Edmund Husserl and Eugen Fink: Beginnings and Ends in Phenomenology, 1928†“1938 9780300130157

Eugen Fink was Edmund Husserl’s research assistant during the last decade of the renowned phenomenologist’s life, a peri

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Edmund Husserl and Eugen Fink: Beginnings and Ends in Phenomenology, 1928†“1938

Table of contents :
Chapter 1. Contextual Narrative: The Freiburg Phenomenology Workshop, 1925–1938
Chapter 2. Orientation I: Phenomenology Beyond the Preliminary
Chapter 3. Orientation II: Who Is Phenomenology? Husserl— Heidegger?
Chapter 4. Fundamental Thematics I: The World
Chapter 5. Fundamental Thematics II: Time
Chapter 6. Fundamental Thematics III: Life and Spirit, and Entry into the Meontic
Chapter 7. Critical-Systematic Core: The Meontic—in Methodology and in the Recasting of Metaphysics
Chapter 8. Corollary Thematics I: Language
Chapter 9. Corollary Thematics II: Solitude and Community— Intersubjectivity
Chapter 10. Beginning Again after the End of the Freiburg Phenomenology Workshop, 1938–1946
Appendix. Longer Notations

Citation preview

Yale Studies in Hermeneutics




Joel Weinsheimer, Editor Editorial Advisory Board Zygmunt Bauman Robert Bernasconi Gerald Bruns Fred R. Dallmayr Ronald Dworkin Hans-Georg Gadamer Clifford Geertz Frank Kermode Richard Rorty Mark Taylor


Edmund Husserl & Eugen Fink BEGINNINGS AND ENDS I N P H E N O M E N O L O G Y, ∞Ω≤∫–∞Ω≥∫

Yale University Press New Haven & London

Published with assistance from the Ernst Cassirer Publication Fund. Copyright ∫ 2004 by Yale University. All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, including illustrations, in any form (beyond that copying permitted by Sections 107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law and except by reviewers for the public press), without written permission from the publishers. Set in Sabon type by Keystone Typesetting, Inc. Printed in the United States of America. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Bruzina, Ronald. Edmund Husserl and Eugen Fink : beginnings and ends in phenomenology, 1928–1938 / Ronald Bruzina. p. cm. — (Yale studies in hermeneutics) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-300-09209-1 (alk. paper) 1. Husserl, Edmund, 1859–1938. 2. Fink, Eugen. 3. Phenomenology—History— 20th century. I. Title. II. Series. B3279.H94B73 2004 193—dc22 2004045523 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on Library Resources. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


Preface xiii Abbreviations xxi Chapter 1. Contextual Narrative: The Freiburg Phenomenology Workshop, 1925–1938 1 1.1.

Eugen Fink, Arrival in Freiburg 2


Fink as Assistant to Husserl, First Years: 1928–1930 10


Fink as Assistant to, Then Collaborator with, Husserl: 1930– 1934 27


The Final Breakthrough: 1934–1937 54


The Ending, and Another Beginning 68

Chapter 2. Orientation I: Phenomenology Beyond the Preliminary 73 2.1.

The Phenomenological Reduction—Done Only by Being Redone 75


Issues That Force the Move Beyond Preliminaries: 1927–1928 81





The Nature of Husserl’s System 83


The Question of Time and the Question of the Subject: Pushing Noematization to the Limits 89


The Question of Time and the Question of Being 92


The Critique of Self-Conceptions 93



The Reduction Again: Husserl’s Own Critique of His Initiating Presentation of Phenomenology 94


The Critique of Conceptual Schemata for ‘‘Transcendental Subjectivity’’: Reconsideration by Fink 96

Questioning the Basic Epistemological Schema— General Points 101

Critique for the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ 105

Questioning the Epistemological Schema—Points for a Critique of Phenomenological ‘‘Idealism’’ 109

Self-Conceptions and the Question of Being 112

The Un-Humanizing of Transcendental Subjectivity: Further Demands 114

First Corollary of Un-Humanization: Critique of the I 116

Second Corollary of Un-Humanization: Critique of Psychological-Phenomenological Parallelism and Coinciding 119

Third Corollary: Performance Consciousness as Clue to the Transcendental 123

A Final Word: Continuing Phenomenology by Reradicalizing the Issues 126

Chapter 3. Orientation II: Who Is Phenomenology? Husserl— Heidegger? 128 3.1.

A Third Way Beyond Mutually Opposing Constitution and Transcendence 132


Transcendence in Heidegger’s Fundamental Ontology 133





The Issues in Fink’s Critique of Fundamental Ontology 137 3.3.1.

The Phenomenological Reduction and the Ontological Difference; the A Priori Problem 138


The Basic Paradox Again, Now in Heidegger’s Analysis of Temporality; the Move Beyond Being 145


The Ontological Unattainability of the Subject 152

Heidegger’s Positive Contributions 155 3.4.1.

The ‘‘I Am’’ as Finite ‘‘I Am in the World’’ 160


Philosophical Explication as Construction—Even in Transcendental Phenomenology 161

The Term of A Priori Inquiry: ‘‘Ground’’ or ‘‘Origin’’? 167

Chapter 4. Fundamental Thematics I: The World 174 4.1.

Reconsidering Entry-Level Treatment; Spinning the Ariadne Thread 178


The Pregivenness of the World within any Starting Point 181


Being Situated in the World: Captivation in the World 184


How the World Figures in Experience 188 4.4.1.

Decentering the Object-Entititative Approach; Horizonality 189


Horizonality and Awareness 193


Performance Consciousness and Its Delineation 197


Putting It All Together: Reading Kant and Reading the World 201


Detailing the World as Horizonally Pregiven 206


Reflections of Fink’s Critique Work in Husserl’s ‘‘Crisis’’Writings 211 4.6.1.

The Pregivenness of the World 212


De-Cartesianizing Phenomenology 213


From the Object-World for Cognition to the World-asSurround for Wakefulness 214





Identity and Difference between the Worldly and the Transcendental 219

Chapter 5. Fundamental Thematics II: Time 224 5.1.

Stage 1: Fink’s Study of Time and the Bernau Manuscripts 227 5.1.1.



The Basic Time-Problematic 227

The Constitutions Carried On in Temporality— General Orientation 238

The Constitutions of Temporality—the InStances 243

Temporality and the Problem of Origin 248

Temporality and the Constitution of the World 251

Stage 1: Fink’s First Revision Plan for the Bernau Manuscripts 258

The First Revision Plan 260

Prime Elements in the Bernau Manuscripts for Motivating the Move Beyond Them 265

Explorations into Time by Fink, 1930–1933 271

The Central Structure: The Horizontal Complex of Presenting and DePresenting 275

Time and the Constitution of the World: The Five Horizons of Time 278

Performance Consciousness as Unthematic Horizon-Consciousness: Wakefulness 280

Stage 2: Reconceiving the Revision Project—The Two-Part Treatise 288 5.2.1.

The 1934 Plan: Details 293


Husserl’s Time-Analysis in the C-Manuscripts 295

The Living Present as the Transcendental ProtoI 295

Contents 5.2.3.



Bringing the Living Present/Transcendental Proto-I under Phenomenological Scrutiny 296

The Aporia of Time-Analysis: Reflection Across the Transcendental Divide—Fink’s Proposals 302

Critical Points: Presentialism 303

The I as Wakefulness in the Horizonality of DePresencing 304

Stage 3: The Reversal and the Displacement 308 5.3.1.

Reversal: The New Time-Book 309


Reversal Becomes Displacement: The Metaphysics of Play 311

Chapter 6. Fundamental Thematics III: Life and Spirit, and Entry into the Meontic 316 6.1.

Life-Philosophy, and Life as an Idea in Phenomenology 319


Life-Philosophy and Phenomenology: Outline for an Essay 323




The Charges against Phenomenology, 1: Consciousness an Abstract Concept 326


The Charges against Phenomenology, 2: Phenomenology Has No ‘‘Topos,’’ No ‘‘Where’’ 327


The Charges against Phenomenology, 3: The Hubris of Idealism 329

Explicating Phenomenology in the Context of Criticism 330 6.3.1.

The Reduction as Precondition for Thematizing Life 331


Phenomenology as the ‘‘Metaphysics’’ of Life as Spirit 334


Life in Life-Philosophy, Life in Phenomenology 338


Life as Pathic: Nietzsche in Phenomenology 341


Philosophic/Phenomenological Reflection as an Act of Life 348


The Aporetic of Phenomenological Reflection as an Act within Life 355

The Double Truth of Ultimate Constitutive Explication as Meontic 360




Life, World, and Life-World: Husserl, Fink, and the ‘‘Crisis’’Texts 368

Chapter 7. Critical-Systematic Core: The Meontic—in Methodology and in the Recasting of Metaphysics 375 7.1.


General Points 376 7.1.1.

The ‘‘Logic of Origin,’’ 1: Meontically Dialectical Seinssinn 381


The ‘‘Logic of Origin,’’ 2: The Living Question 387

The Methodological Demands of Meontic Dialectic 388 7.2.1.

Methodological Features 1: Formal Indication 388


Methodological Features 2: Speculation 397

Speculation: Hegel and Heidegger 403


Methodological Features 3: Construction 408


Methodological Features 4: Regressive and Progressive Phenomenology; the Analytic and the Speculative 415


Heidegger 394

Supplementary Note: Internal and External Treatment 417

Primary Issues Interpretively Recast in Meontic Integration: Phenomenological Metaphysics 418 7.3.1.

Phenomenological Metaphysics Is More Than Ontology 427


The Singularity of the World 428


Metaphysical Themes in the ‘‘Crisis’’-Project 430


History 431

Human and Transcendental Subjectivity 434

The Pregiven World—Finished and Done, or in an Ever-Continuing Constitution? 441

God 444

Addendum: Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, and the Meontic 447

Transition: Transcendental Articulation 451


Chapter 8. Corollary Thematics I: Language 452 8.1.

The Antecedency Status of Language 453


The Explication of Language as a Phenomenologically Speculative Task: Internal and External Treatment 456 8.2.1.

Language and the ‘‘Ontological Experience’’ 463


Ideality 468


Language as Transcendentally Ambivalent, That Is, Meontically Paradoxical 476

Chapter 9. Corollary Thematics II: Solitude and Community— Intersubjectivity 482 9.1.



Lessons in ‘‘Meditation V’’ for Beginning Again 485 9.1.1.

‘‘Meditation V,’’ a First-Stage Analytic 486


Limitations to Egological Meditation 489


Protomodal Limitations in Empathy 491


Modifications of Protomodality 492


Complementary Indications on Openings beyond the Protomodal 495

Complements from the Broader Critique Context 496 9.2.1.

The General Horizontal Grounding for the ‘‘Empathetic’’ Manifestness of Intersubjectivity 497


Two Prime Features in the Grounding of Intersubjectivity 499

In-Stanciality, the Meontic Reading 502

The Performance-Awareness of Being With an Experiencing Other in the In-Stance of Plural Humanity 505

The Materiality of PerformanceConsciousness 508

Phenomenological Monadology 511 9.3.1.

Transcendental Reflective Thematization and Monadic Egoity 512






The Transcendental Sense of Intersubjective Monadic Plurality 514


History and the Transcendental ‘‘Community’’ 517

The Transcendental Sense of Human Solitude 518

Chapter 10. Beginning Again after the End of the Freiburg Phenomenology Workshop, 1938–1946 521 10.1.

Return to the University in Germany 526


Continuation: Renewing the Phenomenological Tradition of Edmund Husserl 528


Critique and Continuation, with a Shift in Dimensional Emphasis 533

Appendix: Longer Notations 545 Index 585


The ideas of philosophy may in some sense of the word lie on a level of abstraction, but no philosophy actually comes about and develops in the abstract; it is always a realization and an event in the life of someone doing philosophy. This essential fact is what this book embodies, what lies at its very origin, and what makes for the fundamental importance of the thinking that it attempts to present. To begin to see what this means, think about some simple cardboard boxes full of folders of notes and odd sets of typed pages. Something like this made up the concrete remains of the major part of Edmund Husserl’s life’s work when he died in 1938: his manuscripts—thousands and thousands of pages by a then almost outmoded philosopher whose Jewish origin made him officially no better than refuse in Nazi Germany. That these manuscripts were rescued and smuggled to Louvain in 1939 came about because of a chance visit by a Belgian Franciscan come to Freiburg seeking materials for a doctoral dissertation.∞ As a result, for half a century now these materials have been mined for the understanding of phenomenology, and continue to be so even now, all in the interest of bringing the promise of fundamental insight from this remarkable achievement to fuller realization, in an effort that has been pursued by 1. Chapter 10 tells briefly of this, and refers to sources for more.




hundreds of researchers and thinkers from all over the world. And yet, upon how small a chance, one that might never have come, has it all depended! Take now another set of simple cardboard boxes stored in a cellar that, while not threatened with destruction as Husserl’s manuscripts had been in 1939, nonetheless had to go through invasion and the twentieth-century’s Second World War, and survived, not by the efforts of a dedicated stranger but by being kept by their own author as the concrete record of work that had been vividly carried on in a time before that war and now irremediably past. In these boxes were kept the notes and drafts that Eugen Fink had written in the years he had spent working with Husserl—materials somehow preserved through that terrible period from 1938 to 1945, that no one knew about, that none but Fink had read, but that in fact were an integral part of the final achievement of Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology. When Fink died in 1975, these cardboard boxes held the greater part of what that integral contribution by someone other than Husserl had been. And they needed in turn an accident of their own. Guy van Kerckhoven was the first to have looked into some of these papers, in 1982, when he came to Freiburg in the early stage of editing the materials for the two-volume edition, VI. Cartesianische Meditation, published in 1988.≤ I happened to be the second, come to Freiburg in 1983 to finish the translation of that same ‘‘Sixth Cartesian Meditation.’’ I had the good fortune, however, to be able to study all of them, one at a time, over the several semesters of work in Freiburg in 1984 and 1985, and again in 1988. Here were once more accidents that opened up the possibility of further study and understanding. But the mere fact that further work was thus made possible is not the essential thing about the story; so far it is anecdote, however much the event had aftereffects. Deposits of papers and letters are found all the time, of interest to few or to many, as the case may be; but what if it were not a question simply of more facts, or, in philosophy now, of more ideas—of additional interpretations, new proposals, intriguing criticisms, and so on, done by one person in regard to what another philosopher had written? What if the materials found thus by accident made all the difference in the world for one’s being able to understand an entire research program in its essentials, here the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl, one of the contributions that set twentiethcentury philosophy on a whole spectrum of new paths? That this is what the materials in this second set of cardboard boxes contained is a realization that came only after a long attempt to understand the thinking they embodied 2. See VI.CM, in the table of abbreviations below.



when placed in their intimate linkage with Husserl’s work in the period in which they were written, when taken as the concrete remainder of an intense dialogue and cooperative thinking that had gone on for nearly ten years. And given that these ten years were the period of the final achievement of Husserl’s phenomenology, to come to see that the materials of this dialogue and cooperation from that very period made the essentials of phenomenology look quite different from what one usually learns of them could only be a startling realization. The point of the present book, now, is to convey this realization, in the full extent of its essential implications, via a close reading and interlacing of the actual text materials rather than in some kind of representative summary. The heart of the realization in question is far from being simply the opinion of one man over against that of another; it reaches instead to the heart of the program of phenomenology as such. Concisely put, what makes it so compelling is that here an understanding is offered in terms of the integrated systematic of phenomenological investigation and transcendental phenomenological philosophy that shows how Husserl’s beginnings get profoundly redone as the program proceeds under the power of its instituting principles. Here we can see explicitly (a) the specific principles and elements of phenomenology’s unique systematic—more than anything else, the phenomenological reduction—that govern the dynamic of Husserl’s seemingly unending phenomenological analyses. These principles, however, are now recognized (b) in the methodological demands of self-critique that stem from them, namely, that the findings of Husserl’s immense investigative labors—in particular such wellknown phenomenological features as ‘‘intentionality,’’ ‘‘subjectivity,’’ ‘‘constitution,’’ ‘‘language,’’ ‘‘intersubjectivity’’—have to be recast and transformatively reinterpreted, in view of (c) the difference in stages and levels on which those investigations were conducted. More important than anything else, however, is the realization (d) that all that work in all those stages and levels remains preliminary until the final sense of the findings of that work can be determined out of the ultimate level of analytic effort, namely, the inquiry into temporality and temporalization.≥ And at this level the question of methodological self-critique becomes crucial.∂ All this, too, is what governs the legitimacy of drawing upon philosophic thinking beyond Husserl (a virtue Husserl himself practiced), in critique and transformative recasting, whether it be Kant, or Heidegger, or Hegel, or, yes, Nietzsche. 3. On all this, see 2.3 and the sections from 2.6 on; 3.3.3, 3.4.2, and 3.5; 4.1; 5.1.2; and 6.4. 4. Thus one of the aims of chapter 5, carried on through chapter 6, and into chapter 7.



In his later years Husserl was painfully conscious of needing a comprehensive systematic way to integrate his enormous labors. By the chance that led to his taking on Fink as an assistant, he soon found that he had someone with him who could do just that. What he may not have realized is that this integrative aim, worked out by Fink for him, would accomplish something Husserl had once thought had already been happening, namely, advancing transcendental phenomenology by means of the remarkable abilities of Martin Heidegger. Husserl came to see that Heidegger was not what he thought he was, and he saw Heidegger’s thought as having no place in his, Husserl’s, program. Fink’s work, now, showed that the integrative comprehensive reconsideration that phenomenology needed would require the serious critique on phenomenological principles of Husserl’s own habitual way of presenting phenomenology—especially as exemplified in his classic publication, Ideas I—no less than of Heidegger’s brilliant lecturing and writing, in particular Being and Time. This would also allow insights aplenty that could be legitimately drawn from Heidegger, once they were critically recast—not to speak of the massive substance of Husserl’s own work, which critical reconsideration, on transcendental critique principles, would refashion and revalidate.∑ That so little of this huge undertaking, and virtually none of the critique and reinterpretive labor it involved, came into public light is one of the consequences of another conjunction of chance: Heidegger’s brilliance in thought and presentation, the coming to power of National Socialism, and the depredations of war throughout Europe, all of which led to the near total occultation of transcendental phenomenology in the public scene. How elements of the achievement of the Husserl-Fink collaboration filtered through those tragic events is indicated in some measure in the final chapter, but the fuller account of it remains to be given. What is presented in this book is the systematic composite itself from which those retained, subterranean elements would derive their power, as the vagaries of history from 1938 through to the postwar years allowed a partial return of some of these final-period, dynamic phenomenological elements that had been so vigorous before the monstrous disaster of fascism and war. One thing that should now be clear is this. Husserl indeed founded phenomenology, but phenomenology is a program that cannot be simply identified with Husserl and his writings, massively important as they are. Phenomenology is a program that in the culmination of its originative period, as the present study attempts to demonstrate, was a joint enterprise. It is in this that it displays its genuine character as the dynamic of principles that can only 5. See chapter 3.



counter the contingency of human action if this dynamic is what is recognized as governing the work of the individuals that dedicate themselves to it—in the present instance, Husserl himself and Fink, and in the aftermath, if we could follow the story further, the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and others. This book cannot take the study quite that far, but it proposes the fundamentals for doing so. A few words, now, have to be said about how the book proceeds. First of all, the table of contents speaks for itself. Major themes in phenomenology—for example, world, time, life—clearly mark the progression. The chapters that follow these themes, however, do not represent a unidirectional line of sequential points. In inquiring into the phenomenological sense of ‘‘die Sachen selbst,’’ no topic and no finding can stand alone. Every ‘‘Sache’’ is a knot of the cross-weaving of many ‘‘Sachen,’’ and the tug along any thread of connection will lead to endlessly many more. Every insight, proposal, or finding drawn here from some one text can be found within many contexts, as the research manuscripts of either Husserl or Fink show. Thus one distinctive character to Fink’s notes has to be noticed: the repetitiveness in which the same points are taken up over and over again. This is not just a matter of repeatedly thinking over these ideas; it is just as much the taking up of them in many contexts, where they become tested, nuanced, and amplified. And this reflects one of his main tasks, namely, the effort at critical integration. The richness of this manifold interconnection can be only partly represented in the present treatment, but it is abundantly manifest in the edition of the complete notes and drafts currently being published.∏ One theme in particular, for example, the ‘‘meontic,’’ appears throughout, first being little more than mentioned, then building up through chapter 6 to culmination in chapter 7.π Here is the issue that brings final, but paradoxically nondefinitive, interpretive recasting and determination to the sense that the results of phenomenological inquiry on all previous levels and in all previous stages must come to possess, including especially the outcome of the analysis of temporality and temporalization. The idea of the meontic is the most elusive and most difficult philosophical component of all, and the issue that Fink tries most judiciously to present to Husserl in the ‘‘Sixth Cartesian Meditation’’— which, one must carefully note, aims to present the basic elements of ‘‘a transcendental theory of method,’’ as its subtitle unmistakably indicates. Only when the impact of a truly transcendental methodological self-critique is 6. See EFM in the table of abbreviations, section 2. 7. E.g., at the end of 2.5 and in the last paragraphs of; again at the end of



grasped can the basic sense of the effort to analyze ultimate temporalization (Urzeitigung), the ‘‘living present’’ (lebendige Gegenwart), be laid out, and with it the determination of the genuine sense of every other thematic phenomenological finding. If nothing else, the present book is meant to provide guidance in reaching this stage—not the full achievement of this stage that would make unnecessary one’s own effort to work through the steps required to get there, but rather the concrete display of the kinds of critical and radically reinterpretive movement that are needed to get beyond merely naïve and preliminary insights to the fuller realization of that grasp of profound realization toward which the phenomenology that Husserl launched opened up the way. It is in relation to this purpose, too, that the ‘‘Sixth Cartesian Meditation’’ retains an unquestionable relevance to every chapter of the present study, even if no focal treatment is given specifically to it as such here. For full treatment, both historically and in thematic exposition, Guy van Kerckhoven’s recently published Mundanisierung und Individuation bei E. Husserl und E. Fink: Die VI. Cartesianische Meditation und ihr ,,Einsatz‘‘ (Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann, 2003) is indispensable. Many elements of the present study grew up on the groundwork of the rich assemblage of material that twenty years ago Guy generously made available to me, and his book shows how much that kind of material pertains to and helps to illuminate every aspect of the lives and the thinking being presented here. Two brief remarks will conclude this preface. One is that the treatment that follows does not by any means cover all topics, and some quite important ones are but briefly, if at all, touched upon. There is no consideration of imagination, for example, or of ‘‘neutrality-modification,’’ despite their being the topics of Fink’s first phenomenological work, his dissertation, while both corporeality and history are only sketched out in certain essential considerations (9.2.2 through and, respectively). Furthermore, though political and social events played a devastating role in the work of phenomenology in the period in question—not to mention on the whole of Europe in all aspects—the political is not touched upon here, despite the increasingly more frequent notes on society and the political that Fink made as Nazism consolidated its power.∫ The question of the political is an issue of a far-reaching character that has to await being taken up. Second, an expression of thanks needs to be made. The personnel of the Husserl Archives in Louvain, beginning with the directors of the archives there, Dr. Samuel Ijsseling earlier and now Dr. Rudolf Bernet, have been exem8. See, e.g., ‘‘Hermitry: Aphorisms from a War Journal,’’ in EFM 4.



plary in their patience and helpfulness during my many short visits, always an addition to the manifold tasks they have to accomplish. To Dr. Dieter Lohmar of the Husserl Archives branch in Cologne I owe special gratitude for his extensive help in coordinating references to the Bernau manuscripts and the C-manuscripts in chapter 5. It is also with the permission of Dr. Bernet of the Husserl Archives that portions of the C-manuscript texts are quoted there before their actual publication in the Husserliana series. In Freiburg the Pädagogische Hochschule, where the Eugen-Fink-Archiv is housed, has been generous in putting its resources at my disposal for the several years of work on Fink’s Nachlass. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities graciously extended funding to support my lengthier stays in Freiburg, while additional travel support came from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, and on numerous occasions from the University of Kentucky and the Southern Regional Education Board. Finally, two people stand foremost in the gratitude I owe them: Ferdinand Graf, former student of Fink’s and director of the Eugen-Fink-Archiv in Freiburg— now sorely missed owing to his untimely death in 2001—and Mrs. Susanne Fink, Eugen Fink’s widow. In addition to friendship, encouragement, and help, each provided a unique privilege during my time in Freiburg. For while the primary object of this book is the philosophic work that transcends individuals, there is a personal reality beneath the marks of rigorous thinking traced on a page of paper, and this is what I was able to grasp, in different ways, through conversation and comradeship with these two people who had been so close to Eugen Fink himself.


Note: (1) When the title of a now published work (or a shortening of it) is given in quotation marks—for example, ‘‘Cartesian Meditations,’’ ‘‘Crisis’’-texts—this marks its being dealt with in the stage of its preparation or revision, rather in its published finality. (2) In general, footnote references to original typescript or original edition pagination, often given in marginal numeration in editions, will be placed within brackets (e.g., in EFM; and a special case is explained in, footnote 205 in the appendix). (3) Semester designations as practiced in the German academic system will be used in footnote specifics: SS = summer semester; WS = winter semester—for example, for MH-G.




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Husserliana: Edmund Husserl, Gesammelte Werke. 1950– Cartesianische Meditationen und Pariser Vorträge. Edited by S. Strasser. 2d ed. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973. Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie, Erstes Buch: Allgemeine Einführung in die reine Phänomenologie. New edition by Karl Schumann. 2 vols. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1976. Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie, Zweites Buch: Phänomenologische Untersuchungen zur Konstitution. Edited by Marly Biemel. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1952. Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie, Drittes Buch. Edited by Marly Biemel. Reprint. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1971. Die Krisis der europäischen Wissenschaften und die transzendentale Phänomenologie: Eine Einleitung in die phänomenologische Philosophie. Edited by Walter Biemel. 2d edition. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1962. Erste Philosophie (1923/24), Erster Teil: Kritische Ideengeschichte. Edited by Rudolf Boehm. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1956. Erste Philosophie (1923/24), Zweiter Teil: Theorie der phänomenologischen Reduktion. Edited by Rudolf Boehm. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1959. Phänomenologische Psychologie: Vorlesungen Sommersemester 1925. Edited by Walter Biemel. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1968. Zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewussteins (1893– 1917). Edited by Rudolf Boehm. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966. Analysen zur passiven Synthesis, Aus Vorlesungs- und Forschungsmanuskripten 1918–1926. Edited by Margot Fleischer. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966. Zur Phänomenologie der Intersubjektivität, Texte aus dem Nachlass, Erster Teil: 1905–1920. Edited by Iso Kern. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973. Zur Phänomenologie der Intersubjektivität, Texte aus dem Nachlass, Zweiter Teil: 1921–1928. Edited by Iso Kern. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973.


Hua XV











Zur Phänomenologie der Intersubjektivität, Texte aus dem Nachlass, Dritter Teil: 1929–1935. Edited by Iso Kern. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973. Formale und transzendentale Logik: Versuch einer Kritik der logischen Vernunft. Edited by Paul Jenssen. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1976. Phantasie, Bildbewusstsein, Erinnerung: Zur Phänomenologie der anschaulichen Vergegenwärtigungen, Texte aus dem Nachlass (1898–1925). Edited by Eduard Marbach. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1980. Aufsätze und Vorträge 1922–1937. Edited by Thomas Nenon and Hans Rainer Sepp. Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1993. Die Krisis der europäischen Wissenschaften und die transzendentale Phänomenologie, Ergänzungsband: Texte aus dem Nachlass 1934–1937. Edited by Reinhold N. Smid. Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1993. Natur und Geist, Vorlesungen Sommersemester 1927. Edited by Michael Weiler. Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001. Die Benauer Manuskripte über das Zeitbewusstsein (1971.18). Edited by Rudolf Bernet and Dieter Lohmar. Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001. Logische Untersuchungen: I—Prolegomena zur reinen Logik; II/1—Untersuchungen zur Phänomenologie und Theorie der Erkenntnis; II/2—Elemente einer phänomenologischen Aufklärung der Erkenntnis. 5th edition. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1963. The volumes in the Husserliana series containing these texts are XVIII, XIX/1, and XIX/2. Erfahrung und Urteil, Untersuchungen zur Geneologie der Logik. Edited by Ludwig Landgrebe. Hamburg: Claassen Verlag, 1964. Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phänomenologische Forschung. 11 vols. Halle: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1913–1930. Logical Investigations. Translation of LU by J. N. Findlay. 2 vols. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1970.




Ideas I

Ideas I (B-G)




Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology. Translation of Hua 1 by Dorion Cairns. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1960. Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy, First Book. Translation of Hua III/1 by F. Kersten. The Hague, Boston, Lancaster: Martinus Nijhoff, 1983. Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology. Translation of Hua III/1 in its original 1913 edition by W. R. Boyce Gibson. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1931. On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time (1893–1917). Translation of ZB (Hua X) by J. B. Brough. Collected Works 4. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1991. The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy. Translation of Hua VI by David Carr. Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970. Experience and Judgment: Investigations in a Geneology of Logic. Translation of EU by James S. Churchill and Karl Ameriks. Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1973.




Sein und Zeit. 10th edition. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1963. (Reedited as MH-G 2.) Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik. 2d edition. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1951. Wegmarken. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1967, and MH-G 9. The pagination given is that of the 1967 edition, retained in the margins of MH-G 9. Gesamtausgabe. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann. Reediting of SZ by Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann, 1977.


MH-GA 3 MH-GA 9 MH-GA 20 MH-GA 24 MH-GA 26 MH-GA 27 MH-GA 28

MH-GA 29/30

MH-GA 31




Reediting of KB by Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann. 1991. Reediting of Wgm by Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann. 1976. Prolegomena zur Geschichte des Zeitbegriffs (Marburg SS 1925). Edited by Petra Jaeger. 1979. Die Grundprobleme der Phänomenologie (Marlburg SS 1927). Edited by Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann. 1975. Metaphysische Anfungsgründe der Logik im Ausgang von Leibniz (Marburg SS 1928). Edited by Klaus Held. 1978. Einleitung in die Philosophie (Freiburg WS 1928/29). Edited by Otto Saame and Ina Saame-Speidel. 1996. Der Deutsche Idealismus (Fichte, Schelling, Hegel) und die philosophische Problemlage der Gegenwart (Freiburg SS 1929). Edited by Claudius Strube. 1997. Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphsyik. Welt—Endlichkeit— Einsamkeit (Freiburg WS 1929/30). Edited by FriedrichWilhelm von Herrmann. 1983. Vom Wesen der menschlichen Freiheit: Einleitung in die Philosophie (Freiburg SS 1930). Edited by Hartmut Tietjen. 1982. Being and Time: A Translation of ‘‘Sein und Zeit.’’ Translated by Joan Stambaugh. SUNY Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996. The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic. Translation of MH-G 26 by Michael Heim. Studies in Phenmenology and Existential Philosophy. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1984.



Die letzte phänomenologische Werkstatt Freiburg: Eugen Finks Mitarbeit bei Edmund Husserl. Manuskripte und Dokumente. Teil I—1927–1938, Band 1: Doktorarbeit und erste Assistenzjahre bei Husserl; Band 2: Bernauer Zeitmanuskripte, Cartesianische Meditationen und System der phänomenologischen Philosophie; Band 3: Letzte phänomenologische Darstellung: die ‘‘Krisis’’-



Studien VB/I VI.CM/1,/2






Problematik. Teil II: 1939–1946—Band 4: Finks phänomenologisches Philosophieren nach dem Tod Husserls. Edited by Ronald Bruzina. Eugen Fink, Gesamtausgabe, Abteiling III, Verlag Karl Alber, Freiburg/Muenchen, 2005. (Only references to texts found in sections— Abschnitte—other than the first in these volumes will have the section specified, for example, ‘‘EFM 2, Abschn. 4.’’) Studien zur Phänomenologie, 1930–1939. Phaenomenologica 21. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966. ‘‘Vergegenwärtigung und Bild, I,’’ Studien, pp. 1–78. VI. Cartesianische Meditation, Teil 1: Die Idee einer transzendentalen Methodenlehre. Edited by Hans Ebeling, Jann Holl, and Guy van Kerckhoven. Teil 2: Ergänzungsband. Edited by Guy van Kerckhoven. Husserliana Dokumente II/1–2. Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1988. ‘‘Die phänomenologische Philosophie Edmund Husserls in der gegenwärtigen Kritik, I,’’ Studien, pp. 78–156; originally in Kant-Studien 38 (1933): 321–83. Nähe und Distanz: Phänomenologische Vorträge und Aufsätze. Edited by Franz-Anton Schwarz. Freiburg and Munich: Verlag Karl Alber, 1976. ‘‘The Phenomenological Philosophy of Edmund Husserl and Contemporary Criticism.’’ Translation of EH-K by R. O. Elveton. In The Phenomenology of Husserl: Selected Critical Readings, edited by R. O. Elveton, 73–147. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1970. Sixth Cartesian Meditation: The Idea of a Transcendental Theory of Method; with Textual Notations by Edmund Husserl. Translation of VI.CM/1 by Ronald Bruzina. Studies in Continental Thought. Bloomington and Indianapolis: 1995. ‘‘Die Notizen Eugen Finks zur Umarbeitung von Edmund Husserls ‘‘Cartesianischen Meditationen.’’ Edited by Ronald Bruzina. Husserl Studies 6 (1989): 97–128.








Kritik der reinen Vernunft. Edited by R. Schmidt, Philosophische Bibliothek 37a. Hamburg: Meiner Verlag, 1976. Critique of Pure Reason. Translation by Norman Kemp Smith. London: Macmillan, 1958. Dorion Cairns, Conversations with Husserl and Fink. Edited by the Husserl Archives in Louvain. Foreword by Richard M. Zaner. Phaenomenologica 66. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1976. Karl Schuhmann, Husserl-Chronik, Denk- und Lebensweg Edmund Husserls. Husserliana-Dokumente I. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1977. Hugo Ott, Martin Heidegger: A Political Life. New York: Basic Books, 1993. Translation by Alan Blunden of Martin Heidegger: Unterwegs zu seiner Biographie. Frankfurt and New York: Campus Verlag, 1988.



Husserl-Archief te Leuven (Archives-Husserl à Louvain), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Eugen-Fink-Archiv, Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg. Universitätsarchiv Freiburg, Universitätsbibliothek Freiburg im Breisgau.


Contextual Narrative: The Freiburg Phenomenology Workshop, 1925–1938

For me philosophy is not a matter of career, but of personal destiny. —Husserl to Gustav Albrecht, October 7, 1934∞ If thinking is your destiny, then revere that destiny with divine honor and offer it what is best and dearest. —Aphorism by Nietzsche quoted by Fink≤ Philosophy is never done nowhere. If it is not the work of a particular someone at a particular time and in a particular place, then it is not at all. What we shall be looking into is the philosophy that was done in a special place at a very special time in the history of the twentieth century, but the question of the particular someone is precisely the matter that is at issue. For it was not just one particular person who was involved; there was a second particular someone engaged in this same philosophic endeavor. The two, of course, were Edmund Husserl and Eugen Fink, working together in intense 1. Bw IX, p. 104. 2. Friedrich Nietzsche, Gesammelte Werke, IX, Munich: Musarion, 1923 (Aus der Zeit des Menschlichen, Allzumenschlichen, 1875/76–1879, ‘‘Philosophie im Allgemeinen’’), p. 366. Quoted in Eugen Fink, Nietzsches Philosophie (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1960), p. 14.



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daily contact, in Freiburg, during a period of social and political upheaval. The problems that were defined in this interplay very much determined the character that phenomenology possessed in Husserl’s final years, the phenomenology that broadened out from the Cartesianism of the 1929 Paris lectures to the life-world-centered philosophy embodied in Husserl’s last writings, the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts. This thinking, however, was not simply for that time and for that place. The phenomenology that marked so much of postwar thinking in France, and then that of an increasingly important sector of philosophic interest in North America in the 1960s and 1970s (and still today), was the product of the thinking done at this particular time and in this particular place. Much of its vigor derived from these same ‘‘Crisis’’-texts of Edmund Husserl’s, via the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and in confrontation with the philosophy of Martin Heidegger. What it is hoped will become evident as the present study proceeds is that this subsequent following and studying of final-period phenomenology reawakened—without knowing it—some of the central problematics that lay at the heart of the work going on in those last years of Husserl’s life—some of them; for there was much more to it than was generally thought as Husserl and Fink wrestled with the problems they were engaged in. And this fuller complex of issues and alternatives is what this book will try to lay out. But we must know the time and the place better, and, of course, we must know the particular persons involved better. Much is already familiar about Husserl’s life, and so we should begin by following Fink’s entry into it in order to see the difference that entry made.

1.1. Eugen Fink, Arrival in Freiburg Eugen Fink became Husserl’s assistant in late 1928, before the beginning of the very semester during which Husserl finally relinquished teaching. That winter semester of 1928–1929 also saw the first lecture course by Martin Heidegger as Husserl’s successor at the University of Freiburg. The year 1928 was indeed pivotal, but we must begin the story a little earlier, in 1925, when Fink first arrived at Freiburg to begin his studies there. It was not in fact in Freiburg that Fink first attended university. Fresh from passing the Abitur after the normal years of study at the humanistic Gymnasium in Konstanz,≥ the city of his birth,∂ Fink first went to Münster. There, 3. The Abitur is the examination that warrants a student is qualified to enter university. The humanistisches Gymnasium in Konstanz was the same school that Heidegger had attended for three years before changing to the highly respected Bertoldsgymnasium

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in the summer semester of 1925, he followed courses mainly in German language and literature.∑ The one course in philosophy that he took at Münster, the history of modern philosophy from Descartes to Kant, was itself not the first study of philosophy that Fink had ever done. Several years earlier, when Fink was in his sixteenth year, he was already a member in Konstanz of the Kant Society and had begun a serious reading of philosophy.∏ The earliest books in Fink’s personal library, all dated 1921 (and all inexpensive pocket editions), are by an impressive list of philosophic authors: Giordano Bruno, Friedrich Nietzsche, Immanuel Kant, Arthur Schopenhauer. During the next three years, well before going to Münster, he filled out his collection with more titles of Nietzsche’s, one precritical work of Kant’s, some Hegel, and some Hume (in German). There can be little doubt that when Fink reached Freiburg for the winter semester of 1925, he was ripe for challenging exposure to the serious living philosophic work that the university offered in the person and teaching of arguably the leading philosopher in Germany at that point, Edmund Husserl. In the semester in which Fink came to Freiburg, Husserl had already been Ordinarius there for nearly ten years. Named to the chair of philosophy that Heinrich Rickert had vacated to go to Heidelberg to succeed Wilhelm Windelband, Husserl arrived in Freiburg in April 1916. There began the first act of a drama that would take more than twenty years to play out, the mingling of the fate of Husserl and his phenomenology with the career of Martin Heidegger.π That is something to which we shall be returning frequently—indeed, it is an essential element in the place Fink would come to hold with Husserl. In 1925, however, all was well. For Husserl, Heidegger was ‘‘the most important among the rising generation,’’ someone ‘‘predestined to be a firstclass philosopher, a leader moving beyond the muddles and infirmities of the in Freiburg in 1909, to finish his program of studies there (Abitur, 1909). MH-Ott/e, pp. 47–55. Heidegger mentions that the same teachers in this Gymnasium had taught both Fink and himself Latin and Greek (‘‘Für Eugen Fink zum sechzigsten Geburtstag,’’ remarks by Heidegger to Fink dated March 30, 1966, in MH-GA 29/30, pp. 533–36.) 4. The fourth son of Karl August and Hermine Fink, Eugen Fink was born on December 11, 1905, in Konstanz. (See Susanne Fink and Ferdinand Graf, Eugen Fink: Vita und Bibliographie, Freiburg: Eugen-Fink-Archiv an der Pädagogischen Hochschule Freiburg, n.d., and the ‘‘Lebenslauf 18. Dezember 1946,’’ in EFM 4, Abschn. 4.) 5. Abgangszeugnis and Anmeldungsbuch, Westfälsche Wilhelms-Universität Münster, in the Fink Nachlass in Freiburg. 6. See Fink and Graf, Eugen Fink, p. 2, and EFM 4, Abschn. 4., ‘‘Lebenslauf.’’ 7. Here again, Ott narrates the salient developments, MH-Ott/e, pp. 89–105, 114– 18, 122–29, and 172–86.


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present day.’’∫ Moreover, it was Husserl’s support two years earlier that had helped Heidegger obtain the position that he held at Marburg, which the Marburg faculty was now moving to upgrade from Extraordinarius to Ordinarius (with an increase in pay, sorely needed in those times of rampant inflation). The faculty’s decision to do so was heavily influenced by the fulsome praise from Husserl, in the very words that have just been quoted.Ω Moreover, Being and Time was about to burst on the scene, under the pressure to publish that the move to upgrade his position at Marburg imposed on Heidegger. Although, with the publication of Being and Time in April 1927 in Husserl’s Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phänomenologische Forschung, Heidegger finally received the promotion at Marburg, it ironically only came in October, but a few weeks before Husserl began negotiations to retire from teaching with the expectation that Heidegger would succeed him. Husserl was still convinced that Heidegger was the only one who could take his place at Freiburg and carry on his phenomenology, despite the fact that by now he had to wonder if Heidegger was indeed what he had all this time thought him to be.∞≠ Husserl’s wishes here would be respected; Heidegger would be given the offer to succeed him. Husserl was far too important a figure to be refused. Proof of his philosophic eminence was shown in the summer of 1923, for example, by his being offered the chair of philosophy at Berlin as the sole candidate. That invitation had brought the Rektor (president) of the University at Freiburg, representatives of the education ministry for Baden, and a deputation from the faculty to plead with him to stay.∞∞ After several weeks of consideration, Husserl declined the Berlin offer; but he won for himself further advantages in Freiburg. One of these was the financing of a research assistantship, for which Husserl shortly afterward chose Ludwig Landgrebe and later would select Eugen Fink.∞≤ In 1925, therefore, Husserl was an unquestionably powerful figure in Frei8. Husserl’s letter to the Marburg faculty, June 30, 1925, in reply to their inquiry regarding Heidegger in connection with the promotion referred to in the next sentence. See MH-Ott/e, p. 127 (translation modified). 9. On this whole situation see (1) MH-Ott/e, pp. 122–29; (2) Theodore Kisiel, ‘‘The Missing Link in the Early Heidegger,’’ in Hermeneutic Phenomenology: Lectures and Essays, ed. by Joseph J. Kockelmans (Washington, D.C.; University Press of America, 1988), pp. 6–19; (3) Thomas Sheehan, ‘‘ ‘Time and Being,’ 1925–1927,’’ in Thinking about Being: Aspects of Heidegger’s Thought, ed. by Robert W. Shahan and J. N. Mohanty (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984), 180–83. 10. On the doubts Husserl had, see Karl Schuhmann, ‘‘Zu Heideggers SpiegelGespräch über Husserl,’’ Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung, 32 (1978), 595–603. 11. HChr, p. 270. 12. HChr, pp. 271 and 273.

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burg, and to study with him was to hear philosophy in the living words of a master at the height of his intellectual maturity. In the winter semester of 1925–1926 Husserl’s ‘‘Basic Problems of Logic’’ headed the list of courses that the twenty-year-old student named Eugen Fink took in his first year there. One can imagine the impression Husserl would have made on someone like Fink. The descriptions given by others suggest what it might have been: the professional figure held very erect, the compact head tilted back slightly in such a way that one noticed less how short he was, the intense gray-blue eyes behind small round glasses, the prominent forehead, the warm friendliness, the soft Austrian accent.∞≥ But Fink had also made an impression on Husserl, who in fact did notice people, contrary to what one would expect of a lecturer reputed to be oblivious to all but the course of his own train of thought. Jan Patoˇcka relates Husserl’s own account of how he first noticed Fink in his lectures. Fink sat there listening without taking any notes, and Husserl thought to himself, ‘‘That’s going to produce ‘great’ results when he comes up for exams.’’ But when Fink appeared for his exams, ‘‘he recited everything as if reading from a book.’’ Patoˇcka goes on to comment: ‘‘One instinctively thinks of how Plato refers to a perfect memory as the first condition for philosophical genius.’’∞∂ This phenomenal memory would later serve Fink well when working with Husserl in the vast forest of Husserl’s endless packets of Forschungsmanuskripte that are the glory—and the bane—of research in phenomenology; but in this first course in phenomenology Fink was already benefiting from his astonishing memory. If the story Patoˇcka tells is true, then, while Fink may not have taken notes during the lecture, he nonetheless wrote down what he heard afterward. In 1932 he gave to Dorion Cairns, then coming to the end of study in Freiburg, his own copy of his typed summary (Nachschrift) of that same lecture course, his first at Freiburg.∞∑ It is in this typescript summary that one can discern something of the first impression Fink had of Husserl, not of the person of the philosopher but of his thought. And that first hearing of phenomenology set into the philosophic matrix of the young man’s mind a pattern of themes and ideas composing, as it were, a visage that would take on a life and expressiveness of its own in the years to come. Here, for example, Fink first heard discussion of the role of language in 13. See Helmut Plessner, ‘‘Bei Husserl in Göttingen,’’ and Herbert Spiegelberg, ‘‘Perspektivenwandel: Konstitution eines Husserlbildes,’’ in Edmund Husserl, 1859–1959, ed. by H. L. Van Breda and J. Taminiaux (La Haye: Martinus Nijhoff, 1959), pp. 29 and 57–58. 14. Jan Patoˇcka, ‘‘Erinnerungen an Edmund Husserl,’’ in Die Welt des Menschen—Die Welt der Philosophie, ed. by Walter Biemel, Phaenomenologica 72 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1976), p. xi. 15. See appendix.


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thought, of articulate consciousness explained as a pinnacle of self-aware wakefulness in the larger movement of one’s mute, even brute living, of the intentionality of this whole life of consciousness, wakeful both in this full egoic sense as well as in those peripheral yet crucially important dimensions of one’s being. A statement catches one’s attention: ‘‘There is no such thing as absolute wakefulness.’’∞∏ The explicit critical inflection of the Cartesian ego cogito at work is striking, against the more uncompromised appearance of it in Husserl’s published works—Ideas I, and even the later Cartesian Meditations. Here, too, Fink heard for the first time about the body as the kinesthetically, perceptually functioning body, about time as phenomenologically the form of all objects and of the experience of them, about temporality as principle of individuation.∞π And here was his introduction to the phenomenology of the modalities of consciousness in the flow of time, perception as such, and then recollection and expectation, these latter the topics that would figure in his dissertation.∞∫ It was an exceedingly rich mixture, this lecture course of Husserl’s, which the text as now published reduces to a tighter logical coherence of topics, but which Fink’s Nachschrift captures in its comprehensive impact. And it was only the beginning. This was naturally not the only lecture course that Fink followed that first semester in Freiburg. He took Julius Ebbinghaus’s course on Kant’s Kritik der reinen Vernunft, filling a bound booklet with his summary of it.∞Ω He followed a course in the philosophy of mathematics given by Oskar Becker (without taking notes), two courses in German literature, one in political economy, and one in journalism. Then, for reasons that are not indicated, Fink spent the summer semester of 1926 in Berlin, studying philosophy, literature and drama, and journalism—with one course in English. And then he was back in Freiburg for the following winter, to remain there not only for the rest of his studies but until 1939, the year after Husserl’s death. Fink would take every course Husserl gave, mixing the study of philosophy with study in a variety of other areas, mainly history and German language and literature.≤≠ 16. See appendix. 17. ‘‘Grundprobleme der Logik,’’ respectively, pp. 23, 10, 41–50; Hua XI, respectively, pp. 13f., 312ff., 301f. 18. ‘‘Grundprobleme der Logik,’’ pp. 50–70; Hua XI, pp. 65–191, passim. 19. EFA U-I (not in EFM), entitled ‘‘Freiburg WS 1925/26, Julius Ebbinghaus: Kants Kritik der reinen Vernunft (aus ihren phänomenologischen Grundlagen dargestellt).’’ 20. See the description of all Fink’s courses, drawn from his university Anmeldungsbücher (in the Fink Nachlass) in Guy van Kerckhoven, Mundanisierung und Individuation: Die VI. Cartesianische Meditation und ihr ‘‘Einsatz,’’ Orbis Phaenomenologicus (Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann, 2003), pp. 64–69.

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There is every indication that Fink’s initiation into phenomenology was swift and profound. But it was not simply by listening to Husserl’s lectures and reading on his own that Fink found his way into the heart of phenomenology; a far more fruitful opportunity presented itself as his third semester at Freiburg was beginning. In May 1927, the Faculty of Philosophical Studies announced an essay competition on the topic of imagination to be treated by strictly phenomenological analysis.≤∞ Fink responded by writing his first lengthy philosophical essay, giving it a title after the terms of the assigned topic: ‘‘Contributions to a phenomenological analysis of the mental phenomena that are dealt with under the expressions ‘supposing that . . . ,’ ‘simply imagining something,’ ‘phantasizing.’ ’’≤≤ Husserl would later say of Fink’s work here that, since ‘‘nothing gave the evidence of phenomenology like actual work on a special problem,’’ this competition essay ‘‘saved Fink, because it set him to work intensively on the problem of Neutralitätsmodifikation.’’≤≥ Fink, of course, had to engage himself actively in grasping the principles and essential results of phenomenology from the lectures he was hearing and the only two books of Husserl’s phenomenology then published, Logical Investigations and Ideas I.≤∂ But he had the additional advantage of being able to talk with the renowned philosopher himself, an opportunity that some students approached with trepidation but that Fink seems to have carried off with appropriate philosophical boldness.≤∑ That, at least, is what one can read from the first record of any discussions he had with Husserl, from December 1, 1927,≤∏ in his fourth semester of lectures at Freiburg. Admittedly this may well not have been Fink’s first meeting with Husserl; but what is striking about the notes from this discussion, apart from the radical implications of the questions Fink asks Husserl, is the tone of selfless engagement with the issues in ques-

21. The prescribed topic is given in VB/I, p. 1, footnote 1. 22. See EFM 1, Z-I, Beil. I, the text of Fink’s prize essay. 23. August 13, 1931, C-HF, p. 11. 24. Hua III/1 and LU, respectively. In his prize essay Fink explicitly refers to chapter 5 of the Fifth Investigation in Logical Investigations (Z-I, Beil. I, p. [5], EFM 1), while some of Fink’s working notes (Z-I 31a–33a; EFM 1) refer to specific pages in chapter 4 of part III of Ideas I. 25. See Jean Héring’s brief tribute, ‘‘Malvine Husserl’’ (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 11 [1951], 610–11), telling of the courage needed for him and a group of fellow students to go and ‘‘ring the bell at the Master’s house,’’ and then the consternation to find ‘‘that the great philosopher who seemed to live in a superterrestial world, was, as a matter of fact, married and the father of three children.’’ This was in 1909, but the academically imposing status of Husserl would certainly not have been less in 1927. 26. Z-I 23a–24b, EFM 1.


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tion. Deference is paid exclusively to those issues and to the thinking needed in resolving them. As with the first lecture course Fink heard, the ones he followed as he was preparing the competition essay covered a vast amount of ground in phenomenology, but detailed material on specific points relevant to his work was not generally available. Fink’s notes on his essay give sparse indication of his having referred to manuscripts on the themes pertinent to it that Husserl might have let him study, although this was something Husserl often did for his students, and would do for Fink too as he prepared his dissertation.≤π Fink’s work here, however, has elements of phenomenological analysis that he really did in great part himself, although on the substantial basis of initial Husserlian conceptions. Indeed, Husserl found the analysis Fink worked out to be thoroughly sound, and in its revision and expansion as a dissertation Husserl would recommend it to others.≤∫ At the same time Fink saw clearly that the treatment he was making here could only be provisional; for inasmuch as it led inexorably and directly to the ultimate level of problems, that of original timeconsciousness, it was only with the clarification of that level of constitution that the real explication of imaginative presentation could be achieved. He had projected three sections for his study, of which the third was to devote itself to the question of temporality.≤Ω But he was able to finish only the first section for the competition, writing it out in February of 1928.≥≠ There were two such competition essays submitted to the faculty, Fink’s and one by another student of Husserl’s, Heinz Ropohl. In evaluating the essays the faculty could not decide for one over the other. Both were incomplete, for the two students had planned larger works and only written part of them— Ropohl half of his, Fink one-third. Ropohl’s was clear and smooth in style, free of difficult terminology and readily intelligible, but a journeyman report rather than a genuine, compelling investigation. Fink’s was not nearly as readable as Ropohl’s, used a demanding terminology, and was poor in use of examples; but it was a stimulating and worthy example of true investigation in remarkably difficult matters. In the end the competition prize was divided evenly between the two, for neither ideally fulfilled the task set, as the official 27. See appendix. 28. See Husserl’s letters to Ingarden, December 21, 1930 (Bw III, 270), and to Dietrich Mahnke, January 8, 1931 (Bw III, p. 474). 29. See Fink’s plan for the Preisschrift, Z-I, Beil. I, pp. [10–11], EFM 1. 30. The title page of the Preisschrift bears the handwritten note, ‘‘Geschrieben im Februar 1928.’’ V-I 23 (EFM 1) is Fink’s draft of the explanation that illness forced him to submit the essay in incomplete form. No such explanation was included in the Preisschrift as submitted.

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statement of evaluation explains.≥∞ There is no indication who wrote this evaluation of the two submissions, but there can be no doubt that Husserl was well acquainted with it. Two months later, in May 1928, he mentioned in a letter to Heidegger that, with his retirement imminent—and with Heidegger now officially approved as his successor—he had, against precedent, received the extension of funding for an assistant for another two years.≥≤ Landgrebe, who had been serving in that position, would now be supported in his continued work for Husserl by a more generous stipend from the Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft; Husserl therefore had to choose someone, as a second assistant, for the position Landgrebe was vacating. Of the two who had submitted prize essays he chose Fink. A seemingly workaday decision, it would turn out to be momentous; for, as we shall see, what Husserl was getting was precisely someone who, rather than displaying the straightforward secretarial skills that recommended the other essay’s author, Ropohl,≥≥ would become a remarkably challenging cothinker. Here we must backtrack a bit to fill out somewhat more the second dimension of what was to become the new philosophical world at Freiburg. While Fink was working on his competition essay, Husserl was involved in another issue, one of major importance to him, the decision about his own retirement. In May 1927, Husserl wrote to Heidegger about not yet having decided the matter, for the most part because of uncertainty about how to calculate exactly when he was actually eligible to retire. One of his concerns, too, was the fact that normally on retiring he would lose his assistant (an issue that, as we just saw, came to be resolved against precedent and in Husserl’s favor), and remaining a little longer would make it possible to benefit from an expected general pay increase. At the same time, there was no question regarding Husserl’s having decided upon Heidegger as his successor; we find him writing, ‘‘I wish I could already install you here in the legacy that befits you.’’≥∂ Within a few months Husserl’s situation became clearer, so that by the end of 1927 he had begun actual discussions regarding a successor, and the committee to 31. ‘‘Gutachten über die der Philosophischen Fakultät eingereichten Preisarbeiten,’’ Freiburg, March 10, 1928, given in EFM 4, Abschn. 4. 32. Letter from May 9, 1928, Bw IV, p. 154. See HChr, p. 332, on this being an exception to the normal arrangement. 33. See Husserl’s comments on Heidegger in the letter just referred to (Bw IV, p. 154). 34. Letter from May 24, 1927, Bw IV, p. 142. Husserl says this in the context of remarking on the difficulties Heidegger was having in Marburg getting his promotion and salary increase, a matter in which, as we saw earlier, Husserl had played a role. Ott’s account makes it clear that Heidegger himself had had his sights set on the position at Freiburg from well before his move to Marburg, MH-Ott/e, pp. 86–105.


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select one had been set up.≥∑ In letters dated January 21 and 30, 1928, Husserl writes to Heidegger that the committee decided to propose him as his successor ‘‘unico loco,’’ exactly as Husserl had wished, and that the request would be officially made to the faculty on February 7.≥∏ On that day the faculty in fact accepted the proposal unanimously: Heidegger was coming back to Freiburg, and Husserl, emeritus, would yield his teacher’s post to his younger friend and trusted colleague.≥π Of the discussions and arrangements that went on to bring the author of Being and Time to Freiburg, Eugen Fink could not have known the details; but he certainly did know that book.≥∫ His personal notes clearly indicate his having read Being and Time in 1927, while he was working on the competition essay; but they indicate as well that it was only after he had finished that essay and was revising it as a dissertation that he really gained a philosophically appreciative and critical mastery of the book.≥Ω It is clear that Fink thought Heidegger fitted into the philosophic world of phenomenology within which he himself had begun to work, and which it was expected Heidegger would expand and enrich precisely as the successor of Husserl.

1.2. Fink as Assistant to Husserl, First Years: 1928–1930 In August 1928 Ludwig Landgrebe began receiving support from the Notgemeinschaft der Deutsche Wissenschaft for his work as Husserl’s primary assistant, and Fink, accepting soon after the post that Landgrebe was now vacating and that would continue under support from the education ministry in Baden, became Husserl’s second assistant.∂≠ This arrangement would last for two years, after which Landgrebe would have to curtail his work for Husserl and devote himself to his Habilitation.∂∞ At that point Fink would become Husserl’s only assistant. In the meantime, preparations were under way for Heidegger to arrive in Freiburg. Husserl’s retirement was supposed to 35. See HChr, p. 326, and Husserl’s letter to Heidegger, December 8, 1927, Bw IV, p. 148. 36. Postcard and letter, Bw IV, p. 151. 37. Husserl’s letter to Heidegger, February 7, 1928, Bw IV, p. 152. 38. Fink’s personal copy of the book is dated ‘‘SS 1927.’’ 39. V-I in EFM (Bd. 1) is a small bound notebook containing notes on part of Being and Time (§15–18), followed by drafts and outlines for parts of the Preisschrift. Notes in Z-I on Heidegger appear to have been written mainly during the stage of revision of the Preisschrift, while those in Z-II certainly were (both in EFM 1). 40. See appendix. 41. HChr, p. 361, entry for ‘‘Ende März, 1930.’’

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take effect at the end of the winter semester, 1927–1928, but Heidegger was not able to begin at Freiburg until October. Husserl therefore agreed to keep his position until then and to give a course in the summer semester of 1928.∂≤ In the midst of this Fink began reworking his competition essay to turn it into a doctoral dissertation, a task in which Husserl became far more involved as adviser and director. It would be easy to cover this period of Fink’s first two years of work as assistant to Husserl with a few sketchy words and dates; but this would belie the philosophical whirlwind in which Fink was caught up from the middle of 1928 to the middle of 1930, the excitement and force of which unmistakably lay behind the vivid and creative notes he would write as he worked out the framework of his own understanding of phenomenology. Here was Husserl reaching the point of being free from university affairs and enjoying the highest honors both inside and outside Germany. For example, he had given a set of lectures in Amsterdam in April 1928, and in July he had received an invitation to deliver a similar series at the Sorbonne in Paris.∂≥ Clearly it was not reduced activity he was looking forward to in retirement but renewed dedication to his philosophical objectives in the remaining years of his life. And his hand-picked successor was beginning his lectures in the first chair of philosophy at Freiburg. Here, then, was Heidegger, he of whom rumor had spread throughout Germany about the startling energy and originality of his thought,∂∂ displayed now for all to see in the text of Being and Time published a year earlier, which everyone seems to have understood as a radical shift in the concept of how to do philosophy under the rubric ‘‘phenomenology’’— everyone, that is, save Husserl himself. And around these philosophers and their students was a land and nation struggling to reestablish itself in the decade after its disastrous defeat in the Great War. Weimar Germany was poised on the brink of 1929 and already in a maelstrom of social and economic instability and uncertainty that would lead to twelve years of Nazi dictatorship and a second world war vastly more destructive and disastrous than the first. Philosophy and philosophers, in particular, Husserl, Heidegger, and Fink, would not be untouched by these events. But in Freiburg, in the university, other things then held the mind. Take Husserl, to begin with. In the summer and autumn of 1928 William Ralph Boyce Gibson of Melbourne, Australia, on a six-month visit to Freiburg to 42. HChr, p. 329. 43. HChr, pp. 329ff. 44. Such is the stunning account Hannah Arendt gives, ‘‘Martin Heidegger at Eighty,’’ New York Review of Books, October 21, 1971, pp. 50–54.


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follow philosophical developments there, discussed with Husserl his proposal to translate Ideas I into English.∂∑ This first volume of Ideas, the closest thing to a statement by Husserl of what phenomenology meant, was now fifteen years old, and the last book Husserl had published. In the course of the next year Husserl would consider working through Ideas I with an eye to revising it to the level of his present, more mature understanding; but in the end he did not do this, instead limiting himself to providing an ‘‘Author’s Preface to the English Edition,’’ which, written by the end of 1930, he published first in his Jahrbuch as ‘‘Epilogue to my ‘Ideas.’ ’’∂∏ The question of the place of Ideas I in the development of Husserl’s phenomenology, and, therefore, the question of how it was to be interpreted, was clearly on the Husserlian agenda in these first years of Fink’s assistantship. It is no wonder, then, that critique of the presentation of phenomenology in that book would be a theme of Fink’s own notes, and thus a component of his own understanding of philosophy. It would not be long before the general structure of critical retrospective proper to phenomenology would become clear, to form in fact the main frame of his work with Husserl. It was not only Husserl’s own evaluation and reconsideration of phenomenology, however, that was in ferment in 1928, for Heidegger had come back to Freiburg. The thinking that produced Being and Time was now an actual person and voice in the very lecture halls where Husserl had once stood; and there in the first week of November, inaugurating the winter semester of 1928–1929, one saw and heard an ‘‘Introduction to Philosophy’’ unlike any Husserl had delivered. It began: ‘‘Philosophy is something that belongs to our very selves, we are not outside of it. Philosophy belongs to the essence of human being [menschlichen Daseins], in so far as it exists. An animal cannot philosophize, a God doesn’t have to. Philosophy is a finite possibility in a finite being. Inasmuch as human being exists, it also philosophizes. . . . In ordinary life philosophizing is asleep in us, it is without movement. An introduction to philosophy means ‘to set philosophizing in motion,’ to ‘introduce’ movement. Philosophy is to be freed within us, to be grasped and chosen by us as a free possibility.’’∂π Heidegger goes on to say that the way to begin philosophy is to 45. For details see Karl Schuhmann, Die Dialektik der Phänomenologie II: Reine Phänomenologie und phänomenologische Philosophie, Historisch-analytische Monographie über Husserls ‘‘Ideen I,’’ Phaenomenologica 57 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973), pp. 163–68. 46. ‘‘Author’s Preface,’’ Ideas I (B-G), pp. 11–30. ‘‘Nachwort zu meinen ‘Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie,’ ’’ JPpF XI (1930), pp. 549–70 (Hua V, pp. 138–62; Ideas II, pp. 405–30). 47. From the opening page of Fink’s notes in summary of Heidegger’s course, EFA U-MH-I, pp. 1–2 (not in EFM). Comparing them with MH-GA 27, §1–3, we see the way

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‘‘set in motion the freeing of our existence,’’ in the particular ‘‘factic’’ situation of having ‘‘citizenship in the university’’ with the obligation of ‘‘leadership [Führerschaft]’’ that it entails, the ‘‘duty to an existence that understands human possibilities more originally than others can,’’ and therefore the ‘‘care for them’’ that would ‘‘set these others free’’ and ‘‘lead them as their model.’’ The voice, the style, the thought were decidedly different;∂∫ but more than that, as quickly became apparent as Heidegger continued his lectures, it was also a critique of certain basic orientations in Husserl’s understanding of phenomenology.∂Ω The crisis in the sciences that questioned the whole idea of science in post–World War I disillusionment had to be understood in terms of the way science was ‘‘a possibility in our existence,’’ and, far from being accidentally conditioned by the times, ‘‘belonged to the essence of science.’’∑≠ The problem of truth could not be resolved by ‘‘theory of knowledge,’’ i.e., by starting with the subject-object relational schema; ‘‘the problem of knowledge can only be clarified if it is first decided what truth is.’’∑∞ Constitution, rather than being the basis of the account of primary establishings via intentional analysis, is grounded in something more basic, in the basic openness of ‘‘Dasein,’’ whereby it is antecedently (and nonintentionally) ‘‘being-with [Seinbei]’’ and ‘‘being-with-one-another [Miteinandersein].’’∑≤ A heady further component of engagement, then, for someone like Fink pursuing philosophy in Freiburg in 1928, was the problem of coming to terms with two powerful philosophies for which coming to terms with each other was emerging as a grave and sensitive matter. And Fink’s personal notes show this three-way dialectic as a constant feature of his own thinking.∑≥ For Husserl, however, as the winter semester of 1928 began, this was not really noticed as a problem; his own work was demanding all his attention. He

Heidegger’s line of thought struck at least this one hearer: the pivotal ideas are caught and stated with force and clarity. This economy in expressing ideas is typical of Fink’s notes. 48. See the description of Heidegger lecturing in ‘‘From Husserl to Heidegger: Excerpts from a 1928 Freiburg Diary by W. R. Boyce Gibson,’’ ed. by Herbert Spiegelberg, Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 2 (1971), 73–74. 49. In a letter to Alexander Pfänder, January 6, 1931, Husserl speaks of raising this very issue with Heidegger ‘‘in all friendliness.’’ Heidegger simply ‘‘laughed and said, ‘Nonsense!’ ’’ and there was no engagement on the level of philosophical critique. (Bw II, p. 182.) 50. EFA U-MH-I, pp. 6–7; MH-GA 27, §8. 51. EFA U-MH-I, p. 15; MH-GA 27, p. 63 (§11). 52. EFA U-MH-I, pp. 30–32; MH-GA 27, p. 140 (§18). 53. See the notes from 1928 and 1929 (mainly Z-IV and Z-V in EFM. Bd. 1) in their many entries on Heidegger and Husserl in contrast, conflict, and mutually critical complementarity.


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had begun a course of his own as emeritus professor, ‘‘The Phenomenology of Empathy,’’∑∂ but as his own writing projects became more demanding he had to discontinue it. The forum of determination for how philosophy was to be done in Freiburg thus was left entirely to his successor, and as we shall see his successor came to do just that. Husserl, however, had his assistants; and the first of these, Landgrebe, was working on editing texts of Husserl’s on logic. These would eventually become Experience and Judgment, which would not be published until after Husserl’s death, and only outside Germany, in Czechoslovakia, and then only to see all copies remaining in Prague destroyed by the Nazis following the annexation of that country in March 1939.∑∑ But this was November 1928, and Husserl, stimulated by a portion of Landgrebe’s work, sat down and wrote out his Formal and Transcendental Logic, in the kind of burst of productive inspiration that amazed any who witnessed it. No sooner had Husserl finished this composition (on January 23, 1929) than he had to turn to preparing his lectures for Paris, the scheduled dates for which were fast approaching.∑∏ And there were other irons in Husserl’s fire; he was not going to be leaving his second assistant with nothing to do. In July 1928—that is, just as Husserl was considering his choice for the position of second assistant—the volume of Husserl’s Jahrbuch (IX) that contained his ‘‘Phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness,’’ with Heidegger as nominal editor, was nearly ready.∑π But for Husserl these texts, in great part from lectures delivered in 1905, were far less important as an inquiry into time and time-consciousness than others that he had written since then, during late summer stays in Bernau in 1917 and 1918 in the Black Forest. This is what he had explained to Roman Ingarden the year before, on one of Ingarden’s visits during his month-long stay in Freiburg in the autumn of 1927. Husserl had given Ingarden several recently typed writings for him to read and then come back and discuss. One of these was the typescript of those 1905 lectures on time, which Edith Stein had in fact worked up into acceptable form while she was Husserl’s assistant ten years earlier.∑∫ When Ingarden began speaking of 54. HChr, p. 338. Fink’s notes on Heidegger’s lectures for this same semester, ‘‘Introduction to Philosophy,’’ show, barely one-quarter of the way through, criticism by Heidegger of the way ‘‘empathy [Einfühlung]’’ is approached by Husserl—without naming him. (EFA U-MH-132, corresponding to MH-GA 27, pp. 140–42.) See Fink’s own long note (Z-IV 87a–88b) on both Heidegger’s and his own critique of Husserl’s analysis of empathy. Elements of Fink’s ideas here anticipate the treatment sketched out for revising Husserl’s ‘‘Fifth Meditation’’ (see VI.CM/2, Texts Nos. 14–17). 55. See ‘‘Editor’s Foreword to the 1948 Edition,’’ EJ, pp. 3–8. 56. HChr, p. 341, entries for January 23 and 25, 1929. 57. See Husserl’s letter of July 13, 1928, to Ingarden (Bw III, 241). 58. See Ingarden’s account in BIng, ‘‘Erläuterungen zu den Briefen,’’ pp. 152–55, and

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how important it was that these be published—as they would be within the year—Husserl, to his great surprise, simply said: ‘‘I have something else far more important. Come back tomorrow.’’ And on the next day Husserl laid before the astonished Ingarden five hundred to six hundred pages of shorthand manuscript, saying: ‘‘That is my magnum opus. You shall get it ready for publication for me.’’∑Ω These were in fact the Bernau manuscripts on timeconstituting consciousness and the problem of individuation—the most difficult problems in all of phenomenology, as Ingarden put it.∏≠ Deeply touched but distressed, Ingarden had to decline; it was an impossible task unless he were to devote one or two years entirely to it in Freiburg, where constant discussion with Husserl would be necessary. And Ingarden knew from his correspondence with Edith Stein the difficult task it was to rethink and revise into coherent form Husserl’s research manuscripts.∏∞ No, it would have to be someone else, someone able to work there with Husserl in closest and continual contact. And it would have to be someone whom Husserl felt sure had the abilities needed to do the job. In mid-1928 the 1905 lectures on time-consciousness were in fact published; but Heidegger at this point in his career, though the named editor for that publication, had no interest in getting involved in real editing on further time-manuscripts of Husserl’s. That, however, was exactly what an assistant was for, and an assistant was on hand—Eugen Fink, for whom timeconsciousness was the theme for the proposed third part of a competition essay of his.∏≤ By the beginning of the winter semester of 1928–1929 Husserl had decided to turn over to Fink the task of reworking his Bernau manuscripts to produce a coherent text for publication, and all signs indicate Fink must have begun then.∏≥ As the months progressed and Fink also worked on reworking his competition essay into his dissertation, Husserl made other unpublished materials available to him; still, it is not surprising that the only such Husserl’s explanation in a letter to Alexander Pfänder (January 6, 1931) for asking Heidegger to stand as editor (Bw II, pp. 181–82). See Boehm, ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua X, pp. xxiii–xxiv. 59. BIng, ‘‘Erläuterungen,’’ p. 154. 60. Ibid. See also Husserl’s description of his work in Bernau in letters to Heidegger (March 28, 1918; Bw IV, p. 130), to Adolf Grimme (June 8, 1918; Bw III, p. 84), and to Ingarden (April 5, 1918). For further detail on the production and content of these manuscripts, see ‘‘Einleitung der Herausgebers’’ in Hua XXXIII, pp. xx–xxv. 61. See Roman Ingarden, ed., ‘‘Edith Stein on Her Activity as an Assistant of Edmund Husserl,’’ Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 22 (1962), 155–75. 62. See Z-I, Beil. I, p. [10–11], EFM 1, Z-I for the outline in the Preisschrift of the entire plan. See also Z-I, ‘‘Beschreibung,’’ for finding other outlines of the work. 63. See appendix.


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materials to which Fink’s notes from this time refer are in fact Husserl’s treasured Bernau manuscripts.∏∂ So far as manuscript editing was concerned, Fink could not have worked terribly fast in his very first months with Husserl, and the reason is simple. He first had to learn Gabelsberg shorthand—and Husserl’s own adaptation of it!—before he could do serious work with those texts. There was not available then, as there is now at the Husserl Archives, an extensive glossary of Husserl’s own figures in Gabelsberg for phenomenological terms. All Fink had was a manual for self-teaching∏∑ and whatever help he could get from Landgrebe, or from Husserl himself, which Fink indicates he did receive.∏∏ Even so, it seems that Fink began fairly early in his assistant position with Husserl to study the latter’s manuscripts and transcribe them.∏π He may well have impressed Husserl with his industry, for he early on received from him a copy of the newly published Vorlesungen zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewußtseins.∏∫ When all the indications from Fink’s own notes are taken into consideration here, together with Fink’s several autobiographical statements,∏Ω it seems likely that only by about mid-1929 had Fink’s study of Husserl’s Bernau manuscripts given him a firm grasp of what they were as a whole and what it would take to produce a coherent edition of them.π≠ Yet there are clear indications that he had sketched out a plan for them earlier. Already sometime during or soon after January 1929 he had jotted down a tentative outline for the basic organization of these texts, together with a few lines for the opening of an introduction to an edition of the texts thus being worked on.π∞ In any case, by the end of 1929, and certainly by the spring of 1930, Fink had a firmly established plan for the revision and had full charge of the task of rework64. Z-I 95a, Z-II 45a, Z-IV 54a and 76a, Z-V V/2a–b; V-I38–40. The one exception is reference to ZB (Hua X), in Z-I61a (EFM 1). 65. See appendix. 66. See ‘‘Bericht über die Transkription der Nachlassmanuskritpe Husserls,’’ from December 2, 1939, in EFM 4, Abschn. 4. 67. Several notes (Z-II 42a, Z-IV 35a, 36a, and 86a) from these early months—late 1928 to mid- or late 1929—are written on sheets that carry parts of typed lines that to all appearances are portions of transcription. 68. In its separate publication (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1928), rather than that in JPpF; in the Fink Nachlass. 69. See the explanation on these statements given with Fink’s ‘‘Politische Geschichte,’’ in EFM 4, Abschn.4. 70. See appendix. 71. See appendix.

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ing the Bernau manuscripts for publication; for that was when Husserl approached the Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft Freiburg for financial support for precisely this work. In the meantime, in 1929 two engagements dominated the attentions of Husserl and Fink. For Husserl, nearing seventy years of age, a triumph seemingly immune to diminishment awaited him in Paris, where on February 23 and 25 he was to deliver four lectures on his phenomenology in the Amphithéâtre Descartes in the seat of French philosophy, the Sorbonne. It was time to prepare what he would say. Fink, on the other hand, freshly turned twentythree in December 1928, and at the very beginning of his career, had to finish his dissertation. Let us take Fink first. The parameters of his dissertation task were clear, and a good part of the work had been done in the writing of the competition essay. Three features, however, distinguished the dissertation task from that essay. The first was that the dissertation was given a full-fledged ‘‘Introduction,’’ in which, in effect, Fink gave expression to a theory of phenomenology that was much more extensive and sharply focused than in the earlier essay. The significance of this will be dealt with in the next chapter, but here one striking feature at least should be mentioned: it is clearly the product of Fink’s thinking of phenomenology as having to embrace fundamental elements from both Husserl and Heidegger. In fact, quite apart from the clear implication of this double influence in Fink’s thematic scheme in this ‘‘Introduction,’’ he is quite explicit about it in the brief autobiographical notice appended in the dissertation as published separately. He writes: It is with earnest and deep-felt appreciation that I wish to thank [Professor Husserl] for his gracious assistance in my work, for his dynamic awakening of philosophical interest, and not least of all for the rich education reaching to one’s very core that he granted me in innumerable discussions. That my gratitude not remain a matter merely of words will show in what I do in the future. For decisive philosophical stimulus and a great part of my training I am indebted to the lectures and seminars of Professor Heidegger. What I gained from the study of his works cannot show its full effect in the narrow confines of this present work.π≤

It was clear to Heidegger that Fink was a student of Husserl’s, but it was also clear to him that Fink was listening with great interest to his, Heidegger’s, 72. For this ‘‘Lebenslauf’’ see note 63 above. See also Z-I 143b and Z-VI 13a (EFM 1). Cf. also the expression of gratitude to Husserl in the ‘‘Vorbemerkung’’ to the dissertation (VB/I, p. 1).


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thinking.π≥ Thus it was that for the defense of Fink’s dissertation on December 13, 1929, Husserl stood as Referent and Heidegger as Korreferent, the only time these two together sponsored a doctoral candidate, and perhaps the last time they would meet publicly in these years of Husserl’s retirement; for in the course of that same year, 1929, and prior to this occasion, Husserl had come to the conclusion that there was little in common between his philosophy and that of the man who now stood in his place in Freiburg, Martin Heidegger. The second feature that marked the advance of the dissertation over the competition essay was that now Fink had worked out what had been projected as section II of that essay but had not been actually written. This new material, now entitled ‘‘Preliminary Analysis of Image-Consciousness,’’ was added to section I as revised from the essay (under the title ‘‘Preliminary Analysis of Presentifications’’) to constitute with the new ‘‘Introduction’’ what was presented as the dissertation and published as ‘‘Presentification and Image (Part I).’’π∂ The still unfinished part II, now given the title ‘‘The Constitutive Temporal Interpretation of Presentification and Image’’ was to contain the last and most important section of what had originally been planned as three sections.π∑ This part II, though not finished and not submitted, was the third feature in terms of which Fink’s work on the dissertation was a step of important progress; for Fink now grasped far more fully the depth and complexity of the question of temporality in its implications for adequate treatment of the way the mind is a life of experience and awareness able to range over all facets of itself in imagination, memory, and reflective re-presentation. Thus in two key paragraphs of programmatic centrality Fink briefly announced that the treatments in the whole of part I were simply preliminary and characterized by a naïveté.π∏ The analysis conducted there of the experiences and mental phenomena in question was necessarily done in terms of act-centered intentionality. But these same things had to be more radically considered, namely, by ‘‘a more original regress into the temporal constitution of acts themselves.’’ππ This, too, is how the work of Fink’s dissertation in fact intertwined directly with the task that Husserl set him of revising his Bernau studies on temporality

73. See the remarks of Heidegger’s in the text from MH-GA 29/30, pp. 533–34, mentioned in footnote 3 above. 74. Again, this is the title in its publication in JPpF XI. 75. Titles all in VB/I, pp. ix–x and 19. 76. VB/I, §27, p. 66. 77. VB/I, §7, p. 19.

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and time-consciousness. Here, too, the completion of the dissertation depended upon Fink’s seeing his way through the analysis of these two topics, which would take him to the very foundations of the possibility of phenomenology not only as Husserl was practicing it but also as Heidegger was transforming it. As this task grew, the completion of part II of the dissertation continued as a project still under way.π∫ On Husserl’s side now, in this same year, 1929, things of another kind were happening that would soon lead to far closer contact with his young second assistant. Husserl departed on February 20, 1929, for Paris, where he delivered his ‘‘Introduction to Transcendental Phenomenology’’ in German on February 23 and 25. Fink remained in Freiburg; he was still attending courses at the university, and Heidegger was in his first semester of lecturing there.πΩ Husserl’s lectures in Paris were a great success and a signal honor. In his opening remarks, Xavier Léon, of the Société Française de Philosophie, one of the sponsoring groups, lauded Husserl as ‘‘the most eminent master in German philosophy.’’∫≠ Then, on the way back to Freiburg, Husserl spent four days in Strasbourg, giving talks and holding discussions. Out of this developed the idea of translating the Paris lectures into French in an expanded version;∫∞ and on his return to Freiburg (on March 12) Husserl immediately set to work on revising his text for this purpose.∫≤ Over the next two months he produced the version that has since become familiar under the title Cartesian Meditations,∫≥ but not without a happy interlude in the midst of his intense labors. On April 8, 1929, Husserl’s seventieth birthday was celebrated in full formality at an assembly in the university, at a private afternoon dinner, and by a grand party that same evening. At the university gathering Heidegger gave a ‘‘long, rather involved address’’∫∂ and then handed Husserl a volume of essays 78. See appendix. 79. In the remarks to Fink in MH-GA 29/30, p. 533, Heidegger recounts that at the end of January 1929 Fink had helped him carry Heidegger’s desk into his new residence in Freiburg. 80. Méditations cartésiennes: Introduction à la phénoménologie, trans. by Gabrielle Peiffer and Emmanuel Levinas, Bibliothèque de la Société Française de Philosophie (Paris: Armand Colin, 1931), ‘‘Avertissement,’’ p. v. 81. Op. cit., p. vii. 82. HChr, pp. 341–44. 83. See appendix. 84. Ingarden’s characterization, ‘‘Erläuterungen,’’ BIng, p. 161. The address is translated in Edmund Husserl, Psychological and Transcendental Phenomenology and the


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dedicated to him.∫∑ Visibly moved, Husserl spoke briefly and in deep earnestness. ‘‘One thing I cannot accept, and that is talk about what I deserve. There is no deserving on my part. Philosophy was the mission of my life. I had to philosophize, or else I could not live in this world.’’∫∏ And, of course, Husserl was soon back at work, drafting his revision of the Paris lectures. Fink had surely been present at some of these festivities, the university assembly above all; but at this point, and on this occasion, he does not seem to have been part of the special circle that would be expected to share in the private midday dinner.∫π In fact, soon after Husserl’s return from France, and at the end of the 1928–1929 winter semester, Fink went off to Davos in Switzerland, where from March 17 to April 6, 1929, was held for the second time a course of lectures designed to bring together in discussion on neutral Swiss soil thinkers from France and Germany. (Recall that this was but a decade after the First World War.) But while this cross-national encounter was the aim, on this occasion the highlight of the program was in fact the debate between two Germans, Martin Heidegger and Ernst Cassirer.∫∫ It is not clear whether Fink attended the entire program at Davos, for his notes cover only Heidegger’s lectures on ‘‘Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason in the task of laying the foundations for metaphysics,’’ dated March 17–27.∫Ω In any case, Fink was not in Freiburg for Husserl’s first weeks of revision work on his ‘‘Meditations,’’ but that soon changed. As Husserl neared completion of his revisions Fink was brought in to help; and here—perhaps for the first time—Fink had occasion to witness how the old master worked when philosophy was upon Confrontation with Heidegger (1927–1931), ed. and trans. by Thomas Sheehan and Richard E. Palmer, Collected Works VI (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1997), pp. 475–77. 85. Festschrift, Edmund Husserl zum 70: Geburtstag gewidmet, Ergänzungsband zum Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phänomenologische Forschung (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1929). Included here, among essays by Husserl’s son, Gerhart, Roman Ingarden, Alexandre Koyré, Edith Stein, and others, is Heidegger’s contribution, ‘‘Vom Wesen des Grundes’’ (pp. 71–100). 86. Quoted in BIng, p. 161. 87. Ingarden recounts that those attending were Husserl’s family and mostly former students from pre-Freiburg days (ibid.). 88. For an account of this meeting, see Pierre Aubenque, ‘‘Présentation,’’ in Ernst Cassirer, Martin Heidegger: Débat sur le Kantisme et la Philosophie et autres Textes de 1929–1931, ed. by Pierre Aubenque, trans. by P. Aubenque, J.-M. Fataud, P. Quillet (Paris: Beauchesne, 1972), pp. 7–16. The German text of the Davos debate is given in MH-G 3, pp. 274–96. Other materials supplementing the debate itself are given both in Aubenque’s collection (material by both Heidegger and Cassirer) and in MH-GA 3 (material by Heidegger). 89. EFA U-MH-I, pp. 153–64 (not in EFM).

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him. In a letter to Stephan Strasser shortly after the end of the war, in answer to some questions Strasser had in connection with his editorial work on the critical edition of ‘‘Cartesian Meditations,’’ Fink described Husserl’s method of composing conference papers and texts for publication. ‘‘Husserl wrote the text in a continuous stretch, without outlining it beforehand and without keeping an outline in front of him. This was a most astonishing phenomenon and never ceased to amaze me: he wrote as if in a trance.’’ Fink explains that Husserl’s articulation of ideas was so well ordered that the later division into sections was not all that difficult. This task is what Landgrebe did for Formal and Transcendental Logic, giving it its sections and their titles, while Fink provided the same for ‘‘Cartesian Meditations,’’ as just then revised by Husserl, and later for the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts. ‘‘Of course Husserl always had to give his approval,’’ Fink adds.Ω≠ Fink in fact did a little more than just work out a breakdown into sections and give them titles; Strasser in his editorial explanations alludes to the many improvements Fink made on the actual text itself.Ω∞ And then the revision was done! . . . for the moment. Worn out from the work, Husserl left for a holiday in Italy, instructing Fink, who remained in Freiburg, to send the typescript to the translators in Strasbourg, which he did on May 17, 1929.Ω≤ Husserl was content; the ‘‘Meditations’’ could count as his masterpiece, and he intended to publish it now, as he wrote to Ingarden from Tremezzo a few days later.Ω≥ Husserl’s next letter to Ingarden six months later would say something quite different. Husserl may have been on holiday in Tremezzo, and Tremezzo on Lake Como was a long way from Freiburg; but there was still work to do. The proofs for Formal and Transcendental Logic needed checking—240 pages—and it took much of Husserl’s time, not only in Tremezzo but also after his return to Freiburg (on June 10).Ω∂ But in the midst of it he was able to take a few days to read something that had been sent him back in May in honor, once again, of his seventieth birthday: the first part of a long study being published serially entitled ‘‘Life-Philosophy and Phenomenology: A Treatment of Dilthey’s Orientation via Debate with Heidegger and Husserl,’’ by Georg Misch. Misch had 90. Fink’s letter to Strasser, November 1, 1946, as the latter was preparing Hua I. See EFM 4, Abschn. 3. Husserl himself, in a letter to Arnold Metzger (September 4, 1919, Bw IV, p. 413), mentions writing Ideas I ‘‘in six weeks, without outline or source material, as if in a trance.’’ 91. ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua I, p. xxvi, and ‘‘Anmerkungen,’’ p. 239 (to line 57/3). 92. HChr, p. 347. 93. May 26, 1929, Bw III, 248–49. 94. HChr, p. 347f.


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been invited to contribute an essay to the festschrift that had been presented to Husserl at his birthday celebration. Misch very much wanted to do so, ‘‘in order to demonstrate from my side too the awareness of community with the Dilthey circle that the invitation [from phenomenologists] expressed. And the topic for my contribution was set of its own accord: Remarks on Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time,’ through which this community had become manifest.’’Ω∑ But the material Misch was preparing grew far beyond the bounds of the originally intended essay to become something quite different. What Husserl finally read, then, in mid-June showed him something he had hitherto not realized: the way his own position must look in the context of the scintillating philosophical ascendancy of his successor, Martin Heidegger. The first part of Misch’s book that Husserl had before him dealt only with Heidegger and Dilthey in conjunction; the next part to come would continue this treatment, and only in the last part, yet a year away, would Husserl’s own position be fully discussed. Only then would Husserl see in more detail how he himself was being looked upon by an important part of the philosophical public. At this point, however, the Heidegger that he saw represented in Misch’s treatment was not the Heidegger that Husserl had thought him to be—or, more accurately, had earnestly wanted him to be. It is no wonder Husserl wrote to Misch on June 27 that he had read that first part ‘‘completely wrapped up in it and concentrated on it, and today—again taking a break [from proofreading]—I have it in front of me. And I’ve hardly yet even opened the Festschrift, I don’t even know the topics of the essays dedicated to me!’’Ω∏ A month later, on July 24, Husserl heard Heidegger deliver the lecture ‘‘What Is Metaphysics?’’ that officially inaugurated Heidegger’s position at Freiburg.Ωπ The issue could no longer be put off: he simply had to take the time now to study Heidegger’s works closely, as he could no longer assume he knew what Heidegger’s thinking really was. With Formal and Transcendental Logic finally published at the end of July, Husserl returned to Tremezzo in August for three weeks, and there, finally, he read Being and Time, carefully, intently, and then, it appears, Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, which had just been pub95. Georg Misch, ‘‘Vorwort’’ (June 1930), in Lebensphilosophie und Phänomenologie: Eine Auseinandersetzung der Diltheyschen Richtung mit Heidegger und Husserl, 3d ed. (Stuttgart: B. G. Teubner, 1967), p. iii. The work appeared in three parts in Philosophischen Anzeiger over the course of more than a year: part I (pp. 1–102) in the spring of 1929, part II (pp. 103–73) later in the same year, and part III (pp. 175–323) in late 1930. 96. Letter from June 27, 1929, published in the ‘‘Nachwort’’ to Lebensphilosophie und Phänomenologie, p. 327, and in Bw VI, p. 275. 97. Fink was there too, as his one-page notes on this lecture attest: Z-IV 99a–b (EFM 1).

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lished,Ω∫ and a copy of which Heidegger had sent him ‘‘with kind regards.’’ (Fink had acquired his copy too during the summer.)ΩΩ The state of Husserl’s mind when he finished reading them is best seen from his letter later in the year to Ingarden. Writing him on December 2—still in 1929, and but a week before Fink’s dissertation defense, with Husserl and Heidegger together—Husserl explains, ‘‘I came to the conclusion that I cannot count the work [Being and Time] within the framework of my phenomenology, but also that to my regret I must reject it entirely as to its method and in the essentials of its content. All the more do I place importance on the full elaboration of the German version of the Cartesian Meditations into my systematic ‘magnum opus.’ Hopefully it will be done by the end of 1930. . . .’’∞≠≠ Here, then, we see not only Husserl expressing the harsh shock of realization regarding Heidegger but also his determination to provide a counterweight in something of his own that he must put before the German public.∞≠∞ Husserl finally realized that instead of a follower, the Heidegger he had set in place as his successor was an opponent! And an extraordinarily gifted one at that, whose presence in the philosophic world was overshadowing his own in the real sense of that word: Heidegger’s brilliance made Husserl’s own work seem somber and dull. Husserl felt that, in a way, he had himself been his own worst expositor. What he had published so far had not succeeded in representing the vivid insights that actually drove the phenomenology of his passionately sustained reflections. He had to if possible seize the opportunity offered by the several publication projects then under way to achieve an effective statement of his real thinking, or his life’s work would slip into disregard and irrelevancy. Landgrebe was working on his edition of Husserl’s studies on logic, for example; but this would hardly provide the dramatic, comprehensive statement 98. On this study see HChr, p. 349. Husserl’s copies of SZ and KB, both in the Husserl Archives, complimentary copies from Heidegger, carry remarks and markings by Husserl from his reading. These are included in Psychological and Transcendental Phenomenology and the Confrontation with Heidegger (1927–1931), trans. and ed. by Thomas Sheehan and Richard E. Palmer (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1997). 99. Dated ‘‘SS 1929,’’ in the Fink Nachlass. 100. Bw III, p. 254. See also the extraordinarily frank expression of profound disappointment in Husserl’s letter to Alexander Pfänder a year later, January 6, 1931 (Bw II, p. 184). 101. That this was indeed a sudden shock of realization is indicated in the fact that, immediately before this study of Heidegger, Husserl had left intact in the proofs for his FTL reference to the coming publication (‘‘in autumn,’’ he even says!) of the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ in their then existing form. Hua XVII, p. 11, note 1. (FTLe, p. 7, note 1.)


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that was needed. Ideas I was being translated into English, and perhaps he could revise that sufficiently to overcome some of its limitations. After a try at it, it became obvious it would take too much work to be done right;∞≠≤ he would have to content himself with an explanatory preface. Yet this at least gave him a device for making an interim statement about his position to the German public, the public in whose eyes he had just discovered the waning appreciation of his phenomenology. So, while he sent his ‘‘Preface’’ to Boyce Gibson with a letter to him dated October 23, 1929, he added several paragraphs to its text for its publication in the next volume of his Jahrbuch.∞≠≥ Here we read the poignant admission by Husserl, in his seventieth year, that in phenomenology, this ‘‘science of beginnings,’’ he must count himself finally ‘‘a real beginner.’’∞≠∂ Reading these materials in full we see clearly intermingled in Husserl’s outlook a confidence in the success of his endeavor and its discoveries, and a sense of failure in its presentation to others—a conviction regarding unshakable basic insights, and an uncompromising admission of incompleteness and inadequacy in communication. Here, nearing the end of his life and in what ought to have been the fullness of his career, he must once more—still—stand at a beginning to make the beginnings of his science of origins clear to the beginners that his audience will still be, and which they must in fact strive to be.∞≠∑ And so he turns to the last remaining project that he has been working on, the newest one, his meditations after Descartes, and seizes upon it to make it his chef d’oeuvre, the statement of statements about what his phenomenology is.∞≠∏ This, then, was the juncture at which Husserl began to draw Fink closer into his own work. Here is where that development and deepening began for what

102. See HChr, p. 350, excerpt from a letter to Boyce Gibson, October 23, 1929 (Bw VI, p. 135). In more detail, see Karl Schuhmann, ‘‘III: Der Umarbeitungsversuch von 1929,’’ in Die Dialektik der Phänomenologie II, pp. 163–68. 103. ‘‘Nachwort zu meinem ‘Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie,’ ’’ JPpF XI (1930), pp. 549–70 (Hua V, pp. 138–65; Ideas II, pp. 405–30). 104. ‘‘Epilogue,’’ Ideas II, p. 429. 105. Husserl’s final words are an admonishment for his reader not to be someone ‘‘who is already certain of his philosophy and his philosophical method’’—such as those who ‘‘appeal to the fertile bathos of experience in the usual sense,’’ or to the ‘‘sure results of the exact sciences, or to experimental or physiological psychology, or to a constantly improving logic and mathematics.’’ Rather, ‘‘only someone who is struggling with the beginning of a philosophy’’ can bring to this book the interest and the effort it would need to be understood. ‘‘Epilogue,’’ Ideas II, p. 162 (translation slightly modified). 106. See Husserl to Ingarden, December 2, 1929 (Bw III, p. 254).

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Fink, in retrospect after the immensity of a decade of Nazism and war, would call ‘‘the most important thing that happened to me intellectually,’’ namely, ‘‘the meeting and joining with Edmund Husserl,’’ which, while being ‘‘the stroke of good fortune for my inner life,’’ was at the same time ‘‘political doom’’ and ‘‘a menace for outward existence.’’∞≠π From October 1929 Husserl began having Fink more regularly in his home, for work or dinner.∞≠∫ By early January 1930, Fink was coming daily or nearly so.∞≠Ω Yet for all the closeness to Husserl that he was beginning to have, Fink’s interest in philosophy—and the circumstances of the academic setting—required him to maintain contact with Heidegger. Recall, for example, that the defense of Fink’s dissertation took place right during this period, on December 13, 1929, in the presence of Husserl and Heidegger together! Recall, too, that Fink had already finished two semesters of Heidegger’s lectures and was in the middle of a third, one that he deemed particularly significant.∞∞≠ He would in fact continue to follow Heidegger’s lectures for at least another three semesters. His work, however, was with Husserl, and the task at hand was Husserl’s pressing need to prepare a comprehensive statement of phenomenology that would dramatically and clearly present it to the German philosophical and intellectual world. As we have seen, Husserl was hoping to revise his already once revised ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ to serve this purpose, and for this task he was now going to recruit Fink’s assistance. At first Husserl thought that, in order to explain the character of his phenomenology in the context of the ascendant Heideggerian enterprise, he might add a lengthy introduction to the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ in their already revised state, virtually ready for publication.∞∞∞ But in the course of working out topics and points that would be needed for the explanation he envisioned

107. ‘‘Politische Geschichte meiner wissenschaftlichen Laufbahn,’’ p. [1]. EFM 4, Abschn. 4. 108. See the letters by both Edmund and Malvine Husserl to Elisabeth (Elli) Husserl Rosenberg from October and November 1929 (Bw IX, pp. 370 and 372), as well as from October 5 and November 5, 1929, but not included in Bw (in the Husserl Archives). 109. Letter from Malvine Husserl to Elli, January 16, 1930 (Bw IX, p. 374). Fink comes ‘‘daily,’’ Malvine writes in a note to Elli from January 1, 1930, not in Bw but in the Husserl Archives. 110. See Heidegger’s dedication to Fink of the text of his lectures from the WS 1929/ 30, as MH-GA 29/30 (p. v). 111. ‘‘Author’s Preface,’’ Ideas I (B-G), p. 30. See Iso Kern’s narrative of Husserl’s work during the period of his revision of the ‘‘Cartesianische Meditationen,’’ Hua XV, pp. xvi– lxv. See also Kern’s explanation of the differences between the English version and the German of this text, owing to Husserl’s rapid shift of plans in 1929 and 1930 (p. xxv, note 3). See also Schuhmann, Die Dialektik der Phänomenologie II, p. 168 and note 70.


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he was soon led to believe that more than a mere ‘‘Introduction’’ was needed; the ‘‘Meditations’’ themselves had to be extensively revised. This was behind the remark to Ingarden, quoted a little earlier, that a wholesale reworking of his ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ was under way, which he hoped would be ready by the end of the next year. Work on a large-scale reworking of the ‘‘Meditations,’’ however, had to face interruption by other tasks and obligations. For example, Husserl had to go over the texts that Ludwig Landgrebe was preparing for what would become Experience and Judgment. On March 19, 1930, Husserl wrote to Ingarden explaining that he was hard pressed right then to give the time needed to redo the ‘‘Meditations.’’ ‘‘I saw that I would still need 4–6 months of work’’ for what he considered to be ‘‘the main work of my life, an outline of the philosophy that has come to fruition for me, a fundamental work on methods and on the problematic of philosophy.’’ In contrast to ‘‘the little French text,’’ what was needed for the German public was ‘‘a more extensive exposition and further elaboration right up to the highest ‘metaphysical’ problematic.’’ And he added, ‘‘I’m working with full vigor and extreme concentration, [but] I won’t be finished with the book before autumn.’’∞∞≤ Finally, in this same spring or at the latest in the early summer of 1930 Husserl turned to the further reading of Misch’s treatment of life-philosophy and phenomenology in the conjunction of Dilthey, Heidegger, and himself. As I mentioned earlier, Husserl had already in May 1929 received the first part of Misch’s serially appearing work, and he now had the second part as well. These two parts carried the subtitle ‘‘A Debate with Heidegger’’;∞∞≥ and what Husserl now read may well have caused him to change his plans more radically. For Misch’s treatment, even though it did not yet address Husserl’s position focally, showed that the misunderstanding and critique of Husserl’s phenomenology went farther than Heidegger’s criticisms and success. Misch already represented Dilthey’s philosophy of life as standing in stark contrast to Husserl’s philosophy as Misch understood it, not realizing how deeply this theme of life touched upon matters at the core of Husserl’s thinking. Misch emphasized in Dilthey’s program the theme of living historical movement in human existence and thought, as against the absence of anything equivalent to it in what he took to be the strongly logic-centered intellectualism of Husserl’s 112. Bw III, 262. 113. The last part, only published in November 1930, was termed ‘‘A Debate with Heidegger and Husserl.’’ See Husserl’s letter to Misch on November 16, 1930 (Bw VI, pp. 282–83), and Kern’s ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua XV, pp. xlii–xlviii, for the way Misch’s book affected Husserl’s thinking at that later date.

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works.∞∞∂ Equally distressing was Misch’s linking of Heidegger’s analysis of ‘‘Dasein’’ with this positive life-valuation in Dilthey’s position, and therefore the ascription to Heidegger’s work of a value beyond Husserl’s. In view of this representation Husserl realized he had to provide a far broader apologia of his philosophy if his thought was to be properly understood, one that would show his phenomenology to be at grips precisely with what was most deeply and fundamentally concrete and originative in human life. For this, something more than the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ was needed. It would not be enough, either, simply to produce individual studies of aspects of human being as they were treated in Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology.∞∞∑ What was needed was a framework, a comprehensive plan in terms of which the highest principles of phenomenological method and explanation would be systematically linked with the most manifest and preoccupying features of real existence, so that one could see clearly and rigorously how these features were given their true and full meaning in terms of the former. Thus was conceived the monumental project of a wholly new ‘‘System of Phenomenological Philosophy,’’ into which Husserl now threw his efforts.∞∞∏ With this a wholly new stage was entered in Husserl’s work, and with this the role of Eugen Fink in the economy of Husserl’s final period of productivity emerged in its principal character.

1.3. Fink as Assistant to, Then Collaborator with, Husserl: 1930–1934 At the end of March 1930, Ludwig Landgrebe reached the end of the two-year assistantship position that had been given him on Husserl’s retirement, and it was time for him to prepare his Habilitation.∞∞π At the same time, the two-year extension for the second-assistant position held by Fink also came to an end on the first of April. Fortunately, however, Husserl learned that Fink’s position was going to be supported for another year, so that, as Malvine Husserl put it, he would not have to ‘‘go begging around the Notgemeinschaft and elsewhere’’ to get financing for ‘‘his beloved Fink.’’∞∞∫ And support for 114. See appendix. 115. See Kern’s indication of the nature and extent of these studies at this time, ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua XV, pp. xxxi–xxxiii. 116. See Husserl’s letters from the end of 1930, e.g., to Pfänder from December 6, 1930 (Bw II, pp. 177–78), and a pair of letters to Misch himself, November 16 and 27, 1930 (Bw VI, pp. 282–84). 117. HChr, page 361. 118. Malvine to Elli Husserl Rosenberg, May 31, 1930 (Bw IX, pp. 375–76).


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Fink’s work with Husserl would continue for two years thereafter, all thanks to the help of a former student of Husserl’s, Adolf Grimme, who in February 1930 had just been appointed to head the Prussian Ministry of Education.∞∞Ω Sometime in the months between mid-1929 and mid-1930, while Husserl was trying to overcome interruptions to work on the second stage of revision for his ‘‘Cartesian Meditations,’’ Fink had sketched out some ideas on the development needed in that revision.∞≤≠ Of particular interest in these texts is the way Fink projects two additional ‘‘Meditations’’ to the work as Husserl had written it, beyond simply expanding the existing five. Fink was thinking of the ‘‘Meditations’’ in terms of the more comprehensive conception that Husserl himself indicates in the concluding paragraphs (§63 and §64) of the same work, rather than in terms of further investigation into particular items needing to be clarified or included in the framework of the existing five ‘‘Meditations.’’ (Recall that Fink had introduced the divisions and sections into Husserl’s first revision, the revision finished in May 1929, and had given them their titles.) This would certainly fit with the decision Husserl had taken in the second half of 1929 to expand the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ into a more comprehensive work,∞≤∞ and indeed Fink’s sketches correspond to the description Husserl gave to Ingarden in March 1930.∞≤≤ But not long after, as we have seen, instead of trying to fit a comprehensive plan into the format of his Sorbonne lectures, Husserl conceived the idea of designing an entirely new systematic presentation of his phenomenology on the basis of its intrinsic principle and central dynamic. It must have been in the late spring, then, that Husserl drew up a brief sketch for what such a new systematic presentation might be: a study in five books beginning with egological reflection and ending with the problem of God.∞≤≥ And then it was for Fink to flesh out this idea. What Fink produced has been available now since the publication of the most extensive drafts from his work for Husserl in the 1930s.∞≤∂ The first of these drafts, written during the early summer on the basis of his now com119. See Husserl’s letters to Grimme from February 1, 1930, January 1931, March 5, 1931, February 3, 1932, and February 4, 1933 (Bw III, pp. 88, 89–90, 92–93, and 96); also Malvine’s letter to E. Rosenberg from May 31, 1930 (Bw IX, pp. 375–76). 120. See Z-X 16a–18b, 20a, and Z-VI LVI/1a–6b, all in EFM 1; also in N-EF, pp. 99– 105. 121. See Husserl’s letter to Ingarden from December 2, 1929 (Bw III, 254), referred to earlier. 122. See the letter of March 19, 1930 (Bw III, p. 262), referred to earlier. 123. The text of this outline is published in Kern, ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua XV, p. xxxvi, together with an explanation of its origin and dating (p. xxxv, notes 2 and 3). 124. I.e., VI.CM/1–2.

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prehensive knowledge of Husserl’s research manuscripts, namely, the ‘‘Layout for Edmund Husserl’s ‘System of Phenomenological Philosophy,’ ’’ was ready on August 13, 1930, for Husserl to take with him on the long working holiday planned for Chiavari on the eastern Italian Riviera.∞≤∑ There Husserl studied it, surely discussing it with Fink, who reached Chiavari shortly after Husserl’s earlier arrival with Malvine.∞≤∏ It is a remarkable document, both for its scope and in its detail, especially in comparison with Husserl’s conception in his much briefer sketch for the same ‘‘System.’’ Indeed, the agreements and differences between the two conceptions is one of the main themes of the chapters to follow here, agreements and differences that can in fact already be seen in the document following this ‘‘Layout’’ in the same volume, Fink’s ‘‘Draft for the opening section of an Introduction to Phenomenology.’’∞≤π Fink produced this 120-page typescript after his and Husserl’s return from Chiavari on November 4, 1930. The sojourn in Chiavari itself turned out to be a disaster for Husserl. Before the first month was out, he had contracted bronchitis and was virtually incapacitated for the rest of his stay. Fink had to work more or less alone, on their joint projects as well as on his own research tasks, and his notes from these months are rich and provocative.∞≤∫ Fink was not at all working as someone with a mind slavishly subordinated to the rubrics inscribed in Husserl’s own texts; rather, he ranged freely and creatively in critique of Husserl’s standard formulations in the interest of advancing his program. Husserl, for his part, was only able fully to return to work after arriving back in Freiburg, but 125. VI.CM/2, pp. 3–9. See Malvine Husserl’s letter to her son-in-law, Jakob Rosenberg, July 28, 1930, describing Husserl’s work aim for the trip, and Fink’s role in it (Bw IX, p. 382). 126. Husserl writes to Cairns from Chiavari, September 23, 1930: ‘‘I’m working with my first-rate assistant, Dr. Fink, on a new systematic outline of transcendental phenomenology (the problematic reaching all the way to ethico-religious, to the ‘metaphysical’ problems). Hopefully it will appear in 1931.’’ (Bw IV, p. 25.) (Husserl’s more recently found postcard addressed to Fink in Konstanz and dated September 2, Bw IV, p. 90, corrects the entry in HChr, p. 367, stating that Husserl and Fink had traveled together to Chiavari.) 127. VI.CM/2, pp. 10–105. Entitled ‘‘On the Beginning of Philosophy,’’ the draft is of section I of the projected book I: ‘‘The Stages of Pure Phenomenology.’’ Husserl’s annotations are included in full. 128. One packet of Fink’s notes in Chiavari, Z-VII XVII/1–32 (EFM 1), is especially rich. There are notes on the proposed large systematic work (Z-VII XVII/10a–11b, 26a, 32b), on the continuation of Fink’s dissertation (Z-VII XVII/1a–2b, 5a, 7a, 24a–b), and, correspondingly, on the phenomenological analysis of temporality (Z-VII XVII/4a–b, 8a, 12a, 14a, 15a–b, 18a, 29a, 30a–b).


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indications are that he had pretty well adopted the overall plan of Fink’s ‘‘Layout.’’ In the middle of the weeks of Fink’s work on his typescript (his ‘‘Draft for the opening section,’’ December 1930 and January 1931) Husserl revealed his positive disposition toward Fink’s plan in a letter to Ingarden written on December 21. A brief description of ‘‘the systematic work on fundamentals in phenomenology’’ shows him following the conception that Fink provided him; and he adds, ‘‘My most talented Fink is the vigilant helper in this, without him I would be lost.’’∞≤Ω What we see here, in addition to indication of the programs and products of intellectual labors, is testimony to the central role Fink was filling in the dynamics of Husserl’s final work in phenomenology. It is testimony that appears throughout Husserl’s correspondence from now on, and we shall be following it as we give an account of the concrete situation it relates to. In subsequent chapters we shall begin to see more fully the substantive reason for this extraordinary trust, namely, that Fink was attempting to elaborate within Husserl’s phenomenology the special system-conscious self-critique and reinterpretation that Husserl’s own work continually called for but had not yet explicitly and comprehensively carried out. Over the months from the spring of 1930 to the spring of 1931 Husserl produced a rich variety of Forschungsmanuskripten on such topics as the world of human life and history,∞≥≠ the ‘‘flowing live present’’ as having ultimate constitutive function,∞≥∞ and finally the problem of intersubjectivity, which, in contrast to the treatment in his ‘‘Cartesian Meditations,’’ was analyzed here as having a primordiality with the reflecting monadic ‘‘I.’’∞≥≤ One context for these studies was, as we have seen, the philosophic situation that turned Husserl to the idea of the new comprehensive systematic presentation of phenomenology; but this was not the only task that he and Fink were laboring over. Another important undertaking was the still continuing first assignment Fink had received from Husserl, to bring the 1917–1918 Bernau time-consciousness studies to coherent and intelligible form. Here we have to make clear one feature of the context of work during this period that had a tremendous effect on Husserl’s own productivity but has never been fully appreciated. Husserl may have been a philosopher whose native thinking moved as the unfolding of 129. Bw III, pp. 269 and 270. The description in question is on pp. 63–64. Kern draws particular attention to the significance of this description (‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua XV, p. xli). 130. Cf. Kern ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua XV, pp. xliv–xlv, and especially the long listing of MSS titles in note 1 on p. xlv. 131. Hua XV, p. xlvi and note 2. 132. Hua XV, p. xlviii, and especially the long text quoted on pp. xlviii–l. See also Husserl’s remark to Metzger quoted at the head of chapter 2 here.

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some idea or insight held powerfully before his mind rather than in the active exchange of dialogue with someone else, but nevertheless his reflections were also always sensitive to other philosophical currents, and he regularly derived important stimulus from the thoughts of others. Discussions with colleagues, for example, were a regular part of Husserl’s regimen, despite the reputed ‘‘monologue’’ character of his dialogue.∞≥≥ As Fink now began to do more for Husserl, he also began to do more with Husserl, not in the sense of becoming a second pole in a single thinking but rather as a second thinking in a single program. Husserl discovered that Fink was a genuinely distinct other who could focus on the same topic that he, Husserl, was investigating but could see it differently and in this way offer an alternative, a complementarity, and a critique that Husserl would have to take into account and think about. The work of 1930 and after was marked by daily discussions between Husserl and Fink, often on the regular walks in the Lorettoberg parkland near Husserl’s home, and offhand remarking on it was a frequent feature in the family correspondence.∞≥∂ Thus, for example, regarding again the matter of Husserl’s analyses of timeconsciousness, Fink’s working on the Bernau manuscripts was not something done in isolation from Husserl. In a note from quite a bit later in his life Fink refers to ‘‘the many daily conversations with Husserl—and disputes too’’—in which he presented the difficulties he was having.∞≥∑ What Husserl wanted Fink to do was to produce not simply an edition of the work that lay historically now a dozen years in the past but rather ‘‘a systematic investigation that would begin on the basis of the Bernau MSS.’’ And Husserl, closely following the development of this investigation as it proceeded over the years, ‘‘also contributed key ideas.’’∞≥∏ Here we have the ongoing motivation for Husserl’s taking up again the question of time and producing a new set of manuscripts, called the ‘‘C’’ group, which constitute a more radical stage of inquiry into the whole issue.∞≥π 133. A typical picture is that presented by Hans-Georg Gadamer in Philosophical Apprenticeships, trans. by Robert R. Sullivan (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1985), p. 36. 134. See appendix. 135. ‘‘Fünf löse Blätter’’ 2a–b, EFM 2. 136. ‘‘Fünf löse Blätter’’ 1a. 137. See Fink’s ‘‘Bericht über die Transkription der Nachlassmanuskripte Husserls, vom 2. Dezember 1939,’’ EFM 4, Absch. 4. On the C-manuscripts, see Klaus Held, Lebendige Gegenwart: Die Frage nach der Seinsweise des Transzendentalen Ich bei Edmund Husserl, entwickelt am Leitfaden der Zeitproblematik, Phaenomenologica 23 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966).


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It is the overall character of this situation, however, that we have to take note of. On the one hand, there is the stimulus that Fink’s participation in almost daily conversation with Husserl had upon Husserl, stimulus that went beyond the problematic of time to move through the whole range of Husserl’s phenomenological research. On the other hand, there is the fact that this stimulus did not merely follow the contingency-driven shifts of interest on either Husserl’s or Fink’s part; there was a program-driven pattern to it. The frequent occurrence of the word system or systematic in reference to the work that Fink was doing for and with Husserl was neither an accident nor a vague, high-sounding descriptive term. What is pivotal about Fink’s 1930 ‘‘Layout for Edmund Husserl’s ‘System of Phenomenological Philosophy’ ’’ is not simply that it covered the whole of Husserl’s phenomenology but that it was organized by a conception of the special system-dynamic that was at work in Husserl’s phenomenology. What this ‘‘system-dynamic’’ consisted of is one of the main things to detail in the present study. At this stage, however, we can say this: It is not enough to recognize the influence of Husserl upon Fink as unquestionable and profound—after all, Fink learned phenomenology from Husserl. Beyond that, if Fink’s work with Husserl was a matter of helping to develop a dimension essential to the very program of phenomenology itself, then Fink worked an intrinsic influence upon Husserl in return. Succinctly put, while Fink is clearly not intelligible without Husserl, reciprocally, in the last decade of his work, Husserl—that is, Husserl’s phenomenology—is not explicable without Fink. And this is the import, in Husserl’s correspondence from 1930 on, of his extraordinary testimony regarding the place Fink had in his regimen of thinking. As 1930 turned into 1931, it became apparent to Husserl that the scope of work required by his desire to work out a ‘‘System of Phenomenological Philosophy’’ would impose heavy demands. On February 16, 1931, he wrote to Ingarden: ‘‘I’m working furiously. [But] unfortunately the new work will not be ready for Jahrbuch XI, despite the breathless efforts of the whole last year. . . . I’m putting into the Jahrbuch the Cartesian Meditations (expanded by Fink and if need be by myself) and the Bernau manuscripts on time, which Fink by himself has already made into a unified text (rather a lot).’’∞≥∫ Here, in telling Ingarden that even while working on the ‘‘new work’’ he will get the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ out anyway, Husserl realizes he is faced with a dilemma. On the one hand, what was really needed, and what his own rich 138. Bw III, p. 273. Ingarden’s discussion of the situation regarding the Bernau timeMSS in his note 52 to this letter (BIng, pp. 167–73, in particular pp. 171–73) are helpful to the reader, who otherwise has little information available.

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investigations really led to, was something broader in conception than the ‘‘Meditations’’; but to bring this project—embodied in the systematic plan Fink had worked out for him in 1930—to satisfactory completion was an enormous task. There were serious grounds for doubt that it could actually be done, given the demands it would place upon Husserl, especially in view of his age—he was now in his seventy-second year—and the illnesses to which he seemed too often to fall prey. On the other hand, the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ was a work that was basically finished and thus far closer to readiness for publication. But if that book was to be brought up to the systematic level and comprehensiveness of Husserl’s new realizations, it would need extensive reworking; and the effort at reworking in turn would reveal the basic limitations under which the overall conception of the ‘‘Meditations’’ suffered. For the next three years Husserl tried to find a way through this dilemma by in effect choosing both horns, with now one, now the other more prominent in his concerns;∞≥Ω and the way to choose both was to have Fink do the major part of revision for one of them. So it was that in early 1931, as indicated in the passage from the letter to Ingarden just quoted, Fink was to work on revising the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations,’’ with Husserl himself joining in directly at different times, and with the two of them talking everything over as the work advanced. Yet before 1931 was out, Husserl would change his mind twice over, taking on the ‘‘Meditations’’ himself and then returning them again to Fink. The problem, of course, lay not in a lack of constancy of objective but rather in achieving the best means to realize it. Again, it is in his letters that Husserl’s awareness of his situation comes out most clearly, such as in one to his oldest and closest friend, Gustav Albrecht, on December 29, 1930: So this entire year I’ve thought and thought, written and written, keeping always before my eyes these times inimical to me, the younger generation deluded by the collapse, how by what I would say I might make them gain the ears that hear and the eyes that see. What is tragic in the situation is that, while I’m absolutely certain that in the last decade I’ve brought my phenomenological philosophy to a maturity, to clarity and purity, to a breadth of problems and methods encompassed that traces out the genuine meaning and necessary path for philosophy for all the future, a new generation has come on the scene that misinterprets the deepest sense in the fragments I’ve published and the incomplete beginnings I’ve made, that propagates a supposedly improved phenomenology and reveres me as the old dad who has now been left behind. So I am once again alone philosophically, the way I was when I began; and yet how fulfilled, how sure the future is! In the last year, in minute 139. For an account of the back-and-forth movement on Husserl’s part, see Kern, ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua XV, pp. l–lxv. See also ‘‘Translator’s Introduction,’’ CM6, pp. xvff.


The Freiburg Phenomenology Workshop reflections, in the most careful final fashioning and filling out, everything has been shiningly confirmed, but I am still not finished with the preparations, I still have some difficulties facing me, and especially what is now the hardest of all, systematic presentation.∞∂≠

In this last remark we see one of the cardinal difficulties for Husserl, namely, the consolidation and integration of his mature phenomenology into a systematic presentation—and one of the things that pertained directly to Fink’s role in this period. Husserl’s manner of working was to pursue his detailed investigations in preparation for the blaze of synthesizing creativity by which in one sustained drive he composed all his full-length writings.∞∂∞ It was needed now, given the complexity and scope it would have to have in the present instance, but it was not coming. The picture of Husserl’s working situation during these years comes to vivid expression in another letter to Albrecht, from December 22, 1931. The issue, he writes, is how to manage ‘‘the immense labor of the consolidation’’ of his prolific manuscript studies. And he goes on to characterize the kind of achievement that was just then in the making: ‘‘There is really a whole philosophical system that has emerged, but one of a wholly new meaning and style, precisely the system of the method and problematic of an absolute science, one that is absolutely grounded and directed to the Absolute, not the speculative construction of a mystical Absolute but rather of that which from out of ourselves in the phenomenological reduction is to be known as absolute and as primordial ground of all that for us is existent.’’ Isolated Husserl may feel himself to be, he writes, and ‘‘wholly severed from my students’’; but he is not working alone. ‘‘The greatest debt of gratitude I owe to my young collaborator, Fink. An incredibly gifted man: without the daily discussions with him I could not carry out what I want to do. When my memory wanes, his youth helps me, he has a command of every turn taken by the many branches of my phenomenological expositions (an untold number, so to speak, of microscopic cross- and longitudinal sections and slides), and in conversation with him I often get the best ideas, suddenly I see the long-sought connections, the intrinsic order in which everything fits together beautifully. The systematic work on basics on which I’m working will be ready, if all goes well, by the end of 1932.’’ Husserl hopes that with the ordering of all the material in his mind the needed rush of inspiration like that which produced Formal and Transcendental Logic and Ideas I will come of its own. And so he has given the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ over to Fink entirely, to expand into the version that is needed for the German public.∞∂≤ 140. Bw IX, pp. 75–76. 141. See p. 21 above. 142. The two quotes and all the points are from this letter, Bw IX, pp. 79–80.

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This is not just the picture of a man working, it is also the picture of the theoretical task he is straining to accomplish, in which someone else’s help has been indispensable. It turns out, too, that the description Husserl gives of this task in the first lines quoted here is virtually the formula for the ideas that Fink was working out in his personal notes (as we shall see); and, again, the systemconscious character by virtue of which everything takes on new and different meaning is in the forefront. Fink’s central, even irreplaceable role in the project at hand is unmistakable. This same picture of joint work in the program of Husserl’s final years shows as well in a letter Husserl had written earlier, on March 5, 1931, to Adolf Grimme in the Prussian Ministry of Education, expressing his deep gratitude for Grimme’s help in assuring another year of support for Fink’s work with him. Husserl explains that without that help he would have no hope of bringing the main results of his life-long philosophic effort to achievement in literary expression, for ‘‘the largest and I believe the most important part of my life’s work still lies in my manuscripts, hardly manageable because of their quantity.’’ It is Fink now who ‘‘has a command of the whole breadth and depth of phenomenological philosophy in all its complex difficulties; for he has studied all my sketches and drafts and now works under my direction.’’∞∂≥ This crucial reliance upon Fink is in evidence as well in the writings Fink was just then producing: the revisions of Husserl’s ‘‘Meditations’’ that Fink wrote in the summer of 1931, and the fuller set done in the summer of 1932, all included in the two volumes of VI. Cartesianische Meditation.∞∂∂ The latter set in particular is an impressive achievement, more than three hundred pages of text as printed in the two-volume edition, done in the six months ending on October 21. The end result was to have been a joint publication: Husserl’s original ‘‘Meditations’’ together with Fink’s revisions, including the new ‘‘Sixth Meditation.’’ (What is not clear is whether Fink’s revisions would actually have replaced the affected portions of Husserl’s text, or would be added as supplementary alternatives.)∞∂∑ These were the years, too, when Dorion Cairns spent the many months in 143. Bw III, p. 90. That Husserl’s real philosophic work lay in his manuscripts is expressed already in 1922 to Paul Natorp. Husserl adds even then the idea that perhaps he was working ‘‘only for my Nachlass’’ (letter of February 1, 1922, Bw V, pp. 151–52). 144. On the elaboration of these two sets of revision texts, see ‘‘Translator’s Introduction,’’ CM6, pp. xv, xvii–xxi, and xxxv–lix. 145. Both possibilities are allowed by indications in the texts themselves. For example, they are termed both ‘‘drafts for refashioning E. Husserl’s ‘Méditations Cartésiennes,’ ’’ and ‘‘supplements to Edmund Husserl’s ‘Méditations Cartésiennes.’ ’’ (Cf. VI.CM/2, ‘‘Textkritische Anmerkungen,’’ p. 305.) One may suppose that a definitive formula was never settled upon, since Husserl never finally brought them to actual publication.


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Freiburg that are chronicled in his Conversations with Husserl and Fink (CHF), and which are so rich in representation of the workaday world of Husserl’s and Fink’s philosophizing. Cairns’s last entry is from November 15, 1932, in what would soon prove to have been near the last days of a philosophic idyll. As the end of the year approached and passed, and 1933 began, Husserl was deep in his reading of Fink’s ‘‘Cartesian Meditation’’ revisions. This reading was serving very much as a philosophic tonic against the depression that had been induced earlier in 1932 by the long months of effort without visible resolution in the form of publication-ready composition so earnestly desired.∞∂∏ It was particularly Fink’s ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ that Husserl returned to again and again.∞∂π In fact, on Fink’s account the ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ was originally conceived to serve as well as a Habilitationschrift, presumably not in its garb as the sixth part of Husserl’s ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ but as an independent piece under its substantive title, ‘‘The Idea of a Transcendental Theory of Method.’’ Apparently early in 1933 Fink made at least the informal approaches at the university to prepare the way for his Habilitation, with not only Husserl’s approval but also his recommendation that he do so.∞∂∫ Larger events, however, were taking place just at that point, the effect of which put Fink’s whole future in jeopardy. The Habilitationsschrift, essentially ready by the end of 1932—this was none other than the ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’— became absolutely unacceptable, as Fink explains in one of his later autobiographical statements. ‘‘With the National Socialist upheaval of 1933 all hope was quickly brought to an end for me. A Habilitation was out of the question so long as work with the philosopher proscribed because of his Jewish origin, and therefore work that was deemed a political scandal, was not broken off.’’ This he would not do, though the offer was repeatedly made. ‘‘I always felt it a mark of distinction that I was given to know the fatherly friendship of the aged philosopher and by remaining faithful to him to mitigate the bitterness of an old age lived in ostracism.’’∞∂Ω 146. Cf. Kern, ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua XV, pp. lx–lxii. Again, it is in letters to Albrecht from the period that are so revealing. 147. See ‘‘Translator’s Introduction,’’ CM6, pp. xvii–xx. 148. The principle document for establishing this is Fink’s letter to Husserl’s son, Gerhart, written on October 25, 1946 (in the Fink Nachlass), after the war, when Fink finally succeeded in taking the Habilitation. See 10.2. 149. From Fink’s ‘‘Lebenslauf’’ from August 2, 1945, given in EFM 4, Abschn. 4, appended to the ‘‘Lebenslauf’’ from December 18, 1945. No concurring documents pertaining to Fink’s attempt to take the Habilitation are to be found in UAFbg. Either his effort was only informal before being rejected, or whatever documentation may have resulted is elsewhere.

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So it was that Husserl’s retirement years were subjected to a second upheaval that carried Fink with it: the accession of Adolf Hitler to power and the transformation of Germany into a National Socialist state. Within a scant few months this upheaval would compound with the first that Husserl had experienced, his disappointment with Heidegger as pursuing a philosophic path radically opposed to his own; for now Heidegger, his successor, would become the agent, indeed the leader, of the National Socialist transformation of the University of Freiburg. On January 30, 1933, Hitler had been named chancellor of Germany. Then came two months of furious consolidation on the part of the National Socialists: the Reichstag fire on February 27, the election of March 5, following which Hitler managed to patch together a majority of supporters in the National Assembly, and, following that, the passage on March 24 of the Enabling Act, by which Hitler via his cabinet could enact laws simply by declaring them. The black, red, and gold flag of the Republic of Germany was now replaced by the former black, white, and red banner of the old empire, reconfigured to accommodate the swastika of the Nazis. The change that all this effected can be dramatically chronicled in two events. One week before Hitler was named chancellor, on January 23, Husserl had celebrated the golden anniversary of his doctorate, with a delegation from the university, the Rektor and deans, personally bringing the expression of congratulations from the institution.∞∑≠ Two and a half months later, on April 14, Husserl received notice from the activist Nazi state governor and party chief (Gauleiter) of Baden, Robert Wagner (one of Hitler’s oldest and most faithful followers), that Husserl, as a ‘‘non-Aryan,’’∞∑∞ was being formally dismissed from the university.∞∑≤ Wagner’s decree anticipated by one day the national Law for the Restoration of the Civil Service, of April 7, to the effect that ‘‘officials of non-Aryan descent are to be retired’’ (art. 3, 1).∞∑≥ Wagner’s action, however, did not allow for the exceptions that the national law allowed, namely, that it not apply ‘‘to officials who have been in service since August 1, 1914, or who fought in the World War at the front for the 150. HChr, p. 424. 151. Though born into a liberal Jewish family, Husserl converted to Protestantism when he was 27, and lived as a Protestant the rest of his life. Cf. HChr, pp. 1 and 15. 152. HChr, p. 428. For a brief account of this whole episode, see Hugo Ott, ‘‘Edmund Husserl und die Universität Freiburg,’’ in Edmund Husserl und die phänomenologische Bewegung: Zeugnisse in Text und Bild, ed. by Hans Rainer Sepp (Freiburg: Karl Alber, 1988), pp. 99–100. 153. For the text of this decree, cf. Louis L. Snyder, ed., Hitler’s Third Reich: A Documentary History (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1981), pp. 111–12.


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German Reich or its allies, or whose fathers or sons fell in the War’’ (art. 3, 2).∞∑∂ As a result, the action affecting Husserl was rescinded on July 20, 1933, on the grounds of the first condition specified, Husserl’s having been in unbroken service since August 1, 1914. Coldly, no mention was made of the fact that Husserl’s eldest son, Wolfgang, had been killed in battle at Verdun in March 1916.∞∑∑ (Ironically, in the middle of all this, beginning already in late February and finally reaching Husserl in early April, the long bureaucratic process was under way to convey to him, via the German consulate in Paris, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Berlin, and the Rektorat at the university in Freiburg, a commemorative medal from the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques in Paris, of which Husserl had been named a corresponding member only the year before—the first German to be so honored since the war.)∞∑∏ Although the effect of the national Law for the Restoration of the Civil Service did not apply to Husserl, it certainly did affect him, not to mention the fact that it applied fully to his son, Gerhart, who had held a teaching position in Kiel. Despite its exemptions, the decree meant indeed that those who were not ‘‘Aryan’’ were no longer to be considered ‘‘German’’; and the exemptions would last but two years, until the Nuremburg Laws of September 15 and November 14, 1935. No one could mistake the intent of Nazi governmental policy. As he said to his friend, Albrecht, writing him at the beginning of July, Husserl felt the temporarily suspended dismissal as the greatest insult of his life, one he could scarcely get over. His whole household had been engaged in the First World War in the cause of the German nation: two sons in the army and his daughter serving as a nurse. And now he was to be denied his German identity because of the policy of setting in opposition ‘‘Germany’’ and ‘‘nonAryans.’’∞∑π Yet that had not been all. On April 22 Heidegger had been chosen Rektor of the university and had begun his public involvement in Nazi policies, as was signaled by his highly publicized entry into the party on May 1, the Day of National Labor. Then on May 10 came the evening of the burning of 154. Ibid. 155. Notification to the Senate of the University of Freiburg from the Ministry of Education in Karlsruhe (Nr. A.18814), copy in the Personalakten: E. Husserl, UAFbg. 156. HChr, pp. 413 and 428, and copies of the relevant documents from February 24 and April 3, 1933, in the Personalakten for Husserl in UAFbg. The letter to Husserl from the Rektor of the University of Freiburg, April 3, 1933, conveying the award is given in Bw VIII, p. 197. On the impact of Husserl’s election to the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques, as ‘‘a sign that the French Academy finally wants to make peace with the Germans,’’ see the joint letter to Albrecht from Edmund and Malvine Husserl, July 31, 1932, Bw IX, p. 87. 157. Letter to Albrecht, July 1, 1933, Bw IX, p. 92.

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books in university cities around Germany, although rainy weather in Freiburg apparently discouraged it there.∞∑∫ Finally Heidegger’s ‘‘Rektor’s Address’’ of May 27 left little doubt that his idea of the university was conceived in at least apparent harmony with Hitler’s design for the political order, namely, as an almost military-style regime of unified subservience under a supreme leader who would embody the self-realization of the whole people. Indeed, following the process of ‘‘coordination’’ (Gleichschaltung) by which public institutions were to be brought into conformity with Nazi policy, a new university constitution would take effect on August 21, in accord with Heidegger’s hope to make Freiburg a model university for the nation. And shortly after, on October 1, Heidegger himself, as Rektor, would officially be named Führer of the university.∞∑Ω We need not speculate what Husserl’s feelings during all this might have been; he tells us. In a letter of May 4, 1933, to Dietrich Mahnke, a former student of his teaching at Marburg, Husserl describes the depression he cannot prevent in view of these political developments, and then writes: Finally, in my old age, I had to experience something I had not deemed possible: the erection of a spiritual ghetto, into which I and my truly worthy and high-minded children (together with all their issue) are to be driven. By a state law to take effect hereafter and forevermore, we are no longer to have the right to call ourselves Germans, the work of our intellects [Geisteswerke] is no longer to be included in German cultural history [Geistesgeschichte]. They are to live from now on solely branded as ‘‘Jewish’’ . . . as a poison that German minds [Geister] are to protect themselves from, that has to be extirpated. I have had much that was difficult to overcome in my long, perhaps all too long life . . . ; but here it touches my philosophical development, which for me, in my uncertainty, in my unclarity, was a struggle over the life and death of the mind [um geistiges Leben und geistigen Tod].

And in the course of talking about the way his students and followers simply do not reach an understanding of what he himself is doing, and therefore only 158. Cf. MH-Ott/e, p. 189. Ott briefly discusses the contradictions in the evidence for a book burning in Freiburg. Another account of the incident flatly states that it was announced but did not take place on May 10. It was then planned for June but was prevented by rain. See Ernst Otto Bräunsche, Werner Köhler, Hans-Peter Lux, Thomas Schnabel, 1933, Machtergreifung in Freiburg und Südbaden, Stadt und Geschichte, Neue Reihe des Stadtarchivs Freiburg i. Br., Heft 4 (Freiburg: Karl Schillinger, 1983), p. 49. 159. Cf. MH-Ott/e, pp. 194–99. ‘‘The old German university exists no more, from now on it has a ‘political’ meaning,’’ writes Husserl to Ingarden, October 11, 1933 (Bw III, p. 291).


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partially offset his growing isolation, Husserl speaks of the effect Heidegger’s role in all this was having upon him as ‘‘the last and the worst’’ in this whole situation of the bleakest kind of personal experience, ‘‘the worst because I had put my trust not only on his ability but on his character—which I still just cannot understand.’’ Husserl describes the spiraling vortex of his disappointment with Heidegger, his ‘‘breaking-off relationship with me’’ soon after taking up the chair of philosophy as Husserl’s successor, his ‘‘anti-Semitism— even toward those among Jewish students and in the faculty who were so enraptured by him’’—the distortion of ‘‘the radical fundamental scientific meaning of my life’s work into its opposite,’’ devaluing it as ‘‘something completely passé which it was superfluous to study any more,’’ and lastly the ‘‘grand finale ending this would-be friendship,’’ Heidegger’s demonstrative entrance into the National Socialist Party on May 1. ‘‘What these last months and weeks brought struck the deepest roots of my being.’’∞∏≠ The only hope for relief at this point was for Husserl to get away, which he did, spending most of the summer on the Schluchsee up in the Black Forest, for rest and recovery. On July 1 he wrote to Albrecht that perhaps ‘‘the high air, the country solitude will help,’’ away from other people who would only ‘‘talk again and again about the same things, which is totally pointless.’’∞∏∞ As it turned out, the weeks in the mountains were the most fruitful period of work for Husserl that whole year.∞∏≤ It was Fink’s fate that the event of greatest good fortune in his young philosophic life, his coming into association with Husserl, would be as well his greatest misfortune, as he himself had put it.∞∏≥ Yet his fate depended upon a choice that he himself had to make: to stay with Husserl and forego the possibility of a university career—or even of having a source of income—or to break with Husserl and leave what he saw as the only certain possibility of doing genuine philosophic thinking. The events of the early months of 1933 were proof of the consequences of staying with Husserl. Just at the point where Hitler was coming into power, Husserl had received assurance that the 160. Bw III, pp. 491–93, any emphasis Husserl’s. To this extraordinarily revealing letter of Husserl’s, Mahnke’s reply itself is also extremely interesting in the optimism he expressed that the racist policies coming into effect would not last, even on Hitler’s part (letter to Husserl from September 4, 1933, Bw III, p. 506). On Husserl’s sense of himself as quintessentially German and as bringing historical German intellectual achievement to a culmination, see Schuhmann’s ‘‘Einführung,’’ Bw X, pp. 9–23. 161. Bw IX, p. 94. 162. Husserl’s letter to Albrecht, December 30, 1933, Bw IX, p. 97. 163. See above, p. 25, reference to the opening of his ‘‘Politische Geschichte’’ (EFM 4, Absch. 4).

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annual support for the assistantship Fink held was being renewed;∞∏∂ but within a short time that action was nullified. On May 20 Husserl wrote to Cairns that support had been withdrawn and he could keep Fink only a few months more.∞∏∑ The anxiety this caused, together with the frustrations of the difficult work in Husserl’s manuscripts, is reflected in a letter Husserl wrote to Fink—one of only two extant—on March 6, trying in the most solicitous and kindly terms to encourage the young man to persevere and to be more open with him, Husserl, about the difficulties he was having.∞∏∏ As a result, in July Fink submitted a request to the Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft, the same organization that had earlier supported Landgrebe, for a research fellowship to work on the time-manuscript project. At this point Fink conceived of the work as comprising two parts: part I the Bernau texts of 1917– 1918 themselves, and part II the new material Husserl had produced on temporality since his retirement (i.e., the C-group manuscripts). It was the second set of materials that determined the direction the work must take now, for in going beyond what the Bernau texts had done these later materials required an understanding that explicitly pertained to and encompassed the whole of phenomenology. Once again we find the leitmotiv of the Husserl-Fink collaborative effort sounded, the need for systematic and methodological considerations, as Fink explains to the Notgemeinschaft what has to be done. ‘‘What is needed,’’ writes Fink, ‘‘is major comprehensive labor on the one hand to bring the substantive content of published materials [i.e., as represented in the timeconsciousness lectures published in 1928] up to the level of Husserl’s present philosophy . . . and then to work the phenomenology of time . . . into the whole of the system of phenomenological philosophy and thus to give it the methodological transparency it needs.’’∞∏π Two months later Fink learned that the fellowship would be granted, but it had to be regarded as far from guaranteed. Funds for it might not be available, and it was conditional upon there being no other help received!∞∏∫ Husserl and Fink had no doubt that other options were going to be needed. The Rockefeller Foundation, for example, had been approached for possible 164. Letter to Adolf Grimme, February 4, 1933, Bw III, p. 96. 165. Bw IV, p. 32. 166. Bw IV, pp. 90–92. 167. Letter to ‘‘eine Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft’’ dated July 17, 1933, and the research plan that accompanied it, in EFM 2, Abschn.3. 168. Fink’s note of thanks to the Notgemeinschaft is dated October 5, 1933 (copy in the Fink Nachlass, mentioned in EFM 2, Abschn. 3). See also Malvine’s portion of a letter to Felix Kaufmann, August 19, 1933, Bw IX, p. 195, as well as Husserl’s letter to Kaufmann, October 15, 1933, Bw IV, pp. 198–99.


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assistance, and that would become more necessary in another year’s time; and there was discussion about help from England.∞∏Ω At the same time, while the immediate concern was for financial means to keep Fink going, a much more radical solution to the intensifying difficulties of the situation presented itself. Husserl had received the offer of a position in the United States, at the University of California at Los Angeles!∞π≠ He would think long and hard about this, and he would want to take Fink with him; but in the end he decided against it. How could he, Edmund Husserl, after seven and a half decades of life in German-speaking lands, in German thought and letters, in German ways and expectations, how could he possibly live in any meaningful way in southern California what would certainly be the last few years of his life, especially as he could not speak English? And Fink was not especially inclined to go.∞π∞ Yet would not America be better? What was left for them here in the rapidly ever more Nazified life of Freiburg? In the end it was in great part for want of fulfilling one of Husserl’s conditions, namely, that Dorion Cairns be given an appointment as well so as to be able to work with him, that the negotiations came to nothing.∞π≤ What, indeed, could Fink expect now? Landgrebe, then working on his own Habilitation, was less tied to Husserl in his daily work, having taken options available in the German-speaking academic setting in Central Europe. He moved to Prague in 1933 to finish his Habilitation under the Brentano scholar Oskar Kraus at the German-language university there.∞π≥ Might Fink do the same? On the other hand, what if he stayed in Freiburg? Fink himself was not Jewish. His family was of Alemannic stock there in southern Germany and 169. See the letter from Malvine Husserl to Felix Kaufmann, October 21, 1933 (Bw IV, p. 200), and Husserl’s letter to Albrecht, December 30, 1933 (Bw IX, p. 98). The Rockefeller Foundation would reject the request (see Husserl’s letter to Rudolf Pannwitz, November 28/29, 1934, Bw VII, p. 222). 170. See Husserl’s letters to Cairns, November 15, 1933 (Bw IV, p. 33), and Albrecht, December 9, 1933 (Bw IX, p. 96). See also the correspondence with UCLA in Bw VIII, pp. 231–32. 171. See appendix. 172. See Husserl’s letter to Cairns, May 18, 1934, Bw IV, p. 43. 173. See H. L. Van Breda, ‘‘Laudatio für Ludwig Landgrebe und Eugen Fink,’’ in Phänomenologie Heute: Festschrift für Ludwig Landgrebe, ed. Walter Biemel, Phaenomenologica 51 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1972), p. 2. Also Henri Declève, ‘‘Patoˇcka et les signes du temps,’’ Études phénoménologiques, 1 (1985), 19. Already two years earlier Husserl remarked that there were difficulties at Freiburg for Landgrebe to get support for his Habilitation work, one reason being that Heidegger favored the circle of his own people, not wanting to be hemmed in by Husserl students (letter to Mahnke, January 8, 1931, Bw III, p. 475).

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corresponded to what for the Nazis was ‘‘pure.’’∞π∂ He could have left Husserl, he might have pursued the normal steps of a career by proposing to take the Habilitation, say, with Heidegger. There are no reflections of Fink’s that speak directly of this situation in his research notes from the period. Astonishingly, the working writings of both Husserl and Fink—Husserl’s research manuscripts and Fink’s folders of notes, in both cases written on whatever kind of paper would come to hand∞π∑ —say virtually nothing directly about the difficulties and problems of their practical lives. Yet one can detect the mark of those difficulties and problems in the lines of their philosophic thinking once one knows what those difficulties were. In the present context, for example, one can see from the notes that Fink had indeed contemplated an alternative Habilitationsschrift, presumably given the impossibility of using the ‘‘Idea of a Transcendental Theory of Method,’’ the ‘‘Sixth Meditation.’’ There are sketches and notes for a more independent study of his own on the concept of the world, specifically, ‘‘the world as a totality and the consciousness of the world,’’ a study meant to be precisely the kind of composition required for the Habilitation.∞π∏ Perhaps he hoped the political situation would be ameliorated and he was anticipating alternate actions that might be possible should the Nazis fall, although, far from giving signs of anything like that, the situation was getting worse. On the other hand, the concept of the world was certainly one that might be acceptable to Heidegger. Apart from Fink’s commitment to Husserl, therefore, was there any reason to think he might contemplate working for the Habilitation under Heidegger? Given the situation in 1933 and 1934, everything points to the conclusion that the idea of taking the Habilitation with Heidegger at that time would not have been feasible for Fink, despite the fact that for him, contrary to Husserl’s view, Heidegger’s work, philosophically considered, was of fundamental importance.∞ππ There is, first of all, the deep wound Fink saw Husserl receive from his total disappointment with Heidegger. All Fink’s actions during and 174. Fink’s mother’s family even came from the same village from which Heidegger’s mother came, as Heidegger himself points out in the remarks honoring Fink published in MH-GA 29/30, p. 533. 175. There is, for example, the slip of paper illustrating the results of a dental examination on Malvine’s teeth (F II 7/163), which Husserl used in writing down ideas for his 1922–1923 Kaizo article (Hua XXVII, pp. 59–94); or the coffee-house receipt and table napkin Fink used for Z-II 28 and Z-XI 64 (EFM 1 and Bd. 2, respectively). (I am indebted to Hans Rainer Sepp for showing me the example of Husserl’s economizing.) 176. See EFM 2, Z-XIV II/1b and Z-XV 105a, and EFM 3, Z-XX 1a and 3b, and OHII 48. 177. See appendix.


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after his years with Husserl indicate that personal devotion was an extraordinarily strong factor, an absolute even, despite whatever philosophical differences between Husserl and himself would, and did, emerge. Secondly, Fink’s notes for treating the concept of world indicate an independent framework, one that rests upon a phenomenological problematic but follows neither Husserl’s nor Heidegger’s way of raising the question. Both are unambiguously drawn upon, but it is Kant who is most pronounced in Fink’s framing of his study. (See 4.4.4.) Finally, there is the concretely played-out scene orchestrated by Heidegger in 1933 and 1934 that stood in direct conflict with Fink’s idea and practice of philosophy. To begin with, the conception of intellectual regimentation that Heidegger’s first months as Rektor attempted to promote could only have been repugnant to Fink. Then the experiment of the ‘‘science camp’’ at Todtnauberg that Heidegger in the fall of 1933 organized in paramilitary style after the ‘‘Führerprinzip,’’ clearly on National Socialist lines,∞π∫ stood in appalling contrast to the intense, autonomous passionateness of the pursuit of philosophy that was daily life with Husserl, however much there were strains in it. Added to this was the effect upon life in Freiburg that months of brownshirt agitation and bullying were producing, which Heidegger, following his conception of how the intellectual pursuit of a university should be concretely reoriented, seemed only to support by the numerous declarations and addresses he gave as Rektor. There is little doubt that Fink saw the only place in which it would be possible to do philosophy was with Husserl. And with Husserl he stayed, to the end.∞πΩ To return to the matter of Fink’s first effort at the Habilitation, we have seen how the ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ was intended to serve as the required major research composition. Whether it could do this in the form in which it was written in 1932, namely, as the sixth of a series of ‘‘Meditations’’ mainly by Husserl but revised by Fink with no further components, is not certain. What is clear is that in the course of 1933 Fink composed an alternate form of presentation for most of the ideas that had been laid out in the ‘‘Sixth Meditation,’’ namely, the long article that carried the title ‘‘The Phenomenological Philosophy of Edmund Husserl and Contemporary Criticism’’ (EH-Ke) and 178. See MH-Ott/e, pp. 224–34. 179. A remark of Husserl’s in a letter to Albrecht, May 19, 1934 (Bw IX, p. 100), is telling here: ‘‘[Fink] is an exceptional person, and he doesn’t even want to take the Habilitation (in his intractable desire for independence he of course cannot be a cipher in a mass) in order to be able to live entirely for phenomenology, for the completion of my manuscripts.’’ Just how much or in what way Fink in fact wanted to work for the completion of Husserl’s MSS is another question. Sections 10.2 and 10.3 also take up the issue. See the discussion in ‘‘Translator’s Introduction,’’ CM6, pp. xxiiiff.

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was published in Kant-Studien around the end of 1933. There are clear indications that neither this essay nor the ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ was in the form in which Fink first sketched out main ideas to be incorporated into each; these we find in sketches for a treatment of ‘‘The Phenomenological Philosophy of Edmund Husserl’’ in the fall of 1931,∞∫≠ that is, after his first try at revisions for Husserl’s ‘‘Cartesian Meditations.’’∞∫∞ In any case, the recomposition that resulted in this Kant-Studien article seems to have been part of another plan in the ever-evolving situation, and something no one noticed before Fink’s research notes came to light to show what had been intended. The article as published carries a Roman numeral I just before the text begins, indicating that what was appearing was only the first part; but there is no II, and hence no second part, further in the article. The second part was obviously to come next. This is the way it was understood by Husserl’s former student and colleague, Dietrich Mahnke, professor of philosophy at Marburg; for he asked Fink precisely about this point in a letter to him on January 13, 1934.∞∫≤ Beyond this, however, there are explicit indications in Fink’s notes from 1933 regarding a sequel, which was to bear the specific title ‘‘LifePhilosophy and Phenomenology: The Phenomenological Philosophy of Edmund Husserl and Contemporary Criticism II.’’∞∫≥ It seems, then, that as part of the recomposition that resulted in the Kant-Studien essay of 1933 and in place of pursuing the Habilitation with the ‘‘Sixth Meditation,’’ Fink had conceived a plan for confronting a range of interpretations criticizing Husserl’s work beyond those addressed in the first part; and, indeed, Husserl’s distress at the treatment of his thought in relation to ‘‘life-philosophy’’ a little earlier makes this perfectly intelligible. While unfortunately no such essay was in fact completed, Fink’s notes give many sketches of ideas for treating the themes of this sequel; and these will be taken up in chapter 6. In any case, in the spring of 1933 Husserl read through the essay Fink had recomposed as part I and wrote a brief foreword to it for its publication in Kant-Studien, the closing lines of which are an extraordinary public subscription to Fink’s treatment: ‘‘At the request of the distinguished editorship of Kant-Studien I have carefully gone through this essay, and I am happy to be 180. This may in fact be ‘‘the original essay form’’ of material that was rewritten ‘‘at Husserl’s request’’ to serve as part of the German edition of the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations,’’ as Fink speaks of it in the ‘‘Prefatory Note’’ to the ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ (CM6e, p. 2; VI.CM/1, p. 184). For a fuller discussion of the textual situation, see the detailed footnote to Z-IX VII/1a in EFM 2. 181. VI.CM/2, Texts Nos. 1–2. 182. Letter in the Fink Nachlass. 183. Z-XI 25b (EFM 2).


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able to say that there is no statement in it that I do not make fully my own, that I could not explicitly acknowledge as my own conviction.’’∞∫∂ In the context of the events of 1933, this has to be seen as a remarkable statement on Husserl’s part. A member of a class of persons that had now been declared undesirable in, or, more accurately, inimical to, the kind of life that Germany was being driven to adopt with astonishing efficiency and relentlessness, Husserl clearly wanted to authenticate Fink (and by implication, as everyone well knew, not Heidegger) as a spokesman—if not the spokesman—for phenomenology, and he was doing so out of thorough familiarity with the thinking of Fink’s that went into the article in question. He wanted to support Fink’s voice as equivalent to his own, an action certain to reinforce the official disrepute in which Fink already stood because of his close association with Husserl. Fink in fact knew well what Husserl was doing in writing the foreword; among his notes from the period there is a scrap of paper with two brief paragraphs that are obviously a draft for this very thing; but Fink’s brief statement is far less assertive and unconditional than the one Husserl himself provided,∞∫∑ and Fink himself later recounted his surprise at Husserl’s forceful endorsement.∞∫∏ Fink’s decision to stay with Husserl, knowing the consequences, and Husserl’s profound appreciation of it, are well indicated by this incident. This is anything but doing philosophy in a vacuum. The article for Kant-Studien was supposed to appear in 1933, but there was a problem. For one of the major philosophical journals in Germany to publish an article on ‘‘non-Aryan’’ thinking was a scandal.∞∫π Kant-Studien was undergoing Gleichschaltung, the ‘‘coordination’’ that was turning all intellectual institutions into entities in harmony with Nazi policies; and the appearance of Fink’s article was being delayed.∞∫∫ Indeed, though the article finally appeared at the end of 1933, there seemed no possibility for getting the sequel to it accepted by Kant-Studien, and it was never written. Moreover, on Fink’s account that one article created further difficulty for him, as we shall shortly see. But Fink did not stop identifying himself with Husserl. In 1934 he published 184. ‘‘Vorwort von Edmund Husserl,’’ dated June, 1933, Kantstudien, 38 (1933), 320 (Studien, p. viii). In a letter to Ingarden on December 13, 1933, Husserl says the same thing much more succinctly: ‘‘Watch for the new issue of Kantstudien with Dr. Fink’s article—everything just as if I had said it.’’ (Bw III, p. 294.) 185. Z-XI 48a, dated May 27, 1933 (EFM 2). 186. According to Herbert Spiegelberg, Fink later spoke of his amazement at Husserl’s acceptance of the article, seeming to miss the critical intent it carried. The remark from Spiegelberg’s Scrapbook is to be added in a revised edition of HChr (to p. 430, for ‘‘June 1933,’’ 1st edition). 187. See Fink’s ‘‘Politische Geschichte,’’ p. [3] (EFM 4, Abschn. 4). 188. See Husserl’s letter to Cairns, November 15, 1933 (Bw IV, pp. 33–34).

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another essay on Husserl, ‘‘What Does the Phenomenology of Edmund Husserl Want to Do?’’∞∫Ω copies of which, together with the article from KantStudien, Fink sent off to various former students and associates of Husserl’s.∞Ω≠ Finally, in 1935 he presented a paper entitled ‘‘The Idea of Transcendental Philosophy in Kant and in Phenomenology’’ to the Kant Society—whose official organ was Kant-Studien—in Dessau (on December 4) and in Bernberg (on December 5).∞Ω∞ This paper, however, did not get published, nor did anything else by Fink until after Husserl’s death and Fink’s own emigration from Germany. Fink’s behavior did not endear him to public officials, although there were some for whom the philosophical value of his work with Husserl weighed more heavily than governmentally enjoined racism. For instance, in 1934 Fink applied again to the Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft for a renewal of the fellowship that had supported him for the preceding year and was coming to an end on September 30. Once again he was requesting assistance to complete the work on the study of time in Husserl’s phenomenology, again the second stage of the task, the elaboration of the investigations beyond Husserl’s Bernau manuscripts.∞Ω≤ Quite apart from the philosophically important explanation Fink gives of the way in which further development of the inquiry initially launched in Husserl’s manuscript studies has to be done, what is significant in the context of the social and political order that now ruled in Germany is the fact that Fink uncompromisingly identifies the project precisely as one carrying out the program of Husserl’s phenomenology. Surprisingly, on October 8, 1934, a reply was written to Fink by the Notgemeinschaft, awarding him the fellowship for another six months, while explicitly excluding the possibility of further renewal and with the provision that it could be repealed at any time.∞Ω≥ Nevertheless, it appears the fellowship renewal was in fact not actually implemented. Owing to the scandal caused by Fink’s publications on Husserl, ‘‘the ‘Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft’ . . . received the order to stop all payment immediately.’’∞Ω∂ 189. ‘‘Was Will die Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls? (Die phänomenologische Grundlegungsidee),’’ first published in Die Tatwelt, 10 (1934), 15–32, reprinted in Studien, pp. 157–78, English translation by Arthur Grugan in Research in Phenomenology, 2 (1972), 5–27. 190. See appendix. 191. ‘‘Die Idee der Transcendentalphilosophie bei Kant und in der Phänomenologie,’’ published posthumously in ND, pp. 7–44. 192. Letter to the Notgemeinschaft, July 22, 1934, EFM 2, Absch. 3. 193. Also in EFM 2, Abschn. 3. 194. ‘‘Politische Geschichte,’’ p. [3] (EFM 4, Abschn. 4). See also Husserl’s letter to Pannwitz, November 28–29, 1934 (Bw VII, p. 222).


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Support from this governmental agency, however, as was mentioned before, was not the only option that Husserl and Fink had pursued to garner the funds needed for Fink to continue. Obviously because the Notgemeinschaft had now undergone ‘‘coordination,’’ renewal of the fellowship was not to be expected. As October began Husserl had enough to keep Fink going for another threequarters of a year, thanks to some savings they had managed to put aside and because a former Japanese student, Tomo Otaka, had made some funds available to them.∞Ω∑ In addition, Husserl had some expectation of getting help from the Rockefeller Foundation, should the Notgemeinschaft refuse the request;∞Ω∏ and in 1935 the Cercle Linguistique de Prague, which at this point was involved in the idea of setting up a research archive for Husserl’s manuscripts (to be discussed shortly), contributed support for a one-year period.∞Ωπ Fink spoke of support from the Moses Mendelssohn Society for the years 1933 to 1935, from the London School of Economics for 1936 to 1937, and, finally, from America in 1938.∞Ω∫ The American support was a grant from the family of a young American, Dorothy Ott, who had come to study with Husserl in 1936. Fink had given Ott a tutorial on Formale und transzendentale Logik from November 1936 to February 1937, and she in fact was writing a dissertation.∞ΩΩ The dissertation, on the problem of evidence, was never finished, owing to the young woman’s untimely death in November 1937 during a tourist visit to Istanbul. The ease of recounting all this belies the fact that these arrangements were not done easily, nor did the living of their hours in the adversity of the times flow for Husserl and Fink as smoothly and integrally as does water over rocks, unhindered in its movement. They were people whom those who ruled the

195. Thus Husserl’s letter to Albrecht, October 7, 1934, Bw IX, p. 105. Husserl mentions this also in his letter to Fink from July 21, 1934 (Bw IV, p. 94), again in an effort to overcome Fink’s discouragement and anxieties (see immediately below). (In this letter, too, Husserl recommends that Fink apply to the Notgemeinschaft, the date of this letter being one day prior to the date on Fink’s 1934 application letter to the Notgemeinschaft.) Otaka’s monetary gifts are also mentioned in Husserl’s letter to Ingarden, July 10, 1935 (Bw III, p. 303). 196. Letter of Husserl’s to Albrecht, December 30, 1933, Bw IX, p. 98. 197. Malvine Husserl to Elisabeth Husserl Rosenberg, March 24, 1935, Bw IX, p. 452. 198. See appendix. 199. See Z-XXII (EFM 3). Not included in EFM is the copy, kept with it, of the preliminary draft of Dorothy Ott’s dissertation under the title ‘‘Das Problem der Evidenz in der phänomenologischen Philosophie Edmund Husserls.’’ Earlier that fall Fink had led study sessions on Aristotle’s Metaphysics for Ott and one of Fink’s own close friends, Alfred Riemensperger. The notes are in Z-XXI, in EFM 3.

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public mind wanted to remove or suppress, and uncertainty and anxiety were the emotions of the hour when these philosophers would return from the grip of a thought or a discovery to the question of how they as human beings could keep preoccupations alive. It is no wonder, too, that in this context the human limitations specific to each would show, marring their work to a greater extent perhaps than might otherwise have happened. Husserl saw in Fink the fulfillment of his own hopes and ambitions that phenomenology could and would be completed just as he, Husserl, understood it and fostered it. Fink found in Husserl the model of the philosopher, but not someone who had the answer to all philosophic questions. Husserl was a man near the end of his days, convinced of his program and habituated to his pioneering. Fink was someone whose philosophizing awaited its fulfilling project, one that would have to be his own and not committed to a fixed, inherited task. So it was, for example, that, just as in 1933, in mid-1934 Husserl would again have to urge Fink to relax his anxieties and persevere—in this case, to push through to completion at least one task to which he had committed himself and which had been under way for some time now, namely, the analysis of time in phenomenology. In the second of the two extant letters by Husserl to Fink, written on July 21, 1934, Husserl argues that the fact Fink has still not finished is not a tragedy, and that he should feel freer to represent his difficulties to Husserl. He urges Fink to join him in Kappel, in the Black Forest, where he is spending the summer, to relax and reinvigorate himself, and to hold again with Husserl the philosophic conversations that by now have ‘‘become a need for me in order to keep regularly going.’’≤≠≠ And Husserl goes on to say: ‘‘You have been for years now no longer my ‘assistant,’ you are not my secretary, not my intellectual servant. You are my collaborator, and, in addition, my seminar, my teachership [Lehrtätigkeit].’’ It was Fink himself that Husserl wanted to see, not the work Fink was doing on the manuscripts. ‘‘I would not even have been in a position to read it. In the meantime I have become convinced that work on my old manuscripts to improve them is very important, but that I must totally relinquish systematic elaborations. It will therefore be the difficult and, hopefully, fruitful work that prepares things for you (if you’re still going to be taking over my Nachlass).’’ Husserl had research tasks on specific issues to do, rather than take on integration and synthesis; and even if he did produce some further material on time, it was not as a part of the book Fink was working on but as material for Fink to treat as he saw fit. That Husserl did further work on time, of course, only complicated Fink’s task; Fink had to take such further 200. This and subsequent lines in this paragraph are from Bw IV, pp. 93–94.


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work into account, for reasons that we shall see later, namely, that the resolution of ultimate issues involved in time was radically problematic. Still, Husserl tried to assure Fink that putting it all together, synthetically, interpretively—even critically, we may presume—was Fink’s work, and Husserl would stay away from it; he would only read it through after the finished product was in print.≤≠∞ There are many remarkable things about this letter of Husserl’s to Fink, but in particular there is Husserl’s clear awareness of the character of his manuscripts and what was lacking in them even when individually worked over and improved, namely, integrating elaboration in systematic form. This task is what those who come after him must do; and it is what he explicitly envisages for Fink. The distinction between the manuscripts and the philosophic treatment to be made out of them is a crucial for reading and interpreting these vast materials of Husserl’s, in which, as he would say, ‘‘the largest and, as I also believe, the most important part of my life’s work still lies.’’≤≠≤ Husserl’s limiting of his energies represents an important shift in his thinking; he seems to be giving up on producing a comprehensive systematic statement of his phenomenology himself. Yet within a month’s time the impulse will be set in motion for Husserl to do precisely what he thought he was no longer capable of: produce one more, final, systematic presentation of phenomenology. But before we see that, one further point in this letter must be commented on: the representation it gives about Fink’s place in Husserl’s regimen of philosophizing. In the first place, Husserl’s extraordinary testimony to Fink himself about Fink’s position with him—‘‘collaborator,’’ not ‘‘secretary’’—has to be understood in its full context. It represents both a specific description and praise. For example, in one of Fink’s biographical notices, from August 2, 1945, he writes: ‘‘Already in 1932 Husserl had converted the assistant relationship to one of collaborator, in recognition of the independent and productive work I was doing in the elaboration and in part redoing of his manuscripts.’’≤≠≥ The terms assistant (Assistent) and coworker or collaborator (Mitarbeiter) are technical terms for a position in the academic hierarchy of assignments and work. Although they are sometimes used more or less interchangeably, they 201. Again from Husserl’s letter to Fink, July 21, 1934 (Bw IV, pp. 93–94). A year later (July 10, 1935) Husserl would remark to Ingarden that ‘‘unfortunately I cannot join him in fashioning the literary presentation’’ of the study on time, which in Fink’s plan ‘‘included historical-critical treatments.’’ (Bw III, p. 303; BIng, p. 94.) 202. Husserl’s letter to Grimme from March 5, 1931, Bw III, p. 90. 203. EFM 4, Abschn. 4, supplement from this ‘‘Lebenslauf’’ given with the ‘‘Lebenslauf’’ of December 18, 1945.

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regularly designate different levels of official capacity. Beyond this, however, the second term can be taken as more straightforwardly descriptive, indicating true independence and responsibility, that is, genuine collaboration. This is the sense primarily in force here. The sense of parity in respect to philosophic engagement with the issues at hand that Husserl and Fink felt characterized their work in phenomenology is consistently expressed by Husserl in his letters after the first years of Fink’s service. For example, in March 1933, again in the early months of the upheaval in Germany, Husserl wrote to another figure in his vast correspondence, Father Daniel Feuling, describing how Fink ‘‘for five years now’’ had been ‘‘in almost daily contact with me. All the sketches and drafts (old and new) and horizons of my thinking I have talked through with him, and we think together: we are like two communicating vessels. He has been trained to take over my vast Nachlass and get it into finished literary shape.’’ Husserl mentions Fink’s attending Heidegger’s lectures, but Fink, though Heidegger’s student academically, was so ‘‘never in a philosophical sense.’’ And Husserl goes even further: ‘‘What Dr. Fink, and only he, says, therefore, is absolutely authentic, and when . . . he speaks of the stages of development of phenomenology, that has unconditional precedence over everything that my earlier listeners are able to say—excellent thinkers as they have become, but now going their own ways, and so sincere critics (as dear old friends).’’≤≠∂ The image of ‘‘two communicating vessels,’’ compelling as it is,≤≠∑ represents the relationship in the philosophic dimension of the activity of Husserl and Fink; it cannot be taken to mean the mores of behavior one would have seen when visiting the two, the mores of behavior expected between a professor of Husserl’s standing, on the one hand, and a young doctorate holder who had not yet done the Habilitation, on the other. The limitations on liberties or familiarities either man could take in manner of address, in conventions of respect and deference, would not be overcome by their sense of genuinely mutual contribution and intellectual exchange, despite the fact that these were the center of their life. Nor did the equality in question mean that Husserl’s position as originator and principal researcher of phenomenology was ever challenged. It meant something else, which can be seen from other characterizations by Husserl of Fink’s 204. See appendix. 205. Curiously the phrase ‘‘two communicating vessels [zwei kommunizierende Gefäße]’’ is reminiscent of the title of a book by André Breton, Les vases communicants, published in 1932. There does not appear to have been a German translation at the time of Husserl’s letter to Feuling.


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role: that Fink was the ‘‘resonance’’ Husserl needed in order to continue his work,≤≠∏ that, far from being a ‘‘mere mouthpiece,’’≤≠π he was ‘‘an incomparably intense cothinker.’’≤≠∫ Fink, in turn, describes his philosophical relationship with Husserl in concordant terms. From an initial stage of ‘‘subordinate assistant activity,’’ it had become one of ‘‘independent productive cooperation,’’ and then finally a ‘‘unique intellectual symbiosis.’’≤≠Ω But, once again, it was not that Fink had acquired the role of a co-originator of phenomenology but was rather a cothinker of it in this advanced stage of critical reconsideration, reformulation, and deepening. Fink writes: ‘‘Husserl, far from training me to be for him a march-in-step disciple, valued my work with him above all for its strongly critical tendency.’’ During the years together ‘‘Husserl acknowledged my intellectual independence precisely by always seeking my productive contradiction and my criticism, which he needed as a stimulus to bring his creative thinking to objective realization.’’ During this period of some of the most extraordinary of Husserl’s manuscript studies, ‘‘when Husserl sought to bring in the harvest of his long life of investigation, I acted, as it were, as an intellectual catalyst for him.’’≤∞≠ There was, however, a negative side to this, a serious limitation inversely related, as it were, to the impressive talent for which Husserl valued Fink so highly. Fink displayed what Husserl took to be an unsteadiness and diffidence in working at his tasks, reflected not only in the two letters from him to Fink that have already been cited but also in the following remark to Albrecht, from a letter written on October 7, 1934: ‘‘Fink is extraordinary as a collaborator, useless as an assistant, and labile in his psychological structure. This is where there is deep and serious worry. On him depends the future of phenomenology—namely, he is the only one who has an exhaustive knowledge of my manuscripts, who can really understand and work them out, and doing that means having not just a schoolboy’s mind but one that productively thinks with you, that fills in gaps and understands how a development is going, etc.’’≤∞∞ Malvine Husserl too found Fink to be at times unreliable and listless, especially in the immediate aftermath of Husserl’s death, and much can be 206. See Husserl’s letter to Felix Kaufmann, September 11, 1933, Bw IV, p. 197. Husserl recommends to Kaufmann Fink’s Kantstudien article and the then still anticipated book about time. 207. See appendix. 208. Letter to Felix Kaufmann, October 29, 1931 (Bw IV, p. 184). 209. Fink’s expressions in his ‘‘Politische Geschichte,’’ p. [1] (EFM 4, Abschn. 4). 210. ‘‘Politische Geschichte,’’ p. [2]. 211. Bw IX, p. 105.

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attributed to that circumstance.≤∞≤ On the other hand, psychological traits are not automatic mechanisms that univocally override all else; they have their working within the experiences and perceptions that a person has about the things that fill his or her life. In Fink’s case (as indeed with Husserl and Heidegger and countless others) the pervasiveness of philosophy in his life was not only a context but also a motivation. How he acted in working with Husserl should be expected to be very much a function of how he viewed the issues of importance to phenomenology, what they were and how they might be resolved. In other words, the limitations in Fink’s behavior as Husserl saw them would not have been simply psychological; philosophical matters mattered as much. As the present study progresses, then, we shall be focusing on this philosophical side of the problems Fink had, and Husserl had with Fink, perhaps thus making Fink’s behavior during these Husserl years more understandable even in its limitations. Finally, one has to see Husserl’s view of his relationship to Fink in the context of Husserl’s overall longing to have fellowship and collaboration in his dedication to the philosophy he had founded and developed. A word that Husserl used frequently for this earnestly desired goal was ‘‘cophilosophize’’ (sumfilosofe˜in), and it is one he used in his warm and hopeful letters to Heidegger in those early years in Freiburg when he saw in the young Dozent someone who could join with him in the noble task.≤∞≥ Heidegger, as we have seen, turned out not to fulfill Husserl’s hopes, and Husserl transferred them to Fink: in Fink Husserl felt he had found the associate he had long wanted. The question of whether his hopes were fulfilled this time or not is one that can only be answered at the end of the present study, but before then some comparison can be made. For example, one of the points Husserl mentions regarding Heidegger is that, while Husserl laid out to Heidegger as fully as possible his projects and ideas, and thereby felt that Heidegger grasped his intent and was joined with him in the effort, Heidegger himself ‘‘regarding the formation of his own ideas was quite vague or silent.’’≤∞∂ A similar complaint of Husserl’s 212. Malvine’s letter to her daughter, Elisabeth, March 24, 1935, comparing Fink to Landgrebe (Bw IX, p. 453). Her letter to Gerhart, June 3, 1938 (in the Husserl Archives, but not in Bw), is quite severe—though, once again, the effect of Husserl’s death on everyone certainly must be a mitigating element in assessing the way both Fink and Malvine Husserl acted then. 213. Letters to Heidegger from January 30 and March 28, 1918, Bw IV, pp. 129 and 130. See MH-Ott/e, pp. 102–5. See also Husserl’s usage of the term—from Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics (IX, 12 1172a5)—with Felix Kaufmann, Alfred Schutz, and Helmut Kühn (Bw IV, pp. 187, 483, and 239). 214. Husserl’s letter to Pfänder, January 6, 1931, Bw II, p. 181.


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regarding Fink seems to be indicated in his two letters to Fink (from mid-1933 and mid-1934), already mentioned. In Fink’s case, however, this was not a general silence on Fink’s part about his own ideas but rather a reticence to admit to Husserl the difficulties that were preventing the work under way from being finished (although it must be pointed out that Fink was having fundamental theoretical problems here, as we shall see in chapter 5). Prudential reticence there may have been on Fink’s part, but the predominantly oneway communication that Husserl felt in the case of Heidegger was not at all typical of Fink’s place with Husserl, as one can see in Cairns’s Conversations as well as in Husserl’s many remarks in his correspondence, not to mention the telling collection of materials Fink laid before Husserl from 1930 to 1932 (i.e., VI.CM/1–2). Husserl knew well a vast amount of what Fink was himself thinking and doing, and the overlapping of Fink’s work with his own formed the very ground on which their collaboration was carried out. Yet perhaps Fink did not tell Husserl absolutely everything, and how much of his own mind lay beyond the areas in which his thinking and Husserl’s overlapped will be seen as the present study develops. In the end, too, Husserl’s desire led him to believe that more identity in form and definition obtained between his own thinking and that of his assistants than was ever actually realized, in Heidegger’s case without an adequate basis in reality, in Fink’s case with considerable justification, but not perhaps in regard to the full extent of Fink’s challenging radicality. The question, however, remains this: Did Fink’s differences with Husserl stand in relation to particularities in the thinking of Husserl the individual human, or in relation to the phenomenology that Husserl’s individual human thinking had launched, that is, more precisely, this phenomenology’s constitutive dynamic? And could following that constitutive dynamic mean the necessity of recognizing some limitations in a particular human’s achievements in phenomenological thinking, even if that individual was Husserl himself, the founder of phenomenology? Surely in the end this is a possibility allowed by the radicality to which the human individuals Husserl and Fink were dedicated, surely this possibility lay at the heart of their work together during these years. This in fact is what we shall find to have been working itself out, as manifested in the conjunction of written materials that these two, Husserl and Fink, left behind from their work together.

1.4. The Final Breakthrough: 1934–1937 We must pick up the narrative again and cover the final years of work on Husserl’s part and Fink’s contribution to it. By 1934, despite several years of effort, Husserl did not yet have the statement of his phenomenology that he

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felt was needed in that time of continual disappointment and upheaval. All he had to offer concretely was the most recent finished statement of his thought, the 1929 revision of his ‘‘Cartesian Meditations,’’ supplemented by a set of improvements and additions by Fink (complete except for those for the ‘‘Fifth Meditation’’), plus Fink’s fully new ‘‘Sixth Meditation.’’ Even so, this at least was something Husserl could share with the circle of philosophical colleagues with whom he kept in extensive contact through correspondence. So, for example, in Vienna Alfred Schütz and Felix Kaufmann, both dedicated followers of his work, read the 1929 revision and Fink’s ‘‘Sixth Meditation,’’ while Ingarden in Lwow (Lvov), then part of Poland, studied the French translation together with Fink’s Kant-Studien article; Husserl even offered Ingarden a copy of the German version if he needed it.≤∞∑ In Prague Landgrebe kept in continual contact with Husserl, and Patoˇcka came when he could to keep up on Husserl’s and Fink’s work, as, for example, during the Christmas holidays of 1934. Students who came—from beyond Germany’s borders, of course— to study with Husserl were set to reading these ‘‘Cartesian Meditations,’’ which Husserl now viewed more as a learner’s textbook than as a definitive statement of his phenomenology.≤∞∏ Finally, the arrival of Gaston Berger in Freiburg to visit Husserl in mid-August 1934 also brought the ‘‘Meditations’’ texts to the fore.≤∞π This was the first time Berger and Husserl (and Fink) had met, and Husserl was quite impressed.≤∞∫ Berger also struck a sympathetic note with Fink, because he returned to Marseille with Fink’s own carbon copy of the ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’—for some reason with the exception of the last section, 12. (It was subsequently via Berger’s possession of this copy that various French philosophers were able to read Fink’s text, in particular Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Tran-Duc-Thao.≤∞Ω One of the aims of this book is to provide the basis for the so far untold account of the character and extent of 215. Letter of October 11, 1933, Bw III, p. 291. The complex story of the movement of these texts to Vienna and of the copies made there of the 1929 revision is detailed by Guy van Kerckhoven in two notes in his unpublished ‘‘Vorwort’’ to VI.CM/1–2 (note 3 to p. viii, and note 31 to p. xiv). See also van Kerckhoven’s Mundanisierung und Individuation, pp. 201–3. 216. See his letters to Ingarden, November 2 and 20, 1933, Bw III, p. 292. 217. Berger had written to Fink in connection with an offprint of an article that Fink had sent him, ‘‘Was Will die Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls?’’ Berger wanted to discuss with Fink ‘‘positions and solutions taken by phenomenology on certain problems in the theory of knowledge.’’ At the same time, he asked if it were possible to meet with Husserl. (Letter from June 25, 1934, in the Fink Nachlass). Soon after Berger wrote a brief review of Fink’s article in Les études philosophiques, 8 (1934), 44–45. 218. See his letter to Albrecht, October 7, 1934 (Bw IX, pp. 105–6). 219. See appendix.


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the influence that Fink’s treatment of transcendental phenomenology had upon the French interpretation of Husserl—especially in its focus on the final period work.)≤≤≠ For Husserl, having only these ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ to show others was an unsatisfactory situation. Not only were they inadequate as they stood, they were still not available to the public in their original German. The still urgent necessity to bring out a statement of Husserl’s position that would be faithful to the true deeper insights of his thinking in both comprehensiveness and concreteness, and in that way would be effective in the context of the times, had not yet been met. In a time of revolution when ‘‘turmoil becomes the normal thing,’’ as Husserl describes it,≤≤∞ he had to get on with his life’s work—and he was now seventy-five years old. But getting on with his work now meant mainly preparing his Nachlass for the future. Already in the latter part of 1933 this had become the matter of principal importance.≤≤≤ The project of producing a systematic work on time was entirely in Fink’s hands, even if the latest manuscripts Husserl had produced in connection with it would have to be taken into account. Husserl hoped to see this material ready in the next year, but progress was extremely slow, and Husserl had repeatedly to write in the course of 1934 that it was still not ready.≤≤≥ As the months passed both the state of affairs in Germany and Husserl’s age and frequent infirmity could not but make the fate of his massive and ever-increasing collection of manuscripts the main concern. By October 1934 discussions were under way and steps were being taken to establish an archive somewhere to ensure the survival and study of Husserl’s manuscripts.≤≤∂ But simultaneously with all this there finally came the breakthrough in Husserl’s own thinking, the breakthrough to a way to prepare a comprehensive statement of the sort he had been hoping for, one that, to some extent at least, would reflect the critical consolidation of his phenomenology that had been under way in the turbulent years since his retirement. These two interconnected developments lead directly to the situation in which phenomenology would find itself after Husserl’s death and, later still, after the fall of the Nazi Reich. At the beginning of August, Husserl received an invitation to contribute an address to the International Philosophical Congress being held in Prague from

220. See the final paragraphs of 10.3, and note 70 there. 221. Letter to Albrecht, May 19, 1934, Bw IX, pp. 100–1. 222. See his letters to Ingarden, October 11 and November 2, 1933, Bw III, pp. 291 and 292. 223. Letters to Cairns, May 18, 1934, Bw IV, p. 43, and to Albrecht, October 7, 1934, Bw IX, p. 105. 224. See Husserl’s letter to Albrecht, October 7, 1934, Bw IX, p. 105.

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September 2 to 7, under the general heading ‘‘the problem of the crisis of democracy.’’≤≤∑ Husserl, receiving an invitation to contribute a paper by mail, was asked to address the question of ‘‘the present task of philosophy.’’ This he did, sending it with a letter summarizing his thoughts and dated August 30, 1934.≤≤∏ Because of difficulties with his paper—first with regard to numerous typing mistakes, and then out of dissatisfaction with its contents—Husserl very soon after withdrew it; but his letter was apparently read at the meeting and then published in the proceedings. One of the results of the congress was the founding by a number of Czech philosophers of the Cercle Philosophique de Prague pour Recherches de l’Entendement Humain, with Jan Patoˇcka as Czech secretary (jointly with a German secretary).≤≤π Patoˇcka had been an increasingly devoted follower of Husserl’s and had kept in contact with him ever since hearing him for the first time at the Paris lectures of February 1929; and he had seen the paper Husserl had sent to the Prague congress. Indeed, Patoˇcka had been the one whom Husserl had asked to get the paper back to him without its being presented there. One of the first tasks that the new Prague Cercle Philosophique thought it could take on was to help preserve and make available materials from Husserl’s vast manuscript studies. One of the founders, Professor J. B. Kozak, who was also a member of the Czech parliament, managed to get some modest government funding for the project. Finally, the idea was conceived to invite Husserl to Prague at some point, both to lecture and to work out the arrangements.≤≤∫ Before that invitation would come in another year’s time, however, Patoˇcka spent several weeks with Husserl at Christmas 1934, and in March 1935 Landgrebe journeyed to Freiburg to work for three weeks with Fink in the ordering of all Husserl’s manuscript materials.≤≤Ω Landgrebe would have

225. See Patoˇcka, ‘‘Erinnerungen an Husserl,’’ in Die Welt des Menschen, p. xiii, and his brief account of what the meeting was like, especially on the interweaving of philosophical battles with the defense of free expression. 226. See the account in Hua XXVII, pp. xxv–xxix, together with Husserl’s letter to the congress and the paper he sent. Fink drew up a proposal for Husserl’s address, Z-XIX IV/12a–b (EFM 3). 227. See Declève, ‘‘Patoˇcka et les signes du temps,’’ Études phénoménologiques, 1 (1985), 20; and Patoˇcka, ‘‘Erinnerungen,’’ pp. xiii–xiv. 228. See Husserl’s letter to Albrecht, December 29, 1934, Bw IX, p. 113. 229. See HChr, p. 458, for a résumé of the documentary indications of Landgrebe’s visit and purpose. It was during the three weeks of their work on Husserl’s MSS that Fink’s notes on conversations with Landgrebe in Z-XIX (EFM 3) were made. To be kept in mind is that almost twenty years earlier Edith Stein had already put a large portion of Husserl’s MSS into an organized system, during her year and a half of work for him as his assistant. See Marbach’s brief discussion in Hua XXIII, p. 601.


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to return for a few weeks in January and February 1936 for the completion of the task,≤≥≠ and their organization of the collection is the one still followed at Louvain. In addition, it was decided to take a whole set of manuscripts to Prague for the purpose of transcribing and publishing them there, under the direction of Landgrebe. In the meantime, Husserl was working over the paper he had meant for the International Congress, slowly turning it into a new approach to his phenomenology. And the occasions for presenting the realizations he was reaching were about to materialize. In that same March of 1935 Husserl received an invitation from the Wiener Kulturband to present a paper, and on May 7 he would do so. In May, too, Husserl was elected to honorary membership in the Cercle Philosophique de Prague, but the Prague visit, first expected in May as well, had to be postponed because of the conflict with the Vienna trip. In early July the visit to Prague was set for November, with the result that what had originally been intended for Prague was given in Vienna as ‘‘Philosophy and the Crisis of European Humanity.’’ Husserl had to work out something new for Prague.≤≥∞ That visit, which finally took place on November 14 and 15, saw Husserl giving an entire set of lectures under the title ‘‘The Crisis of European Sciences and Psychology.’’ These two appearances, in Vienna and in Prague, were a tremendous success for Husserl, especially in Prague, where he spoke to several groups and held numerous informal discussions over a week’s time.≤≥≤ The contrast of all this to his position in Germany could only have been intensely felt. On March 13, 1935, Husserl had to sign an acknowledgment of his having been informed of a statute requiring that for all state employees on all occasions, official and nonofficial, the form of greeting had to be the ‘‘German hail’’: ‘‘Heil Hitler!’’ said with the right arm held out—except in cases of disability, when the left arm was to be used!≤≥≥ It is hard to imagine a more 230. See the letter from Malvine Husserl to Patoˇcka, March 8, 1936 (Bw IV, p. 432); other indications from family letters not included in Bw IX are indicated in HChr, p. 473. From this visit also Fink has notes of his discussions with Landgrebe, Z-XX XX/1–2, and 21 (EFM 3). Unfortunately, Professor Landgrebe was not able from his own recollections to fill out Fink’s outlines of these discussions, or those from March 1935. (Author’s conversations with Landgrebe, May 12, 1986.) 231. Letter to Ingarden, July 10, 1935, Bw III, p. 302. Husserl gives a glowing description of his lectures in Vienna in this letter. 232. For the heavy speaking schedule Husserl had in Prague, see HChr, pp. 469–70, and Malvine Husserl’s letter to Ingarden, January 14, 1936, Bw III, p. 305. On Husserl’s sixteen days in Vienna and the rousing success he met with there, see his letter to Landgrebe, Bw IV, p. 331. 233. Copy in the Personalakten: E. Husserl, UAFbg.

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shaming picture than that of Husserl being compelled thus to hail Hitler, but there seems to be no record that he was ever seen to do it. On September 15, 1935, the Nuremberg Laws on Citizenship were decreed. Article 2 (1) stated: ‘‘A citizen of the Reich may be only one who is of German or kindred blood, and who, through his behavior, shows that he is both desirous and personally fit to serve loyally the German people and the Reich.’’ This was followed on November 14 by the Supplementary Decree on Race, article 4 (1): ‘‘A Jew cannot be a citizen of the Reich.’’≤≥∂ The 1933 exclusions were now to be applied without exception. Under this new exhibition of facist racism, Husserl contemplated abandoning Freiburg and Germany, perhaps even returning to the land of his birth, no longer part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire as it was when he was born seventy-six years earlier but now simply Czechoslovakia; Prague, indeed, had much to offer.≤≥∑ Yet he stayed, perhaps because he was in the middle of a fever of productivity and could not afford the total disruption that uprooting himself from Freiburg would cause.≤≥∏ As of January 15, 1936, Husserl’s right as emeritus to teach at the University of Freiburg was officially annulled,≤≥π and as of the summer semester of that same year his name was stricken from the roll of faculty members.≤≥∫ By the end of 1936 Husserl’s son, Gerhart, and his son-in-law, Jacob Rosenberg, Elisabeth’s husband, had gone to the United States, soon to be followed by their families. ‘‘We old ones remain behind alone,’’ Husserl remarked to Ingarden; ‘‘how we envy the children, even though they have to start in humble state all over again.’’≤≥Ω These were the circumstances in which Husserl wrote what are now known as the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts. They took shape in the spring of 1935 as, starting from the 1934 writings for Prague, he worked eight to nine hours a day,≤∂≠ in a veritable ‘‘paroxysm of work,’’ as he himself put it in a letter to Albrecht. But he 234. Taken from Snyder, Hitler’s Third Reich, pp. 211–12. 235. Letter to Gerhart, September 21, 1935, Bw IX, pp. 246–47. Tomáˇs Masaryk, first president of Czechoslovakia and in office until his retirement in 1935, had been a student with Husserl in Leipzig, a relationship Husserl fondly recalled in these less felicitous times. See Patoˇcka, ‘‘Erinnerungen,’’ Die Welt des Menschen, p. xv. 236. See the letter to Gerhart referred to in the previous note. 237. Copy of the document Nr. A.23, January 15, 1936, in the Personalakten: E. Husserl, UAFbg. As an emeritus Husserl had hitherto been free to give any lectures and seminars he might have wished. 238. HChr, p. 472. 239. Letter to Ingarden, December 31, 1936, Bw III, p. 309. 240. Husserl describes his work as a kind of mania (letter to Elisabeth, April 10, 1935, Bw IX, p. 455). See the other indications from Husserl’s correspondence given in HChr, p. 460.


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had no choice. ‘‘I cannot simply repeat old ideas and just put them together in a higher-level textbook-like treatise; . . . I am drafting a substantially deeper train of historical-philosophical thinking, but I don’t want to stop with that. . . . I want to work out a fundamental text on the phenomenological reduction based on my many investigations of it, and thus prove to myself and to the world that I do not by far belong to the past.’’≤∂∞ At this time, too, in the few weeks before the Vienna trip, Husserl reread Fink’s Kant-Studien article, finding it still of value to him.≤∂≤ And Fink helped more directly as well. For example, for the Vienna lecture Fink apparently expanded Husserl’s original shorthand manuscript text by about a third, while Husserl in turn introduced further changes into Fink’s revisional typescript.≤∂≥ Then just before Husserl left for Vienna, Fink sent him a one-page proposal for the closing of the lecture, which Husserl in fact included in the actual lecture, although he spoke in part extemporaneously, not feeling that the text he had brought with him dealt adequately with the main points.≤∂∂ Subsequently, on July 13, 1935, as Husserl was preparing the Prague lectures, Fink gave him a six-page typed draft of a sequence of ideas entitled ‘‘History as a Philosophical Problem.’’≤∂∑ On August 14, Fink brought yet another short proposal for the Prague lectures, conceived as a set of three lectures under the general title ‘‘The Problem of Humanity.’’≤∂∏ What Husserl was doing, however, was more than just preparing a couple of lectures for one city; he was following the unfolding dynamic of the philosophical consolidation he had been hoping for. On June 19 he wrote to Cairns that he was ‘‘working passionately now on the lecture—the one I gave in Vienna, really a full double lecture . . . [and] the manuscript gets bigger and bigger! . . . My old head is all taken up now in historical-philosophical meditations, really a further level in concretizing the whole of phenomenology, whereby ultimate matters, the anticipated teleology and the ‘marginal problems,’ only now being touched upon, are coming ‘into grasp.’ I really would like to make the phenomenological reduction the main presentation, and proceed from there to work

241. Letter to Albrecht, April 11, 1935, Bw IX, p. 117. 242. HChr, p. 460. 243. See Hua VI, ‘‘Textkritische Anmerkungen,’’ p. 547. 244. Eugen Fink, ‘‘Vorschlag für ‘Schlußsätze’ zum Wiener Vortrag E. Husserls,’’ in M-III, No. 9 (EFM 3, Abschn. 2). See Husserl’s description to Ingarden, July 10, 1935, Bw III, p. 302. 245. M-III, No. 7, EFM 3, Abschn. 2. 246. M-III, No. 8, EFM 3, Abschn 2. See also Z-XVIII 3a and V/1a–4b, in EFM 3.

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out the true system of ‘meditations’ (instead of the Paris lectures). We’re thinking of having the Vienna ‘lecture’ lead the way as the introduction.’’≤∂π The Prague lectures in mid-November—a portion of this ferment of thinking—were a triumph; and after recuperating from a totally exhausting frenzy of activity during the days there, Husserl took up again the task of putting this material in a form suitable for publication.≤∂∫ Before the end of January 1936 Husserl sent off the first half (parts I and II as now published) to the editor of Philosophia, Arthur Liebert, and then began work on the second half (which would eventually turn into parts IIIA and B in the Husserliana text). Liebert, however, had to wait impatiently while Husserl developed his ideas ever further, and the remaining half swelled to ever increasing size. In late February Husserl wrote to his son, ‘‘It has become a major work, and I am not yet quite finished. . . . I almost think that it is the most important writing of my life, one that reaches the greatest depth.’’≤∂Ω But there were interruptions. Landgrebe came in late January to work further with Fink on ordering Husserl’s manuscripts. Then, far more seriously, Husserl contracted pleurisy in March, and he could not work for almost two months.≤∑≠ In mid-April Husserl went to Rapallo on the Italian Riviera east of Genoa to convalesce, from where he wrote to Fink: ‘‘I cannot recall on my annual holiday trips having ever had so absolutely thinking-free an eight days as these last have been.’’ Yet he did not like being idle; and he wondered how after his complete exhaustion he could concentrate his energies again for the work that awaited completion.≤∑∞ Husserl returned to Freiburg apparently well again; but he had little more than a year before the same serious illness would recur, from which, that next time, he would not recover. The composition process for the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts is not easy to establish definitively, although much about it has now been painstakingly pieced 247. Bw IV, pp. 50–51. 248. On the whirl of activity during the Vienna visit and its aftermath, see Husserl’s letter to Albrecht, December 22, 1935, Bw IX, pp. 122–24. 249. Letter to Gerhart, February 20, 1936, Bw IX, p. 250. Husserl describes the kind of sustained rapt concentration that characterized his earlier compositions Ideas and Formal and Transcendental Logic: ‘‘Here, involuntarily, as if by itself, an introduction to transcendental phenomenology in the grand manner has come about.’’ He had exerted himself ‘‘to an incredible degree,’’ and ‘‘all at once it took form.’’ See Reinhold Smid’s ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua XXIX, p. xvi, on the circumstances of this letter. 250. HChr, p. 474. 251. Postcard to Fink from Rapallo, April 26, 1936 (Bw IV, p. 95). For other details see HChr, pp. 474–75.


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together.≤∑≤ The proof sheets for parts I and II reached Husserl in early September 1936; but rather than simply checking them for accuracy he made significant changes and additions, most importantly the entirely new ten-part section on Galileo (Hua §9). The whole thing was then typeset again and sent back by the end of September.≤∑≥ Then even though the second proof sheets were in turn significantly modified when Husserl went through them in midDecember, this first installment (parts I and II) was finally done and run off by early January 1937.≤∑∂ In the meantime, Husserl’s work on the second installment (part III) had produced a full-scale typescript that he sent as well to the editor of Philosophia, only to request immediately afterward that it be returned. It was ‘‘not quite ready to be published,’’ it needed a ‘‘Conclusion’’ and ‘‘drastic modifications.’’≤∑∑ The sketch of it that he gave to Ingarden in a letter of December 31, 1936, shows that he meant to keep to the plan of the typescript (followed in the Husserlian edition), but it was by no means ready. ‘‘Another year’s worth of work!’’ he exclaimed.≤∑∏ The second half of 1936 and the first half of 1937 thus saw Husserl finishing parts I and II, and working steadily on part III≤∑π —against both disruptions and disappointments. In the late months of 1936, for example, an invitation by Émile Bréhier, president of the International Philosophical Congress scheduled for Paris from August 1 to 6, 1937, had pressed Husserl to participate in a place of honor; for the congress was to be devoted to Descartes.≤∑∫ But it was only many months later, on June 8, 1937, after repeated requests on Husserl’s part, that the Imperial and Prussian Ministry for Science, Education, and the Formation of the People sent notice that permission to participate was denied.≤∑Ω Once again, the contrast between oppression in Germany and the 252. See Smid’s ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua XXIX, pp. xxiv–lxiv. 253. Smid, ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua XXIX, pp. xlvi–liv. 254. Smid, ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua XXIX, pp. lvii–lviii. 255. ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua XXIX, pp. xxxvii–xxxix, where Smid quotes the draft of a letter Husserl intended for the editor, Arthur Liebert, from which these characterizations are taken. 256. Bw III, pp. 309–10. 257. See Smid, ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua XXIX, pp. xxxix–lxiv. 258. See the entry from H. L. Van Breda in HChr, p. 486; also Husserl’s letter to the Rektor of the university about his request for clearance to go, February 4, 1937, Bw VIII, p. 200. 259. Document in the Personalakten E. Husserl, UAFbg. Husserl had made his request already in late October 1936, and he repeated it twice (Bw VIII, pp. 199–201), always through the Rektor of the university.

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honors Husserl received from beyond his own country stood out starkly.≤∏≠ Another example: In February 1936 Husserl had received an invitation to become a member of the governing committee of the Institut de Coopération Philosophique Internationale at Pontigny, also in France, and he wished to be able to attend the meeting of the committee scheduled for the summer of 1937. This request never was acted on; it was left to languish.≤∏∞ Finally, at the end of June 1937, for ‘‘racial reasons,’’ Husserl had to move from his apartment on Lorettostraße 40, on the south side of the city, where he had lived ever since arriving in Freiburg twenty years earlier, to Schöneckstraße 6, on the east side of the city.≤∏≤ He went up into the Black Forest for two weeks, to Breitnau, while Malvine took care of the move. Unfortunately, owing to bad weather Husserl caught a severe cold.≤∏≥ Then, not long after returning from Breitnau into his new residence, he had a severe fall and had to take to his bed. That, however, soon led to a recurrence of the pleurisy he had contracted the year before, so that it was only intermittently that he could do much.≤∏∂ For all practical purposes work on the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts was at an end; it would remain a work one could only read unfinished. What Fink contributed to the writing of the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts, now, can only be determined within certain limits. To begin with, there is the question of substantive conceptual contribution. This is a matter needing considerable comparison of Husserl’s work before his retirement with that done after, together with a study of Fink’s own notes as well as the drafts of ideas he prepared for Husserl. The interpretation that would result could be definite in some respects, tentative in others, and a matter of argument throughout. In fact, one 260. On July 15, 1936, Husserl had been named a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. See the letters from the British Academy to Husserl (Bw VIII, p. 9) and Husserl’s letter informing the Rektor at Freiburg of the honor (Bw VIII, p. 199). 261. A statement from the Rektor’s office at Freiburg dated May 14, 1937, reminding the national ministry of Husserl’s requests for Paris and Pontigny, observes that ‘‘a decision on these applications has not yet come in.’’ (Document in the Personalakten: E. Husserl, UAFbg.) Three weeks later the ministry acted on the Paris request, negatively, while ignoring the matter of Pontigny. See Husserl’s official letter of request for the Pontigny conference in Bw VIII, p. 200. 262. Sister Adelgundis Jaegerschmidt, O.S.B., a close family friend, mentions ‘‘racial reasons’’ as necessitating the move, but does not specify what they were, in her memoir ‘‘Conversations with Edmund Husserl, 1930–1938,’’ translated by Marcus Brainard, in The New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy, 1, edited by Burt Hopkins and Steven Crowell (Seattle: Noesis Press, 2001), p. 343. 263. See HChr, pp. 486–87. 264. HChr, p. 487.


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of the aims of the present work as a whole is to offer some basis for this needed interpretation, although more is needed than can be given here.≤∏∑ Nevertheless, some proposals will be made specifically with respect to the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts in chapters 4, 6, and 7 below. Apart from that, from the standpoint of the documents themselves, Fink’s most visible contribution was his typing out of the text from Husserl’s original shorthand working manuscripts. This, however, introduces its own uncertainty, namely, the extent to which Fink revised and amplified Husserl’s originals in the course of his typing, a responsibility with which in fact he was charged precisely as Husserl’s collaborator. Only some of the originals for parts I and II have been found in the Husserl Archives, used as notepaper for further reflection writing on Husserl’s part. The originals for part III have not been found at all.≤∏∏ The fact that Fink had expanded the Vienna lecture when typing it suggests, however, that he would have done the same—and would have been expected to do so—for these ‘‘Crisis’’-texts; but whereas in the former case this can be determined precisely by comparing the typescript with Husserl’s stenographic originals, in the present instance it cannot be determined from the documentation in any substantive measure. This makes it particularly important, therefore, on the one hand, to learn as much as possible of the thinking that Fink brought to, and pursued during, his work with Husserl and, on the other, to realize just what the work of an assistant and, more, a genuine collaborator really was. Something further must be said about this now.≤∏π We have seen Husserl in his 1934 letter to Fink making explicit reference to the distinction between individual research manuscript studies and their further elaboration in such a way as to form a systematic, integrated whole.≤∏∫ We have also seen how the latter work was very much an important part of Fink’s task with Husserl, although it was not his only charge; and Husserl himself accomplished some of the same task when in the grip of consolidating inspiration, as, for example, in the writing of the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts. It is also eminently 265. For example, a comparison and correlation of Husserl’s research manuscripts with Fink’s drafts, from the point of view of both content and dating, is beyond the scope of the present study and the present capacity of the author. A survey and indexing of Husserl’s research manuscripts in connection with Fink’s ‘‘Sixth Meditation,’’ however, has been done by Guy van Kerckhoven, and it is hoped that he will be able to return at a future date to the analysis and exposition of the Husserlian material he has thus set in correlation. 266. See Biemel, ‘‘Zur Textgestaltung,’’ Hua VI, p. 519. 267. Besides the following treatment, see also EFM, ‘‘Einleitung des Herausgebers I,’’ section ‘‘A. Die Schriften,’’ pp. xxviii–xxxiv. 268. See above, 1.3.

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clear that many of the things Fink produced for Husserl, both the typed drafts of ideas as well as the proposals represented in his personal notes, were precisely sketches for systematic, integrative conceptions. Thus we have, earlier, both Fink’s dramatic 1930 comprehensive ‘‘Layout’’ (see section 1.3 above)≤∏Ω and his plan for the revision of the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ as a series of seven ‘‘Meditations.’’≤π≠ For the ‘‘Crisis’’ project he had drafted proposals for the overall plan as well as for its continuation beyond the stage reached by mid-1937 (i.e., part III),≤π∞ and the proposals for the Prague and Vienna lectures were mentioned a little earlier.≤π≤ None of this was unusual practice on Husserl’s part, to permit, and expect, his assistants to work up his manuscripts into more coherent and systematic statements. Edith Stein did just this when she was Husserl’s assistant nearly twenty years earlier,≤π≥ as did Landgrebe,≤π∂ although Heidegger apparently did not. Fink, however, worked in this capacity more continuously and more comprehensively than Husserl’s previous assistants—especially in having a clear systematic grasp≤π∑ —even if no finished product fully displaying that collaboration with Husserl ever reached publication. All in all, the circumstances leading up to and the situation of the production of the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts necessitate our taking these texts as representing this very collaboration, even if, unlike the aborted revision of the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ (now available in VI.CM/1–2), this collaboration is not visible in such direct documentation. The problem is, therefore, to understand how that collaboration is substantively there, despite the less direct documentation. The discussion to come here will point to the elements of that substantive collaboration.

269. I.e., VI.CM/2, pp. 3–9. 270. See the beginning of 1.3. 271. M-III, No. 6 (EFM 3, Abschn. 2). Fink’s proposal for the continuation of ‘‘Crisis’’ is given in Hua VI, Beil. XXXIX, but his proposals for an overall plan and for insertions at specific points in the typescript, also in M-III, No. 6, are not included there. 272. I.e., M-III, Nos. 7–9, EFM 3, Abschn. 2. Fink had also sketched out ideas for the initial Prague address, Z-XIX IV/12a–b, EFM 3. 273. See Ingarden’s introductory remarks to his article ‘‘Edith Stein on Her Activity as an Assistant of Edmund Husserl,’’ Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 23 (1962), 155–61, especially 157f. 274. See Landgrebe’s ‘‘Foreword’’ to EJ, p. 7. 275. See Hussel’s letter to Helmut Kuhn, February 4, 1937 (Bw VI, p. 242), recommending that Fink be invited to Pontigny in Husserl’s stead, as Fink ‘‘is an excellent speaker, and has a command of the systematic whole of transcendental phenomenology almost better than I do, in any case he is better at presenting it than I am at my age.’’


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At the same time, despite the fact that working for and with Husserl took a great amount of time, especially in view of the significant dependency on Fink that Husserl had developed, Fink had other things he wished to do and was in fact doing right in these years of Husserl’s final effort on the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts. Fink, for example, had written and delivered his lecture on Husserl’s phenomenology and Kant in Dessau and Bernburg in early December 1935, a paper that very much represents his orientation in phenomenology—in terms of an ontological interpretation, and even an ‘‘ontogonic metaphysics,’’ one of the features of the dimension of the ‘‘speculative’’ in phenomenology.≤π∏ Husserl had read and annotated this paper, though minimally and without taking exception to it, which, as we saw earlier regarding Fink’s work on the timeproject, was something Husserl was now exceedingly loath to do. What becomes clear when Fink’s notes are taken into account along with the typescript materials he produced for Husserl is that, while faithful to Husserl to the end both personally and in continuing the dynamic thrust of Husserl’s philosophy, Fink did not see himself to be a Husserlian, i.e., a disciple who did philosophy by rigorously applying some set of formulaic principles, by, as it were, adopting and following a compendium of positive doctrines. This will become clear in later chapters, yet some concrete indication of this independence has to be at least mentioned here; it was an integral part of Fink’s work with Husserl. For example, in his personal notes Fink lists from time to time what he had to work on for a particular year. Thus in 1934 the sequel to his dissertation, ‘‘Presentification and Image II,’’ stands at the head of the list; but then he sketches out some other things to work on at the same time: 2. System of philosophy in summary: a first compilation, stocktaking, and confirmation of my own thinking; 3. Consciousness of world and world: first philosophical work; 4. Life-philosophy and phenomenology; 5. Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology in Heidegger’s critique. (‘‘The Difference between the Husserlian and Heideggerian Systems of Philosophy.’’)≤ππ

Each item on this list is intriguing: number 2 seems clearly to be a parallel to the massive project Fink had sketched out for Husserl in 1930, only this time as strictly his own; number 3 is Fink’s alternative idea for a possible Habilitationsschrift; number 4 is the sequel to his Kant-Studien article; and in num276. ND, p. 43. Later chapters will treat the nature of this ‘‘speculative’’ dimension. 277. Z-XIV II/1a–b, EFM 2.

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ber 5 Fink gives a provocative adaptation of the title of Hegel’s famous early work on Fichte and Schelling. (Each of these will figure importantly in subsequent chapters here.) For 1935 Fink lists no less than fourteen items on a list of plans, including all those in the 1934 list, but now putting in the first place the time-project in its two parts.≤π∫ Finally, and more self-revealing, in a note from early 1936 Fink, rather than speaking of projects and planned studies, writes as follows: What has become manifest in my 30th year as to the ‘‘philosophy’’ that may perhaps lie in my life is 1. the metaphysics of play; 2. the ‘‘idea of transcendental philosophy’’ as questioning beyond being into the space in which ‘‘transcendental relations’’ are at play; 3. ‘‘ontology’’ and ‘‘philosophy of reflection’’ in exposure to critical light (distance from Husserl and Heidegger); 4. the concept of the nature of philosophy as taking possession of oneself (seeking one’s home, and ‘‘experimental existence’’).≤πΩ

These are only hints, and what is hinted at is not what one would think of as ‘‘orthodox’’ Husserlian themes. Moreover, as the earlier portions of the booklet from which this list is taken show, one important philosopher with whom Fink here is rethinking his critical understanding of phenomenology is that early companion of Fink’s philosophical education, Nietzsche; and when Nietzsche’s thinking is appreciated for suggesting issues that need to be raised in assessing and reconceiving what phenomenology may fundamentally be, then one knows the philosophic power at work is not to be identified exclusively with Husserl the individual. There are clear antecedents here to what will become Fink’s thinking in the decades after the war, especially as seen in the books by which he would then be best known, the book on Nietzsche and that on play.≤∫≠ Nevertheless, while any discussion of Fink’s development after 1945 is not the aim of this book, treatment of the antecedents of that development is indeed necessary here precisely because they would organically emerge within the work he was doing with Husserl. That, however, is to come in the chapters to follow. Here we must conclude the narrative of the years of Husserl’s life when Fink was working with him, now coming to an end. 278. OH-II 48–50, EFM 3. 279. OH-VII 50, emphasis Fink’s (EFM 3). 280. Eugen Fink, Nietzsches Philosophie (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1960), and Spiel als Weltsymbol (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1960).


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1.5. The Ending, and Another Beginning On February 24, 1938, Malvine Husserl wrote to Ingarden about her husband’s deteriorating condition: in the previous August, Husserl had become seriously ill with Pleuritis exsudativa, and despite slow improvement, had grown worse at the year’s end. ‘‘His weakened state is indescribable, and my heart is full of concern and worry. You will understand if I only write these few lines.’’≤∫∞ She would send three more brief notes to Ingarden. The first two would say that Husserl’s condition had become worse still, to the point that, in the second of these, on April 21, ‘‘only the deepest life of the spirit’’ remained in him, which he could ‘‘but rarely put into words.’’ What lay on him now was ‘‘nothing earthly,’’ the ‘‘patience of heaven.’’≤∫≤ The last message would be the announcement card that on April 27, 1938, Edmund Husserl had died.≤∫≥ Today with antibiotics pleurisy may be easily treated, but the weakening that advancing in age brings is still only postponed, not removed. Husserl, now weakened, could not keep infirmity from conquering him. Only a few months before his fall in early August 1937 and the onset of his final illness, he had rebounded vigorously from a period of debilitation through a new diet and the sharp reduction in his use of tobacco.≤∫∂ Yet he was seventy-eight years of age when he had that fall, and the pleurisy set in again, and he had just passed his seventy-ninth birthday when his life ended. Prior to Christmas 1937 he was well in control of his faculties, alert and active mentally, reading, engaging in conversation, though unable to work in his regular way and able to receive only the occasional visitor. Fink was one who could still come.≤∫∑ As the new year came and the weeks passed, however, Husserl slipped into periods of unawareness or confusion that became longer and longer. In moments of lucidity he spoke of regret for his failures, or of his wish for but a year or two or three in which to complete his work, or of how time and memory were so unsteady; he recalled verses from the Psalms, or sometimes tried to express strange moving moments that took him beyond his 281. Bw III, p. 312. 282. Bw III, p. 315; BIng, p. 104. The gaunt, haunting face of Husserl in the photographs taken during the last months (in the Husserl Archives) reflect the description Malvine gives here. 283. BIng, p. 104. 284. Malvine’s letter to Ingarden, April 15, 1937, Bw III, pp. 310–11. Malvine blames Husserl’s use of tobacco for considerable harm to his health. On the stimulant effect of the use of tobacco for Husserl, see Schuhmann, ‘‘Einführung,’’ Bw X, pp. 38–39. 285. Malvine’s letter to Elli, October 13, 1937 (Bw IX, p. 497).

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present place. ‘‘I’ve made many mistakes, but it can still all turn out well’’ (February 12). ‘‘Philosophy has to be built up all over again from the beginning’’ (February 13). ‘‘I’m swimming in the River of Lethe and have no thoughts’’ (February 12).≤∫∏ Once or twice in February he even talked of America—to the doctor, ‘‘In America they don’t yet see the bigger problems,’’≤∫π and to his daughter, Elli, about perhaps going there if he recovered.≤∫∫ Landgrebe managed to come from Prague once to see him, and Husserl was able to talk well with him,≤∫Ω but some of Husserl’s clearest and longest stretches of mental vigor were his conversations with Fink. On February 3 Fink came to see him: ‘‘I only want to see you briefly.’’ And Husserl replied: ‘‘It means a lot for me just to see you.’’ The conversation lasted ten minutes, lucid and forceful, as if a bequest, and Fink was totally shaken. Earlier that same day, at different moments, Husserl had said of him: ‘‘The greatest phenomenon of phenomenology for me is Fink.’’ And: ‘‘In twenty years Fink will be a great man’’; ‘‘My life is unintelligible. Perhaps you can explain it with Fink.’’≤Ω≠ In the very last weeks Fink’s presence was still a stimulus to Husserl to try doing philosophy, even when he would pass most of the day in a confused state; and it would be lucid and proper philosophizing, not just feeling-laden ruminations.≤Ω∞ ‘‘I am very grateful to you, I shall never leave you,’’ he said to Fink once, in earnest friendliness, a scant month before he died.≤Ω≤ It is no wonder that Fink hoped against reality that Husserl would recover. After one of these last lucid philosophical conversations with Husserl, Fink revealed to Elli on a walk on the castle hill overlooking Freiburg behind Husserl’s apartment—as once he would have so regularly gone with her father—that, given that Husserl showed not the slightest lessening of mental clarity, Fink still believed that Husserl could recover, despite the startling frailty that now held 286. From Elisabeth Husserl Rosenberg, ‘‘Aufzeichnungen aus Gesprächen mit Edmund Husserl während seiner letzten Krankheit im Jahre 1938,’’ in the Husserl Archives, copy in the Fink Nachlass. 287. ‘‘Aufzeichnungen,’’ entry for February 8. 288. ‘‘Aufzeichnungen,’’ entry for February 15. Elli, who had left her family in the United States to come to Freiburg, had to leave before her father’s death. 289. ‘‘Aufzeichnungen,’’ entry for February 13. 290. ‘‘Aufzeichnungen,’’ entry for February 3. 291. Letters of Elisabeth to her husband, March 13, 1938; also to Elsbeth Jensen, March 10, 1938. Elsbeth Jensen and her family were close friends of the Husserl family; she was the sister of the well-known classical philologist Karl Reinhardt, who had studied with Husserl in Göttingen. (Letters in the Husserl Archives.) 292. ‘‘Aufzeichnungen,’’ entry for March 16.


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the old philosopher. It was clear to Elli that Fink had a hard time indeed facing up to the loss that from all signs was inevitable.≤Ω≥ And when that death came, Fink earned scornful remarks from Malvine because of the seeming breakdown of his interior stamina and dependability.≤Ω∂ Yet Fink was not so undone as Malvine may have thought. His eulogy at Husserl’s cremation is a moving testimony to the man who had stirred him so deeply philosophically,≤Ω∑ and events were coming that would demonstrate resources of energy and determination enough on his part. His loyalty to Husserl would hold, and his endeavor to ensure the philosophical relevance of Husserl’s work would hold, even if that endeavor would have an ‘‘unorthodox’’ character. Details of that, however, lie in the chapters ahead. ‘‘Husserl died as he lived, peaceful and clear, without bitter thoughts. I think he considered his mission completed.’’ So recounts one of Husserl’s faithful Freiburg friends, Martina Stieler.≤Ω∏ ‘‘Even his funeral I felt to be harmonious, since the only participants present were those who had known him not only for his philosophy, but as a man.’’ Those present that April 29, besides Malvine and Fink, and the minister who held the service, were few indeed: Professor of Economics Walter Eucken and his wife, Edith, Professor of History Gerhart Ritter,≤Ωπ Professor of Philosophy and Pedagogy Georg Stieler and his wife, Martina (just cited), and the two nuns who had cared for Husserl in his illness, Sister Klara Immisch and Sister Adelgundis Jaegerschmidt. None 293. Letter from Elisabeth Husserl Rosenberg to her husband, March 13, 1938 (in the Husserl Archives.). She also mentions Fink’s disinclination to accept Husserl’s coming death owing to the fact that the ‘‘second part of the treatise would still have to be written, would really have to be.’’ This must refer to the ‘‘Crisis’’ writings, but it is not named. 294. ‘‘Lackadaisical,’’ she says to Elli in a letter of June 2, 1938, ‘‘slovenly and unreliable,’’ October 23, 1938, and ‘‘an unreliable sheep,’’ May 19, 1939. Not long after she would again have complimentary things to say, but the fact remains that Fink was not in her eyes as stalwart during those difficult months as she thought he should have been. (Letters in the Husserl Archives, not in BW.) 295. ‘‘Totenrede auf Edmund Husserl,’’ in M-III, No. 1, EFM 3, Abschn. 2. 296. ‘‘Erinnerungen an Geheimrat Husserl’’ (c. 1959), mimeograph narrative in the possession of the family of Professor Ferdinand Graf, p. 12. The next few items of information here come from this document as well. See also the memoir by Sister Adelgundis Jaegerschmidt, ‘‘Conversations with Edmund Husserl,’’ pp. 345–50. 297. Eucken and Ritter, both prominent members of the ‘‘Freiburger Kreis’’ of resistance to National Socialist policies in Freiburg, would play important parts also in postwar restoration, especially in the University of Freiburg. Both were also staunch opponents of Heidegger. See MH-Ott/e, passim.

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other; and no ‘‘spy’’ showed up, Martina Stieler adds, only familiar faces. But war was near. Six weeks earlier, on March 12, 1938, Austria had been annexed by Hitler: ‘‘Austria is a state of the German Reich,’’ the official proclamation read,≤Ω∫ even if the plebiscite confirming the move would not come until April 10. On September 29 the Munich agreement was signed, and parts of Czechoslovakia passed into that same new German empire. In March 1939 German troops marched into Prague, and, after its brief twenty years of life, Czechoslovakia in effect disappeared. On November 9 and 10, 1938, had come the Night of Crystal, as it was euphemistically termed, the pillaging of Jewish establishments and the brutalizing of Jewish residents throughout Germany. Finally, on September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland, and World War II began. Husserl himself was spared all this, but those who survived him and held his legacy were not. What recourse was there for them now? Only outside Germany could there be any hope, even if that would prove short-lived. The general lines of the story are well known, how the Belgian Franciscan, Father Herman Leo Van Breda came to Freiburg in late August 1938, to inquire into materials for his doctoral work, and ended up negotiating for the transfer of the entire Husserlian Nachlass to Louvain and the rescue of Malvine Husserl;≤ΩΩ how Fink emigrated from Freiburg and Landgrebe from Prague to join together in Louvain in hopes of pursuing there a career in philosophy and to work on Husserl’s manuscripts—hopes cut short by the German invasion of Belgium on May 10, 1940. The continuum of thinking in the phenomenology that Husserl had begun decades earlier had already been cut clean through in Germany; now it was entirely gone there. In its new home of exile in Louvain it was now taken underground. It would not be totally suppressed, but it would be strained and diminished, and it would be changed. That, however, is a story to be taken up briefly in chapter 10. It is time to end our effort here to reconstitute some of the features and flesh of the human substance that was the life of phenomenology in the last years of Husserl’s doing of philosophy with Fink at his side. This phenomenology, though an enterprise that marked so strongly the first half of the twentieth century, became in the

298. Article 1 of the Law for the Promulgation of Anschluss, in Snyder, Hitler’s Third Reich, p. 280. 299. See Van Breda, ‘‘Le sauvetage de l’héritage husserlien et la fondation des ArchivesHusserl,’’ in Husserl et la pensée moderne, Actes du deuxième Colloque International de Phénoménologie, Krefeld, 1–3 Novembre 1956, ed. H. L. van Breda and J. Taminiaux, Phaenomenologica 2 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1959), pp. 1–42.


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second half rather uncharacteristic; it had tried too purely, and too paradoxically, to move in the human beyond the human, whereas today the human that remains all-too-human (and sometimes remains less) perhaps has the greater draw. Reactions like this, however, had already been felt in the very years that we have just been reviewing. In 1934, as the circle of oppression was closing tighter around Husserl and Fink even while recognition of them flowered beyond Germany, one of those who had heard Husserl in Strasbourg in that distant 1929 day of triumph, Abbé Émile Baudin, had written to Fink in response to Fink’s having sent him a copy of his article ‘‘What Does Husserl’s Phenomenology Want to Do?’’ Baudin had found Fink’s essay very helpful, but he had also found it difficult. Despite his admiration for phenomenology as he saw Fink expound it, he had to confess that he felt himself to be still too much ‘‘someone captivated by the world’’ [Weitbefangener], someone who ‘‘recoiled from the expedition into the Sahara of phenomenology, into the light and the emptiness in which one discovers so naked a self [Selbst].’’≥≠≠ Such indeed had seemed the challenge of Husserl’s Denkweg, and such is what we must now try to understand better as Fink, his closest companion in search of human tracks through the forbidding, seeming emptiness of the absolute, took up that quest with him.

300. Letter from May 20, 1934, in the Fink Nachlass. Baudin uses the two German words given here in his otherwise all-French letter. In his remarks he mingles Fink’s use of the image of Plato’s cave with this metaphor of the Sahara, the land of the absolute of light and exposedness. See Husserl’s remarks on these metaphors in his letter to Baudin, May 26/June 8, 1934, in Bw VII, pp. 16–17. See also Husserl’s part in Fink’s composition of the essay as revealed by the manuscripts published in EFM 2, Beil. I to Z-XIII.


Orientation I: Phenomenology Beyond the Preliminary

Naturally you can absorb only what you have worked out for yourself, what you have most deeply made your own; and a living soul can rethink the thoughts of others only by thinking for itself and thus carrying thought further. —Husserl to Metzger, September 4, 1919∞ There are errors into which the author himself lapses much more easily than the younger people who follow him. Manners of thinking whose irrationality he has exposed no longer do not come to be for them habits of thought, while in him, by contrast, they are still operative as inculcated dispositions—dispositions to relapses. —Husserl, Draft of a ‘‘Preface’’ to Logical Investigations, 1913≤ 1. Bw IV, p. 409. Translation as in Arnold Metzger, ‘‘Freedom and Death,’’ selections from Freiheit und Tod, ed. by Paul Senft and trans. by Ralph Mannheim, Human Context, 4 (1972), 246. Metzger, Husserl’s assistant from 1920 to 1924 (ibid., p. 244), also ‘‘had almost daily conversations’’ with Husserl, as he mentions in a letter to Senft (p. 249). 2. Edmund Husserl, Introduction to the Logical Investigations, ed. by Eugen Fink, trans. by Phillip J. Bossert and Curtis H. Peters (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1975), p. 33 (translation modified).



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Unlike those of us today who wish to study the philosophy of Edmund Husserl, Eugen Fink did not gain his understanding of phenomenology primarily from texts. Whereas we are faced with the massive collection of manuscripts in the Husserl Archives at Louvain and the continuing publication of selections from them in the Husserliana series, Fink listened to Husserl himself, spoke with him, thought with him. It was not the written line of what Plato called ‘‘dead discourse’’ but ‘‘the living speech’’≥ of Husserl’s own teaching that he followed. Roman Ingarden has given a description of how Husserl’s lectures were always ‘‘research meditations,’’ the laying out of the results of his ongoing inquiries, ‘‘so that the listeners were able to come into contact with living, developing science.’’∂ Both there and in the seminars Husserl’s offerings were never analyses of writings. Even when some classic philosophic text—of Descartes or Hume, for example—formed the starting point of his considerations, his thought was always focused on issues and problems in the matters at hand, not on the wording of texts. His own published works were few, and his working manuscripts, despite their ever increasing mass, remained studies in progress, not statements ready for wide distribution. In Husserl’s living word in lectures and discussions, then, Fink entered phenomenology by drawing from the real source for learning what phenomenology was about—‘‘the only source,’’ Ingarden says.∑ To speak of a ‘‘source,’’ however, is not yet to characterize things correctly, and there was in fact a kind of living word in Husserl’s manuscripts. Fink’s accession to phenomenology was the engagement of one living thinking with another, whether in the lecture hall, in conversation during daily walks, or in poring over manuscripts that were themselves the continual movement of Husserl’s thinking in the scripting movements of his hand. And far more than mere formulation and composition, what was at work in the thinking Fink found before him was a dynamic system of principle-led reinquiry, not simple additive progression, but ever renewed return to already pursued inquiries in order to reconsider and recast the meaning of their findings and to extend their compass. The way this was manifested in Husserl’s now mature work of the middle and late 1920s in Freiburg was in the retrospective taken continually upon his earlier work, such as Ideas I, a self-assessment that was at once the prospective for what was to be done and was now itself under way. This is what was given expression in Husserl’s startling insistence in 1930, in his seventieth year, that 3. Phaedrus, 276a; translation by R. Hackforth, in The Collected Dialogues of Plato, ed. by Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns, Bollingen Series 71 (New York: Pantheon, 1961), p. 521. 4. BIng, pp. 111–12. 5. Ibid.

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only now had he finally reached the state of being a true beginner. But Husserl’s ‘‘beginning’’ in this late and final period of his life was nevertheless not that of the rank beginner; it was rather a beginning radically renewed, a beginning undertaken again out of a profound and critical realization of what the beginning as it had been announced programmatically in his earlier publications actually demanded. In the living teaching of Husserl the philosopher, this is what Fink caught in the words of the lectures and seminars, and what he began practicing as he came into direct contact with Husserl the thinker himself. In his ‘‘Political History of My Scientific Career’’ Fink makes a point of mentioning, as a characteristic of Husserl’s philosophical integrity, ‘‘the tenacious and steadfast persistence of questioning and searching,’’ ‘‘the unconditioned disregard for any of the ‘positions’ that one might oneself have already reached.’’∏ This may not be so manifest in the texts of Husserl’s lectures as we are able to read them now, and certainly not in any one of his writings or manuscripts taken on its own; but when any such material is seen as being one of many attempts to rework and rethink some same issue, i.e., when it is placed back in the context of Husserl’s everyday manner of working—the seemingly endless writing and rewriting of his research thinking-texts—then it is not the ascertainable idea-content of the text(s) as such that takes on foremost importance but rather that which drives this continual rethinking, this repeatedly, radically renewed beginning. This, now, is the force that one can see operating in Fink’s own notes even from his earliest contact with Husserl, that is, both in his notes from Husserl’s courses and seminars and, with more pronounced effect, in the notes in which he sketches out his own reflections. By conjoining these notes with the finished (or semifinished) pieces he produced—for example, his dissertation of 1929, ‘‘Presentification and Image’’—one comes to see that Fink’s beginning in phenomenology took place within a dynamic of thinking well past adherence to the preliminary stage that most of us, with considerable naïveté, tend to take to be fundamental and virtually final. Fink began phenomenology at the level of the realization of how relentlessly, transformatively radical in principle the ideas were with which Husserl began his program, in particular, the idea of the reduction.

2.1. The Phenomenological Reduction—Done Only by Being Redone A remark of Husserl’s made in the last semester of his teaching at Freiburg, the winter semester of 1928–1929, neatly sums up the sense of the reduction that had gripped Fink in the first years of his study with him. In 6. ‘‘Politische Geschichte,’’ EFM 4, Abschn. 4, p. [2].


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October Husserl, though now retired and with his successor, Heidegger, giving his own first lectures as holder of the chair that Husserl had passed on to him, began a course on the phenomenology of ‘‘empathy’’ [Einfühlung]. As usual Husserl also conducted seminar discussions on the topic at the same time. In one of the early sessions of this seminar (which, together with the course, Husserl soon discontinued) Fink noted down the following point: ‘‘Phenomenological method as a circle, as the constant overhauling of itself, this ontic bearing back upon itself is based in the antecedency of the ontic over the action of knowing, in the historicity of the phenomenological situation.’’π There is no assurance that these are exactly Husserl’s words rather than a rephrasing according to Fink’s own understanding.∫ Indeed, the way the term situation is used corresponds to that in §5 of Fink’s dissertation, ‘‘The Situation of the Reduction.’’ The whole context, however, indicates that Fink took the point just cited to be Husserl’s point, not simply his own;Ω and it is this point that in fact becomes one of the key ideas of the ‘‘Introduction’’ with which Fink opens his 1929 dissertation. The idea of phenomenological method as the constant return upon both initiating and ongoing operations to clear away the presuppositions and naïveté that must unavoidably accompany one’s initiating endeavors in a new enterprise is an old idea in Husserl’s thinking; it is the famous ‘‘zigzag’’ spoken of in the ‘‘Introduction’’ to volume 2 of his Logical Investigations (§6), and a point Husserl would regularly mention both in published works (e.g., Ideas I, §65) and in his lectures. At the same time, however, this general principle of self-correction takes on a more specific form when Husserl repeats the point in his lectures on the theory of the phenomenological reduction in the winter semester 1923–1924. As we enter phenomenology via the reduction, Husserl explains, we may well in principle aim to set aside the viewpoint of ‘‘children of the world,’’ no longer simply following ‘‘natural knowledge in all its dogmatic and natural forms’’; but there can also be ‘‘a transcendental naïveté— parallel to natural naïveté—which, however, now receives a special meaning. . . . What is naive in this second sense is . . . the cognition carried out on the basis of transcendental subjectivity, so long as this cognition too is not submit-

7. U-IV 44 (EFM 1). 8. Normally Fink puts comments of his own in brackets in his notes of Husserl’s courses. That no brackets are found here is an indication that the text is meant to give the gist of what Husserl had said. 9. It comes immediately after, though separated from, a quotation—a comment in quotation marks, and presumably Husserl’s: ‘‘Formulation: epoché = ‘to make no use of any experience as it is effected naturally.’ ’’

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ted to an apodictic critique. . . .’’∞≠ Husserl is clearer yet in a working manuscript on this same issue from approximately the same time. He points out how one can only proceed by systematically describing essentials ‘‘in accord with a naive evidentness, an evidentness straightforwardly taken . . . and then, by overhauling and reflecting’’ on what has been done, one has ‘‘to make sure the extent to which undisclosed presuppositions lie in the way those straightforward descriptions proceeded, the extent to which their disclosure leads to new subjective descriptive findings through which the import of those descriptions can be clarified and circumscribed.’’ ‘‘Transcendental subjectivity,’’ in attempting to know itself thematically, ‘‘has to bear within itself the system whereby, beginning in naive description and progressing systematically, it has to get necessarily to that kind of description in which all naïveté is removed.’’ This, then, requires ‘‘the critique of its own procedure,’’ ‘‘its justification through practice at the same time that its import is circumscribed,’’ and finally ‘‘an all-inclusive description of the systematic sequence of levels’’ in which the naïveté has to be countered in ‘‘descriptions of a higher kind’’ that determine ‘‘the range of import’’ of those various levels. In other words—and Husserl frames the point in terms of the paradigm theme of the ‘‘pure ego’’—there is (1) the phenomenology of the pure ego that is ‘‘naive and straightforward,’’ and then there is (2) the ‘‘reflective phenomenology on a higher level’’: ‘‘the theory and critique of phenomenological reason (critique of the phenomenologizing I) or of phenomenological method, or a critique of phenomenological evidentness.’’∞∞ Here we see the principle of phenomenology’s self-critique presented and exemplified in general terms, without much detailing of the methodological issues or of specific application. However, while methodological declarations of the principle like this on Husserl’s part are a regular feature of his work, actually working out the ‘‘theory and critique of phenomenological reason’’ remains undone in Husserl’s own writings, published or unpublished. The first explicit treatment of this sort of thing is in fact the one Fink eventually wrote, namely, the ‘‘Sixth Cartesian Meditation: The Idea of a Transcendental Theory 10. Hua VIII, pp. 169–71, emphasis Husserl’s. This course (1923–1924) was taught before Fink came to Freiburg, but Landgrebe had made a transcription of it by the summer of 1924. (See ‘‘Textkritische Anmerkungen,’’ Hua VIII, p. 511.) Eventually Fink read this text (along with all of Husserl’s manuscript writings), but perhaps not this early. Boehm reports that Husserl did not make it available to anyone (‘‘Einleitung,’’ p. xii). Nevertheless, by the time Fink wrote his dissertation he had very likely read this text, and others. The point is, however, that the principle of critical return was already well in place in Husserl’s program. 11. Hua VIII, pp. 477–78, emphasis all Husserl’s.


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of Method’’ (VI.CM/1). That an explicit elaboration of the ‘‘critique of phenomenological reason’’ and of ‘‘the phenomenologizing I’’ only gets done in 1932, and not by Husserl, manifestly does not mean that its necessity was a new need. Fink’s whole entry into phenomenology was conditioned by the press of this necessity, a necessity that became all the more urgent as Husserl in his final years realized he had to bring phenomenology to culminating integration and full philosophical coherence. What the present book is meant to document and demonstrate is the extent of the contribution to that end that Fink made within Husserl’s phenomenology, a contribution without which it would in fact be the vast assemblage of fragments it too often seems to be. Regarding the need for methodological critique, the material of Husserl’s I have just been summarizing shows one necessary and common feature in the way we reach this awareness. In lectures on the phenomenological reduction Husserl gets to the point about the need for a critique of initial naïveté only near the very end of the course, in the fifty-third of fifty-four lectures. A lot of investigative, conceptual, and expository work first has to be done before the significance of methodological critique can be realized, in a sequence that Husserl regularly follows. For example, in Formal and Transcendental Logic (which in fact was being written very close in time to Fink’s note in Husserl’s seminar, cited above), it is in the very last section, just before a brief ‘‘Conclusion,’’ that Husserl mentions the need for ‘‘a criticism of those evidences that phenomenology at the first, and still naive, level carries on straightforwardly.’’∞≤ Or again, when, six months later in the spring of 1929, Husserl was finishing his first revision of the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations,’’ he wrote of the stage of phenomenological self-criticism in two sections, in §13 of the ‘‘Second Meditation’’ and in §63 of the ‘‘Conclusion,’’ making clear each time that this self-criticism is distinct from the work of straightforward investigation, which the ‘‘Meditations’’ are presenting and which has to be done first. Yet it is with ‘‘the criticism of transcendental experience’’ and of ‘‘all transcendental cognition’’ that phenomenology would finally become ‘‘philosophical in the full sense,’’ a character that the investigating stage does not yet possess (§13). Fink builds in the awareness of the dimension of self-critique as an explicit feature of phenomenology from the beginning. His dissertation opens with an explicit and concise discussion of various dimensions of the retrospective critique that the procedures and findings of initial phenomenological analysis and description must ultimately undergo. He thus serves explicit notice that the detail-work, which phenomenological studies such as those that his book is about to provide, needs to be seen as necessarily preliminary until the second 12. FTL, §107c.

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stage of further inquiry and critical reinterpretation is performed; and this caution has to be in force from the beginning, or else the descriptions and analyses offered are likely to be taken as final and doctrinaire when they cannot be. But that next-level investigation and reinterpretation had not yet been done when the dissertation was submitted for the degree and for publication; in the form in which he presented it, it remained explicitly preliminary in character. It would be, then, in the work yet to come that the post-preliminary stage of phenomenological self-critique and reinterpretation would be accomplished. Still, Fink makes a number of critique elements very clear in the ‘‘Introduction’’ to the dissertation. First, while he presents the reduction in the basic form in which it was introduced in Husserl’s Ideas I, nevertheless, his treatment of it in this ‘‘Introduction’’ is based as much on more recent materials of Husserl’s on the reduction, specifically Formal and Transcendental Logic, Husserl’s lectures, and unpublished manuscripts on ‘‘the phenomenology of the phenomenological reduction.’’∞≥ Moreover, Fink’s ‘‘Introduction’’ does not just give a general statement of these demands. The six paragraphs of his explanation amount to a quite comprehensive though summary interpretive theory of the phenomenological reduction, in which specific interrelated aspects of next-stage work are indicated. For example, in the next to last paragraph Fink picks up the very points that Husserl expresses in the text referred to from Erste Philosophie II (Hua VIII). ‘‘Phenomenological analysis is preliminary,’’ he writes; it is always carried out on a particular level under the application of the reduction. The eidetic determinations that it yields always have ‘‘limits to their relevance,’’ always have a particular ‘‘range of import.’’ Their at first hidden anonymous horizon of validity and range of import only become clear in a ‘‘transcendental self-critique’’; the ‘‘phenomenological naïveté of simple description’’ is ‘‘critically relativized by reflection on that encompassing horizon.’’ This ‘‘relativity and essential preliminariness’’ makes phenomenological analysis an individual investigation that is ‘‘always onesided.’’∞∂ Fink, however, does not leave the relativity of a particular investigation merely stated in general; he shows explicitly what this relativity is in the title themes of the dissertation itself, namely, in regard to ‘‘presentification’’ and ‘‘image.’’ There are two overarching elements Fink explicitly mentions in which one sees this relativity affecting the work: (1) the status of the distinction between noesis and noema, and (2) temporality. Regarding the first: Phenomenology in 13. VB/I, p. 10, note 1. Fink does not specify which manuscripts, but we may presume they are at least some of those in Hua VIII. 14. VB/I, p. 16. See also pp. 13–14.


Phenomenology Beyond the Preliminary

its classic presentation in Ideas I takes its clues, its starting points for investigation, from objects, that is, from already finished and given unities of intentional focus. Husserl’s initial findings, then, are formulated in terms precisely of the distinction basic to the presentation of an object, the noetic-noematic distinction. This is also the approach that would govern the way one starts to inquire into ‘‘presentification’’ and ‘‘image,’’ namely, by specifying the noetically determined noematic character that objects respectively have when ‘‘presentified’’ or when ‘‘imagic.’’ But Fink then asks: ‘‘With the transformation of the world into noematic phenomenon is the guarantee already secured that the noematic objective senses to which all constitutive clarification is oriented are already suitably determined?’’ And he answers, ‘‘Clearly not.’’∞∑ The orientation to objects that typifies phenomenology’s beginning has been drawn from the base in naive, pre-reduction experience as that base is represented in the tradition-given epistemological schema of subject-object. But making use of the concept of noema because one’s study begins by focusing on objects, and thereby laying out the field of phenomenological description in terms of objects as noematic, do not ipso facto already make clear what the condition of being noematic really means. A further stage of one kind or another is needed to investigate the constitutive sense of the noematic as such. Until then, the noetic-noematic study of ‘‘presentification’’ and ‘‘image’’ will remain preliminary. (Thus, part of Fink’s treatment of ‘‘image’’ was eventually to take up, at least in some measure, this question of noematic sense, but this had not yet been done.)∞∏ Temporality figures into the study of any phenomena of conscious life, such as presentification and image, by virtue of the fact that all such phenomena transpire in time. But presentification in particular involves temporality more deeply as well; it is temporal as trading in temporality, so to speak. It makes present what no longer really is; it presents what once was, what is yet to be, or what only may be. Unless temporality, then, is itself clarified, the dissertation study of presentification must remain preliminary. And, indeed, in a comprehensive analysis of constitution, the status of presentification turns out to be simply that of a starting point for the investigation that would go beyond it. So it is that Fink’s dissertation was originally to include a second part that would deal specifically with temporality, that would provide a ‘‘constitutive-temporal interpretation of presentification and image.’’∞π But, again, this part had not been worked out by the time the dissertation was submitted for the degree. 15. VB/I, pp. 17–18. See also Fink’s remarks on ‘‘noematization’’ on pp. 12–13. 16. See VB/I, p. 18. 17. VB/I, p. 19.

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Astonishingly, the idea of this kind of critical questioning on Fink’s part came even earlier, in the competition essay completed in February 1928, the basis for the dissertation, and for very much the same basic reasons.∞∫ Already in that essay Fink had a clear grasp of the fact that he had to go beyond the limitation in individual studies and reach for an understanding of time, the level of reduction that yields ‘‘the horizon of all possible clarification of the constitutive function of presentification.’’ At that level too he would have to work out ‘‘a final methodically integral understanding,’’ only possible ‘‘in the framework of an all-encompassing phenomenology,’’ in an integration of all previous work in ‘‘structures of totality’’ whereby ‘‘systematic sense and significance’’ could be ascertained.∞Ω Without this the essay would be simply preliminary, and since he never got to the third part that was to undertake it, the essay remained preliminary.≤≠ These systematic and methodological points come at the end of the introductory remarks that preface Fink’s essay, but they also express an idea that had not long before been impressed in Fink’s mind by none other than Husserl himself.

2.2. Issues That Force the Move Beyond Preliminaries: 1927– 1928 On December 1, 1927, in his fourth semester of courses with Husserl at Freiburg—in the midst of preparation for writing the competition essay— Fink went to see Husserl with two questions that deal with the very issues that he highlighted in order to circumscribe the preliminariness of his dissertation. The first question Fink asked Husserl concerned the methodological status of the noema-noesis correlation: whether there were limits to its appropriateness in phenomenological analysis; and the second question asked directly about temporality. Actually Fink’s concern was the same in both questions, namely, the manner in which ultimate constituting process ought to be approached for analysis; for this was the level of inquiry that would reveal to the fullest how all hitherto positive descriptive findings had to be qualified as preliminary, and would therefore provide the basis for determining the final meaning of what those same findings had yielded. We shall leave Fink’s first question of Husserl aside for the moment and take 18. ‘‘Beiträge zu einer phänomenologischen Analyse der psychischen Phänomene, die unter den vieldeutigen Ausdrücken: ‘sich denken, als ob,’ ‘such nur etwas vorstellen,’ ‘phantasieren’ befasst werden,’’ i.e., Fink’s ‘‘Preisschrift,’’ EFM 1, Z-I, Beil. I, §2. 19. ‘‘Beiträge . . . ,’’ p. 11. 20. In fact, only the first of three parts of its original conception was done. See 1.1.


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up the second question, about temporality, which, we recall, Fink included in the plan for the competition essay that he was preparing at the time he went to see Husserl. Husserl had already made clear in Ideas I that ultimate constituting process begins to be touched upon when flowing lived experience itself is analyzed as temporalization (§81). The problem is that certain features of the temporal flow of consciousness as we humans experience it do not seem readily applicable to that which is supposed to be the originating process itself, that originating temporality whose constituting action structures human experience itself as a phenomenon within the world. Fink asks Husserl: ‘‘Does the pure stream of lived experience [Erlebnisstrom] have a beginning, an end? Does ‘worldly’ talk of death and birth coincide with the problem of the beginning and end of transcendental time-consciousness?’’ Husserl replies (‘‘very cautiously,’’ Fink notes!) that ‘‘self-constituting temporality cannot begin and cannot end. More than that one cannot easily say.’’ Here, in Husserl’s reply, one sees how various lines of phenomenological investigation come to be mutually related. In particular, Husserl continues, here one has to ask: ‘‘Is the stream of egological lived experience as such to be taken up for consideration wholly independently from transcendental intersubjectivity, must not the basic ‘genetic’ aporias be investigated in connection with the all-encompassing structures of totality?’’≤∞ To see what is involved here, the following consideration will help, drawn from Fink’s own reflections in notes on the point from that same period. Suppose we analyze ultimate constituting temporality in terms of the primary features of the humanly experienced streaming of lived experience. In the structuring of the flow in terms of past, present, and future, items of definiteness and identity shift their presence-value from ‘‘not yet’’ to ‘‘now’’ to ‘‘no longer.’’ In the course of this, however, and against the direction of the flow, one can always re-present some item that has moved into the ‘‘no longer,’’ the action Fink, after Husserl, calls ‘‘presentification’’ (Vergegenwärtigung); and one can do this again and again, on items farther and farther back in the ‘‘no longer.’’ Human consciousness, however, cannot thus go on forever with this ‘‘iterability’’ of its own experience, re-presenting an endless past.≤≤ The temporal horizon within which this ‘‘iterability’’ is performed is open and without limits, but the items thus repeatable within it are not, that is, for any individual human they compose an actual finite whole within that horizon, even if it be one that may in practice be impossible to determine specifically. 21. Z-I 24a. EFM 1. 22. See the note in Z-I 167a (EFM 1) about what a ‘‘first perception’’ or a ‘‘first fantasy’’ might be.

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To conceive of ultimate constituting temporality as having a beginning or end would mean conceiving it as within that horizon of repeatability, whereas it is the process of origination for that horizon of repeatability. On the other hand, to conceive of temporality as a repeatability having no beginning and no end is no less to consider it precisely in terms of that same horizon, only this time with the addition of a second difficulty, namely, considering it as if it composed an actual sequential whole that was infinite. Neither of these options is legitimate. Regarding the whole issue, therefore, Fink remarks: ‘‘Husserl rightly says, the pure stream of lived experience cannot begin and end, but this has transcendentally a quite different meaning from that of an objectively infinite stretch of time.’’≤≥ What meaning, then, does it have to say that this ‘‘pure stream of lived experience’’ cannot ‘‘begin and end’’? What meaning does ‘‘totality’’ have for this ‘‘pure stream’’? Husserl’s reply to the question Fink asked him in the December meeting gives little hint; but in the note just quoted, from not too long after that meeting, Fink adds a most telling parenthesis to the sentence just cited, indicating the understanding of it that he himself follows. He writes: ‘‘The connection with the Kantian doctrine of the antinomies is something that we cannot here show.’’ The Kantian factor in phenomenology, and in Fink’s thinking, will be a continual theme in the present study, as will the whole methodological issue of determining the nature of the fundamental horizons of experience and consciousness. We are already forewarned, however, that one has to be very clear-sighted regarding the extent to which recourse to the concept of totality may inadvertently subsume reflection on the stream of constituting subjectivity into a framework appropriate only for the stream of human lived experience in its specifically intraworldly constituted character.

2.3. The Nature of Husserl’s System It was clearly an advantage for Fink to begin his study of phenomenology when it was far enough along for the dimension of self-critique to be both amply demonstrated in Husserl’s practice and clearly announced at strategic places. Yet it was not only Husserl who stated the principle, nor was Fink the 23. Z-I 64a–b, EFM 1. See also Z-I 123a (also CM6, pp. 61–62) and Z-VI 30a–b (also in EFM 1). Fink’s considerations here are direct background to the approach he takes in his revision of Husserl’s ‘‘Fifth Cartesian Meditation,’’ in CM.VI/2, pp. 239–75. On the mortality of the empirical, the mundane I in contrast to the irrelevance of death for the transcendental I, see one example of Husserl’s treatment in Hua XI, Beil. VIII, section 10, pp. 377–81.


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only one who, learning phenomenology from Husserl, recognized the essential place of self-critique within it. Heidegger too grasped the import of this methodological issue, and he brought it explicitly into the foreground in the book that helped place him in the very chair that Husserl had made famous in phenomenology. Being and Time was published in early 1927, and Fink read it in the summer of that same year.≤∂ There can be no doubt that in this seminal work, which Fink at this point had every reason to consider a contribution to phenomenology’s program, he grasped the significance of Heidegger’s methodological discussions in §2, §7, §32, §45, and especially §61 and §63. Set in the midst of what was itself a manifest reorienting of phenomenology, these paragraphs indicated the way of doing phenomenology was a redoing of it, that is, that it progressed by reworking fundamental findings in view of the openings to more radical meaning that critical notice of presuppositional conceptuality could disclose against the latter’s occlusion. Normally these paragraphs in Being and Time are read as initiating something quite new, a ‘‘hermeneutic’’ phenomenology in contradistinction to the directly intuitive Husserlian kind. But the matter is not so simple as that. The distinctive focus that Being and Time takes for its phenomenology puts a special stamp on its method, or, one could also say, on its adaptation of Husserlian method. To begin with, the character of the method as Heidegger presents its structure is directly dependent upon the unique status of the meaning of being, as the opening paragraph, §1, forcefully announces. ‘‘Being’’ as such cannot in principle be set within the parameters of entitative determination, so that determination by genus and definition cannot characterize the conceptuality for ‘‘being’’ as such. The strategy of Being and Time, then, is to approach the meaning of being as such by way of an explication of the structure of one particular kind of being, namely, that being named ‘‘Dasein,’’ but it must be the explication of the structure of precisely this being’s being, not of the specifics of its entitative property determinations. But to explicate the being [das Sein] of Dasein means to explicate its ‘‘ways’’ of being rather than its constituent ‘‘whats,’’ that is, its ‘‘So-sein’’ rather than its entitative property determinations. The ‘‘essence’’ of this being, its ‘‘Was-sein,’’ must be conceived of precisely in terms primarily of its ‘‘Sein’’—and, Heidegger remarks in caution, ‘‘insofar as one can speak of it at all.’’≤∑ What is unusual, then, is that the ‘‘ways’’ of being of Dasein will have to be positive determinations, yet not categories of property content; they must remain—as much as possible— structural particularities of this being’s being and therefore, since this be24. See the last paragraph before 1.2. 25. SZ, p. 42, my emphasis; translation that of BT-st.

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ing’s being receives the technical designation ‘‘existence’’ [Existenz], they are termed ‘‘existentials.’’ The ‘‘existential’’ articulation of the ‘‘So-’’ of this being’s being accordingly displaces any ‘‘Was-’’ that might pertain to it, even if the positive structural determinations of ‘‘So-sein’’ mimic the way ‘‘Was-sein’’ is conceptually articulated (e.g., analogously to a pattern of the more general— ‘‘genus’’: existential—and the more specific—‘‘species’’: being-in). The effect of all this is, now, that these ‘‘existential’’ conceptual determinations remain strictly formal, i.e., determinations of ‘‘form-ways’’ of being, not of property ‘‘whats.’’ Later (in chapter 7, in particular 7.2.1) we shall see more specifically what requires them to remain ‘‘formal.’’ This gives a special relevance to Heidegger’s characterization of the method followed in Being and Time as determined by Dasein’s ‘‘hermeneutical situation.’’ Lodged within this situation itself, an investigation of the sort that Being and Time is—that is, inasmuch as it is phenomenological—can only begin if it can set some determination of what is to be investigated, with some anticipation of the special way the investigandum will be inquired into. But this means that the conceptualization of that which is to be investigated cannot be considered already to settle definitively what the investigation is supposed to yield as results. That investigation-guiding conceptualization can instead only ‘‘indicate’’ the investigandum in a ‘‘formal’’ way. Normally this feature of anticipatory specification that the investigation itself, as it proceeds, ‘‘explicates’’ by and in its findings is what expositors focus on, although it tends to be put as the way the findings give further ‘‘interpretation’’ to what is already firmly in hand. But this way of understanding it fails to take seriously the import of designating the anticipatory conceptualization as ‘‘formal ’’ and as an ‘‘indication,’’ as if, rather than suggesting the minimum of material determination needed for the guidance of the investigation, ‘‘formal indication’’ has already done the job of providing the perhaps sketchy but nonetheless true determination in its essentials—in seeming disregard of the way the ‘‘explication’’ will certainly not have been accomplished in a single trajectory of inquiry moving directly and with little complication from anticipation to final investigational results.≤∏ To understand ‘‘formal indication’’ as in fact a feature of genuine investigation, by which investigation the ‘‘thing itself’’ [die Sache selbst] under 26. Heidegger’s inquiry into the ontological structure of Dasein certainly did not get done in one go, as the lecture courses preceding the publication of Being and Time demonstrate. See Theodore Kisiel, The Genesis of Heidegger’s Being and Time (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993). ‘‘His method is that of continual overhauling,’’ writes Fink of Heidegger in late 1928 or early 1929 (U-IV 49; EFM 1).


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investigation comes to its explication, to its Auslegung, has two effects. On the one hand it brings Heidegger’s conception of ‘‘formal indication’’ into methodological parallel to Husserl’s self-critical return of investigation upon the matters already designated for looking into or already inquired into to some extent; that is, it is parallel in form and function to Husserl’s zigzag move, especially when this zigzag is revalued in its pattern by Husserl’s realization of the manifold ‘‘levels’’ on which specific matters can be investigated. On the other hand—and quite other than in Husserl’s handling—the above understanding of ‘‘formal indication’’ allows compatibility with the unusual character of conceptualization when it is being that is to be articulated in differentiating determinacy or, more specifically, when it is ‘‘existence,’’ in Heidegger’s sense, that is to be articulated. That is, the ‘‘formal’’ character of the designations for the structures of the being of Dasein is and must remain formal precisely because of the very character of that kind of being; and if the ‘‘defining’’ of the ‘‘existentials’’ is carried on perhaps too much in the manner of the differentiation of property content, the formal character of the conceptualization will guard against the conversion of ‘‘existentials’’ into ‘‘essentials’’ of a materially entitative sort. More will have to be said about the character and function of ‘‘formal indication’’ in phenomenology, since it becomes a term that Fink admits freely into his work as designating homologously the demand for moving from a preliminary to a radically self-critical understanding in the program of phenomenological investigation. More will also have to be seen of the problematic status of inquiry into being in phenomenology and the way this changes everything. For all this see chapter 7 (7.1–7.2.1, and The point now is to recognize that Fink saw Heidegger’s work as opening dimensions of selfcritique that methodologically were solidly legitimate for phenomenology even if, and even precisely in that, they moved beyond the measure of selfcritique that Husserl deemed sufficient. In a word, Fink’s learning of phenomenology’s program found self-questioning and self-critique as integral to the work of investigation, and his own early practice in phenomenology was a persistent questioning and critique. Thus it was that everything led to Fink’s having to see that at the very core of phenomenology was its operating in this ‘‘circle’’ of anticipatory conceptual guidance, material inquiry, and self-critical return upon the whole enterprise, upon initiating conceptual guides and anticipations as well as upon actual investigations and their many-leveled results. This return and critique is also what we see already in his notebooks from the time of the prize essay and the dissertation; yet it was in the course of working on the Bernau editing that he came to formulate the conception of that practice as key to the kind of system Husserl’s phenomenology was.

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Fink understood that he could not simply attend to the analyzed particulars of these Husserl manuscripts; they could only be explicated within the methodology of progression intrinsic to phenomenology, namely, within the dynamic of theme-particularity and totality-structures, the dynamic of preliminariness and second-level interpretive critique. It was this that governed any proper conception of how what phenomenology was achieving had a systematic structure. Husserl frequently spoke of the ‘‘systematic’’ character of phenomenological work (as, for example, in the long passage from the 1923– 1924 lectures quoted earlier),≤π but the sense of this for him remained fairly general in meaning more or less orderly completeness without any connotation of rigid determinacy among components.≤∫ Fink discerned, however, the more specific, distinctive functional sense in which phenomenology was ‘‘systematic,’’ and he sketched out ways of expressing this as essential to introducing the edition in which Husserl’s most radical and fundamental investigations were to be presented, those on time-consciousness and temporality. The two note-texts that express this merit citation in full: ‘‘With Husserl, his system grows out of the individual analyses. The paradoxical situation, that the concreteness of phenomenological philosophy lies in the manuscripts, which, however, first make possible the general systematic projections. On the other hand, it is only in the light of these projections that the more comprehensive relevance of the analyses can be seen. These systematic anticipatory perspectives guided things for Husserl. Work done following them sees itself referred to presentations of universal scope.’’≤Ω From the same set of notes, here is the same thing said again in a slightly different way: ‘‘The peculiarity of Edmund Husserl’s way of working is that all systematic projections are not constructions that precede concrete investigations, rather they develop in the analyses. But that filled-out analyses are made possible also results in the systematic projected design being broken open again, to gain thereby the characteristic of mobility. This is a fundamental characteristic of phenomenology—despite all its rigor [it is an] open system.’’≥≠ There are many ways in 27. Hua VIII, pp. 477–78. 28. See, for example, his remark to Paul Natorp, February 1, 1922, where he speaks of ‘‘the universal systematic ideas that are called for by all my detailed investigations,’’ in Bw V, pp. 151–52. See also Fink’s compact representation given in one of his tutorials for Van Breda in 1939 and 1940, Z-XXX LVI/7a (EFM 4). One of the main features of the system concept Husserl developed is the distinction of levels of analysis on the one hand, and stages of advance in analysis on a particular level on the other (see §, especially the last pages). 29. B-I 40a, EFM 2, Abschn. 2. The syntactic incompleteness of the second sentence is not untypical of Fink’s notes. 30. B-I 22a, emphasis Fink’s, insertion in brackets mine. In more general expression,


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which Husserl’s phenomenology was essentially a system of dynamic return and self-critical reconceptualization. While these will be shown at various points in the present study, a summary indication would be helpful here. On the one hand, the demand for recourse to ‘‘matters themselves’’ is itself the demand that the naïveté of pre-reduction conceptions and stances be neutralized and set out of action. On the other hand, the explication of matters themselves has to be kept in integral relationship with the context or ‘‘horizon’’ within which they maintained their validity. There are, then, a number of ways in which overarching designations—‘‘systematic projections,’’ as Fink puts it in the above quotations, or higher descriptions that Husserl speaks of in the Erste Philosophie text cited earlier≥∞ —have to be specifically considered in the articulation and interpretation of matters themselves. One is the way that a given general thematic designation could have a different sense depending upon the level of presupposition-correction that is in action in a given discussion; and investigations could differ considerably in how radical each was in this regard. Another is the extent to which the reductive move to constitutive origins approaches—or reaches—the level of ultimate constitutive process. (Here it is only with temporality that the ‘‘ultimate’’ would be reached.) Yet another is the way in which phenomena have to be treated in terms of totalities in which they are constitutively integrated, one example of which is expressed in the 1927 discussion Fink had with Husserl where the question of a beginning and end for an individual human life necessitates bringing in intersubjectivity. Finally, there is the matter of the specific critique of the nature and character of cognitive operations as transcendental phenomenological reason and science. Significant in this regard is the fact that the very first piece of draft writing that Fink produced for Husserl was the 1930 outline for Husserl’s ‘‘System of Phenomenological Philosophy’’ (see 1.3). The occasion for this may have been a conjunction of circumstances to which a response was needed (see the final pages of 1.2), but in its essential legitimacy it was the detailing of the working of the dynamic that instituted and governed phenomenology as a distinctive investigative program. Here we see laid out the various stages and levels of inquiry and findings in an outline of how they integrate in critique and reinterpretive radicalization. Accordingly, what Fink offers to our reading of Husserl’s phenomenology is not a plan of additions onto Husserl’s findings and see also CM6, pp. 7–8. See the statement of the ‘‘zigzag’’ principle in Crisis, §9 l, p. 58 (Hua VI, p. 59), there regarding the relation of origin to sense-tradition but striking in its analogy to the present point. 31. Hua VIII, p. 478. See 2.1.

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views that come from the outside but contributions organically developed in principle within the methodological systematics of phenomenology itself. The character of our study is also therefore set. It is not a matter of comparing and synthesizing, of cutting and pasting elements from the ‘‘opinions’’ held by different individuals in order to produce some kind of comprehensive ‘‘phenomenological doctrine.’’ Neither will some individual—Husserl or Fink, or Heidegger—be sanctioned as privileged in access to ‘‘the truth.’’ What we shall be doing is instead to follow the way in which the dynamic process of the ‘‘system’’ of phenomenology was working in and as the collaboration that Fink was doing with Husserl, precisely as the endeavor to aim at ‘‘die Sachen selbst’’ so as to bring them to fullest explication, beyond the limitations of any pregiven or adopted framing, whether of tradition-given conceptuality or of an individual’s capacities and mental schemata and perspective. In other words, we shall be following the working of the ‘‘system’’ itself in the main writings at hand (Husserl’s and Fink’s); here we shall find the individual philosopher de-absolutized as a font of truth, even while we attend to the living action of philosophizing and phenomenologizing, which, paradoxically, will be actual only and always in and as a particular philosopher’s thinking. It is in this sense that, before this study is over, we may find that phenomenology may systematically have to go farther than Husserl, or even develop differences from Husserl’s assertions, and yet still belong to the phenomenology that Husserl founded. The integrated activation of the critique dimension necessary to phenomenology’s working within Fink’s early study and writing has already been introduced in the context of discussion with Husserl (2.2 above). It is time to return to this and to take up the matter of the other question Fink posed to Husserl, namely, regarding the methodological status of the noema-noesis correlation.

2.4. The Question of Time and the Question of the Subject: Pushing Noematization to the Limits On that first day of December 1927, the first question Fink put to Husserl was whether the phenomenological structural analogue to the subjectobject relation, namely, the noesis-noema correlation, was one restricted to the entry-level analysis found in Ideas I, or one to be found at all levels, including the deepest, namely, the level of the ‘‘proto-impression’’ (Urimpression). Husserl answered: ‘‘The parallel is one found absolutely throughout, and is properly the parallel between constituting manifold and constituted unity, which on its side functions as a moment of a constituting manifold.’’ He then pointed out that, of course, in Ideas I the ‘‘whole deeper lying constitution that


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goes under the title ‘temporality’ ’’ did not get considered. Nevertheless, despite the fact that, when one would consider it, the noetic-noematic situation would have to be somewhat qualified for that level, which Husserl went on to explain, there is still an issue here regarding accession to the ‘‘deeper lying level’’ that was not addressed in Husserl’s reply.≥≤ At that level, in our attempt to explicate ultimate temporality, necessarily conducted on the basis of our experience of the time of our own human consciousness, the elements of time are represented to us not in their actual flow but ‘‘through retention, through objectification’’; and reflection upon thus ‘‘retained/objectified’’ elements of temporal flow is carried on in noetic-noematic form. What we thematically know and analyze may necessarily be set into this schema by our reflection upon it; but the question is whether the elements as themselves, in their integral native flow as ultimate temporality, function and relate structurally according to that schema. The question is whether the way temporal structures appear in reflection, and the way the coinciding identity of reflecting consciousness and lived temporal flow reflected upon is conceived and asserted, namely, in terms of noetic-noematic distinction, is ultimate. Husserl asserts that ‘‘the thoroughgoing relativism of noesis and noema cancels itself out at the ultimate level’’; but the question is, is it the relativism of the schema—i.e., the subordination involved in the distinction of the two poles, one determining, the other determined—that is canceled out, or the schema of distinction itself that must be annulled? This question Fink did not pose to Husserl in his discussion with him, but Fink’s work shows that he took it with full seriousness as something that needed to be pursued; it did not stand as something already settled. We have seen this indicated in the ‘‘Introduction’’ to the dissertation,≥≥ but in his notes Fink makes the point far more explicitly: ‘‘What are the intentions of the dissertation? (1) Loosening up the rigid concept of the noetic-noematic correlation. (2) Determining the kind of being transcendental consciousness has. (3) Struggle against rationalism. Not reason, but time is the essence of human being [des menschlichen Daseins]. Further, the struggle against the presentialism of Husserl’s analytic of time.’’≥∂ Each point is the requestioning of an element that possesses a paradigm constancy in Husserl’s work but which now, in the analysis of temporality, needs to be reconsidered in its validity as perhaps not quite 32. Z-I 23a–24a, EFM 1. See Z-I 16a, a brief reflection of Fink’s on this same topic. 33. See the reference near the end of 2.1 to VB/I, pp. 17–18. 34. Z-I 92a–b, EFM 1. See also Z-I 155a and Z-VI 40a on the ‘‘the pure stream of lived experience’’ as that in terms of which to understand both ‘‘consciousness’’ and ‘‘the essence of human being.’’

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ultimate. And the issue that presses this reconsideration is this: Is the manner in which reflecting consciousness casts temporality—constitutes it—in its thematization of it, namely, in the noesis-noema schema, in principle valid as necessarily adequate to the status of temporality as ultimate constitutive process? In his notes Fink calls this thematizing cast ‘‘proto-noematization’’ [Urnoematisierung], ‘‘the way consciousness in its own special way comes about as temporal process [die eigentümliche Zeitigungsweise des Bewußtseins], whereby it constitutes its own being [Sein] for the first time and construes its own constitution as itself something existent [eine seiende].’’ Is there not reason, however, to realize that in principle ‘‘antecedent to every ontic mode of consciousness lies a non-ontic mode’’?≥∑ Is not proto-noematization a kind of construal of ultimate temporal coming-about in the form of something ontic in character, a ‘‘deeplying constitutive self-conception’’ that can be called ‘‘ontification’’?≥∏ Might it not be more correct to acknowledge that the ‘‘anonymous I is never thematized, but disclosed in a proto-noematization’’?≥π Here we see the import of taking the methodological lifeblood of Husserl’s phenomenology to be the push of counter-presuppositional radicality in the self-understanding of human consciousness in the world. Under the rubric of the reduction temporality itself has to be approached with a realization of the critical limits of the noesis-noema schema, so that the seeming heuristic primacy of a subject-object correlation becomes itself questioned both methodologically and theoretically. And this is done explicitly under the rubric of the reduction, as the ‘‘Introduction’’ to Fink’s dissertation already asserts: ‘‘With this transformation of the world as sum of ontic objects into noema—what we term noematization—the phenomenological reduction is not yet exhausted, especially since the meaning of transcendental subjectivity remains completely in the dark.’’≥∫ The work of analysis enjoined by the reduction, then, requires specifically oriented effort against prematurely closing the question. Fink writes: ‘‘The reduction is not only noematization, but just as much the undoing of self-construals’’;≥Ω and while these self-construals will be first ‘‘empirical,’’ transcendental self-conceptions as well retain a naïveté. Simply working reflective regress to transcendental life is not enough; it also has to be ‘‘regress behind specific self-construals of transcendental life.’’∂≠ 35. Z-I 51a–b, EFM 1. 36. Z-I 53a. 37. Z-I 65b. Fink’s emphasis. 38. See appendix. 39. Z-IV 77a (from 1928 to 1929), EFM 1. For Selbstauffassungen here one could equally well give ‘‘self-conceptions’’ instead of ‘‘self-construals.’’ 40. Z-VI 52a (from 1929), EFM 1.


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2.5. The Question of Time and the Question of Being Before we turn to further specifics in the countering of both prephenomenological and intra-phenomenological ‘‘self-construals,’’ one more aspect of Fink’s earliest work with Husserl must be indicated. When we take the points of critique in Fink’s ‘‘Introduction’’ to his dissertation—especially, for example, on the question of the difference and identity between subjectivity as mundane and subjectivity as transcendental in §5∂∞ —and put this in the context of his notes for the dissertation work, what becomes unmistakable is the way Fink recognizes the fundamental importance of the question of being for transcendental phenomenology, in the form, namely, of the question of ‘‘the mode of being of transcendental subjectivity.’’∂≤ Here is one of the prime issues that the final section of the dissertation was to take up, ‘‘clarification in terms of the horizon of the kind of being that absolute transcendental subjectivity has.’’∂≥ In preparing his dissertation officially for the doctorate, and realizing something of the delicacy of the situation then already developing between Husserl and Heidegger (see 1.2), Fink no doubt felt the need to be diplomatic in posing the issue; for there he stood between, on the one side, the emeritus Professor Edmund Husserl, founder of phenomenology, his mentor and Referent for the dissertation, and, on the other, the Korreferent for the defense and approval of Fink’s doctoral work, Professor Martin Heidegger, successor to Husserl in the first chair of philosophy but acknowledged by all— including now Husserl himself, to his own painful disillusionment—to be in sharp disagreement with Husserl. Yet Fink had not hidden the nature of the question in his dissertation, though in his notes the issue is put with greater force and acuity, as before long it would come to be in his work for Husserl himself. What is more directly stated in Fink’s notes, however, is his having learned the place of the question of being in phenomenology from Heidegger—which does not mean at all that Fink found Heidegger to provide the answer to the question.∂∂ How that is so will become clear as we move through chapters 3 to 7. But in anticipation, since the matter comes up throughout Fink’s work here, one note will serve to characterize the overall way, already in his dissertation, that Fink proposed the issue: ‘‘In the dissertation the terminology ‘transcendental subjectivity’ is never to be used, but rather always only ‘transcendental 41. See also VB/I, p. 9. 42. Z-III 35a, EFM 1. 43. Z-I 98a, EFM 1. 44. See Z-VI 15a, which, with its continuation in Z-IV 94a, is a draft for §2 of the ‘‘Introduction’’ to the dissertation (both in EFM 1).

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subject.’ . . . What basically has to be said is this: The determination of the subjectivity of the transcendental subject is not a possible task for an ontological philosophy, since this ‘determination’ is not the working out of the kind of being of that subjectivity, but is the goal of a meontic integration. As long as subjectivity is a being, to which a specific kind of being is befitting, it [i.e., subjectivity] is nothing other than man. But man is the pregivenness of subjectivity for itself, the pregivenness that forms part of the pregiven world.’’∂∑ This is a huge and comprehensive issue, and the elements that will treat and resolve it will be introduced progressively in the chapters to come. Right now we have to turn first to some of the details concerning the way presuppositions lying in the specific ‘‘self-conceptions’’ that allow phenomenology to begin as a program are countered by the very investigations for which they serve as themesetting guides.

2.6. The Critique of Self-Conceptions To do phenomenological investigation means to reinterpret the familiar and unquestioned, to thematize the taken for granted, to transform routinely accepted appearances so that the genuine and ultimate sense of them shows through. But this means that phenomenological reflection must begin at the point in historical existence where one already is, and in the actuality of the kind of existent one already takes oneself to be. The problem then will be to see if the presuppositional construals binding this condition for beginning can be undone so that one’s reach for disclosure free of their grip can attain the fundamentals that will clarify the proper sense lying hitherto unrecognized in the way those same initial construals expressed the actuality within which one naively began. However, not only must the naive conceptions that guide everyday life be identified and countered, the naïveté of philosophical selfconception too must be recognized and overcome; and this may be the more tenacious kind of presupposition by virtue of its already exercising an action of countering taken against a first order of naïveté. The self-critical moment of phenomenology must then be a redoubled and repeated action, and this kind of continual requestioning effort is demonstrable perhaps in no better instance than in the way the very conceptions and actions of critique that founded Husserl’s transcendental turn—that is, the phenomenological reduction, introduced in that still seminal but deeply problematic work, Ideas I of 1913— themselves had to be reconsidered. It is Husserl himself who shows the need for this necessary critique and reconsideration. 45. Z-V VII/7a, emphasis all Fink’s, phrase in brackets mine (EFM 1).


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2.6.1. The Reduction Again: Husserl’s Own Critique of His Initiating Presentation of Phenomenology In the decades after Ideas I Husserl came to realize full well that someone—always I myself—reflecting phenomenologically should not suppose too quickly that I have reached the ‘‘transcendentally’’ proper when I turn reflectively upon my own consciousness as the ‘‘inner’’ stream of experiencing that is distinguishable from objects and their combination into a milieu, and that is mine alone. For even when I abstract my psychic life from its engagement intentionally with things, that life remains an entity belonging properly to the world, except that now it seems to be considered exclusively in terms of its immanence to itself, rather than as intrinsically relating to that world. Even when I exercise the phenomenological e¯ poxÆ to inhibit every ‘‘objective judgment’’ (dója), about real things as well as about my own and anyone else’s body, Husserl asks, ‘‘Does my psychic life then, and I in this life as the ego in ego cogito, remain left over?’’ And he replies to his own question: ‘‘But my pure psychic life is also still existent in the world. To perform a reduction to it would only be to abstract out within the world the stratum of the psychic. What I want to gain is rather the transcendental ‘pure’ I and I-life. Every objective apperception is to be inhibited, even that of myself as an egoic human [Ich-Mensch], as a psyche [Seele].’’∂∏ As Husserl explains, the acceptance-value [Geltung] of this very apperception of myself as a human person has to be included in the reduction. ‘‘The reduction thus signifies reduction to ‘pure’ »consciousness, come forth… from the ‘purifying’ of my humanity and in particular of my psyche, reduction to the pure something [das Reine] of the ‘psychic side’ of the object, ‘I as man,’ which holds good for me in the natural attitude.’’∂π What Husserl is concerned about in this manuscript text is that the move of regress to the ‘‘pure something’’ (eventually to be seen as the genuinely transcendental) not be taken as reduction simply to my inner self, to my private self-consciousness in its intimately felt coherence and distinctness. What Husserl is arguing to himself is that the very concept of a phenomenological ‘‘residuum,’’ so dramatically expressed in Ideas I (§49), is better avoided, as also is talk about ‘‘bracketing the world.’’ ‘‘It easily seduces one into thinking that the world henceforth falls out of thematic phenomenological concern, and that instead only ‘subjective’ acts, modes of appearance, etc., that refer to the world, would be thematic ma46. Hua VIII, pp. 432–33. The manuscript text here in Beilage XX was apparently written in 1924 as Husserl was working over his lecture text for possible publication. 47. Hua VIII, p. 433. The words in angle brackets are insertions by the editor of the text, Rudolf Boehm, in the interest of smoother intelligibility.

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terial.’’∂∫ When the reduction is rightly understood, ‘‘when all-encompassing subjectivity in its full universality, namely as transcendental, is given its rightful standing, then on the correlate side the world is found in it as rightfully existent, in all that it in truth is: an all-encompassing transcendental inquiry thus holds in its thematic embrace the world itself too, with all its true being. . . . ’’∂Ω Indeed, it is not the world in some general way that is found correlate to and within transcendental subjectivity, but rather the world as on the one hand ‘‘a unitary primordial nature,’’ nature in the ‘‘objective’’ sense, and as on the other hand including ‘‘others.’’∑≠ Working out in convincing concrete analysis the way these phenomena of nature and of fellow humans are found to be intrinsically related to ‘‘transcendental subjectivity’’ as the ‘‘cogitata’’ of an ‘‘ego cogito’’ is another thing, particularly this question of ‘‘others’’ in intersubjective community.∑∞ But that is not the issue right now. Here the issue is determining just how far I have to go in ‘‘purifying’’ my humanity and in particular my ‘‘psyche’’ [Seele] so as to get to that which, within my humanity and my egoic psychic life, is transcendentally ‘‘pure’’ in a full and radical sense. To begin with, Husserl himself emphatically recognizes that the turn of reflection upon the life of one’s own consciousness, which, put into operation under the epoché, is meant to reach the ‘‘pure’’ subjectivity at work within it, is far from being a natural action. It is rather ‘‘a wholly ‘unnatural’ attitude and a wholly unnatural consideration of oneself and of the world.’’∑≤ But just what does the ‘‘unnaturalness’’ here consist in? Is it simply a change in reflective attribution, or a ‘‘change of value,’’∑≥ so that what once was seen as actually existent in itself is now taken simply as ‘‘phenomenon’’—i.e., so that one sees the same matters differently? Or is it a change in the content and structure of that which is discerned, so that now one sees different matters in the same phenomena? Actually, it is both. By the epoché one now indeed sees all the same matters differently, as pure phenomena, but in addition—and this is the whole point of the regressive dimension of the phenomenological 48. Hua VIII, p. 432. In the main text of the lectures as well Husserl argues this same point about ‘‘bracketing’’ (Hua VIII, pp. 110–11). Even before Ideas I, Husserl was aware of how easily one could confuse phenomenological and psychological immanence, assuming the latter to be the very same as the former without more ado. See Hua XIII, p. 154. 49. Hua VIII, p. 432. 50. Hua VIII, pp. 436ff. The parallel here to Ideas I §29 is obvious. 51. The massive collection of texts in Hua XIII, XIV, and XV attests to this. 52. Hua VIII, p. 121. 53. Ideas I (Hua 3/1), §31, p. 59.


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project, of the ‘‘re-duction’’—one also now has the aim of accounting for that phenomenality in its coherence and continuity by investigating the processes of intentional constitution that produce it; and these processes will be matters quite different from anything hitherto encountered in ordinary experience.∑∂ The ‘‘unnaturalness,’’ therefore, is both in the stance taken and in the positive discoveries made within that stance. In one way, however, the positive discoveries made are not entirely ‘‘unnatural.’’ In contrast to the kinds of things one encounters as objects in the surrounding world of physical nature, the phenomena of one’s psychic life are themselves already recognized to be different;∑∑ they are nonphysical ‘‘immanent’’ phenomena, namely, movements of mind and will and feeling, and especially of self-awareness. We know ourselves in terms of a rich set of names for such immanent phenomena; and when phenomenological investigation wishes to analyze the processes of intentional constitution, in order ultimately to disclose transcendental originative processes, naturally it is with this whole rich set of names for these familiar psychic experiences that it begins, else it could not begin at all. It is here, now, that the next stage of critical reinvestigation is under way, that is, where the phenomenology of the 1920s was redoing beginnings beyond the preliminariness of first treatment and formulation. And this is where Fink enters the work of phenomenological requestioning.

2.6.2. The Critique of Conceptual Schemata for ‘‘Transcendental Subjectivity’’: Reconsideration by Fink As has already been indicated in representing Fink’s dissertation work, two issues stand in the foreground for critically determining the proper framework for the phenomenological effort to disclose the transcendentally ‘‘pure’’ ultimate of constitutive action. The first of these is to reconsider whether the 54. That the matters to be found are themselves different Husserl makes clear in the pages that follow the quote just given, viz., Hua VIII, pp. 121–24. He says, for example, that ‘‘the phenomenological analysis towards which one sets out is not in any way at all an analogue to an objective thing-oriented analysis,’’ and that the subjectivity to be found is ‘‘something absolutely unique, which can in no way have its like in the world of nonegoic objects, and we rise to the realization that in fact a phenomenological analysis has, both in method and in content, a totally different sense from natural-objective analyses of natural matters’’ (p. 124). 55. In Hua VIII, therefore, Husserl shifts from a conception of the reduction as a move of disengagement from the study of objects to a conception of the reduction as a move that transforms psychological self-study (pp. 126ff.)

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basic epistemological schema of subject and object is or is not proper to phenomenology’s post-preliminary analytic aim, the second is to grasp the way the question of being focuses the explication of the ultimate phenomenological meaning of ‘‘transcendental’’ constituting ‘‘subjectivity.’’ As background to this, however, we have to take note of the full accord on Fink’s part with Husserl’s critique of the ‘‘residuum’’ proposal in Ideas I of 1913. This is exemplified, for example, in several instances in Fink’s work after his completion of the dissertation (in December 1929) owing to his now increased involvement in Husserl’s own labors. The first of these, coming in December 1930 after he had completed the ‘‘Layout’’ and during the very same weeks in which he was working out a full-scale treatment of the first section of the massive new plan (see 1.3),∑∏ was Fink’s private instruction to several Japanese philosophers who had come to Freiburg to study with Husserl. Fink’s notes for this tutorial give a concise representation of the overview he had on Husserl’s phenomenology precisely at this time of reorientation in Husserl’s thinking, namely, regarding the need for a full-scale systematic presentation of his phenomenology either as an entirely new work or as a wholesale revision of the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations.’’∑π One of the main orientation points in the retrospective portion of this instruction is that the first stage of introduction to phenomenology, represented above all by Ideas I, holds the danger of being taken absolutely instead of as an early, initiating step in the whole program of inquiry. Fink explains that what is gained ‘‘by the first step of the reduction’’ is to take the world ‘‘as noematic correlate, namely, as the objective world.’’ This in turn ‘‘determines the concept of egology: the world as world-phenomenon is the world for me. The world-phenomenon is the phenomenon of the objective (universally holding) world. The analytic of egology does not take into regard the internal structural reference of the world-phenomenon.’’∑∫ Fink emphasizes that the entire correlation, I-world, as laid out in Ideas I (and other writings of Husserl’s, including Formal and Transcendental Logic and Cartesian Meditations), can be (and has been) prematurely taken as the definitive representation of what results from applying the phenomenological epoché, rather than as simply preliminary and introductory. What is particularly dangerous is that this first presentation of the epoché allows one to interpret it as applying mainly—or even exclusively!—to the ‘‘object-side’’ of the correlation in question, viz., that of subject-object, 56. VI.CM/2, pp. 10–105. 57. Z-VII XVI/1–5 (EFM 2), also in EF/CM-HS, pp. 105–10. 58. Z-VII XVI/2a.


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of experiencer-experienced, of immanence-transcendence, so that, with the epoché not being so explicitly applied to the ‘‘subject-side,’’ one can conclude too quickly that one has reached the ‘‘pure’’ immanence to which constitutive action may be attributed without more ado. But not only must the epoché be applied with equal rigor to both ‘‘sides’’ but in addition the object focus of the conception of the epoché’s efficacity and application must be seen as a limitation; for this object-focused conception overlooks both the internal structure of the world as such (beyond the terms set for it by the structural conditions of the noematic object correlating to a noetic subject) and the internal structure of ‘‘subjectivity’’ precisely as constituting agency (which the analysis of temporality is eventually to disclose more radically than in terms of object-aiming noetic-noematic act-intentionality). The other instances to mention as offering this same caution about how to read Ideas I were the several occasions on which Fink carried on correspondence for Husserl with the latter’s colleagues. In late 1932 Fink wrote to both Felix Kaufmann and Alfred Schutz to comment on the reviews of Husserl’s Méditations cartésiennes (published just the year before) that each was preparing for publication. In both letters Fink gives unambiguous expression to this caution about the limitations of the treatment in Ideas I, although in his briefer remarks to Schutz he directs his clarifications more to the reading of the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations.’’∑Ω Fink’s insistence on ‘‘the double direction of phenomenological disconnection’’∏≠ (that is, bracketing both transcendent and immanent being)—required also, as we saw, by Husserl himself—is one of the major themes Fink works into his second set of revisions for the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations,’’ written in the summer of that same year. The opening section he proposed for the ‘‘Second Meditation’’ in fact carries the title ‘‘The Double Performance of the Phenomenological Reduction.’’∏∞ In this revision it was clearly Fink’s concern that also in the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ too little attention had been given to the way the phenomenological reduction must affect the subjective component of the integral phenomenon of the world. ‘‘The main weight of the phenomenological epoché lies in the disconnection of ourselves as subjects existing in the world, in the conversion of ourselves into the transcendental subject, more precisely, in self-recognition as this subject. Only with the performance of self-bracketing does »the meaning 59. See appendix. 60. Fink’s letter to Kaufmann, EFM Abschn. 4, Text No. 2. 61. VI.CM/2, Text No. 4, pp. 192–219. See also the 1930 ‘‘Draft for the Opening Section of an Introduction to Phenomenology,’’ VI.CM/2, on pp. 73ff.

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of … the phenomenological epoché become evident »and completely explicit… in the unique character which it in principle possesses, and recognizable in its fundamental distinction from a stance of belief enacted in the world.’’∏≤ But the real question is whether this ‘‘self-bracketing’’ is at all possible. ‘‘This question suggests difficulties,’’ Fink writes, ‘‘only as long as we move in the naive unquestioned presupposition that the real agent performing the phenomenological epoché is the meditating human-I [Menschen-Ich] that is an I-in-the-world.’’∏≥ To counter this, application of the epoché has to be shaken from preoccupation with the sphere of objects so as to affect equally the sphere of the subject itself. ‘‘Only if it is possible to remove the worldly shape of the interiority sphere of our life as an apperceptive meaning-structure, to separate it as a covering and concealment from a subjectivity that is only brought into the open by this removal, . . . only then does self-bracketing have a putative sense.’’∏∂ Here one might note also Fink’s explanation of the way ‘‘epoché’’ and ‘‘reduction’’ do not mean quite the same thing, even if they are often used interchangeably because of their intimate connection. It is a point Fink makes in the letter to Kaufmann referred to earlier, where he writes that in Ideas I the reduction is really described only as epoché, and ‘‘the specifically ‘reducing’ element, the act of leading back into transcendental subjectivity, remains unconsidered in its methodology.’’∏∑ This latter deficiency is discussed in much more detail in the ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ that Fink had written just a few months before. There we see that the epoché is really only a preparatory action upon the ‘‘field’’ to be considered, it is the action of re-valuing, of ‘‘bracketing’’ or ‘‘turning-off’’ (‘‘disconnecting’’); but it is not ipso facto the move that positively attains the properly transcendental itself. That is done by a ‘‘leading back,’’ by a move of re-ductive re-gress behind the featuring of subjectivity that is already given in and as human self-apperception back to that ‘‘agency’’ that in actuality is supposed to be constitutively responsible for everything thus ‘‘bracketed,’’ everything already found formed, in place, and accepted as holding in the entire ‘‘field’’ of investigation to which the epoché has already been applied,∏∏ the field, namely, that is the world, ‘‘the all-encompassing unity 62. VI.CM/2, p. 164. The phrases in angle brackets are Husserl’s insertions (annotations 151 and 152). 63. VI.CM/2, p. 164. 64. VI.CM/2, p. 170. Fink’s image for explicating the transcendental while in fact retaining worldly self-conceptions is that it ‘‘would be like trying to jump over one’s own shadow’’; ‘‘Draft for an Opening Section,’’ VI.CM/2, pp. 60–61. 65. Letter of December 17, 1932, EFM 2, Abschn. 4. 66. See CM6, pp. 39–42, especially pp. 40–41 (VI.CM/1, pp. 43–45, especially 44).


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of »psychological… transcendence and »psychological… immanence.’’∏π In sum, ‘‘epoché and the action of reduction proper are the two internal basic moments of the phenomenological reduction, mutually required and mutually conditioned,’’∏∫ namely, (1) the abstention from belief applied to the whole of consciousness in the world to which reflection turns, i.e., both ‘‘internal’’ and ‘‘external’’ phenomena; and (2) the recognition of the constitutedness of selfconceptions about human being in the world as that through and beyond which one has to try to grasp in its own proper terms the transcendental subjectivity that is responsible for constitutive action and its constituted results. We have reached a pivotal turning point, evident in the very pages in Fink’s ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ just referred to. Fink recasts the central point Husserl made earlier, that the reduction signifies ‘‘reduction to ‘pure’ consciousness,’’ the ‘‘ ‘purifying’ of my humanity’’—and especially ‘‘of my psyche’’—‘‘to the pure something of the ‘psychic side’ of that object, ‘I as man,’ which holds good for me in the natural attitude.’’∏Ω The question now has to be, Just how extensive is this ‘‘purifying,’’ just what all falls under it, and what happens to it in this ‘‘purification’’? Equally important is a second question, Who or what is it that accomplishes this ‘‘purification,’’ who is doing the reflection in which all this is realized? In answer to both questions Fink replies: This ‘‘purification’’ ‘‘nullifies man himself; man un-humanizes [entmenscht] himself in performing the epoché.’’ In addition, in performing this ‘‘epoché,’’ in following ‘‘the transcendental tendency that awakens in man and drives him to inhibit all acceptednesses,’’ there also emerges the function of ‘‘transcendental onlooker’’ who both performs this epoché and reflects upon that performance; and this ‘‘onlooker’’ is also actual in the person of the very same human who is attempting to exercise the epoché and reduction, and yet is the one whose humanness the epoché places under annulment.π≠ In a word, the humanness (a) of the human ‘‘object’’ that is being reflected upon, and (b) of the action of thought that exercises the epoché and then (c) turns to reflect methodically and critically upon the whole action of phenomenological disclosure, is to be, in some methodologically robust way, undone. One has to read as well the changes Husserl writes into the text drawn from

67. From Fink’s revision for the ‘‘First Meditation,’’ VI.CM/2, p. 170. The expressions in angle brackets are Husserl’s insertions (annotation 187). For their point see the insertion (annotation 188) Husserl makes in the very next sentence. 68. CM6, p. 41 (VI.CM/1, p. 44). 69. Once again, Hua VIII, p. 433 (see 2.5.1 above). 70. See CM6, pp. 39–40 (VI.CM/1, pp. 43–44), emphasis all Fink’s.

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here.π∞ While confirming and nuancing Fink’s statement of the situation, Husserl (1) gives a personalized orientation to the action of ‘‘un-humanization,’’ namely, as taking place in myself as actual, living reflecting agent, and (2) underscores the suspension of acceptance of the being of the human entity that I normally am. But while Husserl here supports Fink’s terming the reduction an ‘‘un-humanizing,’’ Fink finds his subscribing to it has a certain ambiguity, in that more than anything else it is the countering of a naturalistic conception of the human, a conception that takes the human as an object in nature alongside and equivalent to all others in being adequately dealt with in natural science. This is what he remarks on two years after the ‘‘Sixth Meditation,’’ writing in his notes that for Husserl the reduction is ‘‘basically only an un-naturalizing of spirit.’’ And the reason Husserl maintained that limitation is that, on the one hand, he worked his analysis of the world in too restricted a concentration on the world as ‘‘the universe of objective things [das All des objektiven Dingen],’’ and on the other he did not recognize the way ‘‘the ontological nature of knowing’’ had to be explored—and this precisely because phenomenologically the action of knowing had to be explicitly seen in its fundamental determination in terms of world-inherence.π≤ In other words, the cognitive act remained defined exclusively in terms of the correlation of subject and object in an ‘‘equivocation’’ that collapsed together the ‘‘ordo essendi’’ and the ‘‘ordo cognoscendi.’’ The first of these two critical points regarding the limited scope of Husserl’s counternaturalist ‘‘un-humanizing,’’ viz., regarding how the world is analyzed under the governance of the reduction, will be taken up in chapter 4. We shall turn now to the remaining point of the criticism. Questioning the Basic Epistemological Schema— General Points For Fink as for Husserl, Ideas I achieved the ‘‘first breakthrough’’ to what Husserl eventually characterized as ‘‘transcendental idealism’’ and was not, under that designation or under any other, the final accomplishment of phenomenology. Nevertheless, because Ideas I became the standard statement 71. CM6, notation 112 on pp. 39–40 (VI.CM/1, notation 112, p. 43). See also CM6, pp. 46–47 (VI.CM/1 pp. 51–53), and CM6, p. 120, notation 416 (VI.CM/1, p. 132). Husserl reflects this ‘‘un-humanizing’’ in Crisis, p. 183 (§54a). 72. OH-I 8–9 (EFM 3), emphasis Fink’s. Fink remarks that this amounts to ‘‘an ontological method that misunderstands itself as absolute idealism.’’ The notes from this booklet are from after November 1934.


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of transcendental phenomenology and is still taken as basic, the specific form that this ‘‘breakthrough’’ took in that book has to be properly understood in its specific initiating efficacy, and in its limitations. Fink writes: ‘‘The constitutive relationship between pure consciousness and world in Ideas is mainly— and in necessary abstraction—developed in terms of object-intentionality, in the course of which the whence of intention and the wherein of objects remains undisclosed.’’ He continues: ‘‘It is the remaining task of phenomenological inquiry to broaden and deepen ‘the kind and rank of the cognition that is termed constitutive.’ . . . The underdetermination of the relationship between subject and world as well as of the members in that relationship is a necessary and preliminary underdetermination.’’π≥ To work out the conception of ‘‘constitution’’ that would go beyond its preliminary presentation, beyond its ‘‘underdetermination’’ in Ideas I, means perhaps more than anything else to inquire precisely into whether or not the correlational conception of cognition, the main schema in Husserl’s regular presentation of phenomenology, is to stand as unqualifiedly appropriate and essential to ‘‘constitution’’ precisely as transcendentally ‘‘pure.’’ Fink finds, for example, that the underdetermination in question, typical of Husserl’s work, especially in its published form, is characterized by a twofold narrowing down of the field of inquiry. It first of all restricts itself to ‘‘the foreground mode of constitution,’’ viz., ‘‘object-constitution,’’ and then within this object-constitution it restricts itself still more narrowly to ‘‘the mode of the present.’’π∂ But it is not only in his research notes that Fink looks at the matter this way. Recognizing the restrictedness of this ‘‘presentialist’’ focus in Husserl’s classic presentations of the analysis of constitution is one of the critical points in Fink’s revision proposals for the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations,’’π∑ while the subject-object relation is explicitly treated as intraworldly in the ‘‘Sixth Meditation.’’π∏ And Husserl in his annotations takes no issue whatsoever with either point. Clearly the lesson of this is that reconsidering the subject-object correlation itself as not necessarily definitive in the conceptualization of the transcendental is in principle admissible in Husserlian phenomenology. The full compass of this critical push beyond the epistemological subjectobject schema is manifest in several sets of Fink’s notes written at the time of his preparing the Kant Society lecture of December 1935, ‘‘The Idea of Tran73. Z-IV 98a–b (EFM 1). 74. Z-XV 34a–b (EFM 1), from 1930 or soon after. 75. VI.CM/2, pp. 257–58, in Text No. 17. 76. CM6, pp. 151 and 157–58 (VI.CM/1, pp. 168–69 and 177).

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scendental Philosophy in Kant and in Phenomenology’’ (that is, after the project of revising the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ was effectively set aside).ππ Here once again the distinction between a first and second stage of phenomenology is stated rather more explicitly than Husserl had stated it in the 1920s. Fink explains the character of the first level of phenomenology as the laying bare of latent subjectivity ‘‘in the method of intentional interrogation.’’ This is where all questions of being are ‘‘questions of correlation.’’ At the second level, however, one has to take ‘‘the correlation itself as the problem.’’ Correlational treatment is of immense value in that it first discloses the phenomenological character of any existent by ‘‘nullifying the fixation on things,’’ showing them to be identities consisting really of ‘‘latent subjective manifoldness.’’π∫ But this is only the preparation for allowing the properly transcendental problem to come forward. This latter task is what Fink is primarily working on. We cannot fail to see the effect of the influence of Heidegger here in Fink’s critical limiting of the subject-object correlation to a role primarily in firstlevel realization. Not only was this theme one of the prime points of Being and Time—which Fink realized already in reading this book in 1927—but the lecture courses Heidegger subsequently gave in Marburg and then in Freiburg repeated and reinforced the idea of the nonultimacy of the subject-object relation, that it is a derivative structure rather than the one in terms of which to account ultimately for origination.πΩ Nevertheless, as we shall see in the next chapter, the thrust of this critical point in Fink’s theoretical handling of it becomes quite different from what it is for Heidegger. The fact remains, however, that there is a formal similarity to Heidegger’s phrasing in the way Fink problematizes the subject-object intentional relation as such.∫≠ (We shall frequently have to point out critical points that Fink drew from Heidegger in his understanding of how Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology must develop to attain philosophical completion.) The basic problem of the subject-object correlation is the equivocation lying in the presentation of this correlation in Ideas I that was neither recognized 77. See chapter 1, 1.3, pp. 46–47, and 1.4, pp. 65–66. 78. Z-XVI VIII/3b, emphasis in quoted material Fink’s; cf. also OH-V 38–47. (Both folders in EFM 3.) 79. See Heidegger’s ‘‘Einleitung in die Philosophie’’ (WS 1928–1929), MH-GA 27, referred to in chapter 1, 1.2. It should not be overlooked that Fink’s intense reading of Kant and Nietzsche before coming to Freiburg must have introduced him to the tension between a subject-object reflection-centered philosophy and its radical critique. The philosophic conjunction of these two kinds of thinking is a part of phenomenology’s historical situation that Husserl was not so well acquainted with. 80. See appendix.


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there nor subsequently critically considered. As a result, in texts following Ideas I the schema of structure and relationship appropriate for a preliminary stage, and for a quite specific moment of consciousness, namely, reflection, came to be taken as properly descriptive of the basic and more pervasive mode of consciousness, that of fundamental constitutive action itself. Consequently, the transcendental ‘‘pure something’’ to be reached in phenomenological regressive inquiry was characterized in terms of this structure of the epistemological subject. Transcendental origination was presented as the intending act of a reflective egoic subject-self, while that which is ‘‘constituted’’ by this ‘‘agency,’’ namely, everything that is for transcendental subjectivity, was conceived simply and fundamentally as having the structure of objectness. Since being was essentially constituted being, it seemed to be simply equated with objectness; the whole manifold of the constituted was fitted out in terms of the schema of just one moment within it, albeit an extremely prominent and important moment, viz., the epistemological relation of subject to object. There was, however, a second limitation in critical discernment and a second equivocation, namely, the failure to distinguish the ontological interpretation of cognitive action and relationship from the gnoseological structure of this same action and relationship. In the ‘‘Cartesian’’ regress to the ‘‘ego cogito’’ that was being followed—basically the argument of the ‘‘philosophy of reflection’’∫∞ —the ‘‘ordo essendi’’ is equated with the ‘‘ordo cognoscendi,’’∫≤ so that ‘‘the character that the apodicticity of the ego has in the order of cognition turns into an absolute positing of the ego ontically.’’ When in addition it is recognized that ‘‘there is no being at all that is independent of consciousness’’ and that ‘‘being is in principle the correlate of cognition,’’ it follows that beingin-itself is a fictitious concept, and being simply means being-an-object, in utter dependence, in its being, upon the egoic subject. What both the uncritical acceptance of correlation as such and the ontological interpretation of cognition have in common is the tendency to disregard the radical distinction that institutes the whole phenomenological project, namely, the fundamental difference between (a) the transcendental order, in which ultimate grounds and origins are to be found, and (b) that with respect

81. See Z-XIV II/4a (EFM 2) for Fink’s characterization of the ‘‘philosophy of reflection.’’ This will be treated in more detail in chapter 6. 82. These phrases and those that follow in the present paragraph are drawn from OHVII 7–8 (EFM 3), emphasis all Fink’s. See also the pages preceding and following (i.e., OH-VII 1–7 and 9–11). See also OH-I 28–29, OH-IV 20–31, and OH-V 38–47 (EFM 2) and Z-XVII 2a, 5b, 13a–14, and Z-XX 19a–b, 10a–b (EFM 3).

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to which this order is defined as ‘‘transcendental,’’ namely, the order of the worldly-structured (the structurally ‘‘mundane’’). More seriously yet, Fink finds that the distinction in principle between the gnoseological order and the ontological is one that lies within the order of the mundane.∫≥ Both the gnoseological examination of cognition and its ontological explication are part of the theory of knowledge precisely as the analysis, in world-bound terms, of world-bound phenomena. That is, both the phenomena studied and the studying done on them are held within the conditions that result from transcendental constitutive processes. While this point will lead to the basic criticism Fink will take on Heidegger (see chapter 3), here it is the application to Husserl that concerns us. When the equivocation between the order of knowing and the order of being is overlooked, it becomes all the easier to fall into the second equivocation just indicated, namely, to take an innerworldly determination of structure as the structure of transcendental constituting. But one cannot simply assume that the objectness of an object is its being-character and that, because the beingcharacter correlates with an intending on the part of a subject, discovering this correlation is ipso facto to disclose the transcendental status of both object and subject—that is, that both correlationally and ontologically the object is the result of a subject’s act of intending the object, and that this action is transcendental constitution itself. One has to recognize the ‘‘underdetermination’’ of taking the order of knowing for the order of being in regard to subjectivity,∫∂ and then to realize that both orders lodge essentially within the framework of being in the world, rather than in epoché-disengagement from it.∫∑ (Again, the level on which transcendental constitution ultimately will have to be explicated is located further, namely, in the analysis of temporality—as Fink is well aware, and all the considerations we have been following here are oriented toward just that task.) Critique for the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ If the distinctions that we have been piecing together from Fink’s notes are fundamental to the critical reconsideration of phenomenology that he saw Husserl’s program demanded, then it should be no surprise to find them being 83. See appendix. 84. See OH-I 38; also OH-V 38–43—both in EFM 3. 85. ‘‘The limits of ontological philosophy (i.e., one that understands being) lies in the impossibility of jumping over the situation of being in the midst of being. Undistanced from it, ontology asks about being, so to speak, ‘from the inside.’ ’’ OH-IV 30 (EFM 3).


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applied in his revision work for Husserl on the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’; for Husserl’s aim in his second revision for his ‘‘Meditations,’’ that is, subsequent to his first 1929 version, was to try to make them a more comprehensive, a more fully systematic statement of his phenomenology. The self-critical, deeper-explicating analysis for that purpose is precisely what Fink undertook. And it is exemplified in perhaps the pivotal point of critique worked into his revisions. In Fink’s revisions for the ‘‘First Meditation,’’ at the point where the apodicticity of the ‘‘I am’’ in the Cartesian cogito is questioned as the appropriate starting point for phenomenology, the concept of gnoseological antecedency is explicitly decoupled from that of ontological necessity, i.e., from the concept of necessary being. Here the being of the self-certain reflecting subject is unqualifiedly asserted to be contingent, despite its undeniable cognitive antecedency.∫∏ Moreover, the whole possibility of this self-certainty on the part of a reflective I is conditioned upon the structure of the world as already holding; it is possible only within-the-world. Fink’s argument, then, is that, rather than beginning with egoic self-certainty, phenomenology in its mature restatement must take, as the phenomenon with which to begin, the pregivenness of the world.∫π Now, Husserl’s own notations on this passage, far from disputing this direction in Fink’s treatment, register the shock of realizing its implication, namely, that the Cartesian path is simply confused! About ‘‘the way of restoring the idea of science as the grounding of knowledge of the world in regress to the apodicticity of the ‘I am’ ’’ that Husserl’s approach had taken in the ‘‘Meditations,’’ Fink writes, ‘‘this whole path now seems to have been the wrong way to go.*’’ As a result, the first serious effort upon this path has raised some fundamental doubts, which ‘‘set the whole aim of the ‘Meditations’ tottering.’’∫∫ What Husserl writes in comment at the point indicated by the asterisk is: ‘‘So it was! A sheer muddle, and wrong-headed as a course of reflection.’’∫Ω Nevertheless, we must not take this to mean that Husserl therefore fully agreed with the direction Fink himself took to resolve the ‘‘muddle.’’ Indeed, Fink attests to quite the opposite. In the retrospective statement from 1945, when he finally was able to submit his ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ for his Habilitation 86. VI.CM/2, pp. 153–58, specifically p. 155. 87. VI.CM/2, pp. 156–58. 88. VI.CM/2, pp. 155–56. 89. VI.CM/2, p. 155, notation 111. See Husserl’s comments to Cairns probably before he studied Fink’s revisions in detail. C-HF, pp. 71 (May 4, 1932) and 80ff. (June 2, 1932).

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(see chapter 10), Fink makes explicit the issue that was at stake in the critique that guided his revisions, namely, the ‘‘new naïveté which consists in uncritically transferring the mode of cognition that relates to something existent [Seiendes] into the phenomenological cognition of the forming (constitution) of the existent.’’Ω≠ To put it another way, the issue was the uncritical transference of the mundane schema of cognition to the transcendental level as proper both to the structure of constitution and to the nature of transcendental phenomenological reflection. And on this issue, Fink unambiguously acknowledges a basic difference between Husserl and himself. In the preface he drafted at the very time the ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ was composed Fink writes: ‘‘Husserl finds the antithesis between the constituting and the phenomenologizing I to be too strongly emphasized,’’ that is, the antithesis that prevented the structure of the actually acting agent of reflection from being taken as essentially transcendental in its character. Instead Husserl ‘‘defends the concept of the philosophizing subject as individual against its reduction from the philosophizing subject that begins as individual spirit, to the deeper life of absolute spirit that lies prior to all individuation. . . .’’Ω∞ For Fink it was one of the ironies of Husserl’s position that Husserl could not see how uncompromisingly radical the implications of his phenomenological reduction were,Ω≤ while for Husserl Fink’s push beyond being—what we shall see as Fink’s ‘‘meontic,’’ though never named as such in the revision texts laid before Husserl—seemed excessive. And yet Husserl not only listened to Fink’s critical recasting and reinterpretation of transcendental phenomenology, he announced publicly that a detailed statement of Fink’s interpretation of phenomenology was one to which he, Husserl, himself fully subscribed! Even if it is a small divergence from the course of our treatment here, we must consider this for a moment. We quoted earlier Husserl’s statement of approval written as a foreword to Fink’s Kant-Studien article of 1934.Ω≥ In the context of the declarations of Fink’s that we have just seen, when we read the many statements in this same vein in his article ‘‘The Phenomenological Philosophy of Edmund Husserl and Contemporary Criticism,’’Ω∂ we have to wonder just how fully Husserl really

90. CM6, p. 2 (VI.CM/1, p. 184). 91. CM6, p. 1 (VI.CM/1, p. 183). 92. See Z-XII 10b, EFM 1. 93. See 1.3, pp. 45–46. 94. Examples of these punctuate the last fourth of the article (Studien, pp. 134–56; EH-Ke, pp. 126–45).


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understood what Fink’s position was, or whether it was for strategic reasons, in the context of the events of 1933, that he was investing Fink’s article with an authority that went beyond what he in actuality took as his very own thinking. Or was it a situation that embraced both these possibilities? As argued elsewhere, the most satisfactory explanation seems to be this third way.Ω∑ Although a conclusion regarding this cannot be persuasively argued before the present study is concluded, nevertheless the following can provisionally be said. Inasmuch as the differences from Husserl’s thinking that emerge in Fink’s work result precisely from this effort of comprehensive self-interpretation and reconception under the impact of critical reflection on principles, these differences are far more differences between levels or phases of phenomenology’s self-development than differences between rival positions championed by different proponents. And this kind of, as it were, organic difference is not only endemic to philosophy as such, it is both eminently typical and an intrinsic rule of Husserl’s own philosophical growth.Ω∏ In other words, the differences between Husserl and Fink represent genuine issues within transcendental phenomenology, issues arising from the demands of the critical integration of phenomenology’s manifold levels and stages, rather than objections and charges that antagonistically confront or undercut it from the outside. That such problems and critiques are raised as those Fink formulates is, therefore, as things should be for true Husserlian phenomenology. Paradoxically, then, Husserl could, as he did, subscribe in principle to what Fink was writing, even though he might not fully gasp the depth of implication it had, or the radicality with which, within phenomenology itself and out of its own intrinsic dynamic, fundamentals were being challenged and needed critical reconceiving; or, more strongly, even though he might dispute to Fink himself—and did—some of the content of Fink’s assertions.Ωπ Husserl could state that Fink understood phenomenology as no other did, and he could accept the plausibility of Fink’s points, yet miss the wider implications or even argue with him to reject them. Husserl had been doing something like this for himself with himself for his entire career. Now, however, the ‘‘himself’’ with whom Husserl was in debate was a very decidedly other ‘‘himself’’—the young philosopher Eugen Fink. 95. See ‘‘Translator’s Introduction,’’ CM6, pp. xxx–xxxii. 96. Richard Zaner’s remarks about Husserl’s insistence on ‘‘continuous transcendental self-criticism’’ are apt here (‘‘Foreword’’ to C-HF, p. xi). 97. See appendix.

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109 Questioning the Epistemological Schema—Points for a Critique of Phenomenological ‘‘Idealism’’ We have seen now two points raised regarding cognition by a critique that puts the epistemological correlation itself into question:Ω∫ (1) Intentionality and constitution have hitherto been conceived paradigmatically as object-intentionality and object-constitution. (2) Because of this, both (a) the object conceived of for this intentionality and this constitution and (b) the subject that is the purported agent of it are insufficiently explicated, that is, are explicated only at a preliminary and seriously restricted level; they are, therefore, left conceptually underdetermined.

There is a third point, now, that has to be brought out, namely, that beyond conceiving intentionality principally as act-intentionality, it must be looked into further as an intentionality of process, and this precisely in a radical investigation of constitution as such in the most proper terms possible. We have already seen how Fink’s early realization of the critique dimension of transcendental phenomenology turned on the pivot of temporality. This issue now gets sharply formulated: How will temporality figure into the phenomenological systematic precisely as a topic to be ultimately explicated otherwise than in terms of act-intentionality focused on objects? At the same time, and, more importantly, temporality is also the topic whose analysis will show the reason for the preliminary status that the explication of act-intentionality or object-constitution comes to have. This is already clear in the period of work for the dissertation (i.e., before November 1929). For example, Fink takes seriously the objection raised against the reduction, understood in its cast as ‘‘noematization,’’ΩΩ ‘‘that the correlation of object and experiencing consciousness is, to begin with, an ontic correlation, that the certainty of the life of the I for itself is precisely the ontic self-certainty of that existent something which I myself precisely am,’’ and that this ‘‘is in no way sufficient for the ‘idealistic thesis’ of the precedence of the I to that which is other than the I’’; for this objection forces one ‘‘no longer to conceive the reduction as primarily noematization but rather as a regressive move behind subjectivity’s own self98. In keeping with explanations in note 83 above (in the appendix), one could more strictly say here ‘‘gnoseological correlation.’’ 99. As represented earlier (2.4.1 above), ‘‘noematization’’ means the reflective transformation of anything to be considered into a noema, into pure phenomenon in the form of noematically determinate objectness, that is, after the paradigm of something taken to be objectively ‘‘there’’ in the objectively given world.


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apperceptions, as precisely an un-humanizing.’’ To take the reduction seriously means correspondingly to have to radicalize it.∞≠≠ Again from the same period, Fink in another note concedes that Heidegger is correct in asserting that ‘‘Husserl in fact underdetermined the concept of subjectivity’’ precisely in representing transcendental life as ‘‘primarily constitution of objects.’’ But it must be recognized as well that ‘‘the intentionality that brings about the constitution of objects (‘‘intentional experiences’’ [intentionale Erlebnisse]) in the sense in which this is taken in Ideas I) is not the only, and not even the fundamental, intentionality of transcendental life,’’ which is indeed ‘‘precisely a life of intentions.’’ The primary intentions ‘‘are the time-intentions, of which intentional experience is a modification.’’∞≠∞ By 1930, then, while formulating his detailed outline, the ‘‘Layout,’’ for the grand new systematic work Husserl was proposing, Fink unambiguously affirms that ‘‘the equating of intention and act-consciousness is a narrowing down of the original significance of ‘intention’; intention is fundamentally broader than act-consciousness, is the mode of subjective life as such.’’∞≠≤ How in particular Fink sees the consciousness of horizons—specifically that of the temporality and spatiality of the world—not as an inflection of the consciousness of objects but as an awareness of its very own order is something we shall be taking up in chapters 4 and 5.∞≠≥ This is one of the pivotal points in the critical reconsideration of that structural feature that is nearly synonymous with phenomenology, intentionality. Even when the positive significance of intentionality in phenomenology is interpreted with acuity as countering a dogmatism of self-enclosed immanence,∞≠∂ it tends to be taken in too restricted a sense, namely, as object-aiming consciousness. Yet object-aiming consciousness is able to be activated only out of antecedent horizonal conditions, namely, out of the flow of temporality and the horizonal whole of the world to which consciousness is antecedently already open before any object-aiming acts. It is to the explication of these antecedent conditions and of the kind of antecedent ‘‘consciousness’’ wherein 100. Z-V VII/11a, EFM 1, emphasis Fink’s. 101. Z-IV 8b (EFM 1), emphasis Fink’s. 102. Z-VII IX/6a, EFM 1. Z-VII IX/1–6 deals specifically with temporality and modes of consciousness appropriate to it. 103. See Z-VII IX/6a. 104. As an example, Hans-Georg Gadamer gives Husserl credit for overcoming ‘‘the dogmatism of an immanent consciousness’’ by demonstrating ‘‘that consciousness is exactly intentionality, which means that we are in the matter and not simply enclosed in ourselves.’’ ‘‘The Hermeneutics of Suspicion,’’ Man and World, 17 (1984), 318, emphasis Gadamer’s.

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these conditions are already at play in awareness that the reduction is precisely to lead, and one stops short when one does not make that move of further explication.∞≠∑ This radical shift in the analytic program that is required when one moves beyond act-intentionality within a subject-object schema to the conditioning horizons and ultimate constituting process that underlie and sustain that actintentionality was one of the main considerations that had to be worked into the revision of Husserl’s ‘‘Cartesian Meditations.’’ The new ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ as well made explicit that the ‘‘transcendental theory of elements,’’ as ‘‘regressive phenomenology,’’ was an ‘‘inquiry back from the living unities of the transcendental experience of the world, from acts, into the deeper constituting strata of transcendental life.’’∞≠∏ And in the Kant-Studien article the statements of the fundamental necessity of this shift are even more pointed. For instance, the ‘‘multileveled character’’ of phenomenology is underscored, i.e., that the problem of constitution does not lie on only one methodological level, and certainly not on the first, that of egological acts—a point not made in Ideas I or ‘‘in almost all of Husserl’s published writings.’’∞≠π Thus ‘‘the actintentional analysis of transcendental life [is] a necessary intermediate stage which, however, must be surmounted’’;∞≠∫ for the coherent whole that is an act of intending is ‘‘constituted within the depths of the intentional selfconstitution of phenomenological time, a constitution which, however, does not proceed by means of acts.’’∞≠Ω These explicit statements are, however, only the summary tip of a massive return again and again to the issue in his notes. One theme recurs: one cannot take the ontic structure of human action in the world as providing the transcendental schema of constitution. The point bears repeating (as Fink does in his notes). Easily misinterpreted phenomenological expressions only acquire their genuine intelligibility when analysis penetrates to the ultimate stratum of the phenomenological problematic, time. The apparent ‘‘ontic activity’’ of phenomenological terms (which suggest to the superficial reader the view of ‘‘subjective idealism’’) has to be transformatively perceived in relation to true ‘‘transcendental activity,’’ which means in the unique fundamental function of temporality, ‘‘the fundamentlevel movement of temporalization as such.’’∞∞≠ If this is recognized, and the

105. See Z-V VII/13a–b, EFM 2. 106. CM6, p. 11 (VI.CM/1, p. 12); see also p. 50 (pp. 55–56). 107. EH-Ke, p. 132 (EH-K, pp. 140–41). 108. EH-Ke, p. 133 (EH-K, p. 142). 109. EH-Ke, p. 137 (EH-K, p. 376). 110. Z-IV 110a–111a, emphasis Fink’s.


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specifics of the critique of the mistakenly absolutized preliminary frameworks of Husserl’s presentation of phenomenology are followed, then the whole issue of Husserl’s ‘‘idealism’’ gets transposed. When constitution is discovered to have a double effect—namely, upon both elements of ‘‘the oppositional relation of experience [Erfahrung] to the object of experience’’∞∞∞ —then Husserl’s assertions of idealism and his use of idealistic schemata are countered out of what his own work can yield. The conception of phenomenological immanence is not to be modeled upon the immanence of human self-reflection, that is, as an immanence standing in opposition to the transcendence of objects in the world and then (seemingly) absolutized in that opposition. This is a principle that, preeminent in Fink’s labors in the Freiburg workshop, gets sharpness and urgency through Fink’s doing for Husserl what Heidegger failed to accomplish, namely, introduce the question of being integrally into Husserl’s transcendental phenomenological program. Self-Conceptions and the Question of Being It is a historical fact that Martin Heidegger was an essential figure in the philosophic scene in Freiburg during the years of Fink’s work with Husserl, as chapter 1 recounted; and in the next chapter we shall be looking more thoroughly into the place Heidegger’s thinking had both as source and as target for the critical reinterpretation of transcendental phenomenology that constituted so much of Fink’s labor with Husserl. Here, however, we must at least briefly indicate and underscore the linkage to Heidegger that Fink finds within the issue of the pregiven conceptions that condition both the beginning and the progress of radical phenomenological reflection. The public acknowledgment that Fink made of Heidegger’s contribution to his doctoral dissertation has already been noted,∞∞≤ but an alternate draft for this acknowledgment in Fink’s notes makes explicit the present issue in his intellectual debt to Heidegger. For the study of Heidegger provided Fink with the ‘‘decisive stimulus’’ for the issue that drove ‘‘his first real work: the phenomenology of selfconceptions.’’∞∞≥ Significantly enough, in this brief sketch for an acknowledgment Fink refers also to the last section (7) of the ‘‘Introduction’’ to his disser111. Z-VII III/3a–b; see also Z-VII III/1a–2b. (EFM 2.) 112. See §1, p. 17. 113. Z-I 143b. Z-VI 13a is another draft of a possible acknowledgment of Heidegger’s influence, making explicit reference to Being and Time, ‘‘especially where the problem of ontological-existential interpretation is touched upon.’’ Z-VI 12a–b makes clear that Fink is reading Heidegger specifically in an attempt critically to probe the sense of pregiven conceptions of ‘‘the psychical’’ in human being. All in EFM 1.

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tation, a section that explicitly speaks of the provisional yet necessarily initial focus of phenomenological investigation on act-intentionality, which in turn will yield to ‘‘a more original move back into the temporal constitution of acts themselves.’’∞∞∂ In another note from his dissertation work Fink gives a long list of items and issues integrated into his study for which acknowledgment of Heidegger should be made, concluding again with the question of ‘‘selfconceptions and existential analytic’’; but here he immediately—and most importantly—adds, ‘‘Defense of the Husserlian position: self-conceptions as a constitutive problem.’’∞∞∑ This is a hint of the critical stance Fink will take toward Heidegger, again matter for the next chapter. Here, however, we should make clear the exact way in which what Fink learned from Heidegger in regard to ‘‘the question of being’’ focused the question of self-conceptions. As Fink thinks phenomenology with Heidegger, fundamental ontology as a form of explicating human being has one overriding effect: it reinforces the push past the supposedly privileged ‘‘interior’’ forum of Cartesian self-reflection as standing autonomous with respect to the world ‘‘external’’ to it, in order to recast the meaning of the ‘‘psychical’’ more fundamentally as the ‘‘ ‘place’ of the understanding of being’’∞∞∏ (i.e., as ‘‘transcendence’’ out to and within the world); it is to shift the privilege accorded human being from dichotomy-inspired immanent self-certainty to human being’s understanding of being in the economy of being-in-the-world. The question of being, then, is raised as the question of how the human kind of being, always as a being that is in-the-world, is precisely the projective understanding of being, again always as an understanding-in-the-world. But if ontology is the interpretation of the kind of being a being-in-the-world has, whereby being as such is shown to count for that being in that being’s way of being precisely as being-in-the-world, then ontological investigation as such is bound to the in-the-world condition of this being that is only as in-the-world. Fink must therefore ask, ‘‘Is ontological interpretation philosophically adequate, or does a discussion remain already held up to a question that sets aside ontology as such?’’∞∞π In other words, does ontology, specifically as recast (or renewed) by Heidegger, remain in principle subject to the phenomenological 114. VB/1, p. 19. 115. Z-I 111a. Other thinkers named here whose ideas Fink has to take into account are Oscar Becker, Felix Kaufmann, Ludwig Landgrebe, Hermann Cohen, Descartes, Plato, Kant, Hegel. 116. Z-VI 15a, EFM 1. 117. Z-VI 15a–b is the first page of a text the second page of which is Z-IV 94a–b, comprising together a sketch for §2 of VB/1. The sentence quoted here is broken off in the middle at the end of Z-VI 15b and continued in Z-IV 94a.


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reduction? Does ontology lie within the framework of conditioning disclosed by the reduction, or does it transcend the whole operation of reduction itself? Fink’s answer is clearly indicated, though here it will only be summarized. Raising the question of being in terms of the ontology of Dasein can only be validly pursued within the conditions that the reduction discloses, not as a regulative challenge from beyond them. The orientation Heidegger had tried to lay out for Husserl in the exchange of letters over the article that Husserl was preparing for the Encyclopaedia Britannica does not escape just this critical subjection, however much it was meant to stand as the source of what Husserl asserts as transcendental constitution. In other words, Fink saw Heidegger’s position to display with dramatic clarity how deeply the ontological structure of human being was rooted in the world. Fink sums it up neatly in a remark from 1930 or 1931: ‘‘The ‘ontology of the subject’ refers in principle to the mundane subject»;… even if this be not taken hold of in the ‘everyday averageness of its existence’ but rather in its deepest, most unfathomable essentiality, still this worldly subject, even qua that which makes ‘being’ possible by its understanding of being, is a constitutive ‘result,’ i.e., is that from which the phenomenological retro-inquiry begins its movement into the constitutive origin of that same point of departure.’’∞∞∫ These minimal indications of Fink’s ‘‘Husserlian’’ critique of Heidegger will have to suffice for the present, since this whole issue will be taken up in the next chapter. Their purpose here is to show how deeply the move of un-humanizing cuts even in the way the question of being is raised in the still phenomenological phase of Heidegger’s work. There are, now, some further specific themes prominent in Husserl’s phenomenology that also must at least be mentioned as falling under this same radical move of un-humanizing. The Un-Humanizing of Transcendental Subjectivity: Further Demands The treatment we have been laying out here contrasted Husserl’s representation of the reduction as an ‘‘un-naturalizing’’ with Fink’s as an ‘‘unhumanizing’’; we also saw how this ‘‘un-humanizing’’ was worked into the ‘‘Sixth Meditation.’’ In fact, interpretively radicalizing the reduction to mean ‘‘un-humanizing’’ already governed Fink’s work on the dissertation several 118. Z-XV 19a, EFM 2. The phrase in quotation marks is not a direct quote from Being and Time, though it conforms to the ideas of §27; the bracketed semicolon is my insertion.

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years before the ‘‘Sixth Meditation,’’ both as a context for the dissertation, and as a matter to be treated in its second part.∞∞Ω In the sequel to the dissertation, ‘‘Presentification and Image II,’’ this matter of ‘‘un-humanization’’ was to be addressed more directly and explicitly. For, when the provisionalness of the first part would be lifted in the reinterpretation made possible by the analysis of temporality, then the whole issue of how human being in its total constitution must be situated within the situation of the natural attitude could be explicitly raised. Only then could it become clear that the reduction must in principle be the radical thrust beyond human being. Fink’s notes from the dissertation period (1929) are explicit about this.∞≤≠ Again, the transcendental theory of method was not a task that he took up simply because Husserl assigned it to him; it already formed the core of his own reflections.∞≤∞ Specifically, the radicalizing of the reduction as ‘‘un-humanization’’ was a constant in the years of Fink’s work with Husserl. This is dramatically shown in notes from the pivotal year, 1930, when Fink prepared the plan for the new comprehensive systematic presentation of phenomenology that Husserl had contemplated as a replacement for the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations.’’∞≤≤ It shows again in the 1932 revision work on those same ‘‘Meditations,’’ and then as 1932 turned into 1933 and Hitler came to power in Germany. For example, in a brief sketch of a treatment of the phenomenological reduction from 1933 Fink writes of the phenomenological reduction ‘‘as taking the human right down to the ground.’’∞≤≥ But is this kind of radical countering of all conception of the human possible, does it not demand something a human thinker cannot really do? Is it not simply ‘‘the catastrophe of human existence’’? Fink remarks: ‘‘Therein lies the basis for the impossibility of a demonstrative presentation. The summons character of talk about reduction.’’∞≤∂ This is nothing less than the whole problem of what exactly is possible as a reduction to the radically transcendental in phenomenology, a matter that will be pursued continually throughout this book in the measure of clarity that 119. See VB/1, p. 13. 120. Z-V (EFM 1) is a rich sequence of complex reflection on this very point. See also Z-X 9a–b (EFM 2). 121. See, for example, Z-V III/3a and Z-II 39a (EFM 1). 122. See, e.g., Z-VII XIV/1a (EFM 2), XVIII/9b and /11a, and XXI/5a and /12a (EFM 3). 123. The expression in the note here (Z-XII 20c, EFM 2), ‘‘zu Grunde richten,’’ in normal usage means ‘‘to wreck or destroy.’’ However, Fink means it in the more literal way reflected in the translation here, as other contexts indicate, for example, CM6, p. 32 (VI.CM/1, p. 32). 124. Points and quotes from Z-XII 20a–d, emphasis Fink’s (EFM 2).


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Fink was able to achieve for it. It has at least now been introduced; but there are a few other specific themes corollary to the critique of the subject-object schema that need to be introduced now that will also be taken up as the study progresses. First Corollary of Un-Humanization: Critique of the I In the revision texts Fink wrote for Husserl’s ‘‘Meditation II’’ one of the questions broached is precisely the matter of the ‘‘I.’’ It is raised, however, within the more comprehensive issue of determining not only the appropriate conceptuality for explicating the transcendental subjectivity disclosed by the phenomenological reduction but also, and more importantly, the very status of the transcendental as in some way given to reflection. How, indeed, is ‘‘transcendental subjectivity’’ ‘‘there’’ for ‘‘me’’ as phenomenologically reflecting I, not to mention the question, What is this ‘‘I’’ thus reflecting? As Fink frames the question: ‘‘Is ‘transcendental life,’ as the thematic object of the phenomenologizing, theoretical I, given in a way analogous to an object in the world, so that its most general type of being is already familiar? And together with that is an all-inclusive dimension of being thereby also open? Do we have at our disposal right from the start forms of apperception that already illuminate transcendental givenness? Does the ‘object,’ transcendental subjectivity, confront us from out of an encompassing region of world, or from something analogous to it?’’∞≤∑ Fink sees that it is of absolute necessity that any conditions for the work of phenomenology that presuppose world-structure in any way as the actual frame for that work itself be explicitly brought under critical consideration; for as preconditions proper to the structure of the world, their legitimacy as conditioning determinations meant to hold on the transcendental level can hardly be simply presumed. He therefore immediately moves to specify some of the ‘‘forms of apperception’’ that we automatically presuppose when trying to determine what ‘‘transcendental subjectivity’’ might be, asking if here, too, we may simply be presuming ‘‘the openness of the field of being,’’ in a way analogous to what is necessary for ‘‘the givenness of some single being.’’ That is, do we not here too take for granted for the ‘‘being’’ of transcendental subjectivity a horizon-frame in terms of which to determine what within it is ‘‘individual being’’? But is the worldly ‘‘ ‘principium individuationis’ ’’ also ‘‘a transcendental principle’’?∞≤∏ More specifically, in what way 125. VI.CM/2, p. 213. 126. Ibid.

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are such conceptual determinations as ‘‘I,’’ ‘‘subject,’’ and ‘‘life’’ different from other pregiven conceptualizations, such as ‘‘man’’ and ‘‘animal,’’ that fall under the reduction, i.e., that cannot be simply assumed to be perfectly proper to characterize the transcendental in its thematic disclosure in reflection? In other words, in what way do the former designations have a transcendental right and legitimacy that the latter do not?∞≤π The question is crucial, for these conceptions—‘‘subject,’’ ‘‘I,’’ and ‘‘life’’—are the indispensable Husserlian characterizations for transcendental subjectivity that from the beginning are taken as consummately apt for designating it. There are two issues intertwined here. One is the question of the kind of ‘‘givenness’’ and ‘‘presentedness’’ to reflection that transcendental subjectivity might possess, and the other is the question of the way conceptions born in and appropriate to the natural attitude—i.e., all conceptions with which the phenomenologist begins—may have legitimate transcendental meaning.∞≤∫ Both issues are main themes precisely of the ‘‘transcendental theory of method,’’ which is a necessary task for phenomenology at an advanced level, and both are directly addressed in Fink’s ‘‘Sixth Meditation.’’ The way Fink resolves these two issues will be considered later; for the present we shall have to be content simply to see how the question is raised. It will not do, however, to leave these issues indeterminate, as in fact it was not in Fink’s mind to leave them so. In his notes from the period of writing his dissertation, Fink makes clear the key idea that will determine the specifics of the treatment that the I will receive. Husserl himself already points out the precedence of passive constitution before active constitution; but what this means further, Fink remarks,∞≤Ω is that there is also a precedence of ‘‘I-less constitution over egoic constitution.’’ True, the turn of attention, thematic grasp, and deliberate reflection are ‘‘specific spontaneities of the I,’’ ‘‘but they always have a space for the play of their freely operating mise-en-scène,’’ a ‘‘space’’ that is constituted in passive genesis. Nevertheless, this is not at all simply to eliminate any relevance of the concept of I or ego for the explication of transcendental subjectivity. ‘‘The de-egoing of I-ness (absolution) is not

127. Ibid. 128. ‘‘The explication of the being that devolves from the reduction places us before difficulties that must be taken seriously and have not been. All concepts in which we make assertions and explications originally have a natural-worldly meaning, the meaning of their original coining in the worldly life-situation of human being exercising its understanding.’’ VI.CM/2, p. 216. 129. The following phrases are taken from Z-IV 24a–b (EFM 1).


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attainable by a mundane annihilating of the I, but rather by the radicalizing of I-ness. And just so also for de-temporalizing.’’∞≥≠ Here we meet up again with the issue that we have already seen in Fink’s concerns from early on, in the question of whether the primordial stream of transcendental temporality has a beginning or an end (see above, 2.2). Put in general terms, it is the question of how anything could stand as a proper designation for the ultimately transcendental if it is necessarily structured in the framework of the result of transcendental functioning; it is also the question of how anything that was essentially structured within temporality could be identified as responsible for the constituting action of temporality itself. In the present context, the question can be sharpened further: ‘‘Is an ‘I’ possible that in the midst of time is not in time?’’ Is it a contradiction to conceive of an ‘‘I that is in time and ‘at the same time’ not in time?’’ And what of the I of (supposedly) transcendental reflection, the I doing phenomenology within the reduction, especially if it turns to the exploration of the stream of temporality itself as the level of origins? ‘‘Is a splitting of the I conceivable, so that the I that in reflecting takes the step of division is partly in, and partly not in, time?’’∞≥∞ After all, any reflecting that the I in question does is necessarily carried on in a duration of some kind; it begins and ends. How, then, can it carry out an inquiry into origins beyond its own conditioned streaming, which is precisely what it blithely seems to go on to try to do? Fink remarks: ‘‘The question of the origin of time is transformed into the question of the possibility of the reflective onlooker that does not stand in world-time.’’∞≥≤ The question of the transcendental I, then, becomes, in Fink’s phrasing, the ‘‘ ‘exemption crucis’ of ontological philosophy.’’∞≥≥ Ultimately it leads to the unresolvability of the question of what that I is in terms of explications that require a setting within temporality and the world; there is a fundamental ‘‘ontological unattainability of the I,’’∞≥∂ an ‘‘ontological opacity,’’∞≥∑ that has to be recognized instead of the simple ‘‘underdeterminacy’’ Heidegger charges. Fink has to face the lesson that neither an ontological nor an epistemological approach seems to suffice, nor will a simple complementing of one approach with the other so as to make up together for the lack that each alone repre130. Z-XV 117a, EFM 2. This note could be from as late as 1934, although the placement of the note in the entire set permits dating it as from 1931. 131. OH-I 6, EFM 2. This booklet opens with the date November 14, 1934. 132. OH-I 6, EFM 3. 133. OH-I 36, EFM 3. 134. Ibid. 135. The phrase first occurs in Z-V VII/10a (EFM 1), and is repeated later in Z-XIV IX/1b– /2a; Z-XV 31b, 100b, and 109a (EFM 2). See also VB/1, p. 9.

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sents.∞≥∏ He has to consider seriously that the only solution that can make any sense is one that maintains precisely the paradox just spoken of, namely, that of an ultimate of origins lying somehow prior to temporality and world, and therefore prior to being, yet taking on the form of an agency functioning within both temporality and world and projected as a being, the I of the reflecting philosopher. ‘‘The ontological opacity is not an underdeterminacy, but rather a necessity in principle. In the framework of the question of being the substantial subject is man attainable [therein] (even if not ultimately comprehensible), but never the transcendental subject, i.e., the subject that tran∞≥π It is too early yet in our scends ‘being’: the Absolute e¯ pékeina t˜hw ousíaw.’’ ¯ study to explain the meontic perspective that is broached here; too many pivotal matters have yet to be dealt with—specifically, the question of the world (chapter 4), of temporality (chapter 5), and of life (chapter 6)—before this can be the focus of direct treatment (chapter 7). However, that critically reassessing the status of the I in transcendental phenomenology is an issue of astonishing radical openness rather than a closed question is at least now indicated. Second Corollary of Un-Humanization: Critique of Psychological-Phenomenological Parallelism and Coinciding We are beginning to see some of the Freiburg workshop background to the strongly critical characterization that Husserl himself, in his last work, the ‘‘Crisis,’’ made of his presentation of phenomenology in a Cartesian orientation. In that last work Husserl acknowledges ‘‘a great shortcoming’’ in his own ‘‘Cartesian way,’’ namely, ‘‘it leads to the transcendental ego in one leap, as it were.’’ The problem with this is that ‘‘it brings this ego into view as »seemingly… empty of content;’’ one is at a loss, at first, ‘‘to know what has been gained by it.’’ Hence also, he continues, ‘‘as the way people took my Ideas showed, it is all too easy right at the very beginning to fall back into the naive-natural attitude.’’∞≥∫ The image Husserl uses here, that of the transcendental being reached ‘‘in one leap, as it were,’’ is the very image Fink used in his 1930 ‘‘Draft for the 136. OH-I 36–38, EFM 3. 137. Z-XV 109a, EFM 1 (word in brackets my addition); probably from 1931. 138. Crisis, p. 155 (§43), translation modified. A seemingly small matter to note here is the word placed in angle brackets in this text; it is one of the many additions that Fink wrote on the extant typescript of the Crisis text, though Husserl’s modifications to this typescript are far more numerous. Both kinds of modification are incorporated into the text in Hua VI.


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opening section of an Introduction to Phenomenology,’’∞≥Ω as well as in an earlier reflection in his notes.∞∂≠ But the idea should not be thought to originate so unequivocally with Fink. Husserl had himself ruminated about the very same shortcoming in his 1923–1924 lectures on the theory of the phenomenological reduction. There he considered an alternative to the ‘‘Cartesian’’ way, which he characterized as reaching transcendental subjectivity in the sheer character of ‘‘apodicticity,’’ without critically examining what all goes into apodicticity and without considering how undetermined the ‘‘pure subjectivity’’ thus claimed still was. The ‘‘new way to the ego cogito’’ that Husserl now sketched would proceed ‘‘in steps,’’ so that the ‘‘ego cogito’’ would not remain ‘‘an empty word.’’∞∂∞ The actual steps Husserl indicated there were not those Fink developed in either the 1930 ‘‘Draft’’ or his revisions for the ‘‘Second Meditation.’’ Nevertheless, the idea that a supposedly instant accession to the transcendental gets us to a station that is empty of specifics, to a kind of formal placeholder for the transcendental, rather than to the transcendental itself in positive and concrete determinateness, is in Husserl’s text and accords with the image of movement to the transcendental ‘‘in a single leap.’’ Whether this expression is of Fink’s coining or comes from a remark of Husserl’s, their agreement on the critical sense of the limitations in the Cartesian way is clear. What agreement on this point introduces, however, is a much broader general critical principle that we find Fink consistently follows in his working out of the critique stage of transcendental phenomenology, namely, that features of the I that one is familiar with as oneself in in-the-world experience are clues or starting points for regressing to the transcendental, rather than achieved paradigms of the transcendental’s own proper structures. As Fink puts it in his Kant-Studien article, ‘‘the world is not understood in its transcendentalphenomenological meaning as long as one directly identifies the ego living within the belief in the world with the ego exercising the epoché, so that the same ego is posited as first actively involved with the belief in the world and then as inhibiting this belief by ‘bracketing.’ ’’∞∂≤ The problem here, then, is to determine in principle the proper sense and 139. VI.CM/2, p. 26. 140. Z-V I/1a, EFM 1. 141. Hua VIII, p. 126. Boehm in his ‘‘Einleitung’’ (pp. xviii–xix) draws attention to this very passage as an anticipation of §43 of Crisis. Fink, not yet in Freiburg when Husserl delivered these lectures, could well have seen the idea represented in the later courses of Husserl’s that he did attend. On Fink’s access to Husserl’s manuscript materials, see 2.1 above, note 10. Cf. the parallel in Husserl’s remarks in FTLe, at the beginning of §106 (Hua XVII). 142. EH-Ke, pp. 114–15 (Studien, p. 121).

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status of the concepts that unavoidably have to be used in designating the transcendental, but the primary sense of which is psychological. This task of determination is all the more necessary in the ‘‘new way’’ that Husserl proposes to remedy the deficiencies of the ‘‘Cartesian way,’’ in that this ‘‘new way’’ is to work step by step through structures of subjectivity that are ‘‘psychological.’’∞∂≥ Fink characterizes the difficulty as that of avoiding the confusion wherein one would retain primarily ‘‘psychological’’ concepts in the easy familiarity of their worldly meaning and yet attempt ‘‘the decisive transformation they receive by the performance of the reduction.’’∞∂∂ More dramatically put, How are we to understand Husserl’s frequently repeated assertion of a perfect parallel, a perfect coinciding, between the features of transcendental subjectivity and those of psychological subjectivity? Husserl’s insistence on this is well known. He expressed it unambiguously in the lectures he gave on ‘‘Phenomenological Psychology’’ in 1925, in large part repeated in WS 1926–1927 and SS 1928, which is when Fink heard them; but the best-known, even more forceful statement of it is given in his preface to the 1931 English translation of Ideas I. There he speaks of the ‘‘remarkable thoroughgoing parallelism between a correctly executed phenomenological psychology and a transcendental phenomenology,’’ such that ‘‘to every eidetic, as well as to every empirical, constatation on the one side, a parallel must correspond on the other side.’’ And he even speaks of how ‘‘ ‘the same’ content’’ that in natural attitude psychology is ‘‘utterly non-philosophical’’ gets taken up ‘‘in the transcendental attitude’’ to become an achievement of a transcendental phenomenological ‘‘philosophical science.’’∞∂∑ Finally, one might think that this parallel is retained even in the ‘‘Crisis’’texts, for example, when Husserl writes that ‘‘everything mundane has its transcendental correlates.’’∞∂∏ The context there, however, is quite different, because there Husserl is speaking of the way in which, because of the peculiar (and still insufficiently explicated) identity between the human and the transcendental egos, the reflections of the transcendental ego are ‘‘transformed, by essential necessity, into an enrichment of the content of the human soul,’’ in this way adding ‘‘new determinations to man in the world.’’∞∂π We shall gradually get acquainted with the issues Husserl is confronting in this passage in the

143. Hua VIII, §46 and the entire fourth section (§47–§54). 144. EH-Ke, p. 117, translation modified, emphasis Fink’s (Studien, p. 124). 145. Hua V, pp. 146–47 (Ideas II, p. 414). 146. Crisis, p. 264, in §72 (Hua VI, p. 268). 147. Ibid. See also Fink’s ‘‘Outline for the Continuation of the Crisis,’’ Crisis, pp. 397– 400 (Hua VI, Beil. XXIX), for a clear sketch of the context.


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‘‘Crisis’’ in the course of our study, and so discussion of it must be postponed until later. (See What we have to do here is situate this thesis of psychological/transcendental-phenomenological parallelism, under its usual interpretation, in the program of critically reconsidering the pervasively mundanehuman character of conceptions used to designate the transcendental. The guiding principle here is quite straightforwardly given us by Fink in his revisions for Husserl’s ‘‘Cartesian Meditations.’’ The analyses that yield phenomenological-psychological description, the kind meant to stand as stepping-stones to a conception of the transcendental-phenomenological, represent in principle—especially in their centering on a monadic ego—a first and still naive stage, the entry-stage for regression to constitutive study. And it is ‘‘this first stage of the transcendental analysis of the ego’’ that ‘‘coincides in content fully with the psychological exposition of human interiority.’’∞∂∫ Admittedly, as Fink points out, the phenomenological reflections conducted under the epoché are not supposed to be simply reflections by a human self upon itself as human; but the fact remains that all the conceptuality used in the still incipiently transcendental phenomenological analysis is directly borrowed from that same human self-acquaintance. This is particularly true—and most convincing in its aptness—‘‘when the analysis of consciousness is restricted to ‘object-constitution.’ ’’ Then, Fink writes, the ‘‘thesis of the conversion of internal psychology into phenomenology’’ is ‘‘intelligible.’’∞∂Ω And this recalls the issue of ‘‘noematization,’’ which again correlates with the main focus of much of Husserl’s published work (at least) upon object-thematic actintentionality. It is clear to Fink that the move from the ‘‘natural’’ or ‘‘naïvely mundane’’ to the ‘‘transcendental,’’ at a stage of understanding well beyond that of initial entry, is not simply a change in ‘‘sign’’ or ‘‘value.’’ It cannot be a mere change in an ‘‘acceptance/validity’’ quotient, a withholding of positional belief or assent; it is as well a transformation of content—and not only of content-particulars but of the whole order of content-possibility. A deeply problematic theoretical issue lies at the heart of the principle of a parallel between positive psychological content and positive transcendental content. In anticipation of later treatment of the matter (especially in chapter 7) we can cite a passage in Fink’s notes from Husserl’s 1927–1928 seminar, concerning Ideas I, where the question of 148. VI.CM/2, p. 237 (Fink’s emphasis), a text to replace part of §34 in Cartesian Meditations; see also pp. 220–22, a new §23, to bring the ‘‘Third Meditation’’ into conformity with the texts Fink had written for the first two ‘‘Meditations.’’ 149. Z-XV 5a–b (EFM 2), probably from mid-1931. See also Z-VII XVIII/9b (EFM 2), from 1930, and VB/1, p. 10.

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the parallelism was discussed. Fink writes: ‘‘The ‘doubling’ of phenomenology into the psychological and the transcendental attitudes involves a ‘transcendental semblance’ [‘transzendentalen Schein’].’’∞∑≠ Here again is a matter that Fink thought of including in the sequel to his dissertation, and an issue explicitly indicated in his ‘‘Introduction,’’ where he emphatically warns that ‘‘the relapse of transcendental assertions into mundane-ontic conceptuality is the constant temptation for phenomenology,’’ given that ‘‘all available concepts have from the start a worldly meaning.’’∞∑∞ In the sequel he planned to treat the matter in terms of the unavoidable necessity of using concepts whose native seating is in the world, in order to treat matters that in principle stand beyond the world, i.e., the necessity of ‘‘transcendental semblance,’’ of an appearance that, transcendentally viewed, is the semblance of and not genuinely the transcendental itself.∞∑≤ While his same issue will be taken up in chapter 7 (7.2.1 and, the point is now clear how non-definitive the parallel in question must be, critically considered. It awaits yet the critique-guided reinterpretation of the perhaps paradoxical way in which the radically world-transcendent realizes and recognizes itself in the world-immanent. Third Corollary: Performance Consciousness as Clue to the Transcendental A final point in the critique reconsideration that phenomenology beyond the preliminaries focuses on remains to be briefly sketched out. Here, too, there is a double necessity. On the one hand, one has to identify and delimit the mundane-human content of conceptions used to articulate the structure of transcendental subjectivity; but on the other hand, since no concepts but mundane-human concepts are available, if any analysis is to have some value it must be that some concepts are more appropriate than others for the purpose.∞∑≥ Given the critique of the classic epistemological schema that Fink 150. U-IV 15. EFM 1. Fink goes on to mention a second ‘‘doubling’’ that is an early reference to the issue of transcendental phenomenologizing subjectivity, in its psychologicaltranscendental station, the overall theme of the ‘‘Sixth Meditation.’’ 151. VB/1, p. 13. See also Fink’s remark on Husserl’s notion of the parallelism as ‘‘difficult to see through in its deepest meaning’’ (VB/1, pp. 9–10), referring to the treatment of it in FTLe, §99, pp. 254–55 (Hua XVII, p. 262). See also Z-I 121c (EFM 1), indicating that the discussion in §5 of his ‘‘Introduction’’ was in effect a discussion of transcendental semblance. 152. See Z-XV, 56a–b (EFM 2), and Z-V VI/24b (EFM 1). 153. As we shall see later, to argue for ‘‘greater appropriateness’’ is not to relegate the ‘‘less appropriate’’ to the status of ‘‘entirely inappropriate’’; for even the ‘‘more appropri-


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has seen it necessary to make, ‘‘more appropriate’’ concepts would seem to have to be those that rather than being drawn from the schema of egoic objectthematizing act-intentionality would instead identify structures in consciousness that condition such object-centered intentional acts, that is, non-act or non-agent structures of intentionality. This is the approach Fink takes in his notes. The first step here is this: Instead of taking reflection as simply a repetition of object-thematization, whereby the ‘‘subject’’ becomes an ‘‘object’’ to itself, Fink wants to consider another option for characterizing it, namely, that reflection would not be ‘‘a reversal of a thematic consciousness’’ or an ‘‘an iteration of thematization’’ but rather the move to ‘‘an expression-mode of performance consciousness [Vollzugsbewußtsein].’’ In a word, reflection would not natively be simply ‘‘object-thematizing-and-presencing.’’∞∑∂ To frame the matter a little differently, one can ask what ‘‘thematization’’ means in regard to subjectivity, the sort of action performed routinely in the human sciences. Fink’s proposal is quite straightforward: ‘‘ ‘Inner’ experience is not a thematic experience: [it is] performance experience, which however is subject to a certain deinteriorization [Ent-innerlichung], an object-ifying [Ver-gegenstandlichung]. Ordinary reflection is not a reversed thematic stance.’’∞∑∑ Husserl, for his part, makes the distinction between an ‘‘anonymous’’ and a ‘‘thematic’’ action of consciousness; but to understand this distinction itself, Fink points out, one has to clarify the nature of the move from the first to the second, i.e., what ‘‘the condition for the possibility of the thematizing of the hitherto ‘anonymous’ ’’ is. Any such thematization of this anonymous process presupposes ‘‘an antecedent having,’’ a ‘‘performance experience’’ of it.∞∑∏ And with this we enter the whole question of temporality as anonymously proceeding constitutive process; for not only does any process take place as temporal, but how something is or becomes present (or presented) to consciousness is a matter of a mode of temporality. And with inquiry into temporality, as we hardly need reminding, ate’’ is still in principle not-proper and not-adequate. See, the treatment of ideas in the correspondence with the Rev. E. W. Edwards. 154. Z-XV 67a (EFM 2), all quoted phrases Fink’s with his emphasis, from 1930 or 1931. 155. Z-V X/1a–b (EFM 1), from 1929, emphasis Fink’s, additions in brackets mine. (See also VB/1, p. 5.) The qualification—‘‘a certain de-interiorization’’—in this earlier note of Fink’s is strengthened in those coming soon after, e.g., Z-VII XVIII/1a (EFM 2), where Fink states quite unequivocally ‘‘reflection is never a thematizing (object-ifying) of so-called ‘immanent life,’ but is a particular mode of the intensification of performance experience [Vollzugserfahrung].’’ 156. Z-VII XXII/7a, EFM 2.

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we would reach the fundamental level of the phenomenological analysis of constitution, where the grounds lie for determining the conditions under which conceptualization of the transcendental is or is not proper and adequate. At this point we can give only a minimum indication of what is involved, postponing more detailed consideration until chapter 5. Take, for example, the way an early remark of Husserl’s has to be reconsidered. In Ideas I Husserl gives a characterization of origin-level consciousness of time as ‘‘functioning like perceptual consciousness.’’∞∑π But he goes on to explain that it is not in the theme-focused taking of an object as presented that the likeness holds. It is in the already in play potential for thematic taking that one has to look for the specific kind of process in which ‘‘all-embracing temporalization’’ is ipso facto temporal awareness. In short, consciousness of time is obviously not ‘‘a continual immanent perceiving,’’ one that would be continually actually and thematically positing itself in its awareness; and this is just the point that Fink wants to focus on. He finds it necessary to go one step further and to explore the kind of awareness that thus has to be already operative pre-thematically in order for a thematic awareness to set in subsequently. Fink explains his approach: ‘‘The ‘present’ [die Gegenwart] is always in awareness in the very performance of it [vollzugsmäßig bewußt], even if a-thematically. Perception breaks down into an objective intentionality, consciousness-of, and the timeintentionality of making-present [Gegenwärtigen]. Only on the basis of making-present can thematic intentionality be established. (See Heidegger’s doctrine of ‘transcendence.’) Objects themselves are never present [ gegenwärtig]. The present is not a property of an object, as is, for example, coloredness, etc. It is not because objects are present that there is the present, but the reverse: because the present has taken place as temporalization [gezeitigt ist], objects can be present.’’∞∑∫ Fink finds Husserl to have generally subsumed the whole area of the non-thematic dimension of conscious experience to the subjectobject schematization that dominates both published statements of phenomenology and much of Husserl’s manuscript work, leaving unconsidered the question of its appropriateness for characterizing the transcendental. Fink in contrast had projected taking up this matter of non-thematic experience in the sequel to his dissertation,∞∑Ω and we shall consider various elements of this fundamental topic in later chapters. Here at least the common thread is now indicated: the analysis of ultimate constituting process will not take its clues 157. Ideas I, p. 265 (Hua III/1, p. 229, §113). 158. Z-VII XVII/30a (EFM 2), emphasis all Fink’s, from 1930. See also Z-V III/9a (EFM 1) and Z-IX 18a (EFM 2). 159. See Z-V IV/4a, EFM 1.


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exclusively or primarily from subject-object thematic intentionality; it will take them from non-thematic performance experience, from such things as wakefulness and sleep, from an intentionality that is not focus-aimed but fielddimensional, horizonal; and this intentionality will be a manner of the very life and being of the human entity, rather than simply a thematic action it undertakes and leaves off by its own will and agency.

2.7. A Final Word: Continuing Phenomenology by Reradicalizing the Issues It is clear from reading texts of Fink’s together with those of Husserl’s on the same issues in these Freiburg years that Husserl was far ahead of Fink in subtlety and detail in his exploration of the complexity of mental phenomena. On the other hand, reading Fink’s résumés of Husserl’s lecture courses and studying his personal notes, one sees another kind of ability at work. Fink had a condensing lens of a mind, one that focused many rays of detail to bring them together at a burning point of essentials, not the essentials of a doctrinal position but the essentials of an issue that lay at the heart of an analysis and its results. In his 1935 paper on Kant and phenomenology Fink speaks of what is involved in interpreting a philosophy. It does not mean ‘‘to get its doctrine free from misunderstandings and in an objectively valid report.’’ Rather, before all else it is ‘‘the endeavor . . . to take a leaping step into the fundamental question of a philosophy and to do its questioning along with it.’’ It is to be ‘‘swept up by the original power of a questioning that puts our whole natural world into question.’’ That one begins to ‘‘grasp something of the thing itself that is at issue for the being [Dasein] that is doing philosophy.’’∞∏≠ The aim of the present study, then, is not merely to show that some individual named Fink was offering interesting alternatives to Husserl’s statement of findings in phenomenology, and doing it alongside Husserl himself, all of which might make for good historical reading. The aim has been rather to flesh out in detail the dimension of questioning that Fink found Husserl’s own program to require as intrinsic to its reaching the stage of completness and integration. Far from thinking of transcendental phenomenology as a preset schema for fixing doctrinal answers, Fink takes Husserl’s work to open up a new and radical questioning, and accordingly to institute a new order of intelligibility; and it does this by virtue of the radicality of the problem that initiates phenomenology itself as philosophy. This is no more than to say that the ‘‘system’’ of phenomenology is the mode 160. ND, p. 13, emphasis Fink’s. See also Z-XVI III/1a, EFM 3.

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of progression taken by its radical questioning. But it is not enough merely to state in general terms the general features of this progression, for example, to observe that naive conceptions have to be critically reviewed, that individual investigations may lie on different levels of penetration, that interpretative integration over differences of level and differences of topics has to be worked out, that ‘‘higher descriptions’’ or more general, overarching concepts have to be continually clarified on the basis of the particular investigations. The actual work of systematic comprehension has to be done, or those general statements remain merely formal;∞∏∞ and any such general statements are merely aids to the realization of what is being accomplished in the work itself. There is, thus, a paucity of actual discussions of the nature of the phenomenological ‘‘system’’ by either Husserl or Fink; we find instead brief indications, not treatises. It is within the way the detail work itself is done that we shall see the critique and interpretive recasting that is the renewal of questioning and the mark of phenomenological radicality. The systematic will lie in the doing of phenomenology, not in a doctrinal summary of it. This is what the present chapter is meant to be the first example of. Not the simple juxtaposition of doctrinal theses identified by two names, Husserl and Fink, nor the raising of hypothetically possible options or points of criticism, it is a study of the actual documents, the actual material of the systematic progression of critique, reinterpretation, integration, and question-renewal that was at work in Freiburg in the last ten years of Husserl’s life. That is, it is at the same time historical and theoretical, showing what went on in fact as imposed by the demands of principle. So it is that we find Fink compelled to enter the work of phenomenology in such a way as to take Husserl’s criticism of Husserl’s own thought further, even when it would require Husserl’s thought to come to terms with something that Husserl felt—regrettably—to be totally alien to it, namely, more than anything else, the thinking of Martin Heidegger.

161. Fink himself regularly characterizes statements in the ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ as merely formal; see CM6, pp. 50 (VI.CM/1, p. 55), 53 (58), 64 (72), 67 (75), 72 (81), 143 (158), and 151 (168). The more specific sense of terming a conceptualization as methodologically ‘‘formal’’ will be taken up again in consideration of ‘‘formal indication.’’ See 7.2.1.


Orientation II: Who Is Phenomenology? Husserl—Heidegger?

Before thus reading Heidegger he [Husserl] had often said to Heidegger: ‘‘You and I are phenomenology.’’ —Dorion Cairns, Conversations∞ In the end the relationship of Husserl and Heidegger is to be compared to the argument between two men, each of whom declares of the other that he’s putting the bridle on the wrong end of the horse. Or: Husserl begins with the analysis of ontical knowledge, Heidegger with ontological knowledge. Husserl is blind to transcendence, Heidegger is blind to constitution. —Eugen Fink, Z-X 15a≤ The years 1929 and 1930 saw Fink in an extraordinary philosophical situation. Here was Martin Heidegger, lecturing with stunning originality and insightfulness, the chosen successor of Husserl openly taking issue with his once indispensable patron. And here was Husserl, model of intense, meticulous phenomenological study, shocked into recognition that ‘‘his’’ Heidegger 1. C-HF, p. 9, entry for August 13, 1931. 2. EFM 2.


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was a man other than he had thought him to be and a figure whose philosophical development was a profound challenge to all that Husserl had thought was the secure foundation of his life’s work. And there stood Eugen Fink, fresh with his doctorate gained while listening to both men, compelled to do his thinking in the maelstrom of their differences. On the one side were Heidegger’s lectures, from which Fink took detailed notes for six semesters from 1928 to 1931—and of course there was Being and Time and Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics. On the other side lay Fink’s four years of following Husserl’s courses, two years of working with him in increasing closeness, the reading of mounds of manuscripts of both lectures and research writings—and the now daily conversation with the intense seventy-year-old thinker. In November 1930 Fink was about to work out a 120-page draft for the first part of Husserl’s monumental project for a new comprehensive statement of his phenomenology (see 1.3), at the same time that he was beginning another semester of following Heidegger’s lectures, ‘‘Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit.’’≥ Simultaneously with this, Fink gave private tutorials to some scholars from Japan who had come to study under Husserl; the main tutorial was nothing other than a seminar on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit !∂ It is in this context, in this heady mixture of Husserl, Heidegger, and Hegel, that a most revealing note of Fink’s gives his thinking on how to understand the now fissioning phenomenology of his training, how to take together those two so different thinkings in phenomenology that had so deeply influenced his own. ‘‘Phenomenology’’ is not a ‘‘trend’’ [‘‘Richtung’’] but a substantive form of philosophy itself. It is not, however, a mere science of consciousness, that is, eidetic investigation of the structurings that constitute consciousness; in its innermost thrust it is a new transformation of the concept of philosophy insofar as the latter is defined as ontology, as the question of being. And this transformation is: that philosophy is the un-nihilating of the Absolute, the free production of it, true theogony. With Husserl phenomenology is indeed unspeculative, i.e., in it what gets developed is first and foremost the seriousness needed for the final struggle, the most difficult of all to begin. Husserl gave phenomenology the dignity and rank of ‘‘the rigorous striving of the concept’’; Heidegger gave it critical-speculative élan. In Heidegger phenomenology comes to its first truth.∑ 3. Fink’s notes from this course are in EFA U-MH-VI (not in EFM), corresponding to MH-GA 32. 4. See Z-VIII (EFM 2) Notes for another tutorial on Husserl’s phenomenology are in Z-VII XVI/1–5, December 3, 1930 (EFM 2), also in N-EF, pp. 106–10. 5. Z-VII XIV/4a, EFM 2.


Who Is Phenomenology?

The thinking throughout the subset of notes from which this one is taken is in keeping with the tenor of these lines. Fink grapples with the question of how phenomenology is a movement that binds seeming opposites together in a single enterprise that would take philosophy to its uttermost limits. Thinking in phenomenology could not be a matter of school adherence to a specific figure, be it Husserl or Heidegger. The philosophy at work in phenomenology must embrace both these men—and others, as here Hegel—and move through and beyond them, being furthered by them in different ways. Beyond reaching ‘‘first truth,’’ phenomenology’s full truth, then, is not to be identified with either Edmund Husserl or Martin Heidegger—or Eugen Fink. What Fink was working to achieve was a way in which the basic difference dividing Husserl and Heidegger in their own eyes could be linked in one dramatically convergent way, right in the contrast indicated in the lines above, viz., the contrast between Husserl’s analytic rigor of substantive eidetic articulation focused on ‘‘die Sachen selbst’’ and Heidegger’s powerful speculative probing and redefining of fundamental meaning focused on the question of being. The relentlessly self-critical moment of Husserl’s investigations was the methodological exigency driving Fink’s work for him; but needed in that drive was something Husserl did not provide, the ‘‘critical-speculative élan’’ in which Heidegger excelled, not just in abstract general terms but in the way this ‘‘question of being’’ could be articulated from within the concrete investigation of human being. It was by some integration of these two moments that Husserl’s ‘‘system’’ could become genuinely philosophic, could reach its ‘‘first truth’’; only if the ‘‘critical-speculative’’ moment worked as strongly as analytic rigor in concrete attention to die Sache selbst could the loosening of the bond of starting-point conceptualities be achieved and the full sense of phenomenological findings be articulated. But following this ‘‘critical-speculative’’ thrust might mean as well the exigency to move beyond even ‘‘ontology’’ as Heidegger refashioned it, toward handling the question of the ‘‘absolute’’ that figured as centrally for Husserl . . . and for the Hegel of the engagements that held much of Fink’s attention as the 1930–1931 winter semester began. This is the first thing to take note of in Fink’s confronting of Husserl’s work with that of Heidegger: just as the Husserl to take into account is the Husserl of the whole program of his phenomenology in those Freiburg years, so also Heidegger is the Heidegger not just of Being and Time but of his now ongoing lecturing as well. For example, as Heidegger came to the close of ‘‘Introduction to Philosophy,’’ his first course as new holder of the First Chair of Philosophy in Freiburg, he made clear that rethinking past philosophies—or, indeed, following Heidegger’s own rethinking of them—was far from simply repeating those earlier ideas—or his—in slavish devotion. For Heidegger to assert as

Who Is Phenomenology?


he did now unambiguously, as Fink noted down, that ‘‘the unitary problematic of philosophy is the problem of transcendence’’ meant, in Heidegger’s explicit words, that doing philosophy was simply itself a ‘‘transcending.’’ To do philosophy was at one and the same time (a) to take up the problem of being and the problem of the world and in them to ‘‘bring transcendence . . . to conceptual explicitness’’—i.e., to take the stance that ‘‘held transcendence up from its ground,’’ to be ‘‘ground-bearing purely and simply’’—and (b) to ‘‘break open the freedom of play’’ that would allow Dasein ‘‘to gain stance.’’ In a word, ‘‘philosophizing is the freeing of Dasein for itself . . . i.e., for intimacy with beings and with its own being. . . . Fidelity to oneself is the essential, and is not just making one’s own caprices the important thing.’’∏ To do philosophy in Freiburg in 1930 was, then, not to be simply a disciple either of Husserl or of Heidegger in dutiful following of some orthodox doctrine; it could only mean to think with them and to question, to engage in the questions that drove philosophy to take the form it had in phenomenology as a living movement that embraced both Husserl and Heidegger. What Fink came to see as characterizing living phenomenology was not that it substituted a new set of doctrinal theses for old ones—e.g., that consciousness is essentially intentionality, or that subjectivity constituted objectivity as its telos; or that the essence of Dasein is existence, or care, or transcendence— but rather that it was a movement of continual requestioning and ever-renewed consideration of the very elements that comprise life and thought in the midst of reality. This was the point of the epoché, a move of suspension that opened a questioning that has to be repeated for those very conceptions and descriptions that the epoché itself allows to take on new meaning in the field of pure phenomena, such conceptions as ‘‘immanence,’’ ‘‘intentional,’’ ‘‘subject,’’ and ‘‘consciousness’’ itself. If phenomenology meant going back along the line of the presuppositions that cover human life in the world in order to disclose the roots of that life and the hidden meaning of the presupposed, then radical questioning and freedom are of the methodological essence of phenomenology.π We come thus to the remark quoted as an epigraph at the beginning of the chapter. More interesting than the image it gives—of two men who each accuse the other of bridling a horse on the wrong end—is the fact that this note

6. EFA U-MH-I 150–152 (corresponding to MH-GA 27, pp. 395, 397, 398, and 401), all emphasis that of Fink’s text itself. 7. See Z-IV 27a (EFM 1), a note paralleling Heidegger’s emphasis on ‘‘freedom’’ and entitled ‘‘Situation of the Phenomenological Reduction,’’ which is virtually the same name given §5 in the ‘‘Introduction’’ to the dissertation (Studien, pp. 14–16). The idea of freedom, however, is not taken up in this ‘‘Introduction.’’


Who Is Phenomenology?

carries the designation ‘‘Thesis for ‘Difference.’ ’’ This title, in fact the name for a writing project that, among many others, never emerged from Fink’s notes to see the light of day, is a fascinating miming of the famous Hegelian antecedent of 1801 on Fichte and Schelling: the full title Fink gave it is ‘‘Difference between Husserl’s and Heidegger’s System of Philosophy.’’∫ As we shall see, Fink, in a remarkable parallel to Hegel’s double critique, works the post-preliminary reinterpretation of twentieth-century phenomenology by rethinking the work of the two philosophers he is following. And this he does, like Hegel, by addressing the very issue that lies at the heart of the differences between Husserl and Heidegger, to find therein the resources for moving beyond the achievements of both. The clue to that central issue, that is, to those elements in phenomenological description that need to be critically rethought, is already pointed to in the exergue: ‘‘Husserl is blind to transcendence, Heidegger is blind to constitution.’’

3.1. A Third Way Beyond Mutually Opposing Constitution and Transcendence In the course of chapter 2 ( we saw how equivocation marked Husserl’s analysis of constitution specifically in regard to the status of being in regard to cognition, and then how Heidegger criticized Husserl for not explicitly raising the question of the meaning of being (even if Fink found Heidegger’s fundamental ontology to be in turn marked with a fundamental ambiguity) (see In the simplest formulation of principles one could put the contrast between Husserl and Heidegger as follows, in Fink’s words: the paradox of the two ways for philosophy to start: (a) the ontological way, which thematically intends being, but unthematically makes use of the relation of cognition; (b) the ‘‘theory of knowledge’’ way, which thematically fixes the subject-object relation as basis, but constantly unthematically presupposes ‘‘being.’’Ω

This, however, is too general to capture the specific point at issue between Husserl and Heidegger, and Fink’s numerous and extensive reflections sharpen the focus considerably. But we should see the whole context of the lines quoted above in order to follow it out to the consequence Fink draws there. 8. In the abbreviated title, Z-X 13a–b, 15a, and 24a (EFM 2), and in the full title, Z-XIV II/1b, from 1934 (EFM 2); see also Z-IV 120b (probably late 1928 to mid-1929; EFM 1). 9. OH-I 36–37; EFM 2. Strictly speaking, the contrast should be between an ontological and a gnoseological entry; see, note 83 (in the appendix).

Who Is Phenomenology?


The note-text just quoted actually offers a proposal by Fink for explicating the crucial issue of how to determine the being of the transcendental I, a central point of contention between Heidegger and Husserl and ‘‘the ‘exemplum crucis’ of ontological philosophy.’’ For what it does is to force consideration of ‘‘the ontological unattainability of the I.’’∞≠ If we look back on philosophic history, Fink explains, we find a ‘‘philosophy of identity’’ as the way of resolving these two possible ways for philosophy to begin, namely, in taking ‘‘being’’ and ‘‘thinking’’ to be one—thus philosophy from Parmenides and Plato to Hegel. But more recently the solution has been sought by the endeavor of ‘‘an ontology of knowing.’’ In this the antinomy seems to disappear, when ‘‘the organ of the cognition of that which is [das Organ des Erkenntnis vom Seienden]’’ is interpretively seen through ‘‘to its constitutive state of being [Seinsverfassung].’’ Fink, however, finds himself compelled to consider ‘‘a new third solution,’’ namely, ‘‘the conception of the freedom from being on the part of spirit,’’ that is, ‘‘the meontic conception of cognition,’’ which would include within itself the two other attempts at a solution ‘‘as subordinated problems.’’∞∞ The whole schema of Fink’s ideas for the ‘‘Difference between Husserl’s and Heidegger’s System of Philosophy,’’ and for his thrust beyond that difference, is virtually contained in this passage. We have to go slowly, however; to unpack the implications given in this schema will take the whole course of the present study, beginning here with the specifics of the difference between Heidegger’s ontological ‘‘transcendence’’ and Husserl’s epistemological ‘‘constitution.’’

3.2. Transcendence in Heidegger’s Fundamental Ontology It is significant that the prominence of Heidegger’s concept of ‘‘transcendence’’ in his fundamental ontology comes across more fully in his lectures than it does in Being and Time. Transcendence may be the term Heidegger comes to prefer for the key structural element of the analysis of Dasein in that book, but it does not come into its own until late in its exposition, in §69. As a proper characterization of Dasein, it is what the long treatment leads to, rather than that from which it expositionally proceeds. In short, the traditional conception of the transcendence of the world is grounded in the fundamental transcendence of ‘‘Dasein.’’∞≤ Heidegger is much clearer about this in his last lecture course at Marburg, in the summer semester of 1928, under the simple 10. OH-I 36; EFM 2 and; and see appendix. 11. All quoted phrasings from OH-I 37–38, in EFM 2. 12. SZ, pp. 363–66.


Who Is Phenomenology?

title, ‘‘Logic.’’∞≥ About midway through the treatment here transcendence is presented as the pivotal conception for understanding the essence of truth and the structure of grounding—and therefore for understanding the nature of the ‘‘logical’’; and transcendence is now directly and simply named ‘‘being-in-theworld,’’ in an equating of it with the understanding of being that is fundamental to human being, to Dasein.∞∂ Thereafter the course of Heidegger’s treatment is an exposition, in great part historical, of the meaning of Dasein’s transcendence (§11) as well as of the temporalization that conditions transcendence in its world-opening capability and its freedom (§12), and that therefore ultimately grounds the truth force of the logical (§13–14). Heidegger arrived in Freiburg with these ideas obviously firmly in hand, and his first course of lectures, ‘‘Introduction to Philosophy,’’ wove those same ideas integrally into a view of the nature of philosophic thinking, in part via a reading of Kant. This is where Fink began hearing Heidegger’s own exposition of his thinking after Being and Time, and he could hardly fail to grasp the centrality of the concept of transcendence in the architectonics of Heidegger’s philosophic enterprise. As was the case with Husserl, Fink’s understanding of Heidegger’s thinking developed out of a close listening to the thinker’s own thinking as it came across in the living word, rather than primarily in the form of written texts. Fink heard Heidegger not only in all the courses he gave in his first two years at Freiburg but also in the Davos lectures on Kant in March 1929,∞∑ as well as in those addresses in the special leaps and turns of which the transformation of Heidegger’s thinking is formulated. Fink thus heard both Heidegger’s inaugural lecture of July 24, 1929, ‘‘What Is Metaphysics?’’— which no doubt disconcerted Husserl∞∏ —and ‘‘On the Essence of Truth,’’ delivered on December 11, 1930,∞π in which, according to Heidegger’s later

13. MH-GA 26, under the fuller title, ‘‘The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic.’’ 14. ‘‘If then primordial transcendence (being-in-the-world) makes possible the intentional relation and if the latter is, however, an ontic relation, and the relation to the ontic is grounded in the understanding-of-being, then there must be an intrinsic kinship between primordial transcendence and the understanding-of-being. They must in the end be one and the same.’’ MFL, pp. 135–36 (MH-GA 26, §9, p. 170). 15. See 1.2, p. 20. 16. Fink’s notes on the lecture are in Z-IV 99a–b; EFM 1. Husserl’s hearing it contributed to the general assessment of Heidegger’s work that he was then undertaking (see 1.2 in chapter 1). See Husserl’s letter to Alexander Pfänder on January 6, 1930, with the distressing conclusion that Heidegger’s philosophy was of the kind ‘‘that I have always counted it was my life’s task to make forevermore impossible’’ (Bw II, p. 184). 17. Fink’s notes are in U-MH-V 125–37 (not in EFM). Fink also read ‘‘On the Essence of Ground,’’ Heidegger’s contribution to the festschrift honoring Husserl on his seventieth birthday; cf. Z-IV 94a, EFM 1. One should add that Fink heard Heidegger’s ‘‘Origin

Who Is Phenomenology?


assertion, ‘‘a certain insight’’ is given into the ‘‘turn’’ by which the whole framework of Being and Time is ‘‘reversed.’’∞∫ Heidegger’s first Freiburg lecture course in the 1928–1929 winter semester, however, was not just a repetition of firmly held themes. He was constantly developing and nuancing his thinking; and in this case he drew out the concept of transcendence somewhat further. After recapitulating his now regularly stated general conception of it as the ‘‘Ninth Thesis’’ and ‘‘Tenth Thesis’’ of this course of lectures, he introduces a new note (again in Fink’s representation of it): ‘‘Eleventh Thesis: ‘The transcendence of Dasein is the condition for the possibility of the ontological difference, and therefore in order for the distinction between being and beings [der Unterschied von Sein und Seiendem] to enter the scene in the first place.’ ’’∞Ω This new note of assertion is directly pertinent to the critique of Heidegger by Fink that we shall be getting to shortly. It is also interesting to note in the ‘‘Twelfth Thesis’’ that Heidegger expresses a conception of philosophy that surely is one of the influences confirming Fink in how he understands the central systematic move of phenomenology, namely, as an ever-repeated return of questioning: ‘‘The fundamental question of philosophy must therefore become over and over again simply a question. Philosophizing as human transcending, as the working out of the question of being, has the form of the question that disquiets, in other words, it is a matter of understanding ontology as a problem.’’≤≠ But to continue the main issue train of thought: There is also a second new note that comes three-quarters of the way through the course, as Heidegger elaborates on the conception of Dasein’s ‘‘being-in-the-world’’ as transcendence, as constitutively the move wherein it ‘‘rises beyond what-is as a whole [das Seiende im Ganzen]’’ in order precisely thereby ‘‘to relate to that-whichis’’ as what-is as being—as Seiendes—as well as to itself, Dasein, as a being.≤∞ That this ‘‘transcending’’ is also that wherein ‘‘Dasein holds itself in relation to the world’’≤≤ is already familiar from Being and Time, whereby also the world of the Work of Art,’’ delivered in Freiburg on November 13, 1935, his brief notes from which are in Z-XVII 1a and 19a; EFM 3. 18. ‘‘Brief über den ‘Humanismus,’ ’’ Wgm, p. 159. 19. U-MH-I 64–66 (quotation marks Fink’s, emphasis mine), corresponding to MHGA 27, p. 210. 20. U-MH-I 68–70 (emphasis and quotation marks Fink’s), MH-GA 27, p. 214. Heidegger includes here the idea about doing philosophy that was represented earlier, viz., ‘‘Philosophy as transcending is the self-sufficient freeing of Dasein into its essence.’’ 21. U-MH-I 110; MH-GA 306. 22. U-MH-I 111; MH-GA 27, p. 307. One should note as well the ambiguity—or paradox—of this ‘‘rising above [Überstieg]’’ inasmuch as the ‘‘Whereunto’’ of transcen-


Who Is Phenomenology?

is not reducible simply to things assembled in a sum total. But at this point Heidegger begins to portray the concrete dynamic of this reaching out to ‘‘the world,’’ of this transcendence, on the basis of a characterization by Kant of the world as ‘‘the ‘play of life,’ ’’≤≥ so that the world is now looked at as having ‘‘the character of play.’’≤∂ Heidegger explains: ‘‘World is the title for the play [das Spiel ] that the transcendence of Dasein as such plays. . . . Being-in-theworld is the original playing of the play which every factic Dasein must get into in order to be able to play itself out in such a way that all through its existence this or that is the game played on factic Dasein.’’≤∑ It cannot be doubted that here is a strong influence upon what will become one of the most prominent topics of Fink’s thinking in later years, long after his work with Husserl,≤∏ but it will also appear much sooner than that, as chapter 1 has already indicated (see the last page or two of 1.4). As we shall see in chapter 5, ‘‘play’’ will become for Fink a way of trying to move beyond accepted terminological schemata for approaching the ultimate and deeply problematic level of the analysis of constitutive process, of the event of temporalization (Zeitigung); but there is much to understand before that. Through both a close study of Being and Time—closer by far than Husserl himself had initially done—and through the attentive following of Heidegger’s lectures, Fink had become quite familiar with the core of Heidegger’s systematic thinking, such as represented in Heidegger’s elaborations on transcendence. Heidegger’s fundamental ontology formed the basis for a serious criticism of Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology; Fink had to take it into account both to assess the limitations that it disclosed in Husserl’s position and to work out the deficiencies that fundamental ontology itself might possess while offering valid contributions to Husserl’s phenomenological program.

dence, and the ‘‘Whence [Woher]’’ and ‘‘Wherefrom [Wovon-aus]’’ by which Dasein comes to relate to any being as being, including to itself (U-MH-I 110; MH-GA 27, p. 307)—all of which make up the world—is both a relatum (the Woraufhin) and the conditioning horizon-frame for relating (the Woher and Wovonaus), i.e., for Dasein to relate as a being to anything whatever (including to beings). 23. Anthropologievorlesung, ed. by Arnold Kowalewski (Munich and Leipzig, 1924), p. 71, cited in MH-GA, p. 300 (vgl. U-MH-I 107). 24. U-MH-I 112; MH-GA 27, p. 310. 25. U-MH-I 114; MH-GA 27, p. 312. Fink underlined every sentence in this passage, though this is not done here in the quotation. 26. Thus Fink’s Spiel als Weltsymbol (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1960), translated into half a dozen languages, but not yet into English. Such anticipations are not matters that we shall be able to develop here, but the suggestion of organic development from Fink’s first years through to his independent endeavors after the Second World War is indeed a corollary of the present study.

Who Is Phenomenology?


3.3. The Issues in Fink’s Critique of Fundamental Ontology The best approach to the way mutual critique between Husserl and Heidegger can be performed as a move of post-preliminary phenomenology is to begin at the juncture where the two address a common problem, namely— and not surprisingly—the age-old question of how being and knowing come together in the actions and capacities of that entity named man. This problem is a problem as old as philosophy itself, and every philosopher there ever was meets every other one in trying to resolve it. We must look at it now where Husserl and Heidegger converge on it specifically in phenomenology. This comes precisely at the point where each starts off—which is also the point at which they diverge—namely, in the move by which methodical reflection transforms the sphere of ordinary experiential familiarity into the specific field of philosophic inquiry, the move of the phenomenological reduction. Husserl and Heidegger agree that the naïveté of ordinary awareness of and dealings with surrounding things and fellow humans, the unquestioning adoption of a matrix of concepts and a stance of construal within which all our actions are taken generally to make sense to us while we do them, has to be broken through in order to begin the explication that shows what human being is, especially in its capacity both to understand and to affect and remake what it finds existent around it. Where Husserl and Heidegger disagree is in regard to the determination of the character that the phenomena already familiar in the ordinary stance of construal are to be shown to have in the transformation of the meaning of those phenomena by the act of reflection indicated by the term reduction. Fink represents this convergencedivergence in the way Heidegger finds the beginning of philosophy in the recognition of ‘‘the fact of the indifferent, leveled-out understanding of being.’’ Philosophy here is ‘‘explication of ‘being,’ ’’ and ‘‘philosophizing = living, existing.’’ Husserl, in contrast, begins ‘‘by putting into question the naive horizon of problems.’’ Philosophy for him is ‘‘progress: not just the movement of subjective appropriation done in knowing about X, but rather productive experience.’’≤π We see here the well-known recognition that Heidegger unlike Husserl makes the question of being the focus of his starting point for philosophy; but Fink presents as well the contrast between the Husserlian conception of philosophy as progressively adding components of positive knowledge, as a kind of science, and Heidegger’s idea of philosophy as a realization of another sort, 27. These quoted phrasings are all from Z-IX XVII/4a, EFM 2. This subset of notes is undated, but the dates in Z-IX are all in the fall of 1931. The expression ‘‘leveled out understanding of being’’ corresponds to Heidegger’s own way of putting things in his lectures for SS 1930, as in EFA U-MH-IV 103; MH-GA 31, p. 238.


Who Is Phenomenology?

neither a science nor progress in positive acquisitions but life and existence.≤∫ The first of these elements of difference, however, will be our focus at present, the difference in the way the basic operation and yield of the phenomenological reduction is characterized. Chapters 6 and 7 will take up the second difference.

3.3.1. The Phenomenological Reduction and the Ontological Difference; the A Priori Problem It is a curious fact that the term phenomenological reduction does not occur either in Being and Time or in any of Heidegger’s Freiburg lecture courses as recorded in Fink’s résumés of them. Nevertheless, Fink speaks regularly of the reduction in the personal research notes in which he contrasts the positions of Husserl and Heidegger. Had Fink heard Heidegger lecturing in Marburg, he would have got an explicit statement by Heidegger on how the reduction was adapted to serve the thematizing disclosure of the ontological difference.≤Ω All the same, even without that it had become clear to him that this was a key point of conflict, again as shown in his research notes. The issue taken up in them is whether it is legitimate to take Husserl’s reduction as the move that can lead to disclosure of the difference between ‘‘being’’ [das Sein] and ‘‘beings’’ [das Seiende]. Is there any principle preventing the reduction being transformed into that very disclosure, and therefore precluding Heidegger’s thinking from being considered as the organic carrying forward of the fundamental thrust of Husserl’s phenomenology? Fink’s answer is categorical: ‘‘The return to the ‘subject’ (qua transcendence: the projection of the understanding of being) and thereby the express thematizing of the ‘being’ of beings [‘Sein’ des Seienden] is toto caelo different from the ‘constitutive turn back’ from object-directed (world-captivated) life to transcendental-constituting life. Thesis: the phenomenological reduction is in no way the explicit performance of the ‘ontological difference.’ ’’≥≠ The reasons for this unconditioned rejection of an equivalence between Husserl’s reduction and Heidegger’s thematizing of the ontological difference, however, have to be drawn from other notes of Fink’s in the whole context of his advanced-level critical reconsideration of transcendental phenomenology. Accordingly, the first point to make is that, in Heidegger’s proposal to reframe the reduction as the thematization of being in contradistinction to 28. This is one of the themes of Heidegger’s first Freiburg lecture course. See EFA U-MH-I 70–71; MH-GA 27, §31, especially p. 225. 29. See MH-GA 24, pp. 28–29, from SS 1927. 30. Z-IX 25a, emphasis Fink’s; EFM 2. This note is undated, but the dates in this collection are all from autumn 1931.

Who Is Phenomenology?


beings, he seems to construe the opening-level character of Husserl’s phenomenology as its proper and final character. That is, Heidegger presents the schema of subject-object epistemological intentionality, within which the phenomena for reduction-level analysis are initially structured and investigated, as taken to be final and definitive for determinating transcendental phenomenology’s proper matter for inquiry, and for its findings and conclusions. But questioning and relativizing this conception together with its many implications is precisely what Fink finds phenomenology itself to require in its own systematic self-critique. ‘‘Bracketing,’’ Fink argues, may initially be the framing in noematic-object-form of some matter for investigation, but that framing should not thereby be thought to be necessarily that investigated matter’s ultimate character in its native function or in its original forming in transcendental constitution. Moreover, the reduction, presented as oriented to ‘‘noematization’’ in reflective operation, i.e., as the act of ‘‘transforming the world as sum of ontic objects into a noema,’’≥∞ cannot thereby be taken to have unquestionably disclosed the fundamental relationship that ‘‘transcendental subjectivity’’ has to its constitutum. The reduction, rather, is the performance of un-humanizing.≥≤ As we have seen, however, for Fink un-humanizing has to be taken radically; it means to inquire behind the self-apperceptions of subjectivity comprising the whole structure of human being precisely as being-inthe-world. Fink finds that Heidegger’s approach falls short on this point. Where ‘‘hermeneutical criticism’’ in general failed was that it ‘‘generalized the contingent (although substantively pertinent) starting-point that Husserl took and the type of constitution that was exhibitable for particular objects’’ in its criticism that these were ‘‘unsuitable for certain trans-phenomenal structures of meaning.’’ But what it also needed to do, and did not take up, was to question ‘‘the constitution of ‘self-conceptions.’ ’’ Hermeneutical critique is ‘‘in full right’’ in objecting to ‘‘a pseudotranscendental philosophy that only knows the ‘harmlessness’ of a ‘pure I,’ ’’ but it has no effect upon the transcendental philosophy that Husserl inaugurated when this transcendental thinking comes into its own ‘‘in a meontic philosophy.’’≥≥ Of these two flaws of short-sightedness—(1) to take Husserl’s phenomenology as schematized exclusively and ultimately by subject-object intentionality, and (2) not to acknowledge that the character of being-in-the-world, even when analyzed in the sophisticated conceptions of fundamental ontology, retain the character of constitutedness from the point of view of the 31. See VB/I, pp. 12–13. 32. Z-X 9a, in all probability from 1929 (EFM 2). 33. Z-IV 41b, EFM 1.


Who Is Phenomenology?

transcendental reduction as un-humanizing≥∂ —this second point needs a little further explication in order to see how the two criticisms link together in Fink’s criticism of Heidegger’s position. That done, we can make a first incursion into what phenomenology as ‘‘meontic philosophy’’ would mean. As any philosopher must, Heidegger begins by drawing conceptions from the domain of the already given, of the naive, of the unconsidered, the domain whose genuine, radical meaning has to be wrested from its everyday order of construal. Beginning with phenomena in this domain that are familiar to anyone, and using them as the matters that both need to be transformatively explicated and at the same time offer a usable pattern of differentiation in terms of which to search into principles, the analytic program of fundamental ontology consists in displaying the deeper structural determinants from which this everyday order of the familiar proceeds. In Being and Time Heidegger freely terms this deeper level of determinants ‘‘a priori’’—as, for example, being-inthe-world is the a priori structure of Dasein,≥∑ and the ‘‘existentials’’ are a priori to ‘‘average everydayness.’’≥∏ Thus fundamental ontology will develop its analyses precisely as interpretations of already given self-conceptions. ‘‘Being-inthe-world’’ [In-der-Welt-sein], ‘‘with-world’’ [Mitwelt], ‘‘thrownness’’ [Geworfenheit], ‘‘being-toward-death’’ [Sein zum Tode], ‘‘finitude’’ [Endlichkeit], and so on, are all interpretative deepenings of the familiar fact of our finding ourselves already there among things and people and having to be so, knowing we shall not live forever and knowing we can do nothing about changing that. What is at issue now is precisely the character of this interpretive deepening. Toward what exactly as the a priori factor is one moving when one interprets the phenomena that require deeper explication? The point of criticism that Fink mounts here from the standpoint of the Husserlian transcendental position is easily stated. The concepts that Heideg34. See the integration of these points in Z-IV 120a–b (EFM 1), a note designated ‘‘Sketch of the Idea for an Essay: ‘On the Difference between Husserl’s and Heidegger’s Philosophy.’ ’’ 35. SZ, pp. 41, 53, and 110. Even more explicitly, Heidegger offers his work in the book as following Husserl’s determination of phenomenology as ‘‘empirical’’ precisely in searching out the ‘‘a priori’’ properly understood (SZ, p. 50, note 1). 36. SZ, p. 44. This is one of the constitutive features of a transcendental inquiry. See Heidegger’s letter to Husserl on the Encyclopaedia Britannica article, characterizing ‘‘the fundamental tendency of Being and Time within the transcendental problem’’ (Hua IX, p. 600; Bw IV, p. 145). See also Carl Friedrich Gethmann, Verstehen und Auslegung: Das methodenproblem in der Philosophie Martin Heideggers (Bonn: Bouvier, 1974), for example, pp. 12–13 and 32–45.

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ger elaborates from the naively accepted self-conceptions that give humans an intelligibility to themselves in naively assumed validity are taken up without acknowledgment of the need for their transcendental clarification in transcendental constitution.≥π But this insistence on Fink’s part can only hold (1) if Heidegger’s critique of ‘‘transcendental subjectivity’’—of the ‘‘subjectivity’’ by which ‘‘constitution’’ is supposed to be effected—does not hold (because it is aimed at subjectivity only on a preliminary level); and (2) if Heidegger’s own account of the ‘‘deeper something,’’ i.e., of the a priori in terms of which his interpretation in fundamental ontology is made, is not itself genuinely fundamental. These two points are inseparable in Fink’s criticism, but we have to return to the first in order to see the second implicated in it. Let us first determine (a) just what kind of constitution Heidegger is aiming at in his critique, transformation, and displacement of Husserl’s notion of constitution, and then we shall see (b) exactly what kind of constitution is overlooked by Heidegger and thus not accounted for by his position as Fink understands it. Fink notes that Heidegger’s concept of transcendence is precisely that which (a priori) makes possible the setting of subject and object over against each other.≥∫ There are, accordingly, two dimensions to the framework wherein a human individual and things—taken to begin with in the mode of object—are distinguished: (1) the correlation that is actual in a here-and-now experience (‘‘ontical’’ correlation), and (2) the ‘‘correlation’’ that, prior to any individual action of experiencing, is the already given dynamism of transcendence (‘‘ontological’’ correlation).≥Ω Both these dimensions are in principle contained within the unique overarching embrace of transcendental constitution, in the following way. Since any being is in principle a constitutive result, any correlation, whether (1) that of some factual experiential moment exercised on the part of an individual human existent, or (2) that of transcendence itself, as the projective understanding of being that is constitutive of that being which is Dasein, any such correlation (in the wide sense used in the present context) is a constituted correlation. Rather than reaching down to ultimate origination, therefore, explication of the first in terms of the second remains on the ‘‘transcendental surface.’’ The relation of constitution thus cannot be considered a gross distortion of the ontological correlation, i.e., of transcendence, nor is Husserl’s phenomenological reduction a ‘‘miscar37. See Z-IV 71a–b (EFM 1), and also Z-XV 103a–b (EFM 2). 38. See Z-IX XVII/1a (EFM 2), from autumn 1931. 39. This distinction and the next three sentences are drawn from Z-IX VII/6a–b (EFM 2).


Who Is Phenomenology?

ried performance of the ontological difference.’’∂≠ Instead, the lesson of the reduction is that constitution is a priori to transcendence and the ontological difference, and these are an outcome and end result of constitutive process. Fink’s critical assessment of Heidegger’s position depends pivotally upon his identifying a fundamental paradox in Heidegger’s carrying out of fundamental ontological explication. ‘‘Heidegger’s proto-presupposition is the thesis of the ‘understanding of being’: the ontological difference.’’∂∞ This understanding of being, however, is not supposed to be a free-floating abstraction, a mere eidetic a priori; it is in place and in play as an ‘‘existentially’’ conditioning factor precisely within a specific and very special kind of actual being, namely, in the existent subject ontologically recast as Dasein. ‘‘The ‘subject’ is a being and yet such that it itself is on the basis of the understanding of being.’’∂≤ But in that case, the subject, thus reconceived and disclosed as Dasein, the ontological being, ‘‘presupposes itself ’’! That which makes possible the distinction between being and beings seems to have to be conceived as itself ‘‘a being,’’ i.e., Dasein as existent Dasein, as actually a being, is the conditioning a priori for itself as a being.∂≥ But in what sense, now, can this making-possible of the distinction between being and beings, i.e., the understanding of being—‘‘transcendence’’—as actually in play in an actual Dasein, be said to be an ‘‘existential ’’ a priori, that is, not an abstraction, but a factor somehow genuinely ‘‘there’’ in or of this being? In other words, what indeed is the being of Dasein precisely as understanding of being, as projection of being, as transcendence? For Fink, this is the ‘‘paradox of the Heideggerian ‘ontology,’ ’’ what he also calls its ‘‘intrinsic contradiction’’;∂∂ and he offers a striking metaphoric representation of the problem: ‘‘Only on the basis of light is the flame and seen. The flame becomes visible in its own light. (‘Transcendence’ as luminary theory of subjectivity.)’’∂∑ 40. This point is from Z-XI 27a, dated September 10, 1933, on Fink’s conversation with Hans Reiner, who as a student of Husserl’s had defended his doctoral dissertation, Freiheit, Wollen und Aktivität: Phänomenologische Untersuchungen in Richtung auf das Problem der Willensfreiheit (Halle and Saale: Niemeyer, 1927), in July 1926. He went on to produce numerous writings in ethical theory. 41. This point and the rest of the paragraph are drawn from Z-IX XVII/5a (EFM 2), except as otherwise indicated. The notes in this folder are from autumn 1931. 42. This sentence comes from Z-IX XVII/5a, emphasis mine (EFM 2); but see Heidegger’s own words to this effect in his first Freiburg lecture course (in Fink’s notes, U-MH-I, 110–111, and MH-GA 27, p. 306, as indicated in 3.2 above). 43. See appendix. 44. Z-XV 103b, EFM 2. 45. Z-IX 31a, EFM 2. See appendix.

Who Is Phenomenology?


The problem of the paradoxical nature of the a priori in Heidegger’s fundamental ontology is characterized by Fink already, if a little differently, in his dissertation-period work. One could speak of ‘‘the secret dogma of the ontological philosophy of Heidegger,’’ Fink writes, namely, ‘‘the antecedence of the a priori to experience,’’ that is, ‘‘that all experiencing is led by an antecedent horizon-projecting understanding of being.’’ Now this ‘‘antecedence’’ may well be ‘‘demonstrable,’’ and it is already a problem of Western philosophy from its beginning, but the question is, ‘‘Is this way of starting out adequately secured phenomenologically?’’ Is not this basic problem for ontological philosophy ‘‘still bound up with a vulgar understanding?’’ And Fink adds that it is consistent with this state of the question that ‘‘the ‘world’ becomes for Heidegger the strongest evidence for the ontological problematic.’’∂∏ It is clear to Fink that for Heidegger the deployment of the world is an a priori projection; and by ‘‘a priori’’ is not meant here some ideal unit of meaning that, as Husserl might have it in cognition, stands in intentional objectivity to the subject. The a priori in question here is instead ‘‘subjective,’’ in the sense of ‘‘involved in the subject’s spreading out of the world, on the basis of which there is such a thing as the opposition between the ontical ‘subjective’ (immanence) and the transcendence of the object.’’∂π The a priori in question could be construed as ‘‘the transcendental spontaneity of the subject,’’ which in Kant’s philosophy—and indeed as ‘‘Kant’s basic thought’’—is attributable to the subjective faculty of reason [Vernunft]—except that for Heidegger the ‘‘subjectivity’’ in question is interpreted ‘‘temporalistically,’’ so that in place of Kant’s ‘‘reason’’ the spontaneity in question is that of ‘‘original temporality.’’ Thus Heidegger makes use of a basic relational schema wherein the a priori is that which makes possible the empirical, ‘‘in that he [Heidegger] thinks the horizons [i.e., time-horizons] as a priori and the content [i.e., timecontent] as empirical.’’ With the introduction of temporality we reach a more profound level of analysis for both Husserl and Heidegger, and that on which in fact the very same paradox will again arise. Before going into that, however, we have to finish Fink’s point of critique regarding the a priori character in fundamental ontology, namely, that ‘‘the demonstrating of ‘transcendence’ takes place dogmatically with Heidegger.’’ The contrast with Husserl is dramatic: ‘‘Husserl’s 46. Z-IV 108a, EFM 1. The phrasing ending this sentence runs: ‘‘. . . der stärkste Beleg für die ontologische Problematik.’’ 47. The phrasings are from a note of Fink’s dated November 22, 1934, in Z-XII 38c–d (EFM 2). The phrases and lines that follow in the present paragraph also come from this note, with some clarifying expressions from the context included in brackets.


Who Is Phenomenology?

approach is more radical,’’ Fink writes, in that ‘‘a move of retreat back to the facticity of the situation,’’ far from being ‘‘a narrowing down to the sphere of intuitive presence,’’ is instead the investigation of the world precisely as the ‘‘phenomenon of the world.’’ And the principle being followed is that what ‘‘phenomenon’’ always means is ‘‘the demonstrable,’’ in each case in accord with ‘‘its own proper sense of demonstrability [Ausweisbarkeit].’’∂∫ The claim of greater radicality, then, for Husserl’s approach is that it proposes to examine the constitutive origin of the already given selfconceptualizing schemata that ontological analysis accepts as the matters to interpret existentially. But at the same time Fink also finds that the way Husserl normally formulates his program and its findings is inadequate to the inquiry at issue. To put this all another way: Husserl’s position is distinguished from Heidegger’s fundamentally in its conception of the a priori. For Husserl the a priori under investigation is usually conceived as something to be made experienceable ‘‘in the act of giving that takes place in essence-intuition.’’∂Ω For Heidegger, on the other hand, the a priori in question—i.e., those structural elements revealed by the analyses of fundamental ontology—are already intrinsic possessions of the being doing the inquiring, and analysis is an act of ‘‘appropriation’’ that is a ‘‘counter-move to constant forgetting,’’ i.e., it is a kind of ‘‘anamnesis.’’ Having laid out this contrast, however, the decisive issue is not the fact of these two contrasting positions but the more radical systemmethodological question of whether ‘‘the antecedence of the a priori to factic experience can be exhibited and what kind of exhibiting this is, what the sense of its possible verification is.’’∑≠ For phenomenology to answer this question means to Fink precisely to take a step beyond initial formulations, that is, precisely not simply to adopt an explication in terms of the noematically focused act-intentionality with which Husserl normally explains his transcendental phenomenology, and in terms of which this last contrast between Husserl and Heidegger in their conceptions of the a priori is put. The real fundamental question, then, has to be this: What is the nature of ultimate constitutive origination in a more radical reduction-governed characterization, and what is the manner and method by which it is to be conceptually 48. Z-IV 108b, EFM 1. See the series of notes, Z-IV 109–20 for detail on how Husserl’s move is more radical, when properly interpreted and radicalized. 49. The argument in this paragraph, and the quoted lines and phrases, are drawn from Z-I 150a–b (EFM 1), reflections pertaining to a discussion Fink had with Husserl on July 10, 1929, precisely on ‘‘the problem of the a priori: the intra-temporal determination of the essence’’ (Z-I 149a). 50. Z-I 150b (EFM 1) emphases mine, not Fink’s.

Who Is Phenomenology?


expressed and shown at that final radical level? This is the issue that governed the work Fink did for Husserl during the entire period, as illustrated, for example, in the ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’; it was, therefore, an issue that Husserl had repeatedly to come to terms with in the ten-year running dialogue between himself and Fink. Out of phenomenology’s own radical thrust Husserl was being pushed by Fink to go further than his normal plan of exposition seemed to allow. And Fink himself was not only quite willing to go further than Husserl in trying to answer this kind of question, he was equally willing to go beyond Heidegger.

3.3.2. The Basic Paradox Again, Now in Heidegger’s Analysis of Temporality; the Move Beyond Being In Fink’s critique the paradox lying in the move of reduction purportedly operative in Heidegger is just as manifest in Heidegger’s treatment of temporality. Indeed, because in fundamental ontology temporality is that which structures the understanding of being in its basic possibility, and therefore also that in terms of which the understanding of being has to be explicated in order to be made intelligible,∑∞ for Fink to find the same paradox in regard to temporality is to find it at the very roots of Heidegger’s whole philosophic project. That paradox can be best seen by beginning from the basic Heideggerian principle that Dasein has a fundamentally different mode of being [Seinsweise ], viz., ‘‘Existenz,’’ from that of things encountered by Dasein as objects in the world, viz., as things taken in ‘‘Vorhandenheit’’—in ‘‘presence out there.’’∑≤ The point of this distinction is that, unlike the things that Dasein encounters entitatively as objects, there is in Dasein a structuring factor that is a condition of the field of its possible encounterings, and that is not something itself within that field. Temporality is exactly this; it is a condition intrinsically structuring Dasein for the possibility of encounter, rather than itself something subject to that conditioning. But this would mean that if Dasein is to be characterized in its intrinsic structure as the temporalizing that makes encounters within time possible, then it could not itself be within time. In a word, since temporality could not itself be within time, then if Dasein is structurally 51. See SZ, division II, chapter 3 (§61–66). It is more succinctly stated in Heidegger’s lecture course on German Idealism in SS 1929, as for example in the following lines (in Fink’s summary): ‘‘Time as the horizon of the understanding of being is the essence of the finitude of human Dasein. Therefore the question of being must turn into the interpretation of human Dasein in regard to its temporality. Being is only intelligible in terms of time: being and time.’’ (EFA U-MH-III 30, corresponding to MH-GA 28, p. 46.) 52. See appendix.


Who Is Phenomenology?

distinguished by being the very action of original temporality, how could Dasein itself be in time? Granted: Dasein is not Vorhandenes, and ‘‘Heidegger’s thesis that Dasein is not present out there [vorhanden] means more precisely that Dasein is not intra-temporal but is rather original temporality.’’ Nonetheless is not Dasein ‘‘intra-temporal’’ all the same, even if in a way of its own; for, ‘‘paradoxically, is not Dasein qua original temporality, qua non-intra-temporalness and horizonality, still in time, so that time is in itself? Is this not just what gets formulated by Heidegger as ‘‘the falling of Dasein’’? And even more, what about ‘‘the aging of the I itself,’’ does this not amount to ‘‘time’s transience in itself, the passing of time going on in itself’’?∑≥ Fink argues, in other words, that distinguishing the time of objects from the time of ‘‘subjects’’—more accurately, of Dasein—may well be to conceive fundamental temporality not as a property but as a horizon-deploying projection, but this does not avoid the problem. In fact the way the temporal horizons are approached by both Husserl and Heidegger on the basis of the way a human individual reaches across the passage of time to encompass his or her whole life as a totality, and thus to be oneself consciously in unique identity and continuity, is to approach temporality precisely in terms of the coursing in time of human experience. The task the reduction enjoins, however, is to work out what time is ‘‘purely as itself’’ prior to and as condition for the existential totality of a human existence, whether as personal self-identity (e.g., as one might take it in Husserl’s approach) or as ‘‘authenticity’’ against ‘‘inauthenticity’’ (e.g., as in Being and Time). In either case the forming of self-continuity and self-determination emerges within ‘‘time-horizonality,’’ which in turn has to be grasped as clearly as possible as free from in-time kinds of totality; and for this Fink looks to his own characterization of time-horizonality as ‘‘depresencing—Ent-gegenwärtigung.’’∑∂ Here is the crux of the argument. Granted: The analysis of temporality will inevitably be guided by the existential human experience one finds reflectively within oneself as coursing human life. Temporality is not something discovered first in its pure ‘‘a priori’’ status as the basis from which one thereby explicates the time-character of human existence. Rather, phenomenological investigation works in the reverse order, i.e., regressively: that which is conditioned serves to provide the interpretative terms for that which does the conditioning. Put slightly differently, that-which-makes-possible is interpreted in and through that-which-is-made-possible—a process Fink terms ‘‘retro53. Z-IX 35a, EFM 2. 54. See appendix.

Who Is Phenomenology?


application [Rücklage]’’—turning the interpretandum back upon the interpretans, thereby raising the methodological and theoretical question of a resultant ‘‘transcendental seeming [Schein].’’∑∑ Fink puts it succinctly in the following note: Thesis: Bringing depresencings into the foreground must take care not to make these identical with the conditioned modes of behavior that are grounded on them and by which humans relate to their temporal totality. It is not because Dasein can be ‘‘authentic’’ that the totality of a whole life is constituted, but ‘‘anticipation’’ [‘‘Vorlaufen’’] presupposes depresencing. Heidegger makes the same mistake as Husserl, [viz.,] to determine the phenomena that-makepossible through that which-is-made-possible by them. The existentiel [existentiellen] modes of relating performed in ‘‘being-whole’’ do not temporalize [or: do not bring it about that happening is temporal—zeitigen nicht], but rather they only make [happening as temporal] accessible. Just as a horizon must not be equated with what you get when you ‘‘cash it in’’!!∑∏

There is one point, now, that has to be made clear in connection with the last sentence quoted. Several times in the past few paragraphs we have seen indication that in this phenomenological confrontation with Husserl and Heidegger Fink’s rethinking of temporality as ultimate constitutive conditioning casts it as ‘‘time-horizonality.’’ The fuller sense and implications of this will be taken up in chapters 4 and 5, but one significant element of its import has now been introduced. The expression ‘‘what you get when you ‘cash it in’ ’’ is a rendering of Fink’s ‘‘Einlösung,’’ a term he uses frequently to emphasize the qualitative difference between a ‘‘horizon’’ and that which is in a horizon.∑π A horizon is definable as a condition for, is fundamentally different from, and is in no way reducible to, that which occurs ‘‘within’’ it. This is a point approached from another angle in Fink’s coming to terms with Heidegger at this same point in the Freiburg years, out of one of Heidegger’s most famous interpretive moves, namely, the explication of the ‘‘imagination’’ of Kant’s analysis of schematization as ‘‘original temporality.’’ Fink had to take Heidegger’s interpretation of Kant very seriously, for the whole ques55. Z-V VI/11b. 56. Z-XV LXXII/2c (EFM 2), one of a set of notes VB/II, the planned reminder of Fink’s dissertation, from 1930 or 1931 (explanatory expressions in brackets mine). ‘‘Vorlaufen’’ in the second sentence quoted here comes directly from Being and Time, §53, even if Fink does not need to name that source in this note for himself. And the third quoted sentence implies a criticism of such famous statements of Heidegger’s as ‘‘die Welt weltet’’ and ‘‘die Zeit zeitigt sich’’ as examples of the fault being criticized here, viz., ‘‘the ontical description of that which makes the ontical possible’’ (Z-IV 116a; EFM 1). 57. See also Z-VI 30a, EFM 1.


Who Is Phenomenology?

tion of ‘‘imagination’’ figured centrally in Fink’s work in ‘‘Presentification and Image.’’ And it was not only from Heidegger’s 1929 book, Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, that he knew of it; it came forth in Heidegger’s lectures in his first two semesters after his return to Freiburg. For example, in the winter semester of 1929, Fink noted down the following as Heidegger’s idea: ‘‘What is imagination? An existential interpretation could show that pure imagination is nothing other than original time itself.’’∑∫ And in the summer of 1929 the point is repeated, again as Fink noted it down from Heidegger’s lectures: ‘‘For us the imagination is not reason’s coming to appear in finitude, but rather this ‘reason’ is comprehended when first the imagination is brought back to its inmost essence: temporality as a quite special construction of the relationship of the finite to the infinite about which in the end only metaphysics itself has to decide.’’ A little later Fink has Heidegger also saying: ‘‘Our aim is to follow through the fundamental question of metaphysics as the metaphysics of human Dasein and its interpretation as temporality. We see in Kant’s transcendental imagination not the appearance of reason, but rather original temporality.’’∑Ω To Heidegger’s interpretive ideas, Fink reply is straightforward: ‘‘The reduction of time to ‘imagination’ is disastrous for the analysis of time.’’ Time and space are in no way either ‘‘imaginal’’ or ‘‘impressional,’’ nor is imagination ‘‘time-constituting.’’ This assertion quite simply inverts the true relationship: ‘‘The imagination is grounded in time. A distinction between the ontically and ontologically ‘imaginal’ makes no sense positively!’’∏≠ For Fink it is eminently clear that if an analysis of time takes as definitive of time ‘‘purely in itself’’ that which is characteristic of a being conditioned by it, viz., either Dasein (with Heidegger) or the self-conscious cognitive subject (with Husserl), one will inevitably fall into some kind of idealism, here either an ontological idealism—in Heidegger’s case—or an ontical idealism—as Heidegger might say of Husserl.∏∞ The turns that factors of critique play in the long line of philosophic thinking that Fink is involved in here is complex; it includes far more than just Husserl and Heidegger, reaching back to the period of intense reconsideration 58. EFA U-MH-I 92. The published text, MH-GA 27, p. 272, is consistent with but does not show exactly these words. 59. EFA U-MH-III 143 and 145, the first of these texts entirely underlined by Fink (though not carried over here). Again, the corresponding passages in MH-GA 28, pp. 200–1 and 336–37, are consistent with what Fink has Heidegger saying, but do not say the same thing explicitly. 60. Z-VII XIV/14a (EFM 2), from late 1930. 61. See Z-IX 61a and Z-XI 48b, both in EFM 2.

Who Is Phenomenology?


that emerged from Kant’s critical philosophy. In particular, Heidegger finds in the unfolding of German Idealism by Fichte and Hegel a failure to grasp Kant’s enormous central realization by too focally interpreting Kant’s work as ‘‘philosophy of reflection.’’ Fink will in turn find Heidegger analogously displaying a failure to recognize that Husserl’s phenomenology implicitly contains a profound insight not unrelated to the ones Kant’s successors missed. In his retrospective Heidegger observes ‘‘the polarity of ‘ens’ and ‘ego’ ’’ to be ‘‘the basic problem of western metaphysics.’’ And he continues: ‘‘After the Kantian intermezzo, what occurs, as Hegel takes it, is a reduction of the ‘Whole’ to the ego.’’∏≤ To read Kant exclusively in this way, however, subsumes his work into too simple a schema, that of the subject-object relationship; it notices only the order of the epistemological, and so attempts to overcome the oppositional non-identity of subject and object—and hence its finiteness—in a subject-like totality, Absolute Spirit.∏≥ But for Heidegger this misses one stunning insight nascent in Kant’s work, namely, that the world is in its fundamental sense bound up in the structure of the being of Dasein,∏∂ in whose finiteness is grounded all hitherto metaphysically conceived inquiry into reason and reality. Heidegger’s own aim, then, in pursuing the analysis of Dasein—precisely as ‘‘transcendence’’—is to move past (perhaps better: behind or prior to) the epistemological/reflection-philosophical subject-object relation in an interpretation of the structure of Dasein in the order of being. Now what Fink sees in this massive philosophical undertaking on Heidegger’s part is that his existential explication of Dasein falls into a basic difficulty very much like the one that Hegel saw besetting Kant and that Heidegger in turn saw still holding Hegel fast; but Fink reformulates this difficulty on a more radical level in a methodological framework specific to phenomenology. A key text in which to see this laid out is one of Fink’s notes from 1934, a few years after Heidegger’s lectures on German Idealism. Fink addresses the classic formula in Being and Time, §14, that the ‘‘world-ness [Weltlichkeit]’’ of the world is ‘‘an existential [ein Existenzial ].’’ Fink argues that while ‘‘bearing oneself in relation to the world [Weltverhalten] would certainly be an existen62. This is Fink’s noting down of Heidegger’s point in EFA U-MH-III 140, corresponding in essentials but not in the same wording to MH-GA 28, §19b. Or U-MH-III 148: ‘‘Kantian and Fichtean philosophy is for Hegel ‘philosophy of reflection’ ’’; and Heidegger immediately adds parenthetically, ‘‘in the broadest sense in which one can characterize Husserl’s phenomenology of pure consciousness as a ‘philosophy of reflection.’ ’’ This corresponds, again, essentially but not in exact wording to MH-GA 28, Ergänzung §35, but adds a remark on Husserl’s phenomenology. 63. See EFA U-MH-III 151–153; MH-GA 28, p. 310. 64. See EFA U-MH-III 108–110; MH-GA 27A, pp. 301–3.


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tial, nonetheless ‘‘the world itself’’ could not be. One can easily grant ‘‘that the ‘world’ is not a being’’ and that it in no way has ‘‘presence out there’’ [Vorhandenheit]; but this does not at all mean ‘‘that it is a Dasein-existential.’’ Fink continues: ‘‘Heidegger’s doctrine of the world is significant only in the negative, in a way analogous to Kant’s, in the thesis about that which the world is not. In Heidegger’s and Kant’s doctrine of being [there are] ‘‘reflectionphilosophy’’ motives: namely, insofar as the behavior of relating to the world [das Verhalten zur Welt], as bearing-oneself-not-in-relation-to-a-being [als das Sich-nicht-zu-einem-Seienden-Verhalten], is itself taken for the phenomenon of the world. ‘‘Ontological idealism,’’ i.e., the doctrine of the a priori spontaneity of the projection of being, . . . to a certain extent makes the world into the glow of Dasein, i.e., it makes the bearing of oneself in relation to the world equate with the world.’’∏∑ As will be shown in the next chapter, reconsidering the world will mean that the world, precisely as horizonal, cannot be categorized in terms of the structured involvements that obtain within it; the world is better construed as the ‘‘pure containment’’ [der reine Enthalt]. ‘‘Even if not a being, not an aggregate or an infinitely large thing, still [the world is] independent from the intraworldly facticity of the subject,’’ and is not to be ‘‘dissolved in a mode of Dasein-like existence,’’ which is what happens when it is conceptualized as one of the ‘‘existentials’’ of the ontological structure of Dasein.∏∏ Heidegger’s thinking, then, is not superior to Husserl’s even if Husserl’s (really only initial-stage) formulations are taken in an idealistic interpretation. Husserl’s position may thus convert the cognitive antecedence of a human being into ontologically productive antecedence (see, but Heidegger’s ontological transformation of phenomenology’s ‘‘transcendental subjectivity’’ is an ‘‘erroneous interpretative conversion of antecedency of accession into an antecedency in the order of being.’’∏π Fink, however, goes beyond this still too simple form of criticism. To interpret Husserl’s position idealistically as Heidegger does is a misinterpretation, especially in failing to acknowledge the preliminary character of Husserl’s classic texts. This shows in the way Heidegger consistently equates Husserl’s conception of being with ‘‘presence out there’’ [Vorhandenheit]. Heidegger is, of course, correct in an important respect. ‘‘Presence out there’’ is not to be attributed to the ‘‘subject’’; for the

65. Z-XIV VIII/1b–2a (EFM 2), bracketed insertion mine. 66. Ibid. 67. Z-IX 63b; EFM 2. In a sharper charge Fink also says: ‘‘Heidegger equates accessibility with a production on the part of Dasein.’’ (Z-XI 28a, also 29a; EFM 2.)

Who Is Phenomenology?


epistemological correlation has to be grounded in something antecedent to the subject, i.e., for Heidegger the ontological involvement of Dasein and world.∏∫ Dasein accordingly has a fundamentally distinctive mode of being, a mode not to be assimilated to the kind of being possessed by those beings Dasein turns to in action and experiencing. Fink, however, points out that for Husserl the term ‘‘presence out there’’ [Vorhandenheit], radically understood, does not have the restricted sense Heidegger gives it but means instead ‘‘pregivenness [Vorgegebenheit].’’ And to grasp the problematic of ‘‘pregivenness’’ is to shift inquiry into the already constituted to the deeper level of ‘‘genetic analysis,’’ to the investigation of ‘‘the stratum of the temporalization of time [or: of the process of bringing about in the mode of temporality—Zeitigung der Zeit].’’∏Ω But in the push to the analysis of ultimate originative processes in full-scale reduction-driven, post-preliminary reinvestigation, a crucial shift occurs in regard to the question of being. Heidegger makes brilliantly clear that the being of the ‘‘subject’’ is not to be determined in terms of the subject/object epistemological relationship, yet he locates the processes and conditions whereby that relationship arises within a being, namely, within Dasein.π≠ In the radicalizing of Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology that Fink was pursuing, however, this does not go far enough; for ‘‘with Husserl the issue is not some sought-after detachment from the domination of the primary concept of being, ‘presence out there’ [Vorhandenheit], the point is rather a detachment from the idea of being altogether.’’π∞ This is the tenor, for Fink, of ‘‘Husserl’s real thesis on ‘being’ ’’ embodied in the phenomenological reduction, namely, ‘‘the thesis of the constitutedness of what is in being [Konstituiertheit des Seienden].’’π≤ Correlative to that thesis is the idea that the move of the reduction is ultimately the move to thematization of the ‘‘Absolute’’ as having to be beyond being. Fink held Heidegger in high esteem for his ‘‘critical-speculative élan,’’ but it is Husserl’s work that holds the rights to greater radicality here, even if in a way that Husserl himself has to be confronted with.π≥ ‘‘Husserl is right not to pose the question of the kind of being had by absolute subjectivity.’’ And to think one is missing something fundamental by not doing so is ‘‘precisely to 68. See Z-XV 67b (EFM 2), clearly reflecting Being and Time, §13. 69. Z-IV 101c, emphasis Fink’s, expression in brackets mine (EFM 1). 70. See Z-XV 67a–68a, probably from 1931; EFM 2. 71. Z-XV 125a; EFM 2. 72. Z-XI 7a, Fink’s emphasis (EFM 2), datable only as in the period from 1931 to 1934. See also CM6, pp. 158–59; VI.CM/1, p. 178. 73. See the discussion on the ‘‘reduction of the idea of being’’ in CM6, pp. 71–75 (VI.CM/1, pp. 79–84).


Who Is Phenomenology?

misunderstand the reduction and its aim.’’ Fink continues: ‘‘Absolute consciousness can as extra-mundane have no being at all, if the question of being can only be meaningfully posed in the framework of the world. The absoluteness of transcendental consciousness is ‘‘absolutum ab esse’’ [absolved from being]. ‘‘Absolutum esse’’ = ‘‘solutum ab esse’’ [released from being]. ‘‘The kind of being had by factical human subjectivity is indeed an ontological problem, but at the same time a constitutive-meontic problem.’’π∂ Fink took himself to be unfolding implications in phenomenology without necessarily being restricted to what Husserl might explicitly adopt (see and We see how this was intrinsic to his also going beyond Heidegger, in tandem with the critique of Heidegger’s criticism of Husserl. The paradox that Fink found in Heidegger’s fundamental ontology (3.3.1) lay within Heidegger’s attempt to move past any residual philosophy of reflection in Husserl’s phenomenology—and Fink had to and did take it seriously. But coming to terms with all this led inexorably to a ‘‘constitutive-meontic problematic,’’ the most radical and elusive issue Fink found confronting him. It will take the next several chapters to prepare for a direct treatment of the ‘‘meontic,’’ but we shall continually approach it in the way it will enter into every interpretive reinvestigation of ‘‘transcendental subjectivity’’ and ‘‘constitution’’ at a truly radical post-preliminary level.

3.3.3. The Ontological Unattainability of the Subject The paradox that Fink found in Heidegger’s thinking is not necessarily an outright inadequacy, in view of its seeming to flow from the very framework of phenomenological investigation as such, namely, as regressive inquiry into originative conditions. (See 3.3.2.) Obliged to try to resolve this difficulty, Fink realizes that there is another whole feature to it, which, indicated in the closing paragraphs of the previous section, now has to be made explicit. The paradox in Heidegger’s Being and Time that a being in the world is itself the conditioning surge that opens up the very world-horizon within which that same being is concretely engaged—in a word, that it is both ‘‘ontic’’ and ‘‘transcendental’’—was repeated in Heidegger’s 1929 essay for Husserl’s Festschrift, ‘‘On the Essence of Ground,’’ except this time in the form of the motif of ‘‘freedom.’’π∑ ‘‘Freedom,’’ ‘‘world-forming transcendence,’’ is explicated here as both included within the order of being and as the presupposition of 74. Z-V VII/12a–b (EFM 1), from the period of Fink’s dissertation. 75. The argument and quoted phrasings in this paragraph are taken from Z-XIV IX/1a–2b; EFM 2.

Who Is Phenomenology?


being. For example, freedom is both (a) the action of the projection of transcendence within being—for it is something operative in the being of Dasein, which is itself unquestionably a being—and (b) that which makes that projection of world possible and therefore conditions being as such, especially if ‘‘freedom’’ is explicated as temporality.π∏ But the recurrence of the paradox in this most fundamental of philosophical matters, namely, in a phenomenology where the question of being demands being posed precisely in terms of the framing that being must have in the world if one kind of actual being is also to be capable of understanding being, suggests that, rather than a simple oversight or error that can be corrected, a structural inevitability here presents inquiry with an aporetic of a radically new kind. Fink formulates it as ‘‘the ontological unattainability of the subject.’’ππ With Husserl ‘‘unattainability’’ is demonstrated in the context of a ‘‘philosophy of reflection,’’ in the form of the ‘‘doctrine of the ‘anonymity’ of performance life.’’ But this does not mean that the ‘‘philosophy of reflection’’ is what really powers phenomenology; for ‘reflection-philosophical’ ideas, as always with Husserl, are only means for exploding the natural attitude.’’ What really shows in this ‘‘anonymity’’ in Husserl’s phenomenology, or in the ‘‘paradox of transcendence’’ that typifies Heidegger’s work (or indeed in life-philosophy, where ever-coursing life precludes being fixed in set, invariant forms), is the subterranean stirring of a fundamental problem, namely, ‘‘the incompleteness [Unvollendetheit] of spirit in the world.’’ To confront this ‘‘incompleteness [Unvollendetheit] of spirit in the world, its fragmentary being [ fragmentarisches Dasein], the actuality of its being-outside-itself,’’ Fink writes, is to be forced to face ‘‘not ontologically and cosmologically demonstrable facts’’ but rather something that can only be conceptualized as ‘‘the speculative fact itself ’’; and this in turn can only be understood in relation to the opening beyond being that now seems to be called for, what Fink simply terms ‘‘a meontic truth.’’π∫ Mentioned earlier (see the final paragraph of and the closing consideration of 3.3.2), the meontic dimension of the ontological unattainability and opacity of the subject becomes more explicit here and is named as pertaining to one of the two basic moments of the systematic of transcendental phenome-

76. See the appendix. 77. Z-XIV IX/2b. 78. This paragraph continues to draw from Z-XIV IX/1a–2b. Note the alternate ways in which Fink expresses one concept here, ‘‘das Unvollendetsein des Geistes in der Welt’’ and ‘‘die Unvollendetheit des Geistes in der Welt’’; the first has been rendered as ‘‘uncompletedness’’ and the second by ‘‘incompleteness.’’


Who Is Phenomenology?

nology. In the previous chapter we saw that Husserl’s ‘‘system’’ involves the dimension of ‘‘systematic projections,’’ as Fink puts it, or ‘‘higher descriptions,’’ as Husserl has it (see 2.1, pp. 86–87 and 2.3, pp. 99–100); here we see one of the ways in which Fink finds that dimension to be specifically developed, namely, in a ‘‘speculative’’ order of interpretive determination in which to disclose and articulate the meaning of the concrete matters concretely analyzed. And the ‘‘speculative fact’’ beyond all others comes to the fore in phenomenology when the most concrete of matters, being, is taken up as the ultimate explicandum, as the meaning that is of greatest import for that most peculiar particular being, the living human agent, the philosophic questioner trying to think through what thinking itself discloses of one’s own being in the midst of being. Here Fink is led to the realization that the ultimate import of differences between Husserl and Heidegger lies not in some doctrinal position that divides them but rather in the opening to a radicality beyond either that is methodologically imposed when phenomenology confronts its own work in full self-critical interpretation. Thus a year after hearing Heidegger’s first two semesters of lectures in FreiburgπΩ Fink writes in 1930: ‘‘Heidegger’s fight against German Idealism shows clearly the motives that condition his misunderstanding of Husserl.’’ For Heidegger, Husserl—much like Fichte and Hegel—overlooked ‘‘the finitude of the subject, the kind of being the subject has,’’ in effect taking ‘‘flight from finitude into deification.’’ For Heidegger, Husserl’s ‘‘I’’ is virtually the same as the ‘‘I’’ of German Idealism, the ‘‘I-ness’’ that is precisely the problem. Heidegger, in contrast, insists on interpreting ‘‘the I-ness of the I’’ in terms of the human I, so that ‘‘the ‘absolute subject’ becomes for him a ‘harmless idea.’ ’’ Thus it is that the deepest opposition between Husserl’s and Heidegger’s philosophy lies in the way one formulates the basic question: either ‘‘(1) the question of the Absolute’’ or ‘‘(2) the question of the being of beings.’’∫≠ Fink acknowledges: ‘‘Heidegger’s restriction of the idea of being to the region of finitude is an incontestable service to philosophy.’’ But philosophy must not stop with that; for ‘‘the authentic theme of philosophy’’ is ‘‘the Absolute,’’ which, when posited as a being, is a ‘‘contradiction in terms.’’∫∞ So it is that—for reasons that still need to become clear—because Husserl’s phenomenology presents itself as a philosophy of the Absolute, while Heidegger’s fundamental ontology explicitly does not, Husserl’s position holds the greater philosophical radicality. The conception of philosophy as the explication of 79. See in particular the middle of 3.3.2 above. 80. Z-VII XXI/10a–b, emphases all Fink’s. 81. Z-XI 27b, dated September 10, 1933; EFM 2.

Who Is Phenomenology?


the Absolute and the way in which ‘‘spirit’’ can be thought within phenomenology, in appreciation of both the question of being and the special systematic character of Husserl’s enterprise, can only be worked out in view of the ‘‘speculative’’ dimension wherein the ‘‘meontic’’ character of final inquiry has to be admitted; and this can only be worked out within and not independent of the actual reinvestigation of basic phenomenological structures and factors. That is what we shall be doing in the next three chapters; but clarifications about how reinvestigation will operate methodologically still need to be made, precisely because it is in Fink’s coming to terms with Husserl and Heidegger together that he was able to achieve the full measure of methodological precision and subtlety that the matters at issue required. So we must dwell a little longer on the ‘‘incontestable service’’ Heidegger performed for philosophy, and on the reasons for which Fink spoke of him as having brought phenomenology to ‘‘its first truth’’ in ‘‘critical-speculative élan.’’∫≤

3.4. Heidegger’s Positive Contributions This assessment of Heidegger, laudatory as it is, is nonetheless qualified: this renewal of impetus to philosophic thinking has to be seen as moving philosophy radically beyond him. In the same subset of notes in which this grateful acknowledgment is expressed, Fink makes quite clear this larger lesson: ‘‘To determine philosophy as ontology is a preliminary. This gets annulled [hebt sich auf ] in its determination as the meontic.’’ But, Fink adds, the meontic contains a contradiction of its own, namely, that it tends to convert back into ontology, thereby to protect itself against infinity while having to move beyond finitude. Conceived meontically, philosophy is together ‘‘the movement of finitude and infinity.’’∫≥ Heidegger’s refashioning of ontology so as to restrict the idea of being to the region of finitude, represented earlier (3.3.2), is noted by Fink with vivid lucidity early in Heidegger’s lectures on German Idealism: ‘‘Working out the question of being, beginning with the metaphysics of Dasein, at bottom allows the insight to break forth that all being is only within the perimeter of finitude, that in the Absolute there is no being to be met with.’’∫∂ But this ‘‘incontestable service’’ only reinforces the point of powerful critique that Fink then has to apply. If the movement of thinking that 82. See the text from Z-VII XIV/4a, quoted near the beginning of the chapter. 83. The argument is taken from the recapitulative statement in Z-VII XIV/7a (EFM 2). 84. This formulation by Fink of Heidegger’s point (EFA U-MH-III 31) is entirely underlined in red. It corresponds to, but is not in the exact wording of, the texts in MHGA 28, pp. 47 and 236–37.


Who Is Phenomenology?

carries Heidegger past—or behind, or beneath, or anterior to—the subjectobject relation also transforms ‘‘idealism’’ into an ontological issue, nevertheless it also urges the speculative drive of phenomenology to find a breakthrough at a more radical level in its investigative program of disclosing constitutive origination. And this it achieves in focusing on ‘‘the subject that is apprehensible ontologically, Dasein,’’ precisely as ‘‘the result of a ‘constitution,’ ’’ that is, as itself a ‘‘self-apperception’’ rather than ultimately performative ground as such. With this, the concept of being has to be broken through in a concept of ‘‘the Absolute’’ that bespeaks ‘‘a meontic revolution.’’ What this is, however, is not a culmination in positive cognitive explication. The seeming ‘‘absolute knowing’’ that one reaches here will be one, Fink writes with astonishing negativity, that ‘‘has to founder.’’∫∑ In a word, his melding of Heidegger’s insistence that for a being to be it must be finite with Husserl’s actual ‘‘thesis on being,’’ namely, that any being is a constituted product,∫∏ imposes the exigency to ‘‘place’’ the process of constitution in the order of ‘‘not-being,’’ in the ‘‘me-ontic,’’ however problematic that proposal will be in the end. While the detailing of this ‘‘meontic’’ in Fink’s working out of radical phenomenological self-interpretation will be taken up later, at this point some indication of the sources Fink drew from to frame it needs to be given; for Fink did not get his conception of the meontic from Heidegger. It stems rather from an element that has always been vigorous within the long tradition of philosophy—but not always in the mainstream, especially in the modern period— and that Fink confronted in his earliest reading in philosophy while still in the Gymnasium, specifically in the conjunction of Giordano Bruno’s On Cause, Principle, and Unity∫π and Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. A remark in one of his early notes for his prize essay portrays the element in question in his dealing with the concept of ‘‘the merely thinkable’’ [das bloß Denkbare] in Kant’s work. In that concepts of ‘‘the merely thinkable’’ in philosophy before Kant operate as ‘‘noumena in a negative sense,’’ Fink observes, ‘‘Kant’s terminology is perhaps also dependent upon the philosophical tradition stemming from antiquity called ‘negative theology,’ ’’∫∫ and he refers to a passage in the Critique of Pure Reason, A289/B345. Fink thus had a concept of the ‘‘meon-

85. From Z-XV 102a–b, emphasis Fink’s; EFM 2. 86. Z-XI 7a, quoted in 3.3.2 above. See also Z-XV 33a. EFM 2. 87. Fink’s copy of Über die Ursache, das Prinzip und das Eine and of Kant’s KrV, both in cheap pocket editions by Reclam and still in his library, are both signed ‘‘E. Fink 1921.’’ 88. Z-I 22a–b (EFM 1), in a passage parallel to VB/I §25, which, however, does not refer to the text in KrV.

Who Is Phenomenology?


tic’’ clearly in hand before February 1928, when the prize essay was written,∫Ω but the achieved sense of the rapidly evolving idea shows next in notes written during his revision of that essay into the dissertation. In late 1928, for example, he has a note on Hermann Cohen’s Logik der reinen ErkenntnisΩ≠ in its treatment of Aristotle’s formula tò tí hn ß eßinai. He quotes Cohen’s lines explaining the meaning of ‘‘tí hn,’’ ß namely, that ‘‘the ground of being must be placed beyond its present’’ and that ‘‘it does not suffice to determine being [das Sein] by the truly existent [das wahrhaft Seiende ].’’ Instead, Cohen continues, ‘‘a pre-being [Vor-Sein] is sought, and in this is being [das Sein] grounded and secured.’’ What Fink finds so significant, then, is the final point Cohen makes here, now given in Fink’s slight rewording of it: ‘‘It is not what-is [was ist], but what-was [was war] that makes up being [das Sein]. Being is not thereby displaced back, more or less, into the past; rather it is to be referred to its own origin.’’Ω∞ Fink comments on Cohen’s looking for this origin ‘‘in thought,’’ consistent with the transcendental idealism of the Marburg Neo-Kantian school that Cohen had founded. It is not necessary, Fink remarks, straight off to take the turn into the subjective; for, with respect to being, to ask about ‘‘origin’’ is, as phenomenology shows, more properly to ask about ‘‘the horizon of time.’’ Fink finds this anticipated in Nicholas Cusanus and negative theology, in which ‘‘obscure concepts of the infinite (∫en kaì pãn, non aliud, mh-ƒ ` on)’’ are really ways of asking about this ‘‘central problem of the origin of being.’’ In contrast, when the origin of being, the ‘‘whence [das Woher]’’ of being, instead of being taken precisely as the question of the horizon of time is itself cast in temporal terms, then the originative, construed as the past that precedes present actual being, is itself ipso facto converted into something within the horizon for being; for that is precisely what time is. In a word, inquiry into origin, taken as inquiry into the temporally prior, ends up as the ‘‘ontification of time itself.’’ Here is a first look at the nature of the problem of thematizing what is essentially a ‘‘meontic origin.’’Ω≤ Linking the Kantian/Neo-Kantian problem of the noumenal dimension of origin with the Neoplatonic tradition of negative theology to yield a methodologically robust conceptuality for speaking of what has to be ‘‘beyond being’’

89. See M-I (dated ‘‘aus der Zeit von 1927–28’’) p. [7], as well as Z-I 19a, 25a, 28b, 32b, 44a, 45b, and 53b, all materials preparatory for the Preisschrift, and all in EFM 1. 90. 3d ed. (Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1922). (First edition 1902, revised 1914.) 91. See appendix. 92. Z-IV 66a, emphasis in quoted phrasings Fink’s. ‘‘Meontic’’ obviously comes from the Greek ‘‘mh-ƒ ` on’’—‘‘non ens’’: that which is ‘‘not-being.’’


Who Is Phenomenology?

is a proposal in play in other notes as well.Ω≥ This linkage is made, thus, not for syncretistic purposes but rather to pose in its sharpest form the issue that lies in phenomenological probing at its deepest; and even though Fink knew that his dissertation was going to be incomplete in deferring that issue to its as yet uncompleted second part, he wanted to make clear that he was aware of it and that he was not going to produce a study that would naively blur it. For example, in a note from 1928–1929, he reminds himself that in his ‘‘Introduction’’ he must stress ‘‘that the region of pure consciousness is not an ontological region.’’ To make the move to ‘‘pure consciousness’’ is not a matter of overcoming the character that pure consciousness may have as ‘‘presence out there’’ [‘‘Vorhandenheit’’]. Rather, it means something quite a bit more radical, namely, ‘‘that every ontological question remains within the world.’’Ω∂ For this Kant’s work, especially as Heidegger explicated in his lectures, is decisive: ‘‘Kant’s philosophy is the first exhibiting of the cosmological horizon of the idea of being. Kant thus first made possible a meontic metaphysics of the ‘Absolute,’ ’’ as Fink put it in a later note.Ω∑ Being could be dealt with neither in itself nor in pure thought; the realm of being-as-experienceable simply is the world. Again in Fink’s words: ‘‘The cardinal failing of all transcendental philosophy is this, that it does not see being and world as an indissoluble unity.’’Ω∏ If, therefore, phenomenological inquiry was to push into the originative ‘‘realm’’ wherein this world of experience, this world of being, is constituted, then this was to try to push into what was ‘‘before’’ being—Vor-Sein, to adopt Cohen’s phrasing. What Fink heard regarding the ‘‘mh-ƒ ` on’’ in Heidegger’s lectures was much less than this, namely, variant senses taken on in the context of specific different philosophers. Thus the ‘‘mh-ƒ ` on’’ in Plato was that which stood in contrast to the ‘‘ƒontvw oƒn’’ (the ‘‘beingly’’ being, i.e., the really being), the Ideas; here that which was individual was ‘‘mh-ƒ ` on.’’Ωπ In Aristotle, Heidegger explains, the ‘‘ƒon katà sumbebhków’’—what classically is termed ‘‘accidental’’ 93. For example, Z-IV 49a–b (EFM 1) relates the discussion of the term transfinite in mathematical theory to the whole question of how barriers of finiteness are transgressed in phenomenological inquiry. Here, too, we find the linkage of Plotinus (∫en kaì pãn), Cusanus (non aliud), and Kant (noumena in the negative sense). See also Z-I 67a–b and Z-IV 49a–b. VB/I speaks of the transfinite in §61, referring to Oscar Becker’s ‘‘Mathematische Existenz’’ in JPpF VIII (1927), pp. 441–809. This volume of JPpF also contained Heidegger’s SZ. See also EFM 1, ‘‘Einleitung des Herausgebers I,’’ pp. xxxix–xliii. 94. Z-IV 97a; EFM 1. Emphasis Fink’s in quoted wording. 95. Z-XX 7a from late 1935 or early 1936, emphasis Fink’s; EFM 3. 96. Z-IV 94b; EFM 1. 97. EFA U-MH-I 118; MH-GA 27, p. 321.

Who Is Phenomenology?


being—was a ‘‘mh-ƒ ` on.’’Ω∫ Finally, in Fichte, as Fink records the interpretative ideas Heidegger delivered, ‘‘the not-I is not [only] the ¡eteron, the neutral Other, but is a mh-ƒ ` on.’’ΩΩ Yet what Fink did receive from Heidegger, if not speculative specifics on the meontic, was the need to loosen the constraints of Husserl’s incredible dedication to the descriptive analysis of ‘‘die Sachen selbst’’ in near neglect of the second dimension of integral phenomenological systematics. For example, in the semester of lectures in the summer of 1930 (his fourth with Heidegger), in an extended discussion of Kant on the question of freedom, Fink noted down Heidegger’s interpretation of Kant’s metaphysics as ‘‘a move of regression to the nature of man’’ that has an originality that is neither ‘‘psychology’’ nor ‘‘a phenomenology of experiences or of consciousness.’’ And Fink has Heidegger saying: ‘‘One cannot do a phenomenology of consciousness decade after decade and only then ask about metaphysics.’’∞≠≠ A rebuke to Husserl’s endless meticulous descriptive analyses it may be, but more positively it is a telling point about the fuller demands of phenomenology. In some measure and at some points—and perhaps precisely there where the deepest philosophical issues lay—‘‘die Sache selbst’’ may not be ultimately intelligible by restriction solely to the evidence-structured moment enjoined by Husserl’s ‘‘Principle of Principles,’’∞≠∞ especially if this principle itself is a signal instance of a schema that is not necessarily the model for all levels of inquiry into origination in transcendental phenomenology.∞≠≤ In sum, the massive engagement on Husserl’s part in the noetic-noematic framework as setting the terms for explicating both the structure of phenomena to be analyzed and the methodology for addressing them needed delimitation in order for its value to be understood philosophically (see But the delimitation and supplementation had to be based in the intrinsic, integrated systematic thrust of transcendental phenomenology as such, in the continual radicalizing imposed by the reduction. In the present context, then, there are also specific contributions drawn out of Heidegger that aided Fink to advance beyond preliminary fixations in phenomenology in order to facilitate its genuine philosophical self-explication and its reading philosophical adequacy. 98. EFA U-MH-V 37; MH-GA 31, pp. 78–79. 99. U-MH-III 127; MH-GA 28, p. 184, which has the adverbial qualifier put in brackets here. 100. EFA U-MH-V 91, corresponding to MH-GA 31, p. 205. 101. Ideas I, §24. 102. See again Heidegger’s 1928–1929 Freiburg lecture course: EFA U-MH-I 15–17; MH-GA 27, pp. 62–63.


Who Is Phenomenology?

3.4.1. The ‘‘I Am’’ as Finite ‘‘I Am in the World’’ The first of these specific thematic points to which Fink found Heidegger giving an emphasis that was determinative for a phenomenology-based interpretive analysis is the principle already seen in Heidegger’s lectures on German Idealism (see 3.3.3), namely, that subject-being—for Heidegger, in the form of ‘‘Dasein’’—is essentially finite being. Putting it in terms explicitly taking up the long practice in modern-period philosophy of speaking in the first person that is given such dramatic primacy in Fichte, Heidegger declares that the ‘‘I am’’ is not a complete sentence but only a fragment of one, yet not in the sense that some predicate is required to complete the statement. The I, as essentially a ‘‘fact-enactment’’—in Fichte’s own neologism, ‘‘Tathandlung’’—is fundamentally different from non-I things, from simple ‘‘facts’’ [Tatsachen]. ‘‘I am’’ is not simply ‘‘the ontic assertion of my factic existence’’ but rather a statement of the essence of the I precisely as the acting that enacts the concreteness that I come to be. ‘‘I am always that to which I am decided, that which by my decision is gone through. . . . The being of the I is something which is always given to the I as a task, to be in this or that way.’’∞≠≥ To put it another way, this assertion about the I must always be referred to the ‘‘mineness [ Jemeinigkeit] of the one who utters the sentence,’’ in the ‘‘openness to the indeterminate,’’ in the ‘‘finitude,’’ that always characterizes an actual, concretely individual someone.∞≠∂ And this basis of the I as freedom precludes its being considered a typical truth of essence, a typical eidos.∞≠∑ To be an I, that is, to be at all as an I, is to be a concretely finite human I, which means to be involved in all the manifold engagements with things and others in a world. Not to recognize this is to have a concept of the I that is empty. Thus, in his fascinating ‘‘Dasein’’-oriented exposition of Fichte, Heidegger fills out theoretically the essential structure of human egoic being already spoken of in his immediately previous Freiburg course, where he had said: ‘‘The essence of genuine ‘subjectivity’ is nothing at all ‘subjective’ (in the sense of an isolated I). An I that is not already always there with [bei] the onhand existent, is a philosophical phantom. Being-there-with [Sein-bei] belongs 103. EFA U-MH-III 76–77, emphasis Fink’s; MH-GA 28, pp. 106–7. 104. EFA U-MH-III 80; MH-GA 28, p. 113. 105. ‘‘The being-what [Wassein] of the I is not a genus-concept in relation to individual concrete I’s. The concept of essence as eidos fails here. In phenomenology the insight is not yet reached that the whole determination of the essence of the I is a problem of existence and refers to an existential metaphysics of Dasein.’’ EFA U-MH-III 81, to which MH-GA 28, pp. 113–14, has no corresponding assertion.

Who Is Phenomenology?


essentially to the concept of genuine subjectivity.’’∞≠∏ With this there is also ‘‘being-with [Mitsein],’’ Heidegger adds, i.e., the existential equivalent of intersubjectivity.∞≠π And when this full structural complex is grasped, Heidegger declares, we are driven to effect a ‘‘radical revision of the concept of ‘subjectivity.’ ’’∞≠∫ Heidegger’s reorienting of phenomenological themes along the lines of his fundamental ontology is clearly a strong factor reinforcing Fink’s shift of the center of gravity in phenomenology past subject-object, noetic-noematic intentionality to find non-noetico-noematic factors in post-preliminary reinquiry into constitutive origination. But effecting that shift while appreciating the force of Heidegger’s insistence on concrete finitude poses this problem: How can the concept of transcendental subjectivity be at one and the same time genuinely trans-mundane and yet, in Heidegger’s sharp formulation, not ‘‘a harmless act-center,’’ not free of what Fink has Heidegger calling ‘‘the trenchancy of transcendence,’’ that is, the vulnerability of being ‘‘under the sway of that in being which it understands,’’ of being essentially ‘‘surrendered’’ to the surrounding being that it itself as Dasein discloses?∞≠Ω We have here unmistakable reinforcement of Fink’s critical point about one fundamental limitation, and paradox, in Heidegger position, namely, that Heidegger’s ontology is precisely of being in the frame of the world. And that is exactly the limitation that Fink takes Husserl’s phenomenological reduction to be the attempt to overcome, even if it must pass beyond its own initial formulations to do so. How Fink works out these tensions and conflicts will be laid out in the next several chapters, but here we have to give some consideration to the way this work of at once critique, interpretation, and integration necessitates being clear on its methodological character in phenomenological systematics.

3.4.2. Philosophical Explication as Construction—Even in Transcendental Phenomenology The interpretive shift of the center of gravity in substantive conceptual elements that Fink finds phenomenology to have not only to admit but also to embrace is not merely a shift of focus that implies no change in phenomenological procedures. In addition to its effect upon interpretive sense throughout 106. EFA U-MH-I 27, emphasis Fink’s. The corresponding text in MH-GA 27, pp. 104–5, does not contain statements like these. See, however, §14c (pp. 113–17). 107. EFA U-MH-I 28; MH-GA 28, §14a. 108. EFA U-MH-I 27, not represented in MH-GA 28, pp. 104–5. 109. EFA U-MH-I 121. See MH-GA 27, pp. 326–28.


Who Is Phenomenology?

the panoply of phenomenological findings, the kind of intellectual operation that goes into achieving this shift does not fall neatly into the coupling of (a) intuition of the eidos and (b) intuition of the experienced that together comprise the moment of demonstration in evidence enjoined by Husserl’s Principle of Principles. There is more at play methodologically than that, and to begin delineating the richer operation involved in the dimension of ‘‘systematic projections’’ and ‘‘higher order descriptions’’∞∞≠ we can show how it was again Heidegger’s work that offered leading suggestions to Fink for that very realization. We have already been introduced in a preliminary way to Heidegger’s concept of ‘‘formal indication’’ (see 2.3); now we must take note of how he explains ‘‘construction.’’ In Being and Time, Heidegger professes adherence to Husserl’s avoidance of any kind of ‘‘free-floating constructions’’ in the disclosure of ‘‘a priori’’ structures that it is the task of that book to achieve.∞∞∞ Yet before Being and Time reaches its end, the term ‘‘construction’’ begins to take on a positive sense in the analysis of the structure of Dasein. ‘‘Phenomenological construction’’ eventually is not only admissible but central to the method of getting hold of Dasein’s genuine ontological meaning.∞∞≤ To do this is a matter of getting hitherto accepted construals of the phenomenon under investigation to yield a sense that at one and the same time both is opposed to the way that phenomenon has been overtly construed and is the ontological core of its very constitution. The sense to be disclosed is not to be a simple wholesale replacement of the hitherto manifest meaning by which some phenomenon has been understood but rather is what will show in a transformation or reconfiguration of that meaning by the device of ‘‘projecting’’ onto it an anticipation of what it must show itself to be that is drawn from already achieved consideration in a prior phase of investigation. In a word, ‘‘construction’’ is ‘‘projection.’’ In the first semester of his lecturing in Freiburg as the new chair holder Heidegger mentions ‘‘projection’’ in the manner of an aside, but nonetheless as a point that is intrinsic to the unique status of ‘‘transcendence.’’ Transcendence is not the sort of thing that can be straightforwardly presented for scrutiny; it is rather the ground-condition for any dealing with things in scrutiny of them. ‘‘Transcendence is not able to be described because it does not present itself.’’ Instead transcendence is realized. To work on the question of being and on the 110. See 2.3 and 3.3.3. 111. See SZ §7, p. 28, footnote 1, to p. 50, and p. 302. 112. See SZ §72, pp. 375–76, and §73, p. 378. On p. 375 Heidegger refers to §63 for the explanation of the methodology in which ‘‘construction’’ figures.

Who Is Phenomenology?


question of the world—i.e., to do philosophy—is to be ipso facto the very movement of transcendence itself. This is the way it is ‘‘brought to show.’’ But then Heidegger adds: ‘‘Philosophy, as projection of transcendence, is essentially construction.’’∞∞≥ What Heidegger, however, does not do at this point is make clear how the achievement of ‘‘transcendence’’ as the very action of philosophizing brings transcendence itself to philosophic disclosure in some sort of articulated expressive form. Even §63 in Being and Time just describes the structure of the action (there, of ‘‘projection’’), the ‘‘mechanism,’’ so to speak, of the disclosive effort. The conceptual expression in which the meaning of the to-be-disclosed and the appropriately disclosed is validated seemingly automatically, by virtue of the coincidence of the projection with the projected upon, once the existential orientation in which it is framed is grasped as that of one’s very own being.∞∞∂ This, however, seems too easy a solution, but it will require moving further into Fink’s critique of transcendental language in an overall transcendental theory of method to deal with this question.∞∞∑ In the next semester, even if Heidegger does not thematically take up the question of the adequacy and validity of conceptual expression, still, in the course of an exposition of Fichte’s thinking precisely in regard to ‘‘construction,’’ he makes it much clearer how ‘‘construction’’ is ‘‘projection,’’ and how he understands the remarkable assertion of Fichte’s that ‘‘all philosophical knowledge is essentially construction.’’ Construction as philosophical knowing cannot mean just fabricating ideas or just putting propositions together in some merely arbitrary assemblage. ‘‘The essence of construction is projection; projection of something over onto something. Projection is a special kind of disclosure, of letting be seen. Construction as projection is essentially a making-visible. Every projection requires first something pregiven which is taken into the projection and projected over onto something.’’ Heidegger details the methodological way this constructive projection is guided: it has a basis in what is already given, but the projection specifies a determinate way in which what it is about will be brought into the clear in precisely that 113. The line of thought and the quotes here are from EFA U-MH-I 151; MH-GA 27, pp. 395–96. 114. ‘‘The authenticity of the potentiality-of-being-a-self guarantees the fore-sight of primordial existentiality, and this assures us of coining the appropriate existential concepts.’’ BTst, pp. 291–92 (SZ, p. 316). 115. Heidegger’s blanket assertion here is analogous to the one Husserl offers when he argues to Fink that a specific ‘‘reduction of the idea of being’’ is not needed. The new sense words must take on occurs, Husserl assures us, ‘‘of itself’’ in the properly performed reduction: VI.CM/1, p. 83, notation 241.


Who Is Phenomenology?

determinate way, against the inexplicitness or distortion in which it had hitherto been construed. ‘‘Every philosophical projecting as explicit projecting is a leaping out into an already obtaining inexplicit projection.’’∞∞∏ While this may look like a reformulated version of Husserl’s ‘‘signitive intention,’’∞∞π there is one point about the situation regarding which ‘‘construction’’ and ‘‘projection’’ are asserted as the appropriate kind of operation that needs to be emphasized. In both Being and Time and here in the lectures treating Fichte’s philosophy, what is at issue is not some ordinary kind of philosophic theme but a matter of fundamental distinctiveness. The question of ‘‘existence’’ (Being and Time) or of ‘‘transcendence’’ (‘‘Introduction to Philosophy,’’ winter semester, 1928–1929), and now, in Heidegger’s lectures in the summer of 1930, Fichte’s attempts to think how the ‘‘I’’-subject, out of the dynamism that is its very being, becomes an I-thinker thinking all that it is and all that it thinks about as ‘‘not-I’’ to itself are all efforts to articulate that which is the originative precondition for the very effort to achieve that clarification; and that originative precondition is not something, as it were, externally affecting that same disclosure effort but rather that constitutes it intrinsically, i.e., ontologically, existentially in the very carrying out of the effort.∞∞∫ Thus it is that raising the question of being as Heidegger does marks for it a manifest heightening of the paradox of the phenomenological reduction, namely, to make the question of the being of the transcendental subject ipso facto the question of the way the thinking of transcendental origination is an investigative thinking carried on by an actual being, and therefore carried on ineluctably as held within the conditioning that is the very thing it is attempting to bring to disclosure. What is decisive here, however, is not simply a formal or logical relationship of conditioning—such that, for example, it is unproblematic for reason to analyze and formulate the rules of reasoning that are constitutive of it, even in doing reasoning itself—but of a far more comprehensive and determining order, that of being, acting, and experiencing. The all-embracing comprehensive structure at issue in this case is that of the prime phenomenological themes, in particular world and temporality. These ‘‘wholes’’ of a unique sort, fundamental as the horizon for all orders of being, acting, and experiencing are such as to elude being presented; and so the question of how they are ‘‘there’’ to be investigated becomes methodologically challenging. 116. The ideas and the quoted material are from EFA U-MH-III 37–38, emphasis all Fink’s; MH-GA 28, pp. 54–55 and 282–83. 117. See LU, II-2 (6), §14–15. 118. See 3.4.1 above. Cf. U-MH-III 37; MH-GA 28, p. 54.

Who Is Phenomenology?


Such is the critical insight that Fink came to be exercised in quite early in his philosophic study, and we shall see in subsequent chapters how this problematic dominates his entire post-preliminary reinquiry precisely into the themes of world and temporality. Now, however, a few further points need to be made about ‘‘construction-projection.’’ What ‘‘construction’’ will work out to be for transcendental phenomenology is not defined in terms of a single sphere of matters to be analyzed. This is made explicit in Fink’s explicit treatment in the transcendental theory of method laid out in the ‘‘Sixth Meditation,’’ specifically in §7; but we shall return to that in chapter 7 (7.2.3). More instructive for the present context is a long note drafting points relating to §2 of the ‘‘Introduction’’ to Fink’s dissertation,∞∞Ω where Fink not only is more explicit than in the dissertation about Heidegger’s contribution but also discusses limitations in Heidegger’s position. What is particularly significant here is Fink’s comment about ‘‘construction,’’ particularly in giving the paradigmatic context in which ‘‘construction’’ is to have a role in transcendental methodology, namely, the problematic of temporality. The analysis of temporality faces two conceptual alternatives for determining exactly what it is that will be reached and disclosed therein. Drawing from his exposure to Cohen’s work (see 3.4), Fink distinguishes between an inquiry into ‘‘ground’’ and an inquiry into ‘‘origin,’’ explaining that, because phenomenology at its ultimate level of analysis is an inquiry into ‘‘origin’’ rather than into ‘‘ground,’’ it is obliged to operate by ‘‘construction.’’ Echoing Heidegger in insisting that construction must not mean ‘‘the arbitrariness of unclear ideas and feeling-laden or prophetic speculation,’’ Fink takes it to be ‘‘bound to demonstrative exhibiting [Ausweisung],’’ wherein lies ‘‘its sole right and the possibility of rigor and inexorability’’ in philosophical reflection. What makes it effective in that, however, is ‘‘a strength of interpretation’’ and ‘‘intrinsic exceeding.’’ Every such interpretation is ‘‘a selfimpelling to a higher level [ein Sichhöherwerfen]. All philosophizing is thus the surmounting of the world.’’∞≤≠ This is more than simply a restating of the nature of the Husserlian ‘‘system,’’ namely, as a dynamic mutual interweaving of (a) concrete analyses of detail and (b) ‘‘general systematic projections,’’ ‘‘anticipatory perspectives,’’ or ‘‘presentations of universal scope’’ in which the ‘‘comprehensive relevance’’ of the analyses can be seen.’’∞≤∞ Here, where the question is that of ‘‘origin,’’ and 119. Z-VI 15a–b and Z–IV 94a–b (EFM 1), two sheets that Fink separated and placed in two different folders. 120. Z-IV 94a–b. 121. See B-I 40a and 22a, quoted in 2.3.


Who Is Phenomenology?

specifically in regard to the all-comprehensive order of proto-temporalization, the procedure goes beyond mere givenness. Interpretive construction is rooted in, but not slavishly enclosed within, intuitional demonstrative giving. It has to anticipate, and therefore formulate and express, perspectives of meaning that in principle exceed the given. The point is aided by reflections Fink makes on one of those phenomena to which he frequently turns—for reasons of principle—which mainstream phenomenological study has tended to neglect, namely, sleep and wakefulness. It is a familiar situation that, while we know about wakefulness precisely by being awake, sleep itself is interpretable only in wakefulness. Prior to any such consideration of sleep, sleep is already a familiar phenomenon, a given fact. But how, in fact, is sleep ‘‘given’’? It is certainly not ‘‘given’’ while we are explicitly considering it, because then we are awake, not asleep. And when we are asleep, it is not ‘‘given’’ either; for then we are not capable of being reflectively attentive to it. According to the basic conviction operative in attempts to interpret sleep, Fink observes, sleep is taken to be given ‘‘in awakening,’’ in an ‘‘in-between state’’ that is neither full sleep nor full wakefulness. The lesson he draws, now, concerns ‘‘a methodological paradox,’’ namely, that the ‘‘givenness’’ of this phenomenon, the manner of its accessibility, ‘‘is its ontical ungivenness.’’ This indicates that philosophical insightfulness and clarifying does not simply ‘‘follow the instruction of ontical givenness.’’ Fink continues: ‘‘Philosophical ‘givenness’ and ontical givenness do not coincide. Perhaps in a profound sense the ‘given’ is never the theme of philosophy. Philosophy is essentially speculation and construction, so that these possess a sense of exhibitive bringing-to-be-seen [ausweisendes Sehenlassen] that is all their own.’’∞≤≤ Fink’s point is clear: In general, achieving phenomenological ‘‘givenness’’ means precisely to loosen the hold of the naive world-enframed conceptions in terms of which things in our ordinary experience are already familiar to us, so that an ordinary object or occurrence becomes a phenomenon when we hold it before us with a sense other than in the familiar way of ordinary in-the-world experience. The manifestness, the ‘‘exhibitive bringing-to-be-seen’’ that phenomenology is to achieve transforms the meaning both of the object or event under investigation and of the specifically phenomenological ‘‘having’’ or ‘‘intending’’ of it by which that investigation is conducted. However, what is true of phenomenological descriptive analysis in general is enhanced when the issue is the kind of all-embracing comprehensive structure to which Heidegger adapted and applied ‘‘projection-construction,’’ and which, is its nongivenness, is in some measure analogous to the phenomenon of sleep. 122. Z-VI 40a; EFM 1.

Who Is Phenomenology?


The way in which ‘‘construction’’ comes to be a matter of principle within transcendental phenomenology is vividly seen in the plan that Fink sketched out in 1930 for Husserl’s new ‘‘System of Phenomenological Philosophy.’’∞≤≥ In that plan, section 3 of book I carries the title ‘‘Progressive Phenomenology,’’ a stage contrasting with the ‘‘Regressive Phenomenology’’ of section 2. One reads that ‘‘progressive phenomenology’’ has a ‘‘constructive’’ character, and it has this character precisely because it is concerned with the ‘‘genesis’’ to be explicated in the primordial action of temporality, especially (but not only) in regard to the spatiality of the world.∞≤∂ The distinction between ‘‘regressive’’ and ‘‘progressive’’ phenomenology is one that Fink will return to again and again,∞≤∑ but, setting that aside here, we must be clearer on how ‘‘construction’’ in phenomenology relates to the distinction between ‘‘ground’’ and ‘‘origin.’’

3.5. The Term of A Priori Inquiry: ‘‘Ground’’ or ‘‘Origin’’? The final matter of the present chapter returns us to the question of the ‘‘a priori,’’ in terms of which, for phenomenology and for fundamental ontology, the naively manifest is ultimately to be understood. (See 3.3.1.) The question to ask, then, is this: What kind of a priori does Heidegger aim for, and what kind does Husserl? Fink puts the question in another form: ‘‘Is ontological interpretation philosophically adequate, or is a discussion being given in the face of a question that rescinds ontology as such?’’ And his answer is: ‘‘The idea of ultimate understanding is not such as refers to ground but rather to origin. The problematic of the ground is the intrinsic limit of the ontological question.’’ It is Husserl, with a program that works to achieve ultimate understanding on the basis of origin in constitutive transcendental analysis, for whom the question of origin more clearly and in principle will not be an intra-temporal event.∞≤∏ In this Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology has the more radical thrust (though this may only become really clear in postpreliminary reinterpretation), even if it was from Heidegger that Fink ‘‘learned to understand the problematic of ontology,’’∞≤π drawing from him the impetus for thinking out the speculative dimension of phenomenology. 123. VI.CM/2, pp. 3–9. See 1.3. 124. VI.CM/2, pp. 7–8. 125. See Z-XI 73a, from February 9, 1932; EFM 2. 126. Z-VI 15b continuing into Z-IV 94a, emphasis Fink’s; EFM 1. In Z-IV 94a Fink refers to Heidegger’s ‘‘On the Essence of Ground’’ as an example of what Fink is pointing out. 127. Z-VI 15a; EFM 1.


Who Is Phenomenology?

That Heidegger’s inquiry into the a priori is an inquiry into ‘‘ground,’’ not ‘‘origin,’’ is a case that could be made in detail but must simply be summarized here. For example, ‘‘ground’’ and ‘‘ground’’-words are some of the most frequent expressions in Heidegger’s writing.∞≤∫ However much in his later thinking the breadth of meaning in these words becomes a field for wordplay exploitation, in his systematic explication of fundamental ontology a more rigorous conception is adhered to. In this Heidegger’s sense of the a priori, despite its existential matrix, is closest to that of Kant, namely, that the a priori is a condition of possibility. This shows unmistakably in the lectures that Fink heard, as reflected in his notebook summaries of them.∞≤Ω And Fink was not alone in wondering what exactly Heidegger’s ‘‘grounding’’ meant. In Husserl’s finally serious reading of Being and Time he found problematic precisely what Heidegger meant by ‘‘grounding.’’ For example, in §69, where Heidegger in a footnote on Husserl’s linking all cognition to ‘‘intuition’’ speaks of the grounding of ‘‘intentionality’’ in ‘‘the ecstatical temporality of Dasein,’’ Husserl asks: ‘‘What does ‘grounding’ mean?’’∞≥≠ Now, one of the prime issues about the a priori in this context is the character of the dependency relationship between (a) the grounding ground and (b) that which is grounded upon it. The canonic framing of this question is that set by Kant: ‘‘[I]f the conditioned is given, the entire sum of conditions, and consequently the absolutely unconditioned (through which alone the conditioned has been possible) is also given.’’∞≥∞ This is a point, and a text, that Heidegger took up in his lectures in the summer semester of 1930, in another ‘‘Introduction to Philosophy: On the Essence of Human Freedom.’’∞≥≤ As Heidegger interprets it, this principle means that the relationship of the grounded to the grounding can have positive content only in that the grounded is given experientially in the world. Heidegger returns here to the theme of freedom, the analysis of which, as the ‘‘ground of possibility for Dasein,’’∞≥≥ has to be oriented ultimately by the unique kind of being that Dasein possesses. In accord with Kant, the problem 128. In German, of course, ‘‘Grund’’ has many meanings, the most significant for Heidegger being ‘‘ground’’ and ‘‘reason.’’ Then there are ‘‘gründen,’’ ‘‘begründen,’’ ‘‘aufgrund,’’ and so on, plus compounds with ‘‘Grund-.’’ 129. See (1) U-MH-I 64–66; MH-GA 27, pp. 209–10; these are Heidegger’s ‘‘Tenth’’ and ‘‘Eleventh Theses, the latter of which is quoted in 3.2; and (2) EFA U-MH-V 50–51; MH-GA 31, pp. 134–35. 130. See appendix. 131. KrV A409/B436, emphasis Kant’s own; trans. by Smith, CPR, p. 386. 132. Kant’s text is cited by Heidegger in EFA U-MH-V 92–93; MH-GA 31, p. 212. 133. EFA U-MH-V 50; MH-GA 31, p. 134.

Who Is Phenomenology?


of freedom is a ‘‘cosmological’’ problem; yet Kant’s framing of the problem is too narrow: he takes being to be causally ordered ‘‘being out there’’ [‘‘Vorhandensein’’]. Consequently his conception of the Unconditioned that conditions this order of being, of the freedom that is thus transcendental, is too narrowly conceived. In the orientation of fundamental ontology, the freedom that is the ‘‘transcendental’’ ground for Dasein will be oriented on the way Dasein is ‘‘that being through which all that is in being [alles Seiende] speaks.’’∞≥∂ That is, the freedom in question is the ‘‘freedom as letting-beings-be’’ that is precisely that in which ‘‘the happening of human existence consists,’’ as Fink has Heidegger saying it later that year in his address entitled ‘‘On the Essence of Truth.’’∞≥∑ In sum, the freedom that must ultimately be disclosed is that freedom which is ‘‘the ground of being and time.’’∞≥∏ However much Heidegger has gone beyond Kant in this transcendentalontological concept of freedom, it remains as the ‘‘condition of possibility’’ for the realm of the experiential, for all that comes to appearance and disclosure within the world—that is, for all that is being [Seiendes]. And it is in this regard that, following Kant’s canon for the validity and intelligibility of the relationship, Fink makes his critical observations on Heidegger’s program. Fink finds right here that what passes for radical explication in fundamental ontology really amounts to interpreting that-which-makes-possible—i.e., the conditioning factor—in terms of that-which-is made-possible—i.e., the conditioned factor. (See 3.3.2.) That is, the lineaments of the conditioning factor are drawn in accord with and following the features of that which is conditioned by it. Now it may be that this procedure is unavoidable, and perhaps in principle unavoidable; but not explicitly to draw out the philosophical implications of the methodological order whereby the relation in the move of disclosive regress inverts the order of the relation of conditioning itself, is to remain in an uncritical naïveté. The situation is similar in principle to that for the analysis of temporality, where, as Fink puts it, ‘‘genetic elucidation leads into selftemporalizing time’’ rather than a move back into ‘‘the intra-temporal past.’’ In other words, to inquire into genesis is to inquire into time’s temporalization, into ‘‘the process of the bringing about of temporality [die Zeitigung der Zeit].’’ But in conceptualizing this ‘‘proto-happening that first makes all happening possible,’’ we meet the procedure of ‘‘retro-application [Rücklage].’’ That is, though ‘‘time’s temporalization’’ cannot be itself a ‘‘happening,’’ i.e., in 134. EFA U-MH-V 51; MH-GA 31, p. 135. 135. EFA U-MH-V 132; cf. Wgm, p. 85. Heidegger’s address was on December 11, 1930. 136. EFA U-MH-V 51; MH-GA 31, p. 135.


Who Is Phenomenology?

time, nevertheless it can only be described by ‘‘retro-applying [Rücklegung] [to it] that which is made possible by it.’’∞≥π This critical point was indicated earlier (3.3.2 and 3.4), but here it takes on another note. Rather than simply a move of improper attribution, this ‘‘retroapplication’’ begins to have to play a positive role, as a kind of ‘‘malum necessarium.’’ As Heidegger himself make clear in his discussion of Kant in the summer lectures of 1930,∞≥∫ this is tied to the fact that any critical philosophical reflection has to begin with some pregiven set of phenomena to be studied and some pregiven schema of conceptualization with which to thematize and explore them; or, put another way, the order of conditioning and structuring phenomena is inverse to the order of the move of explanatory regression in knowing.∞≥Ω The ‘‘ ‘retro-application’ of the founded upon the founding’’∞∂≠ both is necessary and problematizes the disclosure of ‘‘the conditions of possibility.’’∞∂∞ In Husserlian terms, one could say, as Fink does, ‘‘On every constitutive level we find transcendental seeming [den transzendentalen Schein], insofar as there is a dragging of the constituted level back over upon the constituting level.’’∞∂≤ The Kantian concept of ‘‘transcendental seeming’’ or ‘‘appearance’’ will take on considerable importance in later chapters, but let us now bring this chapter to a conclusion by returning to the question of the move of regress that, in contrast to the effort to disclose a ‘‘ground’’ (Heidegger), aims to represent the ‘‘origin’’ for the matters under investigation. For Fink, in this context of phenomenological reconsideration that his exposure to Heidegger has provoked, phenomenological understanding has to be ‘‘understanding in terms of origin.’’ Origin here has been termed ‘‘the region of transcendental being’’; but, Fink argues, the term region is unsuitable, 137. Z-IV 10a; EFM 1. See also Z-I 149–150b. Phrase in brackets mine. 138. See EFA U-MH-V 93; MH-GA 31, p. 31, where Kant’s point in KrV A409/B436 is quoted, viz., that to conceptualize the conditioning factor as the ‘‘transcendental Ideas’’ are by Kant is, as Kant explains, to deal with regressive conditions, that is, ‘‘to go in andecedentia, not in consequentia.’’ (A411/B438.) 139. See Z-XI 62a; EFM 2. 140. Z-XV 56b; EFM 2. 141. Z-V IV/4a; EFM 1. See also Z-V III/9b and III/14a; EFM 1 (with regard to spatiality). Heidegger is not unaware of the basic operation of ‘‘retro-application,’’ as one can see in his lectures in SS 1930: ‘‘The question of being must take on the same form as the question of that which is in being [nach dem Seienden]: as what this and that are. The question of being thus always stands in a clothing that ordinary understanding never sees through.’’ EFA U-MH-V 23; MH-GA 31, p. 50. 142. Z-XVI XXIV/5b; EFM 3, sketching revisions for ‘‘Cartesian Meditations.’’

Who Is Phenomenology?


because it suggests a domain of being to which other domains would stand in contrast, whereas ‘‘transcendental being’’ is ‘‘the origin of all being [alles Seins].’’ Simply put, ‘‘the phenomenological reduction is regress to origin.’’∞∂≥ If, then, phenomenological disclosure is ultimately to be regress to the ‘‘origin of all being,’’ and if the originating factor is to be of itself free of the originated result, then the originative X in question here has to be ‘‘antecedent’’ to being, beyond being. From early on Husserl designated the transcendentally originative as ‘‘transcendental being’’ and ‘‘absolute being.’’∞∂∂ But now, Fink argues in postpreliminary reinterpretation, this ‘‘being’’ has to be taken as ‘‘meon,’’ as notbeing. But how can one determine ‘‘non-existent being [das ‘‘nichtseiende Sein’’]? Fink answers: ‘‘ ‘Absolute being’ is, of course, in no way a being that would be met with on its own alongside or outside of that which is in being [des Seienden]. Rather it is only accessible at all from the ontical as a point of departure. It is in a certain way the ontical itself; but inquired into so radically that it is the ontical, as it were, before its eƒinai.—The relation of the ‘absolute’ to the ontical we call ‘origin.’ ‘Origin’ does not mean a beginning within the world, but rather is always seen within the world according to that of which it is precisely the origin.’’∞∂∑ Here we see both what is common to ‘‘origin’’ and ‘‘ground’’ and what has to be stipulated as the radical difference between them. Both have to follow the Kantian canon that the characterization of the originative—or the grounding—has to be regressively derived from the originated—or the grounded. Both remain dependent upon the realm of the experientially givable, the realm of phenomena as already given in the world of familiar events and relationships; and neither offers cognitive access to some privileged place of a luminously manifest ‘‘transcendental.’’ But within the phenomenological program, now that Heidegger has introduced the question of being into the frame of Husserlian reduction-imposed regress to constitutive genesis, ‘‘origin’’ has to mean ‘‘origin in being.’’ This is a far stronger a priori status than that of the ‘‘condition of possibility’’ ascribed to ‘‘ground.’’ Ontology may be an inquiry into ground, but here phenomenological inquiry becomes ontogony! This is the very point made toward the end of a paper Fink wrote in 1935 on Husserl’s phenomenology and Kant, presented to the KantGesellschaft that same year. Here in a text that Husserl had read, Fink writes: 143. Z-VI 5b; EFM 1. 144. E.g., see Ideas I, §76 and 49. 145. Z-IV 112b (EFM 1), emphasis Fink’s, from a subset of three important pages (110a–112b) on ‘‘absolute being’’ in Husserl’s position.


Who Is Phenomenology?

‘‘With Kant the transcendental problem leads to a new grounding of ontology, in phenomenology this problem is transformed into the derivation of that which is in being [des Seienden], i.e., to an ontogonic metaphysics.’’∞∂∏ The unfolding of this idea is something we shall be treating element by element in the next four chapters, following in great part some of the details for it that are sketched out in the ‘‘Layout’’ Fink produced for Husserl’s ‘‘System of Phenomenological Philosophy.’’∞∂π It is obvious that, given the kind and extent of relevance for phenomenology that he saw in Heidegger’s thought, Fink’s post-preliminary undertaking in transcendental phenomenology had to make the ‘‘tria-logue’’ involving Husserl, Heidegger, and himself a continuing thing. And now that the question of being had been brought into phenomenology—with an effect more radical than Heidegger had foreseen—the world would take on a far more pivotal role in both phenomenological thematics and phenomenological methodology. But before moving on to take that up frontally, one final comment needs to be made on the whole issue of ‘‘construction’’ in the regressive disclosure of origin. It becomes a little clearer now why Fink will use the term speculation for the operation going on in the dimension wherein ‘‘construction’’ typifies the work of a kind of phenomenological philosophizing termed ‘‘progressive.’’∞∂∫ It is because there are matters in the dimension of ‘‘general systematic projections,’’ ‘‘anticipatory perspectives,’’ or ‘‘presentations of universal scope,’’ in which, precisely, the ‘‘comprehensive relevance’’ of the analyses is thought out,∞∂Ω that this kind of work is legitimated, especially when it is about not only the origination of the whole frame of being, the world, but also the way the whole system of the work of thinking this through integrates into the very structure and sense of the question. There is a measure of ‘‘exceeding’’ here that cannot be defined ahead of time; that is, the principle of the measure of this ‘‘exceeding’’ cannot be determined other than in the context of the concrete matters of analysis that need to be understood on the level of comprehensive integration and universal scope. In what Fink will call ‘‘integration,’’ no single phenomenon analytically described in the most minute specific detail 146. ND, p. 43, emphasis Fink’s. Husserl wrote several marginal comments on this paper but none on this passage. See Fink’s notes for this paper in Z-XVII (EFM 3). See 1.3. 147. Buch I, Abschn. 3 in VI.CM/2, pp. 7–8. Note the final subsection on a ‘‘critique of transcendental experience,’’ which within two years of this outline was to be undertaken in Fink’s ‘‘Sixth Meditation.’’ 148. See VI.CM/2, pp. 7–8, and Fink’s postwar essay ‘‘Intentionale Analyse und das Problem des spekulativen Denkens,’’ ND, 139–57. 149. See B-I 40a and 22a, quoted in 2.3.

Who Is Phenomenology?


will escape relevance to, and the implications of, the element of speculative exceeding. This element is what will give disclosive power to the ‘‘constructed projection’’ beyond both the ordinary and naively mundane and the investigationally evidenced, precisely because it has the perspective of general comprehensiveness. We shall see over the course of the next chapters how this works out, beginning with the theme of world, now brought to the fore as figuring centrally in the phenomenology that, in the Freiburg and Germany of the 1930s, is showing itself to be in actual fact considerably more than the one man Edmund Husserl.


Fundamental Thematics I: The World

Reason itself and its [object], ‘‘that which is,’’ become more and more enigmatic . . . until finally the problem of the world, come consciously to light, the problem of the deepest essential bondedness of reason and that which is, the enigma of all enigmas, had to become the proper theme. —Husserl, Crisis∞ Philosophy is the human passion to know the world, is the questioning in which a man reaches out to the whole breadth of the world and yet stays closest to himself. —Fink, EFA Z-VII XVII/21b That the theme of the world had to dominate the framing of the central matters to be investigated in phenomenology was not Heidegger’s discovery, and it was not in Heidegger’s lectures that Fink first saw this principle manifest. Transcendental phenomenology began in the recognition that the world had to be taken explicitly precisely as an overwhelmingly comprehensive structure that remained yet to be thematized properly in philosophy. The most famous methodological ‘‘devices’’ in Husserl’s phenomenology, the epoché 1. P. 13 (§5), translation modified.


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and phenomenological reduction, are precisely moves by which the questioning of the world is to begin authentically, against the unwitting and unquestioned acceptance of it as simply there. No longer can the world be assumed as fully obvious in the way one ought to understand it, namely, as the sum total of things and events among which the human inquirer, with his or her inquiry, is just simply one instance of those same things and events. Where Fink came into phenomenology, however, even though Husserl had progressed considerably in his investigations of the features and phenomena of experiencing, he had as yet conducted no sustained frontal phenomenological analysis of the world as such in keeping with the subtlety and detail with which other matters had been analyzed, for example, time-consciousness. Here, too, what helped Fink realize that this was demanded now in the stage of phenomenology’s development in which he was learning its meaning was certainly, in significant measure, the remarkable philosophical interpretations that Heidegger was presenting in his lectures. Husserl’s raising of the question of the world as the very entry into phenomenology in Ideas I began where any human being must, namely, within the already obtaining, inescapable, and hardly noticed placement within the world that makes it possible to be a living, thinking person in the first place. Paradoxically, one had to begin within that condition in order to bring this very condition itself into view, in such a way that it would no longer remain unnoticed belief, i.e., so that it would no longer condition one’s thinking without having been brought to explicit recognition and clarification. The problem, of course, was that the framework of this conditioning was not a simple starting point that one could move out of and behind in order to disclose it in its framing action. It had to remain the conditioning framework, and one had to work in terms of it—in terms of what Husserl called ‘‘the natural attitude’’—in order to try to bring about recognition of it as the conditioning framework, both in its already long-operative effect as an allembracing attitude and, far more radically, in the manner of its coming about at all as a framework and attitude in the first place. This is very much what Heidegger realized as the methodological point embodied in Kant’s principle of the relationship between grounding conditions and that which is grounded by them (see 3.5), but it is also something Husserl himself acknowledges, with some distress, in a lengthy comment from 1929 on the line of exposition taken in Ideas I. He finds that well into the book the whole treatment ‘‘is conducted in the natural attitude,’’≤ and, in a certain sense, has to be! I have to place 2. Hua III, Beilage XIII, p. 399. The phrases quoted here are from this appendix, and the remaining points of the paragraph form a gloss on it.


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myself ‘‘in the middle-point: the world is’’; the world has to be experienced in actual experience in order to be ‘‘given’’—in whatever sense ‘‘given’’ here has—in order to be ‘‘there.’’ If I had no experience of the world as continuing to be there for me, the world would be a mere word, not the actual phenomenon in question. The only way, then, for any reflecting human to have the world, i.e., to experience the world, and then to attend to its structures, is in the experience of it, i.e., in a continued living in the ‘‘natural attitude.’’≥ This realization does not come in a vacuum. As we saw in chapter 1 (1.2), mid- and late 1929 was the period in which Husserl was forced to take stock of his whole achievement precisely in the face of Heidegger’s success, just as he was also beginning to bring Fink into working more closely with him. This is also the time in which Fink’s notebooks are full of entries on the question of the way the world figures in both experience and phenomenological reflection, in part under the impact of the thinking he was following in Heidegger’s lectures. When Fink listening to Heidegger credits him with the ‘‘incontestable service’’ of showing how the idea of being has to be restricted to ‘‘the region of finitude’’ (3.3.3), and then couples this with two other realizations: (a) his own understanding, against Heidegger, of Husserl’s ‘‘real thesis on being,’’ viz., the essential constitutedness of that which is in being (das Seiende) (3.3.2), and (b) the principle discovered by Kant that the idea of being is set within the conditions for the experience of actually given things (3.4), then he, Fink, realizes the profound import of the very lesson Husserl was expressing to himself in his comment on his own Ideas I. This retrospective critical judgment brings to the fore the need to recognize the central problem of the way the phenomenologically reflecting agent remains an agent engaged in the world, carrying out an activity essentially structured as in the world. The fact that all of Husserl’s published writings up till then had a propaedeutic form may have been a necessary feature for a readership that was learning what it was to enter phenomenology’s program, but it carried a dangerous limitation. These writings were ways of explaining the instituting move of the epoché and reduction from within the pre-phenomenological context, i.e., from within the ‘‘natural attitude.’’ As such they presented the topic of the world as an issue to help people to be led into phenomenology. The world had been posed in terms that 3. That the analyses of Ideas I, above all, of intentionality, are in great part ‘‘developed within the natural attitude’’ was pointed out by Paul Ricoeur in his notes to his translation of the work, Idées directrices pour une phénoménologie (Paris: Gallimard, 1950), p. 88, note 3 to p. [87]), where he draws upon none other than Fink’s 1934 KantStudien article for this point (EH-Ke, pp. 104–6; Studien, pp. 110–12).

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had their home where people were on this side of the epoché, rather than past it. The theme of the world, therefore, had yet to be investigated in terms proper to the standpoint that resulted from the rigorously applied epoché and reduction. In other words, the propaedeutic and preliminary cast of the presentation of the problem of the world meant that the phenomenology of the world was yet to be really carried out. At the same time, the work of phenomenologically reflective investigation was itself a work done not by some kind of super-worldly power but by an agency that in principle had to remain an experiencing of the world from within it. This clearly corresponded to—even if in Fink’s hands it would not be the very same thing as—Heidegger’s insistence that the actuality and concreteness of the being of a ‘‘subject,’’ reflective, cognitive—of an ‘‘I am’’—had to be that of a being finitely existent in the world (3.4.1). Such, then, was the specific way in which the regimen of critical consideration that came to define Fink’s work with Husserl was turning to the theme of the world in transcendental phenomenology. This was as well the concrete way in which the two dimensions of the distinctive ‘‘system’’ of Husserl’s phenomenology were in play, namely, (a) as holding in thematic focus the matter at hand, ‘‘die Sache selbst,’’ to scrutinize it in the measure of intuitive givenness proportionate to it, and (b) as assessing the character and adequacy of the conceptual articulation of what shows in that matter at hand. What Fink found is that there are complexities to each order of this integrated bidimensional systematic that need to be explicitly considered and clarified. Intuitive givenness is not so direct and simple and has limits, while the very operation of critical assessment involves a variety of reflective methods that Husserl in his almost single-minded focus on the intuitively given leaves unconsidered and undifferentiated. In short, the specific methodology of postpreliminary critique was just as undeveloped as was its actual rigorously and comprehensively sustained performance. Accordingly, Fink’s notes of his work with Husserl show a sustained elaboration of theoretical and methodological points regarding the practice and results of methodological self-critique and reinvestigation, especially in work to be done in the dimension of ‘‘descriptions of a higher kind’’ (Husserl) and ‘‘systematic projections’’ (Fink).∂ For example, one has to recognize the difference in level on which the phenomena designated by any such ‘‘higher description’’ or ‘‘systematic projection’’ are being considered.∑ In particular, descriptive analyses of a particular phenomenon done on different levels of constitutive regress 4. See 2.1 and 2.3. 5. See 2.1 and 2.3.


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have to be brought together in order for that phenomenon to be adequately interpreted. Not only must the different explications be reconciled, but the relative validity of each such explication on these respective levels also has to be determined.∏ Moreover, one has to recognize that on deeper levels the thematizing of ‘‘totality’’ poses a serious difficulty for phenomenological evidencing.π Or, again, the method of dealing with ‘‘totalities,’’ of ‘‘projecting’’ totality for an order of phenomena under investigation, involves what Fink allows could be termed ‘‘construction,’’ in adaptation of methodological concepts from Fichte and Heidegger.∫ We have already briefly seen how such matters as these might be a legitimate and even required kind of ‘‘speculation’’ in phenomenology, namely, as bound within the bi-dimensionality of the Husserlian systematic;Ω and we shall take this up again in chapter 7. In the work of Fink with Husserl that we shall now be taking up on the topic of the world—and on other major themes in further chapters: time, life, language, and intersubjectivity (chapters 5, 6, 8, and 9)—we shall be following all these methodological ranges; but Fink does not tag the thinking in his research notes as applying this or that methodological form. These are for the most part operative factors within investigation rather than its constant focus; they come to the foreground for specific explication only at particular points. Fink is following not a rule but a rhythm; the sense and validity of phenomenological findings are discerned and assessed in a concrete context, not by the mechanical application of abstract norms, and critical sensitivity comes by the lessons of practice, not by dictate. So, while we have to recognize method as it is being employed, it is the reinterpretive and transformative effect that is the real point. Methodological notices, ours or Fink’s own, serve and support that aim. We turn, then, to that work of critically reinterpretive practice itself.

4.1. Reconsidering Entry-Level Treatment; Spinning the Ariadne Thread Post-preliminary reinquiry into the phenomenon of the world is generated under the same demand that initiates phenomenology in the first place: preconceptions have to be countered (the function of the epoché) so as to allow constitutive explications to be given (reductive analysis). Now, however, the conceptual framing of these operations as well as of the findings initially achieved have to be reconsidered for the measure in which presuppositional 6. See 7. See 2.2; see also 7.2.3,, and 8. See 3.4.2 and 7.2.3. 9. See the opening pages of chapter 3, 3.3.3, 3.4.2, and 3.5.

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construal may have still been operative in that framing, and therefore may have adversely limited the understanding demanded for properly describing either the phenomenal structure constitutively examined or the processes and factors disclosed as constitutively operating to form those structures. Several achievements of this critical reorientation relevant to the way the world must be approached were laid out in the previous chapter. 1. The world encompasses both the human subject and all those things to which that subject is psychically related in consciousness. It embraces in unity both immanence and transcendence. (2.6.1.) 2. The epoché must apply with full rigor to both elements of the phenomenon of the world, immanence and transcendence. (2.6.2.) 3. The linkage of immanence and transcendence, i.e., of the experiencing human entity and that which it experiences, is not necessarily to be conceived ultimately in terms of the subject-object epistemological relationship. (2.6.1 and 2.6.2.) 4. It is furthermore too restrictive a schema to conceive intentionality in terms of the subject-object relationship if this is taken primarily as the performance of specific acts directed thematically to a focal object. ( 5. Insisting upon an egoic character for transcendental consciousness reinforces the schema of the subject-object relationship as primarily actintentional. ( 6. The non-thematic, performance dimension of consciousness must be examined in its priority to act-thematic intentionality in order to approach more appropriately transcendental ‘‘subjectivity.’’ (

Now these are demonstrably shifts that address preconceptions coming from a specific philosophic tradition, namely, that heritage from Descartes to German Idealism within which Husserl’s phenomenology took its origins. But this concrete siting in Husserl’s case indicates a universally holding condition, namely, that philosophical reflection upon the nature and capabilities of human being in its station in reality inevitably begins from within the situation of existence in the world in the concreteness of a tradition, of a locale, and of an individual human life and personality. Fink therefore takes a lesson from Husserl on countering ungrounded presuppositions when he finds Heidegger’s charge cogent that Husserl seems attached to the epistemological schema of the philosophy of reflection. This is the insight that necessitates the shifts just summarized. Accordingly, the character of the world has to shift as well, from (a) being posed as something that a self-sufficient subject turns to by a specific act, to (b) being recognized as what an already existent subject, when it begins to reflect on its situation, finds already there for itself. Instead of following Husserl in taking the idea of rigorous science, i.e., the idea of the structure of


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reflective cognition, to determine the orientation phenomenology must take, Fink is now obliged to make the issue of privilege the massive pregivenness of the world. This is no less than the fundamental concrete situation in being of the one philosophizing that therefore conditions both the very possibility of the idea of science and determines the whole methodology of phenomenological labor, viz., the work of the epoché and reductive/regressive analysis. So when, as 1929 became 1930, Husserl wanted to produce a wholesale reformulation of his phenomenology, it was for the purpose of moving beyond the works so far published in order to present phenomenology in terms of the newer, deep-reaching insights that his massive manuscript studies had produced.∞≠ Whether in the form of a further, more extensive revision of the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ or as an entirely new work—and Husserl repeatedly turned from one to the other as more feasible—Husserl had Fink working on this kind of comprehensive mature-level representation of phenomenology. (See 1.3.) But in the conception of how this kind of work would be organized, there is a striking difference between Husserl and Fink, a difference that corresponds exactly to the comprehensive critical-reinterpretive shift at issue now. Fink’s ‘‘Layout for Edmund Husserl’s ‘System of Phenomenological Philosophy,’ ’’∞∞ is a pivotal document. There is nothing anywhere like it in the detail with which it lays out the full substance of transcendental phenomenology in such a way as to reflect systematic comprehension based on internally determined self-critique and integration, in explicit awareness of its methodology on all levels of its work. But Husserl had—apparently—sketched out a plan of his own for his ‘‘System of Phenomenological Philosophy,’’ though more briefly and in broader strokes;∞≤ and in the difference between these two plans we see the debate between Husserl and Fink on the fundamental choices about how phenomenology should be oriented and systematically presented. What makes Fink’s proposal important, even telling, is that, far from being any kind of adversarial replacement worked out surreptitiously in the private musings of a subordinate, it was an actual living component in the regime of philosophic thinking that bound the two men together in the destiny of those ten years. What Fink was contributing was concrete steps toward the systematic self-completion of phenomenology. Husserl had founded this philosophic 10. See Husserl’s letter to Grimme, March 5, 1931 (Bw III, p. 90), and Fink’s explanations in (1) ‘‘Bericht über Edmund Husserl’s unveröffentlichte Manuskripte,’’ from 1933 (M-III, #2, [7]; EFM 3, Abschn. 2); (2) ‘‘Edmund Husserls Manuskripte,’’ from January, 1935 (also in M-III, #4); and (3) ‘‘Bericht über die Transkription der Nachlassmanuskripte Husserls,’’ December 2, 1939 (EFM 4, Abschn. 4). 11. VI.CM/2, pp. 3–9. See 1.3. 12. Again, see the first pages of 1.3.

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movement and given it a vast development, but what was still lacking was the achievement of its systematic self-comprehended fullness. Fink was working to provide just that, something Husserl’s own work repeatedly announced but continued to leave undone. What Fink proposed for this purpose, now, was to set the theme of the world squarely in the position of dominant topic in the new presentation of phenomenology. The theme of the world was to be the Ariadne thread that could take the reader through the vast maze of Husserl’s analyses of detail in critical reconsideration, systematic coherence, and integrating reinterpretation.

4.2. The Pregivenness of the World within Any Starting Point The shift to the dominance of the world in a systematic conception of phenomenology is embodied in a draft Fink prepared for Husserl in December 1929 and January 1930 as the only part of his master ‘‘Layout’’ that he ever developed in full: ‘‘Draft for the opening section of an Introduction to Phenomenology.’’∞≥ It begins with an interesting concession. As the first chapter in the opening section of a massive comprehensive work, the orientation taken is pivotal. What is curious, then, is that the topic named as the ‘‘Guiding Idea’’ and then developed in the several paragraphs of this opening chapter is given as ‘‘Philosophy as Universal Science.’’∞∂ In the ‘‘Layout’’ prepared several months earlier, however, Fink had designated the theme for the beginning of this first chapter as ‘‘Philosophy in the World.’’ The change may well have been made to take into account oral comments of Husserl’s when the two discussed the outline during their autumn stay in Chiavari.∞∑ When Husserl read through that same ‘‘Layout’’ again after Fink had written the ‘‘Draft,’’∞∏ he wrote in a marginal note the new designation for that first chapter—‘‘Guiding Idea: Philosophy as Universal Science’’—along with an outline of its contents.∞π And, indeed, this new designation accords exactly with Husserl’s own preferences as he expressed them elsewhere. However, this change in designation in no way changes the overall orientation on Fink’s part; it represents rather a recognition of the need to come to 13. VI.CM/2, pp. 10–105, ‘‘On the Beginning of Philosophy,’’ corresponding to section I of book I, ‘‘The Stages of Pure Phenomenology,’’ and with annotations by Husserl. 14. VI.CM/2, p. 10. 15. Husserl received the outline on August 13, 1930, before the trip to Chiavari (see 1.3), and studied it after getting there on September 5 (cf. VI.CM/2, p. 1). See Husserl’s letter to Cairns, September 23, 1930 (Bw IV, p. 25). 16. Namely, in December 1930 and January 1931: VI.CM/2, pp. 10 and 293. 17. VI.CM/2, p. 4, annotation 2.


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terms with Husserl’s choice of entry and to show how his own orientation not only is not diverted in any way by Husserl’s but also now gains the opportunity for putting the guiding idea of science in its proper place in the scheme of phenomenology. The idea of science cannot be the really basic ‘‘guiding idea’’ because the broader aim, the ‘‘guiding idea of our plan,’’ is that of ‘‘philosophy as the all-inclusive intention of humanity toward a final and radical understanding of itself and of the world.’’∞∫ Science, in either a broad or a narrow sense, is an effort to understand precisely that which is met with as reality in the world, but it does so without recognizing the nature of its grounding in the soil of its in-the-world experiencing of reality. The philosophic effort under way in phenomenology has to keep open the possibility that it might push beyond the way reality in the world is conceived, in order to ‘‘inquire beyond the world.’’∞Ω Phenomenology’s inquiry is ‘‘the radical, relentless attack upon the whole of active and ever self-proving essential prejudices »attributions of holding in being [Seinsgeltungen]… that comprise »carry… our natural living insertion into the world.’’≤≠ Phenomenology is itself an effort to reach knowledge (scientia, knowledge, from scire, to know), but the character of knowing for phenomenology is not ultimately to be categorized and conceived on the basis of the knowing exercised in any science that remains naive about the way it is world-bound. Notwithstanding the presence of the rubric of ‘‘Philosophy as Universal Science,’’ then, it is not so much the idea of science with all the methodological equipment which its historic realization implies that governs the way phenomenology begins and proceeds, but rather the idea of a more unspecified kind of knowledge-seeking, namely, self-reflection—and specifically the self-reflection that will determine its character by reinvestigating its inevitable situatedness in the world, counter to any hitherto presuppositional beliefs about that condition. Such, too, are the opening considerations Fink sketches in the ‘‘Layout,’’ quickly reaching the core point, that the situation of self-reflection is ‘‘the pregiven world.’’ All the remaining points of this opening subsection for the whole outline are about the world in its pregivenness.≤∞ Fink’s proposed alternative is far from an arbitrary preference; it is grounded 18. VI.CM/2, p. 12. 19. VI.CM/2, p. 14. 20. VI.CM/2, p. 17, expressions in angle brackets Husserl’s modifications. See the explanation of the difference in orientation between Fink and Husserl in Z-XIII LIX/2b– 3a (EFM 2; also in N-EF, pp. 114–15), from late 1933 or early 1934, as a sketch for ‘‘Was Will die Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls?’’ (Studien, pp. 157–78). 21. VI.CM/2, pp. 4–5: book I: ‘‘The Stages of Pure Phenomenology,’’ section 1: ‘‘The Beginning and the Principle of Philosophy,’’ A: ‘‘Philosophy in the World.’’

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strictly in principle. But the principle of the pregivenness of the world will gain its force and full significance if the central theme here, the world, is presented in the meaning it gains from phenomenological investigations done after and within the reduction, not from the way the world is considered in the stage of introduction and initial entry (e.g., as in Ideas I). At the introductory stage the world is represented more as an obstacle to be overcome—and seemingly one fairly easily overcome!—rather than as an all-encompassing structure that remains the most pervasive of themes and problems precisely as allencompassing. The character of the world as a continuing all-pervasive problem, and therefore the enhanced place and meaning that the world must be shown to have even in the movement of entry into phenomenology, are precisely what the ‘‘Layout’’ means to provide in the way it opens. As Fink’s ‘‘Draft’’ puts it, ‘‘This self-reflection has a character unique to itself,’’ it is ‘‘reflection upon a situation that is always and already presupposed beforehand in any self-reflection whatever,’’ namely, the ‘‘situation of the world [die Weltsituation],’’ or the ‘‘world itself as the true situation of someone who submits to the most radical kind of self-reflection.’’≤≤ This difference in approach between Husserl and Fink as the 1930s began is the same difference that marks the work Fink did in revising the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations.’’ Here in fact the difference is even stronger; for the ‘‘Meditations’’ of Husserl’s writing are an extremely forceful assertion of the autonomous idea of science as the starting point of preference for entering phenomenology. For Fink to recast the ‘‘Meditations’’ along the lines of the thinking in his ‘‘Layout’’ and ‘‘Draft’’ he had to recast the way the ‘‘Meditations’’ begin, in order for the secondariness of the idea of science as the starting point to become manifest. That is exactly what he does in the texts written to replace entirely Husserl’s own ‘‘First Meditation.’’≤≥ This is also the topic of a discussion with Husserl that Dorion Cairns reports from June 2, 1932, on the occasion of Cairns’s reading nothing other than Fink’s revisions for the ‘‘First Meditation,’’ probably the first try at it in 1931.≤∂ Here it is clear that, while Husserl is willing to entertain an entry into phenomenology from the ideal of philosophy as radical knowledge, he explicitly prefers an approach via the ideal of science. What is striking about the conversation that Cairns reports is that there is no mention in it at all of the whole point of Fink’s choice, namely, 22. VI.CM/2, p. 24, emphasis Fink’s. 23. VI.CM/2, pp. 134–91, the second revision proposal of Fink’s, from 1932. The earlier revision, from 1931 (pp. 106–33), is less encompassing but follows the same orientation. 24. C-HF, pp. 80–82.


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the need to recognize the ineluctable and all-encompassing conditioning of the pregivenness of the world. Instead, Husserl defended his preference ‘‘as admitting of a simpler exposition.’’≤∑ But Husserl was about to get the second set of revisions by Fink, and his easy confidence was going to be shaken.≤∏ Husserl had apparently not given this first version of Fink’s revision a very careful reading, for there are no notations of his own on it. Moreover, that first version accords better with Husserl’s view, as Cairns reports it, that Fink is beginning ‘‘with the idea of philosophy’’ rather than with that of science. With Fink’s second version, however, the situation is quite different. Husserl read it carefully later in the year (1932), along with Fink’s revision proposals for the rest of the five ‘‘Meditations’’—and the climactic ‘‘Sixth Meditation.’’ And with all this, the look of an adequate presentation of phenomenology was decidedly altered for Husserl, as we shall see later in this chapter. To recast the place that the world is to have in the presentation of phenomenology, however, is not a matter merely of organization, and ‘‘pregivenness’’ does something far more important than merely designate a temporal sequence. The way the world is to be explicated in its very structure is profoundly recast. In accord with the distinctive methodology of Husserl’s system, explication of the world undergoes radical refashioning in a double-sided action consisting of (a) reconsideration of what it is that shows up as ‘‘the world’’ in intuitive givenness, and (b) assessment of the conceptual schemata for articulating the structure given in that showing. What we must see now is something of the refashioning in accord with the fundamentality that asserting the pregivenness of the world demands.

4.3. Being Situated in the World: Captivation in the World An important term Fink begins using early on is ‘‘situation.’’ It is one of the several central concepts in the ‘‘Introduction’’ that he added to his competition essay of 1928 in the course of transforming it into his dissertation of 1929. In §5 of this ‘‘Introduction,’’ entitled ‘‘The Situation of the Reduction,’’≤π he makes the following points: (1) The native pregiven situatedness of a human being is that of being in the world. (2) This pregiven situatedness is what lies essentially structural in what Husserl termed ‘‘the natural attitude.’’ 25. C-HF, p. 81. 26. See, where points from VI.CM/2, pp. 153–58, are represented. 27. VB/I, pp. 14–16.

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(3) Given that philosophical reflection in general and phenomenological reflection in particular are carried out in the hands and minds of real human beings, the actual performance of the phenomenological reduction will itself be carried out—to all appearances!—as the action of some specific human thinker in some specific historical cultural and philosophical context; i.e., phenomenology is essentially situated.≤∫ (4) Situatedness, i.e., being actual by being concretely situated in the world, is not only the condition for phenomenology to begin, it is also the condition for its being carried out, even when, paradoxically, situatedness is the main theme of phenomenological reflection in its action as epoché, that is, as the lifting of the hold of the naïve beliefs native to that situation.

Fink is clearly asserting that something essential of ‘‘the natural attitude’’ remains in force even in the doing of phenomenology! But was not the whole point of the epoché in Ideas I to bring about precisely a change out of that attitude?≤Ω What elements of ‘‘the natural attitude’’ could remain in force even when one has performed the phenomenological epoché and reduction? The question to ask here is better put in another way: What has the advance of phenomenology since Ideas I disclosed about the whole set of conditions under which phenomenology both begins and then proceeds to work? Which of these conditions are contingent and changeable, and which are structurally essential both to living expeience and to reflection actually carried out on that life? To begin with, the term natural attitude as it is used in Ideas I suggests an immanent psychic stance that, as it were, by a flick of the will could shift from one valuation to another, especially with respect to the sense in which one takes the world, as if that psychic immanence were in itself neutral and could equally well have a ‘‘natural ’’ or a ‘‘phenomenological ’’ attitude.≥≠ But, Fink points out, the ‘‘natural attitude’’ signifies something quite a bit more than just ‘‘an attitude,’’ ‘‘a stance in life,’’ or even an all-embracing ‘‘worldview.’’ It is instead a factor that ‘‘holds through all ‘attitudes,’ that carries them; it is that within which they exclude or succeed each other, that which antecedes them all as making them possible.’’ The ‘‘natural attitude [natürliche Einstellung]’’ is ‘‘the set-up [Einstellung] that belongs essentially to human nature, that makes up human being itself, the setting up of man [das Eingestelltsein des Menschen] as a being in the whole of the world, or . . . the set-up [Einstellung] 28. There is no question that Fink drew this term, and much, though not all, of its conceptual content, from Heidegger, as he makes clear in Z-IV 27a–b, a note drafted in direct reference to §5 of VB/I just referred to. Many other notes also deal with ‘‘situation.’’ 29. Hua III/1, §31 and §50. 30. See Fink’s letter to Felix Kaufmann, December 17, 1932 (in EFM 2, Abschn. 4), mentioned earlier, in 2.6.2.


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of mundanized subjectivity: the natural being of man in and to the world in all his modes.’’≥∞ Fink is doing a double recasting here. On the one hand he is moving past a merely psychological construal of the concept in order on the other hand to make explicit its phenomenological-structural—even ontological—essentials. Husserl’s adaptation of familiar psychological notions had a pedagogic utility in a work of first introduction, but that approach has not been recognized as preliminary, as superseded by all that phenomenology has been doing since. Instead that initial, introductory representation has become frozen in as the authentic representation of the insight being introduced,≥≤ namely, the recognition of the all-embracing and ineluctable pregiven placement of one’s whole being within the world as reflected in unwittingly presuppositional beliefs about it. It was imperative, therefore, to move from the introductory Husserlian term for this initiating move in phenomenology and to find a conception more adequate to the insight at its heart. This Fink proposed to do through deployment of a new concept, ‘‘captivation in the world,’’ Weltbefangenheit. Taking over the role that ‘‘the natural attitude’’ plays in Husserl’s phenomenology, ‘‘captivation in the world’’ is not some kind of prejudice taken up or adopted by the human individual; it ‘‘is human being itself.’’≥≥ The pregivenness of the world now placed at the head of phenomenological exposition ‘‘is to be characterized at a deeper level as captivation in the world.’’≥∂ While the term is progressively adopted in Fink’s writings for Husserl so that it becomes regularly used in the ‘‘Sixth Meditation,’’ Fink really does not offer an explicit rationale for it in his typescript drafts for Husserl or his published papers.≥∑ But in his own notes, Fink works out a very clear idea of the conception behind the term. The ‘‘captivation’’ in question here is not that of some ‘‘subjective feeling,’’ like the ‘‘shyness’’ that is one of the ordinary senses of the word Befangenheit, along with ‘‘prejudice’’ or ‘‘bias.’’ Rather, it is like being utterly dazed by something so as to have eyes only for it, and to be at the same time oblivious to the state of captivation within which one is held.≥∏ From this reflection on the 31. VB/I, §4, p. 11. The expression ‘‘natürlich eingestellt’’ is Husserl’s in Ideas I (Hua III/1, p. 67, §33). See also Z-VII XVIII/4a, from 1930 (EFM 2). 32. Fink writes: ‘‘The danger of philosophy—remaining caught up in the reflection with which one starts off.’’ Z-VII XVII/26a, from Chiavari in 1930 (EFM 2). 33. Z-XI XCIII/2a, from 1932 or 1933; EFM 2. 34. Z-XV 33a, from 1930 or 1931; EFM 2. 35. Even Cairns does not report much detail in Fink’s reasoning: C-HF, p. 95, entry for September 23, 1932. 36. See Z-XIII XVIII/2a–b (EFM 2), from late 1933 or early 1934. The subset here is

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ordinary meaning of terms Fink’s point then emerges for the expression captivation to/in the world: ‘‘To be captivated-in as only-being-open-for a particular domain of things is a thematic attitude [Einstellung] not toward that domain as such, but toward that which stands in the domain. Captivation is captivation in a horizon as only-being-open-for and being lost in that which stands in this horizon.’’ The captivation itself is not something one is conscious of. It is rather the ‘‘limit of the knowable as such. Only in breaking out of the captivation can we know of it. I.e., it can only be known when it is annulled [aufgehoben].’’≥π Fink’s explanations are clear enough, but this reconception, needed as it may be, only leads to further questions. If the sense of the concept goes beyond the idea of a mental orientation, beyond notions and expectations stemming from human intellectual and emotional responses, if captivation in the world ‘‘is human being itself,’’≥∫ then a human being does not cancel it out simply by deciding to do so—and then going on to act as human while holding to that ‘‘decision.’’ We have to ask if it is even possible for a human to ‘‘annul’’ it. Fink argues that, just as someone caught up in a prejudice can have a certain vague inkling of being thus imprisoned and can entertain the wish to be free of it, so the philosophic reflection that poses the idea of captivation in the world can only be an anticipation (Vormeinung) of liberation from it; it is certainly not the scrutiny of its actual achievement. In short, the analysis one makes of it can only be at best formal. More precisely, Fink observes, the idea of captivation in the world is ultimately a ‘‘speculative concept’’;≥Ω it is a matter the ‘‘annulling’’ of which can never be ontically realized but only ‘‘meontically’’ interpreted.∂≠ This returns us to the paradoxical topic of chapter 2, the move of the reduction interpreted as a move of un-humanizing (see–, the full treatment of which must wait until chapter 7. Another kind of question to raise about Fink’s new term, captivation in/by the world, concerns the way he makes reference in his notes on the matter to two earlier philosophers. If the world is ‘‘the universe of that which is [des Seienden],’’ then anything posed as ‘‘outside the world’’ would be nothing.

part of Fink’s notes for preparing the 1934 article, ‘‘Was Will die Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls?’’ (Studien, pp. 157–78). See EFM 2, Z-XIII, Beil. I. 37. Z-XIII XVIII/3a, emphasis Fink’s. 38. Again, Z-XI XCIII/2a. See appendix. 39. Z-XIII XVIII/4a; EFM 2. 40. Z-XIII XVIII/5a. The difference between the ways Fink and Heidegger speak of the ‘‘formality’’ of concepts for all-embracing fundamental conditions will be taken up in 7.2.1 and


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Kant stands as a thinker who understood ‘‘captivation in the world’’ and followed through with it to the end. In contrast, Hegel asserts: ‘‘The first thing in philosophy is to recognize the absolute nothing.’’∂∞ But what is the understanding of ‘‘being’’ and ‘‘nothing’’ that will be allowed, or imposed, by the whole approach taken here? How can anything of the like find a place in a Husserlian transcendental phenomenology? The only way to answer any of these questions is to keep them in interplay with the phenomenological reinquiry into structural features of the ‘‘situatedness’’ that is the base-level condition of human being in the world in all its action and experiencing. Only after more of such specifics are in hand—and it will take several chapters—will we be able to return frontally to these matters of an appropriately phenomenological ‘‘speculative’’ moment.

4.4. How the World Figures in Experience Among the main features of being captivated in the world is that one is attentive not to the structure of captivation itself but rather to those things which that same structure conditions in their determinate and stable appearance. The consequence of this is that a human individual attempting within this same captivation to turn attention to and to reflect upon the conditioning structure itself—which is precisely the point of the epoché and reduction— begins with that same captivation-set orientation to the things conditioned within it. This is the tendency that one finds in the presentation of phenomenology in Ideas I, and therefore it is a fundamental reason for the need to surmount that presentation as preliminary.∂≤ More precisely put, ‘‘The constitutive relation between pure consciousness and the world in Ideas is mainly, and indeed in necessary abstraction, carried out as object-intentionality, whereby the Whence [das Woher] of the intention and the Wherein [das Worin] of the objects remains in undisclosure.’’∂≥ The endeavor begun with Husserl’s Ideas I 41. Z-XIII XVIII/4b, again in the subset of notes devoted to Weltbefangenheit; in EFM 2. The sentence is from Hegel’s Faith and Knowledge, trans. by Walter Cerf and H. S. Harris (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1977), p. 169, slightly modified. The echoes of Heidegger’s lectures on German Idealism are clear. See 3.3.2 and 3.4.1. 42. See EH-Ke, p. 106; Studien, pp. 111–12. Fink’s point there is succinctly put in B-I 24a (EFM 2, Abschn. 2): ‘‘Not as if the Ideas were false, but they are overtaken in the later writings.’’ 43. Z-IV 98a, my emphasis; EFM 1. Heidegger is not named in this note, in all likelihood from 1928, but Fink’s reading of Being and Time is surely in evidence in it if one compares it to BTst, p. 80–81 (SZ, p. 86): ‘‘As that for which one lets beings be encountered in the kind of being of relevance, the wherein [das Worin] of self-referential under-

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cannot rest with the formulations Ideas I gives, inasmuch as ‘‘the intrinsic methodological sense of the phenomenological manner of investigation requires gradual and ever increasing radicalization and elaboration of its selfunderstanding. The reduction is not something done and finished once and for all.’’∂∂ Yet, on the positive side, Husserl’s persistence in taking the objectcentered view ‘‘exhausted the possibilities of thought done as philosophy of reflection’’ (i.e., done in such a way as to make being equivalent to objectbeing), in the course of which what came clear is the deep-rooted structural feature of ‘‘bedazzlement by things.’’∂∑ For the phenomenology of the world, then, the problem is that features of things in the world have set the terms for representing the structural nature of the world itself. Now, at this stage of self-critique and reinterpretation, one has to ask what clues there are in experience that would indicate structural ‘‘properties’’ of the world that would not be like those of objects and would not be determined by object-centered thematization, clues, in other words, that would counter the concealing or distorting of features of the world itself that is part of one’s ‘‘bedazzlement’’ with object-mode being.

4.4.1. Decentering the Object-Entititative Approach; Horizonality If the world itself is not an object or like any of the objects to be found within it, and therefore is not to be described in terms of objects, then to think of the world as the aggregate or sum total of objects is to miss the nature of world entirely.∂∏ One readily imagines the world as a comprehensive All that one could see if one were at the proper spot. But ‘‘the world is not a whole for the gaze of intuition. The whole world is not a totum accessible like a single being for some ‘very large’ intellect.’’∂π Nor can the world be given a numerical designation: ‘‘The world is neither one, nor are there several; the world is not ‘a being.’ Not a ‘sum total’ [of beings] either.’’∂∫ Let us take another tack, following the approach usually recognized as Husserl’s central idea about the world and his most original contribution standing is the phenomenon of world.’’ (Italics in the translated text.) See also Z-MH-I 27a (EFM 4), a brief note from mid-1939 of a discussion with Landgrebe about the limitations of Husserl’s position in comparison with Heidegger’s. 44. Z-IV 64a; EFM 1. 45. Z-XX 19a, from 1935 and 1936; EFM 3. 46. Cf. Z-XI III/6a, from late 1931; EFM 2. 47. Z-VII XVIII/6a, from 1930; EFM 2. 48. Z-VII XXII/5a (bracketed insertion mine), in all likelihood from 1930; EFM 2.


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concerning it, namely, that the world is the indefinite and all-embracing ‘‘horizon’’ that one finds in an analysis of object-thematic perception.∂Ω Here the difficulty is more subtle; what is needed is to look at the same element that others examine here, ‘‘horizonality,’’ and understand it more radically. Horizonality is certainly found structurally in perception, but the character of that horizonality must be determined otherwise than under the presupposition that horizonality be fundamentally explicated in terms of the analysis of perception geared paradigmatically to the object-centered act-intentionality operating in it. This is one of the points Fink wanted to develop in the sequel to his dissertation; that is where he planned to take up ‘‘the function constitutive of the horizons as horizons.’’ To speak of the constitution of the world has to mean primarily the way horizons as such come about, and one need consider ‘‘only a small ‘core’ of actual, i.e., present-making constitution’’ that would go on in them. Horizon-constitution itself is not an ‘‘intentional modification’’ of the kind of consciousness that is object-aimed, as Husserl regularly has it by explaining the horizon on the basis of the repeated shifting of thematic intending action. We know of horizons in that consciousness occurs as access to things, but the horizons are the ‘‘withdrawing’’ of phenomena from focal aiming.∑≠ One cannot render the horizon accessible by taking it in its constitutive ‘‘withdrawing’’ function in the manner of a determinate phenomenon within horizontal presentation. Yet, Fink finds, Husserl regularly approaches the question of the constitution of horizons as if trying ‘‘to lay hold of the ‘containing withdrawals [die Enthalte]’ by way of the ‘contained [die Inhalte],’ the horizons by the intra-horizonal.’’∑∞ We may recall that the usual conception of the horizon is that it is the range of a potential, that is, of objects that can be thematically intended. To conceive the world as the whole range of such ranges of the potential—in terming it the ‘‘horizon of all horizons’’—is to conceive of it as the whole indefinitely extended surrounding set of objects in potentiality. Against this, Fink finds that ‘‘consciousness of the world as a whole [Weltganzheitsbewußtsein] is never a consciousness of the ‘and so forth.’ ’’ This would be to conceive the world as ‘‘a schema of intra-horizonal filling in’’; but this does not get to ‘‘the containing factor [den Enthalt] as such.’’∑≤ The horizonality in terms of which the world figures into experience is not merely a fringe of potentiality, a constitutively 49. See appendix. 50. Z-VII XVII/1a, dated October 1, 1930, Chiavari (EFM 2). 51. Z-VII XVII/15a, dated September 21, 1930, Chiavari (EFM 2). 52. Z-VII 11a; EFM 2. See also C-HF, pp. 98–99, dated October 25, 1932.

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non-actual border waiting for object-intentionality to make it actual and determinate. Indeed, ‘‘only because the world is constitutively ‘done and ready’ can finished objects, i.e., beings, reach constitution. The finished ‘world’ has constitutive intentionally founding priority to individual beings.’’∑≥ To put it another way, the world is not such as to allow ‘‘being cashed in’’ in terms of the objects that can be actualized by act-intentional determination as it sweeps focally through the horizon that contains them all potentially.∑∂ Fink has to move the understanding of the world beyond Husserl’s usual conception of the wholeness of the world that couches it in terms of iteration—in Kant’s phrasing, the ‘‘boundlessness in the continuing of intuition.’’ To conceive the world as this kind of ‘‘potential infinity’’ construes its constitution as ‘‘still incomplete.’’ But ‘‘the wholeness of the world’’ is never ‘‘still on the way’’; it is rather ‘‘fundamentally over and done with, antecedently to the constitution of objects.’’ Husserl’s ‘‘I can’’ never really explains the horizonal wholeness of the world but simply presupposes it. What the ‘‘I can’’ does is exercise accession, and repetition of it effects the extending of access; but this does not constitute the world itself as the horizon of accessibility. The world itself is precisely horizonal, ‘‘the inaccessible, the ‘un-cash-in-able’ [das Uneinlösbare],’’ the antecedent domain for the exercise of an ‘‘I can.’’∑∑ In the transition from actual to potential and potential to actual done by exercising the ‘‘I can’’ it is this plurality of objects, this sum total of objects, that is indefinitely extendable, not the horizon itself. The horizon itself—or the world conceived of in terms of horizonality—is not itself an extension at all.∑∏ Because, therefore, horizons and the world as ‘‘the horizon of horizons’’ are not to be characterized by features proper to what appears in horizons, in the world, Fink coins a term to express this character. ‘‘Containing [Enthalten]’’ is a ‘‘wherewithin [Worinsein] for a ‘content [Inhalt],’ ’’ he writes. ‘‘The wholeness that is antecedent, that provides the clearing for possible ‘contents,’ but which is not pieced together out of contents [Inhalten], we call a Containment [Enthalt]. The world is thus never determinable as the sum of beings, of ‘contents,’ but simply and only as Containment. The world is the 53. Z-VII XXII/6a; EFM 2. Both sentences are entirely underlined by Fink. 54. See Z-XV 50a and Z-VII XXII/6a, both in EFM 2. There is a certain parallel between Fink’s reflections on the world as ‘‘der Enthalt’’ and Heidegger’s treatment of the accessibility or inaccessibility of the world in his WS 1929–1930 lectures (see U-MH-IV 98ff; MH-GA 29/30 §70a). This, however, needs to be linked with the whole nature of the difference between ‘‘formal indication’’ in Heidegger’s thinking and in Fink’s. See 7.2.1 and 55. Z-VII X/1a–b, emphasis Fink’s (EFM 2). 56. Cf. Z-VII 2a; EFM 2.


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Containment of all beings.’’∑π At the same time, Fink explains that the German Enthalten, ‘‘containing,’’ also carries in the Ent- the connotation ‘‘holding back,’’ ‘‘detaining.’’ That is, what is ‘‘contained’’ is also ‘‘held back,’’ i.e., out of actual access; and this is an essential feature of horizonality of all sorts: what is horizonal is held out away from the focal center, whether spatially or temporally—i.e., is ‘‘contained-and-detained.’’ This is the way, now, in which the world is pregiven, namely, as the structural featuring by which what is held in appearing, in experiencing, is also as much held back as held forward.∑∫ This is the featuring that accrues to what is ‘‘held’’ or ‘‘contained’’ in the world, which, as the very essence of horizonality, resists the attempt that would grasp it in terms of the things thus featured out within it. Our considerations so far, however, have been one-sided; they have proceeded as if horizons and the world were things deployed as phenomena before the gaze of a detached subject, that is, as the panoply of the transcendent before uninvolved, self-contained, act-intentional immanence. But the world includes within it the human subject, the human experiencing entity and its ‘‘immanence.’’ The world as horizonal is not spread out in front of perceptual acts of intending, it structures them within its embrace of them. The world in its full sense is not the counter-poise to one’s own experiential life, the mere correlational member of a dualistic relationship—as it very much appears to be forcefully represented in places in Ideas I—but is rather ‘‘the concept summative of the correlation between the ultimately experiencing I in its life of realization in self-apperception and the world as experienced in that life,’’ or, more simply, ‘‘the unity of this correlation itself, that includes us as a moment in it.’’∑Ω

57. Z-V VI/9a, from the dissertation period; EFM 1. The interpretive application that follows here corrects the construal given in my article, a longer, earlier version of the present exposition, ‘‘Redoing the Phenomenology of the World in the Freiburg Workshop, 1930–1934,’’ Alter, 6 (1998), 67. It also corrects the same interpretation in my article ‘‘La structure phenomenologique du monde, une révision,’’ Les cahiers de philosophie, 15/16 (1992), 98. 58. In this understanding of the spatial horizon will get deepened in reinterpretive reconsideration in terms of the depresencing function of horizons in general. Correspondingly, the awareness mode, the topic of the next section here, gets radicalized to one of gradation in openness to the given within the ‘‘Containment’’ of worldhorizonalities. Yet it is openness that originatively is constitutively correlated not to content as contained but rather to maximal, central presencing, or to diminished presencing—depresencing—in distance out from the maximal center. Cf. also and 59. From Fink’s 1930 ‘‘Draft,’’ VI.CM/2, p. 62. See also Husserl’s marginal note on this

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4.4.2. Horizonality and Awareness The question now is this: How does the world in this sui generis horizonal sense figure into human experience, how is the experiencing human aware of the world in a way specific to it and not as conceptualized in terms of object-centered intentionality? Or, put another way, if the subject is included in the world, how is the subject to know of the world other than as a sum total of objects, whether conceived of in naive fashion as the ‘‘big thing’’ made up of and comprising all other things, or, more subtly, as a horizon fully convertible into objects, able to be ‘‘cashed in’’ for them? To begin with, from all the considerations taken up from chapter 2 to the present, one has to exclude any conception that would construe the world in its phenomenologically ultimate sense as springing from some kind of really existent subject agent as such. Thus, to the human experiencing agent in the world, the world is not a ‘‘subjective a priori world-form’’ but is ‘‘in itself,’’∏≠ an ‘‘absolute phenomenon’’ that is not only given and in place from the first moment of the human subject’s experiencing and actions but is also the very conditioning horizon of that experiencing and those actions.∏∞ The approach needed, therefore, must go beyond any basing of the world on some performance or process accomplished by an agency that is itself essentially structured by world-horizonality. This is a stricture not only against the customary Husserlian introductory treatment of the world but also against the Heideggerian existential account. In contrast, the approach now, neither realistic— which Husserl and Heidegger both exclude—nor idealistic—whether transcendental in the manner of a philosophy of reflection (Husserl) or ontological (Heidegger)—will be cosmological: ‘‘The world is that which makes the whole problematic of idealism and realism possible, the One and the Whole that swings around all individual things and all manifolds: the world is the allinclusive pure Containment.’’∏≤ But how is this non-object-like, radically antecedent Containment not utterly unmanifest in human experience? How does it text (VI.CM/2, p. 62, note 234). See further Fink’s brief reflection in Z-XII 11c, probably from 1934 (EFM 2), as well as its fuller development in VI.CM/2, pp. 160–86, ‘‘The Performance Structure of the Phenomenological Epoché,’’ especially pp. 168ff. (part of Fink’s 1932 revision for Husserl’s ‘‘Meditation I’’), and pp. 202–12, ‘‘The Phenomenon of the World: The Pregivenness of the World’’ (part of his 1932 revision for ‘‘Meditation II’’). 60. Z-XIII 7a, from 1933 or 1934; EFM 2. 61. Z-VII III/2a; EFM 2. 62. See appendix.


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enter in some way into the awareness humans have in their focus on things and events (and on other humans)? The world as horizonality could not be something given as ‘‘present’’ (in the sense of being both ‘‘presented’’ and ‘‘at present’’); for ‘‘present’’ is a value in world-horizonality, not of the world itself.∏≥ But with this matter of the present and of presence one immediately gets into the question of temporality, initially the temporality that is a dimension of the world and of human experience within it, and then the temporality of ultimate constitution, of which the world would in some way be a product (as a horizonal dimension). That will be dealt with in the next chapter; but for now this much can be said. Given that human experiencing takes place precisely within the world as its conditioning horizon, the more specific features of the discriminating grasp of a constant entity in its perceptual givenness, in its presence, in its actuality, are structured by the horizonalities of the horizon of all horizons, the world. Thus, ‘‘neither space, nor time, nor actuality [is] a moment in things (objects),’’ they are ‘‘world-concepts.’’ Things are spatial or temporal or actual not as some kind of property internal to them but only ‘‘on the basis of space, time, actuality.’’∏∂ Evidential demonstration, evidential showing—Husserl’s Ausweisung—is accordingly a performance possible only within the world.∏∑ The consciousness of the world, then, the awareness of all-embracing horizonality, or of any horizon at all, has to be ‘‘non-thematic consciousness,’’ not the consciousness aimed at an entity or object framed in presence and actuality so as to determine what it is.∏∏ To put it another way, if consciousness is intrinsically intentionality, then the intentionality in question here is not that of actconsciousness, nor any modification of act-consciousness. It is in some way coincident with consciousness in the course of its very living and being. Fink is insistent on this point: ‘‘The equating of intention and act-consciousness is a narrowing down of the original meaning of ‘intention’; intention is basically wider than act-consciousness, is the mode of subjective life as such.’’ Furthermore, he continues, ‘‘horizon-consciousness is not a modification of the cogitatio, just as time-intentionalities and field-intentionality are not.’’∏π We have a 63. Z-XI 40a–b; EFM 2. 64. Z-XIII LX/4a, emphasis Fink’s, supplementary word in brackets mine; by all indications from 1934 (EFM 2). 65. Cf. Z-XI 60a; EFM 2. 66. See Z-VII XXI/8a, offering ideas parallel to one of the main points in Ludwig Wittgenstein’s reflections in On Certainty (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1969), #105 and passim. 67. Z-VII IX/6a, emphasis Fink’s.

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hint here about how to determine that in consciousness wherein the horizonality of the world is recognized—‘‘sensed’’ or ‘‘felt’’ perhaps, i.e., coincident with its very happening—rather than aimed at and caught thematically. One has to consider how consciousness is or goes on rather than focus on the individualized acts that it performs, and this necessarily requires an examination of the temporality of consciousness. Yet, even as we defer until chapter 5 treatment of the temporal structure of the coursing of consciousness, something positive can be ascertained about the way the world is manifest in our awareness. If the world is the all-comprehensive horizonality of the life of consciousness, then the modality of awareness regarding that horizonality would also have to be something all-comprehensive in the life of consciousness. And there is a familiar mode of awareness precisely of this sort, namely, wakefulness. Wakefulness is simply the way of being ‘‘open-to-the-world [weltoffen],’’ Fink writes. ‘‘Only as long as a subjective life finds itself awake is it open-to-theworld,’’ and sleep, therefore, is ‘‘closure to the world.’’ This allows one neatly to situate the two tricky phenomena ‘‘immanence’’ and ‘‘transcendence’’ precisely in terms of the world: ‘‘There only is ‘immanent’ and transcendent’’ on the ground of openness-to-the-world, of wakefulness.∏∫ It is far too limited, then, to think of wakefulness (or sleep) as the ‘‘state’’ of an inner entitative region called the psyche. Wakefulness is rather ‘‘the condition of the possibility for the kind of being that existence is,’’ and ‘‘existence is being awake, i.e., being perceptually open for beings as such.’’ Being awake is not just physiologically opening one’s eyes and seeing. ‘‘Much more originally the whole breadth of existence has to be traced back to being awake as the ground of its possibility.’’ Wakefulness is something more even than an ‘‘existential’’ in Heidegger’s sense; it is ‘‘the totality-concept of existentiality; all existential interpretations move within wakefulness.’’∏Ω Yet while Fink continues—for example, in 1935—to entertain the thesis that ‘‘we are not open-to-the-world because we have consciousness of worldly objects, but rather we have consciousness of objects because we are open-tothe-world,’’π≠ he has to keep asking just how this ‘‘awareness’’ of wakefulness is ‘‘of’’ such things as ‘‘being’’ and ‘‘actuality’’ in the ‘‘openness’’ that wakefulness is said to be.π∞ If it is not through noematization—i.e., in accord with the 68. Z-XV 13a, emphasis Fink’s; probably 1931; EFM 2. 69. Z-X 10a–b, emphasis Fink’s; probably 1929; EFM 2. See appendix. 70. Z-XVI 12a, by all indications 1935; EFM 3. 71. See, for example, OH-IV 32, from 1935; EFM 3.


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model of the object-centered act-intentional noesis-noema relationship—that the subject is in its wakeful relatedness to the world, if act-centered intentionality is thus de-centered from its previously—in a preliminary stage—represented role of constitution of the world and is accordingly not the mode of consciousness specifically of the world as such, how does this wakefulness work as the awareness of what is antecedent to any constitution or consciousness functioning in the manner of object-directed act-intentionality? To try to determine that is the point of Fink’s turning to wakefulness in conjunction with its opposite, sleep. Sleep cannot be approached, for example, as signifying ‘‘a pause in constitution’’; the world cannot be a ‘‘wakefulness-product,’’ and the life of experiencing taken in the mode of accession—to things in their actuality and presence— cannot be equated with the ‘‘life’’ of constitution. One has to investigate anew (a) how the way the many comprehensiveness values—‘‘actuality,’’ ‘‘the present,’’ to name just these—get constituted, relates to (b) the way there is an awareness of them.π≤ In other words, the deepest level of originative constitution needs to be clarified as the context within which to clarify consciousness of the world as horizonal. In sum, Fink finds it necessary to go beyond Husserl’s habitual approach on the matter of how act-intentional explication applies at different levels of phenomenological explication, in the following ways:π≥ (1) The I as wakefulness is not necessarily the I as activity. (2) Accession-consciousness is not necessarily originative constituting agency, even if accession-consciousness has some constituting function. (3) ‘‘Actuality [is] not primarily a correlate of thetic act-characters, but a horizon that comprehends and precedes all acts and their correlates. Actuality: a medium.’’ (4) ‘‘Self-apperceptions’’ are another kind of constituted ‘‘medium,’’ in this case for setting determinacy for the constitution both of objects and of correlative subject characteristics.

What will follow now, and then in subsequent chapters, will be treatment of how such themes as these are pursued and how certain hitherto somewhat subordinate conceptions take on a greater role in reproblematized phenomenological inquiry. 72. Z-XVI 15b, emphasis Fink’s; EFM 3. See also Z-VI 57a, from the dissertation period (EFM 2), and OH-VI 5–7, from 1936 (EFM 3). 73. The four points here, and quoted material in them, are drawn from Z-XVI 16a, emphasis Fink’s, bracketed insertion mine; EFM 3.

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4.4.3. Performance Consciousness and Its Delineation The alternative modality of consciousness that now comes to be seen to play the fundamental role has already been indicated in 4.1 above, in the sixth of the points listed there in summarizing ideas from preceding chapters. The kind of consciousness that is aware of the world, akin to if not an intrinsic part of the awareness a conscious being has of its own living, seems to have to be the non-thematic, non-act-intentional ‘‘performance consciousness’’ [Vollzugsbewußtsein] that Fink found becoming fundamental as a result of his study of the Bernau manuscripts that he was supposed to work up into a coherent treatment. Fink saw that deeper time-analysis required shifting the place of privilege from egoically schematized intentional action to a dimension of ‘‘consciousness’’ more fundamental than the egoic, namely, functioning intentionality. Here is an intentionality that in the very course of its functioning would be ipso facto the awareness ‘‘of’’ its own performance right as it goes on. The prioritizing of functioning intentionality is one of the principal features of interest in post–World War II phenomenology, beginning with its forceful highlighting in 1945 in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception.π∂ Before that, however, Fink had given it special mention in his presentation of the theme of intentionality in a paper published in 1939, cited by Merleau-Ponty.π∑ Fink also spoke of it in a paper given in Brussels in 1951.π∏ But while the idea of functioning intentionality has become well known by virtue of the editing work that has made Husserl’s analyses of ‘‘passive synthesis’’ available—i.e., Husserliana XI—the question of how these analyses affect the conception of consciousness as ‘‘intentional’’ and how this is not only a genuine but also a fundamental kind of awareness needs to be made clear. By the time Fink was working in close consort with Husserl—i.e., by 1930—it had become abundantly clear that the phenomenological inquiry that begins with correlational intentionality and that takes the object-status of something experienced as its starting point is a first stage for detailing the 74. Phénoménologie de la perception (Paris: Gallimard, 1945), pp. xiii and 478 (trans. by Colin Smith, Phenomenology of Perception [London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962], pp. xviii and 418). 75. Eugen Fink, ‘‘Das Problem der Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls,’’ Revue internationale de philosophie, I (1939), 226–70 (reprinted in Studien, pp. 177–223; see pp. 218–19). One could suppose it highly likely that Merleau-Ponty was influenced on this point as well by the discussions he held with Fink at Louvain during his week there in April 1940; see note 219 in 1.4 (in the appendix). 76. Eugen Fink, ‘‘Die intentionale Analyse und das Problem des spekulativen Denkens,’’ ND, pp. 139–57.


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constituting operations that establish the unity exhibited by an object. Correspondingly, the focally thematizing act-intentional aimings that cohere as radiating from a continuous polar subject, thus having agency status correlative to the unified sense of the experienced object, represent also a first-stage determination. Both the objectivity of the ‘‘object’’ and the subjectivity of the subject are referred to a ‘‘deeper subjectivity’’ that embraces both in its functioning.ππ This means, however, that it is not simply some further kind of unified sense possessed by a distinct, discriminated object-unit that is to be accounted for constitutively beyond subject-object correlativity; what is now at issue is a dimensional kind of structural ‘‘value’’ for appearing being, namely, the various modes of horizonality. These are what are to be both generatively attributed to a ‘‘performance’’ order of constitutive process and experientially evinced in a performance awareness.π∫ There are two interrelated points to make, then. One is to examine the way in which awareness of the dimensional and situational as such—i.e., of the horizonal—goes on; the other is to try to disclose how this ‘‘going on’’ might lead to the disclosure of how those horizons get constituted in the first place, that is, the disclosure of the way constitution can be based on the structure of, or at least likened to, the way this experiencing of them goes on. To put it another way, these horizonal experiential features, these structural framings of human subject-being in the world, are clues for a phenomenological inquiry into the constitution of those horizons as such, i.e., into the transcendental constitution of the world—how the world is there in the first place.πΩ Unthematic consciousness can be of several kinds. One of these is the awareness of the fringe of potential objects surrounding some focal object of actintentionality critically considered earlier in 4.4.1 and 4.4.2. Another is the self-consciousness of the individual I in the course of its own action, i.e., reflexive self-awareness, linked to the whole question of what the I is and how it is constituted. This, however, directly involves the analysis of temporality and is postponed here until the next chapter. There are in addition other lines of thinking that can help to define the non-thematic human awareness of the world that operates in the base-level phenomenon of wakefulness. 77. See OH-V 40–42 for a compact statement from 1935 of a somewhat longer treatment in ‘‘Das Problem der Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls,’’ Studien, pp. 218–19. See also Fink’s 1951 paper, ‘‘Die intentionale Analyse und das Problem des spekulativen Denkens,’’ ND, pp. 151–52. 78. See 79. See Z-I 51a–b (EFM 1) and Z-VII XVII/31a–b (EFM 2), texts which show how progression down through levels of analysis requires refashioning the interpretive intentional cast guiding the analysis.

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For example, one can develop further the contrast between an object [Gegenstand] and its ‘‘circumstance’’ [Umstand], its ‘‘surround’’ (or the ‘‘around’’-dimension), that is, the range of play in which things can come thematically to the fore. The world, ‘‘the totality of the surround/circumstance [Umstandsganzheit] for beings,’’∫≠ is characterizable more accurately otherwise than simply as a range of indefinitely projected potential objects. Spatiality is a prime instance of a ‘‘surround,’’ as are distance and closeness, silence and sound, night (or darkness) and day (or light).∫∞ ‘‘Under the title ‘surround/around/circumstance’ [‘Umstand’],’’ Fink writes, ‘‘we understand all the modes of givenness of objects that belong not to any individual thing, but to the concreteness of the surrounding world [Umwelt].’’∫≤ An idea to be explored in these ‘‘surround’’ phenomena is ‘‘fieldintentionality.’’ Fink leads into this from the experience of listening, in which one can distinguish hearing something specific and listening to it (Hören) from listening for something but not hearing anything at all (Horchen), that is, anything specific. In the latter, when no noise at all is heard, one hears just plain silence.∫≥ Here that of which one is aware in just listening for is ‘‘not an object, not a being, but the field: pure fillability, fillable, that is, with beings.’’∫∂ But ‘‘field-intentionality’’ is only fillable in the ongoing coursing of temporality, in the way the not-yet-filling relates to the not-yet-filled in the now. Fieldintentionality, therefore, can only be explicated through the analysis of time.∫∑ Finally, there is one further characterization that, in those politically charged years 1933 to 1935, Fink continued to think about regarding the way there is awareness of the world as such in human experience, the way there is the experience of sheer wakefulness. Since such awareness will not be objectdirected or thematic, and thus will not be by way of a specific act of intending, it has to be conceived of more as the way one senses or feels the trajectory of one’s being structured in the world, an awareness intrinsic to all the ways in 80. Z-V VI/10b; EFM 1. 81. Cf. Z-X 8a (EFM 2) and Z-IV 31b, 39a, 50a, and 52a–b (EFM 1). 82. M-II, Text No. 5; EFM 1. 83. Z-VII XVII/7a (EFM 2) and Z-V III/8a (EFM 1). Husserl himself in one of his C-manuscripts speaks of the ‘‘field’’ component of the ‘‘streaming present,’’ that is, the distinction between (a) the ‘‘egoic’’ element of the ‘‘now,’’ with the concrete focal continuity flowing through it, and (b) the non-egoic ‘‘proto-field (or world-field)’’ that belongs integrally to all this. See HA C 3 III, pp. 28–30 [41b–43a], from March 1931. One can see this passage and something of this point referred to by Klaus Held, Lebendige Gegenwart, Phaenomenologica 23 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966), p. 30. 84. Z-V III/12a, from the dissertation period; EFM 1. 85. See,,, and


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which one conducts oneself simply in wakefully living and being in the world, a ‘‘world-feeling’’ [Weltgefühl ]. Here is a good example of a term that Fink finds in philosophic thinking ouside Husserl’s phenomenology and then introduces into the phenomenological double-register systematic in order, by the interplay of the intuitively given and the conceptually projective and articulative, to test the already disclosed results of phenomenological investigation for yet inadequately disclosed and expressed facets. Fink is appreciative of Nietzsche, life-philosophy, and the philosophy of existence for the way in which the world is treated by each as an allencompassing whole felt in the core of one’s being, yet he finds each critically inadequate to the full radicality with which the cosmological grounding of being and experiencing has to be explicated. Positively, Nietzsche’s ‘‘worldfeeling’’ is the ‘‘pathos of cosmology,’’ and life-philosophy reacts vigorously against the naturalistic conception of life, as does the philosophy of existence; but, negatively, they all do not give the world sufficient antecedency in the order of constitutive origination, an antecedency, that is, of the world’s originativeness in relation to what is in the world. There is in them all an ‘‘immobility of spirit’’ that does not recast the conception of ‘‘spirit’’ and ‘‘life’’ profoundly enough to integrate the two. Transcendental phenomenology, in its capacity for radical—ultimately ‘‘meontic’’—reinterpretation, sets ‘‘spirit’’ moving as a living process; phenomenology is the ‘‘rendering of life as spirit [Vergeisterung des Lebens]’’ and ‘‘of spirit as life [Verlebendigung des Geistes].’’∫∏ And the Hegelian harmonies here are deliberate on Fink’s part. Yet even here what is offered is not finely specific positive conceptual definition but rather cautions about how not to give conceptual schematizing to ‘‘horizon-awareness.’’∫π The caution is meant to promote recognizing the nonfocused way in which awareness is actual in the experiencing of such things as (a) the spatiality as such of some thing or some place or some movement, in distinction from, for example, the measure of it, whereby spatiality becomes a property ( partes extra partes, extension) of a thing or place or event, or of an arrangement of things or places or events; or, in further examples—mutatis mutandis—(b) silence, or (c) daylight and night. The point is to try to grasp the way in which one lives in a sense of spatiality or temporality or silence or 86. See Z-XII 4c–d and Z-XIV II/2a–b, VIII/1a–2a, 10a–b, and XIV/2a–b—all in EFM 2. M-II, Text No. 2 (EFM 2, Abschn. 2), is a typescript draft from 1931 on this whole issue in relation to Husserl. 87. Whether and in what measure any such definitional clarity can be given is something to deal with later in connection with the nature of ‘‘formal indication’’ in Fink’s understanding of it, in connection with the interpretive force of the meontic. See 7.2.1 and

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the field of the visible. Rather than taking one’s awareness of them as a reflectively noted feeling about it felt ‘‘in here’’ within oneself, in distinction from ‘‘it’’ ‘‘out there,’’ the aim is to find these ‘‘field’’-features as structurings intrinsic to the very coursing of one’s living action in and through and around the whole ‘‘here-there’’ of the realm of the experience-of-the-phenomenal, so that thereby that very field, precisely as a distinctively horizonal ‘‘whole,’’ is what one is ‘‘pathic’’ ‘‘of.’’ In this sense ‘‘feeling’’ is a ‘‘profound life-force’’∫∫ and not some kind of psychological vibrancy in self-enclosed human psychic substance. ‘‘ ‘Worldfeeling’ is not a relating-to [Verhalten-zu] in the mode of distantiality, not a relating to something over-against, but rather a holding-out beyond all beings into the limitless expanse of the world, a relating to the indeterminate, a diverging intentionality, an ‘oceanic feeling.’ ‘World-feeling’ as constant— even if inexplicit—ground-level human bearing [Grundverhalten].’’∫Ω Finally, feeling is not to be set in opposition to intellect. Like wakefulness, feeling is taken as ‘‘the roots of spirit’’;Ω≠ it is the basic lived orientation of human being to, in being affected by, the whole of being, the world.Ω∞ We shall return to the matter of life, spirit, and feeling in chapter 6, which will concentrate on the fundamental coursing of ‘‘consciousness’’ and ‘‘subjectivity’’ as living. But here we have to take up more frontally the way Fink takes Kant to be the great figure whose work set the critical principle for inquiry into the problem of the world.

4.4.4. Putting It All Together: Reading Kant and Reading the World Chapter 1 described the blockage of any possibility that Fink might submit the ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ as a Habilitationsschrift and had to consider an alternate idea for it.Ω≤ It is not surprising that he would choose as one alternative the question of the world as a theme. And this would be a piece of 88. Z-XIV 10a; EFM 2. 89. M-II, Text No. 2 (EFM 1, Abschn. 2). And Fink adds: ‘‘See Heidegger’s doctrine of ‘transcendence.’ ’’ There is also a similar kind of ‘‘distantiality [Abständigkeit]’’ in SZ §27. See also Fink’s 1935 conversations with Landgrebe, Z-XIX II/4a–b (EFM 3). 90. Z-XIV VIII/1a. 91. As Fink briefly remarks in late 1936 (Z-XXII 32; EFM 3): ‘‘ ‘World-feeling’ a bad word, but it means bearing-oneself-to-the-whole [Sich-zum-Ganzen-Verhalten]. This is: longing, fright, anxiety, horror, all inadequate words for the question, Where am I, how did I get into the world?’’ 92. See 1.3, pp. 36–37 and 43–44.


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work of his own, not one carried out as a project of Husserl’s intention—his ‘‘first philosophical work,’’ Fink terms it in his first mention of it as treating ‘‘World-Consciousness and World.’’Ω≥ The broadening of the conception beyond mere phenomenological analysis is reflected in the alternate titles it receives in his notes: in 1934, ‘‘The History of the Concept of World’’;Ω∂ and in 1935, ‘‘Historical-Systematic Studies on the Theory of the Concept of ‘World.’ ’’Ω∑ As the idea progressed it became quite comprehensive: historical, critical, investigative.Ω∏ This is manifest in the longest and most detailed outline he produced, fifteen pages of handwritten text probably from 1936. Here more space is devoted to Kant than to Husserl, and even Heidegger gets more mention than Husserl, although all three are critically treated. Now entitled ‘‘World and World-Concept: A ProblemTheoretical Investigation,’’Ωπ the projected work seems to be intended as a full delineation of the lines needed to raise the issue of the world properly, in all the dimensions that philosophic labors have so far discovered for it, rather than to work out and demonstrate a final positive doctrinal solution. In this outline (EFA V-II), and in Fink’s whole thinking on the problem of the world throughout his notes, the single most important insight is a principle drawn from his study of Kant, even if in a perspective guided by the phenomenological epoché and reduction. Early in V-II this statement succinctly makes the point: ‘‘Kant is to be interpreted as the discoverer of the cosmological horizon of the being of beings [das Sein des Seienden]. Being [das Sein] = in principle worldly; beings [das Seiende] = in principle intra-worldly!’’Ω∫ This dominant interpretive point clearly echoes Heidegger’s lecturing in 1929,ΩΩ but Heidegger was not the sole source for Fink’s grasp of the idea. Apart from his own early reading of Kant before coming to the university, Fink in his first semester at Freiburg (WS 1925–1926) heard Julius Ebbinghaus, a former student of Husserl’s, lecture on Critique of Pure Reason. Against the 93. Z-XIV II/1b; EFM 2. All indications in the folder place this note in 1934. A later note, Z-XX 3b, from 1936 (EFM 3), terms it one of ‘‘his self-assigned tasks.’’ 94. Z-XIV VI/5b; EFM 2. 95. OH-II 48; EFM 3. 96. See appendix. 97. V-II 1; EFM 3. The first course of lectures Fink offered in SS 1946 is in great part an exposition of the problem of the world, also highlighting Husserl, Heidegger, and Kant: Eugen Fink, Einleitung in die Philosophie, ed. by Franz-A. Schwarz (Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann, 1985). See also Fink’s 1949 lecture course, Welt und Endlichkeit, ed. by Franz-A. Schwarz (Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann, 1990). 98. V-II 4 (section 3). 99. See 3.4. SZ does not yet credit Kant in this way.

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reigning Neo-Kantianism Ebbinghaus emphasized the need for scholarly work on pre-Kantian and precritical metaphysics in order to understand Kant’s work, and he then went on to detail Kant’s precritical interest in the metaphysical question of the form of the world and the topics of space and time. In other words, much of the motivation of the Critique is taken to be the wish to understand the world. Husserl for his part, in his 1927 summer-semester course, ‘‘Nature and Spirit,’’ makes a point concordant with Ebbinghaus’s exposition. In explaining the phenomenological move from the factual features of one’s concrete world to the idea of ‘‘the world as such,’’ i.e., to the world in its essential phenomenological character as ‘‘the eidetic integral of all constitutive strata, such as space, time, causality, substantiality, etc.’’ Husserl finds that it makes sense to see ‘‘the problematic and task thus explicated’’ as ‘‘the telos of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason.’’∞≠≠ Where Heidegger’s thinking does show strongly, however, is in Fink’s reading of Kant in an ontological rather than epistemological orientation: ‘‘PreKantian metaphysics = idea-metaphysics, Kant = being-metaphysics,’’ as Fink puts it in one note. But Fink does not stop at ontology in drawing out the implications of Kant’s work, for he immediately adds: ‘‘Of course [this also means] the transposition of ontology into the problem of cosmology.’’∞≠∞ The common ground in the philosophy of reflection on the part of Kant and Husserl makes for definite similarities between them. For example: for Kant as for Husserl, the world is not some ‘‘monstrous’’ spatial or temporal emptiness but is instead a structure intrinsic to ‘‘the system of experience,’’ it is ‘‘the potentiality of the ‘limitlessness of continuation in intuition.’ ’’∞≠≤ But Kant goes a step farther in his critical consideration of the world, delineating a kind of ‘‘world-consciousness’’ that is distinct from, and not a special modification—by ‘‘apperceptive transference,’’ for example—of, the thematic consciousness that experiences beings [das Seiende ]. ‘‘Consciousness of the world in Kant = the ‘Ideas,’ ’’ Fink writes.∞≠≥ That is, there is no genuine intuitive consciousness of the world that figures into the system of the intentional constitution of objects in the world. The world is instead an ‘‘Idea’’ that is ‘‘a priori’’ to that system.∞≠∂ In this Kant’s theory indicates what is most deeply problematic about the way a human being relates to the world as such, namely, in that limits are being 100. See appendix. 101. OH-III 3–4, from, 1935, emphasis Fink’s, bracketed insertion mine; EFM 3. 102. M-II, Text No. 2, ‘‘Kritisches zu Husserls Horizontlehre,’’ from 1931; EFM 1. 103. Ibid. 104. Ibid. See appendix.


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defined for what in principle can be cognitively taken to be. Awareness of the world thus does not pass by way of the consciousness or cognition effective for objects in the world. Kant demonstrates how surreptitiously and mistakenly ideas about encompassing wholes and dimensions—what phenomenology will call horizons—come to be asserted as full and positive concepts, whose essential restrictedness exclusively to phenomena within those horizons goes unrecognized. This shows in Kant’s treatment of the antinomies. ‘‘The positive significance of the Kantian ‘doctrine of ideas’ consists in having shown that the relationships of the intra-worldly are not applicable to the totality of the world,’’ even if human reason has to represent the totality of the world for itself according to schematization proper to an intra-worldly whole—and this cannot but produce a decided antagonism.∞≠∑ In this Fink returns to one of the issues that he raised with Husserl in the first discussion he recorded as having had with him, and the connection with Kant’s antinomies there too was recognized by Fink.∞≠∏ The lesson Fink derives from all this, however, has two sides. On the one hand, the distinction between consciousness of objects and consciousness of the world (as the ‘‘containing’’ totality), between ‘‘categories’’ that are ‘‘ontological-transcendental determinations’’ and the ‘‘Ideas’’ that are ‘‘cosmological-transcendental,’’ underscores the radical distinction in respective kinds of consciousness and raises the problem of integrating the two in one living experiential agency.∞≠π On the other hand, if the experiencing subject ultimately relates to the world as world, and does so as an agent whose cognitive capacity is essentially bound within it, then the aim to gain knowledge of that binding relationship does not seem to be possible as a matter of thematically evidencing cognition at all. It is something that cannot be known but nonetheless ‘‘holds’’ there where the real roots of a cognizing being lie, viz., beyond being. And if the final meaning of the world has to do with the explication of its origin, the origin of the whole structured realm of experience, compromising both experiencing and the experienced, then the ultimate move to origins is the move ‘‘beyond the realm of beings (which was set out by theoretical philosophy as a unitary complex of appearances, i.e., as world) out towards such as cannot be named ‘nothing’ but also cannot be called ‘something in being’ [Seiendes].’’∞≠∫ This is the very point that Fink led up to in 105. Z-IX 14a, August 31, 1931 (emphasis Fink’s); EFM 2. 106. See the last paragraphs of 2.2. 107. Z-XV 105a (probably 1931); EFM 2. 108. V-II 14; EFM 3. The ‘‘thesis’’ that ends the outline in essence is this (emphases all Fink’s): ‘‘In the Kantian distinction of ‘knowing’ and ‘believing’ there hides the grandiose

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his paper to the Kant-Gesellschaft in December 1935: ‘‘With Kant the transcendental problem leads to a new grounding of ontology, in phenomenology this problem is transformed into the derivation of that which is in being [des Seienden], i.e., to an ontogonic metaphysics.’’∞≠Ω The problem of the world is not resolvable simply by straightforwardly trying to discover positively the structure of the world, and, correlatively, the kind of consciousness that awareness of the world might be, but by an explication of the nature of the problem of ultimate origins on a level of thinking that is not just regressive analysis or evidentness-aimed phenomenological description. What is also needed is conceptual elucidation bound to these investigative procedures but concentrating on the dimension of ‘‘higher description,’’ in Husserl’s phrasing, or ‘‘systematic projections,’’ as Fink puts it (see 2.3); it is in this elucidation that certain treatments in phenomenology become ‘‘speculative,’’ as Fink characterizes it methodologically. In this the realization to which phenomenology must in the end come, i.e., its ‘‘fundamental idea,’’ is that it is not ultimately ‘‘a philosophy of consciousness’’ but rather, if one will, metaphysics, but ‘‘not metaphysics in the old style. A caesura [has been] made across the history of metaphysics by the reduction. The problem of the world [is] annulled/raised [aufgehoben] into the problem of the Absolute.’’∞∞≠ Kant is thus ‘‘the critical trail-blazer of a metaphysics of spirit,’’ that is, he explodes ‘‘life’s infatuation with the idea of being’’ to introduce ‘‘a meontic distance from being,’’ conceiving being in terms of a ‘‘regressive relation to the dimension of origins.’’∞∞∞ Kant’s philosophy is the first to exhibit ‘‘the cosmological horizon of the idea of being’’ and thus first makes possible ‘‘a meontic metaphysics of the ‘Absolute.’ ’’∞∞≤ This idea of a ‘‘meontic philosophy of absolute spirit’’ was explicitly stated by Fink to be one of the things on which he differed from Husserl.∞∞≥ It is one of the main ideas that differentiates his thinking from Heidegger’s as well. In the end, it is only this ‘‘meontic of the Absolute’’ that will make Fink’s cencosmological-ontological insight into the worldliness of being and the non-being-liness of the Absolute [das Nicht-Seinshaftigkeit des Absoluten]. The presupposition for a metaphysics of the Absolute is the antecedent laying out of the limits of the idea of being.’’ 109. ND, p. 43, emphasis Fink’s. Husserl had read Fink’s text, but he did not comment on this particular passage. See also Fink’s notes for this paper in Z-XVI and Z-XVII (EFM 3). 110. Z-XI 39a, emphasis Fink’s, bracketed grammatical insertions mine; see also Z-XV 55a—both in EFM 2. 111. V-II 15, EFM 3. 112. Z-XX 7a, from 1935 or possibly early 1936, emphasis all Fink’s; EFM 3. 113. See CM6, p. 1 (VI.CM/1, p. 183).


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tering of phenomenology on the ‘‘pregivenness of the world’’ and ‘‘worldcaptivation’’ explicable—if ‘‘explication’’ is at all a term for the procedures of ‘‘meontic’’ interpretation—and a prominent issue in chapter 7.

4.5. Detailing the World as Horizonally Pregiven The preview just given of the ‘‘meontic’’ thinking to which the ultimately problematic character of the world leads and which ‘‘speculation’’ in phenomenology eventually has to practice, once radical transcendental methodological critique is explicitly developed, does not dispense with but on the contrary reinforces the demand that the horizon-character of the world, reconceived in post-preliminary phenomenology, not remain general and indeterminate but be given specific phenomenological determination. In other words, the ‘‘speculative’’ legitimizing of the concept of world as horizon, in the very problematicity of the question of the origin of world horizonality, requires specification in the way that experience is structurally delineated, in the way in which dimensional kinds of in-the-world placement are defined, rather than left characterized as an indeterminate global and elusively felt upwelling. That is to say, one has to specify the different modalities of horizonal ‘‘containedness’’ that we are quite aware of, even if not by object-focused thematic attentiveness. One has to make clear how the implicit awareness of the world as the Containment is concretely textured in the comprehensive dimensional structurings that are intrinsic to any phenomenon in the world and its experiencing, namely, as the fundamental sense of space, time, and actuality. (See 4.4.2.) The matter, however, is not so simple as to allow space and time to be taken as homogeneous horizontal features ‘‘out there,’’ or to allow space and time to be considered primitive irreducibles utterly separate and unrelated to one another. Nor can one simply adopt—or adapt—the Kantian standpoint of adducing spatiality to be the ‘‘form of intuition’’ for transcendent objects of experience and temporality the ‘‘form of intuition’’ for immanent, subjective processes of experiencing. For space is not simply a featuring of objects as objectively ‘‘there,’’ nor is time simply a featuring of subjective continua as pure immanencies, as Kant construes them. Space and time open the region in which this distinction can be made, rather than divide in terms of it. Kant takes space, for instance, as the object-space of the world, ignoring its differentiation in optical, acoustic, and tactual modalities. Yet examining these modalities allows recognition of the way the ‘‘openness’’ for the phenomenal occurs

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as the play of a ‘‘field-intentionality,’’ which, far from being a mere ‘‘subjective medium of receptivity,’’ is rather ‘‘a structure of the world.’’∞∞∂ Reexamining space, then, means not automatically adopting object-centering in order to explicate space, and not approaching it automatically in terms of the distinction between immanence and transcendence. Space is rather one of the concrete dimensions of what is involved in wakefulness, which, preceding object-focusing perception, does not introduce the immanence-transcendence distinction as a feature of its functioning.∞∞∑ In other words, the analysis of spatiality is to be performed in explicit recognition that the world, in its basic horizons, embraces both immanence and transcendence, rather than having to be characterized in terms of one or the other. Thus, on the level of the central system of aisthesis, ‘‘the ‘here’ of point zero in orientation space, the body-here, is in the world,’’ rather than being some sort of absolute antecedent point relative to which world-space is deployed.∞∞∏ Similarly, one has to analyze time basically as world-time, the time that encompasses experiential immanence and experiential transcendence, rather than as simply the time of the flow of internal self-consciousness, the time of ‘‘immanence’’ only. Moreover, world-time is not to be explicated as centered in the constitution of thematic objects but rather precisely in terms of its own character as the horizonality that embraces both ‘‘immanence’’ and ‘‘transcendence.’’∞∞π ‘‘Time-constitution,’’ writes Fink, ‘‘is horizon-constitution, not object-constitution.’’∞∞∫ World-time, structuring in-the-world occurrings, whether of ‘‘subjects’’ or of ‘‘objects,’’ has to be itself in turn originatively accounted for by the analysis of the temporalization [Zeitigung] that is transcendental constitution; for it is the latter that is the constitutive origin of the former.∞∞Ω (Here we shall put aside the problem resulting from having necessarily to start off from levels of temporal process that are in principle constituted, and within the whole apparatus of cognition and articulation that runs in the tracks of this time in the world.∞≤≠ This will be taken up in the next chapter.) 114. Z-VII X/5a–6a, emphasis Fink’s; EFM 2. 115. See Z-VII XXII/1a–1b; EFM 2. See also section 4.4.2. 116. Z-XI 35a; EFM 2. 117. Z-IX 23a and 44a; EFM 2. 118. See Z-IX 16a, emphasis Fink’s. 119. Cf. B-VII 6d (EFM 2); also Z-VI LVI/4a; EFM 1 (also in N-EF, p. 104). 120. E.g.: ‘‘The I that reduces time indeed escapes world-time, but its escape still ‘appears’ again in world-time.’’ Z-XIII 19a, emphasis Fink’s (EFM 2). See also OH-I 7–8; EFM 3.


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If, now, it is in its horizonal character that the world is pregiven—and experienced in its pregivenness—and if the world in its horizonality is constituted in the unified process of primordial temporalization, then the process of ultimate constitution will generate the various horizons of the world in an integrated way within its action. The world will have a unified systematic structure right in its horizonal differentiation, summed up in this simple formulation by Fink: ‘‘the world is the totality of the swing of time,’’ or, alternately, ‘‘the sweep of the swing of temporality.’’∞≤∞ This will have to be taken up in the next chapter; but at least here the main idea is clear: Ultimately constituting temporality is characterized as having a certain ‘‘swing’’ to its coursing. Its coursing is expressed in the imagery not of a line, one-dimensionally, but as a ‘‘swinging,’’ the multidimensional ‘‘movement’’ of which constitutes the region of the horizonalities that make up world-structure. In this sense space is one of the moments of the ‘‘swinging’’ of ultimate constituting temporalization.∞≤≤ Accordingly, space is not primarily the space of objects, and such concepts as distance and span are not original but derivative. Space is only expressible in concepts that make it a function of this constitutive ‘‘swing’’ of primordial process. As ‘‘whole-world space,’’ space is thus ‘‘before all else a mode of being-the-around [Umstandssein]’’ and ‘‘not an object-structure [ Gegenstandsstruktur].’’∞≤≥ Similarly, as with all ways in which the intrinsic capabilities exercised by world-captivated being—i.e., by being-in-the-world, by human being—are conditioned and structured, immanently felt or awareness-saturated experiencing, whether it be sensuous engagement with sensuous objects in visual, tactile, or auditory intentionality, or in intellectual rumination (such as following the present argument), is structured by world-time, by the temporal horizon deployed for the world by ultimate constituting process. As Fink explains in one of his revisions for Husserl’s ‘‘Second Meditation,’’ world-time cannot be identified with what we call ‘‘»consciousness-…transcendent time’’; worldtime is the ‘‘comprehensive temporality that includes immanent and transcendent time.’’ When we adopt the standpoint of ‘‘»immanent-…psychological research’’ and take our living experience to have a temporality of its own, ‘‘we are performing an abstraction within world-time.’’ We leave out of consideration that the coursing of ‘‘inner psychic events’’ is ‘‘in the same world-time [weltgleichzeitig]’’ as are ‘‘outer events.’’ From the very beginning ‘‘the flowing life-continuum of the I’’ is ‘‘the temporal duration of a being existing in the 121. Respectively, Z-V III/13a (EFM 1) and Z-VII XVIII/5b (EFM 2). 122. ‘‘Space as the swinging of time! This the most revolutionary thesis on space.’’ Z-VII XVIII/6a (EFM 2); see also Z-VII XVIII/10a. 123. Z-VII XVIII/10a.

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world,’’ it is ‘‘as a stretch of time in encompassing world-time, bounded by the ‘events’ of birth and death.’’∞≤∂ Fink points out one dramatic feature of the way ‘‘subjective’’ time is encompassed by world-time. The stream of experiencing is structured by the temporal horizons normally designated as past, present, and future,∞≤∑ but subjectively experienced temporal flow is finite. That is, it is set within the continuum of world-time in such a way that, whereas the world-time continuum is unbounded, the time of the human subject is a bounded flow. ‘‘The embeddedness of the time of subjective life in world-time is an essential moment of the pregivenness of time-horizons as that pregivenness pertains to the phenomenon of the world.’’∞≤∏ Here we see touched upon again the question Fink asked Husserl in his first recorded discussion with him, ‘‘Does the pure stream of lived experience have a beginning and an end?’’ (see 2.2)—again, matter for the next chapter. This difference between world-time and the temporality of individualized human being—and by implication, then, between the latter and ultimate constituting temporalization—holds important consequences for the procedures of transcendental phenomenology. Even in the reflective following of one’s own experiencing one does not exit from the world; one’s whole reflective endeavor remains within the structuring hold of world-time. As Fink writes for Husserl, revising the ‘‘First Meditation,’’ ‘‘Even the pure sphere of interiority in apodictic self-experience . . . is in principle »an interiority in a coexistent externality and co-holding with it as interiority, in a word… in the world.’’∞≤π Even the distinction transcendent/immanent or, in less technical form, the ‘‘out there’’ and the ‘‘in here,’’ is a conception belonging to pregiven acquaintance with the world.∞≤∫ Given this all-pervasive character for the basic world-horizons of spatiality and temporality, we cannot avoid wondering how a vigorous and radical phenomenological reduction—an ‘‘un-humanizing’’—can be possible. And while the culmination of the question lies in the ‘‘Sixth Meditation,’’ in a ‘‘transcendental theory of method,’’ this is manifestly at the center of Fink’s 124. VI.CM/2, pp. 211–12. The expressions in angle brackets in the quoted formulations in this paragraph are insertions by Husserl (notations 343 and 344). 125. In the next chapter we shall see the fivefold horizonality Fink proposes for time, a richer productivity in the ‘‘swinging’’ of world-time than just the normal three temporal dimensions. See 126. VI.CM/2, p. 212, emphasis Fink’s. 127. VI.CM/2, p. 154; the phrase in angle brackets is an insertion by Husserl, notation 106. 128. See VI.CM/2, p. 157.


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concern as he works over the five ‘‘Meditations’’ that precede it.∞≤Ω But what we are interested in at the moment is how all this underscores the seating of the whole human enterprise of inquiry and reflection (whether in science or in philosophy) within the world. Even when phenomenology undertakes to pursue inquiry transcendentally—specifically to transform it beyond worldinherence—it remains in structure and actual performance an effort of cognition grounded as an in-the-world phenomenon. Thus the paradigm of philosophical and phenomenological investigation, especially as reflective, namely, thematization in subject-object intentional correlation, is a world-inherent structure.∞≥≠ And the corollary to this is that this subject-object correlative stance and action is not something understandable or explicable simply as immanent, as an interior occurrence, as if the epoché were to be represented as the retreat to some such immanent sphere. In sum, the subject-object correlation, precisely as a cognitive correlation, however much there be an immanence to it, possesses a world-character. ‘‘It belongs right to the sense of ‘inner experience’ to know itself as incorporated into the world,’’ Fink writes, again for Husserl. ‘‘The ‘interior’ of inner experience in no way transcends the world, but is a world-immanent ‘interior’ in contrast to the entirety of all similarly world-immanent objects that are ‘transcendent’ »to each human I….’’∞≥∞ So the stance of cognition is ipso facto a relationship not to the world but rather in it. This means that the condition for the very presentation—the givenness—of an object, or for the subject’s retention of an object in constancy and identity in thematic focus, is precisely the horizonality structure of the world-time into which the life of the subject is integrated. For something to be present is for it to possess a temporal character in a world-temporal process. The ‘‘present [Gegenwart]’’ as ‘‘presence [Präsenz]’’ and the present ‘‘as rightnow-actuality [Aktualität]’’ are modes of world-time.∞≥≤ The total effect of this whole network of considerations, then, is to make the world anything but an Over-against with respect to the inevitably human reflecting subject. Moreover, the world is not the sum total of those things and events that might be taken as ‘‘over against’’ the subject. Rather, the world is the totality of conditions and structurings that give the very being of that subject, and all its genera of activity, its general lines of structuring. As it was 129. See VI.CM/2, pp. 165ff. 130. See VI.CM/2, p. 202, in Fink’s revision for the ‘‘Second Meditation.’’ 131. VI.CM/2, p. 170, for the ‘‘First Meditation’’; Husserl’s addition in angle brackets, note 184. See also Z-XI 19a–b; EFM 2 (also in N-EF, p. 111). 132. Z-XI 40a (probably from 1933); EFM 2.

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formulated in a text cited earlier, ‘‘the world is the all-embracing pure Containment,’’∞≥≥ that is, ‘‘the total hold of our situation.’’∞≥∂

4.6. Reflections of Fink’s Critique Work in Husserl’s ‘‘Crisis’’-Writings The set of writings under way when Husserl’s death came in April 1938 and known as the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts are a product of the kind of thinking being done in the Freiburg workshop all through Husserl’s retirement years. They are the culmination of the kind of development that defines Husserl’s whole program, viz., to advance by radically returning to beginnings.∞≥∑ Since the elements that make up the radicality of this return—in self-critique both of methodological principles and of substantive findings—are precisely what we have been following so far, and shall continue to follow, in the present study, we have to begin to show how these same elements are in evidence in the ‘‘Crisis’’-writings. In the present chapter that means in regard to the way the world is reconfigured in phenomenological investigation, and how Fink’s contribution is reflected in that reconfiguration. A full study of Fink’s contribution to the ‘‘Crisis’’-project cannot be done here. That would require looking into all the particulars of chronological and thematic correlation between Fink’s written output of notes and typed drafts and Husserl’s hundreds of Forschungsmanuskripte in this period (together with Husserl’s vast correspondence). Even then, given that the main exchange between Husserl and Fink was their daily discussion, and that their interest was in working philosophically on the issues rather than in taking or assigning proprietary credit, much is bound to remain indeterminable. Nevertheless, a number of points do clearly emerge, and these have to be laid out. There are two kinds of contribution to be seen in what Fink did for Husserl (without forgetting the far greater influence that Husserl exercised on Fink). One can, first of all, look for explicit theses or points of principle that would not be a significant part of phenomenology were they not developed by Fink’s voice in the enterprise. Secondly, one can look for the general orientation and systematic organization that Fink worked on, in terms of which the principles 133. Z-XIV VIII/2a; EFM 2. See 4.4.1. 134. ‘‘Der Inbegriff unserer Situation,’’ from Z-VII VIII/2b (EFM 2). On ‘‘Inbegriff ’’ in this context as having not the usual sense of ‘‘epitome’’ or ‘‘sum total’’ but rather ‘‘comprehensive hold’’ (thus as having one of the senses of Enthalt, ‘‘Containment’’), see Z-XI 19b (EFM 2). 135. See Fink’s essay, ‘‘Die Entwicklung der Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls,’’ written in 1937 but only published posthumously in 1976; ND, pp. 45–74.


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and insights of phenomenology gain clarity, coherence, and self-critical philosophical viability against the dispersion and seeming conflict in that vast undertaking of Husserl’s detailed investigations. And here in turn is where some of the theses, findings, or points of principle emerge that would otherwise remain unspoken and at best latent, and that in the end function more as radical requestioning than as definitive solutions. Husserl in actual fact saw Fink’s work as making this system-clarifying, order- and method-refining contribution,∞≥∏ but Fink was doing more than just managing or editing Husserl’s personal research material. Fink was ‘‘cothinking’’ with him in the deepening and consolidating of his phenomenolgy. Fink was systematizing Husserl’s phenomenological investigations of detail by explicitly relating them to those cardinal philosophical insights upon which understanding in the whole undertaking in principle turned. These pivotal points of importance were being set persistently and unequivocally as the main themes that ultimately governed interpretation on all levels of analytic penetration, integrating investigational findings by uncovering hitherto latent limitations and inconsistencies in their description. The result was not only the reconsideration of long-constant phenomenological detailings but also the necessity for methodologically new thinking in phenomenology. With this contribution on Fink’s part transcendental phenomenology took on a measure of development that it would not otherwise have undergone, and that holds the seeds of further development yet.

4.6.1. The Pregivenness of the World The theme that names the core of the ‘‘Crisis’’-writings and for many indicated a dramatic refinement in Husserl’s way of explaining his phenomenology is the life-world, and the material we have been studying documents some of the essential factors in the process of that refinement. Whatever Husserl’s preferences for a presentation of phenomenology in systematic completeness were in 1930 when Fink wrote his ‘‘Layout for Edmund Husserl’s ‘System of Phenomenological Philosophy,’ ’’ or in early 1932 when Cairns reported the conversation about the difference between Husserl and Fink on how to begin this systematic presentation,∞≥π by the time Husserl was writing out his full-scale ‘‘Crisis’’-texts in 1936 that difference had diminished considerably. In the publication that eventually resulted, Crisis of European Sciences 136. See 1.3, especially Husserl’s letters to Albrecht from December 29, 1930, and December 22, 1931. 137. See 4.2, which includes reference to Cairns’s recording a conversation with Husserl on June 2, 1932.

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and Transcendental Phenomenology, more briefly Crisis, Husserl indeed begins with the idea of science, both in its modern form (i.e., natural science) and in its initial broader impetus (i.e., §pisthmh, ´ rational knowledge), but what he leads to from that starting point is the assertion of ‘‘the concrete life-world’’ as ‘‘the grounding soil of the ‘scientifically true’ world’’ that at the same time ‘‘encompasses it in its own universal concreteness.’’∞≥∫ While this fuller theoretical statement is given only farther into the text, in §34, Husserl had been indicating it all along, for example, in the whole way §8 and §9 are formulated, especially in §9h, entitled ‘‘The life-world as the forgotten meaningfundament of natural science.’’ That is, while Husserl still begins with the idea of science whereas Fink would start with more generalized human reflection, the point that both establish is the same, namely, that the all-encompassing condition is the life-world, while science or reflection are undertakings set within it.∞≥Ω This focus in Husserl’s thinking that had proved to be so compelling for readers of phenomenology in the decades after Husserl’s death—Maurice Merleau-Ponty among them—was actually a re-focusing whose first clear formulation came in that systematic plan for phenomenology outlined by Fink in 1930. Furthermore it was Fink, too, who composed all the section and subsection titles for the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts,∞∂≠ for example, those for §9h and §34f, reinforcing the sense of the life-world orientation of the ‘‘Crisis’’-project.

4.6.2. De-Cartesianizing Phenomenology The principle determining this accord leads now to a truly significant transformation in approach, namely, turning Husserl away from his penchant for a Cartesian orientation. The self-critique that governs this transformation has been given in, in Husserl’s own statement on it from Crisis as well as Fink’s in both his notes and his detailed drafts for Husserl. Fink credits Husserl with the self-critique behind the shift that Fink espouses so forcefully in his 1930 ‘‘Layout,’’ but it was something Fink saw in Husserl’s phenomenological practice rather than in any explicit statement by him about his phenomenology. Thus Husserl’s dedicated followers at the time did not discern it in his thinking, as the corrective letters (to Kaufmann, Schutz, and Kuhn) that Fink wrote for Husserl in the early 1930s indicate.∞∂∞ For, as has just been 138. Crisis, p. 131 (Hua VI, p. 134). 139. Crisis, pp. 134–35 (Hua VI, 137–38). 140. See 1.2, p. 21, referring to Fink’s letter to Strasser, November 1, 1946 (EFM 2, Abschn. 4). 141. See 2.6.2.


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argued in 4.4.1 and 4.5, the crucial thing about pregivenness is that it encompasses not only the object side of that which is experienced by human being in the world but also the subject side of the experiencing itself. This orientation, eventually adopted fully by Husserl in the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts, is already implied in Husserl’s letter to Ingarden from June 11, 1932, just at the point when Fink’s second set of revisions on the Meditations were under way. ‘‘I have come to the conclusion,’’ Husserl writes, ‘‘that only a really concrete explication that ascends from the natural possession of the world and of being to the ‘transcendental’-phenomenological stance . . . can serve.’’∞∂≤ Yet, as Husserl knew full well, it was one thing to have in mind a general idea of this ‘‘concrete explication’’ that ‘‘ascends’’ to the ‘‘ ‘transcendental’-phenomenological stance’’ (which is to say, the realization of the system of phenomenology in its full philosophical and methodological amplitude), but it was another thing to work it out in specifics; for working it out in specifics introduces the possibility that the way basic findings had been initially represented, and perhaps regularly thereafter, might have to be radically revised. More than that, it turns out that in the work of this revision differences open up between Husserl and Fink.

4.6.3. From the Object-World for Cognition to the World-asSurround for Wakefulness How properly to describe the original situation for human thinking and human being, the pregiven world wherein human living and experiencing are already under way, is one of the matters at issue in §37 and §38 of Crisis. From the perspective elaborated earlier in this chapter, what catches our attention there is the way wakefulness figures in the treatment of the base-level awareness that properly relates to the life-world. The text of these paragraphs is rather more complicated in its composition than the smoothly printed text of the published edition suggests. Husserl’s original manuscripts, from which Fink produced the extant typed version upon which the published text is exclusively based, have not survived.∞∂≥ Fink’s typed transcriptions of Husserl’s Bernau manuscripts, for example, regularly touch up Husserl’s original wording, though this is generally stylistic in character rather than a matter of substantive modification; yet significant alteration does occur. And by 1936 Fink had produced many lengthy drafts entirely in his own wording that were 142. BIng, p. 78 (Bw III, p. 285). Husserl’s remarks here diminish the already mentioned contrast Cairns reports from a conversation just a week before this letter; see 4.6.1. 143. See Hua VI, ‘‘Zur Textgestaltung,’’ p. 519.

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meant to state and explain Husserl’s phenomenology.∞∂∂ One cannot exclude the possibility that the extant ‘‘Crisis’’ typescript contains some significant modifications introduced by Fink as he typed it from Husserl’s manuscripts; there is no way to tell from the typescript itself. In addition, there are handwritten insertions and deletions in the typed copy, by Husserl as well as by Fink (and some by Landgrebe), as one can see by consulting Walter Biemel’s recording of these in the ‘‘Textkritische Anmerkungen’’ in the Husserliana edition. These changes do at least indicate that one of the matters at play in the treatment in these paragraphs coincides with the issues of the nature of horizonality and the kind of consciousness that properly relates to horizonality. So, for example, in §37 we find written that ‘‘the life-world, for us who wakingly live in it, is always already there, existing in advance for us, the ‘ground’ of all praxis whether theoretical or extratheoretical,’’ and ‘‘the universal field of all actual and possible praxis, as horizon.’’∞∂∑ Indeed, ‘‘to live is always to live-in-certainty-of-the-world,’’ and ‘‘waking life is being awake to the world.’’∞∂∏ And then it is pointed out that ‘‘there exists a fundamental difference between the way we are conscious of the world and the way we are conscious of things or objects . . . , though together the two make up an inseparable unity.’’∞∂π In being aware of things we are always conscious of them as ‘‘within the world-horizon.’’∞∂∫ Early in the next section (§38) the world is characterized as the pregiven horizon that embraces all our intentional aimings, and does so, Fink adds in clarification, in the very way ‘‘an intentional horizon-consciousness implicitly and antecedently ‘encompasses’ [such things].’’∞∂Ω And §37 then ends with an emphatic underscoring of the ‘‘uniqueness’’ of the world in that it ‘‘does not exist as a being, as an object,’’ for it is the very horizon within which to distinguish individual objects. ‘‘The difference between the manner of being of an object in the world and that of the world itself obviously prescribes fundamentally different correlative types of consciousness for them.’’∞∑≠ When, however, it comes to specifying structurally the ‘‘fundamentally different type of consciousness’’ correlative to ‘‘the manner of being of the world itself,’’ we find the text of §37 already asserting 144. VI.CM/1–2 make up the most accomplished example of this, but so also are portions of M-II and M-III, in EFM 1 (Abschn. 2) and EFM 3 (Abschn. 2), respectively, among other pieces. 145. Crisis, p. 142 (Hua VI, p. 145). 146. Ibid. 147. Ibid., p. 143 (Hua VI, p. 146). 148. Ibid. 149. Hua VI, p. 147; see p. 527; my translation. 150. Crisis, p. 143 (Hua VI, p. 146), emphasis mine.


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that we are conscious of the horizon itself ‘‘only as a horizon for existing objects, without particular objects of consciousness it cannot be actual.’’∞∑∞ This is the kind of description that §38 takes up, explaining that the ‘‘completely different sort of waking life involved in the conscious having of the world’’ is the consciousness that follows ‘‘the ‘how’ of the manners of givenness’’ of objects, of their manner of achieving substantive constancy through the coherence of appearings in spatiality and temporality.∞∑≤ However the text reached its typed formulation—that is, in whatever measure it represents a combination of Husserl’s own descriptive preferences and Fink’s reorientation and recasting of Husserl’s investigational findings—the treatment of wakefulness and of the world as horizonal seems to be pulling in two opposing directions. There is phrasing that seems to give a primordiality and antecedency to wakefulness as a kind of consciousness of the world that stands qualitatively distinct from conscious focus on objects—corresponding to what Fink wants to work into the treatment—and then there is description of the world that retains the primacy of the schema of thematic objectcentered intentionality—Husserl’s habitual approach. In the text we virtually see Fink trying to counteract, in Husserl’s characterization of the world and of our consciousness of the world, the subject-object intentional framing that does not give full distinctiveness to structural matters that do not accord with that framing, namely, the Containment character of the world as horizonal and the non-thematizing, lived ‘‘performance’’ kind of consciousness in which one is aware of (in this case) the spatiality of that world-horizonality. It is a critical point that Fink unambiguously expressed in a discussion with Landgrebe during the weeks in early 1935 when the two were organizing Husserl’s manuscripts (here noted in telegraphic style): ‘‘Husserl’s attempt to lay hold of the phenomenon of world with object-theoretical methods. Husserl’s ‘intuitionism.’ World = cashability into givenness.’’∞∑≥ Fink finds that Husserl’s analysis of the world persists in applying a thematicobject-aimed cognitive schematizing rather than allowing a genuine intentionality quite different from that kind of consciousness and meriting a different schema of explication.∞∑∂ Already in his work on his dissertation Fink saw that Husserl tended to close off options through his primarily object-oriented schema; yet Fink saw there was a critique-based alternative that displaced the 151. Crisis, p. 143 (Hua VI, p. 146). 152. Crisis, p. 144–45 (Hua VI, 147). 153. Z-XIX II/4a, March 23, 1935; EFM 3. Here the staccato style of the note is left intact. 154. See OH-VI 5–6, from late 1935 or early 1936; EFM 3.

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object—Gegenstand—from serving as clue for the analysis of the nature of the world in favor of the ‘‘surround/around’’—‘‘Umstand.’’∞∑∑ On classic phenomenological principles ‘‘everything stands in correlation with its own manners of givenness,’’∞∑∏ i.e., the way in which something ‘‘is given’’ is the way it ‘‘is,’’ and vice versa. Accordingly—mutatis mutandis—if the nature of the world is horizonal, then it must be ‘‘given’’ horizonally, i.e., to a correlative consciousness that is horizon-apt, viz., to wakefulness. On the question of the life-world, then, there is a difference of principle not so much in the topic to be dealt with—the life-world—or in its fundamentality as in the conceptuality with which to articulate it. Right during this most compelling of Husserl’s efforts, Fink finds a whole catalogue of critical points on which Husserl does not retool his analytic conceptuality and which he, Fink, must therefore take up in an alternate kind of explicating: e.g., wakefulness as horizonal consciousness, the being of consciousness, the structure of reflection, silence and sound.∞∑π It is not that Husserl’s work was false but rather that its radicality remained constricted within the framework of entry into phenomenology, viz., that of classical ‘‘philosophy of reflection,’’ instead of reconsidering how that practice imposed limitations that distorted what Husserl’s very own investigations were turning up. The result is a tension in such passages as those in Crisis §§37–38 that only comes clear when we know more about the demands of post-preliminary reconsideration that Fink was working out.∞∑∫ One other point needs to be mentioned about the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts that Fink’s discussions with Landgrebe in 1935∞∑Ω also bring us to see as part of Fink’s efforts in the present context. Another regular feature of Husserl’s analysis of the world is that the world is said to be always undergoing new constitutive formation.∞∏≠ As explained in 4.4.1, Fink argues that critique of the ‘‘reflectionphilosophy’’ subject-object schema construes the horizon basically as a range 155. See Z-IV 52a; EFM 1. 156. See Crisis, §48. 157. See Z-XX 17a–b, from late 1935 or early 1936; EFM 3. 158. Cf. also Ronald Bruzina, ‘‘La structure phenomenologique du monde, une révision,’’ Les cahiers de philosophie, 15/16 (1992), 89–110. 159. Z-XIX II/4a, referred to a few paragraphs earlier. 160. See Crisis, p. 104 (‘‘the always already developed and always further developing meaning-configuration ‘intuitively given surrounding world,’ ’’ my emphasis) (Hua VI, p. 106), and p. 177 (‘‘the ways in which this subjectivity ‘has brought about’ and continues to shape the world . . . ,’’ my emphasis; Hua VI, p. 180). See also Hua IV, p. 115 (in Fink’s refashioning of the passage with more detail and nuance than originally in the typescript; cf. also p. 522).


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of objects, rather than primarily in terms of a horizonality character proper to itself. But if the horizon is conceived of properly as horizonal, its pregivenness is its being ‘‘done and ready’’; any continuing constitution can only be in regard to objects—object-reconfiguration and object-reconsolidation—and cannot pertain to the horizon within which this further constitutive determination goes on. Here is a clarification that can help to deal with the vexing ambiguity in the way the terms world and life-world are used in Husserl’s analyses.∞∏∞ Since either term in Husserl’s usage connotes a totality of what appears in terms of discriminable objects—even if this totality be spoken of as an object-horizon, i.e., as comprising both actual and potential object-appearings—in different contexts ‘‘world’’ or ‘‘life-world’’ can signify different levels of objectdetermination: for example, pre-scientific and a priori universal (e.g., the experiential-perceptual world in the essential structure of object-appearing), pre-scientific and yet culturally universal (e.g., the ensemble of intuitable spatial and temporal types in which appearings are consolidated noematically in perception), pre-scientific but historically and culturally diverse (e.g., the twentieth-century German cultural life-world, the classical Vedic-Hindu lifeworld, etc.)—which distinctions all raise further questions. In contrast, the present direction of reconsideration aims to clarify the first level of living consciousness, that of world-situation, as relating not to things (objects) but to the pregiven immanence-transcendence encompassing horizonal condition for the appearing of things (objects) in the dimension of living experience that corresponds to that encompassing condition. The life of consciousness is as such structured in the Containment, the pregiven world-for-life, the awareness of which is intrinsic to that life on the level of its living wakefulness. Fink does not go so far as to assert this outright; his notes, especially those from late in the 1930s, indicate different elements of questioning regarding the term life-world as used in the ‘‘Crisis’’-writings; but the principle of his reconsideration of the world as horizonal in the fullest sense suggests some such proposal, especially if paired with the way he raises the question of the meaning of ‘‘life’’ in phenomenology. (See chapter 6.) All that can be said with certainty, then, is that the point of reexamination at the core of Fink’s rethinking about the world as horizonal is only evident marginally in the exposition of the life-world in Crisis, with the result that in terms of this reexamination the conception of the life-world remains unstable and the phenomenology of the life-world incomplete. 161. See the various essays in Elisabeth Ströker, ed., Lebenswelt und Wissenschaft in der Philosophie Edmund Husserls (Frankfurt: Klostermann, 1979).

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4.6.4. Identity and Difference between the Worldly and the Transcendental If the world in its pregivenness is the horizonal ground for experience, cognition, and reflection as fully as it is for all that these actions take in—so that both immanence and transcendence, in the sense they have in Husserl’s phenomenology as intentionally bonded, are together structured by worldhorizonal spatiality and temporality—then one of the several corollaries that have to be acknowledged is that it is impossible actually to imagine the world as not existing and yet still be able to do such a thing as to imagine, or, for that matter, to have any kind of thought, feeling, or sensing in the stream of consciousness. Imagining, and any activation in the streaming of consciousness, are living processes structured within all-embracing life-world horizonalities, and to try to imagine the world away as non-existent would be to try to imagine oneself out of imagining. As Fink writes, ‘‘The fiction that the world might not be, but that my world-life, my world-thinking, would still be is phenomenologically sheer absurdity. It does not even allow being seriously analyzed in signitive thought. This fiction reverts to being a doubling of the world.’’∞∏≤ Even if in Ideas I §49 a fiction very much like this is undertaken not as doubt of the world, as with Descartes, but simply as its ‘‘bracketing,’’ in order to reach ‘‘pure consciousness,’’ it nevertheless is a Cartesian move that utterly fails to recognize the pregivenness of the world in its all-embracing character. The ‘‘Crisis’’-texts do not share this pretension. Even so, even the point that this ‘‘fiction’’ was meant to make needs to be appreciated, a point that the ‘‘Crisis’’-writings not only do not diminish but also make more forcefully. In truth this point was already an element of deCartesianizing that Husserl himself asserted in his ‘‘Cartesian Meditations’’ themselves, where, in §13 near the beginning of the ‘‘Second Meditation,’’ he speaks of ‘‘a fundamentally essential deviation from the Cartesian course’’— namely, that whereas Descartes remained on the level of world-bound consciousness and did not see that he was in effect initiating regress to the transcendental, Husserl with his epoché and reduction were to bring that regress cleanly into view.∞∏≥ The real point in question is that it is in transcendental subjectivity that the validity of the pregiven world is to be accounted for, not in human consciousness. The problem, then, is to determine positively the characteristics specific to that transcendental subjectivity as transcendental which, as chapter 2 shows, is not so simple and straightforward. 162. Z-IV 15a, emphasis Fink’s; EFM 1. 163. CMe, p. 31 (Hua I, pp. 69–70).


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This absolute necessity of making it clear that ultimate originative transcendental subjectivity cannot be human consciousness in the world means that one has to confront the problem of the inevitability of conceptualizing this subjectivity, transcendental as it is supposed to be, in terms of structures determined intrinsically by situatedness within world-horizonality. This confrontation is one of the main points Fink elaborates in his revisions for the ‘‘Cartesian Meditations,’’ particularly in the texts that would replace the opening section (§12) of Husserl’s ‘‘Second Meditation’’ (i.e., right before the section that speaks of ‘‘the fundamentally essential deviation from the Cartesian course’’).∞∏∂ Moreover, it is at the heart of Fink’s ‘‘Sixth Meditation.’’∞∏∑ That Husserl fully understands and agrees with Fink on the fundamental importance of this issue can be seen in one of the documents that Fink prepared for him precisely to make this point. As we know, Fink had the occasional task of preparing statements of critical comment on interpretations of Husserl’s phenomenology by former students and colleagues that were appearing in journals at the time. One of these critique statements is a draft written in 1933 or 1934 (and apparently never sent) in response to a review of Husserl’s Méditations Cartésiennes by Helmut Kuhn.∞∏∏ While containing the same basic explanation of Husserl’s position as statements Fink wrote to Felix Kaufmann and Alfred Schutz (cf. 2.6.2), this one written for Kuhn differs from the others in that it is more like a joint composition and carries a number of stenographic modifications subsequently made by Husserl. Of the three points covered in this draft, it is the first that interests us here.∞∏π The text points out that, despite Kuhn’s acknowledgment that the ‘‘I’’ to which the epoché is to lead is supposed to be transcendental, nevertheless in Kuhn’s representation it is still ‘‘the other pole of the intra-mundane correlation of experience, the pole opposite to objects.’’ The transcendental I discovered in the phenomenological reduction, however, cannot be ‘‘a member of the intra-mundane subject-object relation.’’ It is instead ‘‘the world-transcending counter-member of the constitutive relation between transcendental life», which is not something positable in a worldly way but rather is presupposed by all presumed positing of the world… and the world.’’ The world in turn is ‘‘the comprehensive concept [Inbegriff—‘comprehensive hold’]∞∏∫ embracing 164. Text No. 4, VI.CM/2, pp. 192–219. 165. See in particular CM6, pp. 106–32 (VI.CM/1, pp. 117–45). 166. Kuhn’s review is published in Kant-Studien 38 (1933), 209–16. 167. The two other points concern the relation of the ‘‘Fifth Meditation’’ to the other four and the relationship between ‘‘transcendental subjectivity’’ and concrete human being in the world, particularly regarding the demands of social involvement. 168. See note 134 above.

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mundane objects and »among them… the mundane subject for the world, therefore as the field of play for the intra-mundane correlation of experience.’’ This means that when the reduction is fully applied to both objects and subjects— i.e., applied throughout the entire embrace of the world—then it is that one comes to recognize ‘‘the opening of a new universe of ‘being,’ ’’ the opening of ‘‘the dimension of transcendental subjectivity as the locus of origin for constitutive sense-giving for the all-inclusive meaning ‘world.’ ’’∞∏Ω What this text exemplifies is this: the issue of the interrelationship and distinction between mundane and transcendental subjectivity, though unmistakably present in Husserl’s earlier writings, is being formulated now—in the period leading to the ‘‘Crisis’’-writings—with a radical problematicity that it did not show before. The post-preliminary self-critique and reinterpretation that Fink is pursuing draws attention to the nature and force of the principle of the distinction between the human order and the transcendental, in both originative-constitutive power and reflective action, and the issue of this distinction emerges most dramatically where it is some manifestly human thinker, the phenomenologist Husserl (or Fink or you or me), who is doing the transcendental reflection on actions and processes disclosed within the experiential course of one’s own living consciousness. Both §53 and §54 of Crisis explicitly focus on this issue of the simultaneous identity of and radical difference between transcendental and human subjectivity, that is, on the problem of how transcendental subjectivity has to be un-worldly, while also only known by way of and as the activity of a worldly, human subject. When we then take into consideration Fink’s testimony on the interpretive difference between himself and Husserl on the matter, namely, that Husserl seems to insist on egoic individuation on the transcendental level while Fink argues against its appropriateness in more radically applied reduction-driven critique, then Husserl’s continuing his stand even in these Crisis passages can be taken to indicate the point at which Husserl halts the critique and reinterpretive process.∞π≠ Given this difference, it is no surprise that the issue, though formulated in the ‘‘Crisis’’-writings with explicitness, is not given clear resolution there. Yet

169. ‘‘Wahrscheinlich Vorschlag für eine Antwort Husserls an Kuhn,’’ EFM 2, Abschn. 3, No. 5; also in Bw VI, pp. 244–45, but with Husserl’s alterations (here indicated by angle brackets) seamlessly integrated into the text. While written in the first person as if by Husserl himself, the text was typed on Fink’s typewriter and is composed in his style rather than Husserl’s, clearly reflecting Fink’s thinking. 170. See, which refers to CM6, p. 1 (VI.CM/1, p. 183); in Crisis, see pp. 210, 259, and 264 (Hua VI, pp. 214, 263, and 267–68).


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in this interpretive difference between Husserl and Fink there is nonetheless accord on the meaning of the level of analysis on which that difference (and others) lay in the context of ‘‘the crisis of European science.’’ Transcendental phenomenology, precisely by its move of regress from worldly consciousness to transcendental constituting subjectivity, precisely by way of its both making the distinction and asserting the still puzzling identification between the two, was to explicate ‘‘the enigma of subjectivity’’∞π∞ so as to make clear ‘‘the deepest essential interrelation between reason and being [Seiendem]’’∞π≤ against the ‘‘dissolution’’ of ‘‘the ideal of universal philosophy,’’∞π≥ against the loss of faith in the human ‘‘capacity to secure rational meaning for individual and common human existence.’’∞π∂ This was Husserl’s reasoning, and Fink reinforced and clarified it—with the interpretive differences indicated, which we have yet to explicate fully. To facilitate the move to that further explication, it is worthwhile noting a proposal Fink composed in 1935 for the close of Husserl’s Prague lectures.∞π∑ Here Fink, like Husserl, asserts that the way out of the crisis of confidence in reason and science, with its recourse to ‘‘irrational powers,’’ lies in the ‘‘radicalizing of self-understanding’’; for the crisis resulted precisely from the inadequacy of efforts to understand ‘‘philosophical culture’’ in the living person of human subjectivity as these efforts had hitherto been pursued either in transcendental speculation or in psychology. The difficulty is not so much that these latter are both wrong, one in seeing the subject as utterly transcendent to the world, and the other in taking the subject as utterly immersed in it, but that each position is only intelligible if it is transformed by being integrated with the other. It is transcendental phenomenology that can make clear how it is that ‘‘the objective being of the subject in the world, its being as human psyche, comes about transcendentally’’; it is transcendental phenomenology that can explain the ‘‘mysterious double nature,’’ both transcendental and world-bound, to be found in human being, so that a human existent has within itself, in some way, the ‘‘subjectively performing life’’ (a) that constitutes ‘‘every existent objectivity’’ in the being-sense that it possesses, and (b) that constitutes itself as an entity among other entities. In effect Fink is proposing that transcendental phenomenology can resolve the central paradox in Heidegger’s fundamental ontology. (See 3.3.1 and 3.3.2.) 171. Crisis, p. 5 (Hua VI, p. 3). 172. Crisis, p. 13 (Hua VI, p. 12). 173. Fink’s title for §5 runs: ‘‘The Ideal of Universal Philosophy and the Process of Its Inner Dissolution.’’ 174. Crisis, p. 13 (Hua VI, p. 10), translation slightly modified. 175. OH-V 29–36; EFM 3. The phrases quoted in the present paragraph are from this text.

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For transcendental phenomenology to be able to do this, it has first to make clear the nature of the movement of constitution itself, with as unrelenting a radicality as is possible. One has to focus squarely on the duality of nature in human subjectivity (a) as disclosing within itself the process of the origin of constitutive determination, and (b) as displaying itself as itself constitutively determined intrinsically within this same process of origin in respect to the meaning and being that it itself possesses. And the two principal lines along which this inquiry into consciousness has to be done are, first, the analysis of the temporality of experience as the approach to ultimate constitutive process, and, second, the examination of proto-temporality and ultimate process as a living dynamic. We turn now to these, first to time and temporality.


Fundamental Thematics II: Time

Wir sind die Treibenden. Aber den Schritt der Zeit, nehmt ihn als Kleinigkeit im immer Bleibenden.

Alles das eilende wird schon vorüber sein; denn das Verweilende erst weiht uns ein. —Rilke, Sonnete, I, 22∞

The elaboration attempted on the basis of . . . the Bernau timemanuscripts in the years 1932–35 foundered . . . because it became clear to the one working on them that time could not be philosophically understood by beginning with time-consciousness, that here precisely a reversal takes place: time (as world-time) is that which is makes both objects and the constituting subject possible. —Late remark by Fink (1968–69)≤ 1. An English translation (while not quite as apt for the present study) in Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus, trans. by C. F. MacIntyre (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1964), p. 45, offers this: ‘‘We are the drivers./But take time’s stride/as trivial beside/what lasts forever. The transient hastens/and soon will be over;/only what lingers/hallows and chastens.’’ 2. ‘‘Fünf Lose Blätter’’ 4a; EFM 2, Abschn. 2.




If we would begin the treatment of time and temporality at the level of critical phenomenological consideration sketched out in the previous three chapters, we could simply start with material drawn from Fink’s notes and sketches for the study of time beyond the Bernau texts, that is, from 1933 and 1934 (and later), correlating them with Husserl’s newer work in the C-manuscripts on temporality of 1930 to 1934. For example, the critical insights we considered in chapter 4 are neatly continued in some of the points Fink makes in several outline variants for an ‘‘Introduction’’ to his then projected ‘‘time-book.’’ For instance, in specifying the issues central to the study of time in Husserl’s manuscript work from the Bernau to the final C-group materials, Fink characterizes ‘‘the pregivenness of world-time as captivation in it.’’ That is, ‘‘just as ‘consciousness’ is at first a mundane concept, so also [is] time-consciousness. [One has to work a] regress from worldly, intra-temporal time-consciousness (as a being-in-time [in-der-Zeit-Sein]) to a pre-worldly time-consciousness.’’≥ Intrinsic to this situation, then, is the paradox: ‘‘Starting out from the mundane time-problem. Abandoning the problem’s ground.’’∂ That is, since we already have an implicit but nonetheless definite understanding of time, an understanding that can only arise in the situation of being-in-the-world, and since any such time-understanding first makes the question of the essence of time possible, the question is whether and how one can reach ‘‘an ‘explanation’ of time that would transcend worldknowledge,’’∑ in an overcoming of the mundane level on which problems are posed and resolved. As has already been made clear, however, while the overall problem of a phenomenology and philosophy of time can be stated in general terms, dealing with the problem cannot remain on the level of general conceptual statement; it must be done in concrete investigation and in the critical, interpretive reconsideration of both the method and conceptualities at work in that investigation. Accordingly, how the points just given, from an advanced stage of Fink’s work, emerge out of that close concrete-bound labor has to be considered before we can return to those same points in the culmination that was reached in the Freiburg-workshop years that we are now learning about. Fink enters work on the inquiry into time at a time when Husserl already has behind him two full series of investigations, so that we must distinguish one set of stages in Husserl’s progress and another in Fink’s. The basic idea 3. B-VII XV/3b (EFM 2, Abschn. 2), bracketed inserts mine, following the original key-thought style of the note. 4. B-VII XV/3c. 5. B-VII 3b.



of Husserl’s trajectory of progress is quite straight-forwardly represented in Fink’s distinguishing three stages: (1) the stage of the 1905 lectures, which, however, are conducted on a level that does not clearly demarcate the difference between the psychological and the transcendental, that is, with only implicit recognition of the constitutive level of analysis; (2) the stage of the Bernau research, where transcendental temporalization comes squarely into view; (3) the stage just beginning in 1930, where concentration will be put on the ‘‘primordial present’’—which, as Husserl works on the matter in new manuscripts, will be soon regularly designated the ‘‘living present.’’∏

As narrated in 1.2, Fink begins work on Husserl’s project almost ten years after Husserl’s work in stage 2. When Fink finished his dissertation and was able to work more fully on the issues in the Bernau materials, that is, to go beyond mainly transcribing and ordering the manuscripts, he began to enter more into Husserl’s daily regime; but this also suggests that Husserl’s return to manuscript writing on the time-problematic (his stage 3) was at least in part motivated by ideas Fink was generating out of his labors on the manuscript material.π At the same time, Fink had a trajectory of thinking of his own, as the ensemble of his notes shows; and this is what will set the framework for the present chapter, as follows: (1) Fink’s ideas for radicalizing the analysis of time in the context of the dissertation work, 1928 to 1930, and the first Bernau edition plan of 1930 to 1933; (2) the new conception of a work on time, ‘‘Time and Temporalization,’’ comprising the Bernau manuscripts (part I) and Husserl’s new studies on time (part II), 1933 to 1934; then the further revision of this plan into a comprehensive integrated treatment of time, again in the same two parts, plus a detailed introduction, 1934 to 1935; Fink is now given entire responsibility for the phenomenology of time; 6. Not a quotation (except for expressions in quotation marks) but directly based upon B-I 17a–18a (EFM 2, Abschn. 2), and not earlier than 1929–1930. In a directly paralleled outline of the same stages in Z-XI 46a, probably from 1933, Fink names the ‘‘living present [lebendige Gegenwart],’’ rather than, as here, the ‘‘primordial present [urtümliche Gegenwart].’’ See also Fink’s 1959 essay, ‘‘Die Spätphilosophie Husserls in der Freiburger Zeit,’’ ND, pp. 220–25. 7. Not at all unusual, this is precisely what we see in Husserl’s writing of Formal and Transcendental Logic, occasioned by his review of Landgrebe’s editing work; see 1.2.



(3) Fink’s reorientation of the whole approach and his writing of a work on time of his own, 1935 to 1936, leading to his displacement of the entire problematic in favor of a radically new option, from 1936 on.

5.1. Stage 1: Fink’s Study of Time and the Bernau Manuscripts As his prize-essay work shows (see 1.1), Fink had already gained the basic orientation and the main conceptual resources for the study of time in phenomenology before he was asked by Husserl to take up the editing of the Bernau materials. For this to have been possible, he must have had access to Husserl’s first set of time-consciousness studies before their publication in 1928.∫ What is distinctive about this pre-editorial work on his part is the fundamental problematic that Fink discerns in Husserl’s time-studies; this is what will guide the task he then pursues as Husserl assigns him the responsibility of editing the Bernau manuscripts, the work of which in turn is the setting in which his initial orientations get tested, refashioned, and developed.Ω In all this too we also can see the determinants that place Fink’s approach squarely in the post-preliminary stage of phenomenological critique, recasting, and reinterpretation.

5.1.1. The Basic Time-Problematic In beginning our treatment it will help to see how Fink’s approach to Husserl’s work contrasts with the interpretative expositions of later scholars of Husserl’s work. For example, the expositions of two editors of Husserl’s time materials are extremely helpful explications of central insights and developments on Husserl’s part. One advance in particular that they show Husserl was making from 1905 to 1917 is his criticism and rejection of his initial use of a ‘‘data-sensualist’’ schema in the analysis of time-consciousness.∞≠ Prior 8. See 1.1, p. 8 and note 27 (in the appendix). 9. For further detail on Fink’s development, and then on his work with the Bernau texts, see EFM 1, ‘‘Einleitung,’’ sections I and II. Note there the way in which Fink was helped by the work of Oskar Becker, ‘‘Mathematische Existence,’’ JPpF, VIII (1927): 441–809, treating the problem of the transfinite in mathematical theory via the phenomenological concept of horizon largely as Heidegger handles it. 10. See Rudolf Boehm, ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua X, pp. xxx–xlii, and Rudolf Bernet, ‘‘Einleitung,’’ in Edmund Husserl, Texte zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins (1893–1917), Texte nach Husserliana, Band X (Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 1985), pp. xxiv–liii. See also Robert Sokolowski, The Formation of Husserl’s Concept of Constitution, Phaenomenologica 18 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1965), pp. 74–115.



to the newer Bernau studies Husserl had already come to see that the intentionality of temporal flow was not at all a process of endowing some neutral sensuous content with the temporality of an act of consciousness to give it the phenomenal character of experiential temporality. Retention and protection, ‘‘intentional’’ as they may be termed, were thus not instances of the imposition of sense upon some kind of preset given material. They were rather the very structuring that enabled all identifiable feature-constancies to hold, however briefly, within the flow of consciousness, even the most primitive, such as the sheer sense-quality (or ‘‘material’’), say, of a sounding note, Husserl’s favorite example. Yet Husserl had advanced still further in this same period.∞∞ In working through this divestiture of the intentional-sense plus neutral-content schema via the analysis of the consciousness of the temporal continuity of an appearing object, he also came to see not only that the temporality of consciousness itself was a process whose analysis above all resisted the application of the schema but also that that ultimate process could not in general be spoken of straightforwardly in terms appropriate to the temporality structure of (a) the objects that came to appearance in it, (b) their appearances thus immanent to consciousness, or (c) the acts of consciousness intending them. Consciousness was a time-consciousness not simply because it was awareness of the temporality of objects, or of the temporality of the appearances of those objects to or in itself, or because its acts directed to objects arose and perdured as themselves discriminable unities in time, but rather because it had a more fundamentally structured subsistence of its own distinctive kind, because it was itself, as flow, structured in a unique way that was ipso facto temporal awareness. This consciousness with its own character was absolute consciousness, ‘‘the absolute time-constituting flow of consciousness’’ that preceded and conditioned the unity of continuous appearance for all objects in consciousness (and for all acts of intending turned to those objects via their appearances).∞≤ Accordingly, the descriptive terms that originally designate time-features of objects, or that are used to speak of their constituted appearances in consciousness (or to speak of the acts of intending directed toward those objects in their constituted appearances), can only have an improper, a metaphorical,

11. Bernet, ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Texte, pp. xxxvi–lviii. See also John Brough, ‘‘The Emergence of an Absolute Consciousness in Husserl’s Early Writings on Time-Consciousness,’’ Man and World, 5 (1972), 298–326, reprinted in Frederick Elliston and Peter McCormick, eds., Husserl, Expositions and Appraisals (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1977), pp. 83–100. 12. Hua X, p. 73 (§34). See appendix.



sense when used to conceptualize absolute constituting time-consciousness itself; and this qualification would have to include such terms as ‘‘retention’’ and ‘‘protention.’’ Indeed, in a strict sense, says Husserl in regard to absolute time-consciousness itself, ‘‘for all of this we lack names.’’∞≥ The implication here was quite clear to Husserl: Beyond the inapplicability of the criticized schema (intentional form/sensuous matter), even to speak of the ultimate consciousness as temporal was questionable. ‘‘The flow of the modes of consciousness is not a process; the consciousness-of-the-now is not itself now. That which retention is as comprised ‘together’ with consciousnessof-the-now is not ‘now,’ is not at-the-same-time with the now, and it would make no sense to say that it is.’’ Utterly fundamental structures of constituting time-consciousness, such as retention, are, Husserl asserts, ‘‘un-temporal, namely, nothing in immanent time.’’∞∂ This is the issue in Husserl’s time-studies that is most determinative for the problematic that concerns Fink. The relationship of the conditioned to the conditioning—of the constituted to the constituting—sets up the problem that must ultimately govern inquiry that rethinks Husserl’s investigations in post-preliminary phenomenology. There is a dangerous ambiguity inherent in the way time-consciousness is treated if temporality is taken as itself a consciousness, namely, as something that, while asserted to be unqualifiedly transcendental and ultimately originative, is nevertheless conceived in terms of structures that are properly speaking intra-worldly, that is, in the end human. The problem then is that the consciousness belonging to the human subject itself is kept in the foreground as the very image of the transcendentally ultimate constituting agent that the investigation is supposed to disclose and describe. It is this concern that we find dominant also in the notes of Fink’s that lead up to and follow the prize essay of 1928 in the genesis of his 1929 dissertation, the final stages of the writing of which coincide with Fink’s first study of the Bernau manuscripts. For example, if time is not the form of ‘‘immanence’’ in distinction from ‘‘transcendence’’ but is rather the conditioning of the life of experience in the world comprising both forms integratively (see 4.4.2 and 4.5), i.e., if the temporality Husserl is analyzing is the temporality of the integration of human being and living in the horizons of the world, wherein 13. ZB (Hua X), §36, p. 75 (ZBe, p. 79). 14. ZB (Hua X), pp. 333–34 (ZBe, pp. 345–46), emphasis Husserl’s. While this passage is in one of the supplementary texts added in the Husserliana edition, and therefore was not published in the 1928 version, that version does have a passage much to the same point, if far briefer, at the beginning of ZB (Hua X), §36, pp. 74–75 (ZBe, p. 79).



‘‘time is first world-time, space world-space, not object-space,’’∞∑ then the way consciousness is temporal in its intending of a phenomenon needs to be reinterpreted. One can indeed distinguish matters that are constituents of the stream of consciousness (‘‘immanent objects’’) from matters to which one gains access intentionally (‘‘transcendent objects’’) by way of these, but this is only a start. The fact that the object-sense of phenomenal-stream-held components forms up within the stream of consciousness, and that the stream of this experiencing consciousness is essentially temporal, does not mean that this experiential consciousness is itself the source and basis of the temporality of those objects, is the temporal ‘‘action’’ or ‘‘power’’ originative of the temporality of all that takes shape and determinacy as appearing in it. For consciousness is itself held and embraced by the temporality that conditions its streaming. Temporality embraces both ‘‘transcendence’’ and ‘‘immanence’’ because both are embraced by the world, of which temporality is a primary structuring process. But if time is essentially a structure of the world and for that reason essentially a feature of this being in the world that has consciousness of it, then the ultimate constituting process of ‘‘temporality’’ cannot be a process that is an essential feature of this world-and-temporality-embraced ‘‘stream of experience’’ (of ‘‘lived process’’—Erlebnis) constitutive of the entity defined by it, i.e., the ‘‘consciousness’’ that Husserl speaks of (or, for that matter, Heidegger’s Dasein)∞∏ —unless, of course, ‘‘experience’’ and ‘‘consciousness’’ are not themselves to be understood as essentially conditioned by world-horizons and thus not a human endowment. What is needed here is a resolving of the ambiguous unit, human-consciousness/transcendental-‘‘consciousness’’ into its component ‘‘strata,’’ in order to distinguish (1) temporality as experienced time (i.e., as ‘‘internal timeconsciousness’’), and (2) ‘‘temporality’’ as primordial constituting ‘‘action.’’ Consciousness, in apprehending itself as an entity displaying a dynamism of two sorts—one intentionally engaged with objects in the continuous manifold of their appearing, the other structuring the continuity itself as a continuity (a continuity both of that object-manifold appearing in it and of its own perdurance)—comes to construe ultimate process in terms of the form that it itself has come to possess constitutively in that all-structuring process, most notably in the form of noetic-noematic intentional acts. If, therefore, there is reason in principle precisely not to assume that ultimate process—termed ‘‘temporality’’ in the radicalized transcendental understanding of that term that remains 15. Z-I 155a, datable on the basis of adjacent notes as written soon after Fink’s discussion with Husserl on July 10, 1929 (Z-I 149); EFM 1. 16. See Z-I 44a, EFM 1.



unclear and problematic—is appropriately conceptualizable in terms of the structure of consciousness as constituted by and held within that ‘‘temporality,’’ then the analysis of ‘‘temporality’’ must be conducted in terms other than those of the intentionality of noetic-noematic correlation. Accordingly, one of Fink’s earliest recastings of the conceptual frame by which the analysis of time-streaming as conscious is done offers a conception of ‘‘retention’’ and ‘‘protention’’ that entirely sets aside structural predetermination from noeticnoematic content-aiming. As is well known, Husserl analyzes the moment of actuality as not at all a pure ‘‘now’’ totally clean of anything ‘‘not-now.’’ The moment of actuality is phenomenologically more than a pure unmitigated ‘‘now’’; integrated with it are both a retentional holding of the now-no-longer actual and a protentional anticipation of the now-not-yet actual, and he allows that these ‘‘retentions’’ and ‘‘protentions’’ cannot quite be noematic objective correlates to some noetic art—ultimately on pain of infinite regress. They are rather the very stuff of the continuity-in-flow of lived process prior to any noetic directional act.∞π They are the intentionality ‘‘longitudinal’’ to the ‘‘flow’’ of lived conscious experience that binds its dimensions together. Retention and protention in presentmoment actuality are thus the primary structuring condition that makes possible the secondary action of remembering or expecting in the proper sense,∞∫ namely, an act of explicit representative recall or pre-presentative proposal that, moving into the retained deposit of the now-no-longer or the anticipated filling in of the now-not-yet, would be noetic to the re- or pre-presentedly noematic.∞Ω Fink finds, however, that this way of putting phenomenology’s findings is not radical enough. It derives too presuppositionally upon the privileged schema of noematic content and noetic act-intentionality, without taking into consideration the fundamentality of the horizonality that preconditions both determinate content and the act-intending of it. Fink therefore proposes to orient his dissertation study ‘‘on those intentionalities that constitute the living horizons for the experiential present, such as retention, protention, and appresentation. They are neither presentings [Gegenwärtigungen—i.e., acts that intend as present what is actually present in its own appearing] nor presentifications [Vergegenwärtigungen—i.e., acts that intend as present what is not thus actually present; envisionings]; we designate them, in a somewhat risky 17. See ZB (Hua X), §38 and appendix XII. 18. ZB (Hua X), §19. In these early studies Husserl initially called retention ‘‘primary memory.’’ 19. ZB (Hua X) §39 and appendix VIII.



linguistic expression, as de-presentings [Entgegenwärtigungen].’’≤≠ Fink goes on to remark, in accord with Husserl’s analyses, that the present [die Gegenwart] is neither a ‘‘pointlike’’ ‘‘now’’ nor ‘‘a kind of extensional time-form’’ but instead has to be understood in terms of a continual process that encompasses several phases. ‘‘Primordial impression’’ [Urimpression] is a kind of ‘‘limit’’ that subsists only by continually drawing from ‘‘protention’’ and continually passing into ‘‘retention’’ in a ‘‘living, streaming temporality’’; it ‘‘must naturally not be conceived as a temporal atom’’ and is ‘‘only abstractively distinguishable’’ from the whole process into which it is set, from the full dynamic reality of the ‘‘living present’’ [lebendige Gegenwart]. This sets the context for explaining further the concept of ‘‘depresenting.’’ The ground for the step Fink takes here is clearly the descriptive analytic material in Husserl’s first-stage manuscript work on time in the revision done by Edith Stein that was published under Heidegger’s nominal editorship in 1928; and Fink’s 1929 dissertation makes explicit reference to On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time.≤∞ But this key passage (§9) in ‘‘Presentification and Image,’’ introducing this new step, was actually written before the publication of On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time in mid-1928. The text of this §9 in the dissertation repeats almost entirely what Fink had finished composing by February 1928 for his competition essay, except that he does not make reference in that essay to these time-consciousness studies of Husserl’s.≤≤ Husserl had to have made the Stein revision of his time-consciousness studies available to Fink at some point well before February 1928;≤≥ it was his normal practice, and both the content of Fink’s summary explication of time and his later reference to the time lectures as published indicate this. The main thing to note, however, is the fact that Fink is expressing the move of radicalization that already takes the phenomenological analysis of temporality one stage farther before Husserl took him on as assistant. Fink had gained the insight required for this move quite early, in the months of thinking about matters of consciousness and temporality that resulted in the competition essay (that is, in the course of 1927, prior to its 20. VB/I, p. 22, explanatory phrases in brackets mine. Rendering Vergegenwärtigung by ‘‘envisaging,’’ as Theodore Kisiel does in his translation of MH-GA 20, History of the Concept of Time: Prolegomena (Bloomington, In.: Indiana University Press, 1984), would be much clearer than ‘‘presentification’’ and is by far preferable. The only reason for not using ‘‘envisaging’’ here is that ‘‘presentification’’ makes for immediate linkage to Gegenwärtigung, ‘‘presenting,’’ and Entgegenwärtigung, ‘‘depresenting.’’ 21. VB/I, p. 22. 22. See EFM 1, Beil. I, §4. 23. See appendix.



actual composition in February 1928). Finally, it is also clear that he had reached this insight not only via the massive guidance of Husserl’s rigorous phenomenological analyses but also through the impact of Heidegger’s Being and Time. This step of recasting beyond Husserl on Fink’s part consists in a radical shift of schematic focus by which what has already been laid open in analytic scrutiny gets looked at quite differently. The ‘‘before’’ and ‘‘after,’’ or the ‘‘protentional’’ and ‘‘retentional’’ moments of differentness, now get explored not as specific discriminated senses (to which there might correspond specific discriminating acts of awareness) but rather in terms of that special kind of structure that is one of Husserl’s main contributions to philosophy, namely, horizons, horizons of, as it were, intentional value (in this case, temporal value).≤∂ They are looked at now as not in any way contentlike features of sense but rather as ‘‘latencies’’ that one can ‘‘awaken’’ by intentional thematization, for example, in various acts of ‘‘presentification (envisaging)’’—specifically, in recollection and anticipation, in reflective awareness of past or future experiencing and experienced objects or situations as past or future. ‘‘Horizon-forming depresentings [or: depresencings] are not any kind of intentional experience, not any kind of act that in some way first carries off some objective something, so that now presentification would be the countermove against this carrying off. Rather depresencings are a way in which original temporality itself comes about as temporal process—temporalizes [eine Zeitigungsweise der ursprünglichen Zeitlichkeit selbst].’’≤∑ Retentional (or protentional) depresencing is not some determinant in an object’s content, some way of modifying the object and still in some way including it in the present. The horizonal condition of ‘‘de-presencing’’ [Ent-gegenwärtigen], i.e., of negatively inflecting the presentness of the just-now present, is that by which temporality takes form as temporality in the first place.≤∏ It is, therefore, the ‘‘condition of possibility’’ for any steady objectness as such; depresencings ‘‘constitute the temporal horizons out of which alone something like an object can come forward as a self-maintaining identity in the flow of temporal phases.’’≤π It is essential, therefore, not to see retention or protention in terms 24. Husserl himself calls retention ‘‘the living horizon of the now’’ in the 1928 publication, but his analysis never carries this possibility further. See ZB (Hua X), p. 43 (ZBe, p. 45). 25. ‘‘Vergegenwärtigung und Bild,’’ Studien, p. 24. Preisschrift, pp. 14–15. On rendering Entgegenwärtigung as either ‘‘depresenting’’ or ‘‘depresencing,’’ see the discussion in footnote 41 below. 26. VB/I, p. 23, emphasis Fink’s; Preisschrift, p. [13] (EFM I, Beil. I). See appendix. 27. VB/I, p. 25; Preisschrift, p. [15] (EFM 1, Beil. I).



of some kind of intentional ray of determining action, some directive action by an I-agency. Depresencing is intentional as horizonal, not as in any way noetically noema-aimed. If one designates depresencing as an intentional dynamic, it must be intentionality of a kind all its own, anterior to (and condition for) egoic action.≤∫ The nature of the radicality of Fink’s move here, and the role Heidegger’s thought played in his taking this step, are what show clearly in Fink’s personal notes, supplementing the brief discussion in the published dissertation with far fuller exploration, especially in respect to the implications this has throughout phenomenology. Recall that the dissertation was to have a sequel in which the analysis of temporality would be taken up.≤Ω Fink wrote notes on this second part during much of the period of his work with Husserl; the need to explicate the roots for the intelligibility of his first philosophical work converged and intertwined inextricably with the first task Husserl assigned him, editing the Bernau manuscript texts. The limits to the possibility of doing the latter philosophically would set the limits for the possibility of completing the former. Husserl was surely not ignorant of this linkage, and perhaps one can see this as one factor in the choice he made of Fink to be his new—and last—assistant. In one of Fink’s early notes on time-analysis for the second part of the dissertation, which he characterizes as ‘‘my own research,’’ he names both Husserl and Heidegger as pertinent to it, and puts depresencing at the head of the list of topics to be covered.≥≠ In other notes he explores the way depresencing [Entgegenwärtigung] conditions presentification [Vergegenwärtigung]; for in being grounded in ‘‘retention,’’ presentification ‘‘always refers to a depresencing’’ and as such is always ‘‘the movement out into a horizon.’’≥∞ But in this ‘‘retentional’’ linkage of the not-present with the present that is grounded in depresencing, one must not think of depresencing as a second action added to the first action of presencing, as if what gives the movement of temporality to time were the combined result of two interlinking ‘‘actions,’’ presencing and depresencing. Rather, presentness is actualized in the dynamic, in the flow, but in this dynamic what conditions presentness in flow, what conditions the flow to be temporal, is depresencing. Temporal flow is always the dynamism of the present, but that dynamism of flow as temporalness, its sui generis transitional 28. VB/I, pp. 25–26; Preisschrift, pp. [16–17]. 29. See 1.2. 30. Z-I 45b. 45a is a listing of chapter headings for the projected section II of the Preisschrift, on ‘‘neutrality modification,’’ while 45b merely lists topics for section III on time. No specific topical or textual reference is given in connection with Husserl’s and Heidegger’s names. 31. Z-I 138a.



thrust, springs from depresencing. Fink writes: ‘‘The flow of time is just presencing [Gegenwärtigen], it takes place in time. Depresencing temporalizes time [zeitigt die Zeit—brings it about as temporal], depresencings are not in time.’’≥≤ If it seems strange to hear of presencing spoken of as ‘‘the flow of time,’’ it becomes less so in view of the way Husserl himself considers the ‘‘living present’’ of time in the manuscript studies he began to produce not long after this, in the C-group written largely in 1930 and after.≥≥ Moreover, Husserl’s early studies had already made it clear that time is not a kind of divided reality, divided, namely, between the central phase, the now, as one kind of ‘‘reality,’’ and the non-now phases of past and future as another kind of ‘‘reality’’ extending out, as it were, on either side of ‘‘now-reality.’’ Rather, the ‘‘nowphase’’ is precisely a phase, i.e., something only intelligible in terms of its structuring in a dynamic of passage, the other phases of which are intrinsic to that dynamic as such,≥∂ even if it is in the central holding of the now-phase that the other phases function dynamically. Such is how Husserl refers to it in a few places in Ideas I, despite the emphasis he gives in one of them to the ‘‘pointlike’’ character of the ‘‘the actual-moment now.’’≥∑ That the structural whole of time is the structuring of ‘‘the present’’ as a living passage is precisely what Fink makes clear in the brief explication of time in his dissertation, where he uses the expression living present in the section of text originally written for the competition essay. Curiously, none of Fink’s notes on Husserl’s courses gives a phrasing like ‘‘living present,’’ although his typed résumé of Husserl’s ‘‘Basic Problems of Logic’’ (SS 1925) mentions it.≥∏ An expression of that kind also appears in the manuscript text of the course Husserl taught just before Fink arrived in Freiburg,≥π and we must certainly assume that Fink considered the expression to be Husserl’s 32. Z-I 133a, phrase in brackets my paraphrastic alternate of the German phrasing. 33. See Klaus Held, Lebendige Gegenwart: Die Frage nach der Seinsweise des Transzendentalen Ich bei Edmund Husserl, Entwickelt am Leitfaden der Zeitproblematik, Phaenomenologica 23 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966), pp. 17–38. See too Fink’s 1939 Louvain report, ‘‘Berichte über die Transkription der Nachlaßmanuskripte Husserls,’’ EFM 4, Abschn. 4, pp. [3–4]. 34. See, for example, ZB (Hua X), §38. 35. See Ideas I, pp. 179 and 180 (§78, Hua III/1, pp. 167 and 168), and, in a second text, Ideas I, pp. 194–95 (Hua III/1, p. 183). 36. Nachschrift, p. 66, and in Hua XI, §28, 34, 35, and 36. See 1.1, including footnotes 15 and 16 (both in the appendix). 37. Hua VIII, pp. 149–50. Held has drawn attention to this text in Lebendige Gegenwart, p. 22.



own. Nevertheless, when Fink was writing these pages the conception of the living present did not yet possess the dominant importance in Husserl’s explications that it was to acquire from 1930 on.≥∫ Furthermore, in determining that, while the present may be the centerweight of temporal process, the present results from rather than generates its specific processive character as time—thereupon asserting that ‘‘depresencing temporalizes time,’’ while not itself being ‘‘in time’’—Fink is taking a point that Husserl himself had already broached in the studies published in 1928 and giving it a different specific assignment. Husserl had already asserted that fundamental time-constituting structures are ‘‘un-temporal,’’ that is, not themselves held within time since they were the elements constitutive of it;≥Ω but Fink asserts that it is depresencing that, not itself in time, makes temporal process both temporal and a process and, accordingly, gives to the living present its temporal character as living. And Fink knows that he is taking a step beyond Husserl; his own time-analysis, he writes sometime in early 1929, ‘‘is distinguished from Husserl’s by the demonstration that the intentionality of the constitution of the complex of time is of another kind. Time is the ‘condition of possibility’ of everything objective, but is not itself objective. Time is the unity of the present and horizons (depresencings). Depresencings are antecedent to protentions and retentions. Past and future are not stretches to be ‘cashed in’ [i.e., ‘cashed in’ in terms of determinate content or objects].’’∂≠ If for Husserl protention and retention have to do with the transformation of contents as seen in their passage from the present, for Fink depresencings as horizonal are the condition of possibility for presenting itself, for ‘‘presencing,’’ for bringing something to presence [Gegenwärtigung].∂∞ What is decisive in this analysis of time in terms of depresencings, as that which constitutes the difference by which retention and protention are dif38. One of Husserl’s Bernau texts of 1917 already analyzes temporality as the ‘‘living present’’ (HA L I 20, EFA, Hua XXXIII, No. 14; on this manuscript, see below, p. 263), but Fink could not have read it before he wrote his competition essay, that is, in the year before he became Husserl’s assistant and first learned to read Gabelsberg shorthand in order to transcribe Husserl’s Bernau manuscripts. Expressions like this, however, are also to be found in other manuscripts of Husserl’s as well, and in his lectures, e.g., in Hua VIII, p. 149, which Landgrebe had finished transcribing in the summer of 1924. 39. ZB (Hua X), §36, p. 75 (ZBe, p. 79). 40. Z-IV 23a, explanatory phrase in brackets mine; EFM 1. See also B-III 15–16 (EFM 2, Abschn. 2), which mentions Heidegger’s ‘‘concept of time as the unity of ecstases’’ as phenomenologically apt, i.e., in conceiving the future and past specifically as horizonalities in their integral unity with the now-present. 41. Z-I 143 a–b, from the first half of 1929 (EFM 1). See appendix.



ferent from the actual-present in the now, is not to take depresencing as ‘‘a looking forward or backward projected out from the now.’’ Coeval with the actuality of the now, the horizonal depresencings are that by which now, notyet-now, and no-longer-now are dimensions (‘‘topoi,’’ ‘‘wheres,’’ are ways Fink terms them) for specific determinate ‘‘time content’’ to be otherwise than now, otherwise than present—yet with the now, of the present otherwise than present. Time-horizons—in the form of depresencing—do not ‘‘exist’’ first (as if there were temporal sequence before time!). Instead, in the ‘‘all-at-once’’ coming about of the whole structural complex of (experienced) time as the product of ultimate constitutive process, time-structural originalness lies in the time-horizonal, not in the time-contained; the modulational role of depresencing is originative of the temporality of the temporal rather than the positional function of presenting, even if the (depresencing) horizons are not actually ‘‘there’’ without the latter.∂≤ Here is where one finds the effect of Fink’s reading of Heidegger. For Heidegger, in Being and Time, emphasized the need to analyze time precisely as horizon.∂≥ The long text just referred to comes from a series of notes among which is found Fink’s corrected and recorrected tentative draft for an acknowledgment of ideas he was led to by his study of Heidegger.∂∂ What Fink drew from Heidegger, however, is not a set of alien concepts to be forcibly amalgamated into Husserlian results but rather phenomenologically critical stimulus to look at Husserl’s own analyses for elements that allow the radicalization that the phenomenological program in principle aims for and requires. Thus the presence-inflectional horizonality that Fink seeks to explicate is one found latent in Husserl’s own analysis of ultimate temporalization; but to explicate it as constitutively fundamental means to proceed in a critically transformative renewal of the analysis of time, and it leads to the critical displacement of certain dominant Husserlian tendencies. At the same time, Fink’s explicating the presence-inflectional horizonality of temporality within the frame of transcendental phenomenology will reflect the critical stance Fink takes with respect to Heidegger (chapter 3). For Fink presence-inflectional horizonality cannot have its source in the constitution of human being; it is instead the presence-inflectional locus in terms of which and within which human being is itself constituted in the world, and functions therein. Presence42. Z-I 145a–146b, EFM 1. 43. See, for example, BT (SZ), division II, chapters 3 and 4. Heidegger’s conception of time as ‘‘projection’’ is also at play in Z-I 145a–146b, the complexity of which has not been represented here. 44. Z-I 143b; see



inflectional horizonality thus has to be explicated by taking together (a) the way (human) subjectivity is constituted in the world and (b) the way the world itself is constituted. This is the ensemble of matters that has to be explored in the critical refocusing that ‘‘internally unfolds the realm of the problem’’∂∑ at the core of Husserl’s phenomenology of time-consciousness. The Constitutions Carried On in Temporality— General Orientation At the point where discussions between Husserl and Fink on the phenomenological analysis of time began to take place with regularity and intensity—i.e., late 1929 (see 1.2)—Fink had become familiar with both the timeconsciousness publication of 1928 (ZB, Hua X) and the Bernau manuscripts, and Husserl was about to give regular and sustained attention once again to the analysis of time in the C-group manuscripts.∂∏ Fink’s notes from 1928 to 1929 show him working out the implications of his early recasting of temporality in terms of depresencing horizonality, in contrast to Husserl’s maintaining his base for time-analysis in the starting-point paradigm of thematic object-intentionality. Fink, however, realizes that conceiving temporality in terms of a kind of ‘‘intentionality’’ and analyzing it accordingly cannot be simply a given; ‘‘intentionality’ is instead an initial determination whose real sense has to be critically resituated and reexamined. Husserl’s concept of intentional constitution was threatened by an idealistic mire if the transcendental subject were construed in any way as a ‘‘single actual being that produced, and discharges from itself, all other being.’’ If ‘‘constitution’’ was not to mean ‘‘make,’’ ‘‘effect,’’ ‘‘engender, ‘‘produce,’’ and if ‘‘the antecedency of the transcendental subject to the world’’ were such as could not be properly conceived as ‘‘an antecedency of causation but one that is intentional,’’∂π then the ‘‘intentionality’’ to be asserted of fundamental, temporally constituting ‘‘subjectivity’’ had to be thought through in further careful and critical investigation. Accordingly, protention and retention are recast not simply as modifications of the paradigm act-intentionality of perceptual action (or of thematic recollection and imagining) but as radically different from it. Despite the fact 45. The phrase is from Fink’s report on activity (‘‘Tätigkeitsbericht’’) of August 26, 1934, EFM 2, Abschn. 3. 46. One of the C-series, C 8 I, dates from October 1929 (cf. HChr, pp. 351–52), but the rest range from 1930 to 1934. 47. Z-IV 1a (EFM 1), first of a series of notes on analyzing subjectivity and temporality in this folder. Dates in the folder range from late 1928 to mid-1929.



that ‘‘de-presencing’’ [Ent-gegenwärtigung] is a lexical derivation from an assumed privileged ‘‘presencing’’ [Gegenwärtigung], the protentional and retentional horizons here do not gain their operative value from presenting, as if the latter is achieved first and depresencing is then a modification of it (e.g., a ‘‘shading off,’’ in the Husserlian image of Abschattungen). One may characterize in that way the content that is ‘‘held’’ retentionally or protentionally, but the horizons of depresencing themselves are quite another thing. Far from being the negative derivative from the centering hold-in-presence of an object that perception effects, they are intrinsic to the total possibility of the ‘‘hold’’ in the now precisely as dynamic and flowing, rather than as frozen and static. They are thus not mediated but unmediated factors; they are not subordinate supplements to but conditions for the very thing from which they might otherwise be considered to derive.∂∫ The pivotal implication of this is that a non-egoic constitutive processcharacter distinct from the egoic has to be acknowledged, together with the priority of the first with respect to the second in regard to constitutive temporalness as such. Fink writes: ‘‘But passive constitution is still always I-constitution; i.e., insofar as passive constitution is a presenting action [Gegenwärtigen], the I that always essentially belongs to presenting action can be awakened. Transverse intentionality [Querintentionität] as such is I-intentionality. I and object are the two poles, and necessarily co-implicative poles, of transverse-intentional constitution. Time-constitution proper is I-less. In another but in some way similar sense, the I is only possible in a horizon of time, is a being that is constituted as identical in time-horizons.’’∂Ω If the identity and constancy of the I is itself conditioned by time, then the structuring that is time cannot be the consequence of some action that springs from the I as act-center. The temporality-structuring condition of depresencing is unqualifiedly I-antecedent. Here, corresponding to the distinction between presencing (or presenting) and depresencing (or depresenting),∑≠ the subjectivity of consciousness divides into the egoic action of constitutively determining some object-theme within temporality—i.e., thematic ‘‘intentional experience’’— and the pre-egoic temporalizing that conditions that egoic action. ‘‘The most primary intentions are the time-intentions, of which intentional experience is a modification,’’ writes Fink.∑∞ 48. Z-IV 2–7; see also Z-IV 12a. 49. Z-IV 24a–b, EFM 1. 50. On the sense of these two renderings, see 5.1.1, note 41 (in the appendix). 51. Z-IV 8b–9a, EFM 1. This note also treats of the ‘‘In-Stances,’’ which the next section will be taking up.



Here one has to resolve an unrecognized ambiguity in the terms past and future. We have to distinguish between the ‘‘past’’ and ‘‘future’’ that are the horizons of depresencing from the ‘‘filling [Füllung]’’ of those horizons in the form of actual experiences, each of which takes place in the present of actuality. In this sense, the horizon of the past, for example, is a ‘‘pre-past [Vorvergangenheit]’’ that cannot be reduced to—simply ‘‘cashed in’’ in terms of— the specific experiences one can bring back in recollection. The horizon of the past is not experiential ‘‘filling’’ that stretches back indefinitely but is rather that depresencing which gives the temporal character of ‘‘no-longer,’’ to such a thing, for example, as ‘‘one’s earliest memory.’’∑≤ In other words, one has to distinguish those temporal features found in subjectivity that compose the intentionalities of human agent consciousness—experiential ‘‘filling’’ gained (and anticipated) in the now of actuality—and those temporal features that make human agent consciousness possible in the first place, i.e., the time-horizons, and that therefore cannot be considered either a product or a constituent of that agent consciousness. At this juncture of reaching a certain measure of distinction and clarification, however, a serious difficulty arises. When I as phenomenologist— necessarily in the action of a particular human person—reflect upon the structure of my immanent life and try to analyze time on the basis of the temporal proceeding of that same immanent life, I try to grasp this immanent temporal process cognitively. I cast it into a cognitive frame, into thematic objectness, into the form of a discriminable item with the structuring coherence and identity of an actual experiential ‘‘filling,’’ which in principle means in the form of something in the world-frame,∑≥ in this case, something within the sphere of the reflective ‘‘interiority’’ of a being in the world. This means that the structuring ‘‘work’’ of the ‘‘proto-constitution’’ of ultimately conditioning temporality is being brought to thematic identity, to evidenced eidetic determinacy, in the form of something which is essentially conditioned by temporality, rather than as temporality itself. But if this is so, then this truly ultimate transcendental factor—temporality itself—cannot come to the fore in its true native transcendent ultimacy beyond/prior-to/not-in time. What, then, does this analyzing of dynamic transience as the conditioning by which 52. Z-IV 9a–b. This way of describing presencing as ‘‘filling’’ is not entirely of Fink’s manufacture; it is implied in the distinction of ‘‘empty’’ and ‘‘filled’’ intentionality already in LU II/2, Investigation 6. Moreover, Husserl comes close to an idea much like the present one in ‘‘Grundprobleme der Logik,’’ Nachschrift, p. 49 and passim, Hua XI §30, p. 143 (see also p. 303). See 1.1. 53. See 2.6.2–, 4.3, and 4.4.2 for the interpretive rethinking that leads to this point of principle.



depresencing structures the now of actuality in the integrated flowing hold, in the now, of the no-longer and the not-yet, achieve in the end? Fink’s explanation is this: ‘‘Genesis is the temporalization of time [die Zeitigung der Zeit—the bringing-about-of-time-as-temporal],’’ and ‘‘genetic elucidation’’ lays out for us the ‘‘self-temporalizing time [die sich selbstzeitigende Zeit—time bringing-itself-about-as-temporal],’’ not some kind of sequence of actions or performances in time. But to articulate this ‘‘temporalization of time’’—this non-event, non-action, non-performance itself—one finds that the conceptualizing of the temporality of one’s own experience of the temporally concrete, of the experiential intra-temporally integrated coherence of not-yet and no-longer in the now—the concrete happening of one’s temporal conscious life—is ‘‘laid back’’ over upon the non-happening genetic origination of that same in-time experienced happening. To put it another way: Rather than presenting a full-fledged positive philosophic-phenomenological analytic answer to the question of what ultimate constituting proto-‘‘temporality’’ is, we are confronted with the essential problem in the question. ‘‘In this horizon of this enigmatic structure of ‘retro-application’—the structure which leads to the place where the ground for possible questioning falls away—the philosophical problem of time must first be posed, as well as that of the a priori.’’∑∂ This is the very difficulty Husserl had already recognized, in nuce, in the material published in 1928, namely, that the originative surge itself, out of which, on the one hand, the horizonal structuring of phenomenal determinacy conditions the flowing sense of a thematic object and, on the other, the experiential, subjective intentional hold upon that sense in its flowing modulation operates as the ray of focal activation, is not properly describable in the terms proper for articulating the in-time elements thus structured by it, i.e., within the temporality-dimensions which that originative surge gives rise to.∑∑ Just as is the case for the human psyche that the phenomenological reduction initially concentrates on to begin the regressive investigation of ‘‘pure subjectivity’’ (see 2.6.2), so also is time-consciousness as humanly experienced the starting point of the investigation into ultimate temporalization, not the final goal; that goal can only be reached, here more than anywhere else, by recognizing the full otherness that the ultimate originative source in principle possesses. The step of regression that brings this one measure closer in terms of concrete structural elements is precisely the recognition of the fundamental role of depresencing horizonality. To distinguish the intra-temporal from the time-horizonal, and to shift the 54. Z-IV 10a, phrase in brackets in quoted material mine. See appendix. 55. ZB (Hua X), pp. 333–34 (ZBe, pp. 345–46), referred to in 5.1.1.



focus for the identification of the temporality of time—that is, its dynamic flow character—away from I-conscious thematic intentionality, is a step of countering the construing of ‘‘subjectivity’’ in too restrictively human a fashion. By shifting the question of the kind of being this subjectivity has to the framework of horizonality one is able to recast the question more properly by just that measure. Fink writes: ‘‘Transcendental subjectivity is determined in its kind of being wholly and entirely by depresencings. These latter are the constitutive intentionalities through which something like a world is first possible, but they are also the constitutive conditions for the possibility of intra-worldly subjectivity. In unity with presencing [Gegenwärtigung] they comprise the transcendental phenomenon of time. . . . It is precisely in the unity [a.] of time’s carrying off and [b.] of the present that [the transcendental phenomenon of time] is phenomenologically demonstrable and has to be interpreted.’’∑∏ To put it another way: If the determinateness in intentional experience accrues to the concrete sense of an appearing from the intentionality of the act of presenting, then retention and protention cannot themselves be the simple ‘‘retaining’’ of no-longer acts of presenting and the ‘‘anticipation’’ of not-yet acts of presenting.∑π For if the fundamental structure originative of the temporalness of temporality is taken as analogous to or explicable in terms of the temporally proceeding intending act in which determinate object-like content is apprehended—rather than as sheer depresencing horizonality—then the temporalness of this level will be grounded in and originate from a second, deeper-flowing temporality—and Fink sees this very tendency in Husserl’s manuscripts, despite Husserl’s own awareness of the difficulty.∑∫ Since, therefore, we can never find temporality otherwise than as temporality experienced, that is, as occurring within the parameters that structure human consciousness and human life, i.e., since the analysis of temporality must always be conceptually articulate as a ‘‘retro-application’’ of in-time conditioned elements and structures, it is imperative to follow the movement of originative unfolding that underlies the manifest in-time, in-the-world phe56. Z-IV 11a, emphasis Fink’s, the bracketed insertions mine (EFM 1); see also Z-XV LXXII/2d (EFM 2). In this note Fink is equally critical of Husserl and Heidegger, in that each in effect ‘‘cashes in’’ the depresencing horizons in terms, respectively, of ‘‘presencing’’ and ‘‘ecstases.’’ Fink thus qualifies the approval of Heidegger he expresses in B-III 16; see 5.1.1, note 40. 57. Thus to make retention analogous to presentification (Vergegenwärtigung), as Bernet shows Husserl to do in the 1928 publication (ZB, Hua X), is precisely to make it a kind of act of presenting (‘‘Einleitung,’’ Texte, pp. xlix–l; see note 10 above). 58. See Z-IV 3a, EFM 1. Husserl’s awareness of this difficulty shows especially in the Bernau manuscripts; see



nomenon of act-intentional experiencing of the phenomenal back along the line of conditioning that makes that experiencing possible, in the full complexity of factors integrated in it. With horizonal depresencing now proposed in its fundamental role, the next moment to consider is that of the factor that stands squarely—and multidimensionally integrated—in the moment of nowactuality in which presencing ‘‘fills in’’ the otherwise purely formal temporal flow. This is the moment that Fink names ‘‘In-Stance.’’ The Constitutions of Temporality—the In-Stances The reinvestigation of time Fink is taking up proposes that the proto‘‘temporal’’ be explicated out of horizonal depresencing as the kind of constitutive factor that though itself not in the temporality dimension of the world, is nonetheless of that dimension. The horizonal as such, however, applies in two correlative directions, namely, to what comes to temporal formation (a) as a determinate something (the ‘‘transcendent’’) and (b) as determinate experiencing itself (the ‘‘immanent’’). It is this latter that initially sets the terms for explicating and interpreting time in phenomenology, and so Fink must explicate as well the way temporal horizonality functions in the determinations of experiencing in order to unfold the properly critical perspective within which to speak of proto-‘‘temporality’’ itself, in other words, in order to articulate analytically the processes and structures of constitution. The movement of the radical reworking of regressive disclosure can be thought of as having three stages. There is, first of all, the reduction that everyone is familiar with from Husserl’s main published writings, namely, the move that goes behind the object to its constitution, namely, behind that which appears as standing in noematic oppositeness to a noetic subject, behind the Gegenstand—the ‘‘Counter-Stance’’ (one could say the ‘‘EncounterStance’’). At the next stage the reductive move discloses the constitution of the world, namely, the realization that the world has to be explicated as notan-object (and not a sum total of objects) but rather as horizonal, as the ‘‘Around,’’ the Umstand—or better, the ‘‘Circum-Stance.’’∑Ω Finally, the move is made by which the phenomenon of experiencing itself (including its reflective immanence, especially as reflective inquiry into its own transcendental conditions) is analyzed in the manner of its constitution, not as an object (‘‘Counter-Stance’’) and not as the Around (‘‘Circum-Stance’’), but rather as the ‘‘In-Stance’’—Instand.∏≠ The sense of Fink’s adaptation of this word, 59. See 4.4.3. 60. See Z-IV 119a, EFM 1.



Instand, which is not used independently as a noun in modern German usage, is perhaps best put paraphrastically: the way of stationing in the world, of being thereby structured temporally, in which that being that finds temporality to be the essential structuring of its own being is an actual concrete being. Fink’s threefold schema of reductive progression makes clearly distinct (a) the constitution of ‘‘worldness’’ [Weltlichkeit] and (b) the constitution of ‘‘being-in-the-world’’ [InderWeltsein], even if this does not mean that these constitutions are separable; for they are both ‘‘accomplishments’’ carried out in function of proto-temporalization.∏∞ But this distinguishing of the constitution of the worldness of the world from the constitution of being-in-the-world is intrinsically bound up with post-preliminary phenomenological reinterpretation in a unique way. The In-Stance is a conception meant to hold integrally within its signification explicit recognition of the methodological issue at the heart of the theory of transcendental self-critique that is Fink’s single most significant achievement for Husserl, namely, the ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ (VI.CM/1). Phenomenological regression to absolute constitutive origins, the ultimate aim of phenomenology’s program from Husserl’s Ideas I on, proceeds by the phenomenologist’s developing conceptual articulation for the disclosure of those origins in derivation from, and in intuitive evidencing in, the temporally thematized temporal experiencing of things in the world—i.e., within the conditions of all-compassing Circum-Stance (the world-horizons)—that is the life of one’s own conscious being as ‘‘In-Stancial.’’ Transcendental originative constitution can only be conceived of as proto-temporalization by ‘‘retroapplying’’ the structures that I as phenomenologist find to be in play in my own experienced living being in the world—in ‘‘time-consciousness,’’ to use the canonic term of Husserl’s long, three-tiered investigations into time. The legitimacy of this reductive-regressive retro-application depends directly upon making clear—as much as may be possible—the way human being relates to the transcendental ultimate of origination, a relationship that has to be essential to both (a) the basic constitution of human being as such and (b) the functioning of ultimate transcendental constitution as such. Lastly, this special role will be understood, and the nature of transcendental constitution explicated properly, only if the dimensions of being-in-the-world and being-intime that are explicitly looked into are not reducible simply to being-an-object in the world and in time, in either perceptual experience or—especially—in reflective thematization. Fink’s dissertation had formulated in general terms the nature of this relationship (later to be expressed forcefully in Husserl’s ‘‘Crisis’’-texts).∏≤ In 61. See Z-IV 11a (EFM 1), quoted in the previous section. 62. Cf. Hua VI, §54b.



Fink’s rethinking the ‘‘natural attitude,’’ not in terms of implicit beliefs about the nature of objects or the metaphysically absolute being possessed by the universe but as the essential situatedness of human being in the world (see 4.3), the natural attitude comes to have the positive status of ‘‘the sum of selfapperceptions of transcendental objectivity’’ and ‘‘belongs to the very meaning of constituting life. The transcendental subject necessarily finitized itself into man. . . . The natural attitude, as the being of man in the world in all its modes, is a constitutive ‘result’ and as such an integral moment of transcendental life itself.’’∏≥ This same interpretive principle—an example, one must add, of the ‘‘speculative’’ articulation of a feature intrinsic to phenomenological inquiry—is reformulated by Fink in the present context by his asserting that ‘‘the self-objectivation of the transcendental subject for itself is not just a matter of making it into an object [Ver-gegenständlichung], but rather the envelopment in In-Stances.’’∏∂ Transcendental structures do not just come to appearance as elements to be observed in ‘‘objectivation,’’ i.e., as objects over against a scrutinizing subject. Their functioning as constituting ‘‘power’’ and ‘‘process’’ takes manifestable form, in actuality and being, precisely as and in the experiential life of human being-in-the-world, which is the basis for reflective investigation. What is reflected upon in phenomenological inquiry, viz., the life of human experiencing in the world, must, therefore, bear a relationship in principle to transcendental ‘‘subjectivity’’ in the structural and functional ways in which consciousness subsists constitutively in the setting of being-in-the-world and fundamentally via modalities that are simply not ‘‘objectlike.’’ The delineation and analysis of In-Stances, therefore, done in full countering of both naturalistic-order (scientific) as well as philosophical presuppositions, will show two features. It will be (a) as comprehensive in its disclosure as is the nature of situatedness in the world, and (b) it will emphasize the nonobjectlike character of In-Stancial structures—which includes as well moving beyond an intention-relationship schema limited to thematizing action aiming at the phenomenologically objective. Thus on the first point Fink writes, ‘‘The world is the sum total [Inbegriff ] of the In-Stances in which transcendental life stands’’;∏∑ and on the second: ‘‘The self-constitution of subjectivity’’—i.e., as In-Stances—can be explained neither in terms of ‘‘object-constitution’’ nor without ‘‘the idea of a constitution that is a-presential.’’∏∏ 63. VB/I, §5, p. 14, emphasis Fink’s. 64. Z-V VII/2b, EFM 1. 65. Z-IV 18b, EFM 1. See the texts cited in the last lines of 4.4.4, and the alternate interpretation of ‘‘Inbegriff’’ in note 134 there. 66. Z-V VI/4a, Fink’s emphasis; EFM 1.



Yet if the In-Stances are ‘‘the modes of the self-constitution of absolute subjectivity,’’∏π then the truly fundamental way of defining them is to conceive them as ‘‘time itself, or, better, that which makes time into the temporality of human existence [Zeitlichkeit menschlichen Daseins].’’∏∫ The In-Stances are not simply one of the many features of human being that arise in the course of long natural and cultural development. They are not simply one of the many self-construals that compose the self-interpretive portrayal of humanity to itself—e.g., the conception of humans as a biological species kindred to the anthropoid apes—construals that arise genetically (in the phenomenological sense) in the stream of the experiential consolidation and habitualization of sense, and that are open to investigation as an ‘‘intentional tradition’’ in genetic analysis. The In-Stances have a character quite different, in that in them the very featuring of time as temporal is constitutively structural: they are the way the temporalization of time—die Zeitigung der Zeit, the bringing-about-of-time-as-temporal—is displayed, and active, in the form of human experiential life.∏Ω This is how the shift on Fink’s part to a horizonal conception of temporalization becomes so telling: it allows grasping the constitutive functioning of temporality in a way that is not tied to the productive capacities of human being as specifically human agency. The issue, however, is not quite so simple; temporality is not exclusively horizonal depresencing, even if its temporalness is originatively indicated by that horizonal effect. Temporality also has the actuality of the present, and that brings Fink to the difficulty of integrating this actuality of the present, the very structural core of I-ness for Husserl, with the horizons of depresencing— expressed succinctly in this formula: ‘‘Original time is nothing other than the I in the concretization of its In-Stances.’’π≠ If the ‘‘I’’ is taken not as in-time generated content—e.g., as some concrete aspect of perception or remembering, in immanent streaming either as noetic or noematic—but as embracing in the now both the actual and the ‘‘protended’’ not-yet and the ‘‘retained’’ no-longer, and therefore transcending sheer ‘‘now-ness,’’ then in the streaming integrative encompassing of all three—i.e., of not-yet, no-longer, and now—the I has a kind of not-in-time character. 67. Z-IV 8a, EFM 1. This note also points out the nature of ‘‘genetic clarification’’ as not about a still-to-be-discovered first action, in a sequence of events in a stretch of past time. It is rather, for example, a matter of analyzing what it means that ‘‘there is no beginning,’’ that ‘‘to begin in the world’’ is simply what ‘‘In-Stance’’ names, with no allusion to a point—in any sense, temporal or spatial—of beginning. See 2.2 and 3.5. 68. Z-IV 44b, emphasis Fink’s; EFM 1. 69. See the full train of thought in Z-IV 44a–b, EFM 1. 70. Z-IV 54b, emphasis Fink’s. For more on this see



Nevertheless this ‘‘transcending’’ character of the I accrues to it by virtue of these horizonal dimensions. That is, if the I is taken in terms of an act performed—by which selection and thematic focus are actualized—then the I-ofacting, in its standing action, is conditioned by these horizonalities rather than standing as that out of which those same horizonalities themselves spring. In other words, ‘‘the present is perhaps not an In-Stance in the same sense as the past and future.’’ The present in its flowing, in ‘‘its becoming new and becoming old,’’ executes the ‘‘filling’’ by which the actual is materially determinate, while the horizons of depresencing are the conditions for ‘‘filling’’ to take place in the specific temporal values of past and future.π∞ In other words, the formal structure of temporality must be integrated with structural considerations that give concreteness (a feature intrinsic to Husserl’s analytic practice in investigating time). The In-Stancial element of ‘‘filling,’’ of material content, is presencing, while the In-Stancial element of ‘‘flowing’’ (thereby supporting the constancy of ‘‘hold’’ on determinate content-sense in that flowing) that horizonally conditions that filling are the depresencings of not-yet and no-longer. These two kinds of elements (presencing and depresencing in the not-yet and the no-longer) are In-Stances with very different ‘‘orientations’’ and have quite different structure and function, one corresponding to Husserl’s ‘‘transverse’’ intentionality of act, the other corresponding to his ‘‘longitudinal’’ intentionality of ‘‘retention and protention.’’ Neither subsists without the other, but they are not equals. And their interplay will always happen concretely, i.e., with a ‘‘filling’’ that is historically specific and determinate in the full comprehensive structure of In-Stancial featuresπ≤ — which is what now has to be given more detail. That the originative process of temporality is only actual in its constituting process in concretization and finitization in and as the stream of living that makes up human subjectivity is expressed by Fink when he writes: ‘‘The possibility of such a thing as an object rests on the comprehensive whole of InStances.’’ Only in the integrated structural whole of In-Stances, ‘‘history— birth—being-there-with [Sein-bei]—fate—death, can experience [Erfahrung] first happen.’’π≥ In other words, ‘‘In-Stanciality’’ is not just part of the form

71. Z-IV 8b–9a, EFM 1. See also and appendix. 72. See Z-IV 27b, where Fink reflects on the topic of §5 in the ‘‘Introduction’’ to VB/I (Studien, pp. 14ff.). Fink’s adaptation of Heidegger’s mode of expression is more pronounced in this note than in the corresponding text in the dissertation. 73. Z-IV 55a, emphasis Fink’s (EFM 1); see also B-III 44 (EFM 2, Abschn. 2). In Z-IV in general, and in 55a in particular, Fink words his idea using Heideggerian terms for the temporal: ‘‘ecstasis,’’ the ‘‘ecstases.’’ The manner of his adaptive reinterpretation of these



of temporality but is rather, again, the I in the essential concreteness of the situation of standing temporally in the world. ‘‘In-Stancially’’ the I is not an ‘‘empty polar moment’’ but the I of enworlded, temporalized, concrete finitude. The In-Stances are limit-structures not in the sense of one specific content-determination that circumscribes another but rather as the concretely manifold finitude that an actual being living within horizonality as such will structurally, constitutively possess.π∂ The horizonal parameters of depresencing are delimitations for any concrete, content-determinate, temporalized life and experience taking place within them.π∑ Pure consciousness, then, the stream of experiencing conceived as transcendentally pure, may preclude being construed in terms of a beginning and an end, but an actually living and experiencing temporal stream will possess ‘‘endedness [or: finitude—Endlichkeit]’’ precisely in living and experiencing within horizons. ‘‘Horizonality is its finitude,’’ writes Fink, so that it is intrinsic to the living stream of human being that it begin and that it end.π∏ What is clear in Fink’s rethinking of Husserl’s work on time-consciousness is the rich influence of Heidegger, and we shall have to point out the radical modulation by which Fink recasts Heideggerian conceptions in terms of the overall problematic that governs his work for Husserl. This is something that has to be done in different contexts as we proceed, for example, in the very next section. As we move to that, what must be emphasized is the unconditional way that Fink’s concept of the In-Stance asserts and reinforces the inthe-world character and status of human being precisely in the special station human being has in regard to the transcendental ‘‘absolute’’ of temporalizing world-origination. It is in this perhaps that Fink’s thinking most defines itself in distinction from both Husserl’s and Heidegger’s—one of the essential points of this book. Temporality and the Problem of Origin In the usual phenomenological language of Husserl’s publications transcendental ‘‘agency’’ is spoken of as a world-transcending ‘‘subjective’’ absolute. Moreover, in its initial presentation as ‘‘transcendental pure consciousness’’ it was spoken of as in principle able to exist without the world; indeed, terms in Fink’s use cannot be taken up in detail here, although the essential difference will be explained in 7.2.1 and See also Z-IV 8a–9b. 74. See Z-VI 9b and, in a further point that directly involves intersubjectivity, Z-VI 30a. 75. Z-IV 11b, EFM 1. 76. Z-IV 130a.



as the power that constituted the world, it had no intrinsic need for it.ππ In post-preliminary phenomenology, and in keeping with Husserl’s later reconsideration of his initial presentation,π∫ Fink has to reconceive the status of the transcendental constituting ‘‘absolute’’ in relation to the world quite differently. ‘‘The ‘worldlessness’ of the transcendental subject,’’ he writes in his notes, ‘‘is not some kind of being-outside-the-world on the part of that subject, but is rather its being-prior-to-the-world.’’ And he continues: ‘‘The transcendental subject’s anteriority to the world is not an intra-temporal antecedency, not a genetic antecedency in an intra-temporal sense. The antecedency of transcendental life over world-apperception (In-Stanciality) is an antecedency that is regressively given. It is only from the world-bound situational subject that the reduction regresses to the ‘worldless’ subject. ‘‘Regressively given antecedency is not to be confused with the antecedency of apriority.’’πΩ Here the principle of reduction-governed regression in phenomenological investigation is made methodologically precise. For phenomenology the disclosure of transcendental constitutive origins is exclusively a one-way route of access: they can only show from within already familiar matters within one’s own experiencing that are what they are precisely as the result of transcendental constitutive origination. We have seen how this governing methodological principle of regression allows the phenomenological critique of Heidegger’s fundamental ontology (3.3.1), but Heidegger’s work is not subjected to criticism and then simply rejected. Rather, it receives a fundamental legitimation in its offering rich material for integration into the Husserlian transcendental problematic, precisely as descriptive work countering the natural attitude conceptuality that may remain still unexamined within phenomenological regressive explication. Nevertheless, where the concrete parameters of human being and experience are examined—the structures that Fink calls ‘‘In-Stances’’ in manifest analogy to Heidegger’s inquiry into ‘‘existentials’’∫≠ —what is essential for transcendental inquiry is that these structures be explicitly understood in terms of the problem that is intrinsic to them, namely, how in them proto77. Ideas I (Hua III), §33, §49, and §50. 78. See 2.6.1 and 2.6.2, and 4.2 and 4.3. One should note, however, that, strictly speaking, what transcendental consciousness does not need—and what is thereby entertained as ‘‘annihilated’’ in a counterproductive tactic inconsistent with the overall point of the whole chapter—is the world considered as in itself. In actuality, ‘‘transcendental pure consciousness’’ stands with ‘‘all worldly transcendencies,’’ namely, as constituted ‘‘within’’ it (Ideas I, p. 113, Hua III/1, p. 107). 79. Z-V VII/6a, emphasis Fink’s. 80. The analogus relationship shows implicitly in Z-IV 8b.



constituting process, viz., the intentionality of proto-temporalization itself, becomes able in principle to come to evidence regressively. As the previous section began to show, the In-Stances are the structural ways in which an actual consciousness, an actual subjective life, is concretely ‘‘placed’’ in a determinate ‘‘station’’ or ‘‘stance’’ in the world, that is, in worldtemporality as temporal process itself experienced. They are the ways—the only ways phenomenologically—in which proto-temporality can be apprehended by a reflective turn upon that streaming life of experience. That is, the In-Stances are transcendental proto-temporality under the guise of concrete realization in actual human experiences, in that the retro-application of the conceptualization of experienced temporality constitutes the only thematization possible for originative transcendental proto-temporality. This is the situation within which the characterization of temporality as transcendentally antecedent is made. Fink puts it nicely in a graphic image from mining engineering. Rather than presuming to begin with an already manifest ‘‘absolute subject’’ and go on from there ‘‘to construct the world,’’ he writes, phenomenology must proceed inversely: ‘‘Every path to deep constituting strata is dismantling [Abbau], retro-movement [Rückgang], regress [Regress]. It is of maximally central import, now, that an individual analysis of detail always be seen in terms of its starting-point and its situation. The regressive situation (the boring site for deep analytic drilling) is an essential structural element of the boring itself.’’∫∞ But, as was explained in 3.5, the a priori in question here, rather than being epistemological, i.e., the condition of cognitive coherence and access, is that which makes for constitutive coherence in being, that is, for constitutive coherence in being as structured out as appearing, as being that is possible only within the horizons comprising the world. The reduction, then, is precisely the reversal of constitutive origination under these conditions for being by its explicit use of retro-application. Ultimately, too, the question of constitutive origins reaches far beyond the frame of individual interior psychological life; it is inquiry into the a priori of origin for experiencing itself as happening temporally. ‘‘The question of the a priori is the question of the intrinsic determination of time itself, the constitutive moment of temporality.’’∫≤ Yet to attempt the explication of the ‘‘intrinsic determination of time itself,’’ the genetic elucidation of ‘‘self-temporalizing time,’’ is precisely to propose moving beyond the temporal condition within which all reflection must proceed; and that, in effect, is to strive to reach in reflection the point ‘‘where the 81. Z-V VII/15b, EFM 1. 82. Z-IV 53a–b, EFM 1. See



ground for possible questioning falls away,’’∫≥ the point where one faces a nothing! In the disturbing question of origin one comes up against ‘‘the limits in the depths of human being itself,’’ leading to ‘‘the shaking of all solidity of ground.’’ In principle, to reach for the ultimate coming-about of temporality, the temporalization of temporalness itself, would amount to going back behind the ‘‘In-Stances,’’ to ‘‘loose’’ oneself from them in an ‘‘ab-solution.’’ This ‘‘loosing’’ could no longer be ‘‘an existential bearing [Verhalten]’’; it is ‘‘a leap behind oneself taken by reflection,’’ in which one faces the ‘‘falling away of ground [Abgrund],’’ the ‘‘non-ground of the nothing [Abgrund des Nichts].’’ ‘‘It is the task of phenomenology,’’ writes Fink, ‘‘to venture the leap into the depth of the non-ground, the abyss, that opens up beyond all being and beings’’ and ‘‘to wrench the non-ground/abyss of this ‘nothing’ out of the emptiness of its subsistence in dialectical conceptuality into being experienced in the philosophical question.’’∫∂ Eventually we shall have to zero in on precisely what this move in the ‘‘nonground’’ can mean for the phenomenological program; it is the meontic once more announced, but not yet brought to focal center. Before it can be taken up—in chapter 7—there are a host of other matters to pursue, and in particular, here in this chapter, the way the constitution of the world figures into the inquiry into proto-temporal origination. Temporality and the Constitution of the World The final theme to take account of in the set of basic ideas through which Fink tried to formulate the fundamental problematic of time-analysis in postpreliminary rethinking draws from all the reinterpretive ideas so far represented, namely, the task of expressing intelligibly how the origination of the world takes place in the constitutive process of proto-temporalization, in the coming-about of the temporalness of temporality. To begin with, we have the disclosure that temporality and spatiality are horizonal structurings of the pregiven world, embracing both ‘‘transcendent’’ and ‘‘immanent’’ being, embracing both appearing-to and experiencing-of. Nonetheless, in that phenomenological analysis also shows temporality as the integrative flow-character of the coincident moment of experiencing and appearing, as the multidimensional unity of not-yet, now, and no-longer that embraces all the world-horizonal determinants applying to all appearing and all experiencing, it is temporality that must be taken to indicate ultimate 83. Z-IV 10a. See 84. Z-IV 57b, EFM 1.



transcendental phenomenological origination. Accordingly, it is depresencing in temporal flow-horizonality that offers the principle guide for characterizing originative proto-temporalization. Let us see how. Fink asks: ‘‘But how is time-horizonality itself to be described when all available concepts have intra-temporal sense?’’ And he proposes in answer: ‘‘We can define depresencings as Enthalten. Enthalten has a twofold sense: (1) hold back, [detain], (2) hold in, include [contain]. In this sense futural horizonality holds [enthält, i.e., holds-back/holds-in: detains/contains] the future.’’∫∑ However much temporality is easily imaged spatially in diagrams, by which ‘‘before’’ and ‘‘after’’ get in effect conceptualized in terms of separation and distance, temporality is really ‘‘qualitative’’ in its flow-character. The flow-dynamic of temporalness is a change of value in terms of presence and depresencing, not of dispersion or passage from one place to another. So also horizonality in general is not a distribution of places but rather the condition whereby specific ‘‘filling’’ is concretized as (held-)in-time—not-yet, now, nolonger—or (held-)in-place—here, there, near, far, etc.— the ‘‘holding’’ (in the double sense: hold-back/hold-in) of which is itself not the action by any such concrete in-time or in-place Something. Since this is the way horizons have constitutive effect for the temporal (and the spatial), i.e., for what is in the world horizonally, Fink has to try to elicit out of horizonal ‘‘containing-anddetaining’’—i.e., depresencing—the conceptual terms by which the origination of those horizons in proto-temporalization, and the coming-about of temporalness as such, can be expressed. To do this, to find embodied in horizonal depresencing the very mark by which to derive a characterization of the originative moment itself, Fink tries out a range of terms with one special advantageous feature. Origination as a meaning connotes capability, power, and dynamism. In place of the term horizon, then, which is ‘‘static,’’ Fink starts speaking of depresencing as the ‘‘swing’’ of time.∫∏ ‘‘The problem of the world-totality is the problem of the swinging of time [Zeitschwingung],’’ so that, as this ‘‘world-totality is a totality of depresencing, the transcendental subject would be originative precisely in ‘‘unfolding’’ the world ‘‘in the dynamic of its time-swings [im Schwung ihrer Zeitschwünge].∫π Moreover, in that the horizonal as depresencing is a range of the always further, the always more, the always ‘‘held back,’’ the ‘‘world is a 85. Z-V VI/9a–b, EFM 1. The words in brackets are proposed translations as close to suitability as one might get. See the correlative treatment in 4.4.1. 86. Z-V III/4a and /5a, EFM 1. 87. Z-V III/2a–b. Emphasis all Fink’s.



phenomenon of passage (swinging). World is horizon, i.e., range of play [Spielraum]: the alternating condition of finitude and infinity.’’∫∫ Finally, the conception of the world as ‘‘the totality of time-swinging’’∫Ω also has to cover the relation of time and time-content, which is ‘‘the problem of the intrinsic unity of time-swing and intra-temporality,’’ of ‘‘transcendental time’’ and the time of ordinary experience in the world, ‘‘vulgar time.’’Ω≠ ‘‘The time-swingings are the pure detaining-containings of the world [die reinen Weltenthaltungen] that first make containedness [or: ‘‘contentness’’—Inhaltlichkeit] possible.’’Ω∞ Time-swingings as depresencingsΩ≤ are conditions for coherent, continuing appearance and experience in the flowing actuality of presence. Spatiality, for example, is not a set or sum of places but rather ‘‘the proffering of places, the pure possibility of being situated-in [Einstellbarkeit].Ω≥ What the present is for temporality—viz., the modality for the ‘‘filling’’ that is actuality—the thematically focal is for spatiality, namely, the modality that ‘‘breaks’’ or ‘‘stops’’ the ‘‘swing’’ of temporality; and together these are the present.Ω∂ In a word, time and space are ‘‘fillability.’’ In ‘‘filling,’’ in the consolidation of sense in flowing coming-to-genuine-presence, ‘‘in the flesh,’’ we come to Fink’s strongest formulation: ‘‘A being as the break in the swinging of time.’’ The ‘‘swinging of time’’ is thus ‘‘pure breakability.’’Ω∑ In these dissertation-period notes of Fink’s there is a radical recasting going 88. Z-V III/5a. The first phrasing is: ‘‘Welt ist ein Übergangs-(Schwingungs-)phänomen.’’ 89. Z-V III/13a. 90. Z-V III/12a. 91. Z-V III/12b. 92. Z-V III/10a. 93. Z-V III/14a. See the text from VB/I, p. 11, on ‘‘Einstellung’’ in 4.3, p. 185. There is a contrast between Fink’s idea here and Husserl’s in ‘‘Grundprobleme der Logik,’’ Nachschrift, p. 54, Hua XI, §30. 94. Z-V III/3a and /14a, and Z-I 153a, both in EFM 1. The idea of seeing space as integral to time is by far not alien to Husserl, who frequently speaks of the two as a couple. What Fink does, however, is to give this integrality an originative conception. It should be realized that Fink’s proposals on ‘‘filling’’ also answer to Husserl’s aim in his Bernau manuscripts to achieve a phenomenology of individuation within the analysis of temporality. See 1.2, p. 15, and the letters mentioned in footnote 60. 95. Z-V III/3a. On ‘‘filling,’’ see and footnote 292 in; and on this idea of ‘‘das Seiende als Bruch der Zeitschwingung,’’ see the analogous idea in MH-GA 29/30, p. 252; individuation is one of the themes of Heidegger’s course and pertains to this idea of a ‘‘break.’’ This passage, however, was in one of the four sessions that Fink missed (UMH-IV 53; not in EFM), though this does not exclude the possibility of his having heard of the points given in them in another way.



on in several ways. The first, most obvious one, given the treatment so far, is to develop a way of characterizing transcendental constitution otherwise than in terms of the psychological or epistemological components in which subjectivity is traditionally conceptualized in the modern period. Reflection on ‘‘immanent experience,’’ in other words, opens out far beyond the merely ‘‘Cartesian’’ internal realm; it discloses of its own structure all that embraces it to give it its hold upon and place within the region of being as appearing. Secondly, Fink’s exploration of alternative conceptions for the character, structure, and functional play of temporality offers options for rethinking originatively— i.e., in terms of the originative play of proto-temporalization as such—not only past, present, and future, the standard triplet of time, but spatiality, actuality, and possibility. We have seen something of this for the time-triplet and for spatiality, but actuality and possibility remain to be reconsidered against the seemingly indelible Leibnizian imprint with which the modern tradition has accepted these concepts (even in Husserl’s work). Is there not, Fink therefore asks, in the streaming of temporalized experience a ‘‘horizon of the ‘temporal always’ (‘timelessness’), which is depresencing in pure fantasy, the constitutive condition of possibility for ‘ideal objects,’ etc.?’’Ω∏ In contrast, when analyzing the structure of temporality for presencing one is examining how actuality is constituted. But ‘‘actuality’’ [Wirklichkeit] is not something that flows from the character of the object itself; it is rather that which accrues to it from the condition that make its presencing-presentation possible. Actuality is not primarily a ‘‘mode of objectiveness, but rather a mode of temporalization’’—as is then, too, possibility.Ωπ The classic triplet of past, present, and future may pertain to actuality, may designate the mode of temporalization for the actual, but can there not also be a proper temporalizing mode for the essentially non-actual, namely, possibility? This mere mention of possibility as another dimension (or horizon) of temporality will have to suffice here. It will be dealt with further in chapter 8 when the ideal, the eidetic, is considered in the phenomenology of language (8.3). Lastly, in the recasting under way, one has to notice the distinction between, and the intertwining of, the two levels of origination. To the first pertains the 96. Z-I 127a, EFM 1. The two terms here are ‘‘Immerzeitigkeit’’—‘‘the temporal always’’—and ‘‘Zeitlosigkeit’’—‘‘timelessness.’’ Their meanings are determined in opposite ways, one by totalizing, the other by negating, to characterize the same phenomenon, namely, the temporal character of a thematic object that is not determined in terms of the temporal triplet for the experience of the actually existent. See also Z-I 129a–b and the notes that follow it. 97. Z-V III/9a, EFM 1. In Z-V VI/39a ‘‘possibility’’ is alternately named ‘‘deactualization [Entwirklichung].’’



question of how constitutive factors contribute to the formation of determinacy and manifold meaning for what appears in or happens in the temporal stream of experience in the world—that is, the origination accruing constitutively from the horizons of depresencing in integration with presencing; and regarding the second level it is the question of how those factors themselves originate, namely, in the coming-about of temporal process itself as temporal.Ω∫ What Fink is trying to achieve is to prevent thinking of either origination in terms of the kind of antecedency that natural in-the-world origins display. A before-and-after conception applied to either ‘‘process’’ of origination will be in principle misleading. The regress to origins that reaches to temporal process on either level is not a regress to structures and processes that are antecedent in time or place or causal influence, i.e., according to the manner of in-the-world antecedency, but rather to the wholly sui generis order in which the consolidation of appearing and experiencing, in sense and being, occurs. It is an order of ‘‘effectuation’’ that is named ‘‘intentional’’ΩΩ but remains primarily indicated rather than defend. Originatively considered, a dynamically maintained whole, as any in-the-world entity or process will be, relates to its origin as ‘‘internal’’ to the multidimensional field of experiencingand-appearing within which it comes to coherence and consolidation, and not as something applying to it ‘‘externally’’ from another domain or another point in time or space. Here, in the question of how, within a something, its origins are ‘‘etched’’ in the very structure of its manifold integrality, is where overcoming conceptions that tend to spatialize time (or, mutatis mutandis, any horizonality as such) takes on such importance. This is especially necessary in regard to the question of the interrelation ‘‘between’’ the dimensions of the present, the past, and the future, all of which, dynamically considered, are together in the now, not deployed out from it in any way. The dynamic of these three dimensions of time is what counts, namely, that they are moments of a non-spatial ‘‘flow.’’ The second level of origination is more difficult yet, though the principle is analogous, as the present section shows. Here in the question of the radical pre-temporal coming-about of the temporalness of temporality as such the issue is, again, the problematicity of the only procedure of characterization possible, ‘‘retro-application.’’ That is, the issue is explicating the originated by seeing constitutively within it a moment of antecedency that as originating is in principle free of any featuring belonging to the originated, save that of its originativity.∞≠≠ 98. See the remark on ‘‘genetic’’ in, footnote 54, in the appendix. 99. See the first two paragraphs of, with the reference to Z-IV 1a. 100. See the text from Z-IV 112b, cited in 3.5.



One other point of significance in regard to conceptually articulating the character of ‘‘origination’’ concerns Fink’s choice of ‘‘swing’’-terminology for the purpose. This exploitation of lexical resources does not seem to be entirely of his own doing. Though none of his notes alludes to a specific source, one has to suppose he was influenced in it by none other than Heidegger. There is a striking similarity between the vocabulary Fink uses here with what Heidegger employed in a particular section of his last lecture course in Marburg before returning to Freiburg.∞≠∞ More than that, Fink uses this similar terminology in regard to the same philosophical points: that horizonality has to be given dynamism as the temporalizing factor, and that the dynamism results not only in the temporality of particular consolidated appearings but of the whole region of appearance as such, the world. One can hardly doubt that Fink had got acquainted with this particular expression of Heidegger’s ideas; the only question is, how? There is no evidence that Fink attended any of Heidegger’s lectures at Marburg; in fact he was following a full complement of lectures in Freiburg that summer semester of 1928 when Heidegger was giving this lecture course in Marburg. Fink’s exposure to this material of Heidegger’s, therefore, would seem to have to occurred in Freiburg itself. The notes of Fink’s in which this ‘‘swing’’-terminology first appears are those from the year of Heidegger’s first lectures in Freiburg, but Fink’s notes from Heidegger’s courses show nothing of these expressions. There remains, then, either the freer instructional setting of Heidegger’s seminar (‘‘Philosophical Exercises,’’ as these are termed in Fink’s registration records), or personal conversations (the most likely circumstance)—or possibly the exchange of notes among students from the two universities.∞≠≤ In any case, here too it seems legitimate to see the openness to ideas from Heidegger that typify Fink’s thinking, that is, a willingness to take these ideas as proposals for working out issues in the program of phenomenological investigation, and not as alien imports to be grafted forcibly onto Husserlian stock. What we have seen so far in the immediate context (5.1.1 to the present section) are the basic directions of the thinking along which Fink was working as he moved from his studies prior to taking up the assistantship with Husserl to the work of editing the Bernau manuscripts while working on his dissertation (i.e., in 1928 and 1929). There is a decisiveness in the overall orientation he was taking, in post-preliminary phenomenology and in certain of his ideas, specifically those laid out in and, but the ideas pursued in and were being tried out, remaining far from finalized. Yet 101. MH-GA 26, §12, specifically pp. 268–70. 102. See appendix.



through all of these ideas Fink remained keenly aware of the methodological problem that both determined and critically tested them all, namely, the problem of describing the originative out of the features of the originated. In the further progress of his work with Husserl—presented in the rest of this chapter—we shall be seeing more on all these matters. Yet it also must at least be mentioned that there are other themes that Fink realized needed to be brought into the present problematic. Of these the main one is the role of the dimension of intersubjectivity as an ‘‘In-Stancial’’ factor.∞≠≥ Chapter 9 will take this up specifically later, but here at least one should note that there was a conjunction of concern about this in the pivotal winter semester of 1928– 1929, when Heidegger gave his first lectures as successor to Husserl and Husserl offered his last course, terminated early. The place of the Other figured in both these courses, in Heidegger’s as one of a number of themes, and in Husserl’s as part of the principal topic, ‘‘empathy [Einfühlung].’’∞≠∂ What Fink himself works out, in the three-way encounter that was his study of phenomenology, is in keeping with the directions of rethinking being followed here. The question of intersubjectivity requires moving past initial phenomenology as required by methodologically conscious critique and the radical inquiry into time. Rather than seeing intersubjectivity in terms of a ‘‘transfer’’ of significance (say, onto a second someone first perceived as a bodily object) at the level of self-conscious recognition of one’s own supposedly complete humanness, i.e., at the level of the ‘‘transcendentally reduced primordial sphere’’ construed in terms of act-intentionality), the ‘‘transfer’’-factor that is the communalness of basic human structures has to be seen as already in effect antecedently, namely, at the level of ‘‘the horizonal In-Stancial determinations’’ in which alone the continuum of specific acts performed for oneself or for another can proceed.∞≠∑ There is another point, however, that comes to the fore in Fink’s remarks on the ‘‘In-Stance’’ of intersubjectivity, namely, that his position is also a critique of the presentialism dominant in Husserl’s analysis of time.∞≠∏ Fink is quite clear about the central point of this criticism: ‘‘Husserl’s starting approach into the problem of constitution is presentialist insofar as the present is alone the temporal mode of originarity.’’∞≠π In fact the displacement of presentialism is

103. Cf. Z-V V/2b, Z-IV 87a–b, and U-IV 44–45, all in EFM 1. 104. Cf. MH-GA 27, §18–§20, and see 1.2, pp. 13–14. 105. Z-IV 88a, EFM 1. 106. See Z-IV 87a–88b, EFM 1. See 107. Z-IV 90a. This is one of the main points in Fink’s resituating of the treatment of intersubjectivity in his revision texts for the ‘‘Fifth Meditation.’’ See 9.1.1, as a start.



already being pursued in the radicalized time-analysis that we have been following, and it was one of the tasks Fink saw to be necessary as he began work in the Bernau materials.

5.1.2. Stage 1: Fink’s First Revision Plan for the Bernau Manuscripts∞≠∫ The distinctive character of Fink’s collaboration with Husserl was recounted in 1.3, but at first the task Fink had received from Husserl to work up the Bernau manuscripts into a coherent text did not differ in kind from what other assistants had done.∞≠Ω For all of them it was genuine research. Unlike philological or expository work done once a philosopher’s life is closed by death, that is, unlike the editing done on texts (published or unpublished) that remain behind when the arc of the thinking that produced them has ceased, the task of Husserl’s assistants was to take up and consolidate the investigational thinking in his manuscript texts rather than treat them as its sacred finalization. They had to work with the texts so as to help to bring to fruition the measure of insight into the issues with which they engaged for the sake of further thinking; the focus was to be on the issues, not on the texts as texts.∞∞≠ This is what Husserl himself told Ingarden when he initially asked if Ingarden would undertake the editing of the Bernau manuscripts.∞∞∞ It is also what Husserl himself did when he took up again the inquiries conducted in earlier research manuscripts. And this always ended in his writing yet more new ones.∞∞≤ Fink describes the work of assistants as taking the mass of these research studies and integrating them, adjusting them to some same level of analysis, bringing their diversity to consistency and coherence, and then making their ideas accessible by whatever tactful rewording would retain their meaning 108. An earlier, fuller treatment of the matters in 5.2–5.2.2 appeared as ‘‘The Revision of the Bernau Time-Consciousness Manuscripts: Status Quaestionis—Freiburg, 1928– 1930,’’ Alter, revue de phénoménologie, 1 (1993), 357–83. Some points in that article are corrected in the present sections. 109. See EJ, pp. 3–7 (EU, pp. V–XI), and Ingarden, ed., ‘‘Edith Stein on Her Activity as an Assistant of Edmund Husserl,’’ Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 22 (1962), 156–59. 110. See Fink’s report on activity (‘‘Tätigkeitsbericht’’) of August 26, 1934, EFM 2, Abschn. 3. 111. BIng, p. 154. 112. See Ingarden, ‘‘Edith Stein on Her Activity,’’ pp. 156–59.



while diminishing over-complexity and obscurity.∞∞≥ Then these revisions had to be referred to Husserl himself for approval. This involved a substantial measure of rethinking on the part of Stein or Landgrebe, and now Fink; but what began to happen in Fink’s case was a greater measure of cothinking—or, as Fink put it, using a favorite expression of Husserl’s, of ‘‘co-philosophizing.’’∞∞∂ What Fink understood rethinking ‘‘co-philosophically’’ to mean he makes quite clear: it was not to read the manuscripts for what they offered as a solution, but for what they gave as a way to pose the question anew, or, as Fink more accurately put it, to ‘‘internally unfold the realm of the problem’’ to which the manuscripts were ‘‘on their way.’’∞∞∑ And this in turn meant both pursuing ‘‘one’s own work of investigation supplementing Husserl’s manuscripts’’ and providing ‘‘the scientific systematizing and methodical illumination’’ of the analytic work, that is, ‘‘broadly comprehensive reflection on the principles of the system and methodology of phenomenology.’’∞∞∏ By the time Fink wrote this statement about his work for Husserl the understanding of phenomenology’s ‘‘system and methodology’’ was well in hand (cf. 2.3, 3.3.3, 3.4.2, and 3.5.) One implication of the methodological systematic that was always a vigorous element in the thinking Fink did with Husserl is that interpreting the phenomenological sense of the findings of a single manuscript requires bringing a lot more to it than is contained in it alone.∞∞π One has to grasp how a particular text’s detailed findings addresses the problem at issue—that is, at what level of analysis it stood and in what stage of critical refashioning— then how that same problem is dealt with in parallel manuscripts, and how the issue and achievement in those several parallel approaches fit together in systematic coherence. But this means as well that phenomenology does not consist straightforwardly and simply of descriptive work; or, to put it another way, it is in synthesizing retrospective upon phenomenology’s work as a whole from the standpoint of more fully achieved self-unfolding and self-systematization that the genuine sense of a particular text will be 113. See again Fink’s ‘‘Tätigkeitsbericht’’ of August 26, 1934, EFM 2, Abschn. 3. 114. A ‘‘unique intellectual relationship,’’ as Fink characterized it, which grew into a ‘‘collaborative arrangement’’ (Fink, ‘‘Lebenslauf’’ of December 18, 1945, in EFM 4, Abschn. 4). On Husserl’s use of ‘‘cophilosophizing’’ see pp. 53–54 in 1.3; cf. also the letters to Heidegger and Schutz referred to in footnote 213 there. 115. Again from Fink’s ‘‘Tätigkeitsbericht’’ of August 26, 1934, EFM 2, Abschn. 3, p. 455, emphasis his. 116. Ibid. 117. See Fink’s 1959 paper, ‘‘Die Spätphilosophie Husserls in der Freibruger Zeit,’’ ND, p. 220.



interpretable. In other words, Husserl’s manuscripts have to be taken as more advanced starting points that could be more than mere repetitions only if material and methodological critique explicitly guided the renewal; only then can more radically probing explication of the structure and sense of a phenomenon in question be achieved. This is how Fink in fact worked and is what made his work both participation in and instigation for the further development of the phenomenology of time that we find in the final writings of Husserl’s retirement years. The First Revision Plan The text situation for the Bernau manuscripts is rather complicated. In the 1928 publication The Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time, the first part, ‘‘The Lectures on the Consciousness of Internal Time from the Year 1905,’’ did not consist simply of the lectures from 1905. It contained rather the lectures as revised and amplified in the light of Husserl’s reflections in the years following 1905; and this revision was done by Edith Stein in 1916 and 1917 using Husserl’s own manuscript modifications and additions.∞∞∫ Moreover, for the second part, ‘‘Addenda and Supplements . . . from the Years 1905–1910,’’ Stein had included materials from beyond 1910, including portions of the latest manuscripts Husserl had produced by 1917. In fact some two-thirds of the material in these ‘‘Addenda and Supplements’’ is drawn from Husserl’s Bernau work.∞∞Ω This all caused some complication for Fink’s task, but that was not where the real problems lay. The real problems were philosophical problems. It is curious that Fink’s actual text-work on the Bernau manuscripts did rather little revising and hardly counts as an ‘‘elaboration’’; and from a philological point of view his transcriptions are not very faithful at all. In them he continually reworks the text, modifying or reordering the wording, replacing one word with a near synonym, smoothing the grammatical flow, and so forth, rather than bringing it to stand in an original purity. Sometimes the change makes for a significant shift or sharper focusing of the text; but what he does not do is produce a coherently unified single text by synthesizing the individual manuscripts (or portions of them) into a whole in the way Stein and Landgrebe produced, respectively, On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time and Experience and Judgment. Instead, Fink lets the individual 118. See Boehm’s ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua X, together with Bernet’s ‘‘Einleitung,’’ in Husserl, Texte (1893–1917), pp. xi–lxvii. 119. See appendix.



manuscripts stand, although sometimes curtailing their length; and he does not include all the Bernau materials, leaving out portions besides those that had been part of the 1928 publication. What he does do, however, is to put them in a particular order. Fink seems to have wanted the texts to remain as texts, to be taken as steps and stages on the way to an adequate analysis, rather than as an advanced achievement and a finished analysis. What we have to do, then, is discover how Fink intended to situate the texts in the whole project of analyzing time by what he would say about them in some form of an ‘‘Introduction,’’ which soon took on far more importance than the Bernau texts themselves. This seemed to be how Fink would make clear the nature of the dominant issue, the problematic, that Husserl’s Bernau work was engaged with and that carried beyond the texts themselves. One of Fink’s own declarations on this, a note from the spring of 1929, is a helpful explanation. What Husserl wanted the revision to do, Fink writes, was ‘‘to draw out and elaborate what he [Husserl] sees to be the most important advances vis-à-vis the Time-Consciousness of 1905–1910,’’ specifically ‘‘restitution of the Brentano-Aristotelian doctrine,’’ in ‘‘phenomenological deepening of the problematic of individuation’’ as exhibited in the new diagramming of time, and reaching as well to ‘‘the theory of the temporality even of ideal objects’’—this latter pertaining to Landgrebe’s editing of materials on ‘‘Transcendental Logic.’’ In contrast, Fink wanted to take up what he called ‘‘my own problematic.’’ Here he had to go beyond Husserl’s desiderata to emphasize ‘‘the new and essentially better working out of details on retention and protention,’’ especially in their distinctiveness against the contrasting character of ‘‘presentifications.’’∞≤≠ These points will be at least touched upon as we proceed, and some will be taken up extensively.∞≤∞ What needs highlighting now is the contrast in primary focus between Husserl and Fink, which, while conforming to the whole thrust of the exposition in chapters 2 and 4, shows its deepest incisiveness in this: Husserl accentuates the presencing moment of presentification [Vergegenwärtigung], while Fink asserts the special constitutive character of retentional-protentional intentionality as depresencing [Entgegenwärtigung], providing therein the basic consideration for addressing the question of finiteness in the stream of consciousness.∞≤≤

120. Z-IV 76a, EFM 1. Fink also mentions the question of ‘‘ ‘the beginning and end’ of the stream of consciousness’’ (see 2.2, the last paragraphs of, and as a matter of something merely ‘‘thinkable’’ (see VB/I, §25). 121. E.g., on ‘‘individuation,’’ see 5.2; on ‘‘the temporality of the ideal,’’ see 8.3. On ‘‘Brentano-Aristotelian doctrine,’’ see the last point in 122. See also 4.5.



This is what orients as well Fink’s handling of Husserl’s manuscript texts. If we look at Fink’s plan for the ordering of the manuscripts themselves, and then take note of the points he planned to cover in his ‘‘Introduction’’ at the stage of his first conception of their significance in phenomenology, i.e., by the spring of 1930, we see first of all that he places the Bernau texts in the context of the whole trajectory of Husserl’s program of time-analysis up to that point.∞≤≥ In the first stage, represented by the 1928 publication, the analysis turned mainly to the already constituted stream of immanent time. Even in Ideas I (1913), which explicitly adopted the constitutive standpoint, we only find a first level of constitutive inquiry; Ideas, particularly in respect to the question of the world, set aside inquiring into the constitutive sources of immanent temporal consciousness.∞≤∂ What the Bernau writings do, then, is to go one level deeper and inquire into the constitution of immanent time itself; and in taking these texts up for revision Fink helps Husserl enter his third stage, that of genetic explication in terms of the primordial ‘‘living present.’’ For Husserl this final inquiry into temporality will be the most radical and successful, and as he pursues it it will continually affect Fink’s work of revision. For the Bernau manuscripts, then, Fink sees his task to be to lay out the second-stage manuscript material so as to make clear the deeper probing set in motion in it: ‘‘Transcendental time is about nothing else than transcendental consciousness itself with respect to its primordial genesis [Urgenesis].’’∞≤∑ But this means something for Fink that, even while Husserl could agree with it basically, has implications that Husserl might have difficulty accepting. ‘‘The basic idea of the Bernau analyses,’’ writes Fink in explicating ‘‘the consciousness of ‘internal time,’’ is ‘‘its peculiar kind of being.’’∞≤∏ For Fink, to inquire into the radically different structure of time-genesis is not separable from questioning with equal radicality the kind of being to be found there. This was exactly what Fink planned to do in the final part of his dissertation, so that as he worked on the Bernau materials he was working out how he might conclude the project he had begun as a dissertation.∞≤π In that extraordinary meeting and clash of thinking in Freiburg when Heidegger succeeded Husserl in the first chair of philosophy, Fink could find a way to characterize—and problematize—both positions by a single rubric that expressed what was at the heart both of his own work and of the editing task

123. See the three-stage schema drawn from B-I 17a–18a (EFM 2, Abschn. 2), given in 5.1. 124. B-I 3a–4a, 16a, and 35a; and Ideas I (Hua III), §§81–82. 125. B-I 36a (emphasis Fink’s), EFM 2, Abschn. 2. 126. B-I 31a, emphasis Fink’s. 127. See, for example, Z-I 89a–b.



Husserl had given him: ‘‘Being and time is the basic formula for transcendental philosophy. Being and beings are always only understandable in terms of the horizon of time.’’ And in continuing this note Fink raises the problem that lies at the center of both Heidegger’s fundamental ontology and Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology. If time is the ‘‘condition for the possibility of experience,’’ then one has to ask: ‘‘But does not time itself also exist? Heidegger’s basic problem. And Husserl’s too! And a central issue for a theory of selfconceptions’’∞≤∫ —for, after all, developing an adequate ‘‘self-conception’’ is what both fundamental ontology and transcendental phenomenology basically consist in. This question of the kind of being transcendental subjectivity will have in consideration of the horizon of time as the horizon of ultimate genesis is what we see behind the order in which Fink arranged Husserl’s Bernau manuscripts.∞≤Ω While we cannot detail and interpret every manuscript, several need to be singled out, the first of which is the one that Fink chose to stand at the very end, in the place of culmination for the whole set; for it is the one that Fink finds offering not a conclusion to the analysis but rather the maximum opening to its more radical recommencement. In the manuscript’s opening consideration of ‘‘my stream of experience and the I,’’∞≥≠ Husserl speaks of the ‘‘continuity of living presents’’ that makes up any particular ‘‘stretch of immanent time’’ and is the ‘‘horizon’’ ‘‘surrounding’’ the ‘‘point’’ of ‘‘full presence.’’ This ‘‘point of primordial presence’’ [Urpräsenzpunkt] is not something independent but is only the ‘‘focal point of a horizon that is inseparable from it’’ and ‘‘a point of the full present [Gegenwart].∞≥∞ In moving more deeply into time to see how this integrality comes about, Husserl wants to home in on ‘‘utterly egoless tendings’’ wherein ‘‘the formation of horizons’’ lies, the level of original time-consciousness in ‘‘absolutely passive intentionality.’’∞≥≤ Here any idea of a pole of reference, not for any particular individual moment of interest in the stream of time but for all of 128. Z-IV 58a, emphasis Fink’s. See also the 1939 Louvain report, ‘‘Berichte über die Transkription der Nachlaßmanuskripte Husserls,’’ EFM 4, Abschn. 4, p. [5]. 129. Given in B-I, Beil. I, p. [2], EFM 2, Abschn. 2. 130. EFA B-II 244–50 (EFM 2, Abschn. 2), Hua XXXIII, pp. 274–80 (Text No. 14). In his arrangement of the manuscripts Fink uses this theme as its title. The typed transcription shows many modifications of Husserl’s original wording. 131. EFA B-II 244–45, Hua XXXIII, pp. 274–75. For the final expression in this quotation Husserl’s manuscript text has ‘‘a point in the full time of presences [Präsenzenzeit].’’ In the larger passage here Fink’s modifications reduce the presential ‘‘punctualism’’ of Husserl’s phrasing. See 132. EFA B-II 246, Hua XXXIII, p. 276. Husserl writes simply ‘‘passive intentionality’’ as an independent phrase, without qualifying it as ‘‘absolutely’’ passive.



the stream, for the whole of experiencing, which therefore would be ‘‘above time’’ and ‘‘itself not temporal,’’ is the idea of that for which words like ‘‘I’’ no longer can be used. It cannot be called ‘‘a ‘being,’ ’’ for it is ‘‘the antithesis to allthat-is [allem Seienden], not an object [Gegenstand—counter-standing something] but the proto-standing something [Urstand] for all objectness [Gegenständlichkeit—counter-standness].’’ The ‘‘I’’ here ‘‘ought not mean I, ought not mean at all, for then it has already become an object.’’ It is rather ‘‘the Nameless,’’ something simply ‘‘functioning.’’ This needs to be thought about more, Husserl cautions; ‘‘it lies almost at the limit of possible description.’’∞≥≥ How, then, can reflection apply to this all-integrating non-object ‘‘X’’— still called problematically ‘‘I’’? It is supposed to be ‘‘non-temporal,’’ and yet can only be reflectively found as actually ‘‘functioning’’ in time (as ‘‘entemporalized,’’ as Husserl would say in certain C-texts, but not here), in the form of ‘‘active notice directed to the constituted and busy with it.’’ Then there ‘‘accrues to it a temporal obtaining [Bestand],’’ and this is what ‘‘shows to reflection the direction to the functioning I which now, in reflection, becomes an object as an identical center of function.’’∞≥∂ It is as concretely intending a specific constituted something that there is a basis for reflectively positioning this ‘‘X-I’’ thematically as an object of eidetic, cognitive grasp. Yet Husserl asks, How can what is not an object become objective, how can that become apprehensible which is not temporal but supra-temporal, and which can only become temporal in being apprehended?’’ And he answers: Because ‘‘it belongs essentially to the structure of the experiential stream that »in the experiential stream… precisely this sort of thing comes on the scene and can always do so.’’∞≥∑ Yet—and this is crucial—for the ‘‘non-temporal’’ to become temporally active and concretely manifest to reflection is a ‘‘becoming [Werden] of a totally different order from that of everything that has to do with experience’’; it is not a mere happening like any other in the stream of time but an ‘‘I am doing, I am performing’’ on the part of the ‘‘pole’’ in question.∞≥∏ And this ‘‘pole’’—‘‘numerically identical,’’ ‘‘for all time’s temporal points . . . and experiencings’’—has ‘‘the absolutely identical meaning ‘I,’ an identity of form, 133. EFA B-II 247–248, Hua XXXIII, pp. 277–78 and note 2 on p. 278, emphasis in the text itself. Next to this passage Husserl writes a most interesting remark that Fink did not include in his transcription (Hua XXXIII, p. 78, note 1): ‘‘ ‘Being’ [‘Seiendes’] as individual being, bound to a locus in time and individualized by it. The I is thus not ‘in being’ [Das Ich so nicht ‘seiend’].’’ 134. B-II 248, Hua XXXIII, p. 278. 135. Ibid. The angled brackets mark a phrase of Husserl’s that is dropped by Fink in his transcription. 136. Ibid.



as it were an ideal identity that is again and again ‘localized’ temporally, in its acts and its states, and yet is not actually temporal.’’∞≥π This (rather Kantian) transcendental I at the deepest level of the analysis of temporality is something Husserl will hold to throughout his subsequent work, and it is one of the points both strongly criticized by Fink and reinterpreted in a quite different fashion. In this regard the question has to be, Does Fink find anything in the Bernau manuscripts that reveals more about the problematic character of this ‘‘nameless’’ all-unifying agency than Husserl notices and asserts in the Bernau texts, so that an opening is made here that calls for further critically reasoned interpretation of the matter? Prime Elements in the Bernau Manuscripts for Motivating the Move Beyond Them Fink offers us a clue to answering this question in asserting, as we saw, that Husserl in the Bernau manuscripts works out the details on retention and protention in a ‘‘new and essentially better’’ way, so as in particular to bring out ‘‘their distinctive character in contrast to presentification.’’∞≥∫ Where Husserl works the most on retention and protention is in the large manuscript, ‘‘New Attempt to Clarify the Structures of the Consciousness that Constitutes Temporal Objectness,’’∞≥Ω that opens the third section in Fink’s arrangement. Here Husserl’s problem is one of the principal questions of his whole inquiry: In what way does the structure of the time-flow of consciousness itself constitute the self-awareness of consciousness as temporally flowing? Or, in other words, is it possible that ‘‘the being of the flow is a ‘perceiving’-of-itself’’ as temporality?∞∂≠ If the way to understand time is to discover its structure as flow in the very being of consciousness, and if, as Husserl writes in this same manuscript, ‘‘consciousness is itself a streaming, itself has a temporal beingform,’’∞∂∞ then the great question is how this process of time-flow is conscious of itself in the very structure of its flowing. And the problem is heightened by the fact that for Husserl the process of being conscious must be in some way a constituting act, and not simply a passive registering of some already structured phenomenon. 137. EFA B-II 250, Hua XXXIII, p. 280. 138. See the points from Z-IV 76a in the previous section. 139. EFA B-II 263–315. See appendix. 140. EFA B-II 312, Hua XXXIII, p. 44. 141. EFA B-II 312–13, Hua XXXIII, p. 45. Fink modifies ‘‘stream [Strom]’’ to ‘‘streaming [Strömen]’’ in his transcription.



As another manuscript makes clear—‘‘Time and Time-Modalities,’’∞∂≤ as Fink names it—the self-awareness of temporality cannot be a ‘‘timeobjectivating apprehending,’’ either ‘‘added on’’ or built into the time-flow structure itself in some way.∞∂≥ For in either case self-consciousness in the form of an actual perception would have to be itself in turn ‘‘constituted in a temporal constitution,’’ and that simply opens an infinite regress. The only remaining possibility is that a non-‘‘objectivating,’’ i.e., not-thematizing, awareness be ‘‘in itself as conscious of itself,’’ ‘‘a constituting process for itself’’ that requires no other process of temporally ordered constitution for that selfawareness. Constituting process must be ‘‘an ultimate proto-process whose being would be consciousness and consciousness of itself and of its temporality.’’∞∂∂ How can this be made clearer? Leaving aside Husserl’s consideration of the various options in ‘‘New Attempt . . . ,’’ we should go directly to his final attempt there at a resolution, for that is the one that Fink finds deeper and more critically necessary. Essential to this is that temporality not be taken as some kind of content added to the content-ensemble comprising some object of intentional focus; it is instead a formal factor. The now, for example, is ‘‘a form of the content.’’∞∂∑ Or, as stated in ‘‘Time and Time-Modalities,’’ temporal characteristics are ‘‘formal,’’ i.e., ‘‘characteristics that have to be independent of the particularity of the content.’’∞∂∏ Content-determinacy remains basically the same as structuring in temporal ‘‘form’’ proceeds, as time flows on. Husserl delineates carefully the relationship between the ‘‘form’’ and the ‘‘flow.’’ ‘‘Time as the encompassing form of objective stretches of time is fixed and does not flow,’’ Husserl writes. It is precisely the ‘‘fixed identity in the flow’’ and is ‘‘nothing without this flow.’’∞∂π Thus time itself does not flow, rather, ‘‘modes of givenness’’ flow in it.∞∂∫ ‘‘Time is the flow of all presents, the continuous coming forward and sinking away of all presents.’’∞∂Ω If, then, 142. EFA B-II 115–30, Hua XXXIII, pp. 181–203 (text Nr. 10), and pp. 203–207 (Beilage V, from the middle of the manuscript). Fink’s transcription lacks Hua XXXIII, pp. 194/3–197/15. 143. EFA B-II 118b–19a, Hua XXXIII, p. 188. 144. EFA B-II 120b–21a, Hua XXXIII, p. 191. This passage is also quoted, and underlined, by Fink in B-III 12 (EFM 2, Abschn. 2). 145. EFA B-II 264, Hua XXXIII, p. 210. See also B-II 305, Hua XXXIII, p. 36. 146. EFA B-II 129b, Hua XXXIII, p. 202. 147. From another manuscript in the second division in Fink’s arrangement, ‘‘On the Theory of Time-Modalities,’’ EFA B-II 110a, Hua XXXIII, Text No. 7, p. 136. 148. EFA B-II 115b, Hua XXXIII, p. 182 (Text No. 10 again). See also B-II 304, Hua XXXIII, pp. 35–36. 149. EFA B-II 110b, Hua XXXIII, p. 136. All the lines from which the quoted material



time-flow itself is not in time, could the consciousness of time-flow itself be conditioned by time-flow? Or is time-consciousness a character of time-flow itself in its very ‘‘formal’’ constitution? In either case it cannot be via a kind of presenting; for then as presented it would become something in time and conditioned by it—which again begins an infinite regress. In the end, however, Husserl takes a new tack:∞∑≠ he turns to protention as his starting point instead of retention, which has dominated his analyses of temporal flow up till now. Shaking loose somewhat from the well-worn tracks of explication centered on retention (and its analogy to presentification in memory), where ‘‘holding onto’’ content is featured—i.e., a kind of retentive presenting—Husserl now looks at the dynamic of flow in analogy to the process of the filling of empty intentionality. Working in terms of form, he considers a special kind of progression of presence-and-absence for some determinate intentional content-item, a spectrum of presence and absence that ranges between a maximum and a minimum, between total intuitive filling and total intuitive emptying. One extreme, the maximum, is the grade of greatest filling for an item of determinate content, ‘‘the point of highest clarity,’’ of ‘‘intuitiveness,’’ of ‘‘differentiatedness.’’∞∑∞ The other extreme, however, is, strictly speaking, not really a minimum, a last ‘‘point’’ of possible presentability in the spectrum where least clarity, intuitiveness, or differentiatedness might be had, but rather ‘‘an open, not only non-intuitive but rather undifferentiated horizon.’’∞∑≤ One has to recognize, beyond the minimum, the null state of objectness, the horizonality of non-presence as such, the horizonality always ‘‘there’’ in terms of which a possible object could—minimally, futurally— begin to be intended-for-presence.∞∑≥ The dynamic continuum of the process, fully considered, shows, then, a symmetry of two ranges of fullnessand-emptiness: (1) progression toward presenting, toward ‘‘filling,’’ out of a horizon of total non-presentiality—i.e., protentionality—and (2) progression is taken in the present paragraph up to this point are underlined in red by Fink in his transcription. 150. EFA B-II 281ff., Hua XXXIII, Text No. 11, beginning with §8. 151. EFA B-II 285–287, Hua XXXIII, Beil. VI, pp. 232–35; cf. footnote 139 above. 152. EFA B-II 283, Hua XXXIII, p. 228, my emphasis. Actually, Fink had heard Husserl making much the same point already in his WS 1925–1926 course, ‘‘Basic Problems of Logic,’’ p. 45 (in Fink’s Nachschrift, to which the closest equivalent in Hua XI is Beil. X, pp. 384–85). See 1.1, p. 5, and footnotes 15 and 16. 153. Right here, Husserl does not make clear that horizonality is beyond the minimum; this only becomes clear through Fink’s efforts to clarify the nature of ‘‘horizonality.’’ However, Husserl does clearly exclude characterizing maximal ‘‘emptiness’’ as a point. He writes (EFA B-II 300, Hua XXXIII, p. 30): ‘‘The limit of nullity for intuitability is not distinguished from the field of obscurity.’’



away from presenting, toward ‘‘emptying,’’ back into non-presentiality—i.e., retentionality—neither of which is a variant type of presenting as such (again, on pain of instituting infinite regress).∞∑∂ Accordingly, Husserl represents the flow of time by a new, more complicated spatializing diagram∞∑∑ —as a process in which a continual ‘‘plus/minus gradation’’ in two directions, ‘‘protending’’ and ‘‘retaining,’’ is intended out from the moment of ‘‘now-being,’’∞∑∏ i.e., from the moment of ‘‘being in the mode of thereness-in-the-flesh [Leibhaftigkeit],’’ of ‘‘having something itself present.’’∞∑π Consciousness at the ‘‘zero-point of positive tending, ‘filledness,’ ’’ consciousness in a state of ‘‘satiation,’’ ‘‘originary consciousnness’’ in which its object is given in the mode of the ‘‘in-the-flesh present [leibhaftige Gegenwart],’’∞∑∫ is ‘‘not just consciousness of the matter [Sachbewusstsein] [i.e., as thus in-the-flesh filled present], consciousness of its ‘primary’ object {of ‘primary’ contents (objects)}, but also ‘internal’ consciousness, consciousness of its own self and of its intentional process.’’∞∑Ω It is, then, the ‘‘tending-out’’ from that center point of filledness (but integrated with it) which is at once the dynamic of temporalness and, as this tending, the structure of being-aware-of in regard to the way a particular content-something comes to presentation temporally. ‘‘Directedness, tending-to,’’ writes Husserl, ‘‘is the fundamental character of consciousness-of in its most original essential makeup,’’∞∏≠ in the doubleness of formal structure: (1) ‘‘positive tending’’ with ‘‘graduality in the direction out to something,’’ wherein ‘‘the grade increases’’; (2) ‘‘negative tending’’ with ‘‘graduality in the direction out away from something,’’ the graduality ‘‘of the negative distance from it.’’∞∏∞ In this (horizonal) gradation of the not-yet and the no-longer in consciousness of the now, what is in force is not an action done by consciousness but 154. EFA B-II 282, Hua XXXIII, pp. 226–27. See also in this connection B-II 300, Hua XXXIII, p. 30. 155. EFA B-II 292, Hua XXXIII, p. 22 (cf. footnote 139 above). 156. EFA B-II 310–11, Hua XXXIII, pp. 41–43 (§7 in Text No. 2). This doubles the lines that model the ‘‘intending’’ to show both a ‘‘forward’’ and a ‘‘backward’’ change from presence to not-yet-presence and no-longer-presence. See the additional diagramming in Hua XXXIII, pp. 32–33 and 48–49 (EFA B-II 301–2; the last diagram not given in Fink’s transcription), and Fink’s own versions (Z-I 93a; Z-IV 2b, 60a–b, 79a–b, 84a– b, and 134a—all EFM 1). 157. EFA B-II 309, Hua XXXIII, p. 41. 158. EFA B-II 308, Hua XXXIII, pp. 39–40. 159. EFA B-II 310, phrase in brackets my supplement from the context, phrase in braces Fink’s modification in the transcription; Hua XXXIII, p. 42. 160. EFA B-II 307, Hua XXXIII, p. 38. 161. Hua XXXIII, p. 38, note 1, a marginal remark that Fink did not include in his transcription.



rather a structural character of its very being as flow, a structuring in terms of plus and minus fulfillment that is the very dynamism of the now, of its ‘‘passage [Übergang]’’∞∏≤ character. And in the very essence of the now as passage-phase Husserl includes a ‘‘de-actualization’’ at one with an ‘‘actualization’’ of what is ‘‘conscious in it’’—‘‘two mutually belonging modifications that have a single form.’’∞∏≥ Husserl’s analysis makes it clear that the time-flow structure of consciousness by which the no-longer and the not-yet belong to the now as part of the consciousness of the now cannot be an act-intentionally thematic perceptionlike presenting. But does his analysis make fully clear positively the kind of consciousness the flow has of its own temporality and of that of anything carried in it, especially if the dynamic of temporality involves a ‘‘horizon’’ of ‘‘de-actualization’’? Husserl is optimistic but perhaps not entirely certain about it, and the manuscript in Fink’s transcription ends with a question: ‘‘A streaming consciousness structured thus is necessarily »also… consciousness of its »own…self as streaming. Isn’t that fully understandable?’’∞∏∂ From Fink’s perspective, and taking the whole Bernau set into consideration, there are two reasons for hesitation in answering positively. For one, in Husserl’s analysis the awareness of temporality is always mediated by an object-determinacy, and Husserl does not take up specifically the possibility of a kind of awareness capability distinct from the intentionality proper to thematic object-determinacy. An adequate concept suited to the kind of awareness in play in the very process of temporality is still wanting, especially (a) if temporality is explicated in terms of the genesis of horizons, and (b) if consciousness is to be explicated not just as process but as living process. All the Bernau texts offer is an opening to inquiry into this possibility. The second reason for caution regarding the adequacy of Husserl’s analysis has two aspects. On the one hand, what is needed yet is an account of the relationship between (a) the structure of time as protentional/retentional flow, wherein a unique intentionality of gradation in plus-and-minus presencing simply is the consciousness internal to time, and (b) the thematic actintentionality of reflection as itself carried in that time flow. The other problematic aspect devolves from the first, namely, does the ego-character that Husserl still insists upon for the ‘‘absolute consciousness’’ of ultimate temporal 162. This term occurs regularly in the manuscript, notably at the end (in Fink’s transcription; cf. footnote 139 above), EFA B-II 315, Hua XXXIII, p. 47. 163. EFA B-II 314, Hua XXXIII, p. 47. 164. EFA B-II 315, words in angle brackets Fink’s editorial additions; Hua XXXIII, p. 48.



process∞∏∑ derive from the constant form of flowing process as now analyzed— (a) in the present paragraph—or from the active I of reflective thematizing action—(b) here? One great difficulty lying in the essential structural difference between, again, (a) the consciousness of internal time—or perhaps better: the consciousness of time internal to time—and (b) the consciousness of reflective thematization aiming to present to itself—with eidetic insight—the structure of time-flow and of the consciousness internal to that flow, is that this egoenacted reflective presentation of time-structure is itself conditioned in both possibility and validity by temporality; it is done in time. But since the time in which it is done cannot be a second time, one is then faced with the question of how the time as reflected upon—and thus taken as (presented) in time—is or is not the time of ultimate constitutive process—‘‘absolute consciousness.’’ Answering this would decide if the unifying center for the whole stream of temporalization, i.e., the form of the flowing temporal as such, can be, as Husserl insists, a genuine I that is itself not essentially in time.∞∏∏ We thus return again to these questions: (1) How can the in-time-structured, reflectively thematizing explication of temporality and of its internal consciousness (which is actually the analysis of how what is in-time is temporal) be in fact effectively of what ultimate, originative time itself really is, and (2) how can the in-time-structured explication of the perduring form of temporality be characterized as essentially ‘‘I,’’ a ‘‘something’’ that itself in principle is not in time or temporal? It is still too soon to take up the proposals that answer these questions, although we already anticipate that Fink considers the possibility that, beyond straightforwardly trying to make positive explicative assertions about the structure of transcendental time-consciousness (as ultimate constituting flow and as consciousness of itself), one may have to take the paradox in any such positive explicative assertions to be ineluctably intrinsic to their whole meaning. It may well be that it is not recourse to a transtemporal I that ultimately anchors the sense and validity of the analysis of transcendental constitution, but rather a methodological statagem, namely, the paradoxically integrating of the properly sayable with the not-properly sayable, a permanent confrontation of the ontic and the meontic. 165. I.e., in the two manuscripts that end the arrangement Fink puts them in, viz., ‘‘The Stream of Experience and the I’’ (see, pp. 263–65), and ‘‘The Eidetic Form of Psychic Internality’’ (see the following footnote). 166. On this see ‘‘The Stream of Experience and the I,’’ B-II 244–50 (especially 247), Hua XXXIII, pp. 274–80 (especially p. 277), and ‘‘The Eidetic Form of Psychic Internality,’’ EFA B-II 223–30 (especially 225–27), Hua XXXIII, Text No. 15 (especially pp. 283–85), this latter being the manuscript placed second last in Fink’s arrangement.


271 Explorations into Time by Fink, 1930–1933∞∏π The Bernau manuscripts were for both Husserl and Fink a stage of achievement that prepared for advancing further in the investigation of temporality. For Husserl that further advance, begun around 1930, would be final for him. For Fink, as this year became the move into the second stage of his thinking about temporality, the difficulty—methodical and critical—would increase, to open out into a third stage, which will occupy the last sections of this chapter. In Fink’s work the Bernau materials stand as contributing to development along two concurrent lines that were already strong in his earlier thinking. On the one hand he worked on details regarding the structures and dimensions of temporality, especially in their integration within proto-temporal origination; on the other hand, together with this, he continued to develop explication on the level of ‘‘higher-order descriptions,’’ of ‘‘systematic projections’’ (see 2.3), whereby the meaning of the details disclosed in analytic investigation, in integration with all the orders of phenomena investigated—especially that of ultimate constitutive origination—could be more adequately formulated conceptually. While with Fink—as with Husserl—the ferment of philosophic rethinking brewed without regard for dates and neat ordered sequence, nevertheless for the question of temporality one can still see the summer and fall of 1930, the months in which the trip to Chiavari took place (September to November), as a period of particular importance. Though for Husserl two of the three months there on the Italian Riviera were lost to illness, Fink was not so hampered, except that work with Husserl was diminished (see 1.3). In Husserl’s case several portions of his C-group manuscipts on time-analysis date from before and after the Chiavari trip,∞∏∫ while Fink writes, on September 23, 1930, ‘‘My most important problem in Chiavari is elucidating the connection of ‘depresenting’ and ‘field-intentionality.’ ’’∞∏Ω The ensemble of Fink’s notes from Chiavari, though economical in style, richly confirm this;∞π≠ but the core of the idea just expressed comes already in 167. An earlier treatment corresponding to– appeared as ‘‘The Revision of the Bernau Time-Consciousness Manuscripts: New Ideas—Freiburg, 1930– 1933.’’ Alter, 2 (1994), pp. 367–95. The recasting in the present sections is more advanced thematically and methodologically. 168. See HChr, pp. 366, 367, and 370. 169. Z-VII XVII/5a, emphasis Fink’s; EFM 2. 170. Z-VII, subset XVII, is explicitly dated and identified as done in Chiavari, though others in the same folder may have been written there as well. In any case, all are relevant to the themes in those that were.



his notes from a year earlier, as much in the previous sections shows. For example, Fink writes: ‘‘Husserl’s time-analyis suffers under the defect that the division in principle between ‘transverse’ and ‘longitudinal’ intentionality, already found in the 1905 ‘Time-Consciousness,’ was not carried through radically and consistently.’’∞π∞ At issue is the way in which ‘‘ ‘transverse’ and ‘longitudinal’ intentionality’’ are not two more or less ‘‘presenting’’ intentionalities that, like linear ‘‘rays’’ of directional intending, intersect in the now, but rather they constitute the play of plus and minus progression, of ‘‘filling’’ and ‘‘emptying’’ in regard to presence and presentness,∞π≤ of coming-to-be-present, being-present, and no-longer-being-present.∞π≥ One flaw in particular in speaking of ‘‘longitudinal’’ and ‘‘transverse’’ intentionalities is that this spatializes the ‘‘forms’’ of the temporal dynamic, of the integral interplay of presence and non-presence. Fink seeks to analyze the interplay in another way, which we shall take up shortly. At the same time, and directly tying in with, Fink will explore further how to interpret the problematic situation that he finds Husserl so clearly raising in the manuscript he placed at the very end of his editorial arrangement of the Bernau materials.∞π∂ That is, on a matter that seems in principle to defy analysis in straightforward disclosure in reflective thematization done upon one’s own experiential streaming—namely, the ‘‘nameless,’’ ‘‘un-temporal’’ proto-I, itself ‘‘not in being’’—clarification can only be done in another mode of thought, which Fink calls generically ‘‘speculative.’’ For example, the relationship (as Husserl sketched it out) of the proto-I to the determinate temporalized act-manifestations in terms of which it is knowable as active might translate neatly into Fink’s phrasing in §5 of the ‘‘Introduction’’ to his dissertation, where he speaks of the necessary ‘‘self-finitization of the transcendental subject’’∞π∑ —and it is quite conceivable that this manuscript of Husserl’s contributed to that idea. That is, the phenomenological character of an analysis aiming to explicate transcendental origins, and thereby requiring it to move regressively back along the line of relationships lying constitutively within the phenomenon that is one’s starting point, sets the conditions for subsequently 171. Z-IV 3a, EFM 1; from the dissertation-writing period. 172. One might thus differentiate ‘‘presence [Anwesenheit]’’—being there present before me—and ‘‘presentness [Gegenwart]’’—being presented in the now. Needless to say, the two are intimately interwoven. 173. See appendix. 174. ‘‘The Stream of Experience and the I,’’ EFA B-II 244–50, Hua XXXIII, Text No. 14. 175. VB/I, p. 14.



interpreting the results of the analysis ontologically and metaphysically. It is a condition that, right in 1930, Fink frames in terms of the phenomenological aim not to reach for a ground to explicate origins (see ‘‘The thesis: The Absolute is the Nothing, is to be abandoned in favor of this one instead: The Absolute is Origin. Is origin a temporal relation? Yes and no! No, insofar as the origin lies in time. Yes, insofar as the origin is the origin of time itself. The emanation of the Absolute is the originative being [Ursprungsein] of time, i.e., of the world and thus of that which is as a whole [des Seienden im Ganzen].’’∞π∏ The Neoplatonic ‘‘emanation’’ recalls one of Western philosophy’s strongest strains of thought, never abandoned, even in modern philosophy, although somewhat marginalized since Descartes. While the confines of this book will not allow extensive treatment of the Neoplatonic element in phenomenology, some mention will be made of it in chapter 7 ( For now the point is to fill out a little more the overall interpretive framing of the role in transcendental phenomenology of the analysis of temporality as Fink was working it out, right at the point where Husserl was taking up his own last study of time. In his reflections in the months following Chiavari Fink finds that it is decisive to realize that ‘‘all constitutive questions as such are included in the fundamental, comprehensive question of the ‘finitization’ of the infinite, absolute subject into the finite self-determinacy, powerlessness, abandonedness, and subjection of human existence in the whole of the world.’’ To inquire, then, into the methodological form that the analysis of ‘‘finitization’’ (‘‘the speculative proto-concept,’’ Fink terms it) may take on, knowing that one has to question the adequacy of adopting a ‘‘chronological ’’ style in conceptual characterization, is to raise another serious question as well: Can ‘‘the speculative proto-relationship of origin and originatedness (of Absolute and world),’’ in a word, can the ‘‘phenomenology of the Absolute,’’ be in principle decided ‘‘with the methodological insights of Husserlian phenomenology?’’ And the reason for asking is that this way of posing ‘‘the problematic of ‘selfapperceptions’ ’’ is but marginally touched upon in the usual procedures of its investigations.∞ππ In being so relentlessly analytic in eidetic descriptive evidencing, Husserl’s phenomenology does not allow recourse to the interpretive resources of a legitimable ‘‘speculation’’ integrated with but not consisting in that operation. The proof of the need for it, Fink finds, lies right in the limits to 176. Z-VII 5a, EFM 2. 177. All quoted phrasings from Z-XV 22a–b, emphasis Fink’s; EFM 2. The only dates in this folder are from 1931, though some could be from a later year.



that evidentness-bound analytic work that Husserl himself so honestly discloses; but the openings thus made need more than honest acknowledgment, if phenomenology is to make its ultimate investigative achievement intelligible. Thus it is that, again in 1930, Fink sketches out a plan of the themes that a full phenomenology of temporality would cover, weaving together both reinvestigated specifics and the speculative issue lying at the heart of the whole problematic.∞π∫ The first set of themes in this plan follows Husserl’s classic pattern of correlations: I. Thematic intentionality: Future Presenting (a) (Expectation) (Perception) (b) (Protentionality) (Ground-level-intending)

Past (Remembering) (Retentionality)

These initial determinations are made under the guidance of the idea of intentionality as primarily thematizing in its action; but Fink has to transform these by a new triad, forming the second set of themes in the general plan: II. Depresenting

Field-intentionality and space


This leads to the third correlated set of theme-transformations: III. The ‘‘swing of time’’ and the ‘‘proffering’’ of ‘‘places’’ in the horizons, i.e, in the dimensions of time taken as essentially modalities of ‘‘breakableness.’’ Here ‘‘full and empty time’’ are the values in interplay, wherein there is a correlation between ‘‘time’’ with its ‘‘field-intentionality’’ and wakefulness.’’ [See]

The fourth item is the overarching issue that Fink found in Husserl’s Bernau work as opening up investigation to more radical reinquiry, namely, the question of IV. ‘‘Absolute subject and time,’’ i.e., how ‘‘the temporalization of the Absolute is its move out of itself (emanation).’’

Finally, what Fink saw had to be done was V. ‘‘The me-ontic determination of the Absolute and the appearance of time,’’ that is, the theory of the appearance of the Absolute, the ‘‘phenomenology of the Absolute.’’∞πΩ 178. The elements in outline that follow are all taken, first in their outline form (parts I and II), then in a combination of explanatory paraphrase and quoted expressions (parts III, IV, and V) from Z-VII X/3a, EFM 2. 179. It should be noted that Fink ends his outline with the remark that one theme did



The present chapter will lead up to the fourth of these theme-determinations— as it is currently doing—while chapter 6 will provide one last matter needing treatment before chapter 7 finally takes up the fifth thematic of the whole plan. We return now to Fink’s developments in moving from the first point through the second to the third of this outline. The Central Structure: The Horizonal Complex of Presenting and Depresenting Recall the circumstance of the year in which the outline just given was (in all probability) written, 1930. As the months of 1930 passed Husserl came to realize that his Cartesian Meditations, so satisfactorily completed the year before and soon to appear in a French translation, was in fact inadequate for presenting his phenomenology to his German audience, and that he needed an entirely new systematic conception of how to present it. (See 1.2.) This led to Fink’s drawing up in August the master plan for the ‘‘System of Phenomenological Philosophy’’; it was ready for Husserl to take along on the working holiday planned for Chiavari (September and October). (See 1.3.) It is interesting that temporality is not a consolidated topic on its own in this master plan of Fink’s; temporality appears embedded within other issues laid out there. Yet in Chiavari, in Fink’s work immediately following his preparing this plan for Husserl and while Husserl in fact studied it, he turned to temporality as of central concern. As his personal notes from Chiavari show, the further investigations that the Bernau materials prepared the ground for were under way. ‘‘Elucidating the connection of ‘depresenting’ and ‘field-intentionality’ ’’—his ‘‘most important problem’’—required seeing the two as ‘‘in the end united in one’’: they ‘‘are nothing other than the original unity of temporality [Zeitlichkeit] or, better, temporalization [Zeitigung].’’∞∫≠ What he is concentrating on here draws from Husserl’s analysis in ‘‘New Attempt to Clarify the Structures of the Consciousness that Constitutes Temporal Objectness,’’∞∫∞ the long Bernau manuscript where the intriguing new orientation in analyzing temporality is offered, namely, explicating the character of the temporal not in terms of intentionally holding onto specific content across a gap of difference not get represented in the way this outline was conceived, namely, ‘‘possibility,’’ which other schemata of his assertively name as a distinct ‘‘dimension’’ of temporality. See above,, p. 254. 180. Z-VII XVII/5a, EFM 2. 181. EFA B-II 263–315; see footnote 139 above for the texts of this manuscript-sheaf in Hua XXXIII.



represented spatially but in terms of gradation in gaining or losing a unique ‘‘value,’’ the formal temporal character of the structure of time, namely, full self-presence (or thereness-in-the-flesh, Leibhaftigkeit). (See Characterizing the not-yet or the no-longer as the depresencing of the now of actuality is the way Fink casts the very essence of the horizonality of these two dimensions. But what he has to do is show specifically how these two horizons of depresenting—the gradation of the not-now in the form of the not-yet-now and of the no-longer-now—integrate in the actuality-now itself; and this means he has to analyze more closely the nature of the actuality-now. A more conceptually lucid designation is needed than the metaphorical (and Heidegger-like) ‘‘ ‘filling of empty time-swings’ by the ontical,’’ or ‘‘breaking the time-swing,’’ or ‘‘stopping it up,’’ striking as these expressions are.∞∫≤ That the not-yet and the no-longer allow explication in terms of horizonal depresencing may be clear enough, but what about the right-now, the actuallypresent? Is it also to be recast as a horizon, and if so, what is the role of the thematizing ‘‘ray’’ of act-intentionality (with its correlate, the evidently presented object) that is the Husserlian paradigm in perception? This is Fink’s ‘‘most important problem for Chiavari.’’ Fink finds that after all it is as ‘‘pure horizonality’’ that time ‘‘makes being possible.’’ Acts or experiences had by an agent may well be what set the content held in temporal passage, but they do not produce ‘‘that which holds time together as comprehensive and unitary [Zeitinbegriff ].’’ This is constituted in time’s horizonalness, and the specific interwoven horizons, as depresencings, are what belong to ‘‘originary time-consciousness.’’ In sum, ‘‘tempus is not constituted in acts. Acts are themselves constituted unities in the latency intentionalities of temporality.’’ We would do better not to talk about ‘‘timeconsciousness’’; we should speak instead of ‘‘the relating-to-being in latency [Seinbezug der Latenz].’’∞∫≥ What Fink is doing here is displacing the present, against the construal that dominates Husserl’s conceptual schema (i.e., in its intentionally thematic action and self-sufficient unitary station), as the primary paradigm for the explication of temporality, in favor of a horizonal concepti0n of that same element of the actually present. This does not mean that Fink would argue against placing the determination of thematic objectness in intentional noesis; indeed, he criticizes Husserl for placing too much importance on the posited noematic 182. Expressions all from Z-VII XVII/5a. On ‘‘Die Brüchbarkeit der Zeitschwingung,’’ see Heidegger’s analogous mode of expression in MH-GA 29/30, p. 252. Heidegger’s exposition here was in one of the four sessions that Fink missed (cf. U-MH-IV 53). 183. Z-VII 15a, emphasis all Fink’s; EFM 2.



‘‘core,’’ as if the impressional hyletic element, i.e., something other than noesis, were what determined the presential character that the noetic then followed.∞∫∂ Nevertheless, the presential character of the noetic in turn is not produced by the noetic thrust itself; i.e., temporalness is not constituted by noetic acts. That would be to treat the constitution of temporal presentness as a form of object-constitution, whereas the constitution of time has its own constitutive character distinct from that.∞∫∑ Husserl’s abiding prioritizing of the present, and his accompanying tendency to develop an analysis of the structure of time in function of the paradigm of noetic action (but in modification or removal of elements in a kind of temporal analogue to the paradigm), is reflected in his positing of the transcendental ‘‘primordially living present [urlebendige Gegenwart]’’ as an abiding identity that is distinct from any constituted concrete living present in an actual stream of consciousness and reflected upon in phenomenological analysis as the starting point for regressive disclosure.∞∫∏ So the temporal has to be understood as horizonal in all three ‘‘dimensions’’: that of ‘‘presentness,’’ of ‘‘filledness’’—the now—and those of ‘‘depresentness,’’ of graduated ‘‘un-filledness’’—the not-yet and no-longer. This, now, is what leads directly to the concept of field-intentionality as a depresenting distinct from and contrasting with past and future depresenting. The present is to be understood primarily as a horizon rather than as some atomlike density polarizing an indeterminate or empty background. ‘‘Filling’’ takes place, then, not only in a process of passage from future through present to past, in a bidirectional gradation into the negative of filling (in the horizon of temporal depresenting), but also in a field of implication as present; but the gradation to the negative here is of another kind, namely, the presential modification of the simultaneously potential. This is the moment, inseparable from the temporality of the stream of experience, and therefore from proto-time itself, of spatiality, the ‘‘co-existence sphere of potential experience,’’∞∫π ‘‘the fourth dimension of time.’’∞∫∫ Here Fink reconfigures Husserl’s always seeing the moment of space as an integral component of time and ‘‘that original temporality as the meaning of the being of transcendental subjectivity is always spatial.’’∞∫Ω But in doing this, what Fink wishes to emphasize is the way the integration of space

184. Z-VII XVII/30a–b, in the Chiavari set. 185. Z-IX 23a, EFM 2. The dates in this folder are all from 1931. 186. Z-IX 26a. 187. Z-IX 33a. 188. Z-VI 26a, EFM 1. 189. Ibid. See also CM6, Husserl’s note 183 on p. 57 (VI.CM/1, p. 64).



with time means that the ultimate time-flow is itself also the action of the constitutive deployment of the world. Time and the Constitution of the World: The Five Horizons of Time As we saw in 4.4.1, Fink found it necessary to construe the world fundamentally as horizonal in structure, i.e., as radically not at all any kind of ‘‘object,’’ not at all a ‘‘Counter-Stance’’—‘‘Gegenstand’’—but rather an ‘‘around,’’ ‘‘Circum-Stance’’—‘‘Umstand.’’ (See In addition, the world thus deployed horizonally as the total Circum-Stance was ‘‘the sweep of the swing of temporality.’’∞Ω≠ The depth of difference that this shift regarding the proper structure of the world as such makes in (a) the way the process of constitution is conceived and (b) the way the human subject is aware of the world and the constitutive function of its horizons is characterized must now be taken up in this section and in those following. As to the first, how the horizonalities of the world have constitutive effect precisely in being horizonal, one way to grasp what is at issue is to examine again the ‘‘external horizon,’’ the surround of potentially thematizable perceptual objects alternate to and accompanying the specific object-center actually held to thematically. In the course of perceiving, one can shift from the present object as actual to one of these potential objects, which then becomes actual. This shows that the present actually perceived object is not the whole of what is given in this present now. However, instead of looking at some other also present but still potential object, I can also recall as now actual an object that is not present, i.e., ‘‘envision’’ or ‘‘presentify’’ [vergegenwärtigen] it in actual focus not as in the past, yet not present—what is technically termed a ‘‘remembrance of the present’’ [Gegenwartserinnerung]. This is the case, for example, when distance or some spatial obstruction now prevents actually seeing something that is actual now but not actually presented.∞Ω∞ The point of mentioning this, Fink points out, is that this operation of an alternate presentation-in-memory of what in the present could be actually perceived again cannot be taken to suggest how the full field of the simultaneous present, the full ‘‘external’’ horizon, is constituted. This ‘‘remembrance of the present’’ is really only consciousness ‘‘as accessional to’’ rather than ‘‘constituting of’’ the horizon of the present. What gets intuited here is something in the now ‘‘that is only inaccessible spatially.’’ This is where one has to 190. Z-VII XVIII/5b, EFM 2. See a few paragraphs further here, and 4.5. 191. See Fink’s discussion in VB/I, §18–19, and Husserl’s in ZB (Hua X), §29.



recognize the distinction between actual being and ‘‘experiential accessibility’’ to actual being. Something spatially withdrawn can be still in the now and simultaneous with my experience in its adequate perceptual grasp of a portion of the surroundings present to me. And in considering the situation this way one begins to see ‘‘the constituting function of the horizon (here that of space as depresenting).’’∞Ω≤ That is, what actually constitutes the world-horizonality around an experiencing subject is not the egoic, object-thematizing subject but the temporalizing at work as ‘‘depresenting.’’∞Ω≥ This, again, is the same point that was made in 4.4.1, where Fink argued that conceiving of horizonality in its own terms meant countering the assumption that the horizonal could be ‘‘cashed in’’ without remainder in terms of objects actual and potential. It is not, then, that the ‘‘I can’’ of act-intentional directedness—in one of Husserl’s favorite expressions—constitutes the world; rather, it only works within the world to determine individual instances of accession.∞Ω∂ The basic temporal function of depresenting is, therefore, what is at work also in the dimension of the now that is the field of the simultaneous ‘‘surrounding’’ that subtends the focal core of act-intentional thematization in the actual present, and this is the spatial horizon of the world. Here the basic depresenting function of the spatial simultaneous ‘‘surrounding’’ stands in contrast to the depresenting function of the ‘‘flow’’ of temporality. Both are horizonal, but Fink designates the first as ‘‘field-horizonality.’’ (A parallel contrasting term might suggest ‘‘flow-horizonality’’ for the other, but Fink does not have such a term.) Here is what makes up, delineated in more detail, ‘‘the sweep of the swing of temporality,’’ a dynamic that, in Fink’s ‘‘speculative’’ borrowing from Kant’s formulation of the problem of the world as ‘‘Idea,’’ transcends all objectness to be ‘‘excessive,’’ ‘‘superabundant,’’ ‘‘the excess/ superabundance/swing-out-beyond [Überschwang] of depresenting.’’∞Ω∑ Here, too, in phenomenological specifics is how reality—taken more strictly as actuality [Wirklichkeit]—is not a property of the object but rather a station or condition resulting from the constitutive process of temporality. 192. Z-VII XVII/15b (EFM 2), emphasis Fink’s. The text ends with two sentences given maximum emphasis by double and triple vertical emphasis lines next to them: (a) ‘‘There shows here in the egological sphere itself, in a certain way, a mediateness for experience.’’ (b) ‘‘All essential ‘constitution’ lies in the ‘horizons’ which are themselves in turn structural moments of In-Stantiality.’’ The emphasis of the underlining of the first sentence is also Fink’s own. 193. See Z-VI 26a–b, EFM 1. 194. Z-VII X/1a–b, EFM 2. 195. Z-VII XVIII/5b. See in EFM 2 the comment on the loose similarity of this expression in this text with Heidegger’s phrasing in MH-GA 31, p. 239 (U-MH-V 117).



Temporality is an integrated dynamic that, in the horizonalities of its ‘‘action’’ (or ‘‘play’’), wherein the essence of the world is deployed, structures differentially actuality (‘‘reality’’) and non-actuality (non-‘‘reality’’). Actuality (‘‘reality’’) is constituted in the two interlocked depresentings of spatiality and temporality in the ‘‘swinging sweep’’ of the world. ‘‘Actuality is a timerelationship,’’ writes Fink. ‘‘It is not because there are actual things that there is actuality . . . , but rather because actuality is, there can be actual things. Actuality is one mode of time’s swinging, and is itself always surrounded by the swing-mode of ‘non-actuality.’ ’’∞Ω∏ What is not entirely clear in Fink’s notes is how the non-actuality of the cogiven potential in the present-horizon of spatiality relates to the more comprehensive ‘‘non-actuality’’ of sheer ‘‘possibility’’ that Fink takes to be legitimately defined as a fifth horizon of the temporal dynamic. (See Given that the reason for discriminating this fifth dimension is its distinctive temporality—viz., its being free, in its ‘‘omni-temporality’’ or ‘‘timelessness,’’ from the process of a future-present-past flowing (though the noetic intending of it may flow in these dimensions)—it would seem to have to be distinct from the non-actuality governed by the temporal play of depresencing. Nonetheless, what is clear is that the principle by which to distinguish fundamentally different kinds of ‘‘possibility’’ can only be decided in coordination with an incisive delineation of temporal structuring.∞Ωπ Fink’s effort here is intriguing but needs more clarification than his notes provide. We now have the full set of horizonalities in terms of which to return to the question of the kind of awareness that would be of the world specifically as not reducible to or interpretable as a sum total of objects, and how this awareness would be structured as awareness by the self-integrating and selfdifferentiating dynamic of temporality as such. Performance Consciousness as Unthematic Horizon-Consciousness: Wakefulness From the beginning Husserl’s phenomenology took as a principle that the process by which the meaningfulness of reality took form as determinate appearance in living experience could be discovered, described, and understood by the reflective capacity that, rooted in and a factor of that same living 196. Z-VII XVII/24a–b, emphasis, and double emphasis, Fink’s. See the analogous text from Z-VII XVII/30a quoted in Much of Fink’s explication of the horizons of time, space, and actuality return in his later work, in simpler terminology, for example, in Alles und Nichts (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1959), pp. 246–47. 197. See Z-XV 66a, EFM 2.



experience, turned to the same living experience and appearing to examine and analyze it. That this living process that was the coursing of its own life as consciousness would as living process disclose its sources and structure is expressed in terming that source and structure ‘‘subjectivity’’—or, equally often in Husserl, ‘‘consciousness,’’ in the loose usage that waited for the exact, full sense of the term to come from the results of the investigation beyond its semantic usage hitherto. Moreover, that ‘‘subjectivity’’ was deemed ‘‘active’’ meant that this source was a process of structuring rather than a given order of fixed assignments. What was originative, then, for the experience and the appearing of reality in meaningful determinateness was not the kind of wholly interior selfpossession that, in Cartesian fashion, would define human psychological acts, but rather the process of coming about of experiential appearing; this is what structured ‘‘consciousness’’—the supposed psychological ‘‘interior’’ of human being—to be precisely conscious experience, rather than the other way around. What we see happening in the phenomenological analysis of time‘‘consciousness’’ is precisely the move to clarify this structuring of human experience as the structuring of the way reality ‘‘is there’’ for that experience, and hence the way there is experience as such in the first place. Thus it is, then, that the way there is awareness of the world will be the very way the structuring of the world comes about; or, to say the same thing, the way the horizonalities of the world come about is the way consciousness will be of the world right in its awareness as awareness by virtue of that coming-about itself—i.e., by virtue of proto-temporality in the manifold deployment of presence-anddepresencing, actuality, and possibility. This is what is encapsulated in Fink’s succinct formulations: ‘‘The subject is open to the world. Only as long as a subjective life finds itself awake is it open-to-the-world. Wakefulness and openness-to-the-world are identical. Sleep = closure to the world.’’∞Ω∫ What is needed now is a little more specification for the modalities in which this consciousness might be best conceptualized, in such a way as also to make clear how reflective thematization works out of it upon it. (See Here a shift can occur in how one construes Husserl’s expression ‘‘innere Zeitbewußtsein.’’ Does this mean the time-flow within the human psyche as self-enclosed immanence, or the time-flow that, as the all-encompassing process of coming-about, is ‘‘manifest’’ as the dynamic of the several horizonalities—five in Fink’s explication—by which the coursing of appearance, experience, and thought is structured and which together make up the ensemble that is the world? The difference can be expressed by construing the phrase not 198. Z-XV 13a, emphasis Fink’s. See 4.4.2.



as ‘‘the consciousness of internal time’’ but as ‘‘the consciousness intrinsic to time.’’ The effect of both Husserl’s and Fink’s investigations is to require taking the phrase in the latter sense. Husserl, of course, recognizes the distinction between thematic and unthematic consciousness. (See Fink in turn acknowledges Husserl’s clear identification of ‘‘anonymous’’ experience as distinct from theme-specifying experience (especially as ego-polar); it is exactly what Husserl indicated in his first time-consciousness work and then made clearer in the Bernau manuscripts. The problem is rather that Husserl stops short of the reinvestigative step that would determine more specifically the character of anonymous functioning precisely in its function as antecedent condition for the reflective thematic consciousness that operates out of it and with respect to it.∞ΩΩ Husserl tends to model reflection on ‘‘internal’’ experience too closely upon the thematization of ‘‘external’’ objects. In contrast Fink finds that on reinquiry, taking into account the deeper analysis of time-consciousness, reflection does not just repeat the thematic objectification of the intending of an external object, with the difference that it turns objectification upon the intending act itself, i.e., ‘‘reverses’’ it; reflection is rather another kind of ‘‘reversal’’: ‘‘that of an expression-mode of performance consciousness.’’≤≠≠ The validity of reflection as ‘‘attaining’’ what it is about does not consist in its being an emulation of object-thematic perception, that is, in posing itself as an object to itself in genuine object-presencing, a kind of true introspection—and in a kind of second temporalized stream of awareness. It can seem to do that by a kind of ‘‘de-interiorization’’ of itself, by precisely suppressing its own antecedent and concurrent mode of non-thematic self-consciousness in favor of an objectdirected semblance and then proceeding as if the latter were self-sufficient in its grasp of what was going on behind it.≤≠∞ That this is anything but an arbitrary insistence on Fink’s part results rigorously from the considerations at the heart of the analysis of time in its function of conditioning thematic act-intentionality, in the latter’s ‘‘filledness’’ of presence for something determinate. If it is only on the basis of horizonal timeprocess, namely, the interplay of presenting and depresenting, that thematic intentionality aiming at something in its presence ‘‘in the flesh’’ (such as perception) is sustained, then, as we have seen, that originative making-present itself is originally already ‘‘known’’—and constituted—as temporal, but not 199. Z-VII XXII/7a (#2), EFM 2. 200. Z-XV 67a, EFM 2. Again, see the treatment and texts in 201. See Z-VII XVIII/1a (EFM 2), as well as Z-V X/1a, EFM 1 (both quoted in



by some kind of thematic act. The question, then, is, What does reflection do? Does the efficacy of reflection lie specifically in the thematization of antecedent a-thematic performance? In a self-objectification? If the efficacy of the selfawareness in the temporality of consciousness really lies right in ‘‘performance consciousness,’’ i.e., the awareness constituted right in and as the very enactment of temporality that is antecedent and still continuing, then it makes sense to say of the self-reflection of consciousness that its efficacy relates to, draws from, and is sustained by performance consciousness in a way that is not simply self-detachment in thematic ‘‘objectification.’’ This is the point of Fink’s speaking of reflection as the shift to ‘‘an expression-mode of performance consciousness.’’≤≠≤ Unfortunately Fink does not say more about this reformulation; one finds only brief mentions of performance consciousness and ‘‘performance experience,’’ rather than more detailed explicative statements. What he does give attention to, however, is the way the performance level in question stands as the figure of ‘‘absolute consciousness.’’ For example, he writes: ‘‘Functioning subjectivity in its most proper sense is transcendentally constituting (me-ontic) subjectivity, its functioning (constituting) has world-objectivating power.’’≤≠≥ This returns us to the point that Husserl makes in the final Bernau manuscript in Fink’s arrangement, namely, that the ‘‘nameless,’’ functioning ‘‘proto-stand’’ ‘‘comes on the scene’’ in the form and guise of temporally proceeding process. In itself, as the absolute beyond temporality, it is no process at all.≤≠∂ That is, the functioning process that reflection finds thematic in its consideration may well be, as thematized, its own experiential stream in the full breadth of constituted horizonal background dynamism, but as thus ‘‘manifest’’ reflectively it is also the best and only clue to the truly originative temporal coming-about of the structuring horizonalities of the world. This of course poses once more the question of the relationship between absolute transcendental ‘‘subjectivity’’ working antecedent to and within human consciousness in the very process of temporalization, on the one hand, and that same human consciousness within time, on the other. Thus while reflective awareness of antecedent nonthematic performance consciousness may not fundamentally relate to the latter 202. Again, Z-XV 67a. Fink revisits these issues and considerations, actually radicalizing the problem one stage further, in one of his postwar university lecture courses now published as Natur, Freiheit, Welt, ed. by Franz-A. Schwarz (Würzburg: Königshausen and Neumann, 1992), §14–16, pp. 128–35. Cf. also Fink’s 1939 essay, ‘‘Das Problem der Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls,’’ Studien, pp. 205–10 and §6. 203. Z-VII XVII/31a, again from Chiavari in 1930. 204. See the last four paragraphs of, on the manuscript entitled ‘‘The Stream of Experience and the I.’’



as its objectifying (in Fink’s explication of it), yet for the sake of thematically explicit conceptualization reflective consciousness presents its antecedent performance-awareness to itself in the guise of a present-able ‘‘object’’ as if for its own detached scrutinizing gaze—which in the end means in the guise basically of a human cognitive agent. The problem, then, is a double one. One has to clarify how these two ‘‘knowings’’ relate together, across the difference between performance consciousness and ‘‘thematizing reflective’’ consciousness, and one has to clarify how the two ‘‘knowns’’ relate together, across the difference between the entemporalization of absolute originative process as humanly experienced living temporal process and the originative absolute itself. On the first matter, Fink’s work essentially finds that the intentionality of thematizing has to be characterized otherwise than in relation to the seemingly self-sufficient status that objectification comes to possess; acknowledging this is one of the most important results of Husserl’s ongoing time-analyses. An alternate line of investigation converging with this is to recognize that, for example, there is far more to the paradigm of thematic act-intentionally, perceptual consciousness, than the ray of objectification. ‘‘Thematic directedness (objective situation),’’ writes Fink, ‘‘is only the most conspicuous structure in the phenomenon of perception’’; and he goes on to exploit the etymology of the older German word for perception, Gewahrnehmung instead of Wahrnehmung, in order to link perceptual experience to the ground phenomenon of wakefulness.≤≠∑ The second problem links to the first in many ways, but in particular in connection with the characterization of basic consciousness as wakefulness. If a mode of consciousness structured essentially as an I is primarily, and paradigmatically, relevant to temporality in its transverse intentionality, while longitudinal intentionality, properly considered, functions horizonally in its flow and coherence structure,≤≠∏ then the conception of the ‘‘I’’ must give full and proper status to both kinds of structure, namely, to both focal act-thematic determination and horizonal gradation in terms of depresencing and withdrawal. And ‘‘full and proper status’’ may not mean equal status. What will decide the matter is the answer to the question of which of these functions in temporality constitutes the process-performance wherein the presentness and 205. Z-VII XXII/1a, from 1930, and Z-XIII LX/2a, from 1933 or 1934 (both in EFM 2); Fink makes reference here to the eighteenth-century philosopher Johann Nicolaus Tetens; cf. Tetens’s work Sprachphilosophische Versuche (Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 1971), p. 107. See appendix. 206. See Z-IV 24a–b, quoted in, p. 239.



presence of the multidimensional now is accomplished precisely as flowing continuity. Otherwise put, is the ‘‘I’’ origin or result? Here is where the contrast between the purely formal and the concrete conception of the now is telling; for if purely formal consideration is done under the presupposition of the primacy of act-intentional object-aiming over horizonal conditioning, then the purely formal is really abstract as much as it is formal. So, for example, the pure form of the standing order of elements in terms of which there is flow is thus not in the temporal flow itself; it holds true of each successive ‘‘point’’ of ‘‘proto-presence [Urpräsenz],’’ but is not itself in time, however much it is the ‘‘focus of an inseparable horizon.’’≤≠π Concretely speaking, however, in an actual ‘‘I do this,’’ an actual ‘‘functioning in the process,’’ the I is an I of specific noetic acts carried on (in habitualitized capabilities) in the concretely determined flow of horizonal depresencing in its directedness to some thematic object. It is also an I whose functioning is not exclusively actintentional—which is Fink’s point about wakefulness, strengthening considerably Husserl’s allowing other dimensions of consciousness than act-thematic aim to be found of the ‘‘wakeful I.’’≤≠∫ The question is, How much do the conditions of the concretely functioning I have to dictate the way the purely formal I beyond time is to be characterized? Here is the point, then, on which Fink finds grounds for differing from Husserl on one of the central themes of the new time-studies Husserl is undertaking, the C-group. Fink writes: ‘‘The self-constitution of the I is not pole-constitution. The I is primarily not the pole of experience at all (not ‘transcendental apperception’), but this pole structure is grounded in the constant being-present of time itself. Constantly self-temporalizing time is the I. The coming-about of time as temporal [Zeitigung der Zeit], however, is InStance-setting.’’≤≠Ω It is because ‘‘longitudinal’’ intentional is at work that there can be a phenomenon of I-identity.≤∞≠ That, concretely taken, the I is an actually living I-in-the-process of temporal horizonal flow—what Husserl terms the ‘‘Nameless’’ that in this concreteness ‘‘comes on the scene’’ where reflection can take it up.≤∞∞ And the I of living process, the I temporalizing itself in the horizonalities of the world, is basically non-egoic precisely as the wakeful ‘‘subject.’’ ‘‘ ‘Wakefulness,’ as the mode of openness to the world belonging to the 207. EFA B-II 244, Hua XXXIII, p. 274. Cf., p. 263, and, p. 266. 208. EFA B-II 246, Hua XXXIII, p. 276. 209. Z-VII XXII/7a, EFM 2. 210. Z-VII XXII/2a. 211. EFA B-II, Hua XXXIII, p. 278. See above,



swingings of time, is not an ‘activity’ of the I (as of the act-pole).’’ Rather, since ‘‘I-wakefulness’’ is performed in virtue of the world-horizonal structuring of appearance and experience, it is a unity that is ‘‘prior to any I-polarization.’’≤∞≤ Here is the problematic to follow in the next stage of the investigation of time that Husserl and Fink are now engaged in; but before moving to that next stage, two last points must be added. The first is a principle that flows on the one hand from Fink’s reinvestigation of the place of the world in the regime of phenomenological investigation and on the other hand from his reorientation of Husserl’s time-analyses. If the world is the framing for being as experienceable, and if temporality is the process of the origination of the horizonality of the world, then Husserl’s modest acknowledgment in the last of the Bernau manuscripts, in Fink’s ordering, that the absolute constant for which time is there ‘‘is not ‘a being,’ but is rather the antithesis to all-that-is,’’≤∞≥ takes on massive fundamental significance. It becomes Fink’s categorical assertion, ‘‘The region of absolute being is in no way an ontological region.’’≤∞∂ All questions of ontology are found to be questions of that which comes into determination in temporality, which is the very working of ‘‘absolute consciousness,’’ ‘‘the fundament-level movingness of temporalization as such.’’≤∞∑ The second point returns to the text of Fink’s referred to near the beginning of, only part of which was represented there. Fink’s critique of Husserl’s analysis of time in this note goes on to speak of a further implication of the ‘‘defect’’ spoken of earlier that he finds in that analysis, namely, not carrying far enough the distinction between ‘‘transverse’’ and ‘‘longitudinal’’ intentionality. ‘‘Depresencings,’’ says Fink of Husserl’s construal of protention and retention, ‘‘are thematized in such a way that they take on the apparent character of ‘intentional experiences.’ This is ultimately the deepest reason for the aporia that runs through Husserl’s time analysis, which is called in its latest form ‘‘restitution of the Brentano-Aristotelian doctrine,’ namely, that every time-flow is itself known in a deeper time-flow.’’≤∞∏ Husserl had quite naturally expressed his wishes for how he thought the Bernau manuscripts should be worked up into a viable text, and ‘‘restitution of the Brentano-Aristotelian doctrine’’ was one of his desiderata;≤∞π but in his reinquiry and reinterpretation Fink shows how any such ‘‘restitution’’ that requires recourse to another 212. Z-XV 111b; cf. also Z-XI III/3a. Both in EFM 2. 213. See the textual treatment of B-II 247–248, HUA XXXIII, pp. 277–78 and note 2 on p. 278, in, pp. 263–64. 214. Z-IV 97a, EFM 1. 215. Z-IV 111a. 216. Z-IV 3a; see above, in the third paragraph of 217. Z-IV 76a; see the third paragraph of



time-flow is neither possible nor in principle necessary. Originative temporality is not also itself a multiply dimensioned flow-structure, i.e., not a ‘‘deeper’’ form of the ‘‘past-future-now’’ complex of the time of world horizonality (or of the fivefold complex in Fink’s analysis), nor for that matter any process at all. Originative temporality is the coming-about—Zeitigung—of the only temporality there is, namely, the interplay of horizonal depresencing wherein presencing is a process rather than a massive fixed moment. Abstractly taken, ‘‘absolute consciousness’’ can be conceived as a ‘‘proto-stand’’ that is not itself a temporal streaming, but the question then is what sense ‘‘stand’’ can have if considered apart from the temporal streaming of actuality needed for any such ‘‘stand’’ to occur.≤∞∫ Originative ‘‘temporality,’’ then, is simply the originativeness of the complex of horizons in which the manifestness of being comes about in always relativized becoming. The temporality of this always-coming-about is experienced as the world-time of experiencing itself. In the dynamic of horizon-conditioned always-coming-about lies the very essence of originativeness, for which the only conceptual articulability, in any structural detail, will be the configuration of that always-comingabout. So while this originativeness is always only for what is in this alwayscoming-about of temporal process, for something determinate that comes about in manifestation within the interplay of horizonal depresencing, still the ‘‘coming-about’’-ness, the origination, of this interplay itself can only be manifest and hence known in terms of the conditioning action of that interplay itself on something horizonally constituted within it. The problem with this, of course, is that it leaves enigmatic the sense of the ‘‘origination’’ in question here. (See 3.5.) Perhaps one has to say that the origination of this interplay itself can only be as the very interplay of that conditioning;≤∞Ω and that this marks the only disclosable fundamental condition—this interplay of ultimate constitutive horizons—as a kind of ultimate Fact, a non-absoluteness that is nonetheless antecedent to contingency.≤≤≠ Again, this is a matter that must wait for fuller treatment in chapter 7. In the meantime we have now some indication of the tenets adhered to by Husserl in 218. Thus the character of atemporal ‘‘stand-ness’’ is intrinsic to Husserl’s concept of the ‘‘absolute’’ beyond temporality. See p. 283 (and note 204), and the characterization from EFA B-II 250, Hua XXXIII, p. 280, on 264–65. 219. See Z-VII 15b, EFM 2. 220. This would converge with Husserl’s thought in the last paragraph of the last selection in Hua VIII (p. 506), that ‘‘history is the great Fact of absolute being,’’ highlighted in Landgrebe’s article ‘‘A Meditation on Husserl’s Statement: ‘History is the grand fact of absolute Being,’ ’’ Southern Journal of Philosophy, 4 (1974), 111–25. German original in Tijtschrift voor Filosofie, 36 (1974), 107–26.



his time-analyses that lie behind Fink’s charge of ‘‘presentialism’’ (and ‘‘punctualism’’: see, even in Husserl’s final manuscripts on time in the C-group. In coming to terms with these last investigations of Husserl’s Fink moves into the second stage of his own inquiry into time.

5.2. Stage 2: Reconceiving the Revision Project—The TwoPart Treatise The fact that Fink’s text-revision work on the Bernau manuscripts never got past the stage of making editorially modified transcriptions of individual manuscripts begins to make some sense when we see the issues that Fink found the Bernau texts led to but did not themselves take up squarely. He did not see them making the kinds of radical, self-critical moves that were requisite. Simply to revise the texts, either by leaving them substantially as they were or by synthesizing portions of them into a continuous treatment (as Edith Stein had done with the 1905 lectures and related manuscripts), would leave those problems still not properly formulated, nor would either tactic allow any advance to be made toward a resolution of those problems. On the other hand, Fink apparently felt that an introduction, if it were full enough, might present the issues beyond those limitations—at least this is what the most ample sketch of such an introduction in his notes for the revision arrangement suggests.≤≤∞ But this introduction was never written. All we have are parts of various drafts for it,≤≤≤ plus the plan of Fink’s arrangement of the manuscript texts as it stood ‘‘from the first period of revision.’’≤≤≥ But a second reason for the seeming arrest of the project at that transcriptionarrangement stage is that those texts were being quickly overtaken by new work Husserl was producing on the question of time, surely from the stimulus of the discussions that he was having with Fink about the whole topic.≤≤∂ One may suppose that these discussions reflected the issues that we have seen gripping Fink during the period from his first discussion of time in his competition essay (1928) and dissertation (1929) through the years 1930 to 1933, as both 221. B-I 36a, EFM 2, Abschn. 2. 222. This is what the texts in B-I are. 223. Given in B-I, Beil. I. 224. See ‘‘Fünf Lose Blätter’’ 1a–b (EFM 2, Abschn. 2). See also Fink’s ‘‘Report,’’ written in Louvain in December 1939 (EFM 4, Abschn. 4). Ingarden remarks of Stein’s discussions with Husserl: ‘‘It is well known to me, that during such discussions with his direct disciples Husserl used to develop some of his best and deepest thoughts.’’ ‘‘Edith Stein on Her Activity as an Assistant of Edmund Husserl,’’ Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 23 (1962), 156.



his own notes and other documents show. We are faced with the situation where Fink’s engagements and Husserl’s are intimately intertwining, however much there are differences to be seen. The contours of Fink’s work as limited to preparing an edition of Husserl’s Bernau texts had to be modified as Husserl produced new manuscript material, especially since this material took into account the issues that the Bernau texts led up to as Fink understood them. By 1933, when the bulk of Husserl’s new manuscripts on time, the C-group, had been written,≤≤∑ the editing project now had to be reconfigured into two parts. Part I was to contain the Bernau texts virtually as they had been left in 1930, and part II would consist of the new manuscripts centered on the ‘‘living present.’’ Thus the second and third stages of Husserl’s work on time were to be presented together in a single publication.≤≤∏ Here, too, we see again the way philosophic work, personal relationships, and the sociopolitical situation in Germany all intertwined. (See 1.3.) The political and social changes of 1933 led to grave uncertainty over the funding needed for Fink to continue his work with Husserl. The formal application for financial support that Fink made in both 1933 and 1934 to the government agency Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft gives us a clear view of the work on the time-studies that was going on; for there Fink explains in some detail the components and tasks encompassed by the project.≤≤π In addition, Husserl’s two letters to Fink from around the time of these two applications, respectively, allow us to see something of the two men themselves in their relationship, while Husserl’s more voluminous correspondence to others often speaks of the two-part work with the title ‘‘Time and Temporalization’’ that was now being envisioned.≤≤∫ 225. See the partial listing in Klaus Held, Lebendige Gegenwart, Phaenomenologica 23 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966), pp. 186–87. 226. See the explanations just before 5.1. 227. See the documents in EFM 2, Abschn. 3. It is worth noting in these documents the way in which Fink, despite the official anti-Semitic program of Nazi ‘‘coordination,’’ not only makes no apology for working with Husserl but even underscores the importance of Husserl’s manuscripts and of his own, as he continues the task of editing Husserl’s materials. 228. Husserl to Fink, March 6, 1933, and July 21, 1934 (Bw IV, pp. 90–94); to Ingarden, October 11, 1933 (BIng, p. 84; Bw III, p. 291); to Felix Kaufmann, October 15, 1933; and to Cairns, November 15, 1933 (Bw IV, pp. 198 and 33). See also the letter of Dietrich Mahnke to Fink, January 13, 1934 (in the Fink Nachlass). Husserl generally writes the title as ‘‘Temporalization and Time,’’ in inversion of the way Fink’s notes give it.



At the same time, this two-part set of time-studies also fitted into the larger regimen of Husserl’s continuing manuscript writing. For if time is ‘‘the form of all worldly being,’’ and if this nexus of being and time is absolutely fundamental, then with the explication of time-constitution the very next thing to work out would be the constitution of the first content that emerges within time, namely, nature, ‘‘the solidity of things we see and touch in sensuous immediacy.’’≤≤Ω In archival designation, Husserl’s C-manuscripts lead naturally to the ‘‘D’’ series, in which, Fink writes, ‘‘the real main problem is the problem of individuation.’’≤≥≠ In other words, while the Bernau studies—at least at the time when Husserl was writing them—were viewed as all-inclusively a work on ‘‘time and individuation’’ wherein ‘‘rational metaphysics’’ was being renewed,≤≥∞ further work showed individuation to involve more than just the question of proto-temporalization as a formal condition. Individuation involved spatial and temporal determination within the world, not just in terms of the flow-structure of temporalization.≤≥≤ That is, the whole matter of time as the process wherein individuation comes about, in essential form and in full concreteness, raised the question of how ultimate temporality itself could be designated by any conception that implied individuality. These are profound issues, and their resolution would touch upon the whole character of Husserl’s phenomenology. To be faced with the prospect of challenging Husserl on his own phenomenology in its fundament was surely a matter of worrisome concern for Fink. Nor could the disturbing issue of the social and political transformation under way in Germany, coupled with financial uncertainty, not add to this concern. Husserl was aware that Fink was under strain. He speaks of it in his letter to Fink of July 21, 1934 (see 1.3), encouraging Fink to talk over the problems he was having, but he makes no explicit mention of philosophical differences. Yet Husserl well knew there were differences between his own view and Fink’s on the analysis of prototemporalization. And he well knew the basic dilemma inherent in any such analysis, namely, that any operation of thematizing, together with its thematic object, was itself structured by a temporalization, and therefore either began an endless regress of temporalities or had to renounce the efficacy and adequacy of its thematic grasp. Furthermore, Husserl must have been aware at 229. Fink, 1939 Louvain ‘‘Report,’’ EFM 4, Abschn. 4. See also Z-XI 46a (very likely 1933), EFM 2. 230. Fink, 1939 Louvain ‘‘Report,’’ EFM 4, Abschn. 4. 231. See Husserl’s letter to Heidegger from March 28, 1918 (Bw IV, p. 130). Cf. 1.2. See also Husserl’s letters to Ingarden from April 5, 1918 (BIng, p. 10) and Adolf Grimme from June 8, 1918 (Bw III, pp. 83–84). 232. Fink, 1939 Louvain ‘‘Report,’’ EFM 4, Abschn. 4.



least in general that while he analyzed ever further the ‘‘living present’’ as the originative factor for temporality, Fink saw the genuine originative structure to be horizonal ‘‘depresencing.’’≤≥≥ Husserl’s insistence that Fink feel totally free to work out the treatment of time in question as he, Fink, sees it necessary to do possibly implies recognition of Fink’s sensitivity on the difficulties in question, yet it leaves the exact reason unspecified.≤≥∂ One other fact about this difference may have made for some of the strain Fink felt. The difference just spoken of, between the living present and horizonal depresencing, meant that Fink in his solution was accepting as the uttermost fundamental feature to be found in the phenomenological analysis of time a structural element that corresponded to one of the principal themes of Heidegger’s analysis of time, notwithstanding Fink’s explicitly critical stance on Heidegger’s work.≤≥∑ And in the circumstances of 1934, with Nazism in full implementation in Husserl’s own university in Freiburg under the guidance of Heidegger himself, Fink, aware of Husserl’s feeling of being betrayed by his former protégé, would have found this philosophical point of difference awkward. It was a difference that nevertheless was becoming more necessary to express unambiguously; for the task of the two-part time-work was itself rapidly evolving. As Fink worked on it from 1933 to 1934, the idea of a double edition setting the Bernau set side by side with the living present manuscript materials—the initial idea of the two-part set—became unsatisfactory. This is the development Fink took pains to explain fully in his application to the Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft in July 1934. The gist of the matter was that, given Husserl’s advances since 1930—and, one must add, Fink’s own critical rethinking≤≥∏ —the Bernau materials had to be extensively 233. See Fink’s remark on his laying out for Husserl the difficulties he found in the whole undertaking: ‘‘Fünf Lose Blätter’’ 2a–b and 5a (EFM 2, Abschn. 2). 234. See Husserl’s July 21, 1934 (Bw IV, pp. 93–94). See 1.3. Husserl was devoting some of his summer to working on new manuscripts on time (several were written in the course of 1934), as a letter of Fink’s to Alfred Schutz, June 1, 1934, indicates (in the Fink Nachlass). See HChr, p. 447. 235. See the last paragraphs of 5.1.1. Fink also criticized Heidegger for his failure to understand the nature of Husserl’s phenomenology in its transcendental character, e.g., in B-I 23b (EFM 2, Abschn. 2): ‘‘The historical line of phenomenology today (Kaufmann, Becker, and in part Heidegger) completely misunderstands the task of transcendental phenomenology.’’ See 3.3.1. 236. In his 1934 ‘‘Report’’ to the Notgemeinschaft (EFM 2, Abschn. 3) Fink explicitly mentions ‘‘the work of my own inquiry supplementing and extending Husserl’s manuscripts’’ (EFM 2, p. 457). This statement of activity is dated August 24, 1934, but the



supplemented. Their analyses of ‘‘passive time-constitution’’ had to be drawn out further to include ‘‘comprehensive analyses of protentiality, of the temporality of acts, and of the temporality of kinesthesis,’’ all matters that pertained to ‘‘the transcendental constitution (or ‘temporalization’) of the timeplenum [Zeitfülle],’’≤≥π rather than just the time-form. Fink now proposed to write a massive introduction that would present the whole issue of timeanalysis, not simply in the specific manuscripts in question—those from Bernau and now also the C-group—but in its whole compass for phenomenology. It would furthermore give some treatment of other theories of time both contemporary, specifically those of Bergson and Heidegger, as well as of earlier philosophers.≤≥∫ In a letter from late November 1934 Husserl writes to Ingarden that, because of the retrospective on historical attempts at a theory of time, this ‘‘Introduction’’ has changed considerably, to become ‘‘almost a whole book.’’ ‘‘It’s going to be a fine piece of work and truly basic,’’ he writes. ‘‘Our daily discussions are most stimulating.’’≤≥Ω But half a year later the work is not yet done. On July 10, 1935, Husserl tells Ingarden that Fink is still working well ‘‘on the indeed exceedingly difficult and broad theme, Time—TimeConstitution, encompassing the whole of phenomenology.’’≤∂≠ And in the same letter Husserl tells of how things went with his Vienna lecture two months earlier in May, and what he is planning for his Prague visit scheduled for November. The ‘‘Crisis’’ ideas are now moving him, and Fink is spending time helping him with that too. Husserl will mention the time book to Ingarden once more, on November 15, 1936, saying that Fink believes he will be finishing it.≤∂∞ But did he? Husserl’s remarks here in fact pertain to Fink’s having entered his third stage letter requesting funds was written earlier. It is interesting that its date, July 22, 1934, is one day after the date on Husserl’s second letter to Fink, that of July 21, 1934. In his letter Husserl speaks of Fink’s distress at having to modify further the first part of the time book just when he thought he might be done with it. 237. Or perhaps: ‘‘filledness of time.’’ Ibid., p. 458. Husserl has the term ‘‘Zeitfülle’’ meaning ‘‘das Räumliche’’ in Hua XI, p. 303 (cf. also p. 143). Cf. Fink’s 1925–1926 Nachschrift, ‘‘Grundprobleme der Logik,’’ pp. 49ff. 238. ‘‘Report’’ to the Notgemeinschaft (EFM2, pp. 458–59). 239. Letter of November 26, 1934, Bw III, p. 298 (BIng, pp. 89–90). 240. Bw III, p. 303 (BIng, p. 94). 241. Bw III, p. 308 (BIng, p. 99). It is perhaps surprising that temporality figures into the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts in so modest a fashion (see Crisis, §49). Perhaps the fact that ‘‘Crisis’’ was still an introduction made for the brevity of mention, but a better reason could be Husserl’s having relegated the treatment of temporality entirely to Fink.



of work on temporality, with a quite different kind of book now entitled ‘‘Time and Time-Constitution.’’ Before turning to that, however, we have to review some of the basic characteristics of the thinking in Fink’s 1934 plan; for there he proposed to represent both the fundamental difficulties of phenomenological time-analysis and the resolution of those difficulties in what would be the culminating chapter of findings in Husserl’s transcendental philosophical program, the analyses of the living present.

5.2.1. The 1934 Plan: Details There is no surviving manuscript or typescript of either the full-scale revision of part I of ‘‘Time and Temporalization’’ or the ‘‘Introduction’’ that Fink had projected, but there are sheaves of notes giving sketches for its outline and for some of its specific parts, as well as repeated reflections on its main ideas.≤∂≤ In these notes it is not the details of the actual phenomenological analysis itself that concerns Fink but rather in the principal problematic character of the situation within which any attempt to analyze time must begin its work and continue to be conducted. On the one hand, unless one identifies unqualifiedly one’s own philosophizing mind with the unconditioned transcendental Absolute, any such investigation will necessarily be carried out and realized in time and in the world by a human mind in human language on the ineluctable basis specifically of the human experience of time in the world. On the other hand, this reflection will attempt to place in abiding thematic focus—i.e., in abiding reflective ‘‘presence’’—the very condition in principle for the possibility of any such reflective thematic focus. One is faced with the alternative of either (a) positing a regress of reflective subjective temporalities or (b) accepting the deeply paradoxical, and seemingly inefficacious, philosophical reflectivity that we have seen repeatedly arise. Fink is uncompromising in laying out the absolute necessity of a program of transcendental phenomenological reduction as ‘‘the one way to solve the philosophical problem of time,’’ but reduction can go no further than delineating the horizonal character of world-time. Phenomenological inquiry can go no further than the always already originated complex of horizonalities that are termed ‘‘dimensions’’ of proto-temporalization, i.e., of the coming-about-of temporalness as such; but the character of that originative proto-temporalization itself, as ‘‘beyond’’ or ‘‘behind’’ those dimensions, remains in principle inaccessible and 242. See B-IV, B-V, B-VI, and B-VII in EFM 2, Abschn. 2. The title also seems to be shifting, sometimes ‘‘Temporalization and Time’’ (usual in Husserl’s mention, but not always), sometimes ‘‘Time and Temporalization’’ (Fink’s customary formula).



inarticulable—except in terms of that which is conditioned by the dimensions originative of it.≤∂≥ Accordingly, the character of the phenomenology of ultimate temporality has to change as well, or rather has to allow a kind of conceptual articulation that can make intelligible a state of affairs that cannot in principle offer itself to intuitive evidencing. The very idea of what constitutes ‘‘access’’ to the final ‘‘thing itself [Sache selbst],’’ proto-temporalization, requires that phenomenology be something more than straightforward investigational scrutiny of the objectively given or givable. ‘‘The philosophical question of time as the demand for a deeper intelligibility, a deeper philosophical dimension wherein time gets probed beyond the mere description of its essence, cannot be shown from the general idea of philosophy. This dimension, and thereby the way time will become a problem, determines the philosophy from which the inquiry can be made: phenomenology.’’≤∂∂ Here is one of the central issues in the kind of ‘‘systematic elaboration’’ that Husserl was leaving entirely up to Fink. Husserl was going to ‘‘relinquish altogether being involved in work on the book on time,’’ he told Fink. He would read it ‘‘only after it is in print. It will thus be exclusively your work, although based on the manuscripts you’re taking as the starting-point.’’≤∂∑ Husserl recognized that Fink’s work was doing something specifically distinguishable from his own, though an integral part of the same phenomenological program; and we may presume that Husserl understood that systematic considerations would perforce modify some of the detail matters he was devoting himself to, not to mention the possible qualification and limitation that might be imposed upon cartain basic phenomenological principles. This is 1934, two years after this very idea that systematic integration and, especially, methodological critique could require modification of even long-standing phenomenological conceptions was specifically laid out in Fink’s ‘‘Sixth Meditation.’’ Husserl had read and reread the ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ over the course of 1932 and 1933, and he knew the KantStudien essay of 1933.≤∂∏ He was perfectly aware that there were differences of philosophical interpretation between himself and Fink, and he accepted Fink’s work with those differences, however much he and Fink might debate them without achieving unanimity. It is these differences and the core of the difficulties that Fink had with Husserl’s time-analyses even in Husserl’s further and final work, from 1928 to 1934, that we must now consider. 243. B-VII XV/3a–b, EFM 2, Abschn. 2. 244. B-VII IV/5. Cf. Z-VII XV/3b–c. 245. Letter of July 21, 1934, Bw IV, pp. 93–94 (emphasis Husserl’s own). 246. See 1.3, pp. 36 and 44–46.



5.2.2. Husserl’s Time-Analysis in the C-Manuscripts≤∂π It is obviously not possible to treat fully Husserl’s examination of temporality via the concept of the ‘‘living present’’ in the C-group of manuscripts, nor is it necessary to duplicate the treatment Klaus Held gives in his book on Husserl’s analysis of the living present in the C-manuscripts.≤∂∫ Nevertheless, some points will coincide with those Held covers in order to show here both the conjunction and the divergence between Husserl and Fink on the matter of the ultimate analysis of temporality. There are two main issues that in the present context emerge in the C-group manuscripts. One is the question of the kind of structure that analysis discloses for ultimate temporality, for proto-temporalization [Urzeitigung— proto-coming-/bringing-about-as-temporal]. The other is a metaquestion, the critical issue of the validity and meaningfulness of the positive concepts in terms of which proto-temporalization is to be characterized and defined, the question of the efficacy in principle of the transcendental reflective thematization of that which is purported to be the absolutely originative. We shall start with the first question, and the second will follow as inseparably involved with it. The Living Present as the Transcendental Proto-I As Held’s study makes abundantly clear, Husserl in the C-manuscripts comes to identify the living present structure of temporality unambiguously with the ultimate transcendental I itself. In transcendental life as reflected upon in my own experiencing, I find ‘‘this transcendental ego’’ standing as ‘‘proto-condition for the sense of being for [everything that exists for me].’’ That is, ‘‘I find myself as living present,’’ I find this ‘‘I-am in the living streaming’’ of ‘‘having-present [Gegenwärtighaben] and the present itself [Gegenwart selbst].’’≤∂Ω 247. An earlier treatment of the matters in 5.2.2 to 5.3.2 appeared as ‘‘The Aporia of Time-Analysis—Reflection Across the Transcendental Divide,’’ in Burt C. Hopkins, ed., Phenomenology: Japanese and American Perspectives (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1999), pp. 105–32. Certain points in that article are corrected in the present sections. 248. Lebendige Gegenwart: Die Frage nach der Seinsweise des Transzendentalen Ich bei Edmund Husserl, Entwickelt am Leitfaden der Zeitproblematik, Phaenomenologica 23 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966). 249. HA C 3 III, p. 10 [32a; see footnote 205 above] (dated March 1931; pagination that of the typed transcription), emphases all Husserl’s, bracketed expression my supple-



This is basically the same point Husserl made in the final manuscript of Fink’s Bernau arrangement (see Here, however, Husserl goes into far more detail in his description of this ‘‘concrete I-being (of the wakeful I),’’ i.e., living temporalization with its I-pole, emphasizing the absolute originationfunction of this ‘‘proto-livingness as ‘continual’ constitution, continual temporalization,’’ namely, that ‘‘by which all and everything that is for me thismoment present [das aktuelle Gegenwärtige] is.’’≤∑≠ Husserl specifies a whole range of structures constituted in basic constitutive processes, for example, the bodiliness in which the reflective I finds its humanness concretized, as well as, and equally important, other humans, all of which are structures contained in the ‘‘pregivenness of the world as living present pregivenness, i.e., precisely as it is given in this livingness.’’ There is, thus, the ‘‘primordially live streaming temporalization’’ itself, and then, dynamically structured within it, ‘‘the immanent coexistence and succession of temporalized appearances,’’ or, more globally put, ‘‘the experiential stream of the collective appearances of the world as a whole.’’≤∑∞ Bringing the Living Present/Transcendental Proto-I under Phenomenological Scrutiny But here there also arises the paradox that Husserl in that same Bernau manuscript in the final position in Fink’s arrangement already discloses. The only way reflection can turn to temporalization in its concreteness is to reflect upon it precisely as itself something appearing within temporalization, i.e., as something appearing within temporalized conditioning, as something passing in time—or, better, passing in the living present from the not-yet to the nolonger.≤∑≤ ‘‘I am as streaming present, but my being-for-myself is itself constituted in this streaming present,’’ Husserl says; ‘‘the living present constitutes itself as living present, and on occasion also constitutes itself in scientific fashion.’’≤∑≥ In fact that which is to be reflected upon in order to find the I of the living present in its concrete reality is my own human being as already existent in the world—which is thus in some sense the already selftemporalized I, else reflecting upon it could not begin. Starting from this alment from the context. Most of the text as cited here is given in Held, Lebendige Gegenwart, p. 67. 250. HA C 3 III, p. 22 [38a]. 251. HA C 3 III, pp. 22–23 [39a]. 252. See HA C 3 III, pp. 23–24 [39a], cited in Held, p. 114. 253. HA C 3 III, p. 33 [44b].



ready temporalized current of human experiential being, reflection must bring the character of the I as the living present of proto-temporalization to the fore in some kind of actual presentation.≤∑∂ Turning, therefore, to the concrete I in this actual reflection—wherein is made explicit and thematic what was before ‘‘anonymously’’ already active≤∑∑ —Husserl asks, ‘‘What is this all about, this ‘I,’ this ‘I am,’ ‘I was,’ ‘I will be’—worldly?’’ When I work the transcendental reduction, do I, in what I thereupon am, turn out to be ‘‘different from what was earlier designated as streaming (transcendental) present?’’≤∑∏ The answer Husserl seeks must be carefully tracked through several of his manuscripts. The doubleness of the I is unmistakable. I am ‘‘the originness of this streaming life in its streaming constituting,’’≤∑π and so I am the ‘‘center for all that is in the world and for the world »itself… as universe »of all this being…’’; and I am also the I that is in time, the now-center of reference for the time of everything temporal, for the temporality of what is in the now of the world both transcendent and immanent—the ‘‘I-center that gives the meaning temporal present’’ in reference to which one designates the past and future.≤∑∫ There is, accordingly, an ambiguity in the term present. It means ‘‘constituting subjectivity as living proto-source,’’ and it means ‘‘constituted present.’’≤∑Ω This ‘‘living proto-source’’ is not in time at all, meaning not in ‘‘the present that, come-about-as-temporal, continually comes about temporally as protomodal living present.’’≤∏≠ That is, the living proto-source in its ‘‘most originlevel originness’’ is not in the present as a temporal mode distinguished from the past and the future, again the point that Husserl had already made clear in the Bernau manuscripts.≤∏∞ In a manuscript from 1930, thus earlier than the ones

254. HA C 3 III, p. 28 [41b], where Husserl asks, ‘‘But how is the I-pole a part of this concrete temporalization?’’ His answer basically is that, once again, it must not be the ‘‘abstract I’’ that one considers but the I that is ‘‘concrete only by way of the content of the streaming present.’’ 255. On this anonymity, see Held, Lebendige Gegenwart, pp. 118–22. 256. HA C 3 III, p. 34 [45a]. 257. Ibid. 258. HA C 3 III, p. 35 [45b]; words in angled brackets are editorial insertions by Fink, who had first transcribed the C-manuscripts. 259. Ibid. And, Husserl remarks, this ambiguity ‘‘will require a suitable terminology.’’ 260. HA C 10, p. 21 [14a] (dated 1931), emphasis Husserl’s, cited in Held, Lebendige Gegenwart, p. 117. 261. See the treatment of the manuscript, ‘‘The Stream of Experience and the I’’ (EFA B-II 250, Hua XXXIII, p. 280), in It is also in the time-analysis writings represented in the 1929 publication, if only in nuce; see the reference to ZB (Hua X), pp. 333– 34 (ZBe, pp. 345–46), in 5.1.1.



being followed here, Husserl thought the ‘‘passive temporalization of a pretime and a pre-being’’ could mean ‘‘without the action of an I’’;≤∏≤ but in 1932, when he returns to add further thinking to this same manuscript, he believes this ‘‘passivity’’ to be only apparent, to be really antecedent activity. And the crucial move on Husserl’s part to reach this conclusion is that he allows the presentation of proto-temporalization done in transcendental phenomenological reflection, the retrospective thematization of proto-temporalization already having gone on, to set the relationship-paradigm that is to be taken as responsible for that proto-temporalization itself. Proto-temporalization is now interpreted as the effect of a power exercised in some way by an irreducibly absolute proto-I. And this way of conceiving proto-temporality is guided by his having to define the kind of intentionality one might consider ‘‘passive’’ streaming to possess. What Husserl now finds is that the temporalization—and the time-constitutive intentionality—that is to be asserted of the flowing stream of ultimate subjective life is a temporalization not performed by that flow as itself, but rather one with which the reflective grasp turned to it imbues it, ‘‘apperceiving’’ it as ‘‘something in being [Seiendes].’’ Performed by ‘‘the phenomenologizing transcendental I’’ in its active thematizing, it is an ‘‘entemporalizing [Verzeitigung]’’ of the coming-about-of-the-temporal (Zeitigung) itself. The temporalization that is thus taken as actual is not that of the streaming life itself but of its thematization, that is, the temporalization with which and in which the reflective thematization itself carries on its phenomenologizing action.≤∏≥ But how does this solve anything? Do we not have all the more clearly two orders of temporalization, one originative, one ‘‘imputed’’? Husserl’s attempt to settle this problem is to correct the apparent distinction, earlier accepted, between the ‘‘passive’’ proceeding of streaming life in itself and the ‘‘active’’ performance of an egoic thematic reflective intending. There are not two sorts of intentionality in the proper sense,’’ he writes in 1932, ‘‘and thus there is no pre-temporalization [Vor-Zeitigung] in the proper sense.’’ The temporalization that is taken to be ‘‘presupposed’’ as already going on, to become ‘‘evident’’ in reflection, is actually ‘‘that of the transcendental phenomenologizing I.’’ This I is what ‘‘originally effects temporalization,’’ and this I is what gives temporalization ‘‘the evidentness of experiential temporality.’’ Temporality is thus ‘‘in every mode performance of the I, original or acquired.’’ But this ‘‘experiential entemporalization’’ is not something 262. HA C 17 IV, p. 1 [63a–63b], summer 1930. 263. See HA C 17 IV, p. 4 [64b] (dated 1932), quoted in Held, Lebendige Gegenwart, p. 100, and discussed in detail on pp. 97–104.



being done by the unceasing activity of an always active ‘‘transcendental phenomenological I’’; for that would mean an endless regress.≤∏∂ But what kind of ‘‘temporalization,’’ then, has its source in the ‘‘transcendental I’’ when the latter is not actively performing thematization, that is, when the temporalization is just streaming on experientially? Husserl proceeds to distinguish, in the ‘‘a priori’’ ever-antecedent streaming of ‘‘entemporalization’’ and the ‘‘a priori’’ ever-antecedent I, between (a) this everstreaming feature itself, and (b) the consciousness-of character of intentionality that is always a feature of the I as well, especially the I taken as ‘‘wakeful I’’ (of which transcendental phenomenological reflection is a variant).≤∏∑ This is Husserl’s crucial move whereby ‘‘temporalization’’ devolves from the I of identity in two ways, with the intentional function of that I as the differentiating element. The I is thus the ‘‘inmost motor’’ of living proto-flow,≤∏∏ without attributing to it in all respects some kind of specific activity, some specific actintentional performance of the sort worked by phenomenological thematization itself. It is instead a kind of ‘‘condition of possibility’’ for such activity, a condition that does not itself ‘‘arise by activity.’’≤∏π One has to distinguish (1) the stream of consciousness as temporal, to which even the transcendental I is referred in its acts, capabilities, and habitualities, especially in its constitutive relationship to the world, and (2) the ‘‘proto-ground of this temporalization,’’ the ‘‘proto-I, concretely apprehended as the I of this all-temporalizing life.’’≤∏∫ Yet Husserl has to ask how this ‘‘transcendental proto-ego’’ comes to be apprehended, because ‘‘what we thus claim as the ultimate being, as the protobeing, . . . is precisely not the ultimate by virtue of the fact that it is a ‘phenomenon’ for us.’’ How are we to understand this proto-ego in its ‘‘anonymity,’’ a proto-ego that we inevitably represent in the form of a pole of acts and yet must consider to be the pole of ‘‘ ‘intentional experiences’ that are not acts?’’≤∏Ω The fuller context of Husserl’s ponderings in these C-manuscripts has to be recalled, namely, the daily discussions with Fink regarding both Husserl’s wide-ranging work and Fink’s several writing projects besides the one dealing 264. HA C 17 IV, p. 5 [65b], cited in Held, Lebendige Gegenwart, pp. 100–1. 265. HA C 17 IV, p. 6 [65b], only partially cited in Held, Lebendige Gegenwart, pp. 101–2. Immediately after, Husserl turns to the specifically active I of phenomenological reflection to highlight this unique capacity of the all-identical I. 266. HA C 10, p. 23 [15a–15b] (dated 1931), cited in Held, Lebendige Gegenwart, p. 103. 267. HA C 2 I, p. 7 [6b] (dated 1931), cited also in Held, Lebendige Gegenwart, p. 103. 268. HA C 2 I, p. 12 [8b]. 269. HA C 2 I, p. 14 [10a–10b].



with Husserl’s time-analysis. In the C-manuscripts we find Husserl engaging with one of the central issues in Fink’s ‘‘Sixth Cartesian Meditation.’’ Written in the summer of 1932, the ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ focuses exactly on the methodological questions regarding the ‘‘transformation’’ of the previously ‘‘anonymously’’ proceeding stream of experience when it is made the theme of phenomenological reflection. What might the relationship be between the stream of experience ‘‘in itself’’ and the stream as ‘‘transformed’’ and ‘‘thematized,’’ so as to allow some valid meaningfulness to the phenomenological ‘‘disclosure’’ thus attempted of ‘‘the absolute something’’?≤π≠ When Husserl a little later, in 1934, and virtually at the end of his considerations of the time-question, returns again to the treatment of the ‘‘antecedency’’ status that ‘‘primordial streaming [das urtümliche Strömen]’’ has as primordial constitution and primordial temporality, his analysis is unmistakably marked by the framing of issues in Fink’s ‘‘Sixth Meditation.’’ The ‘‘pretime’’ and ‘‘pre-being’’ of ‘‘the I that lives in this consciousness-stream’’ are without object-form and are both ‘‘unexperienceable and unsayable.’’ But when this ‘‘unsayable,’’ this ‘‘unexperienceable,’’ is ‘‘displayed,’’ and thus becomes ‘‘experienced and made theme of an assertion, it is precisely ontified.’’≤π∞ In being thus ‘‘ontified’’ it is transformed from its native pre-temporal and pre-ontological character into the thematically presented objectlike structure typical of that which actually has (or can have) being within temporalization, that is, within the world. But the real reason that this transformative thematization can be performed, that phenomenological reflection can pose pre-time and the primordial streaming as having a constant, identifiable process-structure, is that this pre-temporal streaming, precisely in the very manner in which its pregivenness is manifest as pregivenness, has already been transformed into a kind of given something, and already figures into subsistent givenness of a certain sort. This is as far as Husserl goes in reframing the critical point that he had already repeatedly dwelt upon in his C-group manuscripts. One should note, however, that it is not just Husserl’s adaptation to Fink’s framing of the methodological situation that is at work here. Husserl is also following one of the prime demands of phenomenological inquiry itself, namely, that it draw its 270. See CM6, ‘‘Prefatory Note,’’ p. 2 (VI.CM/1, p. 184), and §7 (especially pp. 56ff.; VI.CM/1, pp. 63ff.), §8 (especially pp. 75f.; VI.CM/1, p. 85), §9 (especially pp. 83f.; VI.CM/1, pp. 92–93), §11b and 11c. 271. HA C 13 II, pp. 8–9 [24a] (1934), my emphasis; cited in part also in Held, Lebendige Gegenwart, p. 103.



eidetic lessons—its further questioning—from investigation into the concretely given. Pregiven primordial streaming of life here is to be considered not in the abstract but on the basis of and in its concrete actuality, namely, in terms of the streaming life of consciousness as already having a world—which is the very line of thinking that had been articulated by Fink in the ‘‘Layout’’ of 1930 and then worked out in Fink’s ‘‘Draft for the opening section of an Introduction to Phenomenology.’’ (See 1.3 and 4.2.) This very point, pivotal to Fink’s own critical reaction to Husserl’s focus on the ‘‘I’’-ness of ultimate temporality,≤π≤ is one that Husserl himself underscores in that manuscript from March 1931, C 3 III, that we have been reading from to the present section. Living subjectivity, Husserl observes, is ‘‘in possession of its constituted world,’’ and is this as ‘‘itself in a certain way doubled,’’ (1) in its function as ‘‘streaming presencing [strömende Gegenwärtigung]’’ and (2) by being ‘‘constituted as something worldly, namely, as the streaming present [that is] the centerpoint of the two branches of oriented time, past and future.’’ But if one must distinguish this ‘‘concrete transcendental subjectivity’’ from ‘‘the transcendental I, the Transcendental, the Absolute,’’ that thus ‘‘corresponds to the human person’’ (whereby ‘‘I, the one reflecting upon myself, find myself in the transcendental reduction as transcendental I’’), then one has to ask what this ‘‘concrete transcendental subjectivity,’’ the ‘‘human person,’’ fundamentally is. Husserl’s answer is not as conceptually explicit as it becomes in 1934, but nevertheless he sees that, in the thematizing aim taken at the proto-I, this ‘‘living, streaming soul’’ is what gets ‘‘apperceived’’ in the ‘‘particular egoic life’’ that the proto-I has ‘‘in that soul’’; and in that apperceptual concrete, enworlded manifestness the ‘‘underlying ground [Untergrund] is obviously there too’’ and can ‘‘become thematic as its underlying ground.’’≤π≥ In sum, all pregivenness of either the world or the proto-process that constitutes the world with all it contains—especially humans in their experiencing of and in the world—must be disclosable as structures and functions accessible within this same stream of concretely proceeding experiencing that is one’s own, allowing thereby regressive explication done from within that same stream of experiencing. More precisely put, this stream that is one’s own is, in some sense yet to be made clear, the proto-stream itself as having shape and function in the world-frame itself, i.e., as enworlded. And, as thus accessible, the stream that is one’s own is therefore also to be regressively 272. See, pp. 244–47. 273. HA C III, pp. 36–37 [47a–47b].



explicated as precisely the proto-stream itself as set into time, as enworlded and entemporalized.≤π∂

5.2.3. The Aporia of Time-Analysis: Reflection Across the Transcendental Divide—Fink’s Proposals There is no escaping this paradoxical, seemingly aporetic situation regarding the validity and meaningfulness of the positive concepts in terms of which absolutely originative proto-temporalization in principle has to be characterized and defined. Eventually we have to look into the logic of intelligibility that this paradox defines for the way ultimate temporality and ultimate constitutive process can be characterized conceptually. This will be finally taken up in chapter 7. Here however, we have to follow how our study so far conducted allows us to define the differences that rise between Husserl and Fink on the analysis of ultimate temporality in transcendental phenomenology, and how a fundamental non-closure lies at the heart of the problematic of those differences. There are at least two dimensions to this matter of divergence. One is the issue of which ultimate analysis of proto-structure and proto-process, Husserl’s or Fink’s, is in better accord with an integrated consideration of all relevant matters. The other is that, in either case of pursuing the analysis of ultimate temporality to its most profound level, the basic aporia remains, namely, the moment of radical inaccessibility to the absolute of transcendental origins implied by phenomenology’s founding method of regression from, and irremovable anchoring in, the given. (See A fundamental nonterminability or non-closure arises as the inexorable consequence of the structure of the program itself. There are differences, now, between Husserl and Fink in both these dimensions, but let us start with the difference of finding for the structural feature in the stream of one’s own concretely proceeding experiencing that each respectively gives primacy to in order to characterize proto-temporalization appropriately—or, perhaps better, with the least non-appropriateness. In Husserl’s case the feature drawn out is the I explicated in terms of the present as the living form of streaming process, the living present. For Fink the feature of fundamental relevance is horizonality, here explicated in terms of dimensions antecedent to egoity that are differentiated into the presencing of the present on the one hand and depresencing of the past and the future on the other. 274. See HA C 3 II, p. 7 [22a], cited in Held, Lebendige Gegenwart, p. 74.



Let us look first at a few general critical points Fink makes with respect to Husserl’s orientation and then examine more closely the differences, not only in terms of the problem of transcendental conceptual adequacy but also in terms of the analytic theme presently at issue, the temporal life of the wakeful I. Critical Points: Presentialism For Fink it is paradoxical that the source of the strength of Husserl’s investigation is precisely the cause of its limitations, and this shows clearly even in Husserl’s final return to the analysis of time. By insisting at all levels on the necessity of evidencing in order to avoid the extravagance of free-floating speculation, and by anchoring the notion of evidencing in the paradigm of object-perception, Husserl, to Fink’s critical eye, blocked the possibility of articulating the features of temporality that counted most. Moreover, and as a consequence of this insistence by Husserl, for Fink Husserl’s analysis of time was from beginning to end presentialistic, despite the extreme subtlety of Husserl’s scrutiny and the success with which he brought into the open those features that, counterbalancing that presentialism, could, with the proper shift in perspective, make for a radically different explanatory result. Husserl’s presentialism consisted in taking the primacy of the present as fundamental, with the present taken in its double sense to mean both the herepresence of givenness and now-presentness in temporal flow.≤π∑ It was clear to Fink from his first work on the Bernau materials that the origination mode of temporality had to lie for Husserl in the present,≤π∏ yet there were other presentialistic features of Husserl’s approach as well, principally two. One was Husserl’s continual practice of building out his analysis of the present from the core of act-intentionality, resulting in the tendency to represent temporal structure in terms of time-points.≤ππ The other was the practice of addressing the question of totality, the wholeness of the world, or of the I, or of time in terms of presents, that is, as the system of many actual and potential presents, all of which would have to mean presents in time.≤π∫ For Fink, even if Husserl clearly acknowledged the necessity of conceiving originative ‘‘time’’ (‘‘prototime’’) as beyond constituted time, nevertheless to privilege the present in the 275. Of the many places the texts make this point, see the compact, comprehensive statement in Z-XI 60a, EFM 2. 276. See Z-IV 91a, EFM 1. 277. See appendix. 278. See Z-VII X/7a, EFM 2.



explication of originative time, especially by identifying it with the egoic living present, was to concede too much to a basically intra-temporal paradigmatic element.≤πΩ Thus, in Fink’s retrospective report on his first months of work at Louvain in 1939 the C-manuscripts are spoken of as the ‘‘metaphysical culmination’’ of the presentialism of Husserl’s theory of time.≤∫≠ The full compass of this presentialism of Husserl’s was something Fink early recognized, right in his own consideration of the time-question in the context of his dissertation: ‘‘Only by pushing into the time-horizons themselves can meaning be unveiled. All meaning always reaches beyond the present. Phenomenological analysis is not analysis of time because its objects are at a point in time, or because time is a constitutive moment in these objects, but solely because the ultimate and inmost theme of phenomenology is time itself. All phenomenological analysis is therefore always in principle a passage beyond the sphere of presence, and thus always a transgression past intuitiveness (inasmuch as one defines this as pure presentness).’’≤∫∞ Fink did not feel the same unbending obligation to root everything in the priority of the actintentional present as Husserl seemed to have. What Fink saw to be fundamental in Husserl’s own time-analyses was, therefore, something, so to speak, off to the side of Husserl’s own main focus, showing therein his accord with the shift in the analysis of temporal fundaments taken by the Korreferent for the dissertation defense, Heidegger. The I as Wakefulness in the Horizonality of Depresencing Husserl’s move to explicate primordial temporality as the egoic living present, thus giving a structural characterization for both the ultimate transcendental I and the originating power of temporalization, was meant to be a move of final clarification, of final disclosure of riz ˘ vmata ´ pántvn. For Fink, however, it was more critically correct to take temporality as primarily horizonal; for depresencing was the more radical function of temporalization, the 279. See Z-XV 91a, 111a, and 117a; EFM 2. Again, it is not the presentness of presencing that is the dynamic factor in the coming-about of temporality but rather depresencing. 280. Fink’s Louvain ‘‘Report’’ of 1939, EFM 4, Abschn. 4. See also Z-XXVII XIX/2a (#5), EFM 3, from a conversation with Landgrebe, January 14, 1940. See also Fink’s late general statement of the limitations of the schemata that Husserl’s analyses followed in his classic description of phenomena, ND, pp. 320–22. 281. Z-II 35b, EFM 1.



coming-about of the temporal as such (5.1.1); and the correlate in human consciousness to this primordial originative dynamism was not an I-center for action but the pre-egoic openness to the horizonal as such, namely, wakefulness. (See Reducing the inappropriateness of conceptualization for primordial temporalization meant moving as far as possible regressively along intra-temporal structuring not only by ‘‘de-presentializing’’ but also ‘‘deegoizing’’ the findings.≤∫≤ Wakefulness is not an intentionality of doing, it is more like an intentionality of being—if one would retain the term intentionality. Correspondingly, it is not an intentionality thematically aimed at a specific goal but rather precisely a non-specific and non-directed ‘‘intentionality,’’ namely, global openness to fundamental horizonality as such rather than to any kind of objective something. Such is the conception Fink proposed. For Husserl, wakefulness frequently comes up in the C-manuscript analyses, but always as subordinated to thematic act-intentionality.≤∫≥ Yet Husserl is worried about it. ‘‘The whole of what exists for me [das ganze Für-mich-sein] as human, as person in the world, comes out of wakefulness,’’ he writes in one lengthy manuscript;≤∫∂ and wakefulness is an encompassing condition that has to be brought into consideration when the activity of wakeful subjectivity is explicated as constitution. But wakefulness is understood by Husserl as the period of the possibility of activity on the part of an agent-ego, so that wakefulness, along with birth and death, seems somehow to mark beginning and ending in the life of transcendental constitutive action. Granting, however, Husserl’s posing this activity of constitution in terms of a plurality of subject-centers—‘‘transcendentally the world is the constitutive product of transcendentally wakeful subjects as persons standing together in wakeful association in a unity of tradition,’’ he writes—still he has to ask how one makes intelligible the idea of the ‘‘new entry of transcendental subjects on the scene and then their disappearance.’’≤∫∑ Here is where Husserl introduces a slight inflection in the identification of the transcendental I with the living present. Husserl determines the first sense 282. ‘‘The de-egoizing of egoity (absolution) is not attainable by a mundane annihilation of the I, but rather by a radicalization of egoity.’’ And Fink adds: ‘‘Thus too detemporalization.’’ Z-XV 117a, also Z-XV 111a (both in EFM 2). Again, see the parallel to this point in Heidegger’s 1929–1930 lecture course, EFA U-MH-IV 46, MH-GA 29/30, p. 201. See, p. 438. 283. See, for example, C 3 III, p. 22 [32a], C 17 IV, p. 6 [65b], and C 3 III, pp. 36–37 [47a–47b], cited above in the present section (footnotes 250, 265, and 273). 284. HA C 17 V, p. 33 [85a], from 1931. 285. HA C 17 V, pp. 33–34 and 36 [85a–85b and 86b].



of the transcendentally absolute as that of ‘‘the standing streaming present’’ itself in which I and Others are ‘‘co-present’’ in ‘‘their streaming proto-being’’;≤∫∏ that is, in this first sense the transcendentally absolute is ‘‘the Invariant: standing-staying form.’’≤∫π In a second sense, however, the transcendentally absolute is that of the temporality that is one’s own, the temporality ‘‘contained in my transcendental present . . . as streaming in time-modalities,’’ the temporality that contributes to and is part of the ‘‘transcendental historicity’’ in which are found Others as well.≤∫∫ The problem here, however, which Husserl does not pursue, seems to be that this differentiation of temporalities, in the plural, can only be made for the filling-out process in time rather than as the temporality of proto-time itself antecedent to time-modal structuring; the latter alone is the temporalizing origin-form of in-time structuring. Husserl may well say, in a formulation not unique to the C-group texts, that ‘‘absolute being, the being of a transcendental subject, means being as a member of transcendental intersubjectivity as world-constituting, . . . precisely as the absolute functioning subjectivity for the constitution of the world’’;≤∫Ω but the ‘‘form of absolute temporality,’’ ‘‘the Absolute persisting eternally in the eternal change of its modes,’’ ‘‘the Invariant: standing-staying form,’’ does not clearly allow plurality for itself as such, even if it is as well ‘‘the form of absolute co-existence whose symbol is space.’’≤Ω≠ In the end the problem remains somewhat out of focus in this manuscript. Wakefulness and the plurality of I’s as features pertaining to temporality at the level of ‘‘proto-being’’ seem assertable only by some kind of compromise between the pre-temporal and the intratemporal. In these most advanced analyses of time by Husserl beginnings and endings, limits and individuation seem to be matters only clearly definable in terms of that which goes on in time, rather than as belonging intrinsically to proto-temporality in its absolute invariant pre-temporal originative structure. It was, therefore, with good reason that Husserl’s reply earlier to the second of Fink’s questions, in that first recorded discussion between them in 1927, was so cautiously hedged (see 2.2). Fink’s critique revealed Husserl’s position as suffering under severe limitation, a kind of tunnel vision. Husserl gave rubric-setting dominance to the egocentered epistemological schema of subject and object, thus prioritizing the present in its object-constituting structuration, but in doing so he overlooked 286. HA C 17 V, pp. 39–40 [88b]. 287. HA C 17 V, p. 47 [95a]. 288. HA C 17 V, p. 40 [88b]. 289. Ibid. 290. HA C 17 V, p. 47 [95a].



the specifically horizonal character of both the present and that out of which the present dynamically emerges, viz., depresenting in the ‘‘time-swinging’’ that both temporalizes and spatializes being. Husserl, of course, knew perfectly well that the horizonal was an inseparable aspect of object-focused intentionality—he had discovered this structural principle and given it the philosophical currency it now enjoys; but for him it seemed to be something with a derivative and dependent role rather than as having a primary constitutive function. The horizonal for Husserl was always treated as that which in principle gets ‘‘cashed in’’ in terms of objects, and its specific depresencing character never comes to the fore for him.≤Ω∞ It seems astonishing that Husserl never seems to have confronted the challenge posed by the horizonal as recast by Fink in terms of depresencing, given the constant conversations between the two men. Yet Husserl did, in fact, from time to time raise the question that perhaps horizon-consciousness might be of a distinct kind; yet he never saw it as weakening in any way the centrality of the I. For, since the fundamental form of all temporalization is the living present, which simply is the I, even ‘‘field’’structures in consciousness are carried by this ultimately egoic living present.≤Ω≤ Feeling (das Gefühl ) too, which one might suppose Husserl would allow some ultimate non-I primordiality, ‘‘is already egoic’’; the I is a ‘‘feeling I,’’ and feeling something ‘‘is the I’s way of being in a state [Zuständlichkeit] before all activity and, when it is active, in activity.’’≤Ω≥ For Fink, however, this was a fundamental place where critical reconsideration offered an insightpromising opening that Husserl’s own seemingly unquestioned analytic framework prevented him from developing. (See 5.3.2.) There was, however, a second limitation, of quite a different kind, namely, that the methodological restrictions upon the analysis of ultimate temporalization had to become integrated into the way one critically interpreted the results of the analysis itself. Recall that, since methodologically one’s access to constitutive origins had to be by regressive movement from, and an abiding 291. Held mentions Fink’s conception of depresencing in Lebendige Gegenwart (p. 40), but he does not discern its fundamentally challenging implications. 292. See Husserl’s discussion in HA C 3 III, pp. 30–35 [43a–54b]. Recall that the ‘‘living present’’ retains an important place in Fink’s refocusing of the analytic of temporality. And not only does it have the function of thematic specification—the ‘‘ ‘filling of empty time-swings’ by the ontical,’’ for example—there is as well a specific horizonality to the present, that of the field of spatiality (see 293. HA C 16 V, p. 18 [68a]; but the whole context should be read, where what Husserl is talking about is the idea of feeling as pre-egoic hyletic awareness. Cf. the studies in Alter, 2, 1994, ‘‘Temporalité et affection’’; also Anne Montavont, De la passivité dans la phénoménologie du Husserl (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1999).



anchoring in, the ‘‘end-products’’ of constitutive genesis, the transcendentally originating had to be presented in the guise of the transcendentally originated. (See But, as Husserl’s considerations in C 13 II show,≤Ω∂ might not the relationship between the originating and the constitutively originated be more than a matter of simply non-proper representation? If the form of something within time is the only way any actuality and manifestness of originative temporalization is at all possible, then—despite non-properness and inadequacy—does not manifestation have to be taken as in some way holding and valid, and indeed as intrinsic to the very economy of transcendental constitutive origination?≤Ω∑ The logic of this paradoxical ‘‘validity’’ of the non-proper and inadequate has to be integrated into the self-interpretation of phenomenological analysis at its ultimate level, right where the sense of phenomenological findings is supposed to get final philosophical determination. Again, this is matter for chapter 7. Such, then, were the elements creating strain in Fink’s work with Husserl on the two-part treatise that was one of Fink’s main tasks in 1933 and 1934. But as his effort on it continued, Fink came to realize that even comprehensive introductory discussion in an edition covering all of Husserl’s second- and third-stage time-analyses would not be enough to produce a coherent treatment capable of withstanding the difficulties; what was needed was a complete reorientation of the whole approach.

5.3. Stage 3: The Reversal and the Displacement Between the letter Husserl wrote to Ingarden on November 26, 1934, and the one he wrote on July 10, 1935, about Fink’s work on the time-project (see the end of 5.2, just before 5.2.1), the scope of Fink’s work increased considerably. In the letter of July 10 Husserl writes that Fink’s work, ‘‘on the indeed exceedingly difficult and broad theme, Time and Time-Constitution,’’ is such as to ‘‘encompass the whole of phenomenology,’’ so that this no longer seems to be simply a work on time as a single restricted theme. Husserl adds that unfortunately he cannot join with Fink in the literary composition, with its ‘‘historical-critical discussions,’’ thus keeping the promise he made to Fink 294. See, where typescript pp. 8–9 [24a] from HA C 13 II is cited (footnote 271). 295. See the treatment of HA C 3 III, pp. 36–37, in the last two paragraphs of, just before 5.2.3. See also and



in his letter of July 1934.≤Ω∏ And what at first might seem a mere alternative formula (‘‘Time and Time-Constitution’’ instead of ‘‘Time and Temporalization’’) for the same ongoing work turns out to be the title for an entirely new work.

5.3.1. Reversal: The New Time-Book A brief retrospective remark that Fink wrote on his arrangement outlines for the Bernau texts indicates the three stages for his work on time for Husserl that we have been following, and hints at the character of his new book manuscript. ‘‘Time and Time-Constitution,’’ he notes, ‘‘contains but little of Husserl’s manuscript texts.’’≤Ωπ The task once meant for a comprehensive ‘‘Introduction’’ to the second-stage two-part edition of revised manuscript material has evolved to embrace the treatment, in new terms, of everything that was to have been covered in an edition of Husserl’s manuscript investigations. The most telling evidence for this new and final undertaking on Fink’s part, however, comes from near the end of Fink’s life, in a few brief notes written before 1970.≤Ω∫ The new book, ‘‘Time and Time-Constitution,’’ was Fink’s own work, not in the sense that he was responsible for the editing and literary presentation of what was basically Husserl’s material but in that it was the working out of his own attempt to explicate time. Three important features stand out in this effort as represented in these late notes. The first is that a decided ‘‘reversal’’ in approach occurs: ‘‘Time could not be philosophically understood by beginning with time-consciousness.’’≤ΩΩ Time-consciousness is precisely something conditioned by time, rather than being in some way itself originative of temporality. The only way to analyze time, therefore, is to see it as something prior to consciousness, and, indeed, prior to it with an antecedency at least as absolute as—if not in principle more than—that of the world itself. In other words, instead of seeing time from within consciousness, consciousness had to be considered as structured within time. Husserl’s solution to the problem of ultimate time-analysis, Fink explains, was ‘‘the intensified 296. To Ingarden, Bw III, p. 298, BIng, p. 94; to Fink, Bw IV, pp. 93–94; on the promise to Fink see 1.3. 297. Description on the envelope (Umschlag) in Beil. I to B-I, EFM 2, Abschn. 2. What Fink here designates as (1) ‘‘the first period of revision’’ and (2) ‘‘before the wholesale reworking’’ seems to correspond, respectively, to the two stages that preceded the ‘‘new book manuscript, ‘Time and Time-Constitution.’ ’’ 298. ‘‘Fünf Lose Blätter’’ EFM 2, Abschn. 2. 299. ‘‘Fünf Lose Blätter’’ 4a, emphasis Fink’s. See appendix.



presentialism’’ of the living present, while the only proper way Fink could see now was to begin with ‘‘world-time as the encompassing supra-objective and supra-subjective primordial process.’’ And to take this approach, Fink acknowledges, amounted to breaking away from Husserl’s whole conception of transcendental conditioning foundations, Husserl’s ‘‘transcendentalism.’’≥≠≠ In a word, when Husserl handed over to Fink the task of taking the investigation of time to the culmination that the problematic of temporality itself seemed to lead to, he in effect gave Fink the freedom to follow the demands of that problematic beyond Husserl’s own treatment. The second feature these notes disclose is Fink’s realization that not only does the effort to explicate time based on Husserl’s approach (such as in either the Bernau or the C-group manuscripts) ‘‘founder’’≥≠∞ but even his own ‘‘reversal’’ approach itself was ‘‘abortive.’’≥≠≤ And thus—the third point—he had kept it ‘‘under lock and key’’ and would continue to do so.≥≠≥ However, Fink’s book, ‘‘Time and Time-Constitution,’’ not only remained under lock and key (so that no one besides him seems ever to have read it); apparently, it is no longer even in existence. He seems to have destroyed it.≥≠∂ Whatever the personal motivations that led Fink to keep to himself this material on the ultimate issues in phenomenology and therefore on its ultimate philosophic possibility and validity, we can at least make clear some of the philosophical reasons for the deeply problematic, aporetic, or at least paradoxical character of both Husserl’s and Fink’s attempts at explicating the nature of time, and therefore the problematic character of any final systematic treatment of phenomenology. In the absence of Fink’s final treatment of the issue of time itself, we have had to reassemble its main investigative threads and knottings from his notes. The present treatment has done little more than lead up to the ‘‘reversal’’ that the investigation of time provoked. Yet this does not mean that there is no more that can be said about what the reversal accomplishes. In fact what we find is that phenomenology in this reversal is charged with new possibility. To this we now turn.≥≠∑ 300. ‘‘Fünf Lose Blätter’’ 3a–b, emphasis Fink’s. 301. ‘‘Fünf Lose Blätter’’ 4a. 302. ‘‘Fünf Lose Blätter’’ 5a. 303. ‘‘Fünf Lose Blätter’’ 4a. 304. See appendix. 305. This book limits itself to the rethinking of temporality that shows in Fink’s notes from the time of his work with Husserl. His thinking, however, did not stop with that, and the direction it takes after the war, continuous with what he was doing before it, can be seen in his Natur, Freiheit, Welt, sections 14–16.



5.3.2. Reversal Becomes Displacement: The Metaphysics of Play Fink’s critique-driven thrust beyond Husserl’s framework is easily discernible in the notes from 1935 on. He has now clearly circumscribed the limitations in Husserl’s position owing to its privileging of epistemological schemata in the detail work of his phenomenological analyses and his structuring of the framework of being to accord with the framework of the philosophy of reflection at work therein. Thus in early 1936 Fink writes that ‘‘Husserl’s greatest service is the exhausting of the possibilities for thought in a philosophy of reflection.’’≥≠∏ Yet this does not mean his simply abandoning what was achieved in Husserl’s phenomenoloy; rather, it means following the dynamic initiated in it to an opening beyond the constraints of the framework that Husserl had made canonic, especially within the constraints of the problematic lying at the heart of the now radicalized inquiry into time. Whereas a little earlier Fink might have provisionally considered the openness of Husserl’s phenomenology to lead to a ‘‘metaphysics of spirit,’’ in contrast either to the ‘‘philosophy of life’’ track Heidegger might be taken to represent or to that of a kind of phenomenological ‘‘positivism’’ based on the noetic-noematic correlation of constitution, now the issue of what phenomenology led to was far more problematic.≥≠π For what is at issue in the problematic of time is just how to conceptualize that which even ‘‘spirit’’ might mean, if this term, or any other chosen, is supposed to stand for the ultimate in primordial temporality itself. What emerges from the work on time Fink did with Husserl, for Husserl, and then for phenomenological philosophy itself, is that the category of spirit may not ipso facto be the necessarily privileged one for designating the transcendentally ultimate, such as philosophy since Descartes, via Kant and Hegel and now Husserl, had in principle supposed. Or rather, perhaps it has to be reconsidered in terms other than those of the idealistic-subjectivistic tradition. Thus in August 1934, as Husserl was thinking over a suitable statement for the International Philosophical Congress in Prague (September 1934; see 1.4), Fink sketched out some ideas in this vein about the whole issue of how philosophy begins and proceeds, especially in paradigmatic figures like Hegel and Husserl, and how that might help to understand the present crisis situation to which the Congress was thematically addressing itself. His notes end in the 306. Z-XX 19a, probably from late 1935 and early 1936; EFM 3. 307. See Z-XII 39a, probably the latter half of 1934.



form of a brief suggestion of points for Husserl to consider for his address to the Congress.≥≠∫ Here Fink hints that self-reflection might disclose things other than the epistemological action and relationship of the subject with respect to the object as that within which there is an originative power to spirit. In the notes that lead up to this proposal Fink speaks of spirit as not a ‘‘faculty’’ belonging to humans but ‘‘a power of existence [Daseinsmacht], a passion.’’ ‘‘Greek life,’’ he continus, ‘‘stood under the supreme sway of the will to know.’’ And then he adds: ‘‘Passion as the substance of life.’’≥≠Ω And a little before this he comments on his taking a ‘‘fork in the road’’ different from Husserl. Unlike Husserl, Fink does not ‘‘believe in the ethical mission of philosophy to improve mankind,’’ as ‘‘the formal logos of the world that makes genuine human life possible.’’ Instead, he writes, ‘‘philosophy is a passion. Only the inner compulsion to have to live thinking makes up the fate of the philosopher.’’≥∞≠ This openness on Fink’s part to possible ultimates that critical considerations might recommend in phenomenology’s push to origins was with him from the beginning; it was something needed in and part of his early appreciation of the critique dimension of Husserl’s phenomenology. And it was in the analysis of time that the most necessary place in principle was to be found for considering other possible ways of conceptualizing phenomenology’s findings. Thus the whole thrust of Fink’s critique of Husserl’s presentialism was to displace the originative centrality of the perceptual present, even if explicated as the living present, in favor of an a-thematic consciousness of operative openness to the field- and horizon-dimensionalities of the temporal order of depresencing, and of these as concrete moments of the ‘‘swinging’’ of time. Wakefulness and the horizonality of the world comprised the first alternative that Fink saw Husserl’s analysis to open out to, in reduction-driven postpreliminary critique. But even wakefulness and world-horizonality themselves could be legitimate options to Husserl’s presentialist egoic living present for providing the appropriate structural schema for interpreting the ultimate transcendental ‘‘Absolute’’ of origins only in a deeply qualified way, namely, as the ‘‘ontified’’ guise of the ultimate in question. Still, wakefulness and worldhorizonality were less non-appropriate to it in the way they were systematically, constitutively self-effacing; they were determinative precisely in that what they made possible as prominent in full determinate manifoldness occludes them. It was, then, the force of the critique of the subject-object and 308. Z-XIX IV/1–9 and 11, ending with IV/12a–b; EFM 3. 309. Z-XIX IV/8a, emphasis all Fink’s. 310. Z-XIX IV/7a, emphasis Fink’s.



egoic schematic frames of the manifest that gave preferability to Fink’s option; its appropriateness was one of relative not absolute principle.≥∞∞ Yet wakefulness and world-horizonality are not the only constituted features of temporality that show at this level in this perspective (again, always as ontification of the ultimate). Further alternative expressions for the ultimate begin to take center stage in Fink’s reflections, in focus on elements that have been intrinsic to Husserl’s program from the beginning though not thematized by him for direct consideration. Against the hitherto canonic factors of cognitional access as clues, or at least as starting points, for explicating constitutive origins, Fink now tries out features specifically of intrinsic dynamism. We find, therefore, in Fink’s notes the gradual prominence of the themes of life and play as beginning to bear the weight of ultimate explicative potential. And this should not be surprising. There is a naturalness to it in phenomenology itself. One way to put it is to say that Fink comes to realize that the pairing of time and spirit can just as much be the pairing of time and life, or of time and play— or of all of these together at once. In his last folder of notes for work on the Bernau revision he writes: ‘‘The system of phenomenology is the ‘system of life.’ ‘Life’ here not the definitive concept for protecting the mode of being of the subject against naturalizing reification, but rather life as concretely playing intentionality. . . . Philosophy as living spirituality, functioning, operating.’’≥∞≤ Even earlier, in the Chiavari notes of 1930, in the midst of ideas about the structural features of time that must be given ultimacy, Fink writes down as the last of several points on the analysis of time this idea: ‘‘Interpretation of temporality as ‘longing,’ ’’≥∞≥ that is, as an irrepressible compulsion onward, a kind of intentionality with non-specific teleology. Temporality as ‘‘longing’’ has a philosophical ancestry of importance for Fink that is rather un-Husserlian, namely, from one of the first philosophic authors he had read as a youth in a Germany quite different from what it was becoming in the mid-1930s, especially in the tenor being attributed to that same writer, Friedrich Nietzsche. 311. Cf. CM6, pp. 94 and 98 (VI.CM/1 pp. 103 and 107). Along with reading Husserl’s notations to these passages, it is well to take keep in mind that Husserl was capable of expressing the principle of this relativity himself, as in HA C 2 I, p. 14 (1931): ‘‘Thus what we presume as the last being, as the proto-being, under the title ‘proto-phenomenal present,’ is not the ultimate Something precisely because it is a ‘phenomenon’ for us.’’ On this entire issue see, p. 241,, pp. 244–46, and, in particular, 312. B-VII 10c, all emphasis Fink’s; EFM 2, Abschn. 2. 313. Z-VII XVII/29a, dated September 19, 1930. See also Z-XV 64a, which, along with other Nietzschean tropes, Fink goes on to interpret in terms of his analysis of time. Temporality is characterized as ‘‘longing’’ in the section ‘‘On the Great Longing’’ in part 3 of Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra.



Nietzsche will figure prominently in the next chapter, so that we can be content with but one other admission by Fink of Nietzsche’s legacy in his thinking at this crucial juncture. In a conversation with Landgrebe in 1936, Fink asks, ‘‘What is philosophy? A science? An attitude? A movement of life?’’ And his answer is: ‘‘The life-movement of the ‘will to power,’ life’s taking possession of itself.’’≥∞∂ He then jots down ideas on his interpretation of Nietzsche, that life in Nietzsche is not to be taken to mean nature-bound life as lying behind culture, as it were, in a kind of ‘‘naive biologism,’’ but rather life free of disablement, life that, while always lost in ‘‘roles,’’ is beyond all of them and is simply the play of them, ‘‘life as the play of being.’’≥∞∑ ‘‘The essence of life = play,’’ he writes in another note from the same time.≥∞∏ Clearly it is not life as mute, brute drive and impulsion that interests Fink but life as the structuring play of elements, or rather as the play of origination into order and differentiation. In short, it is a ‘‘metaphysics of play’’ that he sees as a possible viable option opened up by the ‘‘miscarrying’’ of a strictly phenomenological analysis of temporality.≥∞π As 1936 proceeds, time-analysis is gradually displaced by the exploration of conceptual alternatives for expressing the play-life at the heart of the origin of the world and human experience in it, at the heart, that is, of temporalization itself. In the period when Husserl labors over his final production, the ‘‘Crisis’’-texts, consolidating, deepening, and broadening his phenomenological program, Fink sees limitations that to his mind cannot but block the success of that effort,≥∞∫ and he allows his mind to notice and take a fork in the road that may lead around those limitations. Yet this highlighting of the idea of life by Fink is not without a deep resonance in Husserl’s whole work; and while this issue will be the focus of the next chapter, here we should at least note the ease with which life has all along been accorded a primordiality in phenomenological analysis without really being focused on, so long as the endless busyness of temporal structuring dominated the philosopher’s analytic attentions. This shows nowhere more forcefully than in the very title Husserl chooses for ‘‘my transcendental being,’’ 314. OH-VII 28, EFM 3. 315. OH-VII 28–33, emphasis Fink’s. 316. OH-VI 2, EFM 3. 317. See the reference to ‘‘Fünf Lose Blätter,’’ 5a, earlier, 5.3.1. See the reference to OH-VII 50 at the end of 1.4. The phrase ‘‘metaphysics of play’’ is found several times in OH-VII (A/2a, A/4a, A/6a), and it figures as the culminating topic in a long sketch for a possible study entitled ‘‘Problem-Concept of Philosophy,’’ in Z-XX 2a–b, 3a and subset XXVIII/4b, from early 1936. All in EFM 3. 318. See Z-XX 2a–3b and 10a–11b on this same final effort of Husserl’s.



namely, the ‘‘concrete proto-living present [urlebendige Gegenwart],’’≥∞Ω or ‘‘my temporally original being, my being as entemporalizing-entemporalized life-stream.’’≥≤≠ So many pages of Husserl’s late time-studies bear the term ‘‘living, alive, lively—lebendig’’ in some formulation; and yet this ceaseless upwelling and flow of living is framed ultimately in terms of the ‘‘I as center, as I of this stream,’’ in terms of the ‘‘invariant time-form’’ that is made concrete by being continually filled with content—most globally put, filled with the world itself, which is thus for me ‘‘filled time.’’≥≤∞ The whole dynamism of phenomenology’s center, that which makes its world a life-world, not an intellectual construction, lies in the thematic core of interest but remains out of self-critical explicative focus. But it was not out of focus for Fink in those years of both private thinking and animated conversation in that close workshop circle of just Husserl and himself. What thematic consideration of life at the level of origins might bring into the program of phenomenology, stretching and straining the boundaries of Husserl’s program, is what the next chapter will show.

319. HA C 3 II, p. 1 [19a]. 320. HA C 7 II, p. 16 (41a]. 321. Ibid.


Fundamental Thematics III: Life and Spirit, and Entry into the Meontic

But this self-interpretation of life, and in particular of worldexperiencing life, is not mere exposition or analysis of something finished and set. Life is what it is as intentional performance, and ever new performance; and that it is that, is already an interpretation, not a real analysis. In this way for life to be put into some construal is for life to continue on, with life behind it and alongside it, not in some merely natural externality, but in the internality of an intentional tradition. Life, we can even say, is through and through historical. . . . —Husserl, ‘‘Nature and Spirit,’’ lecture course, summer 1927∞ Thesis: Philosophizing is inquiry that knows, knowledge and science in its content but not as a stance on life’s part. For as a stance it is life’s taking possession of itself, the play that is about freedom. —Fink, handwritten note from late 1935 or early 1936≤ January 1936: In a year and a half Husserl will be stricken with his final illness, and in a little more than two years his life will come to an end. Without knowing it, he has only eighteen months left of productive capability; but 1. See appendix. 2. Z-XX 11b, emphasis Fink’s (EFM 3).


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he has been renewed by the previous November’s experience of giving his Prague lectures, ‘‘The Crisis of European Sciences and Psychology,’’ and he is in feverish labor over the first part of his ‘‘Crisis’’-texts. The University of Freiburg, against the standard honoring of emeritus professors, no longer lists him in the roster of its academic personnel, but he is writing now for an audience beyond the increasingly bleak and twisted world of this Freiburg and this Germany. His phenomenology holds a message for the future and for a humanity wider than the society that has written him out of its community. And he still has Fink to speak with about his work and the ideas that are still alive in it. Yet that they share a common frame in the program of phenomenology does not mean that they have a common assessment of what is to come next in that program’s development. To Husserl the fundamentals of phenomenology compose a groundwork of ever-holding, ever renewable insightfulness in rigorous fulfillment of the ideal of rational explication. But for Fink, as the chapter just concluded makes clear, those same fundamentals are themselves deeply problematic; and to realize this means that carrying out phenomenology’s program of disclosing origins transforms it into an effort to think the other side of an unconditional boundary. So while Husserl plunges into the task of explicating the full spread of content-positive findings reaching from perceptual experience intrinsically imbedded in the world to the reflective selfassertion of rationality itself, Fink wonders about a complement, if not a radical alternative, called for by the limits structured intimately into phenomenology’s whole methodology from its opening action onward. For Husserl the dimension of investigation needs continuing; for Fink the dimension of critique is now in the forefront, and this of necessity means opening up ways of determining matters for inquiry that do not fall neatly into the established patterns of Husserl’s work. It seems that the two of them talked about this, perhaps not so much strictly in methodological terms as in terms of different foci of content, different themes. Fink noted down the topics of two conversations at the time, one from January 21, 1936, the second from February 18, 1936, that reveal something of this kind of discussion they would have been having.≥ The way things are said, and the way some things seem to remain unsaid, or at least are only discreetly indicated, are revealing of the dimension of deference (and a measure of reserve) on Fink’s part that was a feature of his work with Husserl, 3. OH-VI 15–17 and OH-VIII 36–37 (both EFM 3). The first text raises a point about life, self, and freedom—especially ‘‘life as self-mastery’’—while the second notes a deep difference in the way Husserl and Fink, respectively, approach the problem of God and religion in phenomenology.


Life and Spirit

despite their intense and intimate work together.∂ These discussions link up with the contrast in orientation already sketched out in the final section of the preceding chapter; and the notes Fink wrote throughout 1935 and 1936 highlight how differently he and Husserl dealt with the crucial theme. Both saw life to be the central topic for philosophical examination; but while Husserl took up life obliquely, as the dimension of dynamism for the life-world toward which the investigation of living experience was preparing the way, Fink saw that more direct questioning was needed even in this preparatory stage, in view of the corrective this would impose. There are three aspects to this corrective. The first is, once again, that Husserl’s way of addressing the theme of life as fundamental in a phenomenology of the world, however forcefully put in his Prague lectures, ‘‘The Crisis of the European Sciences and Psychology,’’ nonetheless followed the ‘‘classical’’ reasoning of the philosophy of reflection.∑ This was inadequate because it based the analysis of fundamental originative process upon structures that arise within that process rather than opening up lines of investigation that move beyond those originated structures to the originative power itself.∏ If philosophizing is the movement of a fundamental living force producing its own self-explication and thereby taking possession of itself—and this is the second aspect—then it must approach that fundamental life at a radical level in both theoretical schemata and practical engagement. ‘‘Philosophizing,’’ writes Fink, ‘‘is first of all life’s taking possession of itself, the return to being not ‘disabled,’ ’’π and therefore is a countering of all fixing of life within absolutized forms that cramp and stifle its force—one of the very points of Fink’s conversation with Husserl on that January 21, 1936. Philosophic thinking is in principle an action that continues the ‘‘the play of being,’’ which is ‘‘the essence of life.’’∫ Thus at the head of the list of themes that Fink envisions for outlining his own philosophical direction, drawn up in the weeks after his thirtieth birthday—December 11, 1935, right in this crucial period of work—stands ‘‘the metaphysics of play.’’Ω Finally, the third aspect, again seen in the concluding remarks of the previous chapter and explicit in these same notes of Fink’s from 1935 and 1936, is that the thinker provoking this new thematic development is neither Husserl nor Heidegger (nor Kant), but Nietzsche. 4. See 1.3, pp. 51–52, and 5.2, pp. 289–91. 5. See OH-VII 12 (EFM 3), a remark explicitly on Husserl’s Prague lecture. 6. See OH-VII 21. 7. OH-VII A/2a. 8. See the lines on Nietzsche from January, 1936, quoted from OH-VI 2 and OH-VII 33 in 5.3.2. 9. See the lines from OH-VII 50 (EFM 3), quoted near the end of 1.4.

Life and Spirit


These three features of corrective difference prominent in the Fink thinking in the period of Husserl’s sustained production of his ‘‘Crisis’’-texts were not the result of mere personal preference on the part of one man in contrast to another. They sprang rather from problems internal to phenomenology, and this becomes clear when one turns to the larger setting in which this specific theme of life came to be addressed urgently now in phenomenology. For that we have to go back a moment to developments earlier than January 1936.

6.1. Life-Philosophy, and Life as an Idea in Phenomenology There is nothing new about identifying the main element of this fuller setting as the philosophic orientation known as life-philosophy. But beyond its character as a diffuse orientation still prominent in the 1930s, it was in the form of a specific philosophic position that it had an important bearing on Husserl’s thinking, from the first years of the century on to the last decade of his life, namely, as the work of Wilhelm Dilthey. Husserl’s intellectual engagement with Dilthey is a well-known feature of his career, but Dilthey’s work was more than a merely external circumstance that Husserl had to take into account in order to be up-to-date and relevant. As Husserl explained to Dietrich Mahnke in a letter from December 1927, he had been tremendously impressed that Dilthey took phenomenology as identifiable with his own geisteswissenschaftlichen psychology and thereby as linked with his life’s goal of providing a foundation for the human sciences in general (die Geisteswissenschaften).∞≠ Yet despite an ‘‘internal correspondence between Dilthey’s and my intentions,’’ as Husserl characterized the convergence in a letter to Georg Misch in August 1929, there was a more fundamental difference that had to be made explicit, namely, that inasmuch as phenomenology via the reduction explicated the relation of experienced reality to subjectivity as one of constitution, it had to be seen as a ‘‘science of spirit’’ (Geisteswissenschaft) that was far more radical and fundamental than Dilthey’s psychology. From the perspective of the reduction, Dilthey’s work remained ‘‘bound to the pregiven world and to an anthropology,’’∞∞ whereas phenomenology 10. Bw III, p. 460, from December 26, 1927. See Guy van Kerckhoven, ‘‘Die Grundansätze von Husserl’s Konfrontation mit Dilthey im Lichte der geschichlichen Selbstzeugnisse,’’ in Dilthey und der Wandel des Philosophiebegriffs seit dem 19. Jahrhundert, ed. by Ernst Wolfgang Orth, Phänomenologische Forschungen 16 (Freiburg: Karl Alber, 1984), pp. 134–60. 11. Bw VI, p. 277, August 3, 1929. See van Kerckhoven, ‘‘Husserls Konfrontation mit Dilthey,’’ pp. 154–56. See also Dilthey’s letters to Husserl, June 29 and July 10, 1911,


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‘‘disclosed the universal life in which all science . . . was constituted,’’ the universal form, ‘‘the universal typology of concrete universal subjectivity’’ that operates in this life and in so doing ‘‘takes shape in personal form, out of sources of specific activity and on the basis of an intentional passivity that is also to be disclosed.’’∞≤ One can easily see in Husserl’s remarks here to Mahnke and Misch an earlier formulation of the theme of the life-world.∞≥ The widely enthusiastic interest in Husserl’s idea of the life-world, it should be noted, is almost entirely focused on the way in which the life-world represents the structural ground for a non-Cartesian concept of human being and for an analysis of the frame of experience that is prior to and more fundamental than the objectivistic, naturalistic universe postulated by the account of reality embodied in the physical sciences. The press of scientific methodology and the positive, objective explanatory treatments of natural phenomena leads phenomenology to offer a counteracting approach in the form of the conception of human nature as being-in-the-world, so that all human endeavors, such as the natural sciences, among many other things, are taken as rooted in the ontological situatedness of experiential ‘‘being-in-the-world.’’ The life-world is, accordingly, adopted and adapted as a heuristic and analytic concept for explicating this fundamental being-in-the-world. (Actually, this focus is analogous to the motivation of much of Dilthey’s work, namely, to establish the distinction between the ‘‘sciences of nature’’ and the ‘‘sciences of spirit,’’ as well as one of the important points on which Husserl and Dilthey in fact converged.)∞∂ Valid and important as it is to treat the life-world this way, namely, with the focus on world-element, nevertheless it leaves the other essential component of the concept, namely, life, in a penumbra where its significance and relevance are merely implicit and presupposed. The analysis of the world is one of phenomenology’s main contributions to philosophy; but it is no less true that life, living being, is not only central to the realities that phenomenology insists upon as the phenomena of record for philosophic study but in addition is what phenomenology itself is in its acts of reflection and analysis. For phenomenology philosophic reflecting and analyzing are themselves acts of a living being, acts that methodologically, in Husserl’s classic formulation of the ‘‘Principle of Principles,’’ come to consummation in the evidentness of an object given in its edited by Walter Biemel, ‘‘Einleitende Bemerkung zum Briefwechsel Dilthey-Husserl,’’ Man and World, 1 (1968), 428–46; also in Bw III, pp. 271–74 and 278–80. 12. Bw III, p. 462, letter of December 26, 1927. 13. See appendix. 14. See the letters of Dilthey to Husserl referred to in footnote 11.

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vivid reality to an actual active intending. For phenomenology, reflection and analysis are not just about the living being of that existent that only is as in a world, they are also, in a genuine and fundamental way, instances of living being; this too, then, is an essential topic of phenomenology’s inquiry; and this in the end has to be the ultimate reason for phenomenology to come to terms with the life-philosophy that was its contemporary. It was not, however, the question of life as such that stood thematically in Husserl’s mind in his treatment of Dilthey and life-philosophy. Husserl’s concern was predominantly to try to establish and clarify the precise character of phenomenology’s work by critically examining the way phenomena and issues were dealt with in contrasting non- or pre-phenomenological studies and proposals. This is easily seen in the several angles and stages of Husserl’s response to Dilthey. For example, Husserl’s 1911 essay ‘‘Philosophy as Rigorous Science’’ reacted to the historicism, and relativistic skepticism, that he thought he saw in Dilthey’s work, a perception that a subsequent exchange of letters initiated by Dilthey cleared up for him. More importantly, Husserl found accord with Dilthey on the matter of having to turn to the inner life of spirit to ground and explain human science as such, whether it be science of human experiences and activities or of natural objects.∞∑ And Husserl returned again and again in his courses to reflection on Dilthey’s position regarding precisely the distinction between nature and spirit. For it was on this distinction that a proper understanding of psychology turned, and for Husserl psychology was the science that stood closest to the central work of phenomenology itself. Husserl’s study and discussion of Dilthey, therefore, represented more than anything else his endeavor to determine the character of phenomenology in distinction from, and the manner of its agreement with, the science of psychology, especially as Dilthey conceived of it.∞∏ In the final stage of Husserl’s coming to terms with Dilthey, however, beginning in 1930, the question of life finally did come into play somewhat more focally; but the issue for Husserl now was not Dilthey’s work directly but the perception held by the philosophic public on the character of his phenomenology. As recounted in 1.2, Husserl realized that he had to counter the popular view of his work as predominantly a logic-centered, static conceptual operation in contrast to the way Dilthey, and especially now Heidegger as he was being understood, dealt with the origin and locus of meaning in the movement 15. See Biemel’s ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua IX, pp. xvi–xx. 16. Thus Husserl’s lectures in the 1920s, such as ‘‘Phänomenologische Psychologie,’’ SS 1925 and 1928 (Husserliana IX), as well as ‘‘Natur und Geist,’’ SS 1927 (Hua XXXII). Eugen Fink’s attendance at these lectures, and his notes on them, will be referred to later.


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of living being. Accordingly, we find Husserl producing in this period rich analyses of such phenomena as wakefulness and sleep, of historicity and cultural setting, of intersubjectivity and temporality, and especially of that central issue of temporality, namely, the ‘‘flowing, living present.’’∞π These were all eidetic analyses of living being, action, and appetition, in that this living being is a living action of constitution, and the appetition in play is that of the fundamental intentional dynamic of living temporality. It takes little reading of Husserl to see how extensively the stratum of transcendental constitutive action is characterized as a life, and the project of the ‘‘Crisis’’-writings only ratifies the centrality that constituting action always had for Husserl as a living process. What these writings do offer more clearly than before, however, is explicit acknowledgment of the methodological and substantive difficulty of the double meaning that typifies the results of transcendental phenomenological inquiry in general; but they do so not directly with respect to life but rather regarding ‘‘subjectivity.’’∞∫ Husserl points out in Crisis, for example, that the life of subjectivity, which it is phenomenology’s task to explicate, displays a double character. What the reduction discloses is that the subjectivity we find in our own lives is really ‘‘absolute functioning subjectivity,’’ which ‘‘objectifies itself . . . in human subjectivity.’’∞Ω Phenomenology, he continues, must confront ‘‘this paradox, namely, that man, and in communicalization mankind, is subjectivity for the world and at the same time is supposed to be in it in an objective and worldly manner.’’≤≠ Human life in the world somehow manifests two radically different strata: (a) constituted, mundane human entitative being, and (b) constituting, transcendental agency. With this distinction, however, the status and validity of descriptive terms comes into question. Again Husserl in Crisis warns us: ‘‘To be sure, words taken from the sphere of the natural world . . . are dangerous, and the necessary transformation of their sense must therefore be noticed.’’≤∞ This remark is made in regard to the terms stratum and component, but the principle in principle applies to all terms used to describe the transcendental, and, there17. See Kern’s ‘‘Einleitung,’’ Hua XV, pp. xlii–xlviii. 18. There can be little doubt that this represents Husserl’s coming to terms with one of the central critical points in Fink’s ‘‘Sixth Meditation.’’ Husserl’s repeated reading of this text testifies to the seriousness with which he took it. See CM6, ‘‘Translator’s Introduction,’’ p. xviii. 19. Crisis, p. 262 (§72); see also pp. 113 (§29), 175 (§52), and 186 (§54b). 20. Crisis, p. 262 (§72). 21. Crisis, p. 174 (§51). See also p. 210 (§59).

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fore, also to the term life. But Husserl in Crisis does not in fact go on to explain specifically the transformation of sense that one must make regarding the term life.≤≤ There are, then, two issues in the matter of explicating what ‘‘life’’ must mean in transcendental phenomenology. The first is to determine the positive characterization of ‘‘life’’ so as to cover the two senses of it: (a) as life in the world on the part of human subjectivity, and (b) as the life both of absolute, constituting subjectivity and of subjectivity as transcendentally reflecting upon the whole scene of world and world-constitution. But this first issue, how to produce an appropriately comprehensive characterization for life, can only be taken up in a way that remains preliminary until a second, more basic issue is finally resolved, namely, the determination of what exactly the difference, the similarity, and the relationship are between these two strata of life, the mundane and the transcendental, and what exactly the methodological principle of validity is for the terminology and conceptuality needed to express and articulate all these relationships. It is no surprise to find this complex of issues, central throughout Fink’s work for Husserl, dominant also in Husserl’s own thinking about the question of life.

6.2. Life-Philosophy and Phenomenology: Outline for an Essay That the primary factor in the context of motivation for the orientation taken in the most significant achievement of the final phase of Husserl’s phenomenology was life-philosophy is easily seen in Husserl’s own statement of the fact. In July 1930 he finished ‘‘a small essay’’ for the final volume of his Jahrbuch that he called ‘‘Epilogue to My ‘Ideas,’ ’’≤≥ in which he characterized the situation of German philosophy in terms of ‘‘the ‘Philosophy of Life’ striving to be predominant in it, with its new anthropology, its philosophy of ‘Existence.’ ’’≤∂ In this climate, Husserl continues, ‘‘my phenomenology’’ is characterized as ‘‘intellectualism’’ and ‘‘rationalism,’’ which indeed, he acknowledges, 22. ‘‘Life,’’ then, should be the kind of concept that Fink, in his 1957 Royaumont paper, ‘‘Operative Begriffe in Husserls Phänomenologie’’ (ND, pp. 180–204), called ‘‘operative’’ rather than ‘‘thematic.’’ In addition, again in Fink’s methodological framing, ‘‘the concept of life in Husserlian phenomenology is not explicated speculatively’’ (‘‘Die intentionale Analyse und das Problem des spekulativen Denkens,’’ ND, p. 152). 23. See appendix. 24. ‘‘Epilogue,’’ translation in Ideas II, p. 405 (Hua V, p. 138).


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‘‘are very closely connected with my specific concept of philosophy.’’≤∑ But the nature of the way his phenomenology works, Husserl eventually points out, is not the ‘‘miring of my methodic procedure in abstract one-sidedness,’’ nor is it a ‘‘failure . . . to touch upon original-concrete, practical-active subjectivity,’’ ‘‘skirting’’ the ‘‘so-called problems of ‘Existence’ as well as the metaphysical problems.’’ To object to phenomenology in these terms is for Husserl sheer misunderstanding, for it interpretively returns phenomenology ‘‘back to a level the overcoming of which is precisely its whole sense.’’ It amounts to a failure to understand the whole point of ‘‘the phenomenological reduction.’’≤∏ The way Husserl limits himself merely to indicating his position, basically in reaction to Misch’s study (again, see 1.2) does not go nearly far enough to be effective, nor was it meant to, since this text was a mere ‘‘Preface’’ primarily meant for English readers. In the end his real response will be the ‘‘Crisis’’texts, but that was not the only way in which counteracting the wide public perception of the deficiency of Husserl’s phenomenology was to be achieved. In point of fact a powerful defense was meant to be mounted in the project that began as Fink’s essay in Kant-Studien, ‘‘The Phenomenological Philosophy of Edmund Husserl and Contemporary Critique.’’ What has apparently hardly been noticed about this universally read essay is that, preceding the text there is the Roman numeral ‘‘I,’’ indicating that what follows is a first part; and yet no second part appears in the article. Nor has the discrepancy been noticed between the object of Fink’s countercriticism in his essay, the Neo-Kantian interpretation of Husserl’s phenomenology, and the locus of the critique that Husserl in fact found so distressing, namely, lifephilosophy and the philosophy of ‘‘existence.’’ The situation becomes intelligible, however, when we realize what the envisioned ‘‘part II’’ of the whole project was supposed to be, now that Fink’s extensive notes pertaining to it are available. Sometimes in mid-1933 Fink noted down a list of projects under way or planned, of which the last one is entitled ‘‘Life-Philosophy and Phenomenology,’’ with the subtitle ‘‘Edmund Husserl’s Phenomenological Philosophy in Contemporary Criticism II.’’≤π Why Fink began his treatment of phenomenology vis-à-vis ‘‘contemporary criticism’’ by addressing Neo-Kantianism can only be surmised—e.g., that the 25. ‘‘Epilogue,’’ p. 405–6 (Hua V, p. 138). 26. ‘‘Epilogue,’’ p. 407 (Hua V, p. 140). 27. Z-XI 25b (EFM 2), my emphasis on ‘‘II.’’ The first two of the five items on the list are ‘‘the time-work’’ and ‘‘Presentification and Image II.’’ See also OH-II 48, from 1935, for this full title.

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place and function of the phenomenological reduction had to be well understood before all else, against either misconception or naïveté (as Husserl himself noted in his ‘‘Epilogue’’), that Fink’s recently written ‘‘Sixth Meditation’’ laid out the radical methodological implications of the reduction, and therefore these had to be clearly stated, as the Kant-Studien essay, modeled upon the ‘‘Sixth Meditation,’’ does, or that Husserl’s phenomenology was too easily, albeit mistakenly, assimilable to Neo-Kantianism. Fink does not remark in his notes upon the reason for the sequence of treatment. Nevertheless, what remains clear is that the points to be made in addressing life-philosophy in the sequel provide the track along which the issue of what ‘‘life’’ in transcendental phenomenology means would reach its most radical thematic treatment. Yet, owing no doubt, in part at least, to the oppressive social and political circumstances, this sequel was never written. Sometime in 1934, despite the clear realization by this time that any such part II would never be allowed to appear in Kant-Studien, now fully ‘‘coordinated’’ with National Socialist policies, Fink sketched out in a project list the way phenomenology might be presented in relation to life-philosophy: Life-philosophy and phenomenology: (a) Against the thesis of the abstract concept of consciousness—reduction as the catastrophe of existence. (b) ‘‘Topical’’ reflection and the deviant modern species of the ‘‘philosophy of reflection’’: anthropologism, grounded ‘‘historistically’’ in its naive form, and ‘‘systematically’’ in its more important form. (Representing the naive form: Misch and the Dilthey school; representing the more important form: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Jaspers, and also, in a certain sense, Kant.) (c) The ‘‘illusion of absolute idealism.’’ Its hubris, its extravagance, immoderation, unhumanness, ‘‘You will be like God.’’ Not a human attitude, but the meontic completion of spirit. (d) The double truth: the cosmological-phenomenological antithesis and its unity: the dialectic of absolute philosophy.≤∫

As in part I, the Kant-Studien article, the point of departure for part II consists of the specific criticisms laid against phenomenology, now from within the perspective of life-philosophy. Accordingly, we shall proceed as Fink did, first making clear what the charges given mean, and then developing the 28. Z-XIV II/1b, EFM 2 (emphasis Fink’s). Especially interesting are two of the other items on the list: the third, ‘‘world-consciousness and world: first philosophical work’’ (Fink’s emphasis), and fifth, ‘‘Difference between the Husserlian and Heideggerian Systems of Philosophy,’’ discussed, respectively, in chapters 4 and 3.


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phenomenological counterposition—in both cases drawing from Fink’s notes relevant to the matters involved.

6.2.1. The Charges against Phenomenology, 1: Consciousness an Abstract Concept One idea in the widespread interpretation of phenomenology was that by the action of the epoché the phenomenological reduction was an act of selfremoval out of the stream of living existence in order to reach the stratum of pure reason. With this, ‘‘consciousness’’ was defined as ultimately the intellect of logic and mathematics, which by comparison with concrete living being was an abstraction, an agency dealing with pure meaning-essences in retreat from the grip of existence. This is how Georg Misch represents Husserl in the final part of his Lebensphilosophie und Phänomenologie, which appeared in November 1930, where he writes that the ‘‘puzzle of the existence of the finite’’ is just what Heidegger now places back at the center of concern.≤Ω It was not just Misch who characterized Husserl in this way; Heidegger himself was seen as presenting Husserl’s position precisely in this contrast to his own. Fink, for example, in the ‘‘Draft’’ he wrote for Husserl at the end of 1930 as the opening section of the planned massive ‘‘System of Phenomenological Philosophy’’ (see 1.3, p. 29), refers to an objection Heidegger makes to the way Husserl takes the epoché-prepared turn to reflection. In explaining that the aim of Husserl’s phenomenology is to raise naive living in the world to ‘‘the mode of reflective awareness’’ precisely as ‘‘the living actuality of our factic situation,’’ Fink points out that the moment of reflective consideration may indeed be a moment of ‘‘isolation’’ for the one reflecting, but that is an effort far from the ‘‘self-certain, placid positing of a solipsistic ego,’’ far from ‘‘the ‘harmlessness of a worldless subject’ ’’ that Heidegger represents it to be.≥≠ To be fair, Heidegger may not in Being and Time, or in his lectures after his return in 1929, have directed this charge explicitly against Husserl. Nevertheless, phrasings using ‘‘harmlessness’’ and ‘‘worldless subject’’ occur with some frequency as Heidegger delineates his own Dasein-centered analysis.≥∞ In the context of Freiburg in 1928 to 1930 the allusion is unmistakable: it is Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology that is meant. 29. Lebensphilosophie und Phänomenologie, pp. 193–216, and for the cited phrase p. 211. 30. VI.CM/2, pp. 27–28. See Z-VII VIII/1–6 (EFM 2), a subset of notes from 1930 that sketch ideas for this ‘‘Draft.’’ Cf. 3.3.3. 31. See appendix.

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6.2.2. The Charges against Phenomenology, 2: Phenomenology Has No ‘‘Topos,’’ No ‘‘Where’’ For some time now the word topos, and terms derived from it, principally ‘‘topology,’’ have been used to designate a critical approach to thinking that, in large part based on the reading of Heidegger, aims to recognize the intrinsically historical character of the most basic conceptual orientations of philosophy.≥≤ But here we are looking for the sense that ‘‘topos’’ and ‘‘topical’’ have for Fink’s reflections in the early 1930s, however much there may be similarities of source for both this and more recent use. It is Fink’s own notes, consequently, that must provide the clue for understanding the sense of the second of the charges against Husserl’s phenomenology by life-philosophy. The basis upon which this charge rests is a point that Fink sees to be fundamentally valid, namely, that Husserl presents his phenomenology as essentially a ‘‘philosophy of reflection.’’ But Fink’s acceptance of this element of criticism pertains to phenomenology not in the full self-critical achievement that Husserl had meant to achieve with Fink’s help but rather in the way it was presented in its preliminary and introductory stage. This is something we saw in some detail in chapter 2 (see The superiority over Husserl claimed by life-philosophy in the present instance, then, lies specifically in the assertion that ‘‘topical reflection,’’ unlike a philosophy of reflection, realizes that ‘‘spirit is only living when it ‘gives itself over to the life of the object.’ ’’≥≥ That is, topical reflection insists that, instead of withdrawing, as phenomenology is purported to do via the epoché, to a ‘‘topos hyperouranios,’’≥∂ a place beyond the world, philosophical study must take that which otherwise figures as the thematic object-domain for a putatively autonomous reflection, i.e., the world, and retain it in its concrete features as the grounding contextual topos for reflection itself; and the principal such concrete feature is life. This restoration of the topos within which reflection is supposed to proceed takes various doctrinal forms. As Fink’s character