Action, Empathy and Motivation in Husserl's Phenomology : Implications for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies

Havelange Véronique
Language of the article : French
DOI: 10.3406/intel.2010.1184
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This text argues that phenomenology operates a double shift with respect to classical enquiries concerning knowledge. On the one hand, by defining consciousness in terms of an intentional aim, Husserl accords the questions of motivation and action a central position in phenomenology. On the other hand, by positing (contrary to Kant) that the categories of understanding, space and time, are the object of intuition, he engages phenomenology in an exploration of the theme of embodiment. In this way Husserl undertakes a transition from a static method, based on descriptions of lived experience, towards a genetic method which poses the problem of the transcendantal genesis of aperceptual acts themselves. Thus the themes of the lived-body and intersubjectivity open onto the way of psychology; and the themes of worldly objects, the social and history open onto the way of the world-of-life. Although Husserl never completely disengages himself from transcendantal idealism, he forges a passage to considering that the lived-body and technical artefacts are not only secondarily constituted, but are primarily constitutive of (inter)subjectivation and socialisation.
This recategorisation of empathy, motivation and action, which thematize the mediating status of the lived-body and technical artefacts, also makes it possible to envisage an original configuration of the relations between phenomenology and cognitive science. Taking as a metonymical example the work of the Perceptual Supplementation Group (GSP) at the Technological University of Compiègne, we then follow up on Husserl to show that these relations can be redefined in terms of a mutual presupposition between phenomenology and cognitive science. Setting up this sort of non-reductionist, non-naturalizing relation between phenomenology and science involves a double requirement: that of constantly keeping open the question of the methods and goals of phenomenology; and that of tirelessly posing the question of the constitution of scientific knowledge. On this condition, a relation of hermeneutical circularity between these two fields of research can be explicitly asserted, contributing to articulate them in a constant movement of mutual criticism and stimulation.

Pour citer cet article :

Havelange Véronique (2010/1-2). Action, Empathy and Motivation in Husserl's Phenomology : Implications for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies. In Steiner Pierre & Stewart John (Eds), Philosophy, Technology and Cognition, Intellectica, 53-54, (pp.195-232), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2010.1184.