Karl  Schuhmann  and  Barry Smith

From: Review of Metaphysics, 39 (1985), 763-93.

To seek to elucidate Husserl's phenomenology by contrasting it with that of the Munich phenomenologist Johannes Daubert (1877-1947) is to betray an intention to explain something well-known by reference to something that is wholly obscure. Thus most philosophers are somehow aware of Edmund Husserl. But Johannes Daubert?

Daubert's near-total eclipse is no accident. Although we have no hesitation in calling him -- and not Husserl -- the true architect of the phenomenological movement, it nonetheless remains true that he 'never published a line'.(2) It has therefore been impossible for the wider philosophical public to become acquainted with the thought of a philosopher whom Husserl himself held in highest esteem, ever since their first meeting in 1902.

It was through lectures and discussions extending over several years that Daubert's influence made itself felt -- discussions which were a major factor in the establishment of phenomenology in both Munich and Göttingen.(3) But discontinuities in the phenomenological tradition caused by two World Wars and the Hitler Reich hampered the handing down of Daubert's teachings, which had already reached the high point of their influence in the first decade of the century.

Still more important is the fact that Daubert, who volunteered for the army in 1914, withdrew after the war to a farm he had bought for himself outside Munich. This spelled, for the time being at least, the end of his active philosophising. He lost contact with the new generation of students that was establishing itself in Munich, though he always remained in touch with Alexander Pfänder, the then leading spokesman of Munich phenomenology. To use Berkeley's words, Daubert united 'in his own person the philosopher and the farmer, two characters not so inconsistent in nature as by custom they seem to be.'(4)

However, the most important stumbling block standing in the way of a wider knowledge of Daubert's phenomenology are his very manuscripts, which he kept with him at his farm to the end of his life. They were transferred in 1967 to the Bavarian State Library in Munich, where they were classified under the sigil 'Daubertiana'.(5) Even then, however, they remained inaccessible to the reader in virtue of the highly unusual system of shorthand which Daubert had used throughout. Only in 1976 did Schuhmann manage to break this code.

§ 1. Daubertiana File A I 3 and Ideas I

Daubert must have studied Husserl's Ideas I during at least three different periods. He first read the work immediately after its publication (around May 1913). At that time Ideas I was for him, as for his friend Alexander Pfänder, mainly a confirmation of the common ground shared by both Husserl and the Munich group.(6) A second phase is confirmed by Pfänder's letter to Husserl of March 28, 1915. Daubert was then at the front, and Pfänder sent him 'Ideas I at his own request, fascicule by fascicule'.(7)

Daubert's most extensive discussion of the Ideas is however to be found in the file Daubertiana A I 3, the majority of whose 173 double folio pages were written between February 1930 and September 1931.(8) Daubert sold his farm in 1929 and bought a new one only in the Spring of 1932, taking advantage of the intervening period to make a fresh start in philosophy. What made him resume work after an interruption of some fifteen years was his plan to contribute to the forthcoming Festschrift in honour of his friend Pfänder's sixtieth birthday. Eventually the book appeared without such a contribution, though there is preserved a proof of an early version of its table of contents announcing Daubert's projected contribution under the title "Zur Phänomenologie der Evidenz". All that has come down to us of Daubert's project are the drafts contained in file A I 3.

Daubert's work is characterised by a constant striving to include relevant ideas of other philosophers in his discussions. Indeed it had been his endeavour to take account of other people's thought that had led him in 1902 to the discovery of Husserl's phenomenology, and even in 1930 his reception of the pertinent literature is still astonishingly up-to-date, especially when one bears in mind that he had stayed aloof from developments in philosophy for so long. Among the works setting the tone for his reflections are "Zur Ontologie und Erscheinungslehre der realen Aussenwelt" by Hedwig Conrad-Martius, Martin Heidegger's Being and Time, Theodor Celms' book Der phänomenologische Idealismus Husserls (1928), Ingarden's "Bemerkungen zum Problem Idealismus-Realismus", published in the Husserl- Festschrift of 1929, and above all Aron Gurwitsch's "Phänomenologie der Thematik und des reinen Ich", published in the 1929 issue of the Psychologische Forschung, house journal of the Berlin Gestalt psychologists. What all these works have in common, of course, is their opposition to Husserl's idealism.(9)

Twenty-nine full folio pages of file A I 3 refer explicitly to Ideas I. A survey of the manuscript shows that Part I of Husserl's work does not really detain Daubert's attention. He pays more attention to the concepts of natural attitude and epoch and to the treatment of the relation between world and consciousness dealt with in Part II. In relation to Part III, Daubert briefly discusses Husserl's theory of the noema before subjecting to an extensive discussion the question of positing [setzende] acts. The detailed discussion of the phenomenology of reason of Part IV is well in keeping with Daubert's overall aim in file A I 3 of developing a phenomenology of evidence.

All of these reflections are held together by a common interest in the problem of the subject's cognitive relation to the world, mainly to the world of nature. How can reality be given in and to consciousness? How does the identical thing present itself in or through a multiplicity of phenomena? How is true and evident cognition of "things out there" possible at all? In answering these questions Daubert develops a strikingly original alternative to the Husserlian conception of the relation between consciousness, which for Husserl is notoriously taken as something absolute, and reality, which was Daubert's own point of departure. We shall see that in a certain sense he stands Husserl on his head.

§ 2. On Perceiving a Tree

Perception is normally seen as providing the fundamental layer in our experience of objects. A phenomenology of perception is therefore basic to all further reflection on the relation between consciousness and world. Indeed Husserl introduces his description of the structures of consciousness in Ideas I with 'a series of observations' on our natural directedness to the external world in perception (60). Thinking, reflection and therefore also phenomenology itself presuppose perception as the original mode of awareness of the natural world. But at the same time this perceptual acquaintance with reality cannot legitimate its own contents and is thus not proof against sceptical doubt. For this reason Husserl regards the natural attitude, which accepts the claims of perception at face value, as no more than 'the conception of the naive human being' (69).

Daubert, too, holds to a certain primacy of perception. But for him the value of reflection -- or of a philosophical theory -- is not measured by the degree to which it might overcome perception. The value of reflection depends rather upon its capacity to remain faithful to perception as the source from which it sprang. This estimate of perception as a non plus ultra clearly differs considerably from Husserl's own. Thus Daubert writes:

Precisely that which I perceive and which is given to me by way of perception is real and has its place in reality; it has its chemical structure, it burns, etc. There is nothing behind it. (143r)

This remark is of course prompted by Husserl's statement to the effect that

the tree simpliciter can burn, be resolved into its chemical elements, etc. But the sense -- the sense of this perception...- cannot burn; it has no chemical elements (184).(10)

Now Husserl's tree-example is designed to serve as an illustration of the relation between noema and real thing.(11) Both are '"precisely the same"' in regard to what is given, yet at the same time 'radically different, by virtue of...a change of sign' (184). Husserl's own quotation marks around the first of these two phrases mark the fact that the identity in question is to be understood only in an extenuated sense, and that Daubert is therefore justified in interpreting Husserl's statement as signifying a doubling of the object pole of the perceptual act. Husserl's duplication of reality, which is reminiscent of Plato's distinction between an intelligible and a sensible world, is of course in accord with his own self-avowed 'platonic realism' (40). For Daubert, however, it signals a reduction in the significance that is awarded to 'real' reality, a first crucial step in the direction of idealism.(12)

Daubert, for his part, refuses the very distinction between real object and perceptual sense. Certainly we may suffer perceptual illusion and error -- and Daubert will have to account for the divergences from reality which such phenomena involve -- but any attempt to understand them will itself have to build firmly on the basis of the one, omnipresent world. There is for Daubert 'nothing beyond it' (143r), no Hinterwelt. All occurrences belonging to subjective experience are to be described as they are, entangled with this world. It may, e.g., be true that the tree as such can burn while my subjective experience of the tree cannot. But on the other hand it pertains to this very experience that the tree I perceive may catch fire, that it may be blown down in a storm, that it is rooted in the surrounding reality in a whole variety of ways. Does an attempt to understand the sense of my perception without extending it to the real tree out there still make sense of this perception? Considerations of this kind apparently underlie Daubert's refusal to accept a two world theory, and his affirmation that 'precisely that which I real' (143r) is a corollary to this.(13)

§ 3. Consciousness as Function

Daubert's denial of a self-subsisting layer of senses whose ties to reality could be loosened or even -- in a reduction -- dispensed with entirely, has far-reaching consequences. For it will prove that consciousness 'exists' only when and insofar as it is involved in this reality. One cannot ascribe to consciousness any existence of its own, independent of this immediate connection with the natural world. Daubert thereby goes beyond Husserl in affirming the inadequacy of any Aristotelian conception of consciousness in terms of beams or rays emitted by a special 'ego-substance'.(14) Consciousness itself cannot be grasped in terms of this conception, because it is nothing in front of us, nothing on which the beam can fall, and, with this, nothing substantial. Indeed Daubert wants to insist that 'that in which reality shows itself is nothing existing by itself, but only a function directed towards reality' (62v, our emphasis).(15) He is clear that:

Consciousness is not a being in itself but rather something which functions only in something else [was nur in Anderes funktioniert] and in which something else functions in its turn [und in welches hinein Anderes funktioniert]. The functioning being of consciousness has no special existence of its own and is nothing real (11v).

No other phenomenologist except Sartre seems to be so explicit in denying the existence of consciousness, taken for itself, and there are Sartrean echoes also in Daubert's emphasis on the distinction between consciousness as a matter of functioning acts and consciousness which goes on holiday e.g. by being made into an object of reflection. Notwithstanding such similarities, however, Daubert's argument has little in common with Sartre's sweeping identification of consciousness and nothingness. The latter is motivated as much by metaphysical desires stemming from Hegel and Descartes as by a phenomenological concern to describe what is given in experience.

Daubert explains his notion of function by means of the following analogy:

Consciousness taken as act, [i.e.] insofar as it functions, has in contrast to the object no existence of its own. Only when I reflect on it does it cease to function and seem to have a being of its own. This resembles the problem of the 'and'. Does it receive a being of its own in virtue of the changed or wholly new position we take up in thematising it? At this point, Husserl makes his fundamental mistake. This positing, which renders consciousness thematic, thereby reinterprets it in the direction of a peculiar being which is alien to it, or of a form or an achievement made up of real components of mental processes. The static character which thematising dictates is reinterpreted as a static existence. (142r, our emphasis)(16)

Or consider the predication '"And" is a conjunction'. Here, as Daubert points out:

'And' is not an existent object at all, but a function. But here it is the theme, and so it gains its existence when I characterise it as a conjunction. (140r)

These reflections clearly refer to Husserl's treatment in the fourth Logical Investigation of the problem of how to understand syncategoremata when torn from their context.(17) Husserl had said that when we believe ourselves to understand syncategoremata as such, i.e. taken in isolation, then this can only be because a completion of their signification has occurred and an anomalous signification has thereby been indirectly awarded to them. Thus an isolated 'and', for example, is understood by means of a tacit reference to an idea of the type 'A and B'.

It was the theory of the modification of significations which allowed Husserl to develop his theory of formal ontology, for it provided him with a way of referring to such entities as concepts, Sachverhalte, species, abstract moments, etc., without presupposing that the referents of these terms exist in the same way as do, e.g., physical things. Anomalous referring expressions are not nonsense, on Husserl's theory (as they are for Wittgenstein in the Tractatus). Their sense is, rather, modified in a certain way.

Daubert's treatment of consciousness is, now, an extension of Husserl's theory of modification. Consciousness is not an object at all. To consider it as such is to mistake a mere function -- which is, to coin a phrase, in need of saturation by its object -- for an object in the world.(18) The very term 'consciousness' cannot be understood except via a supplementation of its meaning. The term is a relative noun, reflecting the fact that consciousness is always consciousness of. Its use as a categorematic substantive is therefore anomalous, a view that is corroborated by observing that the very term 'consciousness' and its equivalents in other European languages has itself been artificially forged by philosophers only relatively recently.(19)

§ 4. The Question of Idealism

Consciousness functions in a normal way only when it 'hits' an object. This thesis carries for Daubert the implication that consciousness may acquire a status of its own, may come to be substantivised as an 'ego', only by becoming deprived of this, its original function. It is in imaginative or hypothetical thinking, in neutralisation or reduction (cf. 249f.), when consciousness seems to withdraw in different ways from contact with reality, that it acquires a pseudo-being of its own. But in Daubert's view the entanglement with reality is still preserved, though veiled and hidden, even in these modifications, and the direct awareness of reality is at work even in the phenomenological epoch itself.

This entanglement with reality, which dooms all purported suspensions of the world to draw on it come what may, makes it impossible for phenomenology to achieve any 'pure' description of an 'absolute' consciousness. As Daubert notes: 'Without a persistent reality no cognition would be possible at all' (19v), not even that type of cognition which allows the phenomenological elucidation of consciousness. Thus where Husserl would have phenomenology operate 'exclusively in acts of reflection' (174), i.e. exclusively in 'acts of second order' (95), Daubert objects that the foundations of such acts cannot simply be forgotten. 'One cannot derive any reality whatsoever from pure consciousness' (16r), i.e. from acts of second order taken alone.

The question of idealism, according to Daubert, cannot be settled on the basis of the peculiar and exceptional nature of reflective consciousness. 'In a strictly reflective attitude I could not attain to transcendent objects,' he says (7v). The issue of idealism is to be decided only by taking careful account of normal experience, which involves our functioning in some way towards an object. And to skip over the objective term involved in the problem is not to solve but to avoid it.

If for fundamental reasons the real object remains outside consciousness, Husserl's idealism will eventually retain its right, or rather, it will become plausible, for there will be no argument left for the realist case (16v).

§ 5. Hyle and Thing

Phenomenological reflection 'can only present the essential features of acts of consciousness' (61v). Now as Husserl conceives the matter in Ideas I, it is essential to an act of consciousness that it have an ego-pole, that it be an act of a phenomenological subject. It is not however essential -- not even for an act that is experienced as an act of perception -- that it have such and such a real, transcendent object. But by this means the pure ego acquires the status of an absolute substance, reality that of a mere dependent accident.(20) Husserl's awarding an absolute status to pure consciousness and a relative status to the world of objects is thereby, as he himself admits, a reversal of 'the sense usually expressed in speaking of what is' (93). As Daubert insists, however, the sense of 'reality' and 'existence' becomes established in everyday language, prior to any philosophising, and it cannot be the task of phenomenology to overthrow this sense but only to elucidate it: phenomenology must be 'inner clarification of the given' not criticism in the sense of 'theory from above' (16v). Husserl nonetheless insists upon his 'reversal of sense'. Consciousness as he conceives it never in fact reaches out to real reality. It is directed instead toward a pseudo-reality constituted by consciousness to its own specifications. With this we come to a further task which Daubert has to take up against Ideas I:

Husserl's phrase: 'all being is either pure consciousness or a being constituted by pure consciousness' will be shown to contain an internal contradiction (92v).

Daubert takes as his starting point an interpretation of constitution as an active production of noemata through the animation of hyletic (sensory) data in the stream of acts. What gets constituted in this process is a structure of noemata. To this he objects that, if transcendence is brought about by a progressive bestowal of sense, then 'the world would become progressively constituted -- it would develop in the very process of cognition itself' (9r). The movement of thought and reality would coincide, and Husserl's absolute consciousness, this '"absolute being", would be such as to comprehend the real thing even in its material nature' (7v). But the Husserlian view thus loses sight of the transcendent object by making of it an immanent part of consciousness. Alluding to Wilhelm Windelband's famous definition of idealism as 'the dissolution of the experiential world into processes of consciousness',(21) Daubert says that Husserl's idealism 'finally solves the enigma of enigmas (consciousness "of") by means of an ontological dissolution of one reality into another' (61r).(22)

Now of course Husserl always protested against confounding his own, phenomenological idealism with any idealism of the traditional sort. Does not the reference to Windelband prove that Daubert has been misled by superficial resemblances between Husserl's and e.g. Berkeley's position? Does he not impute to Husserl a position which he himself explicitly rejected? Such a view, for all its attractiveness, would be over-hasty. True, the noema is indeed, over against the stream of consciousness, 'something fundamentally other, not really inherent but transcendent' (204). But in the same breath Husserl affirms that this irreducible element is constituted '"on the ground of" the material mental processes "by" the noetic functions' (204). So this element finds some sort of last 'ground' in consciousness after all, more specifically in hyletic data(23) -- and the latter are undoubtedly immanent in consciousness. Husserl insisted repeatedly, and especially with hyletic data in mind, that consciousness is 'consciousness through and through' (208).(24) Thus, even the coming into being of hyletic data is to be described in terms of a (temporal) constitution in consciousness.

There are good reasons why Daubert is so worried by Husserl's conception of hyletic stuff as a really inherent part of consciousness. 'Hyletic data are not real component parts of consciousness, because consciousness as a whole is itself nothing real' (124v). To make the hyle belong to consciousness would amount to making the former a property or accident of the latter, and with this one would relapse into the reification of consciousness and into the Aristotelian schema of substance and accident.

A more specific argument against the inherence of hyletic data in consciousness is drawn from Husserl's observation that the hyletic data are not perceived in the actual perceptual process but become accessible only through reflection, thereby undergoing 'essential changes' (205). (Once more Husserl claims a sort of identity, notwithstanding an essential or radical difference, a confusion which seems to be indispensable to his idealism.)

To this Daubert objects that it is false phenomenology to suppose that hyletic data are seized upon by reflective acts, for the latter 'always seize only entities which are already formed and grasped' (135v). 'Hyletic data cannot be grasped and interpreted, for in that case they would be object-like and not at all hyletic data lacking in intentional unity' (12r: the reference is to Ideas I, 88).

Daubert does not however simply reject the notion of hyletic data. He integrates a revised version of it into his own phenomenology. This is possible precisely because consciousness in his view can never become 'pure' in Husserl's reductive sense of this term. Consciousness is always and inevitably in confrontation with things. 'Nowhere does one come upon it in its pure form, but always as entangled with a stuff which does not originate in it' (7v). Hyletic data, for Daubert, are therefore located 'in the transcendent sphere of objects' (12r). The ultimate guiding and impelling force underlying the cognitive process is thus to be sought in reality itself.

Daubert agrees with Husserl that hyletic data are not originally contents of perception, that they require a special sort of reflection if they are to be brought to awareness. For Daubert, however, this reflection is simply a process of delineation: hyletic data become thematic through a reflection which singles them out from the field of givenness by severing their interwovenness with the surrounding sensory field. They are 'abstractions from genuine givenness' (73v), moments thrown into relief by being considered apart from their context:

Hyletic data are not themselves something given... They can be abstracted only as component parts of a givenness which always contains other Formelemente too (135v).

Daubert explains this by reference to 'the purely visual or purely optical make-up of my momentarily given section of the world' (135v). The latter is organised in a two-fold manner: 'it has one dimension of forms and figures in themselves, e.g. the form of a red surface' -- these are the hyletic data, as Daubert conceives them. And it has 'another dimension derived from figures like things or their visual appearances' -- the things and aspects in whose orbit the hyletic data are located (135v).

There is a proliferation of terminology here and it will be of some help if we try to sort out, provisionally, how the terms 'noema', 'aspect', etc. are to be understood in Daubert's text. The 'noesis/noema' vocabulary is of course taken over by Daubert from Ideas I itself: as was already made clear above, the noema is the sense with which the object is grasped, it is the Auffassungssinn or Gegenstandsauffassung (79v, 147r), 'the object in the manner of its determinations' (im Wie seiner Bestimmtheit) (114v), 'containing within itself everything which we are conscious of in the object' (142r).

'Adumbration' ('Abschattung', 'foreshortening') is another term taken over by Daubert from Husserl. An object is given in sensory experience always from this or that side, in this or that particular way, that is, it is never given as a whole but always in adumbrations: 'Things are not adumbrated in data of sensation, but always only in modes of appearance and in aspects' (12r). Or again: 'The object can appear [only] in this and in this way. Objective appearance is bound e.g. to the laws of perspective' (75v). Daubert goes out of his way to stress that adumbrations are not components of acts (7v). Adumbrations and appearances depend upon both subject and object, or rather they result from the interplay between the relative positions of things (bodies), both perceived and perceiving.

Thus when Husserl asserted that 'a mental process is not adumbrated' (77), that is to say not given from this or that point of view, as transcendent objects necessarily are, he could take this as implying the dependence of real objects on consciousness. Daubert however draws an opposite conclusion, for 'if adumbrations are not component parts of acts, then neither is nature relative to con sciousness because of its adumbrations' (7v). Adumbrations depend on the actual presence of a cognising subject in a field of objects; they do not depend on consciousness.

§ 6. The Roots of Consciousness

Perception proceeds via perspectival and other foreshortenings, which spring from variations in the relative positions of real perceivers and real things. It thus reflects both the fact that the perceiver is aware of his own position vis--vis other bodies and also the fact that he behaves in certain ways in relation to these other bodies:

The experience of what is physical and of what is spatial cannot simply be gathered from any intuition whatsoever; it originates from a primordial [quellhaft] experience of my own body which moves in space and which does so while already in action and interaction with other bodies in space (35v).(25)

We might say that consciousness arises where bodily movement becomes structured in a way that allows for guided orientation of motions in relation to other objects in the world. Consciousness is not a real annex to bodies, not a reality superadded to perceiving or perceived real things, it is a relational structure obtaining where animate bodies and things in the world come into contact with each other in specific sorts of ways.

Consciousness can never get outside of itself in order to become aware of itself as some other real thing. But by virtue of its glancing function [Blickfunktion] it can get outside of itself in the sense that it can become directed towards other things in the manner of regarding (143r).

Or, as Daubert elsewhere puts it: 'I do not know about mental processes involved in the act of seeing; I only know the objects toward which I turn' (33v). From this it follows however that there is no room for any disproportion between acquaintance and the thing one is acquainted with: the behavioural familiarity one has with a real thing cannot somehow be severed from this thing in order to be compared with and measured by it. The direct awareness we have of things in reality in virtue of this behavioural familiarity is as it were perfectly adapted to the grasping of real existence -- and we can now say that it is precisely this which is the original way of functioning of consciousness.

An important consequence, however, is that, as soon as consciousness turns toward itself in an attitude of reflection, it will tend ineluctably to bestow this same sort of existence -- illegitimately -- upon itself, to conceive itself by analogy with a real thing. It is this natural tendency toward substantialisation which brings about the pseudo-constitution of consciousness as a special kind of object -- and then it is ironical that this, at least according to Daubert, is the only type of 'constitution' consciousness is capable of.26 It opens up on the side of the subject a sphere of semblance -- so that Husserl, in Daubert's view, is correct when he states that '"fiction" makes up the vital element of phenomenology' (132) -- i.e. of that sort of phenomenology that is firmly wedded to the reflective attitude. One could even conclude that, if there exists in the natural attitude something which bars the way to our understanding of consciousness and therefore needs to be radically altered, it is not the directedness of consciousness towards reality, as Husserl affirms (37), but rather this substantialisation of consciousness itself. And it is the latter, according to Daubert, on which a reduction ought to be performed.

Husserl did not see through this natural tendency to posit consciousness as a real existent, but blindly trusted the reliability of reflection and immanent perception, not seeing that, when I turn to grasp my immanent experience, the latter 'is not preserved in its original form. The thematising turn does damage to that which is immanent to a greater extent than is the case in relation to external perception'. (121v)

'One thing alone is certain: the real being of my acts... But this certainty is guaranteed not through any pure content of consciousness, but rather through the evidence of experience' (loc.cit). The act has, thanks to its object, a concrete, ostensive certainty, where that which is supposed to be the uniquely certain starting point for Husserl, pure consciousness, 'is entirely in the air; it has from within itself no access to reality, neither immanent nor transcendent.' (loc.cit)

Daubert is thus insisting that Husserl has things precisely the wrong way round: plain and immediate givenness is attainable only in relation to external reality; internal perception necessarily involves a gap between consciousness and its object, a gap which is closed by means of a spurious substantialisation. And where Husserl conceives the mental process to be 'given as absolute in a simple seeing (and not in modes of appearance)', Daubert holds that, 'to speak properly, in immanent perception there exists no simple seeing at all' (8v; the reference is to Ideas I, 81f.)

It is interesting that Daubert addresses this objection not only to Husserl but also to Heidegger, whose notion of Dasein is criticised because it reveals that Heidegger, too, as Daubert reads him, has succumbed 'to the temptation to find here a being which has its existence in the consciousness of itself' (16v).

§ 7. The Phenomenology of Reflective Consciousness

Both Husserl and Heidegger are as it were enchanted by consciousness. They ascribe to it the power to 'reach into the unlimited' (49), be it into its own infinite depths or out into 'infinite horizons' of the surrounding world.

Daubert emphatically rejects this Cartesian belief in a type of consciousness that would positively touch infinity:(26)

The problem is not: How do I get from (pure) consciousness to reality? but: How is ideality embedded in reality, and how is my theoretical looking and thinking embedded in real consciousness, which is a multifarious encounter with what is real (19r, our emphasis).

Husserl had maintained that there was an abyss between two kinds of being: immanent or transcendental being on the one hand and transcendent being on the other (93; 142). For Daubert, in contrast, 'the difference between consciousness and being, this abyss, lies in something entirely different from what Husserl thinks' (11v). Underlying Husserl's account of intentionality is a conception of the totality of what exists as dismembered into two separate or at least separable pieces, in opposition to each other. His job as he conceives it is to find some way of putting these two pieces back together at whatever cost. And the best he can do, given his starting point, is to salvage the one-sided dependence of an emasculated 'reality' on the residuum of an 'absolute consciousness' (91). For Daubert, on the other hand, being is not at war with itself. Disunion is possible only within the sphere of consciousness, for only there is there room for negation, cancellation, contradiction and antithetical phenomena in general: the world of reality is entirely positive (an idea which sparked a series of important investigations of the logic and ontology of the negative judgment by the members of the Munich school).

If one is to stick to the Husserlian conception of intentionality, this will give rise, Daubert says, to a two-fold enigma:

1. How can the object be seized upon at all in any particular grasping?

2. How can one be conscious of the object even when the latter is in no way present? A thing is something spatially real. It is also, as something real, in every sense of the term transcendent to consciousness. Consciousness is ego-act [Ichakt] and it exists now. The object does not enter into this existence; perhaps it does not even exist at all. (6v; the reference is to Ideas I, 160)

A further, related passage brings out the implications of the second enigma:

[Suppose] an object is intended, something existing after the manner of a physical thing but which does not exist any more. It is meant as a physical thing and as existing, but here the physical reality and existence is not itself present. The two enigmas of consciousness -- that something can be [an object of] consciousness without being present in any way whatsoever, and that an object can be grasped as having this or that form -- imply that consciousness is not a relation of any sort between the object and the subject, because [in the given case] the not present. The ego of consciousness is present, the object is not. For this reason the analysis of consciousness cannot start out from the statement: consciousness is related to an object. (150v).

A type of consciousness which is conceived as a substance related to other substances runs into the difficulty that, in the end, it cannot fulfil its aspirations to reach reality except at the cost of the latter, which comes to be reduced to an 'intentional inexistence' (150v),(27) everything becomes a mere 'object of consciousness'. The real world itself is 'represented in the framework of...consciousness by corresponding senses or posits' (278). Reality is thus given to the isolated Husserlian subject, at best, by way of representations, and hence this subject cannot establish any difference between 'real reality' and reality as fiction or as dream.

Husserl nowhere really discusses the Cartesian hypothesis that our experience of reality might amount to no more than a dream, notwithstanding his strong sympathy for Descartes' Meditations. He does at one point define an ego of the intentional sort as 'a "waking" ego' (63), but then his main concern is expressed in the question: 'How does, and how can, consciousness itself become separated out [of this wakeful life] as a concrete being in itself?' (71). The dream hypothesis is important because, as Daubert points out, our experience of waking up from dreams can be used to bring out precisely what is essential to our experience of real reality:

In dreaming the world as a whole is present, and so am I in it. It is also given 'as something really existing.' The 'as really existing' is not a real existence, however, but a neutralisation which immediately becomes evident as soon as the dream is superseded by actual and wakeful life. In dreaming, givenness is modified, is not in fact genuine. In this world our beliefs in reality [Fürwirklichhaltungen] look exactly like those in wakeful life. But these beliefs in reality, together with their positings, lack genuine perceivability, i.e. the possibility of encounter, because that which makes the actual encounter possible is asleep, or rather is present only after the manner of the dream and in a dream modification (19v).

Husserl stated that neutralisation is 'closely akin to reduction' (258), though in a note in one of his personal copies of Ideas I, he later retracted this statement. If, with Daubert, one characterises dreaming as a neutralisation, then the phantasmagoria of a dream disclose basically the same world as does a transcendental reduction, i.e. the real world as modified in a certain way. In the reduced world, according to Husserl, 'everything remains as it was before' (183); even the beliefs produced in it 'look exactly like those in wakeful life' (19v), as Daubert says. But with this Daubert undermines Husserl's thesis that to belief-certainty, i.e. to 'the primal form of believing,' there corresponds 'the characteristic of being simpliciter' (215). Such a parallelism, even if it obtains, is of no avail for securing the claims of cognition to grasp reality: this primal form of believing might occur also in a dream.

§ 8. Direct Awareness and Cognition

The original mode of consciousness, that mode in which reality is first disclosed, is called by Daubert Innesein. This direct awareness both underlies perception (provides its foundation), and furnishes the feature which distinguishes it from experiences that are subjected to the neutrality modification. The 'immediate access' to reality granted by Innesein gives 'immediate evidence' of the world (11v) and produces 'immediate certainty' (1r). It contains 'an absolutely certain awareness' not only of my own real existence (121v) but also of 'externally perceived reality in its being (its reality)' (1r).

It is this direct awareness which is the clue we have been looking for to reality, to the 'being in itself' (10v) which underlies all things, aspects and modes of appearance. The source of this awareness was said to lie in the structures of bodily movement. Its nature and effects still need to be described. Direct awareness is a pre-cognitive mode of experience. As we shall see, it is in a certain sense prior to the dualism of subject and object and it precedes differentiation and negation. 'The immediate access to reality is not reached through judgments or positings' (11v). So it nowhere transcends itself, but nor does it ever fall short of itself. And the priority of direct awareness will yield for Daubert a decisive argument against Husserl's idealism: awareness is 'the point where a participation in reality takes place' (16v). It is located in the active insertion of the animate organism in the environing context of reality.

Daubert opposes direct awareness to cognition proper, holding that Husserl's treatment of experience is restricted to the latter. 'The fundamental experience is not yet a "cognition-of"' (19v). It precedes the intentional type of consciousness, i.e. cognition's seizing upon something, which was the point of departure taken by Husserl. It is a mark of intentional consciousness, according to Daubert, that it is always transformable into a reflection upon itself (consciousness of consciousness of something; cf. 206); on the other hand 'my own reality, of which I am aware, and with evidence, eludes the reflective regard' (41r).

Intentional, cognitive experience, with its positing and sense- conferring capacities, its capacity to order reality under concepts, is of a higher order: its posits are, to borrow a phrase from Kant, planted on the 'fertile bathos' of awareness. But the distance between intentional consciousness and reality implies that it is necessary 'to distinguish the final validity or invalidity of rational positing from the peculiar being of the real thing which is in itself definitive and transcendent' (6r). This means that 'one could concede to Husserl all the relativity of cognition, but not a relativity of reality' (41r). Positing a thing as thus-and-so always leaves open the possibility of grasping that same thing in other respects, leaves room for reinterpretation, error, doubt and other invalidating experiences of the sort which Husserl adduced in order to corroborate his doctrine of the absolute character of consciousness. But now it is a second mark of the direct awareness of reality that it has no such degrees of freedom. Thus Husserl's argument to the effect that, where one thing can turn out to be a hallucination, nothing will be safe against this possibility (54f., 86), is countered by Daubert with the thesis -- since familiar from the work of Merleau-Ponty, Wittgenstein and Austin -- that doubt, error, hallucination and so on make sense only when seen against the general background of the awareness of reality: 'Physical reality can never be cancelled by conflicting cognitions. A single object, it is true, can turn out not to be real, but only with regard to the standard of reality itself' (35v).(28) Otherwise one could not even say that 'this or that is really [in Wirklichkeit] an illusion' (11v). So, Daubert concludes:

The real world is always only a single one. An error or incomplete grasping of a thing is not an erroneous or incomplete thing (126v; cf. LU VI § 10, V § 20).

But now a reinterpreted concept of the noema comes into play. Daubert subjects it to a transformation which is similar to his rethinking of the relationship between immanent and transcendent being. He starts out from the tenet that:

All cognitions refer to being in itself in that they further its becoming unveiled and disclosed. Cognition of being can be relative, but the in-itself of reality holds out come what may (9v).

From this he derives the inadequacy of cognition -- which is forever capable of improvement -- to the cognised real thing. The changeability of the sense and content of our acts of cognition contrasts with the quite different sorts of changes which may take place in the objects to which these acts refer.

The content in which the object appears in specific modes of givenness may be called the noema. 'In the noema everything is contained that belongs to our consciousness of the object at a certain moment' (142r), and in these terms Daubert now gives his own version of just that difference between noema and object with which we began:

Consciousness of a thing is not itself a thing. My house is built by workmen in half a year. Not my consciousness of the house. My house can burn down, not my consciousness of the house. I insure my house against fire, not my consciousness of the house. The house cannot be the x to which an infinite series of determinations are added. It is not an x that I take to the insurance company, for then calculations would never come to an end. But [such calculation] has quite definite limits and [my insurance policy] bears exactly upon these finite determinations. This, on Husserl's view, would be unintelligible. I do not insure possibilities of perception, and it is not possibilities of perception that burn down. (126v)

One might call this the Argument against Idealism from the Possibility of Insurance.

The noema, as conceived by Daubert, may be considered under two aspects. First, it is a meaning entity, is therefore wholly different in its genus from any object. It is 'something which functions only in our regard to and in our conception of the object [ist nur etwas im Blick und Begreifen Funktionierendes]...As sense it is neither a thing nor a part of a thing, but a matter of consciousness' (126v). But on the other hand 'it is not a being in consciousness, not something which I could describe as a descriptive fact of pure consciousness' (126v). 'I can in no way gather the noematic content from immanent consciousness as such or from the act, but always only from the transcendent world' (121v). For the noema originates in the object. It is not some necessary counterpart of mental processes, but they in turn result from it, or rather from the aspects which the object offers when someone is perceiving it.(29)

For Husserl the object when reduced to its noema 'has not lost the least nuance' (183): the content of both is one and the same. Daubert, in contrast, maintains that the noema is necessarily less than the object because it is conditioned by the incapacity of the perceiver to acquire a full grasp of all the object's sides and properties. A noema is but a noema: not the real thing. It is incomplete and preliminary and depends on the mutual relation between bodies, i.e. between perceiver and object perceived.(30)

§ 9. A Role for Reality

The true abyss lies in consciousness itself and not, as Husserl would have it, in a rift between consciousness and reality as two irreducible types of being. It consists in the heterogeneity of two sorts of consciousness, direct awareness of what exists, of reality, on the one hand, and cognition, on the other, cognition of states of affairs, of essence, of ideality, of objects as falling under concepts. But if Daubert is to stick to this dualism, then will not this, too, inevitably force him back into just that sort of two worlds theory which he had set out to overcome?(31) To show that it will not, we need to establish precisely how, in Daubert's framework, the 'reality' that is given in direct awareness stands in relation to the objects given in perceptual and other cognitive acts.

As we have seen, Daubert wants to insist upon the omnipresence of reality in all (even erroneous) cognition of objects. The direct awareness of reality is implied as the foundation of intentional acts of all modes and types, even in the most basic acts of perception. Thus if Daubert acknowledges the primacy of perception, what he has in mind is a relative primacy, which holds only in the sphere of intentionality. 'What is, properly speaking, originally given in perception? Only this: that through perception reality is more immediately accessible than in meaning or in representation' (9r, our emphasis). In contrast to this, the immediate awareness of reality is a 'special component' in all modes of consciousness (16r), be it perception, imagination, memory or what have you. Direct awareness, 'this most original way of experiencing the world, precedes every consciousness and all [conceptual] grasping' (35v). 'It must be made crystal-clear that reality is not a character of perception but something which remains stable throughout perception and indeed belongs to the thing' (9r). Reality is given not in peception but in the direct awareness on which it rests.

Do I perceive reality or do I experience it? I experience that [the object] really exists. I do not perceive its reality, it becomes manifest to me. I can only perceive something which really exists and the reality of which is manifest to me (9v, our emphasis).

Reality is thus the stable core in all variegations of cognition,(32) and the various modes of consciousness are classifiable according to their degree of proximity to this core as it is disclosed in direct awareness.

Now it might be supposed that Daubert's 'direct awareness of reality' has become so tenuous and so all-pervasive that it has ceased to do any work within the theory, and that 'reality', correlatively, has receded to the status of a mere thing in itself. It is in avoiding this Kantian conclusion that there lies the true originality of Daubert's position. The reality that is given in direct awareness -- the 'phenomenon' -- is not an unknown x, but nor is it articulated into concepts or states of affairs or intentional objects. It manifests itself, rather, as something that is authoritative [das Maßgebende], as a standard or measure for cognition. Objects are given 'in the act and the noema as a standard [maßgebend] and independent [eigenmächtig] with regard to the act in question' (142r). Cognition, indeed, is seen to take the form of an effort to approximate to this pre-given standard -- and in this lies the germ of Daubert's realist theory of truth.(33)

The being of the object should be authoritative

1. for its so-being as state of affairs

2. for its make-up in perception

3. for the correctness of the judgment, etc.

What is not authoritative however is consciousness of it, i.e. nothing in the act. But the being of the object is itself [something of which I am] conscious, otherwise it could not in turn be authoritative for me. But it has thereby a quite other intentional position than consciousness itself, with all that is within the latter that refers to the object. (118v)

The object in reality 'assigns certain limits' to our freedom of grasping it in judgments or in concepts (138v), and it is these limits or boundary conditions which are made manifest in experiences of direct awareness. 'I experience the autonomy [Selbstherrlichkeit] with which [the real object] accepts one determination and rejects another' (140r). The possibility of illusion displays the freedom of consciousness to make mistaken determinations of perceived things. But it thereby presupposes that the latter have real determinations which one can, or cannot, grasp. 'Without this persistent element no correction would be possible' (8r). Therefore the real thing with its determinations will remain forever the authoritative 'criterion' of cognition (132v).

On this point Daubert opposes both the later Husserl and Neo- Kantianism. Both come close to the idealistic 'dissolution' of the world described by Windelband. Both fail to do justice to the autonomy of the object, either by reducing it to something merely posited or by equating it with an unknown and unknowable x. And now Daubert with his notion of das Maßgebende is in a position to strengthen his argument against the Husserlian idea of constitution. 'The existence of what is pre-given does not dissolve into the existence of beliefs about it' (19v). Even were an object to be adequately given in some sequence of acts it would remain impossible to identify what is thereby given with any structure of associated noemata, for this would be to leave out all that is contributed by the object in direct awareness -- and it is this which guides and constrains the structure of perception.'It pertains to the sense of all sense-bestowal and to all positing that it cannot bestow and posit the standard-giving being [das maßgebende Sein], but always only a content of cognition which refers to it' (39v). All noemata, however much they may conform to the object in reality, are seen to float arbitrarily in the air when they are conceived in isolation from the reality which constrains the experiences of direct awareness on which they rest.

The standard-giving dimension in reality, direct or bodily awareness and cognitive or intentional experience are not three separate realms. They mutually interpenetrate: that which is given in direct awareness is reality taken in its function as something there to be intended in cognition. Hence just as consciousness is nothing existing in itself, so also the real thing is not locked up in itself and beyond the reach of cognition:

Something is authoritative not insofar as it exists ontologically in itself, but insofar as it stands in a certain relation to cognition. But this is not a relation between something existing in itself and a cognising subject. Everything possible may be authoritative insofar as it becomes an object of cognition. But its own peculiar being -- as opposed to the erroneous grasping of it -- is fixed, and it is properly speaking in this that transcendence in cognition consists. (102v)

We can now see precisely what is wrong with both the Husserlian conception of transcendence in terms of constitution (a transcendence that 'is entirely referred to consciousness': 92) and the Neo-Kantian conception of transcendence as an unknown x. Both suffer from the fact that the transcendent thing has been rendered powerless, has been precisely neutralised. For Daubert, on the other hand, the transcendent thing is continually at work as something which sets limits to cognition.(34)

That which is authoritative never comes to the fore as such except when I focus upon it, and then it is 'fixed by the sense of my cognition' (9r). Direct awareness is a pre-cognitive relation to the things making up reality, not a cognitive awareness of that in them which is maßgebend. The conceptual fixation of reality should not however be misunderstood as a matter of arbitrary or spontaneous decision. The concepts I use to describe reality are limited on the one hand by the authority of reality itself, and on the other hand by my own practical interests as an animate organism, interests which are not 'directed indeterminately but always towards some object' (35r). Thanks to practical handling things are disclosed 'in their positions within my various spheres of interest' (61v).(35)

Although Daubert's description of interest, his rooting of cognition in action, remains sketchy, it nevertheless serves his purpose in his criticism of Husserl's idea of a 'transcendental reduction'. If to have an interest implies a direction towards an object, then any suspension of features of the object presupposes an inhibition of an interest turned towards it. Husserl's suspension of the positing of reality is therefore interpreted by Daubert as 'the suspension of the interest which bears upon reality'. Now Daubert accepts that 'this suspension is possible, and it is the only way of grasping the essence of an object' (61v). Reality can be parenthesised by withdrawing one's interest in a given individual thing as individual thing, i.e. as part and parcel of this directly experienced reality, and by focussing instead on the thing as instance of a type. But this eidetic reduction of concrete objects -- the only reduction whose meaningfulness Daubert will acknowledge -- leaves behind essences which, although 'in them I have indeed parenthesised reality' (83r), still refer to those same concrete objects as their foundation and as the source of their legitimation. Therefore the interest in reality survives, albeit in a modified form, and indeed survives as the very support of such a reduction. But Husserl, in his so-called transcendental reduction, wants to sever all ties with reality by substituting acts of reflection for straightforward ones, as if it were possible to bid farewell to the direct awareness of reality. And because this direct awareness 'cannot enter with the rest into the epoché' (83v), Husserlian phenomenology not only retreats from reality, it bars to itself the very possibility of an access to it.

Thus Daubert gives the following final judgment:

If this reality is forgotten,(36) then the whole connection of individual things is transposed into a sphere of dreams, or better into a neutralised sphere to which then not just the single thing but reality as a whole is banished. (83r)

In Ideas I, Husserl had affirmed that 'for a phenomenology of "true reality" the phenomenology of "void seeming" [Phänomenologie des nichtigen Scheins] is also wholly indispensable' (318). A phenomenology of 'void seeming', of a neutralised reality: if this is indeed, as Daubert has tried to show, the true predicament of Husserl's phenomenology in Ideas I, then Daubert's phenomenology, in opposition to that of Husserl, may by rights claim to contain what the early phenomenologists so often aspired to, namely a phenomenology of real reality ['wirkliche Wirklichkeit'].

The phrase 'real reality' occurs already in a Logic lecture given by Theodor Lipps, grandfather of Munich phenomenology, in 1899.(37) Daubert then uses it in a manuscript written in preparation for his discussions with Husserl on Jan. 18, 1904(38) and it also occurs in one of Husserl's Seefeld manuscripts, i.e. in a text written in August or September 1905 during his stay at Seefeld (Tyrol), where he spent weeks of intensive discussions with both Pfänder and Daubert.(39) The pre-occupation with the problem of 'real reality' is a lasting feature of Daubert's thinking. His first major project, a doctoral dissertation under Lipps planned as early as 1899, was on the consciousness of reality. This plan was abortive, like all his other literary projects, but the idea continued to play a role in his analyses of impersonal sentences, existential judgments, of the formal ontology of objects and states of affairs and of the logic of questions. It also forms the background for his project of a phenomenology of evidence, to which File A I 3, Daubert's last manuscript, is devoted.


Avé-Lallemant, E. 1975 Die Nachlässe der Münchener Phänomenologen in der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek, Harrassowitz: Wiesbaden.

Biemel, W. 1958 "Einleitung des Herausgebers", Husserliana II, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.

Brentano, F. 1929 Vom Dasein Gottes, ed. A. Kastil, Leipzig: Meiner.

Celms, T. 1928 Der phänomenologische Idealismus Husserls, Riga: Acta Universitas Latviensis, repr. New York: Garland, 1980.

Conrad-Martius, H. 1916 "Zur Ontologie und Erscheinungslehre der realen Aussenwelt", Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phänomenologische Forschung, 3, 345-542.

-- 1959 "Die transzendentale und die ontologische Phänomenologie", in Edmund Husserl 1859-1959, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 175- 84.

Delius, H. 1981 Self-Awareness. A Semantical Inquiry, München: C. H. Beck.

Fink E. 1930 "Vergegenwärtigung und Bild", Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phänomenologische Forschung, XI, as reprinted in Fink's Studien zur Phänomenologie 1930-39, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966, 1-78.

Geiger, M. 1933 "Alexander Pfänders methodische Stellung", in Neue Münchener Philosophische Abhandlungen, ed. E. Heller and F. Löw, Barth: Leipzig, 1-16.

Glotzbach, P.A. and Heff, H. 1982 "Ecological and Phenomenological Contributions to Perception", Noûs, 16, 108-21.

Gurwitsch, A. 1929 "Phänomenologie der Thematik und des reinen Ich", Psychologische Forschung, 12, 279-381; Eng. trans. in A. Gurwitsch, Studies in Phenomenology and Psychology, Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1966, 175-286.

Heidegger, M. 1927 Sein und Zeit, Halle: Niemeyer; Eng. trans., Being and Time, by J. Macquarrie and E. Robinson, New York: Harper, 1962.

Holenstein, E. 1972 "Der Nullpunkt der Orientierung: Eine Auseinandersetzung mit der herkömmlichen phänomenologischen These der egozentrischen Raumwahrnehmung", Tijdschrift voor Filosofie, 34, 28- 78.

Hompf, A. 1905 Untersuchungen über symbolische Relationen, Dissertation, Munich.

Husserl, E. 1900/01 Logische Untersuchungen, Halle: Niemeyer, 1st ed., 2nd ed. 1913/21; Eng. trans. of 2nd ed. by J.N.Findlay, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1970.

-- 1905/07 "Seefelder Manuskripte über Individuation (Verlegenheiten Pfänder/Daubert)", in Husserliana X, 237-68.

-- 1913 Ideen zu einer reinen Phönomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie, I. Buch: Allgemeine Einführung in die Phänomenologie, Halle: Niemeyer and as Husserliana Band III,1 (ed. K. Schuhmann). (Eng. trans. by F. Kersten, The Hague/Boston/Lancaster: Nijhoff, 1983.)

-- 1930 "Nachwort zu meinen Ideen I", Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phänomenologische Forschung, 11, 549-70 and in Husserliana V, 138-62.

-- 1929 "Formale und transcendentale Logik", Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phänomenologische Forschung, 10, 1-298, and in Husserliana XVII, ed. P. Janssen; Eng. trans. by D. Cairns, The Hague: Nijhoff, 1969.

-- 1962 Die Krisis der europäischen Wissenschaften und die transzendentale Phänomenologie. Eine Einleitung in die phänomenologische Philosophie, W. Biemel, ed., Husserliana VI. (Eng. trans. by D. Carr, Northwestern University Press: Evanston 1970.)

-- 1968 "Phänomenologie", 2nd draft of article for Encyclopedia Britannica, in Husserliana IX, ed. W. Biemel, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 256-77.

Ingarden, R. 1929 "Bemerkungen zum Problem Idealismus-Realismus", Husserl-Festschrift (Ergänzungsband to Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phänomenologische Forschung), 159-90.

James, W. 1967 "Does 'Consciousness' Exist?", as repr. in Essays in Radical Empiricism, Peter Smith: Gloucester, Mass.

Kuhn, H. 1975 "Phänomenologie und 'wirkliche Wirklichkeit'", in Die Münchener Phänomenologie, Nijhoff: Den Haag, ed H. Kuhn, et al., 1-7.

Marbach, E. 1980 "Einleitung des Herausgebers", Husserliana XXIII, XXV-LXXXII.

Merleau-Ponty, M. 1945 Phénoménologie de la perception, Paris: Gallimard. (Eng. trans. by C. Smith, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962.)

Patzig, G. 1971 "Kritische Bemerkungen zu Husserls Thesen über das Verhältnis von Wahrheit und Evidenz", Neue Hefte für Philosophie, 1, 12-32.

Reinach, A. 1911 "Zur Theorie des negativen Urteils", in Münchener Philosophische Abhandlungen, ed. A. Pfänder, Leipzig: Barth, 196-254 and in Reinach's Sämtliche Werke, ed., K. Schuhmann and B. Smith, Munich: Philosophia, 1989). (Eng. trans. in B. Smith, ed. Parts and Moments. Studies in Logic and Formal Ontology, Munich: Philosophia, 1982, 315-377.)

Schuhmann, K. 1973 Husserl über Pfänder, The Hague: Nijhoff.

-- 1977 Husserl-Chronik, The Hague/Boston/London: Nijhoff.

Smith, B. 1984 "Acta cum fundamentis in re", Dialectica, 38, 157-78.

H. Spiegelberg, 1982 The Phenomenological Movement, 3rd ed., The Hague/Boston/London: Nijhoff.

-- 1975 Doing Phenomenology, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.

Stumpf, C. 1907 "Erscheinungen und psychische Funktionen", Abhandlungen der königlichen preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, phil.-hist.Klasse, 4.

Windelband, W. 1900 Geschichte der Philosophie, 2nd ed., Tübingen and Leipzig.

Woodruff Smith, D. and McIntyre, R. 1982 Husserl and Intentionality, Dordrecht: Reidel.


1. We should like to thank Peter Simons, Robert Sokolowski, Herbert Spiegelberg, and especially Kevin Mulligan for checking the manuscript and for improving upon both its form and its content. Thanks are due in addition to the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung for the award to Smith of a grant for study in Louvain and Erlangen, where his contribution to this paper was composed. We are grateful also to Prof. S. IJsseling, director of the Husserl Archives, for his kind permission to quote from unpublished Husserl material, and to Drs. Dachs and v. Moisy of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek for their unfailing assistance.

2. H. Spiegelberg, The Phenomenological Movement, p.169. This phrase echoes an earlier remark by Moritz Geiger to the effect that, whilst Daubert had contributed more than anyone else to making known the ideas of Husserl's Logical Investigations, he had done so 'ohne je eine Zeile geschrieben zu haben' (1933, p.4).

3. Daubert's own records of many of these discussions have fortunately survived and those of Daubert's manuscripts relating specifically to the Logical Investigations are to appear shortly in a volume in the Nijhoff series Primary Sources in Phenomenology.

4. Introduction to Alciphron. Or, as Husserl wrote to Daubert in a letter of Dec. 22, 1923 which it would be too painful to translate:

Für mich sind Sie semper idem, durch und durch Philosoph ("wesensmäßig"), und wenn Sie sich als Landwirt wohl fühlen, so ist es zweifellos recht, weil es philosophisch echt ist.

5. See Avé-Lallemant 1975, pp

6. In a draft of a letter to Husserl of June 26, 1913 Daubert says: 'You deal in the Ideas in a grand manner with precisely those questions with which I have been occupied in my work of the last years... There are differences, to be sure, but they are surely inessential.' On Pfänder's sympathetic reactions to Ideas I see Schuhmann, Husserl über Pfänder, pp.6f.

7. See also Husserl's amazed reaction in a postcard of March 16, 1915 addressed to Daubert at the front: 'Meine "Ideen" bei Ihnen im Felde? Sie bringen es zu Stande, diese Wirklichkeit "einzuklammern"?'

8. It will be necessary to quote extensively from this file, which is not merely still unpublished, but has not even been fully transcribed. Quotations will be given by referring to page number with recto/verso markings (e.g. 52r or 52v) of the folios in Munich. Quotations from Ideas I by giving the page numbers of the original publication, which are retrievable both from Schuhmann's Husserliana edition and from the Kersten translation. The latter has been used where necessary, though we do not follow it in all details. It should be noted in particular that we use 'reality' -- and not 'actuality' -- as our rendering of Daubert's and Husserl's 'Wirklichkeit'.

9. Among Husserl's own works the Logical Investigations and the then still recent Nachwort to Ideas I receive only minor attention in Daubert's manuscript. Formal and Transcendental Logic (1929) is extensively discussed and Daubert in addition uses E. Fink's "Vergegenwärtigung und Bild" as a guide to Husserl's most recent position.

10. The distinction advanced by Husserl between the sense of a perception and its object occurs already in the doctoral dissertation of Aloys Hompf, who like Daubert was a student of Theodor Lipps in Munich. Hompf introduces it by means of a strikingly similar example:

The object 'house' can collapse, catch fire, be sold or be declared uninhabitable. But it would of course be ridiculous and devoid of sense to apply these or similar predicates to the content of my perception of the house. (Untersuchungen über symbolische Relationen, 1905, p.39.)

Compare also the following passage from Brentano's Vom Dasein Gottes (p. 116): No window is going to allow itself to be broken with a presented stone. Phenomena do not fall, and they do not enter into chemical combinations, either.'

11. Here we follow Husserl in equating 'noema' and '[erweiterte/extendierte] Sinn' (182). Considerations of the sort which underlie the more technical distinction between 'Sinn' and 'full noema' (185) will not play a role in the arguments which follow.

12. In his last period Husserl was to concede that our everyday life- world is 'the only real world, the only one ever experienced and experienceable' (The Crisis of European Sciences, p.49). Even so, he still defended his statement about the tree-noema which cannot burn (cf. Crisis, § 70).

13. There are, certainly, passages in Husserl's text which seem to suggest that he, too, rejected the two-world theory (see e.g. § 49 last sentence, § § 88, 90). These statements are valid, however, only within the framework of the phenomenological reduction, and to the extent that there is a distinction between the reduced and the natural attitude, there is a difference also on the side of the objects.

14. Such a conception may be of some use if we abandon the strictly phenomenological perspective and attempt to understand the structures involved when a perceiving organism is related to an object in a perceptual act. See Smith 1984, for a defence of what is in effect an Aristotelian theory of the subject-act relation along these lines, having consequences very similar to those of Daubert's theory.

15. Already in an article of 1904 William James had put forward a similar thesis, and the following remark, at least when torn from its context, reminds one completely of Daubert:

I mean only to deny that the word ['consciousness'] stands for an entity, but to insist most emphatically that it does stand for a function (p.3).

Both James' and Daubert's views may have been developed independently out of Carl Stumpf's notion of 'psychische Funktion'. James' article, by the way, also contains a spirited illustration of the difference between physical and mental states which reminds one, again, of Hompf's 'house', already mentioned above. Consider a room in a house:

As a room it will take an earthquake or a gang of men to destroy it. As a subjective state the closing of your eyes, or any instantaneous play of your fancy will suffice. In the real world, fire will consume it. In your mind, you can let fire play over it without effect. As an outer object, you must pay so much a month to inhabit it. As an inner content, you may occupy it for any length of time rent-free (op.cit., p.14, our emphasis)

16. The device of thematisation Daubert here takes over from Gurwitsch.

17. §§ 9, 11. A short summary is given also in Ideas I, § 126. See also Reinach 1911, § 15 of translation.

18. This criticism in a way repeats Kant's criticism in the first Critique of the paralogisms of Wolffian psychology.

19. While the term 'Bewußtsein' goes back to Wolff (1719), the English term first became prominent in an anonymous treatise On Consciousness of 1728, though it had been used already e.g. in Locke's Essay.

20. Daubert detects in this argument a fallacious transition from essence to existence. And once again there is a Kantian connection: his criticism can be said to be a reformulation of Kant's well-known refutation of the (Wolffian) ontological argument.

21. Geschichte der Philosophie, p.463n. (Daubert quotes Windelband at A I 3/74r.)

22. The wording of this phrase is strangely reminiscent of Husserl's later statement that the 'interrelation between reason and what is' is 'the enigma of all enigmas' (Crisis, § 5).

23. At the time, Daubert could not know how correct he was in applying Windelband's formula to Husserl. In a manuscript from September 1908 which Husserl entitled "Die Auflösung des empirischen Seins in Zusammenhänge des absoluten Bewußtseins" (cf. Schuhmann, Husserl- Chronik, p.119) and also "Sein der Natur sich 'auflösend' in Bewußtsein" (MS B II 1, cover), he says:

And insofar as it belongs to the immanent essence of such connections of consciousness that in them the 'object' is thought, posited, is ultimately determined in a valid way and known, objective being 'dissolves itself' ['löst sich ... auf'] into connections of consciousness. (MS K II 1/12; quoted by G. Patzig 1971, p.31, n.13.)

Walter Biemel, who quotes this formulation as Husserl's own (Husserliana II, "Einleitung des Herausgebers", p.VIII), is unaware of its Windelbandian origins, though Husserl's quotation marks around "auflösend" and "löst sich auf" are sufficient evidence that he is indeed quoting Windelband. The same allusion seems to be present also when he states: 'Everything that is offered to us by the sciences in regard to the onta "dissolves itself into what is phenomenological"' ["löst sich in Phänomenologisches auf"]. (Husserliana V, p.78.) This could be one more hint as to the rather traditional character of Husserl's idealism.

24. This formulation occurs already in a manuscript of 1909 (Husserliana XXIII, p.265), though there is not yet sufficient evidence for the claim that this occurrence spells a fundamental revision of Husserl's doctrine of consciousness, as is claimed by E. Marbach, "Einleitung", op.cit., p. LXIIf.

25. Daubert's analysis here could be compared first of all to that of Merleau-Ponty:

L'expérience motrice de notre corps...nous fournit une manire d'accéder au monde et à l'objet, une 'praktognosie' qui doit être reconnue comme originale .... (Phénoménologie de la perception, p.164.)

There are important parallels also to Gibson's ecological theory of perception (see e.g. Glotzbach and Heff, 1982). But the most detailed recent philosophical analysis of these problems, whose anti- egological stance is in many respects congenial to what Daubert has in mind, is to be found in Harald Delius' book Self-Awareness, especially in his treatment of how a child learns to use the words "I see":

The general behavioural pattern that comes to be associated with "seeing" will contain as an outstanding feature that the person (or animal) which is said to "now see something", movements of reaching for something or pointing at something, etc., puts himself into a relation towards something located at some definite spot in the space surrounding him. And the "I" as used, for instance, by the person exclaiming "Now I see it!" is taken, by the observer learning the use of these words, to somehow stand for the person (his body and location in space) who utters that exclamation. (Self-Awareness, p.148)

Delius, like Daubert, comes close to Gurwitsch (whom, however, he does not discuss) when he says that all of the material or qualitative differences, e.g. between types of perception like seeing or hearing, 'belong to the contents seen or heard', and that, when we abstract from the differences between such contents, seeing or hearing are just predicates describing a relation beween different sense-organs and different types of contents (cf. op.cit., p.149: As Daubert puts it at 138v: 'The seeing of a tree and the seeing of a house are, as seeings, not distinguished.')

As for Daubert, so also for Delius, we have no direct knowledge of the ego: 'Our knowlege of the existence of this unknown relatum is essentially mediated by our knowledge of the existence of the relation.' (op.cit., p.152.) And as Daubert linked the problem of consciousness to that of syncategorematica, so Delius shows that the ego-relation to a content cannot be made thematic without first being formulated in language: states of self-awareness are, he says, 'linguistically dependent states of affairs', i.e. their being is exhausted in their being expressed.

On the other hand the view, shared by Daubert and Husserl, that the body is the necessary origin or source of all cognition, is subjected to attack by Elmar Holenstein in his important paper "Nullpunkt der Orientierung" of 1972.

26. In the second draft of his Encyclopedia Britannica article, Husserl had acknowledged that Descartes had already used 'the first radical method of reduction' (Husserliana IX, p. 264). In this setting he asserts that in performing the reduction 'I am not a human ego.' (Op.cit, p. 275) Heidegger commented on this passage: 'Or maybe I am one precisely by doing so', (op.cit., p. 275, fn. 1). The ability to carry out the transcendental reduction was for Heidegger a 'central possibility of the existing factual self'. (Op.cit, p. 601f.) Thus he, too, could come under Daubert's attack because he still upholds the Cartesian-Husserlian belief in the 'wonderful' power of consciousness. (op.cit., p. 275, fn.1)

27. Cf. the allusion to Brentano in Ideas I, 185f.

28. Here again Daubert's views can be compared with Husserl's own earlier position. See e.g. Husserliana XVI, pp.290f. Daubert is careful to stress that error and illusion 'are nothing psychic. They have no being at all in the sense in which existing objects have being. The being of errors and illusions lies in a quite different factual sphere (the errors, the possibilities of thought and perception, the presumptions, the impossibilities, etc.).' (118v)

29. Husserl had attempted to come to grips with the same sort of thing in his treatment of the givenness of a thing 'in person' (283). In the characteristic 'in person', however, he sees just one more moment or constituent of the noema, linked to other such moments in a systematic way. This aspect of Husserl's noema-theory is made particularly clear in Woodruff Smith and McIntyre 1982, esp. ch.VIII: 'Definite, or De Re, Intention in a Husserlian Framework'.

30. 'Between my understanding and grasping of the thing intervenes its appearance. But the real appearance [consists of:] (a) external constellations, (b) constellations arising through my relation and position in respect to it.' (126v)

31. A dualism which would resemble most the Schopenhauerian version of Platonism. Schopenhauer seems indeed to have exerted a certain influence on Daubert's reflections on the duplicity of consciousness. He is mentioned at A I 3/74r.

32. Spiegelberg calls this the 'ontic permanence' of reality (Doing Phenomenology, p.146).

33. Compare, again, LU VI § 39.

34. For Husserl, too, there are limits set to cognition, but these are exclusively a matter of the coherence, of the harmonious regularity, of the flux of experiences. They are not in any sense limits contributed by the transcendent object.

35. Heidegger's Sein und Zeit, with its analysis of the manipulation of Zeug, has obviously influenced Daubert here. Note, however, that for Daubert, 'My practical interest (which is the more basic one) and my cognitive interest do not constitute anything' (138v, our emphasis).

36. Daubert's German reads: 'Wird diese Wirklichkeit vergessen...' and he clearly alludes to the Heideggerian notion of Seinsvergessenheit in the opening sentence of Sein und Zeit. Indeed Daubert's wording suggests that to him Husserl has missed the most fundamental question of phenomenology.

37. Notes taken by Pfänder on Dec.6, 1899.

38. Daubertiana A I 5/81v.

39. In later times, the phrase was used by Conrad-Martius in her attempt to overcome Husserl's transcendental phenomenology (see her "Die transzendentale und die ontologische Phänomenologie", 1959, p. 179) and thereafter in Helmut Kuhn's article "Phänomenologie und 'wirkliche Wirklichkeit'", 1975, pp. 1-7.