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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: March 2014

Process and Relation: Husserl's Theory of Individuation Revisited

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Abstract: Hie aim of the present article is to determine the meaning of the concept of the individual within the framework of Husserl's philosophy and to investigate the structure of the experience of individuals. Husserl's formal-ontological, epistemological, and transcendental analyses concerning the individual and individuation is discussed, and light is shed on the relationship among them. It is shown how an encompassing theory of individuation embraces these three domains and grounded upon a relational and process oriented account of experience. He transcendental analyses of individuation uncover the ultimate source of individuation in the temporal stream of consciousness. He stream of consciousness is interpreted as a unitary, self-individuating, and irreversible process. Irreversibility, thus, emerges as the key concept for understanding the phenomenology of individuation.

Keywords: Husserl, individuation, space, time, process, relation

Since phenomenology is phenomenology of relation, it is also phenomenology of time. Yet being phenomenology of time and relation, it must also be phenomenology of individuation.

Husserl's phenomenology is a transcendental, eidetic, and descriptive science of the structures of experience. It is within this framework that the questions concerning the ontological status of the individual and the phenomenology of individuation are phrased. Which is the ontological place of the individual within such an eidetic science? Assuming that eidetic sciences are interested in general laws and structures, is the knowledge of individuals possible within this framework? Further: How are individuals transcendentally constituted? Which are the conditions that make the experience of individuals possible?

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The New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy
  • Online ISBN: 9781844655427
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