The purpose of this collection is to show the originality of the phenomenology of Dorion Cairns, arguably Edmund Husserl’s closest disciple. The word “studies” (in the plural) occurs in the subtitle because these studies can each stand alone, which entails some repetition of important passages, and because they vary somewhat in their approaches, some being more essays and some more editions than others. While published essays by Cairns are also drawn on, most of the basis of these studies are his famous and still unpublished New School lectures in the 1960s, which are quoted from quite extensively.
The studies in this volume show how he thus creatively continued Husserl’s work. The philosophic ideal is revised, the account of the constitution of Others is corrected, the description of sense-transfer extended, the theory of hyletic data is revised, sensa as well as appearances are shown to be adumbrative, aspects of the body that Husserl seemed to have overlooked are described, and original investigations of appearances and of willing are assembled. A methodological description is appended that may help make the emphasis on description and the near absence of argumentation clearer. That description also helps one understand the focus on individual human mental life and the sensuous perceiving of physical things as where to begin. And if they explain away any seeming naturalistic emphasis, the many references to willing and valuing throughout this book should also reduce suspicions of intellectualism. Furthermore, there are no bases for considering phenomenology solipsistic or about disembodied mental lives to be found here. Cairns was deeply impressed by the Abbau-Aufbau method and held that Husserl came to recognize the importance of the primarily passive or automatic infrastratum of mental life too late completely to adjust his concepts. This adjustment of concepts guided Cairns’s effort to bring the thought published by Husserl in his lifetime up to the level of the Cartesianische Meditationen and the Formale und transzendentale Logik. And he was always endeavoring to develop better terminology for phenomenology in English.
- ISBN: 978-606-8266-33-6 (paperback)
- ISBN: 978-606-8266-34-3 (ebook)