Abstracts

The Primordial Life-world over the Phenomenologically Primordial

C.V. Babu
Zakir Husain College, New Delhi

This paper is an attempt to argue that the life-world is more primordial than what is phenomenologically primordial and Husserl’s notion of Life-world in his later philosophical phase is an implicit admission of the failure of his earlier notion of phenomenological reduction to establish the principle of real self-evidence. For this purpose, the principle of real self-evidence as established by David Hume and Edmund Husserl is attempted to be examined. Hume tried to establish it by means of the three aspects of source, force and priority and Husserl by means of what is called the principle of presence as an improvement upon the former. It was Descartes who identified the element of Cartesian doubt which he considered as ultimately affected by the created life-world in order to distinguish it from the unreal enabling the removal of the doubt. The point of departure of Descartes was the very point of arrival of Husserl distinguishing the real and the unreal within the very stream of experience describing the very possibility of the experience of the stream itself. John Locke considered all the elements of immediate perception identical in their nature which was criticized by David Hume that he did not distinguish between the real and the unreal. This distinction was not a matter of concern for Locke since he did not look for the real within the immanent domain rather considered it as a mere mediatory principle accepting the real without, whatever that may be, at least, as ultimately affecting the former. David Hume distinguished between the real and the unreal as the two fundamental species of perception by means of the three aspects of source, force and priority and attempted to establish the former as the principle of real self-evidence.

It is argued in this paper, this attempt even beyond his self-deconstructive findings primarily by means of the first aspect is nothing but the expression of his pathos for the real since it violates paradoxically the fundamentals of his own system of thought that looks for the real invalidating further the arguments made by the other two aspects too. Husserl avoided this violation to establish the principle of real self-evidence by means of the principle of presence as an improvement upon David Hume’s attempt. Derrida has shown that Husserl’s attempt too met with failure since his principle of presence is haunted by absence making evidence mediated by non-evidence as time is not severable, indeed, phenomenologically as well, into parts and irreducible. This point is taken to argue here that the real life-world is more primordial than what is phenomenologically primordial. It is argued in this paper that to look for the real within the immanent domain as a self-evident principle without referring to the life-world in view of it as unknown and in order to avoid transcendental claim is the expression of the pathos for the real or presence or real presence that inevitably ends up with its inherent contradiction.

It is argued in this paper that the attempts made by both Hume and Husserl to establish the real self-evidence are failures since its reality depends upon the life-world as ultimately affected by it and it is more primordial than what is phenomenologically primordial. It is argued in this paper that Hume’s and Husserl’s inherent contradictions within their principle of real self-evidence is nothing but the evidence of the irreducible primordial life-world. Derrida showed this in case of Husserl’s attempt to locate it in immanent time-consciousness as time is not severable into parts demonstrating the irreducible which is more primordial, whatever that may be, than what is phenomenologically primordial. It is argued in this paper that it is this very irreducibility what forces Husserl to take resort in his latter notion of life-world.