September 20, 2010 Leave a comment
In Thing and Space, part 4 (page 12), when Husserl explains that intentionality is the existential determinant, he is describing a feature of out perceptual constitution. He writes that we have pure givenness or pure intuition which relates us to phenomenal objects. Objects as presented to us directly are an essential feature that belongs indissolubly to perception. Indeed, for Husserl, this constitutes the essence of perception, in contrast to indirect realism or some mediated notion of the representational content of objects.
In this case, we are not looking for the ontological questions surrounding objects in the real world, but rather investigating what constitutes the intentional object itself. And not just what the descriptors are of these presentations, but what are the necessary conditions of perception of objects. Perception has, as Husserl explains, this peculiar character. It is, then, always the case that consciousness is consciousness of some object. We have at this point, bracketed our questions of the ontology of the house itself, but are here concerned with the philosophy of mental states, and for Husserl, this directedness is constitutional of perception universally. This is not to say the object has no status as an actual external object, but rather that we are after the essential elements of conscious perception itself.