Husserl on Passive Synthesis

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In this section Husserl compares the progressive perceptual process of an immanent object with that of a transcendent (i.e. spatial object), with special interest towards the Now phase of perception. He quickly points out that immanent objects only have ". . . one possible way to be given in the original in every Now . . ." which means during the duration of an experience of an immanent object, a color for example, the object is completely determined and the distinction between appearing and what appears is collapsed(ACPAC553). The reverse is true in the case of external perceptions of transcendent objects. As Husserl states, ". . . the spatial object has infinitely many ways [to be given in the original] since it can appear in the Now,…show more content…
The sense is, however, never fully given in an absolute way in the external perception of transcendent objects. This leads us to the issue of skepticism.

In external perception, according to Husserl, the accomplishment of sense-giving is never complete as there is a continuous bringing forth of intuitions which fulfill empty prefigured intentions of the object. (ACPAC57) But this is not the only function of the sense-giving, the sense itself, Husserl says, ". . . is continually cultivated and is genuinely so in steady transformations, constantly leaving open the possibility of new transformations."(ACPAC57) That is, the sense becomes enriched as it exists for a conscious subject, which makes perception an acquisition of knowledge. For although there is an ever changing sense exhibited through the external perception of a transcendent object, there is also the unified, what Husserl calls, "substrate x" which subsists through all the "flowing of sense" in whatever "How" mode it is presented. This is the sense which becomes ever more determined and enriched. Spawned by this process is an unattainable idea which, according to Husserl, "lies in infinity", and that is the idea of an absolute and determined transcendent object (ACPAC58). At best, for Husserl, we grasp in the flesh a "flowing-approximation" which acts as if it were the essence but only produces a partial intuitive

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