Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Dresden Gallery example; Ideas 1 Part 6

I'm not looking at the Dresden Gallery. I'm not looking at its pictures. I'm looking at the idea that I'm looking at something. I'm out of my my mind.

The last post dealt with the division between the Noetic "really inherent" part of the mental composition and the "Noematic" side as a correlate of the mental processes of the Noetic, as that which is the sense for us. The Noematic was not just the intentional object though. It was the "asing" of an intention. It was the sense of the intention. It was the perceived as the perceived. It wasn't just the apple tree for example, but the fact that something called an "apple tree" is being perceived. The emphasis lied in this "is-being-perceived". If the emphasis lied just in whatever the intentional object was (Ingarden) then this would fail to satisfy the sense that really lies nowhere for Husserl in an intentional act of any sort. With this distinction established it was stated that this wasn't close to the phenomenological explanation that was to be done in regards to conscious experience. A mental phenomena is not simply mental processes with a pointing-towards the sense of it's intention. There are divisions amongst the Noetic and Noematic division itself. In particular there are levels which Husserl elaborates on after making the initial distinction between the Noesis and Noema. "All types of objectivation-modifications previously dealt with are always accessible for always newer hierarchical formations of such a kind that the intentionalities in the noesis and noema are hierarchically built up on one another or, rather, in a unique way, encased in one another". There are different levels in the way in which what was called raw "Hyletic" data becomes modified (by objectivation). For example, "There are presentiations simpliciter, modifications simpliciter of perceptions. But there are also presentiations of a second, third and, essentially, of any level whatever. Remembering 'in' rememberings will serve as an example." The phenomenology of "Remembering in rememberings" is what we will address today by Husserl's example of The Dresden Gallery and a childhood experience. These examples I think are necessary to make sense of what Husserl wants to make sense of. Husserl gives his examples in a very casual style as if the examples weren't needed. Without these examples though, his theory would be more impenetrable than it already is to any "beginner" of phenomenology. For me, the idea of elucidating phenomenological experience rests on easy-to-understand examples. As was said in the post regarding the experience of rejoicing, his examples are far and few in-between. As a reader of Husserl, it's crucial to catch the examples he gives and mediate on them for a long time. His theory is more understandable with examples given first and then the theory given second. This is not how he proceeds and I do find the methodological value in not proceeding this way because it can easily give too much of an existential connotation to phenomenology that wants to operate independent of existential experience in something called "pure reason". Nonetheless I will try to make sure that the theory independent of the examples lives in the examples that are first presented. With that being said, lets move into the levels of the noesis and the noemata by way of theory and example.

Lets go back to what Husserl stated when he said "Rememberings as rememberings will serve as an example". What does this mean? When we are presently remembering something, we can modify this remembering by remembering something in the memory itself. While being in the remembering we "effect" a series of mental processes in the "mode of presentiation". First off, everything that's being remembered is a presentation. We are being presented something. It's not as if nothing is happening. We are being presented something. Secondly, rememberings can occur as "rememberings having been lived". We can direct ourselves to this second level of remembering. Here is where an example will give us clarity on the issue. As promised in the introduction to this post, I said I would give examples for theory rather than the other way around and will start with the example of The Dresden Gallery. Husserl states "A name reminds us of the Dresden Gallery and of our last visit there: we walk through the halls and stand before a picture by Teniers which represents a picture a gallery (The painting that Husserl is referring to I put as the picture of this post). Lets flow into the phenomenological example from the start. A name comes to mind, "Dresden Gallery" comes to mind in which I put in inverted commas in order to establish the sense of the concept independent of it's actual picture seen (rather, we are thinking of the Noema "Dresden Gallery" here). In the memory is the us walking through the halls in which we stand before a specific picture by Teniers which not so ironically is a painting of a picture gallery. Within this memory, there are different levels in which the noema of "The Dresden Gallery" occurs. We can remain at one level. We can simply remain in the remebering of "The Dresden Gallery" with it's walk through the Gallery of Dresden. In this first level of remembering we have a memory simpliciter. We were given the simple memory of the Noema "us walking through Dresden Gallery." This just came to us and nothing else is attached to it at this first level. But this spontaneous memory need not stop. It can operate at different levels. "We can, again within memory, live in the observations of pictures and find ourselves in the world of pictures". Lets stop for a moment. We first (at one level) remembered something immediately and spontaneously. Now, we are again using this spontaneous memory to "consciously" recollect further into the spontaneous memory. Maybe there was something pleasurable about the memory in which makes us want to think more about the spontaneous memory. We are now in a world of pictures. We are consciously recollecting back to all the pictures in the gallery. The is a second level of the Noema. A third level can exist also. "We look at the paintings themselves". In this third level, we are not just in the picture gallery consciously after the initial memory, but are looking at a specific picture in the gallery in which we were just consciously walking in. In all these memories we were "just" doing something. This "justness" is a temporality "function". What happened was something that just happened and now is something different and hence is established as another level of remembering. The sense of these statements are very simple. We have the option to take our initial memory, our noema, and throw it into different directions. We can take the initial noema and judge it, recollect on it, make a predicated statement about it, ect. We can do many things with the noema. The noema then operates on many different levels. It doesn't have to be as simple as we are stating it right now either. Husserl throws in this sort of funny idea of even "reflecting hierarchically upon the noeses". Not only can we reflect upon The Dresden Gallery and all it's particular significations that represent different levels of the noema, but we can reflect (which we are doing right now) on the levels of rememberings that are occurring in all these reflections. We can number them and this is a reflection of another level. We have a level of the noema where we aren't looking at anything specific but simply numbering the amount of times we have different memories of the first level and all the modifications that are "correlates" of that first level. To take this a step further, I can even reflect on the reflection of numbering the amount of times that this noema is taking on different levels. I can do all this ad infinitum. "This multiplicity of possible directions of the regard essentially belongs to the multiplicity of intentionalities related to and founded in one another; and wherever we find analogous founding relationships-and in what follows we will become acquainted with many different kinds-analogous possibilities of changing reflection are brought out." All of the descriptions we gave above are intentionalities founded in and related to an original noema. Does each level represent it's own noema? Each level is it's noema in which it may find another noema but it does come from a spontaneous noema of a memory in this example. In each case in this example, we find a seeminly infinite amount of possibilities of changing reflections from what we currently have our mind on. This almost has to be the case because of time. Can I stand still in the Dresden Gallery in one noema? Can I stay put in the noema of "walking in the Dresden Gallery" without focusing on a specific picture in the Dresden Gallery (a second level). Can I stay put in this initial memory without thinking of how I got to this first noema in the first place? It seems that the temporality of the mind would make this possibility of no no-possibilities impossible. This is going to be a crucial issue that will have to be addressed; the temporality of consciousness. For now though, we have endless possibilities of changing reflections about something present. We have different levels of what's happening. This is part of the noetic-noematic character; to have levels of experiencing, to have levels of mental processes, to have levels of regards of where these mental processes take us.

Lets give a second example to fully clarify these levels or stages that characterize Reflections that allow us to give the eidetic insight that consciousness in general is hierarchical. "If we recall how yesterday we remembered a childhood experience, then the noema, 'childhood experience,' in itself has a characterization as something remembered at the second level". Lets take a close look at this example. At one time we remembered a childhood experience. We didn't think of it as a "childhood experience". It just came to us. It was a spontaneous memory. Now today, we remember how yesterday we had a memory of a "childhood experience". This second level memory attains the noema of "childhood experience." We remember the memory as being about "Childhood Experience". It could have been the case that when we first remembered it we were simply "in it", without any direction to give it another level. We could have just drifted away from that spontaneous thought to nothing. In this case, we don't know that what we were in was a "childhood experience." Something may have been pleasant about that memory though. Today we think back to the memory of that experience and like it. We consciously think about it rather than be in it like we were in the first remembering. At this second level we are elaborating on the first level memory. We are thinking more of the "childhood experience" specifically as "the childhood experience". We can verbally or non-verbally say to ourselves "That childhood experience I had yesterday was amazing. Walking through trees, hiding behind stumps, running away from my friends while we were playing an amazing game of Capture the Flag". This "analytical" memory is a second level since it's remembering a remembering. We are actively pursuing it's original "train/picture of thought". Of course, a third level comes into play here. I can look at the fact that I had an original memory, and a consciously "analytical" reflection on that memory, making two memories (two levels). I can say to myself verbally or non-verbally that "I had two memories about the same thing. In one instance something came to me spontaneously. The next day I thought about that memory to myself. I thought about all the details in it that were fun". We are reflecting on pure hierarchy here. This is a third level. There's a seperation here. I can keep thinking of object-predicates that further define the experience, and I can think of the logico-phenomenological process that is allowing this noetic-noematic process to happen. I can reflect on the actual pictures of the scene and elaborate further in detail or I can elaborate on the numbers, sets, hierarchies (the phenomeno-logic) that constitute the possibilities of these processes. Lets focus on the logic of the phenomena here that can be elaborated here since we are working within phenomenology as a discipline for consciousness. "To every level belong possible reflections at that level, so that e.g., with respect to remembered things at the second level of remembering, there are reflections on perceivings of just these belonging to the same level". The ideas here are fleshed out really well by Husserl. He distinguishes between perceivings and and reflections. We can reflect on our perceptions and give them a logical place such as a place in a numbered order or a place in a manifold of sets. Another eidetic insight is made by Husserl when he states "each noematic level is an 'objectivation' 'of' the data of the following level". Each noematic level has it's own characteristic which sets itself as the index for its level, in which other noemas can "spring" from them, and other noemas from the past can be refered to by this index character of the noema. A noema can "spring" to another noema in which the data of the previous noema was its "springboard". It takes a past noema and does something with it, it changes it. Each noema is it's own level, has its own characteristic which defines it as an index, and can be referenced back to a past noema, and changed into another noema. These are eidetic truths. What's eidetic here is the purity of hierarchy, referential-processes (Derrida's concept of the trace becomes enormously helpful here which I wish I had more time to go into now), flux/change by way of intentionality, and the taking of something into something else for example (which was our first eidetic insight when we entered into this text).

The Dresden Gallery and the childhood experience are things we can remember that are not simply things we remember and this is the point of phenomenology; to explain everything else that happens beyond what is the "dead" concept in just "remembering". There are levels, characterizations of each level which make each level it's own index for previous and future levels. These things do happen to us immanently. The fact that there are a seemingly infinite amount of possibilities that can happen in the noetic-noematic consciousness gives credence to the possibility of a science of phenomenology, as a descriptive science like what we just wrote about above. It's not the case that everything above had to be written about. It could have been the case that everything written about above happened without us expressing it linguistically, in word or writing, but we are writers and thinkers. As writers and thinkers, we have the possibility for elaborating on what goes without saying. This going without saying that escapes both the "hard" and "soft" sciences alike is precisely what grounds any science in general. The scope of phenomenology is to work within the possibility given to us as writers, readers, and thinkers on elaborating on what always goes without saying for thinking being to happen. It's not within phenomenology's jurisdiction to answer "why" we are given over to "thinking being" in which we are given the possibility to elaborate on how "thinking being" happens. The teleological presupposition that one could place on phenomenology would be it's dependence on writing as a form, and it's psychological desire for elaboration, maybe even it's sadistic desire for creating complexity, ect. There may be something to these psychoanalytical/deconstructive explanations. But however this "desire" would determine phenomenology, it wouldn't take away from the fact that the experiences that we elaborated on above with the the Dresden Gallery and the childhood experience actually happened independent of the phenomenologists desires. All the possibilities that we laid out are just that, real possibilities independent of anyone who wanted to write on them. With that being said, it's obvious how large the field phenomenology is and can be. As a descriptive science it has endless possibilities relative to the endless possibilities exhibited by and happening in human consciousness.

new Coral single. Ridic.

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