Remarks on Aesthetic Intentionality: Husserl or Kant

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [Computing &amp; Library Services, University ofHuddersfield]On: 07 October 2014, At: 01:42Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH,UK</p><p>International Journal ofPhilosophical StudiesPublication details, including instructions for authorsand subscription information:</p><p>Remarks on AestheticIntentionality: Husserl or KantDanielle Lories aa Universit de Louvain , BelgiumPublished online: 20 Aug 2006.</p><p>To cite this article: Danielle Lories (2006) Remarks on Aesthetic Intentionality:Husserl or Kant, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 14:1, 31-49, DOI:10.1080/09672550500445103</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all theinformation (the Content) contained in the publications on our platform.However, Taylor &amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensors make norepresentations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, orsuitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and views expressedin this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not theviews of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Content shouldnot be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sourcesof information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions,claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilitieswhatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connectionwith, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes.Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-</p><p></p></li><li><p>licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expresslyforbidden. Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Com</p><p>putin</p><p>g &amp;</p><p> Lib</p><p>rary</p><p> Ser</p><p>vice</p><p>s, U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p> of </p><p>Hud</p><p>ders</p><p>fiel</p><p>d] a</p><p>t 01:</p><p>42 0</p><p>7 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p><p></p></li><li><p>International Journal of Philosophical Studies</p><p> Vol. 14(1), 3149</p><p>International Journal of Philosophical Studies</p><p>ISSN 09672559 print 14664542 online 2006 Taylor &amp; Francis</p><p>DOI: 10.1080/09672550500445103</p><p>Remarks on Aesthetic Intentionality: Husserl or Kant</p><p>Danielle Lories</p><p>Taylor and Francis LtdRIPH_A_144493.sgm10.1080/09672550500445103International Journal of Philosophical Studies0967-2559 (print)/1466-4542 (online)Original Article2006Taylor &amp;</p><p>Abstract</p><p>It is sometimes claimed that Husserls writings provide an inspiration forconsidering art today. More specifically we ask here whether Husserlsdescription of aesthetic attitude is rich and original. The comparisons he drawsbetween the aesthetic attitude and the phenomenological attitude always aimto clarify the phenomenological attitude and thus take it for granted that thetypical features of the aesthetic attitude are well known. In this way Husserlpresupposes and retrieves the teaching of Kant, although in certain workingnotes he clarifies and intensifies the formal and reflective characteristics ofKants description of the aesthetic judgment.</p><p>Keywords:</p><p>aesthetics; phenomenology; epoche; neutralization; imagination; disinterestedness</p><p>It is well known that nowadays there are essays in aesthetics about modernand contemporary art which try to interpret the rather sparse and brief indi-cations on the topic in Husserls texts, and want to find therein relevantideas in order to understand art today. In the following pages I look againat the Husserlian excerpts most often appealed to in this respect. My aim isto assess the fertility of Husserls inspiration for contemporary aesthetics inthe light of the Kantian roots of these texts, which provide the outlines of aphenomenology of aesthetic experience.</p><p>I shall endeavour first to show that the famous letter to Hofmannsthaland the often-cited passage in </p><p>Ideen I</p><p>, 111 confine themselves to definingthe aesthetic attitude in Husserlian vocabulary by retrieving the featureKant named </p><p>disinterestedness</p><p> or </p><p>favour</p><p>. Secondly, although it will be impos-sible here to demonstrate systematically the phenomenological relevance ofKants text, I will try to evoke that relevance by comparing excerpts fromthe third </p><p>Critique</p><p> with several working notes in which Husserl seems toprovide the closest description of the aesthetic attitude. Those notes wereclearly written in the same spirit as the letter and the passage in </p><p>Ideen I</p><p>mentioned above. They refer to an analogy, not an identification, betweenthe aesthetic and phenomenological attitude; but, because HusserlsD</p><p>ownl</p><p>oade</p><p>d by</p><p> [C</p><p>ompu</p><p>ting </p><p>&amp; L</p><p>ibra</p><p>ry S</p><p>ervi</p><p>ces,</p><p> Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f H</p><p>udde</p><p>rsfi</p><p>eld]</p><p> at 0</p><p>1:42</p><p> 07 </p><p>Oct</p><p>ober</p><p> 201</p><p>4 </p></li><li><p>INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES</p><p>32</p><p>description is more refined, the difference is more obvious, and it isexpressed in terms which, however typically Husserlian and phenomenolog-ical they may be, also depend closely on two topics which were major issuesin Kants </p><p>Analytic of the Beautiful</p><p>: </p><p>form</p><p> and </p><p>reflection</p><p>. I will suggest thatHusserls writings, in spite of their phenomenological originality, commentupon the two features emphasized and developed by Kant and specify themas features of an intentional consciousness. And it is perhaps thanks to thisphenomenological presentation that these two characteristics appear sorelevant to current aesthetics.</p><p>Let me consider, first of all, the letter of 12 January 1907 to Hofmannst-hal,</p><p>1</p><p> where Husserl made a very explicit comparison between the aestheticattitude and the phenomenological attitude: </p><p>This method [the phenomenological one] requires the taking of astand towards all objectivity which essentially leads away from thenatural stand; and which is closely related to the stand and attitudeinto which your art, as a </p><p>purely aesthetic</p><p> one, leads us with regard tothe objects represented and the whole surrounding world.</p><p>And he immediately adds the following clarification: </p><p>The intuition of a purely aesthetic work of art is carried out byrigorously excluding any existential stand of the intellect, and anystand of the feeling and the will, which presupposes such an existen-tial stand. Or better: the work of art puts us (forces us, so to speak)into a purely aesthetic state which excludes taking those positions.The more a work of art resounds with the existential world, or themore it is vitally attracted by that world, the more the work of artby itself demands an existential stand, [] the less is the workaesthetically pure.</p><p>Husserl insists that taking into account the existence of things that stand infront of us is an attitude of mind which is </p><p>the exact opposite of the attitude of mind in purely aesthetic intuitionand in the corresponding state of feeling. But it is no less the exactopposite of the purely phenomenological attitude of mind, in whichalone can philosophical problems be solved. For the phenomenologi-cal method also demands a rigorous exclusion of every existentialstand.</p><p>2</p><p>Husserl maintains with great clarity a close relatedness betweenphenomenological contemplation (</p><p>Schauen</p><p>) of the cognitive phenomenaand aesthetic contemplation in pure art: I contemplate, and my research</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Com</p><p>putin</p><p>g &amp;</p><p> Lib</p><p>rary</p><p> Ser</p><p>vice</p><p>s, U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p> of </p><p>Hud</p><p>ders</p><p>fiel</p><p>d] a</p><p>t 01:</p><p>42 0</p><p>7 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>REMARKS ON AESTHETIC INTENTIONALITY: HUSSERL OR KANT</p><p>33</p><p>is focused on contemplating (purely aesthetically, so to speak). In its veryprinciple, phenomenological contemplation, like aesthetic contemplation,excludes any position of existence. And the motivation of the comparison isquite clear: the aim is to make someone who undoubtedly has an intimateand profound knowledge of the </p><p>purely aesthetic</p><p> able to appreciate, on thebasis of this knowledge and this familiarity, and by analogy, what is meantby the phenomenological attitude and the </p><p>pure seeing</p><p> that it makes possible.Husserl gives an elementary lesson in phenomenology and, as a goodteacher, he relies on what he knows to be familiar to the person he is writingto. The incorrigible and flawless professor!, he says about himself (as akind of excuse) and adds: he cannot open his mouth without giving acourse.</p><p>3</p><p>Readers who are familiar with Husserls texts will very quickly make alink between this comparison and some other excerpts, among which arethe passages in </p><p>Ideen I</p><p> where Drers engraving </p><p>Knight, Death and theDevil</p><p> is evoked. And consequently they will also make a link betweenthis comparison and what Husserl calls there the neutrality modifica-tion.</p><p>4</p><p> What is the topic of 111 of </p><p>Ideen I</p><p>, where that example is to befound? The issue in question is the differentiation between phantasy(</p><p>Phantasie</p><p>) and the neutrality modification introduced in 109 andalready distinguished from </p><p>assuming</p><p> (</p><p>Annehmen</p><p>) and </p><p>supposing</p><p>(</p><p>Ansatzen</p><p>) in 110. The question is delicate, for phantasy itself is in facta neutrality modification. More precisely stated, Husserl writes, univer-sally </p><p>phantasying</p><p> is the </p><p>neutrality modification</p><p> of </p><p>positing presentiation</p><p>,and therefore of memory in the widest conceivable sense.</p><p>5</p><p> Actually, theneutrality modification is defined as abstaining from any positing in acertain way it completely annuls, completely renders powerless everydoxic modality to which it is related</p><p>6</p><p> and so neutralizes every kind ofbelieving so that neutralized positings are essentially differentiated by the fact that </p><p>their correlates do not contain anything positable, anythingactually predicable</p><p> and so in no respect does neutralized consciousnessplay the role of a believing for what is intended to.</p><p>7</p><p> The correlate of</p><p>Phantasie</p><p>, by contrast, is compatible with positing acts, as for example inthe case of the portrait of somebody one knows to be or to have beenalive.</p><p>8</p><p> The example of Drers engraving is intended to make all of thisclearer. In this context, Husserl uses the phrases aesthetic contemplation(</p><p>sthetischen Betrachtung</p><p>)</p><p>9</p><p> and </p><p>purely aesthetical</p><p> [comportment] (</p><p>reinsthetisch verhalten</p><p>).</p><p>10</p><p> Two neutralizations are evoked successively, andonly the second offers a mere picture (</p><p>blosses Bild</p><p>).</p><p>11</p><p> The first modifica-tion makes it possible to make the transition from a normal perceptionthe correlate of which is the </p><p>physical thing</p><p>, </p><p>engraved print</p><p> in its port-folio to a perceptive consciousness in which within the black, colorlesslines, there appear to us the figures of the knight on his horse, death,and the devil, but in such a way that </p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Com</p><p>putin</p><p>g &amp;</p><p> Lib</p><p>rary</p><p> Ser</p><p>vice</p><p>s, U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p> of </p><p>Hud</p><p>ders</p><p>fiel</p><p>d] a</p><p>t 01:</p><p>42 0</p><p>7 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES</p><p>34</p><p>we do not advert to these in aesthetic contemplation as Objects; werather advert to the realities presented in the picture more preciselystated, to the </p><p>depictured</p><p> realities, to the flesh and blood knight, etc.</p><p>12</p><p>In this consciousness of the picture there is already a neutrality modifica-tion: this </p><p>depicturing picture-Object</p><p> is present to us </p><p>neither as existing nor asnot existing</p><p>, nor in any other </p><p>positional modality</p><p>.</p><p>13</p><p>But there is a second neutrality modification in the consciousness of theimage. About this second modification, Husserl says, a few lines later, </p><p>Likewise the </p><p>depictured</p><p> too, when we comport ourselves </p><p>purelyaesthetically</p><p> and take the same thing again as a mere picture [</p><p>blossesBild</p><p>] without imparting to it the stamp of being or non-being, of beingpossible or being deemed likely, or the like.</p><p>This was still possible in relation to the flesh and blood knight mentionedabove, even though his </p><p>picture</p><p>, a colourless figure, was already a </p><p>neutralized</p><p>perceived. This time the picture (</p><p>Bild</p><p>) is a </p><p>pure</p><p> one, no longer referring toanything as existing or not existing.</p><p>14</p><p>From this example, by considering what it tells us about aestheticattitude, we may conclude that in aesthetic intentionality, </p><p>phantasy</p><p> presen-tiates a </p><p>pure</p><p> picture by carrying out a neutralization of the perceived thing,the painting (or in our case an engraving and it is possible to deal similarlywith what is perceived by the spectator in a theatre), and anotherneutralization, bearing on what, if anything, is </p><p>depictured</p><p>, the topic of thepicture. The aesthetic consciousness does not posit either the existence orthe non-existence of the painting. Rather, as Husserl writes, there isconsciousness of it as existing, but as quasi-existing in the neutralitymodification of being.</p><p>And it is the same for the possible </p><p>depictured</p><p> thing, presented in thepicture. Thus, this paragraph from </p><p>Ideen I</p><p> closely approximates not onlywhat was said in the letter to Hofmannsthal, but also what was conveyed inscattered remarks on this topic which appear quite early in Husserlswritings and notes. The phenomenal content of a painting, he writes in the</p><p>Fifth Investigation</p><p>, with its painted figures etc., remains, e.g., the same,whether we regard these as representing real objects, or allow them toinfluence us aesthetically without positing anything.</p><p>15</p><p>And later, in notes from 19214: </p><p>Either the depicting act is a thematic one directed towards what isdepicted, or on the contrary my attitude is the aesthetic attitude, andeven though I may be convinced that the depicted exists and has suchand such properties, there is in the aesthetic attitude an exclusion ofall thematic positional accomplishment of this.</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Com</p><p>putin</p><p>g &amp;</p><p> Lib</p><p>rary</p><p> Ser</p><p>vice</p><p>s, U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p> of </p><p>Hud</p><p>ders</p><p>fiel</p><p>d] a</p><p>t 01:</p><p>42 0</p><p>7 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>REMARKS ON AESTHETIC INTENTIONALITY: HUSSERL OR KANT</p><p>35</p><p>And then: </p><p>Aesthetically I am not interested in effective reality, I am not orientedtowards effective reality.</p><p>16</p><p>It is a permanent feature that, in Husserl, the aesthetic attitude is set apartfrom all positing of existence. But then how is it possible to develop ourreflection on that basis? I believe that two points need to be made in thisregard.</p><p>Aesthetic Attitude and Phenomenological Attitude</p><p>The first point concerns the two texts I have already mentioned the letterto Hofmannsthal and 111 of </p><p>Ideen I</p><p>. Both of these passages bring togetheraesthetic attitude and phenomenological attitude. It is clear in both cases.Indeed, as Paul Ricur says, in a footnote to his French translation of 109on the neutrality modification, this new modification which </p><p>abstains frompositing</p><p> is what the </p><p>epoche</p><p> carries out.</p><p>17</p><p> I believe he is right in thinkingthat this is confir...</p></li></ul>