number 
of possible determinations, all varied in meaning, is at all possible; 
how, within the topic {Thesis) of Nature we can reach the goal of 
unambiguous determination, in accordance with the Idea of the 
natural object or event, etc. (which as the Idea of an individual 
particular is fully determinate) : this all belongs to a new stratum 
of inquiry. It belongs to the phenomenology of the reason in its 
specific experiencing, more particularly to the physical, psycho- 
logical, and, in general, natural scientific reason, which refers the 
ontological and noetic rules which belong to the science of experi- 
ence as such back to its phenomenological sources. But that means 
that it seeks out and eidetically investigates the phenomenological 
strata, noetic and noematic, in which the content of these rules is 

§ 145. Critical Consideration of the Phenomenology of 

It is clear from the foregoing treatment that the phenomenology 
of the Reason^ noetics in a pregnant sense of the term^ which proposes 
to subject to intuitive research not indeed consciousness generally, 
but the rational consciousness, throughout presupposes general 
phenomenology. That — ^in the realm of positionality^ — thetic 
cmsdousness of emery kind {Gattmg) stands under certain norms is 
itself a phenomenological fact ; the norms are no other than essential 
laws which relate to certain noetic-noematic connexions to be 
rigorously analysed and described in respect of their kind and 
form. Naturally we have everywhere to reckon with ''unreason'^ 
also, as the negative counterpart of reason, just as the phenomen- 

* All thetic occurrences when transferred to the sphere of fancy and neutrality 
are left ‘‘mirrored” and “powerless”; so it is also with all occurrences of the 
Reason. We do not confirm, but only quasi-confirm, neutral theses; they are 
not self-evident, but “as if” (gldchsam) self-evident, and so forth. 



ology of self-evidence includes in itself that of its counterpart, 
absurdity, ^ The general doctrine of the essence of self -evidence with 
its analyses bearing on essential distinctions of the most general 
kind constitutes a relatively small although fundamental portion 
of the phenomenology of Reason. Therein we confirm — and the 
considerations we have just advanced may already suffice to make 
the point quite clear — ^what was briefly maintained at the beginning 
of this book- as against perverse interpretations of the meaning of 

Self-evidence, in fact, is not any sort of conscious indicator 
affixed to a judgment (and ordinarily it is only in relation to judg- 
ment that one speaks of self-evidence) and calling to us like a 
mystical voice from a better world: Here is the Truth! as though 
such a voice had anything to say to free spirits like ourselves and 
had not to make good its title to authority. We do not need any 
longer to get even with sceptical considerations, nor to consider 
misgivings of the old type which cannot be overcome through any 
theory of self-evidence that makes it a matter of indicators and 
feelings: the doubt, namely, whether a malicious demon (of 
Cartesian invention) or a fateful alteration of the actual course of 
the world might not bring it about that every false judgment were 
provided with this indicator, this feeling of intellectual necessity or 
transcendent obligation, and the like. If we get down to the 
relevant phenomena themselves and study them in the framework 
of a phenomenological reduction, we recognize with complete 
clearness that we are here dealing with a quite special mode of 
positing (and with nothing so little therefore as with a content 
affixed somehow to the act, with an appendage of any sort 
whatsoever), a mode of positing which belongs to eidetically de- 
termined essences constitutive of the noema (e.g., the modus of 
insight into essential being which in a primordial way gives an 
original transparency to the make-up of the noema). One recognizes 
further that once again essential laws govern the relation of those 
positional acts which do not possess this special constitution to 

* Cf. Logical Studies^ Vol. Ill, Sixth Study, § 39, pp. izi ff., esp. p. 126. In 
general the whole of the Sixth Study supplies phenomenological prolegomena 
for dealing with the problems of the Reason discussed in the present chapter. 

^ Cf. mpray the second chapter of the first division, esp, § 21, pp. 87-8. 



such as do possess it ; that there is such a thing, for instance, as 
consciousness of the 'fulfilment of the intention^\ of authorizing 
and strengthening with special reference to the thetic characters, 
just as there are also the corresponding opposed characters of the 
depriving of all authority and power. We further recognize that the 
logical principles require a profound phenomenological elucida- 
tion, and that the principle of contradiction, for instance, takes 
us back to the essential connexions of possible confirmation and 
possible invalidation (or, alternatively, rational cancellation).^ 
Speaking generally, we obtain the insight that we have here and 
at every point to do, not with contingent facts but with eidetic 
eventualities which stand in their eidetic connexions, and therefore 
that what obtains in the Eidos functions as an absolutely unassail- 
able standard for the fact. In this phenomenological chapter we 
also get clear on this point, that not every positional experience (e.g. , 
an experience of judgment of any kind) can become self-evident 
in the same way, and more specifically not every such experience 
can become immediately self-evident; further, that all modes of 
rational positing, all types of immediate or mediate self-evidence, 
are rooted in phenomenological connexions within which the 
radically different object-regions separate out from one another on 
noetic-noematic lines. 

It particularly concerns us to study systematically the con- 
tinuous identity-unisons and the synthetic identifications in all 
domains according to their phenomenological constitution. If 
one has first become acquainted — ^and this is the first step and a 
necessary one — ^with the inner construction of intentional experi- 

* Cf. Logical Studies f Vol. IH, Sixth Study, § 34, pp. iii ff. It is to be regretted 
that W. Wundt passes here an altogether different judgment, as he does indeed 
upon phenomenology as a whole. The inquiry, which does not transcend in 
the least the sphere of pure intuitional data, he interprets as “Scholasticism”. 
The distinction between the act that bestows and the act that fulfils meaning 
he designates {Kldne Schriften^Vol. I, p. 613) as our “chosen formal schema”, 
and the net result of our analyses he declares to be the “most naive verbal 
repetition”: “self-evidence is self -evidence, abstraction is abstraction”. He 
introduces the concluding words of his criticism with the words which I will 
take the liberty of quoting: “Husserrs founding of a new logic which has a 
theoretical rather than a practical turn ends in the case of each of his con- 
ceptual analyses, so far as these possess a positive content, with the assurance 
really that A ~ A and is nothing other than this” {ibid,^ pp. 613-614). 



ences in regard to all general structural forms, with the parallelism 
of these structures, the stratifications in the noema, such as mean- 
ing, the subject-bearer of meaning, thetic characters, concrete 
fullness, it behoves us in all synthetic unifications to make fully 
clear how there take place therein not merely acts of binding 
generally, but a binding into the unity of am act. In particular, 
clarity and analytic insight come to us in respect of many such 
questions as : how identifying unifications are possible, how here 
and there the determinable X acquires a determinate and valid 
value, and how this affects the determinations of meaning and 
their vacancies, i.e., their phases of indeterminacy; and in respect 
also of such matters as intuitive fullness (Fullen), and forms of 
confirmation, of proof and of progressive knowledge as it passes 
from lower to higher levels of consciousness. 

These studies in rationality, however, and all that go along with 
them, are carried out from the “transcendental”, the phenomeno- 
logical standpoint. No judgment there carried out is a judgment 
on a natural basis, presupposing as background the thesis of natural 
reality, not even where the study m question is the phenomenology 
of the consciousness of reality, of the knowledge of nature, of the 
realization of natural values and insight into their bearings. We 
seek out everywhere the formations of the noeses and the noemata, 
we sketch out a systematic and eidetic morphology, and set out 
everywhere the essential necessities and possibilities ; the latter as 
necessary possibilities, i.e., unifying forms of compatibility pre- 
scribed by the essential natures of things and girt about with essen- 
tial laws. “Object” as we everywhere understand it is a title for 
I essential connexions of consciousness; it first comes forward as 
noematic X, the subject-bearer of different essential types of 
meanings and positions. It appears further as the title for certain 
connexions of the reason, eidetically considered, in which the 
contained X that unifies in terms of meaning receives its rational 

As similar titles for determinate, eidetically circumscribed 
groups to be fixed through inquiries into essences, and uniting 
“teleologically” connected formations of consciousness, we have 
such exprmions as “possible”, "probable”, “doubtful” object. 



The connexions are ever changing afresh, and in their otherness 
must be precisely described : thus, for instance, it is easy to see 
that the possibility of the X being determined in such and such a 
way is not merely proved through the primordial givenness of 
this X with its provision of meaning {Sinneshestande), through 
the reference therefore to a real element, but that also mere 
suggestions consolidated through reproduction can strengthen 
each other mutually by coming harmoniously together; and that 
likewise dmibtfulness comes to light in the phenomena of conflict 
between the modalized intuitions of a certain descriptive specifica- 
tion, and so forth. Connected therewith are the inquiries of a 
theoretically rational type which relate to the distinction between 
positivities (Sachen) values, and practical objectivities, and seek 
out the constitutive conscious constructions for the same. Thus 
phenomenology really envelops the whole natural world, and with 
this the ideal worlds it shuts off: it includes them as “world- 
meaning” through the conformities to essential law and order 
which connect objective meaning and noema generally with the 
self-contained systems of the noeses, and especially through the 
rationally ordered essential connexions, whose correlate is “real 
object”, which therefore on its own side acts on occasion as an 
indicator of fully determined systems of conscious formations 
teleologically unified. 



Our meditations upon the forms of inquiry proper to a phenomen- 
ology of the reason have so far been proceeding on a plane of 
generality which did not permit the essential ramifications of the 
problems raised and their connexions with the formal and regional 
ontologies to stand out at all clearly. In this respect we must try 
to be more specific, only so will the full meaning of the pheno- 
menological eidetics of the reason and the whole wealth of its 
problems be revealed to us. 

§ 146. The Most General Problems 

Let us get back to the sources of all forms of rational inquiry and 
follow them in their ramifyings as systematically as possible. 

The title of the problem which in its scope covers phenomenology 
in its entirety is Intentionality. This indeed expresses the funda- 
mental property of consciousness; all phenomenological problems, 
including the hyletic, find their ordered place within it. Thus 
phenomenology starts off with problems of intentionality, but 
at first quite generally and without drawing into its own circle 
of consideration the question of the real (or true) Being of what 
we are conscious of when we are conscious. We leave unconsidered 
the fact that positional consciousness with its thetic characters can, 
in the most general sense of the term, be designated as “sense- 
positing’^ {Vermeinen)y and finds its necessary place as such under 
the rational oppositions of validity and invalidity. We were able 
to approach these problems only in the last chapters, with reference 
to the main structures of consciousness which we had learnt to 
understand in the interval. And since our concern was with eidetic 
beginnings, we carried out the analyses with the greatest possible 
generality, as indeed the nature of the case demanded. In all 
eidetic spheres the systematic procedure is from higher to lower 
generality, though analysis, when on the trail, may attach itself 



to particulars. We spoke of reason and the rational thesis generally, 
of primordial and derived, of adequate and inadequate self-evi- 
dence, of essential insight and individual self-evidence, and the 
like. The descriptions we outlined already presupposed an exten- 
sive phenomenological basis, a whole series of difficult distinctions 
which we had worked out for ourselves in the chapters treating of 
the most general structures of consciousness. Without the concepts 
meaning, posited meaning, meaning posited and fulfilled (epistemo- 
logical essence in the language of the Logical Studies), it is quite 
impossible to reach the radical formulation of any problem of the 
theoretical reason. These concepts presuppose others again and 
the cleavages of essence that correspond to them : the differences 
of positionality and neutrality, those of the thetic characters and 
their contents of meaning (Materien), the separating out of the 
peculiar modifications of essence which do not come under the 
Eidos ‘posited meaning’, as, for instance, the attentional modifica- 
tions, and so forth. At the same time, that we may not underrate 
the scope of the analyses required in the most general stratum of 
theoretical reason of which we are here speaking, we stress the 
fact that the essential descriptions of the last chapter should count 
only as mere begiimings. As everywhere else, so also here, we were 
only carrying out our methodic intention to prepare so much firm 
ground for every intrinsically new stratum that might be pictured 
as a field of phenomenological inquiries as to make these latter 
secure, formulate the initial and fundamental problems that relate 
to these, and cast free glances towards the encircling line of 
problems in the far distance. 

§ 147. Ramifications of the Problem. Formal Logic, 
Axiology, and Praxis 

The general phenomenology of the reason differentiates as we 
take into account further structural differences which have a 
determining influence upon rational characteristics: differences 
depending on the fundamental type of thesis in question, on the 
differences between basic {schlichter) and derived theses, and the 
differences which cross with these of unilateral {eingliedrige) theses 

4o6 pure phenomenology 

and syntheses. The main groups of problems of the reason (prob- 
lems of self-evidence) relate to the main types of theses, and the 
positing material {Setzungsmat&rieti) which these essentially 
demand. At the head, of course, come the protodoxa, the doxic 
modalities with the ontical modalities that correspond to them. 

In pursuing such ends of the theoretical reason we come 
necessarily to the problems on which depends the proper understand- 
ing of Formal Logic as a form of the theoretical reason, and of the 
parallel disciplines which I have called Formal Axiology and 

I would refer back in the first place to the earlier discussions 
concerning the purely formal doctrine of positions (Satze), and 
in particular of synthetic positions, relating to the predicative doxic 
s3mthesis, as also the synthetic forms that belong to the doxic 
modalities, and further to the acts of feeling (Gerniit) and will 
(the forms of preference, for instance, those of valuing and willing 
“in the interests of another”, the forms of the axiological “and” 
and “or”). In these formal doctrines we are concerned with the 
pure form of synthetic positions {Satze) in their noematic aspect, 
without bringing into question their rational validity or invalidity. 
Thus they do not yet belong to the stratum of the doctrine of 

But as soon as we throw out these questions, and propound 
them indeed for positions generally so far as they are conceived as 
exclusively determined through pure forms, we are in the sphere 
of Formal Logic and of the parallel formal disciplines mentioned 
above, which are essentially built up upon the corresponding 
formal doctrines as their underlying strata. In the synthetic forms — 
which as such manifestly presuppose much that concerns the 
theses or positions of the relevant positional category, whilst leaving 
it specifically indeterminate — there lie a priori conditions of possible 
validity which come to expression in the essential laws of the disciplines 
in question. 

More specifically there lie in the pure forms of the predicative 
(analytic) synthesis a priori conditions of the possibility of doxic 
rational certainty, or in noematic terms, of possible truth. In thus 
setting it out objectively, we obtain Formal Logic in the narrowest 



sense of the formal Apophansis (the formal Logic of ‘‘judg- 
ments^’) which thus has its basis in the formal theory of these 

Similar remarks apply to the syntheses belonging to the spheres 
of feeling {Gemiit) and will, and to their noematic correlates, to 
their types of synthetic “positions” therefore, whereof the syste- 
matic formal doctrine must again furnish the basis for the con- 
struction of the doctrines of formal validity. In the pure synthetic 
forms of these spheres (as, for instance, in the connexions of ends 
and means) there are in reality concealed the conditions of the 
possibility of axiological and practical ^Hruth'\ Thereby, through 
the “objectivation”, which takes place also in acts of feeling 
{Gemiit)^ for instance, all axiological and practical rationality is 
converted, in the way we have learnt to understand, into doxic 
rationality, and noematically into truths objectively into reality ; we 
speak of true or real ends, means, grounds of preference, and so 

Special phenomenological inquiries of an extremely important 
kind are concerned with each one of these connexions. Already the 
fashion in which the formal disciplines just cited are character- 
ized is phenomenological, and presupposes many of the results of 
our analyses. The worker in pure logic^ “dogmatically” treated, 
grasps through abstraction the apophantic forms (“proposition 
in general” or “judgment”, categorical, hypothetical, conjunctive, 
disjunctive, and so forth), and establishes for them axioms of 
formal truth. He knows nothing of analytic synthesis, of essential 
relations, noetic and noematic, of the incorporation within the 
essence-systems of pure consciousness of the essences he has 
extracted and conceptually determined ; in his inquiries he studies 
apart what can be fully understood only in this fullness of essential 
connexion. It is phenomenology which, by reverting to the sources 
of intuition in transcendentally purified consciousness, makes it 
clear to us what is precisely involved in the fact that we some- 
times speak of formal conditions of truth, sometimes of those of 
knowledge. It enlightens us in a general way concerning essence 
and essential relations in respect of the concepts knowledge, self- 
evidence, truth, being (object, positive content, and so forth) ; it 



teaches us to understand the structure of the judging process and 
of the judgment, the way in which the structure of the noema 
determines knowledge, how the “posited meaning” thereby plays 
its special part, and again the varying possibility of its cognitive 
“fullness”. It shows which modes of filling out are essential con- 
ditions for the rational character of self-evidence, which types of 
self-evidence are in question on any occasion, and so forth. In 
particular it enables us to understand that the a priori truths of 
Logic concern essential connexions between the possibility of the 
intuitive fitting out of the posited meaning (whereby the corre- 
sponding positive content attains synthetic intuition) and of the 
pure synthetic form of the posited meaning (the pure logical form), 
and that that possibility is at the same time the condition of possible 
validity {Geltung). 

It also shows that on closer scrutiny a twofold distinction must 
here be made, corresponding to the correlation of noesis and noema. 
In the formal Apophansis (in the syllogism, for instance) our 
discourse is of judgments as noematic propositions and their 
“formal truth”. The standpoint is noematic throughout. On the 
other hand, m formal apophantic noetics, the standpoint is noetic, 
and our talk is of rationality, correctness of the judging-process ; 
standards of correctness are laid down {ausgespyrochen), and these 
with relation to the forms of the propositions. For instance, we 
cannot maintain that a contradiction is true; he who judges in 
accordance with the forms of premises of the valid inferential 
moods “must” draw the conclusions proper to the corresponding 
forms, and so forth. These parallels are at once intelligible when 
considered in a phenomenological coimexion. The events which 
concern the act of judging, the noesis and likewise the essentially 
corresponding events in the noema, of the Apophansis are studied 
precisely in their necessary intercoimexion and within the full 
tissue of consciousness. 

The same considerations hold, of course, for the remaining 
formal disciplines in respect of the parallelism of noetic and 
noematic orderings. 



§ 148. Problems of the Theoretical Reason as Bearing on 
Formal Ontology 

Shifting our orientation, we pass from these disciplines to the 
corresponding Ontologies. Phenomenologically, the connexion is 
already given through the general adjustments of mental vision 
that are seen to be possible, and can be carried out within each 
act ; whereby the constituents thus made visible are reciprocally 
interconnected through a network of essential laws. The primary 
point of view looks towards the objective; noematic reflection 
leads to the noematic, noetic reflection to the noetic contents. By 
abstraction from these contents the disciplines that here concern 
us extract pure forms : formal Apophantic extracting noematic, 
and the parallel noetic, noetic forms. And just as these forms are 
bound mutually together through essential laws, so are they both 
united with ontic forms, which can be grasped through glancing 
back to the ontic constituents {Bestdnde). 

Every formal-logical law may be transformed into an equivalent 
formal-ontological law. The judgment, instead of being passed 
upon judgments, will now bear upon substantive meanings (facts), 
and again upon objects instead of upon elements of judgments 
(e.g., denominative meanings), and upon characteristic marks 
instead of upon predicative meanings, and so forth. We no longer 
talk of the truth and validity of propositions, but of the consti- 
tuents of the substantive meanings (facts), of the Being of 
objects, and so forth. 

Of course, the phenomenological import (Gehalt) of this transi- 
tion is to be made clear through referring it back to that of the 
standard concepts. 

Formal Ontology, moreover, extends far beyond the sphere of 
such mere transformations of the formal apophantic truths. Im- 
portant disciplines grow out of it through those “denominative 
reductions” of which we have previously spoken. In the plural 
judgment the plural figures as a plural thesis. Through the denom- 
inative transition it becomes the object , group ; and thus the funda- 
mental concept of the Theory of Groups grows up. In this theory 
judgments are passed upon groups as upon objects possessing their 



own peculiar types of properties, relations, and so forth. The same 
holds for the concepts relation, number, etc., as the basic concepts 
of mathematical disciplines. As with the merely formal doctrines 
of the proposition, so here we must repeat our statement that it 
is not the task of phenomenology to develop these disciplines and 
to carry on mathematics, syllogistic exercises, and the like. It is 
only in the axioms and their conceptual content that phenomen- 
ology finds a proper subject-matter for its analyses. 

What we have said applies automatically to Formal Axiology and 
Praxis, as well as to tht formal ontologies to be set alongside these 
as theoretical desiderata, and treating of values (in a very broad 
sense of that term), of goods — ^in short, of all the ontic spheres 
which are correlates of the affective and volitional consciousness. 

The reader will notice that the concept of ^formal ontology*^ has 
broadened its meaning in the course of these discussions,^ Values, the 
objectivities of practice, are properly classed under the formal 
heading ‘‘object” or “something in general”. From the standpoint 
of universal analytic Ontology they are thus materially determined 
objects, the “formal” ontologies of values, and the material dis- 
ciplines of practical objectivities that belong to them. On the other 
hand, the analogies which have their ground in the parallelism of 
the thetic genera (belief or its modality, valuing, willing), and the 
syntheses and syntactical formations specifically co-ordinate with 
them, have their force, and indeed a power so effective that Kant 
directly designates^ the relation of the willing of the end to that of 
the means as “analytic”, thereby indeed confusing analogy with 
identity. The analytic proper which belongs to the predicative 
synthesis of the doxa should not be confused with its formal 
analogue which is related to the syntheses of the theses of feeling 
and will. Profound and important problems of the phenomenology 
of the reason are involved in the thorough clearing-up of these 
analogies and parallels, 

* Cf. § 1 19, p. 337 f. 

» Cf. Grundlegwng zur Metapkysik der Sitten (A. 417) : who wills the end 

wills also the necessary means in his power indispensable to achieving it. 
This proposition, so far as the willing is concerned, is analytic^ 


§ 149. Problems of the Theoretical Reason as Bearing on 
THE Regional Ontologies. The Problem of the Pheno- 
menological Constituting Function 

After we have discussed the problems of the theoretical reason 
which the formal disciplines set us, we have to effect the transition 
to the material^ and in the first instance to the regional ontologies. 

Every objective region consciously constitutes itself. An object 
determined through the regional genus has, as such, so far as it is 
real, its modes of being perceptible, clearly or obscurely present- 
able, conceivable, provable, prescribed apriori. Thus we come back 
again, in respect of the grounds of rationality, to the meanings, 
significant positings, and cognitive essences ; not to the mere forms, 
however, but rather, since we have in mind the material generality 
of the regional and categorical essence, to significant positings, 
whose determining content is taken in its regional determinacy. 
Every region here offers the clue for a distinctive self-contained group 
of inquiries. 

Let us take as guiding clue the region “paaterial thing’*. If we 
correctly understand what this guidance means, we therewith 
grasp at the same time a general problem which determines the 
development of a great and relatively self-contained phenomeno- 
logical discipline: the problem of the general constitution^^ of the 
objectivities of the region ^ Things in the transcendental consciousness^ 
or, expressed more briefly, *‘of the phenomenological constitution 
of the Thing in general”. In sympathy therewith we also learn 
to know the method of inquiry proper to this leading problem. 
The very same is then applicable to every region and every disci- 
pline that relates to its phenomenological constitution. 

What we are concerned with is as follows; The Idea of the 
Thing — we restrict ourselves to this particular region — ^when we 
now speak of it, is represented in consciousness by the conceptual 
thought ‘‘Thing”, possessing a certain noematicstructure (Bestand). 
To each noema there essentially corresponds an ideal self-contained 
group of possible noemata which have their unity herein, that they 
are capable of a synthetic unification through the covering relation. 
If the noema, as in this case, is concordant (einstimmiges), we find 



in the group intuitional and in particular primordial dator noemata 
also, wherein all the specifically different (andersartigen) naembers 
of the group find fulfilment in the identifying congruence (Deckung) 
drawing from them, in the case of positionality, confirmation, 
fullness of rational power. 

Thus we start from the verbal and perhaps wholly obscure 
presentation of a Thing, exactly as presented to us. We freely 
produce intuitional representations of the same “Thing”-in-general 
and make clear to ourselves the vague meaning of the word. Since 
we are concerned here with a “general presentation”, we must 
proceed with the help of illustrations. We produce at random 
fancy intuitions of things, free intuitions, shall we say of winged 
steeds, white ravens, golden mountains, and the like; these would 
in any case be things, and presentations of them serve therefore for 
purposes of illustration just as well as presentations of things 
of real experience. Through such material we apprehend in 
idea and with intuitive clearness the essence “Thing” as the 
subject of noematic determinations closely limited along general 

We must observe (recalling what has already been established 
in an earlier context^) that the essence “thing” is indeed in this 
way primordially given, but that this givenness caimot on principle 
be adequate. We can bring the noema or thing-meaning to the 
point of adequate presentation; but the various thing-meanings, 
even when taken in their fullness, do not contain the regional 
essence “thing” as a primordially intuitable constituent immanent 
in them, just as little indeed as the various meanings relating to 
one and the same individual thing contain the individual essence 
of this thing. In other words, whether it is the essence of an indi- 
vidual thing that concerns us or the regional essence of Thing in 
general, in no case does a single intuition of a thing or a finite 
closed continuum or collection of thing-intuitions suflBce to obtain 
in adequate form the desired essence in the total fullness of its 
essential determinations. An inadequate iasight into the essence 
is, however, always obtainable; and it always has this great advan- 
tage over an empty apprehension of the essence, such as can be 
* Cf. § X43, p, 397. 



set up by way of illustration on the basis of an obscure presenta- 
tion, that it has the essence primordially given. 

This holds good for all grades of essential generality, from the 
essence of the individual up to the given Thing. 

But it is an essential insight of a general kind that every imperfect 
givenness (every inadequate object-giving noema) contains within 
itself a rule for the ideal possibility of its perfecting. It belongs to 
the essence of the appearance in centaur form which I have 
before me now — ^an appearance which gives the essence of the 
centaur in a merely one-sided way — ^that I seek out the different 
aspects of the thing, and in free fancy can determine and render 
intuitable what is at first undetermined and left open. In regard 
to the development of this process of phantasy, as it becomes ever 
more perfectly intuitional and more clearly determinative, we are 
in large measure/ree agents ; we can indeed at our own free pleasure 
endow the fancied centaur intuitionally with more closely deter- 
mining properties and changes of property ; but we are not com- 
pletely free if our advance is to take the form of a consistent 
(einstimmigen) course of intuition in which the determinable 
subject remains the same and can always remain harmoniously 
determinable. We are, for instance, bound by a law-conforming 
space as a frame which the idea of a possible thing in general 
strictly prescribes for us. However arbitrarily we may vary the 
form of what we fancy, one spatial shape will inevitably pass over 
into another. 

But what does this reference to rule or law phenomenologically 
mean? What is implied in the fact that the inadequately given 
region Thing” prescribes rules for the course of possible intuitions — 
and therefore manifestly for the course of possible perceptions ? 

The answer is as follows : To the essence of a thing-noema there 
belong, as can be seen with absolute clearness, ideal possibilities 
of “limitlessness in the development”^ of intuitions of the same order 
{einstimmiger), and indeed in prescribed directions of a determinate 
type (hence with parallel limitlessness also in the continuous 
juxtapositions of corresponding noeses). We here recall the earlier 
discussions concerning the acquisition of the “Idea” of Thing in 
' Cf. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, the sth Space-argument (A. as). 



general, and the insight accompanying it, discussions which remain 
valid for every lower stage of generality down to the lowest con- 
cretum (Konkretion) of the individually determined thing. Its 
transcendence expresses itself in those limitlessnesses in the 
development of intuitions. Again and ever again intuitions may 
pass over into intuitional continua, and continua already given be 
extended. No thing-perception is terminal and conclusive ; space 
always remains for new perceptions which would determine the 
indeterminacies more closely and fill in the perceptual gaps. With 
every such advance the determining content of the thing-noema 
constantly attached to the self-same thing X is enriched. It is an 
essential insight that every perception and perceptual manifold is 
capable of being extended; the process is thus endless; accord- 
ingly no intuitive apprehension of the essence of the Thing can 
be so complete that a further perception could not bring it some- 
thing noematically new. 

On the other hand, we apprehend as self-evident and adequate 
the “Idea” of a Thing. We grasp it in the free process of running 
through the possibilities, in the consciousness of the limitlessness 
of the development of intuitions of the same order. We thus grasp 
at first the Idea of the Thing empty of all intuitional content, and 
of this individual thing as something which is given “just so far” 
as the agreeing intuition “reaches”, but remains at the same time 
determinable “in infimtum". The “and so forth” is an absolutely 
indispensable phase in the thing-noema, and we have a clear insight 
of its necessity. 

On the ground of the consciousness of this limitlessness as 
presented in the form of illustration, we apprehend further the 
“Idea” of the definite directions of infinite development, and that 
indeed in the case of all the intuitional channels along which our 
perception runs. Again we apprehend the regional “Idea” of the 
Thing in genercd as that of the self-same something which main- 
tains itself in and through the properly jointed, determinate 
infinities of each regional chaimel, and proclaims itself in the 
definitely articulated infinite series of noemata that belong to 

It follows then that like the Thing itself every quality that belongs 


41 S 

to the thing’s essential content (Gehalt), and above all every 
constitutive “form’* is an Idea, and this holds good of all grades 
from the generality of the region to the lowest particularity. In 
closer detail: — 

The Thing in its ideal essence presents itself as res temporalis, 
in the necessary “form” of Time. Intuitive “ideation” (which here 
as vision of the “Idea” very specially merits its name) teaches us 
to know the Thing as necessarily enduring, as in principle end- 
lessly extensible in respect of its duration. We grasp in “pure 
intuition” (for this ideation is the phenomenologically clarified 
concept of Kant’s pure intuition) the “Idea” of temporality and 
of all the essential phases included in it. 

The Thing according to its Idea is further res extensa; it is, for 
instance, capable in respect of its spatial relations of infinitely 
various changes of shape, and, where the configuration or change 
of configuration remains identically constant, of infinitely various 
changes of position; it is “movable” in infinitum. We grasp the 
“Idea” of space and the Ideas which it includes. 

Finally, the Thing is res materialis, it is substantial unity, and 
as such the unity of causal connexions, endlessly varied in their 
possible structures. With these specifically real properties also we 
strike upon Ideas, .^//components of the Thing-Idea are themselves 
Ideas, each implying the “and so forth” of “endless” possibilities. 

That which we here develop is not “theory”, not “metaphysic”. 
It concerns essential necessities, indissolubly involved in the thing- 
noema, and, correlatively in the thing-giving consciousness, de- 
manding throughout to be apprehended with clear insight and 
systematically studied. 

§150. Continuation. The Thing-region as Transcendental 


Now that we have got some understanding of the most general 
possible kind of the infinities which the intuition of a thing as 
such (in respect both of noesis and noema) conceals within itself — 
or as we can also say: the Idea of the Thing and the dimensions 
of the infinite which the Idea implicitly contains — Vf& shall also 



soon be able to understand the extent to which the Thing-region 
may serve as a guiding clue in phenomenological inquiries. 

As we intuit an individual thing, and continue intuiting its move- 
ments, its approachings and recedings, its turnings round and 
about, its changes of form and quality, the causal relations in which 
it stands, we run through certain continua of the intuiting process 
correlated with each other in this way or in that and uniting 
in one unity of consciousness; our glance is thereby directed to- 
wards the identical element, the X of the meaning (positional or 
neutralized), the self-same one that changes itself, turns round, 
and so forth. So it is also, when in free intuition we follow up the 
infinite series of possible modifications along the different main 
directions, in the consciousness of limitlessness in the develop- 
ment of this process of intuition. And likewise, again, when we 
pass over to the standpoint of ideation and make clear maybe the 
regional Idea of the Thing: proceeding therein like the geometer 
in the freedom and purity of his geometrical intuition. 

But all this gives us no knowledge of the processes of intuition 
itself and the essences and essential infinities which belong to it, 
or of its constitutive material or noetic phases, of its noematic 
constituents, of the strata that on the one side as on the other are 
distinguishable and eidetically apprehensible. We do not see what 
we are actually experiencing (or are unreflectively aware of in the 
modification of fancy). We therefore need the change of stand- 
point, the different “reflexions” — ^hyletic, noetic, noematic — 
(in their togetherness rightly called reflexioirs since they are 
deviations from the original “straight” direction of the glance 
towards the X). It is these reflexions which now open to us a vats 
and inwardly coherent field of inquiry, or a stupendous group of 
problems coming under the Idea of regional Thing. 

The question then arises: — 

How are we to describe systematically the noeses and noemata 
which belcmg to the unity of the intuitionally presentir^ Thing- 

If we resrict our attention to the noematic sphere, the question 
runs thus: — 

. What expressive form do the manifold positing intuitions, the 


positing intuitional meanings^\ take in which a ‘‘reap’ thing presents 
itself and exhibits (ausweist) its reality intuitionally in original 

Or again, abstracting from the doxic thesis, how do the mere 
appearances — ^noematically understood — express themselves which, 
in themselves and from the pure eidetic standpoint, ‘‘bring to 
its appearing’’ one and the same thing, the fully determined 
thing at the time-being, which belongs as a necessary correlate to 
this manifold of intuition and appearance? Phenomenology is 
never content, on principle, with, vague talk or obscure generalities, 
but systematically demands a definite clarification, analysis and 
description shedding light on the essential connexions and pene- 
trating to the remotest specifications attainable: it demands 
thoroughgoing work. 

The regional Idea of the Thing, its self-identical X with the 
determining content of meaning, posited as being this or thus, pre- 
scribes rules for the manifolds of appearances. It comes to this : they 
are not manifolds in general, coming together by accident, as 
indeed already follows from this that in themselves and on purely 
essential lines they relate to the Thing, the determinate Thing. 
The regional Idea prescribes series of appearances that are fully 
determinate, definitely ordered, progressing in infinitum^ and, 
taken in their ideal totality, precisely limited and fixed, a definite 
inner organization of their modes of development, which, for 
purposes of inquiry, hang essentially together with the partial 
Ideas which are designated in a general way as the components 
of the regional Idea of Thing. As a part of this organization, it 
transpires, for instance, that the unity of a mere res externa is 
conceivable apart from the unity which regulates the Idea of the 
res materialise although no m materialis is conceivable which is 
not also res extensa. The fact stands out (as always in eidetic- 
phenomenological intuition) that every appearance of a thing 
necessarily conceals in itself a stratum which we call the Thing- 
schema: referring thereby to the spatial form filled out simply 
with “sensory” qualities — Slacking every determination of “sub- 
stantiality” and “causality” (in inverted commas, to be understood 
as noematically modified). Already the associated Idea of a mere 



res extensa may stand as title for a wealth of phenomenological 

What in our innocence of phenomenological niceties we take 
for mere facts : that a spatial thing always appears to “us humans” 
in a certain “orientation”, oriented, for instance, in the visual field 
of view as above and below, right and left, near and far ; that we 
can see a thing only at a certain “depth” or “distance”; that all 
the changing distances at which it can be seen are related to a 
centre of all depth-orientations “localized” by us in the head, 
invisible though familiar to us as an ideal limiting point — ^all these 
alleged facts {Faktizitaten) contingencies of spatial perception 
which are foreign to the “true”, “objective” space, reveal them- 
selves down to the most trivial empirical subdivisions (Besonder- 
ungen) as essential necessities. Thus we see that not only for us 
human beings, but also for God — ^as the ideal representative of 
absolute knowledge — ^whatever has the character of a spatial thing, 
is intuitable only through appearances, wherein it is given, and 
indeed must be given, as changing “perspectively” in varied yet 
determined ways, and thereby presented in changing “orienta- 

We must now seek not only to establish this as a general thesis, 
but to follow it up into all its particular formations. The problem 
of the “origin of the presentation of space”, the deepest phenomeno- 
logical meaning whereof has never yet been grasped, reduces 
itself to the phenomenological anal3rsis of the essential nature of 
all the noematic (and noetic) phenomena, wherein space exhibits 
itself intuitiopally and as the unity of appearances, and of Ae 
descriptive modes of such exhibiting “constitutes” the spatial. 

Th& problem of the constituting function clearly betokens nothing 
further than that the regulated series of appearances which 
necessarily hold together within the unity of a single appearing 
object are open to intuition, and can be theoretically apprehended 
— ^and this in spite of their infinities (which in and through its 
determinate “and so forth” can be unequivocally controlled) — ^that 
they can be analysed and described in their own eidetic peculiarity, 
and that the law-conforming function of the correlation between the 
determinate appearing object as unity and the determinately infinite 


mvltiplidties of appearances can be fully seen into and so disrobed 
of all its mysteries. 

This holds good for the unity which lies in the res extensa {and 
also the res temporalis), and not less for the higher, the grounded 
imities which the expression "material”, i.e., suhstantial-causal 
thing, indicates. All these unities constitute themselves on the 
level of empirical intuition in “manifolds”, and the two-sided 
essential connexions must everywhere through all its strata be 
completely illuminated, in respect of meaning, fullness of meaning, 
of thetic functions, and so forth. Finally, there must grow out of 
this the perfect insight into what the Idea of the real Thing repre- 
sents in the phenomenologically pure consciousness, how it is the 
absolutely necessary correlate of a structurally investigated and 
essentially described noetic-noematic connexion. 

§151. Strata of the Transcendental Constitution of the 
Thing. Supplementary Considerations 

These inquiries are essentially determined by the different /orwa- 
tions and strata in the constituting of the Thing within the limits 
of the primordial empirical consciousness. Each formation and each 
stratum in it has this character, that it constitutes a unity of its own, 
which on its side is a necessary connectmg-linh in the full consti- 
tuting of the Thing. 

If we take perchance the formation of the plain perceptual 
constituting of the Thing, whereof the correlate is the sensory 
thing set out with sensory qualities, we relate ourselves to a single 
stream of consciousness, to the possible perceptions of a single 
perceiving personal subject. We find here various strata of unifica- 
tion, the schemata of sensation {sensuellen), the "visual things" of 
higher and lower order, which must be completely set out within 
this order and studied with reference to their noetic-noematic 
constitution, singly and in their interconnexions. The uppermost 
stratum of this formation is that of the substantial-causal Thing, a 
reality already in the specific sense of the term, but remaining 
always constitutively bound to one empirical subject and its ideal 
perceptual manifolds. 



The formation next above this is then the intersiihjective identical 
thing, a constitutive unity of higher order. Its constitution is 
related to an indefinite plurality of subjects that stand in a relation 
of “mutual understanding”. The intersubjective world is the 
correlate of the intersubjective experience, mediated, that is, 
through ^^empathy^\ We are therefore referred to the various unities 
of sensory things {Smnendingeinheiten) already constituted indi- 
vidually by the many subjects, and thus in further sequence to the 
corresponding perceptual manifolds belonging to the different 
personal subjects and streams of consciousness ; but before all to 
the new factor of empathy and to the question how it plays a 
constitutive part in “objective” experience and gives unity to 
those separated manifolds. 

Moreover, all inquiries must be conducted with the complete- 
ness and the comprehensiveness demanded by the nature of the 
case. Thus above, in conformity with the aims of an Introduction, 
we held before our mind a mere preliminary situation, a basic 
system of constitutive appearance-manifolds, namely, that in 
which one and the same thing shows continuously a single aspect 
{eimtimmig erscheint). The perceptions in their limitless unfolding 
along all the systematic lines of development approximate to the 
purity of the covering relation; the theses are being continually 
confirmed. Here we have closer determination only, never deter- 
mination otherwise. No thing-determination that has come to be 
posited as the outcome of a previous course of experience (within 
this ideally closed system) undergoes “cancellation” and “substi- 
tution” through other determinations of that same category of 
quality which is formally prescribed through the regional essence. 
Nothing disturbs the agreement, and there are no compensating 
events that obliterate a disturbance, to say nothing of that “explod- 
ing” of the agreement in which the posited thing is entirely 
cancelled* But these counter-cases must be no less taken into our 
phenomenological reckoning, since they also play or might play 
their part in connexion with the possible constitution of an em- 
pirical reality. The way of fact-knowledge, as of ideally possible 
knowledge, leads through errors, and this already at the lowest 
stage of knowledge, that of the intuitive grasp of reality. Thus the 



courses of perception, in which partial breaches of agreement occur, 
and the agreement can be maintained only through “corrections”, 
must be systematically described in respect of all its essential 
constituents, noetic and noematic: the changes in the mode of 
apprehension, the peculiar thetic occurrences, the transvaluings 
and disvaluings of the previously apprehended as “illusion” or 
“deception” ; the transition into “conflict” still unresolved along 
certain lines, and so forth. Over against the continuous synthesis 
of agreement, the syntheses of conflict, of misinterpretation and 
differing definition, and whatever they may else be called, must 
come into their rights, for a phenomenology of “true reality” the 
phenomenology of '‘min illusion'’ is wholly indispensable. 

§153. Transfer of the Problem of the Transcendental 
Constituting Function to Other Regions 

It will be easily seen that what has been said by way of illustration 
in regard to the constitution of the material Thing — and indeed in 
respect of the constituting process within the system of the mani- 
folds of experience which lie prior to all “thinking”' — ^must apply 
as regards both problem and method to all olfect-regions. In the 
place of “sensory perceptions” we would then naturally have the 
t3rpes of primordial dator acts essentially attached to the regions 
in question, and these acts must be previously set out and investi- 
gated through phenomenological analysis. 

Very difficult problems adhere to the interlacing of the different 
regions. They condition the interlacings in the constituting for- 
mations of consciousness. The Thing is not anything isolated over 
against the experiencing subject, as will have already become 
apparent from the indications given above concerning the inter- 
subjective constitution of the “objective” world of things. But 
this experiencing subject itself is constituted in experience as 
something real, as man or beast, just as the intersubjective communi- 
ties are constituted as animal communities. 

These communities, although essentially grounded in psychical 
realities, which, on their side, are grounded in the physical, reveal 
themselves as a new type of objectivities of higher order. It can be 



seen quite generally that there are many kinds of objectivities 
which defy all psychologistic and all naturalistic misinterpretations. 
Such are all types of objects bearing a value, all practical objects, 
all concrete cultural organizations which as hard realities determine 
our actual life, the State, for instance, the Church, custom, the law, 
and so forth. All these objective entities {Objektitdten) must be 
described in the way in which they come to be presented according 
to their fundamental types and in their proper order of formation, 
and the problems of phenomenological shaping (Konstitutmi) set and 
solved in their case. 

The shaping of these entities leads back quite naturally to that 
of psychical subjects and of things or their analogues in space: 
they are grounded indeed in such realities. Material reality as the 
lowest formation remains in the last resort the foundation of all 
other realities, and therefore undoubtedly the phenomenology of 
material nature holds a pre-eminent position. But looked at without 
prejudice and referred back phenomenologically to its sources, the 
grounded unities, though grounded, are new in type ; the new factor, 
moreover, which is therewith constituted, can never, as we leam 
indeed from essential intuition, be reduced to the mere sum of 
other realities. Thus in fact every peculiar type of such realities 
brings with it its own constitutive phenomenology, and therewith a 
new concrete doctrine of the reason. In principle our task remains 
everywhere the same : we have to bring to knowledge the complete 
system of conscious formations, covering all levels and strata, 
which constitute the primordial givenness of all such objective 
entities, and therewith make intelligible the equivalent, in terms of 
consciousness, of the relevant type of “reality”. Everything also 
which we should say in truth so as to exclude the many misunder- 
standings into which we so easily fall concerning the correlation of 
Being and Consciousness (as, for instance, that all reality “resolves 
itself into psychic factors”) can be stated only on the groimd 
of the essential connexions of the constitutive groups, as appre- 
hended from the phenomenological standpoint and in the light 
of intuition. 



§ 153. The Full Extension of the Transcendental Problem. 
The Inquiries Classified 

A discussion on so general a level as has hitherto been alone possible 
cannot awake any adequate idea of the tremendous extent of the 
investigations which we have so far as possible recognized and 
demanded. To this end, for the main types of realities at least, a 
set of detailed studies would be needed ; we should need to proceed 
as we did in respect of the forms of inquiry needed for investigating 
the general structure of consciousness. Meanwhile in the sequel 
to this work the discussion which the thought of the present day 
finds so absorbing over the controversial questions concerning the 
mutual relation of the great groups of sciences bearing the titles 
natural science, psychology, and science of mind, and especially 
concerning their relation to phenomenology, will at the same time 
provide the opportunity for bringing the problems of phenomeno- 
logical shaping more closely and more distinctly before us. Here, 
however, so much will already have become clear, that these con- 
troversies deal with really serious problems, and that regions of 
inquiry open out which treat of all genuine matters of principle in 
all the material sciences. The “matter of principle” is indeed nothing 
else than that which centres round the regional ideas in the shape 
of basic concepts and fundamental forms of knowledge, and finds, 
indeed must find, its systematic unfolding in corresponding 
regional ontologies. 

What we have said can be transferred from the material to. the 
formal sphere and to the ontological disciplines appropriate to it, 
therefore to all principles and generally to all sciences that rest 
on principles, if we suitably widen the Idea of phenomenological 
shaping. It is true that thereby the limit of constitutive research 
so widens out that it is eventually capable of including the whole of 

This will indeed force itself upon our notice as we add the 
following supplementary considerations : — 

First and foremost, the problems regarding the constituting of 
the object are related to the manifolds of a primordial dator- 

consciousness^-in the case of Things, for instance, to the totality 



of possible experiences, perceptions of one and the same thing. 
Connected with this is the supplementary consideration of the 
reproductive positional type of consciousness and the inquiry 
into their constitutive rational function, or, which amounts to the 
same thing, their function for plain intuiting cognition; similarly 
the consideration of the obscurely presenting (but plain) conscious- 
ness and the problems of reason and reality which relate to it. In 
short, we keep in the first instance within the mere sphere of 
‘'presentation” . 

But united with these are the corresponding inquiries, related 
to the functions of the higher sphere, the so-called sphere of the 
“understanding” or the “reason”, in the narrower sense of the term, 
with its analytic, relating and otherwise “logical” (also then axio- 
logical and practical) syntheses, with their “conceptual” operations, 
their statement-meanings, their new and mediate forms of ground- 
ing. Thus objectivities which were at first given (or thought of in 
Idea as given) in monothetic acts, in mere experiences, let us say, 
can be made subject to the play of synthetic operations, and through 
synthetic objectivities constitute increasingly higher formations 
which in the unity of the total thesis contain a plurality of theses, 
and in the unity of their total content {Materie) contain a plurality 
of mutually detachable {ahgliedernde) contents {Materien). We can 
collect, “construct” collections (groups) of differing order of forma- 
tion (groups of groups), we can set in relief “parts” out of the 
“whole”, place properties and predicates over against their subjects, 
set objects “in relation to” objects, “make” the one at our pleasure 
into the centre of reference {Referenten), the other into the object 
referred to, and so forth. We can carry out such syntheses “really” 
and “properly”, i.e., under the conditions of synthetic primordiality ; 
the synthetic objectivity has then, in respect of its synthetic form, 
the character of the primordially given (for instance, of the really 
given collection, subsumption, relation, and so forth), and it has 
the full character of primordiality, if the theses have it, if the 
thetic act-characters are primordially motivated as rational. We 
can also make use of free fancies, set in relation the primordially 
given and the quasi-given, or carry out the syntheses throughout 
in the modified form, transform what we are thus conscious of into 



a “supposition” {Ansatz)^ “construct” hypotheses, “draw conse- 
quences” therefrom, or carry out comparisons and distinctions, 
subject once again the likenesses or differences thereby given to 
synthetic operations, uniting with all this ideations, essential 
positings or suppositings, and so on in infinitum. 

Moreover, Acts of a lower or higher grade of objectivation, 
partly intuitional, partly unintuitional, it may be wholly confused, 
lie at the basis of the operations. In the case of obscurity or con- 
fusion we can make it our business to clear up the synthetic “con- 
structions”, to open up the question of their possibility, their 
fulfilment through “synthetic intuition”; or again, that 

of their “reality”, that of their redeemableness {Einlosbarkeif) 
through explicit and primordial dator synthetic acts, it may be by 
way of mediate “inferences” or “proofs”. Phenomenologically all 
these types of syntheses in correlation with the synthetic objectivi- 
ties “constituted” within them should be subjected to an inquiry 
with the object of shedding light on the different modes of presenta- 
tion and their significance for the “real Being” of such objectivities, 
or for their true possible being or their real probable being, and 
similarly in reference to all questions of rationality and of truth or 
reality. Here also then we have ^^probleins of phenomenological 
shaping"^ {Konstitutionsprobleme). 

Now the logical syntheses are indeed grounded on the lowest 
theses with their plain and simple ideal bearings or meanings, but 
in such a way that the essential conformities of the synthetic level 
with law and order, and especially with the laws of reason — ^in a 
very wide but definitely circumscribed “formal” sphere — ^are 
independent of the special ideal bearings (Materien) of the members 
of the synthesis. On this depends precisely the possibility of a 
general and formal Logic which abstracts from the “content” of 
logical knowledge and thinks it in indeterminate freely variable 
generality (as “something or other”). Inquiries also relating to 
the constituting process divide accordingly into those which connect 
with the formal basic concepts, and take these alone as “guiding 
clues” to the problems of rationality, or of reality and truth; and 
on the other hand into those previously portrayed, which connect 
with the regional basic concepts, and in the first instance with the 


concept of Reghn itself, and indeed with the question hm an 
individual member of such a region comes to be given. With the 
regional categories and the studies indicated by these, the special 
determination which the form of synthesis undergoes in virtue of the 
regional content comes to its ovm, and so too does the influence 
which the special binding connexions (such as find expression in 
regional axioms) exert upon the regional reality. 

What is here detailed obviously applies to all the spheres of act 
and object, also to the objectivities for the constituting whereof acts 
of feeling (GemUtsakte) with their specific theses and contents a 
priori have to come in, and in a way which, again, in respect to the 
clearing up both of the form and the particularity of the content, 
it is the great, scarcely suspected, let alone adopted, task of the 
corresponding constitutive phenomenology to initiate. 

Therewith the iimer relation also of the constitutive phenomen- 
ologies to the a priori ontologies, and eventually to all eidetic 
disciplines (excepting indeed phenomenology itself), is made evi- 
dent. The sequences in the development of the doctrines of essential 
bemg, both formal and material, prescribe in a certain way the 
corresponding sequences of the constitutive phenomenologies, determine 
their orders of generality, and, in the basic concepts and principles, 
both ontologically and materially eidetic, give them the “guiding 
clues”. For example, basic concepts of the ontology of nature, such 
as Time, Space, Matter, and their proximate derivatives, are indi- 
cators of strata of the constituting consciousness of material 
thinghood {DingUchheit), just as the corresponding principles are 
indicators of the essential connexions in and between the strata. 
The phenomenological clearing up of the pure logical doctrine 
makes it then intelligible that and why all mediated proposi- 
tions also of the pure doctrine of Time, of geometry, and so of all 
ontological disciplines, are indicators of essential conformities to 
law and order on the part of the transcendental consciousness and 
its constituting manifolds. 

But it must be expressly noted that in these connexions between 
constitutive phenomenologies and the corresponding formal and 
material ontologies there is no hint of a grounding of the former 
on the latter. Phenomenology does not judge ontohgicaUy when it 



recognizes an ontological concept or proposition as the indicator 
of constitutive and essential connexions, when it sees in it a clue 
to intuitive revelations (Aufweisungen) which carry their authority 
and their validity purely in themselves. This general conclusion 
will receive on a later occasion further confirmation in a more 
thoroughgoing treatment which, in virtue of the importance of 
this whole matter {Sachlage), is emphatically called for. 

A comprehensive solution of the problems of phenomenological 
shaping which shall take equally into consideration the noetic 
and the noematic strata of consciousness would be manifestly 
equivalent to a complete phenomenology of the reason in respect 
of all its formal and material formations, whether non-normal 
(negatively rational) or normal (positively rational). But we are 
further compelled to admit that a phenomenology of the reason 
so complete as this would coincide with phenomenology in general, 
and that in systematically carrying out all the disciplines of con- 
sciousness which are demanded under the collective title “con- 
stitution of the object” all and simdry descriptions of consciousness 
would need to be included. 


(Modelled on the corresponding Index in the original German, as com- 
piled by Dr. Ludwig Landgrebe of Freiburg-im-Breisgau, 1928, on the 
basis of Dr. Gerda Walther’s Ausfiihrliches Sachregister ^ 1923.) 

[Tr. Note. — The references in this Index arc to the Subsections, wof, as in the 
original, to the pages. The letters <2, c refer to the first, second, and final third 
of the subsections respectively. Ah refers to the area where a and b connect ; 
be to the connecting area between b and c. Where there is no mention either of 
rt, hi or Ci the reference is to the section as a whole. Dr. Landgrebe’s headings 
and references have been faithfully followed in the order given, except where 
the requirements of the English version necessitated some omission, addition, or 
deviation. Explanatory comments appear where needed within square brackets. 
Every reference in Dr. Landgrebe *s Index has been tested, and the slips, very 
few, thereby avoided, though there may of course be fresh ones in the English 
version, for which Dr. Landgrebe is not responsible. The more important 
references— as so judged by Dr. Landgrebe — have their section number, in 
the English as in the German version, cast in heavier type,]