50 Best Phenomenology Quotes And Sayings

Phenomenology is the study of phenomena, which are events or objects that are experienced by humans. Phenomenology is a field of philosophy that seeks to understand the nature of experience itself. While phenomenology has its origins in ancient Greece, its modern day practitioners often draw from the work of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. In fact, virtually all of today’s leading phenomenological philosophers also have a background in the natural sciences, such as physics, biology, or psychology Read more

In other words, they view their study as a way to understand the human condition – our interior experiences – from a perspective that is complementary to other fields. Perhaps best described as a “method” of philosophical inquiry, phenomenology is a logical and methodological approach. Some would describe it as a “field” of inquiry within philosophy.

Regardless of how you choose to define it, these phenomenological quotes will help you examine your own experience differently, and find ways to better understand those around you.

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Bodies are real entities. Surfaces and lines are but fictitious entities. A surface without depth, a line without thickness, was never seen by any man; no; nor can any conception be seriously formed of its existence. Jeremy Bentham
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We assert now that Being is the proper and sole theme of philosophy. This is not our own invention; it is a way of putting the theme which comes to life at the beginning of philosophy in antiquity, and it assumes its most grandiose form in Hegel's logic. At present we are merely asserting that Being is the proper and sole theme of philosophy. Negatively, this means that philosophy is not a science of beings but of Being or, as the Greek expression goes, ontology. We take this expression in the widest possible sense and not in the narrower one it has, say, in Scholasticism or in modern philosophy in Descartes and Leibniz.A discussion of the basic problems of phenomenology then is tantamount to providing fundamental substantiation for this assertion that philosophy is the science of Being and establishing how it is such. The discussion should show the possibility and necessity of the absolute science of Being and demonstrate its character in the very process of the inquiry. Philosophy is the theoretical conceptual interpretation of Being, of Being's structure and its possibilities. Philosophy is ontological." ―from_The Basic Problems of Phenomenology_ . Martin Heidegger
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Our conduct of the ontological investigation in the first and second parts opens up for us at the same time a view of the way in which these phenomenological investigations proceed. This raises the question of the character of method in ontology. Thus we come to the third part of the course: the scientific method of ontology and the idea of phenomenology. The method of ontology, that is, of philosophy in general, is distinguished by the fact that ontology has nothing in common with any method of any of the other sciences, all of which as positive sciences deal with beings. On the other hand, it is precisely the analysis of the truth-character of Being which shows that Being also is, as it were, based in a being, namely, in the Dasein. Being is given only if the understanding of Being, hence the Dasein, exists. This being accordingly lays claim to a distinctive priority in ontological inquiry. It makes itself manifest in all discussions of the basic problems of ontology and above all in the fundamental question of the meaning of Being in general. The elaboration of this question and its answer requires a general analytic of the Dasein. Ontology has for its fundamental discipline the analytic of the Dasein. This implies at the same time that ontology cannot be established in a purely ontological manner. Its possibility is referred back to a being, that is, to something ontical―the Dasein. Ontology has an ontical foundation, a fact which is manifest over and over again in the history of philosophy down to the present. For example, it is expressed as early as Aristotle's dictum that the first science, the science of Being, is theology. As the work of the freedom of the human Dasein, the possibilities and destinies of philosophy are bound up with man's existence, and thus with temporality and with historicality, and indeed in a more original sense than is any other science. Consequently, in clarifying the scientific character of ontology, *the first task is the demonstration of its ontical foundation* and the characterisation of this foundation itself."―from_ The Basic Problems of Phenomenology_. Martin Heidegger
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Certainly, what Kant calls the transcendental reference, experience and object of experience are in a sense present in both opposed views of the nature of the subjective *a-priori*. In both cases the object must 'order itself' according to the rules of the knowing mind or its functions, irrespective of whether the specific function of cognition is based on a systematic construction, synthetization, formation of the object from 'given' sensational material or on a methodical selection-process (suppression, abstraction, disregard) imposed on a self-constituting object. For if the order of selection in which the fulness of the world, as it is in ipseity, reaches man (or a particular kind of man, e.g., a type of racial or cultural unity) is so governed that an object of essence *B* is only given when an object of essence *A* has already been given (if, that is to say, *A* has datum-priority over *B* in order of time―not necessarily in direct succession), then if an object *X* is simultaneously of essence *A* and *B*, everything which is true of *A* must necessarily be true of *X*―not vice versa. For example, if spatiality and extensity have strict perceptual priority over all essential properties of matter and corporeality, geometry must be strictly valid for all possible bodies. But the same principle, the applicability of geometry to all bodies without exception, would still hold good if Kant's doctrine were true―though it denies the very reality of extension and space, and explains the spatial form as merely a subjective aspect of the datum. Thus in both cases the transcendental validity of the so-called *a-priori*, even for the objects of experience, would persist, so that in itself it offers us *no* criterion of choice between one or other *hypothesis*―that which supposes a synthetic addition of the form on the part of the spontaneous mind, or the other, which postulates an ordered selection in conformity with foreknown essences." ―from_On the Eternal in Man_. The Nature of Philosophy, with a new introduction by Graham McAleer. Max Scheler
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What is gained by the transcendence of the object is the identifiability of the object in a plurality of acts and the identifiability of what is thought by several individuals. This identifiability is not restricted to ideal objects, which are generated according to a definite operational law and are therefore producible by everyone out of the same material of intuition which is given prior to any particular sense-experience. The identifiability obtains in precisely the same way for objects of myth and folklore, of belief and artistic fantasy. Goethe’s Faust, Apollo, and Little Red Riding Hood can be identified by several individuals and are the objects of common, universally valid statements. Indeed, exact identity of the nature of the object in question and evidential knowledge of this identity can occur *only* in the case of ideal objects. Our certainty that we all think the same number 3 in the strictest identity of its nature is much more evident than that we all think the same real object, a tree, for instance. In the case of real objects we can actually prove that it is impossible for the momentary content in which the object is represented and thought to be exactly the same in a plurality of acts and for many individuals. The only other contribution made by the fact of the consciousness of transcendence, so long overlooked in recent philosophy, to the problem of reality is this: the acts in which this consciousness is present can bring the givenness of reality, of which we shall speak later, into “objective” form, and can therefore elevate that which is given in this way as real to the status of a real “object.” But with this, the contribution of the consciousness of transcendence to the problem of reality is at an end. Although N. Hartmann made the same point with respect to Paul Linke’s otherwise shrewd and pertinent comments on his doctrine of reality, still we should emphasize that the transcendence of the object does not *exclude* the reality of the object, not even of the *same* object in the strict sense of “same.” ―from_Idealism and Realism_. Max Scheler
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It is very important to note that the transcendence of the object is by no means a primitive component necessarily ingredient in all knowledge. It is missing in all ecstatic knowledge. In ecstatic knowledge the known world is still not objectively given. Only when the (logically and genetically simultaneous) act furnishing ecstatic knowledge and the subject which performs this act become themselves the content of knowledge in the act of reflection does the character originally given in ecstatic knowledge become a mere reference pointing to the “object.” It is only here that the object or that which turns into an object remains from now on “transcendent” to consciousness. Therefore, whenever there is consciousness, objects transcendent to consciousness must also be given to consciousness. Their structural relationship is indissoluble. Whenever self-consciousness and consciousness of an object arise, they do so simultaneously and through the same process. The categorical form of an object is not first impressed in a judgment upon a nonobjective given, not even in a one-term, simple judgment, as some people have thought (e.g., Heinrich Maier in his book *Wahrheit und Wirklichkeit*). This is a pure construction. Consciousness of an object precedes all judgment and is not originally constituted by judgment. The same holds true of consciousness of states of affairs. The consciousness of an object and the intentional object are not the result of an active [tätige] “forming” or “imprinting” which we perform on the given through judgments or any other operations of thought. On the contrary, they are the result of a pulling back, the result, that is, of the re-flexive act, in which an originally ecstatic [*ekstatisch gebender*] act turns back knowingly onto itself and comes upon a central self as its starting point. This central self can be given at every level and degree of “concentration” and “collectedness” in “self-consciousness.” What we had hold of [*das Gehabte*] remains “as” object, while the act of reflection turns the knowing back into the knower, as the result of a turning away [*Abwendung*] and a pulling back, and not of an active turning to [*Zuwendung*].From what has been said, one may very well imagine that the real world could be abolished without consciousness and the self being altered or abolished thereby. But this could in no way be the case with the world of objects that transcend consciousness. Descartes as well as Lotze misunderstood this. Where a *cogito* exists, there must also be a *cogitatur* in which a transcendent object is thought. Only a being capable of reflection (*reflexio*) and self-consciousness *can* have objects. Charlotte Bühler has recently made it seem probable that the infant does not yet possess objective consciousness. In waking from the effects of a drug we can follow the process by which the givenness of the surrounding world becomes objective again. There is one last point of contact between the problem of reality and the consciousness of transcendence. The consciousness of transcendence, as already indicated, shows how the mere ecstatic possession of reality on the level of the immediately experienced resistance of an X to the central drives of life passes over into a reflexive and thus objective possession of reality. And we find similar transitions between ecstatic remembering which is merged in the being of what is past and reflexive remembering, between ecstatic drive activities and recurrent deliberation [*Besinnung*], between ecstatic surrender to a value and objectification of a value, between identifying with an alter ego and “understanding” [*Verstehen*] another, however slightly.” ―from_Idealism and Realism_ . Max Scheler
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The third preliminary problem for every theory of reality is that of the experience of transcendence. We saw in the case of Berkeley that his erroneous principle *percipi est esse*, and his assertion that any being which we think, just for the reason that it is thought, cannot at the same time be regarded as subsisting independently of thinking, incorporate a failure to recognize the consciousness of transcendence peculiar to all intentional acts. This is an instance of the failure to recognize that not only all thinking in the narrower sense, in the sense of grasping an object on the basis of “meanings” and grasping a state of affairs through judgments, but *every* intention in general, whether perception, representation, remembering, the feeling of value, or the posing of ends and goals, points beyond the act and the contents of the act and intends something other than the act [*ein Aktfremdes*], even when what is thought is in turn itself a thought. Indeed, *intentio* signifies a goal-directed movement toward something which one does not have oneself or has only partially and incompletely. Berkeley (following Locke, who was the first to make the basic philosophical error which introduced “psychologism” into epistemology) arrived at the principle *esse est percipi* by making the idea [*Vorstellung*] (and even the sensation) into a thing, an immaterial substance, and by failing to distinguish between the act, the content of an act, and the object. Furthermore, Berkeley confused the being of objects with the fact of being-an-object, even though the latter has only a loose and variable connection with the former. On the other hand, the transcendence of the intentional object with respect to both the *intentio* and its present content is common to every instance of being-an-object. It is, for instance, proper to objects of pure mathematics which are certainly not real but ideal (for example, the number 3). These are produced from the *a priori* material of intuition in accordance with an operational law governing the steps of our thought or intuition. Transcendence is further proper to all fictitious objects and even to contradictory objects, for instance, a square circle. All these sorts of objects, e.g., the golden mountain or Little Red Riding Hood, satisfy the basic principle of the transcendence of objects over and above that aspect of them which is, at any moment, given in consciousness, just as much as do real objects existing independently of all consciousness and knowledge."―from_ Idealism and Realism_ . Max Scheler
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It is precisely because the principle of the transcendence of the object is completely independent of the existential status of the objects themselves and, thus, independent of the question whether they are produced by us or subsist on their own―whether they are fictions or real beings―that the fact of the consciousness of transcendence is not even remotely qualified to solve the problem of reality. This has been misunderstood equally by W. Freytag, Edith Landmann, P. Linke, and even by Husserl himself. Indeed, people have wanted to speak of an intentional realism (E. Landmann) in contrast to Critical Realism and to all other forms of realism. N. Hartmann was quite correct in emphasizing, in opposition to this, that the projection [*Hinausragen*] of the intentional object beyond the content of consciousness and its act cannot make the least contribution to solving the problem of realism. If something is an intentional object, we cannot recognize from this fact alone, whether it is real or not. If the perceived cherry, the conceived triangle, a friend’s visit anticipated in a dream, Little Red Riding Hood, a freely planned project, or a felt value, have entirely different characteristics and predicates than do the mental processes and the actual contents in which these objects appear, then the distinction between intentional and mental holds equally of both the real and the irreal. *Thus, the problem of what is real is not touched by the fact of the transcendence of the object*, and *percipi est esse*, in Berkeley’s psychologistic sense, is laid to rest. This also frustrates attempts, such as Hume’s in his *Treatise*, to derive being-an-object in general―an object as distinguished from an idea―from a psychogenetic process in which the very ideas through which this psychogenetic process is supposed to be accomplished are themselves reified [*verdinglicht*]."―from_Idealism and Realism_ . Max Scheler
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So, ‘sensation’ and ‘judgment’ have together lost their apparent clearness: we have observed that they were clear only as long as the prejudice in favour of the world was maintained. As soon as one tried by means of them, to picture consciousness in the process of perceiving, to revive the forgotten perceptual experience, and to relate them to it, they were found to be inconceivable. By dint of making these difficulties more explicit, we were drawn implicitly into a new kind of analysis, into a new dimension in which they were destined to disappear. The criticism of the constancy hypothesis and more generally the reduction of the idea of ‘the world’ opened up a *phenomenal field* which now has to be more accurately circumscribed, and suggested the rediscovery of direct experience which must be, at least provisionally, assigned its place in relation to scientific knowledge, and to psychological and philosophical reflection.”–from_ Phenomenology of Perception_. Translated by Colin Smith, p. 62 . Maurice MerleauPonty
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Science and philosophy have for centuries been sustained by unquestioning faith in perception. Perception opens a window on to things. This means that it is directed, quasi-teleologically, towards a *truth in itself* in which the reason underlying all appearances is to be found. The tacit thesis of perception is that at every instant experience can be co-ordinated with that of the previous instant and that of the following, and my perspective with that of other consciousnesses–that all contradictions can be removed, that monadic and intersubjective experience is one unbroken text–that what is now indeterminate for me could become determinate for a more complete knowledge, which is as it were realized in advance in the thing, or rather which is the thing itself. Science has first been merely the sequel or amplification of the process which constitutes perceived things. Just as the thing is the invariant of all sensory fields and of all individual perceptual fields, so the scientific concept is the means of fixing and objectifying phenomena. Science defined a theoretical state of bodies not subject to the action of any force, and *ipso facto* defined force, reconstituting with the aid of these ideal components the processes actually observed. It established statistically the chemical properties of pure bodies, deducing from these those of empirical bodies, and seeming thus to hold the plan of creation or in any case to have found a reason immanent in the world. The notion of geometrical space, indifferent to its contents, that of pure movement which does not by itself affect the properties of the object, provided phenomena with a setting of inert existence in which each event could be related to physical conditions responsible for the changes occurring, and therefore contributed to this freezing of being which appeared to be the task of physics. In thus developing the concept of the thing, scientific knowledge was not aware that it was working on a presupposition. Precisely because perception, in its vital implications and prior to any theoretical thought, is presented as perception of a being, it was not considered necessary for reflection to undertake a genealogy of being, and it was therefore confined to seeking the conditions which make being possible. Even if one took account of the transformations of determinant consciousness, even if it were conceded that the constitution of the object is never completed, there was nothing to add to what science said of it; the natural object remained an ideal unity for us and, in the famous words of Lachelier, a network of general properties. It was no use denying any ontological value to the principles of science and leaving them with only a methodical value, for this reservation made no essential change as far as philosophy was concerned, since the sole conceivable being remained defined by scientific method. The living body, under these circumstances, could not escape the determinations which alone made the object into an object and without which it would have had no place in the system of experience. The value predicates which the reflecting judgment confers upon it had to be sustained, in being, by a foundation of physico-chemical properties. In ordinary experience we find a fittingness and a meaningful relationship between the gesture, the smile and the tone of a speaker. But this reciprocal relationship of expression which presents the human body as the outward manifestation of a certain manner of being-in-the-world, had, for mechanistic physiology, to be resolved into a series of causal relations.”–from_ Phenomenology of Perception_. Translated by Colin Smith, pp. 62-64–Artwork by Cristian Boian. Maurice MerleauPonty
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Only after the concept of knowledge has been based on an ontological relation [*Seinsverhältnis*] can we work out the particular kind of being from which the principle of immanence-to-consciousness (the starting point of Idealism and Critical Realism) mistakenly proceeds as though from a primary insight. This is the being of "being-conscious" [*Bewusst-Seins*]. All being-conscious must first of all be brought under the higher concept of ideal being, or, at all events, that of irreal being. The mental item which presents itself in the experiences of consciousness may be real; being-conscious itself never is. However, the concept of consciousness is derivative in not only this sense. Consciousness also presupposes the concept of knowledge. Nothing is more misleading than to proceed in the opposite direction and define knowledge itself as simply a particular "content of consciousness, " as we see if we oppose, to the particular kind of knowing and having-known which we call consciousness, another kind of knowledge which precedes it and includes no form of being-conscious. We will call this knowledge *ecstatic* [*ekstatische*] knowledge. It is found quite clearly in animals, primitive people, children, and, further, in certain pathological and other abnormal and supra-normal states (e.g., in recovering from the effects of a drug). I have said elsewhere that the animal never relates to its environment as to an object but only *lives in it* [*es lebe nur "in sie hinein*"]. Its conduct with respect to the external world depends upon whether the latter satisfies its instinctive drives or denies them satisfaction. The animal experiences the surrounding world as resistances of various types. Hence, it is absolutely necessary to contest the principle (in Descartes, Franz Brentano, *et al*.) that every mental function and act is accompanied by an immediate knowledge of it. An even more highly contestable principle is that a relation to the self is an essential condition of all processes of knowledge. It is difficult to reproduce purely ecstatic knowledge in mature, civilized men, whether in memory, reverie, perception, thought, or empathetic identification with things, animals, or men; nonetheless, there is no doubt that in every perception and presentation of things and events we think that we grasp *the things-themselves*, not mere "images" of them or representatives of some sort. Knowledge first becomes conscious knowledge [*Bewusst-sein*], that is, comes out of its original ecstatic form of simply "having" things, in which there is no knowledge of the having or of that through which and in which it is had, when the act of being thrown back on the self (probably only possible for men) comes into play. This act grows out of conspicuous resistances, clashes, and oppositions―in sum, out of pronounced suffering. It is the *actus re-flexivus* in which knowledge of the knowledge of things is added to the knowledge of things. Furthermore, in this act we come to know the kind of knowledge we have, for example, memory, ideation, and perception, and finally, beyond even these, we come to have a knowledge of the relation of the act performed to the self, to the knower. With respect to any specific relation to the self, this last knowledge, so-called conscious self-knowledge, comes only after knowledge about the act. Kant's principle that an "I think" must be *able* to accompany all a man's thoughts may be correct. That it in fact always accompanies them is nevertheless undoubtedly false. However, the kind of being (indeed, of ideal being) which contents possess when they are reflexively *had* in their givenness in conscious acts―when, therefore, they become reflexive―is the being of being-consciously-known."from_ Idealism and Realism_ . Max Scheler
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We must reject entirely the frequently encountered assertion that consciousness is a "primal fact, " that one ought not speak of an "origin" of consciousness. The very same laws and motives in accordance with which we think of consciousness' raising itself from one level of reflection to the next will apply when we think of consciousness itself originating out of a preconscious, partly subconscious, partly supraconscious condition of the being of the contents of knowledge. (And the motive is always suffering of some sort, suffering, as we shall see, at the hands of the real being [*Realsein*] which is ecstatically given prior to all consciousness.) Only a very definite historical stage of overreflective bourgeois civilization could make the fact of consciousness the starting point of all theoretical philosophy, without characterizing more exactly the mode of being of this consciousness."―from_ Idealism and Realism_ . Max Scheler
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All that is worthy of love [*die Liebenswürdigkeiten*], from the viewpoint of God's comprehensive love, might have been stamped and created by this act of love; man's love does not so stamp or create its objects. Man's love is restricted to recognizing the objective demand these objects make and to submitting to the gradation of rank in what is worthy of love. This gradation exists in itself, but in itself it exists "for" man, ordered to his *particular* essence. Loving can be characterized as correct or false only because a man's actual inclinations and acts of love can be in harmony with or oppose the rank-ordering of what is worthy of love. In other words, man can feel and know himself to be at one with, or separated and opposed to, the love with which God loved the idea of the world or its content before he created it, the love with which he preserves it at every instant. If a man in his actual loving, or in the order of his acts of love, in his preferences and depreciations, subverts this self-existent order, he simultaneously subverts the intention of the divine world-order―as it is in his power to do. And whenever he does so, his world as the possible object of knowledge, and his world as the field of willing, action, and operation, must necessarily fall as well. This is not the place to speak about the content of the gradations of rank in the realm of all that is worthy of love. It is sufficient here to say something about the *form* and *content* of the realm itself. From the primal atom and the grain of sand to God, this realm is *one* realm. This "unity" does not mean that the realm is closed. We are conscious that no one of the finite parts of it which are given to us can exhaust its fullness and its extension. If we have only *once* experienced how one feature which is worthy of love appears next to another―or how another feature of still higher value appears over and above one which we had taken till now as the "highest" in a particular region of values, then we have learned the essence of progress in or penetration into the realm. Then we see that this realm cannot have precise boundaries. Only in this way can we understand that when any sort of love is fulfilled by an object adequate to it the satisfaction this gives us can never be definitive. Just as the essence of certain operations of thought which create their objects through self-given laws (e.g., the inference from *n* to *n* + *I*) prevents any limits from being placed on their application, so it is in the essence of the act of love as it fulfills itself in what is worthy of love that it can progress from value to value, from one height to an even greater height. "Our heart is too spacious, " said Pascal. Even if we should know that our actual ability to love is limited, at the same time we know and feel that this limit lies neither in the finite objects which are worthy of love nor in the essence of the act of love as such, but only in our organization and the conditions it sets for the occurrence and *arousal* of the act of love. For this arousal is bound up with the life of our body and our drives and with the way an object stimulates and calls this life into play. But *what* we grasp as *worthy of love* is not bound up with these, and more than the *form and structure* of the realm of which this value shows itself to be a part."―from_ Ordo Amoris_ . Max Scheler
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In Leibniz we can already find the striking observation that *cogitatur ergo est* is no less evident than *cogito ergo sum*. Naturally, *est* here does not mean existence or reality but being of whatever kind and form, including even ideal being, fictive being, conscious-being [*Bewusst-Sein*], etc. However, we must go even beyond this thesis of Leibniz. The correlate of the act of *cogitatio* is not, as Leibniz said, being simply, but only that type of being we call "objectifiable being." Objectifiable being must be sharply distinguished from the non-objectifiable being of an act, that is, from a kind of entity which possesses its mode of being only in performance [*Vollzug*], namely, in the performance of the act. "Being, " in the widest sense of the word, belongs indeed to the being-of-an-act [*Akt-Sein*], to *cogitare*, which does not in turn require another *cogitare*. Similarly, we are only vaguely "aware" of our drives [*Triebleben*] without having them as objects as we do those elements of consciousness which lend themselves to imagery. For this reason the first order of evidence is expressed in the principle, "There is something, " or, better, "There is not nothing." Here we understand by the word "nothing" the negative state of affairs of not-being in general rather than "not being something" or "not being actual." A second principle of evidence is that everything which "is" in any sense of the possible kinds of being can be analyzed in terms of its character or essence (not yet separating its contingent characteristics from its genuine essence) and its existence in some mode. With these two principles we are in a position to define precisely the concept of knowledge, a concept which is prior even to that of consciousness. Knowledge is an ultimate, unique, and underivable ontological relationship between two beings. I mean by this that any being A "knows" any being B whenever A participates in the essence or nature of B, without B's suffering any alteration in its nature or essence because of A's participation in it. Such participation is possible both in the case of objectifiable being and in that of active [*akthaften*] being, for instance, when we repeat the performance of the act; or in feelings, when we relive the feelings, etc. The concept of participation is, therefore, wider than that of objective knowledge, that is, knowledge of objectifiable being. The participation which is in question here can never be dissolved into a causal relation, or one of sameness and similarity, or one of sign and signification; it is an ultimate and essential relation of a peculiar type. We say further of B that, when A participates in B and B belongs to the order of objectifiable being, B becomes an "objective being" ["*Gegenstand"-sein*]. Confusing the being of an object [*Sein des Gegenstandes*] with the fact that an entity is an object [*Gegenstandssein eines Seienden*] is one of the fundamental errors of idealism. On the contrary, the being of B, in the sense of a mode of reality, never enters into the knowledge-relation. The being of B can never stand to the real bearer of knowledge in any but a causal relation. The *ens reale* remains, therefore, outside of every possible knowledge-relation, not only the human but also the divine, if such exists. Both the concept of the "intentional act" and that of the "subject" of this act, an "I" which performs acts, are logically posterior. The intentional act is to be defined as the process of becoming [*Werdesein*] in A through which A participates in the nature or essence of B, or that through which this participation is produced. To this extent the Scholastics were right to begin with the distinction between an *ens intentionale* and an *ens reale*, and then, on the basis of this distinction, to distinguish between an intentional act and a real relation between the knower and the being of the thing known." ―from_Idealism and Realism_ . Max Scheler
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One of my principal theses is that in every case the nature of a being (contingent as well as essential nature) can, in principle, be immanent to and truly inherent in knowledge and reflexive consciousness as it is outside of consciousness, and therefore not only as it is represented by some image, perception, idea [*Vorstellung*], or thought. This immanence of the nature of a being to consciousness occurs, of course, with totally different degrees of adequation and on completely different levels of the relativity of its existence to the existence and constitution [*Organisation*] of the "knowing" subject. Existence, however, can never be immanent to consciousness. Rather, existence necessarily transcends knowledge and consciousness and is alien to them. Existence is essentially transcendent and remains independent of them, even in the limiting case of a "divine, " omniscient Mind." In other words, the nature and the existence of any possible object are separable with respect to the possibility of their being *in mente* [in the mind]. The nature of a being can be *in mente* and actually is so in any evidential cognition of what a thing is, which excludes cases of illusion and error. Existence can never be *in mente*. I shall speak later of how existence can be "given" despite this. Existence transcends thought, intuition, and perception, as well as any cooperation of thought and intuition in that higher form of knowledge we call cognition. Cognition is the "knowledge of something as something, " the coincidence [*Deckung*] of intuition and thought." from_ Idealism and Realism_. Max Scheler
We must listen to poets.
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We must listen to poets. Gaston Bachelard
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Language signifies when instead of copying thought it lets itself be taken apart and put together again by thought. Language bears the sense of thought as a footprint signifies the movement and effort of a body. The empirical use of already established language should be distinguished from its creative use. Empirical language can only be the result of creative language. Speech in the sense of empirical language - that is, the opportune recollection of a preestablished sign — is not speech in respect to an authentic language. It is, as Mallarmé said, the worn coin placed silently in my hand. True speech, on the contrary - speech which signifies, which finally renders "l'absente de tous bouquets" present and frees the sense captive in the thing - is only silence in respect to empirical usage, for it does not go so far as to become a common noun. Language is oblique and autonomous, and if it sometimes signifies a thought or a thing directly, that is only a secondary power derived from its inner life. Like the weaver, the writer works on the wrong side of his material. He has only to do with the language, and it is thus that he suddenly finds himself surrounded by sense. . Maurice MerleauPonty
A word is a bud attempting to become a twig....
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A word is a bud attempting to become a twig. How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream. Gaston Bachelard
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It is the right of the positive scientist, the logician, the mathematician, and the physicist, to remain within his scientific tradition and to abstain from concerning himself with its origin and institution. It is the duty of the philosopher to raise precisely that question in order to clarify and account for the very sense of modern science. Aron Gurwitsch
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Insofar as he makes use of his healthy senses, man himself is the best and most exact scientific instrument possible. The greatest misfortune of modern physics is that its experiments have been set apart from man, as it were, physics refuses to recognize nature in anything not shown by artificial instruments, and even uses this as a measure of its accomplishments. Unknown