(An) Exploration of Subjectivity in the Phenomenology of Edmund Husserl : From Epistemic Subject to Ethical Person

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The study makes an attempt to explore Husserlian probe for subjectivity from various perspectives. Unlike the pre-phenomenological philosophers Husserl tries to give a very different exploration of subjectivity by discovering the objectivity of the objects and its necessary connection with the meaningful realm of the subjectivity. Husserl’s significance lies on the fact that he always keeps room for the value aspect in all of his explanations by concentrating on consciousness. According to Husserl, in the process of attaining knowledge the contribution of both consciousness and objectivity are equally needed. In Husserlian phenomenology knowledge is a collection of feeling, thinking and willing by taking into consideration the subjective as well as the objective aspect. It is a process where objectivity is constituted but in constituting the objectivity the self constitutes itself by keeping scope for the subjectivity to re-construct itself in its future orientation. In order to purify consciousness his search for subjectivity then took a transcendental turn which he explained with the help of his methods for phenomenology. This transcendental subjectivity which is not like a windowless monad finally got connected with other subjects and constitutes the transcendental intersubjectivity. Here the others are also subjects like the self and equal members of the society living in a primordial world which he referred as the life-world. Husserlian phenomenology particularly the later phase of his development centered round his devastating experience of the first World-War and therefore, he grounded his phenomenology on the life-world which is a shared, public, intersubjective world. For him, because of the theorizing nature of the modern objective sciences now we have been living in an alienated world which is technologically very advanced and as a result gradually our life-world has been disappeared from us. Thus, the study finally tries to explore the significance of the life-world by giving the responsibility to human being by emphasizing upon the ethical renewal of humanity. In this connection an attempt is also made to bring Freudian psycho-analysis into the picture, both in terms of theoretical and practical perspectives.
Supervisor: Archana Barua