Saturday, 19 April 2008

Husserl's indeterminacy of attention

"But not even with the domain of this intuitionally clear or obscure, distinct or indistinct, co-present — which makes up a constant halo around the field of actual perception — is the world exhausted which is "on hand" for me in the manner peculiar to consciousness at every waking moment. On the contrary, in the fixed order of its being, it reaches into the unlimited. What is now perceived and what is more or less clearly co-present and determinate (or at least somewhat determinate), are penetrated and surrounded by an obscurely attended to horizon of indeterminate actuality. I can send the rays of the illuminative regard of attention into this horizon with varying results. Determining presentations, obscure at first and then becoming alive, haul something out for me; a chain of such quasi-memories is linked together; the sphere of determinateness becomes wider and wider, perhaps so wide that connection is made with the field of actual perception as my central surroundings. But generally the result is different: an empty mist of obscure indeterminateness is populated with intuited possibilities or likelihoods; and only the "form' of the world, precisely as the "the world", is predelineated. Moreover, my indeterminate surroundings are infinite, the misty and never fully determinable horizon is necessarily there."

Ideas pertaining to a pure phenomenology, by Edmund Husserl (p. 52).