Schelling and Husserl on the Concept of Passive Synthesis

Phänomenologische Forschungen 1 (1):187-205 (2021)
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Both Schelling and Husserl reveal that any attempt to ground objective cognition in subjectivity would encounter the problem of constitution of original experience. They also endorse similar solutions to this very problem. The constitution of original experience is depicted as passive synthesis, i. e., it is the pre-conscious activity of the original ‘I’ (Ur-Ich). However, unlike Schelling’s interpretation of passive synthesis, understood as a theory of quasi-conscious willing (Wollen), Husserl relocates passive synthesis in the transition from instinct to habituality. The constitution of original experience, as well as the activity of the original ‘I’, uncovers the dynamic structure of Being. Owing to this, transcendental philosophy must become a transcendental ontology.

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Yicai Ni
Zhejiang University


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