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Q1. What, according to Husserl is Intentionality? Discuss its role in arriving at the meaning of object. (2011/30)


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  • jaish

    Intentionality of consciousness is the central theme of the Husserl’s phenomenology. It is the theory which is carried by Husserl from the Brentano’s notion of intentionality. Brentano used this theory to make distinction between mental and physical but Husserl used this for developing his Phenomenological theme.
    Husserl has propounded the phenomenology. According to this theory, there is need to know the object without any presupposition or with absolute poverty. After the stages of Epoche and Reduction, we are left with pure consciousness, which Husserl says it as always be intentional in nature.
    Intentionality primarily means appears to, directed to and related to. Intentionality means that consciousness is always directed towards something, example- knowing always means knowing something. Therefore, consciousness is intentional means every act of consciousness is directed to some object. However, the object of the consciousness is not need to be always in existence. Husserl says that intentionality is description dependent but independent to existence.

    Its role in carrying the meaning of object:
    It is only in this connection that Husserl makes a distinction between Noesis and Noema. Here noema is something thought while the noesis is the act of thought. Husserl further added that it is the noetic act that constitutes the noema. For him, intentionality depends on noesis and noema. Noesis-meaning giving act and meaning fulfilling act. Husserl then says that it is the intention that gives unity to the meaning and as a matter of fact, intentionality itself constitutes the meaning.
    However, Husserl phenomenology is criticised by other philosopher specially existentialism that we can not bracket the existence as such to know the phenomena